science + technology news

A Single-Protein Wet Biotransistor

April 8, 2005

A single-protein wet biotransistor has been devised by physicists. It uses a bacterial protein called azurin in a strategic position between two gold electrodes, which act as the source and drain of a transistor. A third electrode, acting as the gate, enables the centrally located azurin to allow the passage of an electrical current

The Smallest Electric Motor

April 8, 2005

The smallest electric motor in the world, devised by physicists at UC Berkeley, is based on the shuttling of atoms between two metal droplets—one large and one small—residing on the back of a carbon nanotube.

Courtesy Zettl Research Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley

The Coming Chip Revolution

April 8, 2005

Carbon nanotubes are emerging as a leading candidate to replace silicon in future chips.

One IBM prototype device using carbon nanotubes can carry up to 1,000 times the current of copper wires used in today’s silicon chips, making it vastly more efficient.

In addition to being excellent conductors of heat, nanotubes are 10 times stronger than steel and are resistant to radiation. This matters because as chips get… read more

Gordon Moore on 40 years of his processor law

April 7, 2005

Gordon Moore is skeptical about quantum dots, nanotechnology, an other new technologies replacing mainstream digital silicon in the future.

“You can clearly make a tiny little transistor by these techniques with potentially great high frequency, but can you connect a billion of them together? That’s really the problem; it’s not making a small transistor.”

Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix

April 7, 2005

Sony has patented a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating “sensory experiences” ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds.

It could allow for movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things. And it could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear, the… read more

High-resolution Ultrasonic Transmission Tomography

April 6, 2005

University of Southern California researchers have demonstrated a novel “High-resolution Ultrasonic Transmission Tomography” (HUTT) system that offers 3D images of soft tissue that are superior to those produced by existing commercial X-ray, ultrasound or MRI units.

According to Vasilis Marmarelis, a USC professor of biomedical engineering, HUTT offers nearly order-of-magnitude improvement in resolution of structures in soft tissue (0.4 mm, compared to 2 mm for the best alternatives).… read more

Nanobacteria in clouds could spread disease, scientists claim

April 6, 2005

Micro-organisms in clouds could play a crucial role in the spread of disease and in the formation of rain drops, scientists have claimed.

The radical theories about nanobacteria — micro-organisms considerably smaller than ordinary bacteria — in clouds are published in two recent articles in the Journal of Proteome Research.

The scientists say nanobacteria are now accepted as being widely prevalent in the terrestrial environment and suggest that… read more

Scan ‘shows if people trust you’

April 6, 2005

MRI brain scans of volunteers playing a money game showed that a brain region called the caudate nucleus lights up when it receives or computes data to make decisions based on trust.

Dolphins and primates have developed similar high-level cognitive abilities

April 6, 2005

Dolphins and primates — and their vastly different brains — both have developed similar high-level cognitive abilities, says Emory University neuroscientist and behavioral biologist Lori Marino.

Recent research by Marino and her colleagues has traced the changing encephalization, or relative brain size, of cetaceans during the past 47 million years by using magnetic resonance imaging and histological studies of the fossil record. While modern humans have brains that are… read more

Black holes ‘do not exist’

April 5, 2005

Black holes are actually dark-energy stars, physicist George Chapline claims.

New look for molecular transistors

April 5, 2005

Theoretical physicists have proposed a new way to make a single-molecule transistor, the quantum interference effect transistor (QuIET).

The device modulates the flow of current through a hydrocarbon ring by switching quantum interference “on” and “off.”

‘Gene-editing’ technique cuts out diseased DNA

April 5, 2005

A gene-editing process that corrects mutations without weaving foreign genetic material into the chromosome has been demonstrated in diseased human cells for the first time.

It could provide a less risky and more efficient alternative to gene therapy, which has resulted in leukemia in some patients.

First image of exoplanet orbiting Sun-like star

April 5, 2005

The first image of a planet orbiting a Sun-like star has been captured by German scientists.

Engineers study whether plasmonics, ‘light on a wire,’ is circuitry wave of future

April 5, 2005

A new research group in Stanford’s School of Engineering is pioneering plasmonics, which combines the bandwidth of photonics and the smallness of electronics.

Surface plasmons are density waves of electrons—picture bunches of electrons passing a point regularly—along the surface of a metal. Plasmons have the same frequencies and electromagnetic fields as light, but their sub-wavelength size means they take up less space. Plasmonics, then, is the technology of transmitting… read more

Ray Kurzweil, ‘revolutionary’ inventor: PBS

April 3, 2005

Ray Kurzweil has been named one of 16 “revolutionaries” by PBS in its upcoming PBS television series, “Who made America,” joining Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, and other major American inventors.

“American history is filled with the stories of influential innovators, whose ideas and entrepreneurial spirit gave birth to commercial milestones like the steamboat and cultural touchstones like the Barbie doll,”… read more

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