RSSArchive for January, 2008

Nanotechnology guru Eric Drexler turns back on goo

The scientist many regard as the father of nanotechnology has backed away from his famous claim that nanomachines could turn the planet into “grey goo”. Eric Drexler now says nanomachines that self-replicate exponentially are unlikely ever to enter widespread use.

Next Space Tourist Begins Training for Spaceflight

Computer game developer Richard Garriott is spending six weeks in Russia to undergo initial medical checks and the first round of training for flight aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

First Look At Mercury’s Previously Unseen Side

In addition to images of the previously unseen portion of the planet’s surface, measurements were made that will contribute to the characterization of all aspects of Mercury and its environment.

Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs?

It could be the weirdest and most embarrassing prediction in the history of cosmology, if not science.

Google to Host Terabytes of Open-Source Science Data

Sources at Google have disclosed that the humble domain,, will soon provide a home for terabytes of open-source scientific datasets.

Darkest material ever created

The darkest substance known to science has been made in a US laboratory. The material was created from carbon nanotubes – sheets of carbon just one atom thick rolled up into cylinders.

Mathematician, Two Physicists Share Crafoord Prize

This year’s Crafoord Prize, a sort of alternative Nobel, has been awarded to a mathematician and two physicists whose work ranges from the mathematics of string theory to the details of how black holes suck in matter.

Black Holes Spin Near Speed of Light

New research suggests that supermassive black holes spin at speeds approaching the speed of light.

Materials Crystal Properties Illuminated By Mathematical Lighthouse

A deeper fundamental understanding of complex materials may now be possible, thanks to a pair of Princeton scientists who have uncovered a new insight into how crystals form.

Could the Universe be tied up with cosmic string?

A team of physicists and astronomers at the University of Sussex and Imperial College London have uncovered hints that there may be cosmic strings – lines of pure mass-energy.

Graphene quantum dot may solve some quantum computing problems

Around the world, many scientists are working on various models of a quantum computer. One of the proposed models is a quantum computer that makes use of electron spins.

Flexible Electronics Melded With Contact Lens Creates Bionic Eye

Engineers at the University of Washington (UW) have for the first time used microscopic manufacturing techniques to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

Life-forming chemicals in distant galaxy

Radio astronomers say they have found evidence of large quantities of the chemical building blocks for life in a galaxy about 250 million light-years from Earth.

US Teens Confident In Their Inventiveness; Hands-on, Project-based Learning Needed

Teens are confident they can invent solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges, such as protecting and restoring the natural environment, but more than half feel unprepared for careers in technology and engineering, the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index has found this year.

Scientists make human embryo clones

Scientists in California say they have produced embryos that are clones of two men, a potential step toward developing scientifically valuable stem cells. The cloning approach involves inserting DNA from a person into an egg, and then growing the egg into an embryo about five days old before extracting the stem cells. At that stage, the embryo is a sphere of about 150 cells.

Monkey Think, Robot Do

In a major step toward helping victims of paralysis walk again, researchers at Duke University Medical Center today announced that they had proved monkeys can use their brainpower to control the walking patterns of robots.