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Monthly Archives: January 2014

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New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs, To Cure Us

Pharmaceutical startups are popping up to bring science and sterility to the inquiry surrounding the human microbiome. A couple have already begun testing bacterial medicines in hopes of finding the right strain or stains of bacteria to cure widespread and still mysterious illnesses.

Facial Recognition App for Glass Challenges Google’s Ban on the Technology

FacialNetwork recently launched a facial recognition app for Glass, called NameTag, in the hopes of pushing Google to change its ban on facial recognition apps. Using a photo taken Glass or smartphone camera, NameTag compares it to its database of faces and returns the person’s name, additional photos and social media profiles.

Burritobox Joins Growing Number of Fast-Food Making Robots

Box Brands has launched the first-ever burrito-making robots at two locations on Santa Monica Boulevard — inside Mobile and 76 gas stations. The orange Burritobox offers 6 types of burrito, including a breakfast burrito, and several sauces. The customer selects the burrito s/he wants and which sauces from a touch-screen menu, then swipes a credit card. One minute later, the machine dispenses a hot “hand”-rolled burrito. Gas-station quality burritos may not be the sexiest use of automation technology, but the Burritobox joins a growing number of fast food-making robots.

Intel Aims For Post-Smartphone Era With SD Card-Sized Computer

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, Intel, one of the weightiest firms in the tech industry, endorsed wearable computing with the launch of a new chip designed for it. The company unveiled Edison, a computer the size of an SD card that supports multiple operating systems and features a 400-megahertz Quark processor with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It’s Alive! Artificial-Life Worm Wiggles on Its Own

A worm wiggles. It’s a process as old as time, but this time there’s a twist: The worm is a bit of open-source software that encodes biological data gleaned from decades of scientific study into the nematode C. elegans. The parameters are programmed, but the worm acted on its own.

Our Singularity Future: Should We Hack the Climate?

Even the most adamant techno-optimists among us must admit that new technologies can introduce hidden dangers: Fire, as the adage goes, can cook the dinner but it can also burn the village down. The most powerful example of an unforeseen problem is climate change. Which makes the debate about whether to use still more novel technology to help fix the problem — to hack the climate — particularly heated.

Hydrogen Vehicles, Long Promised, Finally Hit the Road

After years running on the fumes of hype, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are beginning to hit the road. Toyota made a big splash when it announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show that it would market such a car beginning in the 2015 model year. Hyundai has also committed to roll out a fuel-cell vehicle next year. And Honda has already begun leasing its hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity to customers in California.

Japanese Scientists Levitate, Move Objects in Mid-Air Using Sound Waves

Japanese scientists have devised a way to levitate objects as big as a small screw in mid-air, moving them not just up and down but also to-and-fro and side-to-side.

Singularity University Features Female Entrepreneurs at CROWDFUNDxWOMEN

There aren’t enough women in tech. It’s an often repeated refrain. Raising capital can be daunting for any new business, but sometimes for reasons beyond merit, the road can be more challenging for female technology entrepreneurs. Singularity University recently partnered with Crowdfunder to bring promising new startups and the women leading them together with investors.

Gene Therapy Turns Several Leukemia Patients Cancer Free. Will It Work for Other Cancers, Too?

A new cancer treatment called targeted cellular therapy has generated a lot of excitement in the field. Researchers tried the approach on patients suffering from lymphocytic leukemia with no other treatment options. After receiving targeted cellular therapy, 26 of 59 patients, including 19 children, are now cancer-free.

Ford Joins Tesla, Volvo, Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes in Race to Self-Driving Cars

In 2013, major automakers either forecasting self-driving technologies or announcing their own included Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Volvo, Tesla—and now, you can add Ford into the mix. The Michigan automaker said they’re working with the University of Michigan and insurer, State Farm, to develop mostly driverless technology by 2025.

Credit Card-Sized Chip Diagnoses HIV and Provides T Cell Counts on the Spot

A credit card-sized chip can diagnose HIV infection and provide T cell counts to guide treatment, according to a recent paper in Science Translational Medicine. The tiny fluid-processing chip provides accurate test results in less than 20 minutes using a single drop of blood that goes directly into the testing chamber and does not require trained handling.

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