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Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott

Cameron received degrees in Comparative Literature from Princeton and Cornell universities. He has worked at Mother Jones, SFGate and IDG News Service and been published in California Lawyer and SF Weekly. He lives, predictably, in SF.

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From This Author


Comcast Muddies Its Anti-Open Internet Position With Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Those who believe in open-source soft- and hardware  often also believe in the value of free information over the Internet. But, chances are, they still want their own personal information to be private. The...

Lab-Grown Retina from Stem Cells Responds to Light

The retina is a complex and fragile piece of equipment, but without it, the world would be completely dark. With a number of diseases that can erode the delicate tissue and little that conventional medicine...

New Material Sucks Water From the Air and Stores It

As the changing climate pushes arid regions around the world to become drier, many are asking how we will continue to provide enough water for the people and crops in those areas. Some Rice University...

Robotic Hand Uses AI to Specialize Its Grip for Any Object

Your cat may think she’s your boss, but she would actually be your boss if it weren’t for a feat of engineering called the human hand, complete with opposable thumbs. It’s not easy to build...

Delivering Capsules of Stem Cells Helps Repair Injured Bones

For the recorder of potentially breakthrough medical technology, sometimes it seems that the list is just so many applications of three new technologies: smaller electronics, new materials and stem cells. Any electronic device set...

Bionic Pancreas Promises Big Boost in Health, Quality of Life for Type 1 Diabetics

Diabetes, despite affecting nearly 350 million people worldwide, is not really a controlled illness. Those who have the type 1 form of the illness, in which the pancreas fails to produce the insulin that...

Fasting Helps Cancer Patients Survive Chemotherapy — And It Could Help Us All Live Longer

You’ve probably never heard of Valter Longo, but if you’ve heard about the purported health benefits of intermittent fasting, you’ve likely been exposed to his work. A University of Southern California gerontologist, Longo has...

Massive Military-Funded Project Aims to Re-align Ailing Brains

Deep brain stimulation as a treatment for epilepsy and movement disorders, most notably Parkinson’s disease, has rapidly gone from experimental to standard practice. With devices to provide delicate electro-stimulation to the brain now available...

Scientists Trigger Stem Cells to Produce New Brain Cells

It turns out that an apple a day — or at least an apple spinach salad — does keep the doctor away. But it’s not true that when brain cells die we can’t make...

Machines Teach Humans How to Feel Using Neurofeedback

Humans are social animals, and feelings of attachment, connection and empathy are the glue that binds societies together. Before an infant’s immune system is fully operational, before a baby can even use its hands,...

Singularity Surplus: Computer Convenience For FDA Data, Paper and Pen, Power Outlets

The Scribble pen can identify and reproduce 16 million colors you might come across in daily life. The pen uses a 16-bit RGB color sensor to identify the colors of objects and reproduces them...

Star Trek-Style Holodeck Coming into Focus at Lowe’s

We’ve all done it — gone into a store to figure out what we wanted to buy only to go home and buy it online from whoever offered the lowest price and free returns....

Researchers Close In on the Dream of a Safe, Portable Brain Scanner

If research on the human brain is to come close to meeting the lofty hopes many researchers and government bodies have for it, one thing is going to have to change: Brain scanning will...

Nanotech Method Boosts Conventional Cancer Treatments in Pre-Clinical Trial

The conventional wisdom has it that there’s no silver bullet for treating cancer; the disease simply has too many forms for a one-size-fits-all solution. But there may be, if a recent pre-clinical animal study...

Singularity Surplus: Sweating Robots, Speaking in Tongues, Where Lab Meat Comes From

Advances in exponential technology happen fast — too fast for Singularity Hub to cover them all. This weekly bulletin points to significant developments to keep readers in the know. In an attempt to make robots...

Thanks to 3D Printing, the Visually Impaired Can Have a Braille Mobile Phone

With free-market capitalism and its tried-and-true methods of mass production, mainstream consumers are inundated with more product choices than many have time to make, while smaller, specialized segments of the population find that even...

Muse Headband Opens the Door to Brain-to-Computer Applications

FitBit, Jawbone, Aero: Wearable devices to track physical activity are everywhere. But technology advocates insist that’s not all the devices can do — not by a long shot. The tiny machines promise to track...

Promising Malaria Vaccine Looks to Employ Robots to Mass Produce Its Product

Imagine that, in the face of substantial technical odds, you developed a vaccine for malaria that, in early trials, was 100 percent effective. But then, due to political wrangling over the budget, you couldn’t...
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Move Over Facial Recognition, New Algorithm Identifies Your Actions in Videos

Researchers at MIT and U.C. Irvine have developed a new algorithm that can detect actions in video much better than past efforts could. It does by applying the lessons of natural language grammar computer scientists have parsed for computers.

Singularity Surplus: New Uses for Hot Techs and New Tech for Unwanted Heat

Advances in exponential technology happen fast — too fast for Singularity Hub to cover them all. This weekly bulletin points to significant developments to keep readers in the know. Here’s a clever new use for...

Researchers Add New Letters to Life’s Genetic Alphabet

Why does the factory of life rely exclusively on four machines, the DNA bases A, G, C and T? To get an answer, scientists at Scripps Research Institute tried working with a host of other potential base molecules. Recently, they succeeded in inserting an extra set of bases into the DNA of an E. coli bacterium, and managed to get it to reproduce with the extra DNA bases in tact.

Daily At-Home Lab Kits Now Available, But Are the Results Meaningful?

an Diego-based Cue is bringing DIY health care to new heights, with an at-home lab kit that runs five standard tests and displays the results in a mobile app. The lab tests inflammation via C-reactive protein, vitamin D levels, female fertility based on Luteinizing hormone, influenza virus, and testosterone levels.

Wireless Charging of Phones From Across the Room? The Tech Inches Closer

Wireless energy transmission has been possible since Thomas Edison’s time, and in the last several years, especially, with robots gaining mobility and electric vehicles building consumer demand, we’ve heard almost daily promises that the days of tangled power cords are numbered. So why do the vast majority of EV drivers and smartphone users, not to mention robots, remain tethered to plug-in chargers and cables?

3D Printers and Drones — The Best Mash-up Since Peanut Butter and Chocolate?

Because one of the formulas for innovation is combining two useful technologies to see if the whole might be greater than the sum of its parts, it was only a matter of time before someone mounted a 3D printer to a drone. Mirko Kovac, an aerospace engineer at the Imperial College London, has done just that.

Singularity Surplus: Robotic Furniture and Stuffed Animals

Kids learn with robots; 3D printed liver, no stem cells required, robotic furniture; living forever as computer code

Researchers Get Closer to Making Functional Human Sperm in the Lab

Stanford researchers found that simply by producing stem cells from adult male skin cells and putting them in the sperm-making tubes of mice, they could obtain partly developed germ cells, the cells that produce sperm. The researchers hypothesized that if the cells had been placed in human testes, with their distinct and roomier topography, they would likely have resulted in functional sperm.

Following the Solar Brick Road to Clean Energy and Smart Roadways

A proposal to power the entire United States with solar energy, without wires or solar farms, by using solar cells to pave roads and parking lots, is certainly a big idea. It comes from the Idaho couple, Scott and Julie Brusaw, yet it’s promising enough to have received finding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Now their company, Solar Roadways, is looking for another $1 million in funding on Indiegogo to manufacture the product commercially.

Blurring the Line Between Disability and Ability — Double Amputee Amy Purdy Snowboards, Dances on Reality TV

Amy Purdy, who lost her legs below the knee after a bout with bacterial meningitis and sepsis in 1999, scored two 10s and a 9 this week for a lively dance with Derek Hough performed on blade prosthetics similar to those made famous by the runner Oscar Pistorius.

Aging Reversed in the Heart, Brain, and Muscles of Mice Thanks to Blood Factor

The idea that blood is the basic stuff of life dates back to well before the scientific method. Yet, in a pair of new studies, researchers have found that blood — and specifically a growth factor in it known as GDF-11 — spurs the brains, muscles, skeletons and hearts of older mice to look and perform like those of younger mice.

Singularity Surplus: Cyborg Edition

Multi-jointed mind-controlled prosthetic arm; prosthetic gets to girl who needs it; steer a wheelchair with your eyes.

NeuroGrid — A Circuit Board Modeled after the Human Brain

A team of Stanford University engineers has developed a circuit board, and its underlying chips, that simulates the activity of the human brain 9,000 times faster than a personal computer and is 100,000 times more energy efficient.

Chilean Incubator Wants Companies Using Tech to Help the Poor

Chilean not-for-profit Socialab runs competitions for technology-based business proposals that address some of the major problems wrought by poverty in the region: food insecurity, lack of clean drinking water, struggling public education and so on. Then it taps its virtual community of 300,000 users to identify the best ideas and fine-tune them.

Crowd-Sourced Science Project Discovers How The Eye Perceives Motion

The social gaming venture EyeWire lured citizen scientists to follow retinal neurons at the back of the eye with the chance to level up and outperform competitors. With their help, EyeWire has solved a longstanding mystery about how mammals perceive motion.

Escape Dynamics Aims to Eliminate Single-Use Rockets in Space Flight

Escape Dynamics is proposing that we do away with fiery rockets altogether in order to make a much more dramatic attack on the exorbitant cost of space flight.

Singularity Surplus: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

U.N. goals whittle child and maternal death rates; computer solves word problems so you don't have to; the Milky Way gets an MRI; making fuel out of nothing.

Link Between Mom’s Diet at Conception and Child’s Lifelong Health, Study Reveals

The mother’s nutrition at the time of conception can permanently and fundamentally affect physical characteristics of her offspring, according to a study just published in Nature Communications, by influencing the child's epigenome.

3D Printed Organs, Blood Vessels and All, Takes a Big Step Toward Reality

There’s something a little creepy-sounding about the phrase “lab-grown organs,” but producing human organs in the lab could have a range of such powerful benefits that, if they became widely available, only the rare...

Singularity Surplus: Not, Contrary to Popular Belief, Impossible

3d printing houses, neighborhoods, and audio speakers; growing new cartilage in the lab; Congressional bipartisanship over online privacy.

Twitter-like Consumer App Arrives for the Internet of Things

While the Internet of Things continues to grow, its adoption is progressing much more slowly than that of, say, smartphones. The trouble may go back to Steve Jobs’s famous talking point: The Internet of Things lacks a common platform that “just works” the way the iPhone did. Freeboard and Dweet, two modular products from New York-based Bugs Labs, are trying to solve that problem.

Watch as These Colorful Robotic Swarms Respond to Human Gestures

Disney is taking animation into three-dimensions to restore its ability to wow audiences. A research team affiliated with the company recently presented a swarm of 75 watch-sized robots whose colors and formations can be controlled with a drawing app.

Human Skin Grown From Stem Cells Replicates The Real Thing

Researchers have successfully produced skin in the lab that reproduces the skin barrier. The advance presents a viable alternative to animal testing for cosmetics.

SCiO’s Handheld Scanner Aims to Detect Food Ingredients and Identify Pills

An Israeli company is offering a flash drive-sized scanner that can tell users what exactly is in the food or medicine on the table using near-infrared spectroscopy.

The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database Raises Concern

The Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to start using a facial database, according to papers obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a FOIA lawsuit. But facial recognition technology isn't very accurate yet.

The Surprising Medical Value of Poop

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and an FDA committee hearing suggest that a stool test called Cologuard will likely be approved as a non-invasive screening for colorectal cancer.

Singularity Surplus: Slithers, Sparkles and Stays

Artificial life worm available online; washable connected T-shirts; concrete that lasts 100 years.

Electrical Stimulation Enables Paralyzed Patients to Move Legs and Stand Again

Four paralyzed men who received epidural electrical stimulation were able to regain some voluntary movement of their legs. The finding challenges everything doctors thought they knew about paralysis.

Can Blood Produced From Stem Cells Make Shortages a Thing of the Past?

Stem cell treatments are set to go mainstream as a UK consortium ramps up production of red blood cells from embryonic stem cells with plans to try it on human patients for the first time in 2016. Delivering blood transfusions through stem cells would push such therapies well into the medical mainstream. But it will also require industrial-scale production.

Lab-Grown Vaginas Provide Normal Sex Lives for Women With Rare Condition

The work of scientists trying to manufacture major human organs like the brain and heart in the lab has generated a lot of buzz, even though it will most likely be decades before the...

Singularity Surplus: Nowhere to Hide

7 in 10 American consumers say privacy concerns will keep them from buying Google Glass; a startup sells a DIY cyborg kit, syringe included; UW researchers show off scary-good age-progression software; rare genetic mutation makes siblings immune to viruses -- can we get in on that?

New Method Points to Cheaper, More Flexible Wearable Computers

Flexible electronics guru John Rogers has developed a wearable electronic patch that incorporates standard silicon chips. The patch uses a microfluidic construction with wires folded to allow it to bend and flex around the rigid off-the-shelf chips.

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