Digital times mean digital crimes. But catching and convicting criminals, or even nations, that dabble in digital espionage, cyber attacks, and cyber terrorism is no easy task. Google – and the U.S. State Department – recently pointed the finger at China for a string of sophisticated cyber attacks on U.S. companies, but proving guilt in the matter will be tricky. Then there are the buckets of data that intelligence agencies pull from captured laptops and hard drives in terror sweeps; we have the files, but it can be difficult to figure out who's aiding America's enemies or what they are up to. Enter DARPA's Cyber Genome Program, aimed at creating a paternity test for digital artifacts.
Most DARPA challenges serve some sort of obvious military or intelligence purpose. But the agency has us scratching our heads over its latest competition, the Network Challenge: a $40,000 cash prize will go to the first person who finds the correct latitude and longitude of ten weather balloons located within the continental United States.
In a development that gives Acme Labs and NIMH a run for their money, scientists in Georgia and China have collaborated to create the world's smartest rat. The genetically engineered rat, Hobbie-J, over-expresses a gene that regulates neuron communication, greatly enhancing the rat's ability to navigate mazes and remember toys.
Twitterati and other netizens should already know that their Internet musings are public and could potentially become fodder for intelligence analysts. But now U.S. spy agencies have officially invested in a software firm that monitors social media and half a million web 2.0 sites daily.
Your grandma might think that the Internet is rotting your brain, but it's possible if she did a little face-time with Google that she could stay sharper in the noggin herself. In a new study, Internet novices who were instructed to search the web showed increased activity in areas of the brain associated with making decisions and memory in just two weeks, according to a poster presented today at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference.
Dispelling the myth that surfing the Web is a time-draining waste of neurons
By Michael RosenwaldPosted 06.09.2009 at 3:46 pm 9 Comments
"The simple headline here is that Google is making us smarter," says Gary Small of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California at Los Angeles. Thank you, Dr. Small. And thank you, Internet, for not only helping me dig up this information but also juicing up my brain while I looked for it. Small recently published results showing that searching the Internet does for the brains of older folks what doing bench presses does for chest muscles.
Brainiacs now have something besides their intelligence to celebrate; their sperm. The intellectually endowed produce better quality and more mobile sperm, according to a study published in Intelligence and led by Rosalind Arden of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in England.
Scientists reveal the first “wiring diagrams” of the cerebral cortex, shedding light on the infrastructure behind human intelligence.
By Laura AllenPosted 07.25.2008 at 12:37 pm 2 Comments
The famed molecular biologist Francis Crick turned to neuroscience in the 1970's. But by 1993, he was so chagrined by the ignorance of his new field that he penned an editorial in the journal Nature. "It is intolerable that we do not have [a connection map of] the human brain," he wrote. "Without it there is little hope of understanding how our brains work except in the crudest way."
There was no such map in 1993 because the only way to get one was to use anatomical methods: inject dye into the brain of an organism, kill it, and trace the color trail in the neurons with microscopes. Of course ethics rule out this sort of experimentation on humans.
The NROL-21 USA-193 spy satellite failed almost immediately after launching over a year ago—now it's on its way down
By Gregory MonePosted 01.29.2008 at 12:46 pm 3 Comments
It started out as a 10-ton satellite packed with hazardous materials plummeting towards Earth. Then it dropped down to 4 tons, and the materials turned out not to be hazardous. Details are still sketchy, but it now seems clear that the NROL-21 USA-193 satellite that failed just hours after its December 2006 launch is now on its way back down to Earth. Should we be worried?