News tagged with computer

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Modeling tumor dormancy

Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. Battles are won, lost or sometimes end in a stalemate. In pancreatic cancer, this stalemate—known as tumor dormancy—can last up to 25 years before becoming ...

Oct 16, 2014
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Understanding ambiguities in depth perception

Binocular vision allows us to gauge depth. For example a dot directly ahead of the left eye will be at an angle to the right that decreases with distance. So how, ask Eiichi Mitsukura and Shunji Satoh at ...

Sep 25, 2014
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Cryptogenic strokes may find explanation in the heart

More than half of the patients who have suffered a stroke with no well-defined aetiology have an enlarged left atrial appendage of the heart, according to a Finnish study. The results indicate that the enlargement of the ...

Sep 25, 2014
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New drug blocks gene driving cancer growth

When active, the protein called Ral can drive tumor growth and metastasis in several human cancers including pancreatic, prostate, lung, colon and bladder. Unfortunately, drugs that block its activity are ...

Sep 14, 2014
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Contrast-enhanced CT scan safe for most patients

According to new research performed at the Mayo Clinic, iodine-based contrast material injected intravenously to enhance computed tomography (CT) images can be safely used in most patients. The study appears online in the ...

Sep 09, 2014
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Mind over matter for people with disabilities

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

Aug 26, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 0

Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA