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Tech-news archive: November-December 2008

A structurally defective nanotube with pentagons (red) and heptagons (blue) instead of hexagons redirects the current at a Y junction between three nanotubes. Image credit: American Chemical Society
Flawed nanotubes could be perfect silicon replacement
(Dec 16, 2008)

The paradox of perfection – that flaws make things perfect – could be the key to designing nanoelectronic circuits from carbon nanotubes, according to US scientists. They have discovered that a circuit of nanotubes can only guide a current if some of the tubes carry structural defects.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Wearing goggles hooked up to cameras on a mannequin gives the illusion that the mannequin's body is the subject's own. Image: Staffan Larsson
Swapping your body becomes a virtual reality
(Dec 3, 2008)

Ever wanted Arnie's abs or the legs of Julia Roberts? Maybe you'll get the chance to make believe they are your own in future, now that the illusion of "body-swapping" has been successfully created in the lab. Spooky as it sounds, neuroscientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, were able to used simple camera trickery to fool volunteers into perceiving the bodies of both mannequins and other people as their own.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Water-repellant nanotech material. Image: University of Zurich/Wiley Vch
Nanotech clothing fabric 'never gets wet'
(Nov 24, 2008)

If you were to soak even your best raincoat underwater for two months it would be wet though at the end of the experience. But a new waterproof material developed by Swiss chemists would be as dry as the day it went in.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

brain depiction. Image: IBM
IBM to build brain-like computers
(Nov 21, 2008)

IBM has announced it will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make electronic circuits that mimic brains. Part of a field called "cognitive computing", the research will bring together neurobiologists, computer and materials scientists and psychologists. As a first step in its research the project has been granted $4.9m (3.27m) from US defence agency Darpa.

Read more. Source: BBC

human brain
Voice recognition software reads your brain waves
(Nov 13, 2008)

Mind-reading software developed in the Netherlands can decipher the sounds being spoken to a person, and even who is saying them, from scans of the listener's brain. To train the software, neuroscientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track the brain activity of 7 people while they listened to three different speakers saying simple vowel sounds.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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