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New Technique May Simplify Nanotech Manufacturing

June 26, 2003

Researchers have successfully grown silicon nanowires directly on a sensor surface at room temperature, instead of requiring a furnace heated to between 600 and 1,000 degrees Celsius.

The method localizes the heating to the areas where they want the nanowires to grow by passing a current through specific sections of a microchip.

They successfully manufactured silicon wires up to 10 micrometers long and between 30 and 80 nanometers… read more

Remote control

June 26, 2003

Direct brain-to-brain communication is a key goal of DARPA’s $24 million Brain Machine Interface program — almost 10% of DARPA’s basic research budget, according to a Nature June 19 article.

Research also includes:

* A Silicon chip to replace parts of the brain (the hippocampus is first).

* Reminiscent of The Matrix, memory implants to allow pilots to perform moves they may not actually have learned through… read more

High-bandwidth optical chip developed

June 25, 2003

A new class of microscopic crystal structures developed at the University of Toronto is bringing high bandwidth optical microchips one step closer to efficient, large-scale fabrication. The structures, known as photonic band gap (PBG) materials, could usher in an era of speedy computer and telecommunications networks that use light instead of electrons.

Press release

Improving control of quantum dots

June 25, 2003

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Renewal Energy Laboratory have reported a way to measure accurately the amount of laser light needed to shift the electrons in a particular type of quantum dot between two discrete states. This advance is another step toward the use of quantum dots as the “ones and zeros” for a superfast quantum computer.

The new technique measures the… read more

Global internet laboratory launches

June 25, 2003

A global Internet laboratory that simulates tens of thousands of virtual users has been launched by more than 60 companies and universities. It will be used to test new weapons for fighting Internet worms and to develop better distributed computer programs and smarter protocols for the next-generation Internet.

Cheap Chips Aid Movement To Develop Supercomputers

June 24, 2003

New chips from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. could accelerate the pace of building powerful computers from inexpensive components.

The latest trend is to use building blocks from personal computers and inexpensive servers, including Intel Pentium or Xeon microprocessors and standard accessory chips, to create “commodity” clusters, such as the MCR Linux Cluster Xeon 2.4 install at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ranking number 3 on the TOP500… read more

New G5 Power Macs ‘Fastest Desktop In The World’

June 24, 2003

The new Apple G5 machines, with the IBM 970 processor, use the “world’s first 64-bit desktop processor” (and the “fastest 64-bit processor ever”) and run up to 2GHz. The bus is 1GHz (“fastest ever”) and it is designed for dual processing and full symmetric processing.

Intel powers more TOP500 supercomputers

June 24, 2003

The number of Intel systems in the on the just-published 2003 Top500 supercomputer list more than doubled in the last six months from 56 to 119.

NEC’s Earth Simulator supercomputer is still number 1, with 35.86 Tflop/s, followed by HP’s ASCI Q system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with 13.88 Tflop/s. But the Intel Xeon-based MCR cluster at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory moved up to number 3.… read more

Virtual instruments can be played with haptic controllers

June 24, 2003
Cymatic

A virtual musical instrument capable of creating sounds not possible in the physical world has been developed Professor David Howard, Head of the Music Technology Group at York University, according to BBC News.

Cymatic is both a physical modelling sound synthesis environment and a musical instrument. It has a 3D user interface for the construction of virtual instruments that can be played with the aid… read more

The Hulk vs. nanobots

June 23, 2003

The just-released movie “The Hulk” features scientists “studying the effects of gamma radiation on nanomeds,” a.k.a. “nanobots,” according to the Official site.

Predictably, à la the novel Prey, the experiment gets out of control and a scientist is exposed to gamma radiation from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Gamma Sphere that activates a “dormant genetic mutation” and gives a whole new meaning to “Green Goo.” (The actual… read more

Antioxidants reverse age-related learning deficits in mice

June 23, 2003

UCLA neuroscientists have reversed a “dramatic loss of learning and memory function” in aging mice using antioxidants, as reported in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. June 18.

“Chronic systemic administration of two synthetic catalytic scavengers of reactive oxygen species, Eukarion experimental compounds EUK-189 and EUK-207, from 8 to 11 months almost completely reversed cognitive deficits and increase in oxidative stress taking place during this time period in brain.”

How to build your own super-computer

June 23, 2003

Grandmaster John Nunn has constructed his own chess computer based on two 2.8 GHz Xeon processors.

“One of the problems with currently available processors is that they are not particularly well suited to the integer calculations used for chess,” he said. “A Pentium 4 will be slower at chess than a Pentium 3 of an equivalent clock speed.” So although he switched from a dual-processor 1.2 GHz Pentium 3… read more

Senate Committee Approves Nanotech R&D Bill

June 23, 2003

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill authorizing more than $2 billion over the next three years for nanotech research and development.

The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (S. 189) would “authorize a coordinated inter-agency program that will support long-term nanoscale research and development.”

The bill is also intended to assure “continued United States global leadership in nanotechnology” and the country’s productivity… read more

$100 Million Donation Helps to Establish a Genome Institute

June 23, 2003

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will establish an institute intended to apply knowledge of the human genome to the practice of medicine.

The institute will try to determine the molecular causes of disease by systematically examining genes and proteins. That could lead to new ways to prevent and diagnose illnesses and to treat their causes rather than just their symptoms, as many medicines now do.

Savant for a Day

June 23, 2003

Cognitive scientist Allan Snyder has found that 40 percent of test subjects undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental skills.

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