May 1 , 2006


Plastic bug eye

A plastic insect eye that mimics biological compound insect eyes by packs 8,370 microscopic lenses into a 2.5 millimeter hemisphere. The bug-eye lens provides a wide field of view and could be used for optical data storage, medical diagnostics and surveillance. (Biologically Inspired Artificial Compound Eyes, Science, April 28, 2006)

Meaningful Wikipedia

A proposed Wikipedia extension provides meaning-based tags for the communally-written online encyclopedia. A tag could indicate, for example, that a link from the entry on laptop computers to the entry on personal computers means that laptop computers are a type of personal computer. The semantically-enhanced links would allow computer programs to interpret the meaning of Wikipedia entries. (Semantic Wikipedia, World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006), Edinburgh, Scotland, May 22-26, 2006)

Web as computer

A proposed software framework uses Web services, which run software programs over the Web, and the semantic Web, which allows computers to understand the meaning of Web content, within the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to turn Web documents into software programs and the Web as a whole into a gigantic distributed computer. The Semantic fXML framework, one of several similar proposals, would make it possible for software agents to find information and make transactions automatically. (One Document to Bind Them: Combining XML, Web Services, and the Semantic Web, World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006), Edinburgh, Scotland, May 22-26, 2006)

Terahertz biochip

A biochip that includes a terahertz radiation source scans substances to determine their makeup. The device could be used to rapidly detect illegal drugs, to identify DNA samples and to study biological molecules like proteins. (Terahertz Biochip for Illicit Drug Detection, Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science (CLEO/QELS) 2006, Long Beach, California, May 21-26)

Rubber micro microscope

A tiny rubber microscope includes a rubber lens. The low-cost microscope is designed to be integrated into biochips for use in handheld medical diagnostic and biological research devices. (Microfabricated rubber microscope using soft solid immersion lenses, Applied Physics Letters, April 24, 2006)

Watery wires promise super memory

An experiment shows that water can stabilize the switchable electronic states of wires as small as three nanometers in diameter. If such nanowires were used as memory elements they could lead to data storage capacities thousands of times higher than those of today's storage devices. (Ferroelectric Phase Transition in Individual Single-Crystalline BaTiO3 Nanowires, Nano Letters, April 12, 2006)


View from the High Ground: Cornell's Jon Kleinberg
Six degrees of separation, buying gasoline by the molecule, the science of popularity, all just getting along online, intellectual prosthetics, Big Science, making up questions, and telling stories.

How It Works: Quantum computing: qubits
Photons, electrons and atoms, oh my! These particles are the raw materials for qubits, the basic building blocks of quantum computers.

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May 10, 2006
Sense-able network
Physicists have come up with an answer to the mystery of how human senses can span a wide range of inputs, from very subtle to very powerful, when sensory nerve cells have a small dynamic range

April 12, 2006
Toward implantable sensors

April 5, 2006
Kurzweil keynote

March 16, 2006
DNA nanotech made easy

"In most areas of science and technology, the origins of new breakthroughs can still be found in the work of a small number of people -- or even a single person -- working at their own pace on their own questions, pursuing things that interest them. "
- Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

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