To screen for gastric cancer, physicians often use conventional endoscopy (replete with tubing) to analyze changes in the lining of stomachs, but the uncomfortable procedure, which carries the risk of punctured organs and infection, can result in some patients opting not to have the exam done.
Ingestible capsule endoscopies, with pill-sized video capsules, can record and transmit images in real time without a single incision point. The main issue is that the capsule isn't always … Read more
Rebounding from its latest scheduling setback, Boeing now says that it expects to deliver its first 787 Dreamliner in the third quarter.
In December, the company resumed flight testing of its marquee commercial aircraft, which had been halted in early November because of an onboard fire sparked by a faulty electrical power panel.
Boeing said today that the rescheduled delivery date factors in the time that it needs to produce, install, and test updated software and new power distribution panels in both flight test and production versions of the Dreamliner.
Of the six 787 aircraft being used for flight tests, … Read more
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have announced that, using inexpensive components from ordinary liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors, they're able to control both the brains and the muscles of tiny organisms such as worms.
Until now, the field of optogenetics (combining optical and genetic techniques) had been limited to larger animals, with manipulation achieved only by placing optical fibers into animals' brains or illuminating an animal's entire body.
The experiments out of Georgia Tech, however, demonstrate that it's also possible to control brain circuitry using the red, green, and blue lights from a projector. By … Read more
A Japanese scientist says he has a "reasonable chance" of successfully cloning the long-extinct woolly mammoth within just a few years, according to a report.
Professor Akira Iritani of Kyoto University told the U.K.'s Telegraph that a technique pioneered in 2008, which allowed for the cloning of a mouse using cells from another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years, could be used to resurrect the famous long-tusked mammal from remains found in Siberia's permafrost.
"The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently, but now stands at about 30 … Read more
For a long-lost android, Philip K. Dick looks pretty good--like he's been living it up in Margaritaville.
The acclaimed author of science fiction classics "The Man in the High Castle" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" died in 1982, but this is his second resurrection in robot form.
Hardware for the android was completed last year, and software is still being developed. It's the handiwork of Hanson Robotics, led by Texas-based roboticist David Hanson. He and collaborators first showed off the talking robot head at NextFest back in 2005. It later vanished.
"It was tragic when the first robot was lost--it broke my heart," Hanson said in an interview with Crave. "It was a tool for realizing sentient, compassionate machines."
He's embarrassed to admit that he forgot the head on a San Francisco-bound plane. Before it disappeared for good, it was on a flight bound for Orange County, Calif.--Dick's home.
Maybe that wasn't a mere coincidence. After all, the head had some artificial intelligence.
Built at a cost of some $50,000, the new replicant is even smarter. It can carry on conversations with users in a more convincing, complex fashion. Judging by the video below, though, it doesn't look like it could pass a Voight-Kampff test.
Still, it can remember what has been said instead of just responding to words with a quote from Dick's works.
"It has better awareness and it's able to make logical deductions about itself and its internal state," Hanson said. "There are more AI features now." … Read more
You may have heard of Fold-It, which involves different approaches to folding proteins, and EteRNA, which lets players propose new molecular structures for ribonucleic acids (RNA). While these are conceptual exercises that can influence future research, a new set of games out of Stanford takes these types of games one step further.
Stanford researcher Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and his lab group have developed such games as Biotic Pinball, POND PONG, and a soccer game called Ciliaball that involve players actually interacting with living microorganisms.
"We hope that by playing games involving biology of a scale too small to see with … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--Even using shuttle-derived hardware, established contractors, and long-standing engineering expertise, NASA's projected budget will not cover the costs of developing a congressionally mandated heavy-lift booster and a manned capsule for deep space exploration by 2016 as ordered, agency officials informed lawmakers this week.
NASA managers promised to continue studying alternative approaches and designs for a new Space Launch System heavy-lift booster and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, but insisted any such program must be "affordable, sustainable and realistic."
"To date, trade studies performed by the Agency have yet to identify heavy-lift and capsule architectures … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--Veteran shuttle commander Frederick Sturckow will replace Mark Kelly in near-term training for a flight aboard the shuttle Endeavour in April, NASA announced today. With Kelly's wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in critical condition in Tucson with a gunshot wound to the head, the substitution will free Kelly to remain at her bedside while ensuring his crewmates complete critical flight training.
NASA officials said Kelly, who endorsed the decision, remains the designated commander of shuttle mission STS-134. Sturckow will begin training with Endeavour's crew next week.
"I recommended to my management that we take … Read more
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.--The first words publicly spoken by a talking computer named Watson were, "WHAT IS JERICHO?"
Watson was following the rules. Like any contestant on game show "Jeopardy," the IBM Research-built machine was required to phrase his answer in the form of a question. And Watson was playing "Jeopardy." More specifically, it was a test run this morning at IBM Research's headquarters in preparation for a televised weekend challenge against famed "Jeopardy" champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and Watson nearly shut out those champions in a category … Read more