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‘Germanane’ may replace silicon for lighter, faster electronics

May replace silicon in semiconductors
April 12, 2013

Germanane single- or multiple-atom-layer sheets can be place onto silicon dioxide or silicon surfaces

In a paper published online in the journal ACS NanoJoshua Goldberger, assistant professor of chemistry at Ohio State University, and colleagues describe how they created a stable, one-atom-thick single layer of germanium atoms.

In this form, the crystalline material is called germanane.

The chemists found that it conducts electrons more than ten times faster than silicon and five times faster than conventional germanium — the same material that… read more

Future ‘microrockets’ and ‘micromotors’ to deliver drugs, perform microsurgery

April 12, 2013

Self-propelled microrockets (left, purple) and micromotors (right, green) could someday deliver drugs, perform microsurgery or clean up oil spills (credit: Wei Gao and Joseph Wang, Ph.D./American Chemical Society)

An advance in micromotor technology is opening the door to broad new medical and industrial uses for these tiny devices, scientists said the national American Chemical Society meeting this week.

Akin to the invention of cars that fuel themselves from the pavement or air, rather than gasoline or batteries,

Joseph Wang, D.Sc., who leads research on the motors, said that efforts to build minute,… read more

Ultra-high-res 100,000 dpi color printing

April 12, 2013

Variation in post size and spacing in the metal array alters which incoming wavelength of light (red, green or blue) is reflected back (K. Kumar et al./A*STAR)

Commercial laser printers typically produce pin-sharp images with spots of ink about 20 micrometers apart, resulting in a resolution of 1,200 dots per inch (dpi).

By shrinking the separation to just 250 nanometers — 80 times smaller, a research team at A*STAR can now print images at an incredible 100,000 dpi, the highest possible resolution for a color image.

These images could be used… read more

Pentagon says nuclear missile is in reach for North Korea

April 12, 2013

North Korean test site where a nuclear test took place February 12, 2013 (credit: Google Earth)

A new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has concluded for the first time, with “moderate confidence,” that North Korea has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile, according to The New York Times Thursday.

But late Thursday, the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., released a statement saying that the assessment did not represent a consensus of… read more

Distracted driving habits of San Diegans

Phoning and driving increases the risk of crashes four-fold, with hands-free and handheld devices equally dangerous; equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content at the legal limit of .08
April 12, 2013


A team of researchers has released survey results that reveal the habits of San Diego County drivers who use their cell phone while behind the wheel — currently the leading cause of driver distraction crashes in California.

“Studies have shown that phoning and driving increases the risk of crashes four-fold, with hands-free and handheld devices equally dangerous; this is the same as driving with a blood alcohol… read more

How the BRAIN intiative will support national security

April 12, 2013


As part of the new BRAIN research initiative, DARPA plans $50 million in 2014 investments to increase understanding of brain function and create new capabilities.

DARPA plans to explore two key areas to elicit further understanding of the brain. New tools are needed to measure and analyze electrical signals and the biomolecular dynamics underpinning brain function. Researchers will also explore, abstract and model the… read more

Advancing secure communications: a better single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

April 11, 2013

An atomic force microscope image of a nanowire single photon emitter (credit: Pallab Bhattacharya/University of Michigan)

In a development that could make the advanced form of secure communications known as quantum cryptography more practical, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a simpler, more efficient single-photon emitter that can be made using traditional semiconductor processing techniques.

Single-photon emitters release one particle of light, or photon, at a time, as opposed to devices like lasers that release a stream of them.

Single-photon… read more

Ultrasonic lasso can grip and move cells

Could be used to assemble human tissue on a tissue engineering production line
April 11, 2013

The researchers moved a 10micrometer sphere to spell write and S and a T, SonoTweezers is the name of the project that funds the work (credit:

A “sonic lasso” that can grip microscopic objects, such as cells, and move them around has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Bristol’s Department of Mechanical Engineering  and University of Dundee’s Institute for Medical Science and Technology.

The cells and other small objects are trapped by a spinning ultrasonic vortex, which acts as a lasso that can be controlled and moved.… read more

Nanowire-memristor networks emulate brain functions

April 11, 2013


A Trinity College Dublin chemistry professor has been awarded a €2.5 million ($3.2 million) research grant by the European Research Council (ERC) to continue research into nanowire networks.

Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN, a nanoscience institute, and a Professor in the School of Chemistry, said the research could result in computer networks that mimic the functions of the human brain and vastly improve… read more

Google Ventures launches Glass Collective with VC firms

April 11, 2013


Google Ventures is launching a new initiative to fuel the development of Google Glass called Glass Collective, in partnership with venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Forbes reports.

The three firms hope to fund a community of developers to make Google Glass the next major computing platform.

Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz said Glass would become a platform… read more

‘Spooky action at a distance’ to be tested aboard the ISS

April 11, 2013

International Space Station (credit: NASA)

Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Austria and the European Space Agency have proposed using the International Space Station (ISS) to test the limits of “spooky action at a distance” (remote quantum entanglement) and potentially help to develop the first global quantum communication network.

Albert Einstein famously described quantum entanglement as “spooky action at distance”; however, up until now, experiments… read more

Creating a transparent brain

BRAIN initiative just got a powerful new mapping tool
April 10, 2013


Combining neuroscience and chemical engineering, researchers at Stanford University have developed a process that renders a mouse brain transparent. The postmortem brain remains whole — not sliced or sectioned in any way — with its three-dimensional complexity of fine wiring and molecular structures completely intact and able to be measured and probed at will with visible light and chemicals.

The process, called CLARITY, ushers in… read more

A ‘light switch’ in the brain illuminates neural wiring

April 10, 2013

Virus-induced optogenetic labeling of neurons. Right: closeup of rectangular area.  (Credit: Sheng-Jia Zhang et al./Science)

In a vivid example of how neuroscientists are meticulously tracing the microwiring of the brain, Norwegian researchers have used an optogenetic light switch to see (literally) which neurons communicate with each other in one small section of the brain.

The researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)’s Kavli Institute of Systems Neuroscience use a virus that acts as a… read more

A video game that teaches how to program in Java

April 10, 2013

One of the characters in the CodeSpells game environment (credit: UC San Diego)

CodeSpells, an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in the popular Java language, has been developed by University of California, San Diego computer scientists.

The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. In just one hour of play, the girls… read more

‘Artificial leaf’ gains the ability to self-heal damage and produce energy from dirty water

April 10, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Another innovative feature has been added to the world’s first practical “artificial leaf,” making the device even more suitable for providing people in developing countries and remote areas with electricity, scientists reported here today.

It gives the leaf the ability to self-heal damage that occurs during production of energy.

Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D., described the advance during the “Kavli Foundation Innovations inread more

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