Dawn of the zombies

May 29, 2006

You can poke them, prod them and pump them full of drugs, and they'll never complain, as New Scientist discovers IT STARTS out like any silicon chip: intricate patterns are drawn with light and etched with acid. But this is no microprocessor destined for a computer. Instead there are minuscule chambers filled with human cells: liver cells, lung cells, fat cells, all connected by tiny channels. A nutrient fluid is pumped through the channels, flowing from one chamber to another just as blood flows from organ to organ in the body.  A company named Hurel (Human Relavent) is commecializing these so called animal on a chip technologies.

Site – http://www.newscientist.com


Evolution in a Petri Dish

May 29, 2006

Charles Darwin never thought he could witness evolutionary change. He relied instead on indirect clues. He looked at its effects after millions of years — in the fossil record and in the similarities and differences among living species. He got clues to the workings of evolution from the work of pigeon breeders, who consciously chose which birds could reproduce and thus created birds with extravagant plumage. But that was artificial selection — not natural selection that had been operating long before humans came on the scene. Darwin was pretty sure that natural selection worked too slowly for him or anyone else to witness.

Site – http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com

The Emergence of Social Inequality among Robots

May 29, 2006

In 1949 the British cyberneticist, Grey Walter, and his technician, “Bunny” Warren, built two electronic tortoises, Elmer and Elsie. The tortoises were capable of avoiding obstacles, moving toward a light source (phototaxis), and parking in a hutch to recharge their batteries. They were built with analog electronics that connected simple sensors with motors. Grey Walter had designed these robots to investigate how a “living brain” manages to exhibit flexible control, learning, and adaptivity vis-à-vis the environment.

Site – http://www.cabinetmagazine.org

The Revolution

May 29, 2006

The next time you jack an MP3 player into your skull to shut out the world, or the next time you can't put down that solitaire game, or the next time you talk in the food court on your cell phone rather than the person who is sitting with you or serving you lunch… The next time you pay more attention to your e-mail than to your children, the next time you feel uneasy when your connections are interuppted, the next time the innermost recesses of your brain recognize a machine as part of you when it dies, remember this:

  • You have crossed the line. For you, the revolution has already occured. The machines have not only changed you, they have become you. Not metaphically, but in a way as real and tangible as the keyboard and mouse you now clutch.

Web inventor warns of ‘dark’ net

May 26, 2006

The web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it into different services, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said. Recent attempts in the US to try to charge for different levels of online access web were not “part of the internet model,” he said in Edinburgh.

Site – http://news.bbc.co.uk

Found: Artifacts from the future

May 26, 2006

Wired News’ books of the future include “Coping with Post-Singularity Depression” by Ray Kurzweil, “Talking to Your Kids About Mitochondrial De-Aging” by John Sperling, and “The End of History: This Time For Sure” by Francis Fukuyama.

Site – http://www.wired.com

Scientists Predict How to Detect a Fourth Dimension of Space

May 26, 2006

Scientists at Duke and Rutgers universities have developed a mathematical framework they say will enable astronomers to test a new five-dimensional theory of gravity that competes with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Site – http://www.physorg.com