Quantum hackers have performed the first ‘invisible’ attack on two commercial quantum cryptographic systems. By using lasers on the systems — which use quantum states of light to encrypt information for transmission — they have fully cracked their encryption keys, yet left no trace of the hack.
A new media marketing world increasingly dominated by mobile technologies, “shopping bots,” recommendation systems and peer-to-peer networks has spawned a radical new online marketplace, challenging the old behaviors of buyers and sellers, according to a new report in the Journal of Service Research.
The old straight line that governed customer relationship management has been replaced by a zig-zagging pathway that more closely resembles a game of pinball – with risks and rewards waiting for companies that wade into the online marketplace, according to an international team of researchers in the journal’s latest edition.
This summer, as he has for the past five years, Zhe-Yu “Jeff” Ou, Ph.D., a faculty member of the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, traveled to China, where he is leading the establishment of a network of quantum information laboratories. Quantum information science, which uses photons — units of light — to carry and process information, may someday produce the successor to today’s ubiquitous silicon-based computer.
A professor of physics in the School of Science and an internationally respected researcher in experimental quantum optics, Dr. Ou is establishing the quantum information labs throughout China with the support of the Chinese government. He also is continuing his own research in these labs, which are outfitted with the most advanced equipment available.
Quite a story developing in Chile: the 33 miners who are trapped 700 meters underground will have to wait about four months before they are rescued. That’s obviously not going to be easy on the men who have been trapped for over 18 days already. Keeping it together psychologically, physically and socially for that extent of time will undoubtedly prove challenging.
A robotic hand attached to a small helicopter can successfully and autonomously grip objects while the helicopter is hovering, as demonstrated by a group at Yale University led by Aaron Dollar, one of this year’s TR35s.
The helicopter hand, dubbed the Yale Aerial Manipulator, could be used in spots that are difficult for ground robots to get to, such as high or roughly terrained places. It could also be used to pick up bombs or packages, or even as a form of delivery, moving packages in urban environments where trucks would have a hard time, suggests Paul Pounds, first author of the work.
What if winning the Army’s contest to design a new armored fighting vehicle was as simple as uploading your CAD files and other specifications to the U.S. Military, which would then have the capability to build your proposed vehicle - and all the other competing designs - in a generic fabrication facility?
I’m finding myself a bit disturbed these days about how fashionable it has become to hate Ray Kurzweil — because it’s not all about Ray.
It wasn’t too long ago, with the publication of The Age of Spiritual Machines, that he was the cause célèbre of our time. I’m somewhat at a loss to explain what has happened in the public’s mind since then; his ideas certainly haven’t changed all that much. Perhaps it’s a collective impatience with his timelines; the fact that it isn’t 2049 yet has led to disillusionment. Or maybe it’s because people are afraid of buying into a set of predictions that may never come true—a kind of protection against disappointment or looking foolish.
A consortium of scientists on Friday published the first genome for wheat, an achievement that should benefit food security challenged by Earth’s surging population, climate change and an emerging plant pest.
British researchers said they had unraveled 95 percent of the genetic code for a benchmark variety of wheat known as Chinese Spring line 42.
Using powerful lasers, Hui Zhao, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, and graduate student Lalani Werake have discovered a new way to recognize currents of spinning electrons within a semiconductor.
The integration of single-spin magnetoelectronics into standard silicon technology may soon be possible, if experiments confirm a new theoretical prediction by physicists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The researchers predict that a family of well-known silicon surfaces, stabilized by small amounts of gold atoms, is intrinsically magnetic despite having no magnetic elements. None of these surfaces has yet been investigated experimentally for magnetism, but the new predictions are already supported indirectly by existing data. The complete findings of the study are published in the August 24, 2010, issue of the journal Nature Communications.
Silicon provides a unique entry point for combining magnetoelectronics based on single spins with standard electronics technology. If a single-spin device can be built on a silicon wafer, input and output electronics can be directly integrated with the magnetic part of the device. This has been an obstacle for current spintronics approaches. For example, spin injection from a metal into silicon is very inefficient unless the metal/semiconductor interface is carefully optimized.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada have developed floor tiles that can simulate the look, sound and feel of snow, grass or pebbles underfoot. Such a tool could perhaps be used for augmented reality applications, tele-presence, training, rehabilitation or even as virtual foot controllers.
Get ready for teleconferencing in the round. NTT, the world’s second largest telecomm, has developed a new video room that allows users to share an overlapping virtual environment. Dubbed the t-Room, NTT’s next generation conferencing solution takes real time video of your friends and displays them on tall window-like screens surrounding you. Your image, in turn, is shown in a window in your friend’s t-Room. When you overlap in the same window you can see the other person ‘behind you’ in the screen. It’s a sort of shared augmented reality. As each person moves, the window they are displayed in changes as well. This gives the t-Room a sense of a three-dimensional space. Multiple users in multiple locations can participate in the same conversation, a background image can be projected behind the users, and documents or other files can displayed in one of the windows.
A huge particle detector to be mounted on the International Space Station next year could find evidence for the anti-universe often evoked in science fiction, physicists said on Wednesday.
Speaking as the 8.5-tonne Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) machine was being loaded into a huge U.S. Air Force cargo plane at Geneva airport, they said the 20-year research program would bring a huge step forward in understanding the cosmos.
By creating diseased liver cells from a small sample of human skin, scientists have for the first time shown that stem cells can be used to model a diverse range of inherited disorders. The University of Cambridge researchers’ findings, which will hopefully lead to new treatments for those suffering from liver diseases, were published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Because liver cells (hepatocytes) cannot be grown in the laboratory, researching liver disorders is extremely difficult. However, today’s new research, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC), demonstrates how to create diseased liver-like cells from patients suffering from a variety of liver disorders.
Is it necessary first to enhance in order to decide whether or not enhancing is a good idea?
Many transhumanists are enthusiastic about the possibilities of cognitive enhancement. Such enthusiasts might say something like: “I want to use advanced technologies – from genetic engineering and psychoactive pharmaceuticals to neural implants and even mind-uploading – to increase my intelligence, to make me‘smarter, wiser, or more creative’ [PDF], to produce a ‘smarter and more virtuous’ person, to mentally and emotionally augment myself.”
Researchers have discovered how to control the piezoelectric effect in nanoscale semiconductors called “quantum dots,” enabling the development of incredibly tiny new products.
The piezoelectric effect is the generation of an electric field by the compression and expansion of solid materials, and it has a wide range of applications ranging from everyday items such as watches, motion sensors, and precise positioning systems.
Edinburgh scientists sure know where to look for renewable energy. Recently they figured out a way to make biofuel from whiskey byproducts, and now a different team is hard at work on what promises to be the world’s first urine-powered fuel cells.
Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air ― much like solar cells capture sunlight ― and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages of developing such devices, according to a report presented here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future,” said study leader Fernando Galembeck, Ph.D. His research may help explain a 200-year-old scientific riddle about how electricity is produced and discharged in the atmosphere. “Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect,” he maintained.
The wheel in the sky keeps on turning — or at least it will if a Japanese renewable energy professor’s “Wind Lens” turbine design is realized. Resembling giant white rims, these offshore turbines have the potential to produce up to three times as much energy as a standard offshore one.
A team of University of Michigan scientists has found that suppressing a newly discovered gene lengthens the lifespan of roundworms. Scientists who study aging have long known that significantly restricting food intake makes animals live longer. But the goal is to find less drastic ways to achieve the same effect in humans someday. The U-M results offer promising early evidence that scientists may succeed at finding targets for drugs that someday could allow people to live longer, healthier lives.
In a study in the August issue of Aging Cell, U-M scientists found that a gene, drr-2, is an important component in a key cellular pathway, the TOR nutrient-sensing pathway, where many scientists are looking for potential drug targets. The U-M scientists then found that when they caused the drr-2 gene to be under- or over-expressed, they could lengthen or shorten lifespan in C. elegans, a worm widely used in research. Manipulating the drr-2 gene’s action produced the same effects as reducing or increasing caloric intake.
"We showed that in C. elegans, drr-2 is one of the essential genes for the TOR pathway to modulate lifespan," says Ao-Lin Allen Hsu, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and a scientist at the U-M Geriatrics Center. He also is an assistant professor in internal medicine and molecular and integrative physiology at U-M. The study also found that drr-2 appears analogous to a human gene, eIF4H, that controls similar cell functions.
Science fiction has taught me to fear and respect robots with emotions. Now scientists are teaching robots to fear and respect humans with emotions. It’s a virtuous circle. Aldebaran’s widely successful Nao robot is being used in experiments led by the University of Hertfordshire that hope to have it learn emotions in the same manner as young children. Using facial and body language recognition, special Nao prototypes will form attachments to those humans which teach them the most. The robots will then pick up on emotional cues and mimic the way they are used. This is pretty much what human and chimpanzee babies due to learn about emotions. Just like a child, the prototype Naos will show distress if their preferred caregiver doesn’t assist them when confronted by a stressful situation. Bots that need your care, wow. The idea of an emotionally vulnerable robot is getting people charged up. Check out Fox News’ clunky interview of an Aldebaran exec below.
Reto Meier, an “Android Developer Advocate for Google” recently laid out a fairly science-fiction account of where computer (or at least mobile) interfaces are headed.
In the spirit of the best futurism, all of his predictions - from Augmented Reality eye glasses to advanced batteries - have parallels in the real world. What follows is a walk-through of the future, expressed in terms of the not quite ready for prime time discoveries coming out of labs today.
Many have begun trading in CD, DVD, and book collections for digital music, movies, and e-books. But this trend in digital technology is now influencing some to get rid of nearly all of their physical possessions - from photographs to furniture to homes altogether.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a method for predicting the ways nanoparticles will interact with biological systems – including the human body. Their work could have implications for improved human and environmental safety in the handling of nanomaterials, as well as applications for drug delivery.
NC State researchers Dr. Jim Riviere, Burroughs Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and director of the university’s Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics, Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere, professor of investigative dermatology and toxicology, and Dr. Xin-Rui Xia, research assistant professor of pharmacology, wanted to create a method for the biological characterization of nanoparticles – a screening tool that would allow other scientists to see how various nanoparticles might react when inside the body.
Fred Flintstone could only dream of such a car. The HumanCar Imagine PS, a four-seater vehicle that uses hand cranks, can take on hills at 30 miles per hour, exceed 60 mph on flat terrain and is expected to hit the market next year.
A federal judge on Friday banned the planting of genetically modified sugar beets engineered by Monsanto Co in a ruling that marks a major setback for the biotech giant.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled in 2009 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had approved Monsanto’s genetically modified sugar beets without adequate environmental study.
Sugar beets account for over half of the nation’s sugar supply. But conventional sugar beet seeds remain widely available and environmentalists filing suit said the judge’s decision should not significantly affect sugar production.
The science fiction of melding man and machine has played out for decades onscreen, from The Six Million Dollar Man to The Terminator.
But the bionic hybrid age may well be flickering to life – real life – in the Calgary lab where scientists who made history fusing snail brain cells to a computer microchip six years ago are poised to try the same feat with human cells.
Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute are to announce Tuesday that they have made a key advance in connecting brain cells to a newly designed silicon chip, crafted with the National Research Council of Canada, that allows them to “hear” the conversation between living tissue and an electronic device as never before.
FINDING it difficult to revise for an exam? Help could be on its way in the form of the first non-invasive way of stimulating the brain that can boost visual memory.
The technique uses transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), in which weak electrical currents are applied to the scalp using electrodes. The method can temporarily increase or decrease activity in a specific brain region and has already been shown to boost verbal and motor skills in volunteers.
A new detector could finally answer the question of whether the body of former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa is buried under the west end zone of Giants Stadium.
New cadaver sensing technology developed by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can detect not only dead bodies, but also trace amounts of the things that will kill you, including explosives, spoiled food, and carcinogens.
The magical world of Shrinky Dinks — an arts and crafts material used by children since the 1970s — has taken up residence in a Northwestern University laboratory. A team of nanoscientists is using the flexible plastic sheets as the backbone of a new inexpensive way to create, test and mass-produce large-area patterns on the nanoscale.
Scientists working on a breath test for cancer say they can differentiate between at least four different forms of the disease, regardless of the patient’s age, gender or lifestyle, simply by testing patients’ breath.
Previous research by the same team found gold nanoparticle sensors could distinguish between the breath of healthy patients and those with lung cancer. Now, the e-nose can tell if a patient has breast, lung, prostate or colon cancer, according to the researchers, from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
The fresh-faced 39-year-old man, in a dark T-shirt and jeans, is talking about travelling to Mars. Not now, but when he’s older and ready to swap life on Earth for one on the red planet. “It would be a good place to retire,” he says in all seriousness. Normally, this would be the time to make one’s excuses and leave the company of a lunatic. Or to smile politely and humour a space nerd’s unlikely fantasies. But this man needs to be taken seriously for one compelling reason: he already has his own spaceship.
The metal tin lacks the value and prestige of gold, silver, and platinum – but to nuclear physicists, tin is magic.
In the journal Nature, Rutgers physicists recently reported studies on tin that add knowledge to a concept known as magic numbers while perhaps helping scientists to explain how heavy elements are made in exploding stars.
Their research methods could also help other scientists and engineers develop next-generation nuclear reactors and gather forensic evidence in case rogue states or terrorists ever deploy nuclear weapons.