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Implant for children promises to straighten young spines

Scientists in Spain and France have developed a new implant designed to help children with scoliosis, abnormal curvature of the spine. Developed at NADAR Computerized Medical Systems in Langreo, Spain, the implant uses a hydraulic piston to apply a force between two points along the spine—gradually straightening the excess bend, according to New Scientist ...

July 11, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

Making Beautiful Music: Why the Stradivarius Violin is Worth Millions

The wood, of course. Using x-ray images taken from multiple different angles, radiologist Berend Stoel of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands proved that the spruce and maple wood used in five violins made either by Antonio Stradivari or Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù—the rival master luthiers of Cremona—had fewer variations in their density than that in seven contemporary violins...

July 5, 2008 — David Biello

It's official: iPhone 3G ships on July 11

Despite the rumor mill nearly doing his job for him, it took nearly an hour and a half for Steve Jobs to mention the big news during his morning keynote at this week's Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference: The second iteration of the iPhone, dubbed the 3G iPhone, will be available for purchase on July 11...

June 9, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan

Star Trek--Original Series: Where no pixel has gone before

Thanks to insomnia, I have gone where only the most dedicated fans of Star Trek --the Original Series have gone before. It was 3 A.M. and I switched on the TV to somnambulantly wander with my remote through the hazy media netherworld of half hour infomercials, advertisement-pocked B horror flicks and tedious reruns of the Andy Griffith Show ...

August 2, 2007 — Michael J. Battaglia

The Organic Automaton

When will computers become living, sentient beings? In movies, it is commonly depicted as an abrupt, unforeseen epiphany. Ray Kurzweil has predicted (in our pages and elsewhere) that personal computers will be able to run real-time, full-up simulations of the human brain by the 2020s...

August 17, 2006 — George Musser

Doomsday: Not As Much Fun As You'd Think

Why is doomsday so fun to think about? Maybe it fulfills the same role as the frontier once did: to allow us to envision a new world that we can shape from scratch.

August 4, 2006 — George Musser

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Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Solving the “Hard Problem”