Computational creativity and the future of AI

University of Manchester

The smart carpet uses embedded plastic optical fibers and electronics to detect a person's...

Researchers in the U.K. have developed a “magic carpet,” but not of the mythical flying variety. The new device consists of a carpet underlay embedded with plastic optical fibers and electronic sensors that can detect and map a person's walking patterns. With all of us progressing inexorably towards the age when the consequences of a fall can become much more serious than an embarrassing inconvenience, the researchers say the smart carpet is aimed at cutting the roughly 50 percent of hospital admissions in the over 65 age group in the U.K. that are the result of falls.  Read More

Mathematicians are proposing a cloaking system, which could allow buildings to be rendered...

While “cloaking” technology may have once been limited exclusively to the realm of science fiction, regular Gizmag readers will know that it is now finding its way into real life – just within the past few years, scientists have demonstrated various experimental cloaking systems that prevent small objects from being seen, and in one case, from being heard. Such invisibility systems involve the use of metamaterials, which are man-made materials that exhibit optical qualities not found in nature. These are able to effectively bend light around an object, instead of allowing it to strike the object directly. Now, mathematicians from the University of Manchester are proposing technology based on the same principles, that would allow buildings to become “invisible” to earthquakes.  Read More

Dr Nair shows his one micron thick graphene oxide film research sample (Photo: University ...

Ever since University of Manchester scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov first isolated flakes of graphene in 2004 using that most high-tech pieces of equipment - adhesive tape - the one-atom sheet of carbon has continued to astound researchers with its remarkable properties. Now Professor Sir Andre Geim, (he's now not only a Nobel Prize winner but also a Knight Bachelor), has led a team that has added superpermeability with respect to water to graphene's ever lengthening list of extraordinary characteristics.  Read More

A newly discovered molecule, known as a Criegee biradical or Criegee intermediate, holds t...

Researchers claim a newly discovered molecule found in the Earth’s atmosphere holds the potential to help offset global warming by actually cooling the planet. The molecule is a Criegee biradical or Criegee intermediate, which are chemical intermediaries that are powerful oxidizers of pollutants produced by combustion, such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. They have the ability to naturally clean up the atmosphere by helping break down nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide to form sulfate and nitrate, which ultimately leads to cloud formation that could help cool the planet.  Read More

Researchers have sandwiched layers of graphene between layers of boron nitrate to create a...

Since its discovery in 2004, the two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms known as graphene has promised to revolutionize materials science, enabling flexible, transparent touch displays, lighter aircraft, cheaper batteries and faster, smaller electronic devices. Now in what could be a key step towards replacing silicon chips in computers, researchers at the University of Manchester have sandwiched two sheets of graphene with another two-dimensional material, boron nitride, to create what they have dubbed a graphene "Big Mac".  Read More

The 'diamond planet' orbiting the radio wave-emitting pulsar J1719-1438 (Image: Swinburne ...

A girl's best friend may have just gotten a whole lot bigger with the news that an international research team has discovered a small planet they think may be made of diamond. Although the planet is calculated to have a diameter of less than 60,000 km - which is about five times the diameter of Earth - it has slightly more mass than Jupiter. With the planet likely to be made largely of oxygen and carbon, its high density means it is almost certainly crystalline, meaning that a large part of the planet may be similar to a diamond.  Read More

The IT Future of Medicine project is developing computer models of human patients, that wo...

The way things currently stand in the field of medicine, doctors often have to try out a number of treatments on any one patient, before (hopefully) finding one that works. This wastes both time and medications, and potentially endangers the patients, as they could have negative reactions to some drugs. In the future, however, all that experimenting may not be necessary. The pan-European IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) project, a consortium of over 25 member organizations, is currently developing a system in which every person would have a computer model of themselves, that incorporated their own genome. Doctors could then run simulations with that model, to see how various courses of treatment would work on the actual person.  Read More

Real-time imaging of anaesthetized and awake brain

Using a newly developed imaging technique, researchers in the U.K. have for the first time observed what happens to the brain as it loses consciousness. The method known as "functional electrical impedance tomography by evoked response" (fEITER) uses a 32 electrode array to scan the brain at a rate of 100 times a second and by applying this as an anaesthetic drug takes effect, researchers are able to build a real-time 3-D video that will aid in better understanding of how the brain functions and the nature of consciousness.  Read More

Academics from the University of Manchester have developed a process of creating working h...

Academics from the University of Manchester have developed a process of creating working human muscle tissue from sea squirts. The research holds promise for the engineering of muscles, ligaments and nerves from cellulose which is usually found in plants and is the main component of paper and plant based textiles such as cotton and linen. The creation of muscle from scratch along with the ability to repair existing muscle has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.  Read More

Scientists from the University of Manchester have announced the development of the world's...

Scientists from the University of Manchester have announced the development of the world's most powerful optical microscope. Called the "microsphere nanoscope," the device captures non-diffracted near-field virtual images that are amplified via silica glass microspheres, which are tiny optically-transparent spherical particles. Those images are then relayed and further amplified by a standard optical microscope. The nanoscope reportedly allows users to see objects as small as 50 nanometers under normal lighting – this is 20 times smaller than what conventional optical microscopes can manage, and is in fact said to be beyond the theoretical limits of optical microscopy.  Read More

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