Friday, November 17, 2006
Moving one step closer to building our Future Robot Overlords, Cornell researchers have made a really cool step: they've built a robot that adapts to damage/malfunction. Most computer systems these days are either functional, or not. This new system recognizes damage and adjusts - like limping on a sprained ankle - to keep functioning as best it can. Really cool!
Robot brains aren't the only thing getting better. An experimental vaccine procedure seems to have doubled the survival time for a handful of glioma (that most deadly of brain cancer) patients. Researchers extracted heat shock proteins from biopsied tumor cells and injected them back into patients' arms. The resulting immune response to tumor cells seems to be holding the disease in check. N is small, and much more study is needed, but this is bloody awesome.
Paging Ms. Cleo - the scientists are getting up in your game. 50 renowned experts are predicting the future over at New Scientist.