In the wake of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, many called for stricter gun control. Others called for better mental health care. Some called for more guns in the hands of teachers and school security officers.
Although some people might find the idea of love with a machine repulsive, experts predict that as the technology advances and robots become more human-like, we will view our silicon cousins in a friendlier light. As the future unfolds, robots will fill more roles as family caregivers, household servants, and voice-enabled avatars that manage our driverless cars, automated homes, and entertainment systems.
Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range. But bringing that promise to reality has faced a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more durable materials for the batteries’ electrodes and improving the number of charging-discharging cycles the batteries can withstand.
This holiday season, Bill Gates wants stuff that doesn’t exist. Not for himself, mind you, but for the developing world. Gates has tons of ideas for products that would improve lives there, if only someone would build them.
The Argus II retinal implant is like a cochlear implant for the blind. It looks like computing goggles such as Google Glass, but it sends the images the eyeglass-mounted visual processing unit detects to a tiny electrode array that’s been implanted in the user’s retina. Electrical stimulation sends visual information up the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the user’s brain, allowing him or her to see.
It’s a question that’s perplexed philosophers for centuries and scientists for decades: Where does consciousness come from? We know it exists, at least in ourselves. But how it arises from chemistry and electricity in our brains is an unsolved mystery.
Researchers from the University of Iowa have developed a remarkable new procedure for regenerating missing or damaged bone. It’s called a “bio patch” — and it works by sending bone-producing instructions directly into cells using microscopic particles embedded with DNA.