From Sci-Fi to Reality: “Watson” and the Boom in Cognitive Computing

Imagine science fiction movies that have come out in the past decade, such as Star Wars, Prometheus, and Avatar, just to name a few. These movies have futuristic elements that seem unattainable within the next century, even with the current accelerated pace of technological developments. But, with current research and collaboration, there has been one theme common in all three …

The Health Information Technology Revolution: The Role of Electronic Medical Records

The revolution in information technology is upon us. One area where these innovations can have a uniquely beneficial impact is in the healthcare sector. Countries around the world have been exploring its application in health, with the Nordic countries emerging as the field’s industrial leaders. Consequently, implementation of a coordinated health information technology system can also have a major impact …

Novel Artistic Expression Through Biotechnology

“Bio art” is a term coined in 1997 by Eduardo Kac, one of its earliest artists and pioneers. He used the term to describe Time Capsule, a performance piece where Kac surgically inserted a tracking microchip into his ankle in front of a live audience [1]. In the late 90s, this work was a timely interrogation of the growing relationship between …

Modeling Human Behavior and The Rise of Big Data

In the wake of the 2012 Presidential election, hundreds of Internet users asked a very important question: “Is Nate Silver a witch?” The accusations of witchcraft came after Silver, statistician and blogger for the New York Times, predicted the winner of all 50 states with 100% accuracy [1]. Following his perfect prediction of the outcome of all 38 Senate races …

Not Quite Science’s Time Machine, but Almost: Identifying the Remains of Famous Historical Figures using DNA Analysis

Are there ways in which history intertwines with cutting-edge modern science?  Surprisingly, there are: one such technique is DNA analysis, which can be used to identify the corpses of famous historical figures. In fact, there are numerous recent examples of archaeologists making substantive gains in historical knowledge because of the identification of celebrated characters from English kings to Enlightenment scientific …

Beyond Silicon: The Evolution of Biological Computing

In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that processing power should double every eighteen months.1 Traditionally, this rapid growth has been achieved by shrinking distances between transistors and shortening the distance that information needs to pass through.1 However, the miniaturization of processors and transistors will soon reach a physical barrier.2 With this knowledge, researchers have begun searching for new computing systems that …