The test, which, at 60 seconds, will be the fastest-working on the U.S. market (others tend to take between 10 minutes and 20 minutes) is already available in more than 50 countries. In Canada's Ontario province, the kits have been available since they were first commercialized in 2006, and in British Columbia, where BioLytical is based, health authorities plan to use them for the new $48 million pilot project called Seek and Treat for the prevention … Read more
The X-37B, an unmanned U.S. Air Force space plane whose mystery mission set off a round of speculation over the spring and summer, returned to Earth early this morning after its maiden flight lasted 220 days in orbit.
The space plane landed at 1:16 a.m. PT today at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, officially making it the U.S.'s first unmanned vehicle to return from space and land on its own, according to Boeing, which designed the craft. Launched in April from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas 5 rocket, the X-37B was designed to stay … Read more
LEXINGTON, Mass.--Energy Secretary Steven Chu toured tiny solar company 1366 Technologies here today, holding it up as an example of success in the ARPA-E program and the importance of federal funding for energy research.
Chu toured the labs of 1366 Technologies, a company spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 to bring the price of solar power down to the price of coal, after briefing incoming members of Congress at the Harvard Kennedy School of government in nearby Cambridge.
NASA scientists have discovered a new type of bacteria that is able to substitute arsenic--a poison to most living creatures--as a biological building block, something no other known life form on Earth can do, the agency said today.
In a press conference held at NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters, scientists announced that they had discovered a new form of bacteria, known as GFAJ-1, in California's Mono Lake that has DNA completely foreign to anything ever before found on Earth. It has the ability to substitute arsenic at the DNA level for phosphorus.
That would distinguish it from every … Read more
No massage could ever come close to those given by Eleanor, the miracle worker who is CNET's in-house masseuse (we do have to pay for her time, but rates are good). Sometimes, however, even she needs a day off, and for those sad occasions, we're thinking CNET might want to invest in a few WheeMe massage robots.
DreamBots points out that WheeMe works best on horizontal surfaces such as the back or stomach (although one or two photos on the DreamBots site hint at more provocative targets). The company promises the robot won't fall off or lose its grip as it silently maneuvers around your achy-breaky body. … Read more
Strobe, a start-up focusing on publishing tools that employ a new generation of Web standards, has secured first-round funding.
Chief Executive and co-founder Charles Jolley announced the move today but declined to share exactly how much Hummer-Winblad and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures bestowed upon his company. The company's technology is based on a project called SproutCore that Jolley has been working on for years, including several while at Apple. Jolley left Apple in July.
Look at who's logging supercomputing time these days and you are likely to get a glimpse of some major innovations on the horizon.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced today it has just granted the largest award ever of the department's supercomputing time through it's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, now in it's sixth year.
The large award, a total of 1.7 billion hours distributed over 57 projects, was partially attributed to the fact that the Energy Department has been expanding its supercomputing capacity, and, therefore, simply has the means to grant more time. But it also reflects a growing interest in using computer modeling now that it has increased in sophistication, according to the Energy Department.
The INCITE program is somewhat like the lottery in that everyone has a chance. The Energy Department has an open application process in which any scientist, whether working in the academic or commercial world, is welcome to submit a request to win supercomputing hours, and it's not restricted to energy-related science.
The winning hours are divided between two supercomputers, the IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory aka "Intrepid," and the Cray XT5 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory aka "Jaguar," which recently lost its first place status to China's Tianhe-1A as the world's most powerful supercomputer.
Among these latest 57 recipients, are large companies like Boeing and General Electric that are going to use the time for sophisticated modeling of potential designs for jet engines and wind turbines, respectively. There are also the climate change and earthquake prediction simulation projects, as one might expect.
Most interesting to the energy sector perhaps is the Lithium/Air Battery Project led by Jack Wells, group leader of the Computational Nanotechnology Group at the Center for Engineering Science Advanced Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His team will be running simulations of lithium/air battery reactions. A successful version of the air battery would be capable of storing 10 times the amount of energy as a lithium ion battery of the same weight. Such a battery might make electric cars more competitive compared to gas-powered cars since it would offer greater driving range on a single charge than current models.… Read more
But it wasn't until he took his two daughters to get their ears pierced--and noticed the woman behind the counter with piercings in her nose, eyebrow, and even cleavage--that he realized how to do it, and a device to manually open and close the esophagus was born.
Microsoft could be looking to give touch screens more of a tactile feel.
A patent filed by the software giant in 2009 and published last week details a light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen. In a nutshell, that means a touch screen that has a real texture and tactile feedback to it, making people feel as if they're touching an actual object.
Invented by Erez Kikin-Gil, the screen would be coated with polymers that could change or hold their shape when different wavelengths of ultraviolet light hit the pixels from underneath, according to an article in New Scientist.
The screen … Read more
editor's notebook The future just keeps getting closer and closer these days. Not only do we have iPhones with FaceTime--which, when combined with the iPod Nano (as I'm sure they will be before too long) will come pretty close to creating a mass-market version of Dick Tracy's two-way wrist TV--we've also got robot cars and, ahem, robot journalists (which I'm trying to keep at bay by way of this terribly sophisticated and never-ending sentence--apparently the roboscribes have trouble with such Proustian gymnastics: Quick! They're coming for our jobs! Hand me another semicolon and an … Read more