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— Environment

IBM applies supercomputer cooling to solar collector for 80% efficiency

Solar power may provide a clean, abundant source of energy, but we know the sun's rays are capable of much, much more. Aside from generating electricity, we've seen solar energy harnessed to produce drinkable water as well, so why not combine the two processes into one system? That's what IBM and its collaborators are hoping to do with an affordable High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that uses cooling technology from supercomputers to harvest solar energy more efficiently and produce purified water at the same time. Read More
— Medical

Dr. Watson goes to work

IBM's Watson supercomputer has long held out the promise of being a partner in our endeavors rather than simply being a better search engine. Now an improved version of Watson has joined the oncology staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Read More
— Science

IBM's Watson supercomputer goes to university

IBM has announced that it will provide a Watson supercomputer system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for a three year period, the first time that a complete Watson system has been provided to a university. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates will have opportunities to work directly with the Watson system. Not only will Watson be the object of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research, but it will also (virtually) attend courses in English and math to hone its analytic skills. Read More
— Science

Anti-microbial hydrogel offers new weapon against drug-resistant bacteria

Whether it’s in hospitals, restaurant kitchens or our homes, harmful bacteria such as E.coli are a constant concern. Making matters worse is the fact that such bacteria are increasingly developing a resistance to antibiotics. This has led to a number of research projects, which have utilized things such as blue light, cold plasma and ozone to kill germs. One of the latest non-antibiotic bacteria-slayers is a hydrogel developed by IBM Research and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore. Read More
— Good Thinking

IBM senses change with its annual “5-in-5” list for 2012

As the year nears its close, IBM, as it has every year since 2006, has pulled out the crystal ball and given us its predictions of five innovations that it believes will impact our lives in the next five years. For this year’s “5-in-5” list, IBM has taken a slightly different approach, with each entry on the list relating to our senses. The company believes cognitive computing whereby computers learn rather than passively relying on programming will be at the core of these innovations, enabling systems that will enhance and augment each of our five senses. Read More
— Science

IBM brings carbon nanotubes a step closer to usurping silicon

Silicon’s reign as the standard material for microchip semiconductors may be coming to an end. Using standard semiconductor processes, scientists from IBM Research have succeeded in precisely placing over 10,000 working transistors made from carbon nanotubes onto a wafer surface – and yes, the resulting chip was tested, and it worked. According to IBM, “These carbon devices are poised to replace and outperform silicon technology allowing further miniaturization of computing components and leading the way for future microelectronics.” Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

IBM Research produces bacteria-killing "ninja polymers”

Bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can not only cause potentially lethal infections, but they are also unaffected by commonly-available antibiotics. Even when it comes to bacteria that can be more easily controlled, we are still constantly being warned about the danger of them becoming antibiotic-resistant. Now, however, researchers have discovered a new antiobiotic-free method of killing bacteria including MRSA ... and it’s based on semiconductor technology. Read More
— Mobile Technology

IBM brings augmented reality to the shopping aisle

While the rise and rise of online shopping has eaten into the profit margins of bricks and mortar retailers over the past decade, the vast majority of consumers (92 percent according to Forrester Research) still do their shopping in-store. But with the Internet providing a wealth of product information in the form of reviews and comparisons, as well as special offers and promotions, more and more shoppers are browsing their mobile devices in store. Now researchers at IBM Labs are looking to make it easier for shoppers to get instant product details and deals in-store with a new augmented reality (AR) shopping app. Read More