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Monthly Archives: April 2013

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US Supreme Court To Decide Whether Or Not Genes Can Be Patented

Coming up with an answer that’s satisfactory to the researchers, doctors and patients who have a stake in the case is turning out to be as knotty as the genome itself.

New Technique Turns Brain Transparent, Gives Scientists Direct Look Into Brain

A new technique, developed by a scientist who’d already contributed an extraordinary tool to neuroscience, literally allows scientists to peer directly into the brain by making it transparent.

Willow Garage Spinoff IPI Is Building Robots That Can See, Think, and Act

We often hear of robots forcing humans to learn new skills—but Willow Garage spinoff, Industrial Perception, Inc., (IPI) wants to do just the opposite. IPI is in the business of training robots for the real world. Step one: Give them eyes. Step two: Teach them to understand what they’re seeing. Step three: Do something about it.

Chinese Restaurant Owner Says Robot Noodle Maker Doing “A Good Job!”

Noodle peelers should probably start looking for other things to do around the kitchen – there’s just no competing with these robots.

Anticipated and Controversial, First Google Glass Devices in Production

Google Glass is fast becoming the most hyped, anticipated, controversial technology trial of the year. You heard it here first—although I’m sure you didn’t—Google will ship the first trial pairs of Google Glass in the next few days. Google’s Glass Explorer program enrolled 2,000 pre-early adopters who will pay $1,500 to beta test the firm’s wearable computer, iron out the kinks, and get the PR ball rolling.

Why Your Next Phone Will Include Fingerprint, Facial, And Voice Recognition

Though consumers have demanded a better way to secure their phones besides passwords, they may have had the answer all along without even knowing it: their body parts. Biometric identification will almost certainty become available within the next few years, and three options will become standard: a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, facial recognition powered by high-definition cameras, and voice recognition based off a large collection of user vocal samples.

Festo’s Robot Dragonfly an Awesome Mix of Prehistoric and Futuristic

German manufacturing firm Festo recently resurrected a Paleozoic dragonfly. No, we’re not talking de-extinction or synthetic biology—this baby’s robotic. But at 70 cm (27 in) by 48 cm (19 in), Festo’s BionicOpter robot dragonfly is a futuristic flying machine with more than a touch of the prehistoric in it.

RNA-Based Drug Offers New Hope To Hepatitis C Patients

A new drug may present a way for patients to rid their bodies of infection without being subjected to the same severe side effects as current treatments.

Coming Soon to a Body Near You? World’s Smallest Chip to Be Swallowable

Dumb things will soon be smart—you’ve heard it repeated ad nauseum. Cyborg-Earth will bristle with uncounted hordes of tiny embedded chips; smart-roads will talk to smart-cars, warning of black ice; smart-buildings will hold court with smartphones, regulating temperature and lights to match prefences and schedule; trees, oceans, and glaciers will dutifully report real-time conditions to scientists.

Lab Grown Kidney Transplanted Into Rat

Imagine a future in which no one died anymore waiting for an organ. Harvard researchers have taken a major step toward that reality by transplanting a lab-grown kidney into an animal and showing that it works.

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Closer To Reality After Receiving $2 Billion From Japanese Bank

Offshore wind farms are finally arriving on US shores – and they’re doing it with foreign help. Plans to install Cape Wind, a 468 MW, 130 turbine wind farm in the waters off the...

Meet The Two-Ton Robotic Mantis: A Hexapod You Can Ride In

Weighing in at a little over two tons, Mantis is likely the biggest robot hexapod you’ve ever seen. Mantis walks on six ground-sensing hydraulic legs, carrying a human in its thoracic cockpit or being guided remotely by a nearby pilot. In footage taken without the full cockpit, the Mantis/pilot hybrid has the look of Spider-Man’s Doc Ock. Mantis is, quite simply, a sweet looking robot.

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