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Scientist Infects Self With Computer Virus 393

superapecommando writes "A British scientist claims to have become the first human to be infected by a computer virus, in an experiment he says has important implications for the future of implantable technology. Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading infected a computer chip with the virus, then implanted it in his hand and transmitted the virus to a PC to prove that malware can move between human and computer."

Design Starting For Matter-Antimatter Collider 191

couch_warrior writes "The Register is carrying a story on the early design efforts for the next generation of high-energy particle accelerators. They will be linear, and will collide matter and antimatter in the form of electrons and positrons. The obvious question will be: once we have a matter-antimatter reactor, how long till we have warp drive, and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?"

Can We Build a Human Brain Into a Microchip? 598

destinyland writes "Can we imprint the circuitry of the human brain onto a silicon chip? It requires a computational capacity of 36.8 petaflops — a thousand trillion floating point operations per second — but a team of European scientists has already simulated 200,000 neurons linked up by 50 million synaptic connections. And their brain-chip is scaleable, with plans to create a superchip mimicking 1 billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses. Unfortunately, the human brain has 22 billion neurons and 220 trillion synapses. Just remember Ray Kurzweil's argument: once a machine can achieve a human level of intelligence — it can also exceed it."

DoE Considers Artificial Trees To Remove CO2 418

eldavojohn writes "CNN is running an article on a new angle of attack to reducing greenhouse gases. After meeting with the US Department of Energy on the concept, the researchers revealed the details that each 'tree' (really a small building structure in the concept design) would cost about as much as a Toyota and remove 1 ton of CO2 from the air per day. Don't worry, they're accounting for the energy the 'tree' uses to operate: 'By the time we make liquid C02 we have spent approximately 50 kilojoules [of electricity] per mole of C02. Compare that to the average power plant in the US, which produces one mole of C02 with every 230 kilojoules of electricity. In other words, if we simply plugged our device in to the power grid to satisfy its energy needs, for every roughly 1,000 kilograms [of carbon dioxide] we collected we would re-emit 200, so 800 we can chalk up as having been successful.' Each unit would remove 20 automobiles' worth of CO2 from the air and cost about as much as a Toyota... so the plan might be a five percent surcharge on automobiles to fund these synthetic tree farms."

PG&E Makes Deal For Solar Power From Space 392

N!NJA writes "California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016. Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E's power grid."

Wireless Power Consortium Pushes For Standard 221

Slatterz writes "We've already heard about wireless power before, but now we're a step closer to throwing away our power cables and chargers. A consortium of eight companies has launched an initiative to develop a wireless power standard. The drive was announced at the first Wireless Power Consortium conference at the Hong Kong Science Park yesterday. Most consumer electronic devices require a different charger, and the resulting tangle of wires and bulky devices is 'ugly, frustrating and inconvenient to use,' the group said. 'Wireless power charging takes away the need for wires and connectors. You simply drop your mobile phone, game device, electric shaver on the charging station and the battery is recharged,' explained Satoru Nishimura, senior manager at Sanyo."

Mad Scientist Brings Back Dead With "Deanimation" 501

mattnyc99 writes "Esquire is running a a jaw-dropping profile of MacArthur genius Marc Roth in their annual Best and Brightest roundup, detailing how this gonzo DNA scientist (who also figured out how to diagnose lupus correctly) went from watching his infant daughter die to literally reincarnating animals. Inspired by NOVA and funded by DARPA, Roth has developed a serum for major biotech startup Ikaria that successfully accomplished 'suspended animation' — the closest we've ever come to simulating near-death experiences and then coming back to life. From the article: 'We don't know what life is, anyway. Not really. We just know what life does — it burns oxygen. It's a process of combustion. We're all just slow-burning candles, making our way through our allotment of precious O2 until it becomes our toxin, until we burn out, until we get old and die. But we live on 21 percent oxygen, just as we live at 37 degrees. They're related. Decrease the oxygen to 5 percent, we die. But, look, the concentration of oxygen in the blood that runs through our capillaries is only 2 or 3 percent. We're almost dead already! So what if we turn down the candle's need for oxygen? What if we dim the candle so much that we don't even have the energy to die?' " The writer Tom Junod engages in what Hunter Thompson once called "a failed but essentially noble experiment in pure gonzo journalism." If you can suspend your inner critic for a time, it's a fun ride.

Send the ISS To the Moon 387

jmichaelg writes "Michael Benson is proposing that NASA send the ISS to the moon instead of leaving it in low earth orbit. (While we're at it, we should re-brand it as the 'International Space Ship.') He points out that it's already designed to be moved periodically to higher orbits so instead of just boosting it a few miles, strap on some ion engines and put it in orbit around the moon instead of the earth. That would provide an initial base for the astronauts going to the moon and give the ISS a purpose other than performing yet more studies on the effect of micro gravity on humans. Benson concludes: 'Let's begin the process of turning the ISS from an Earth-orbiting caterpillar into an interplanetary butterfly.'"

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"