science + technology news

Internet Heading to Light Speed

August 19, 2004

Buckyballs glued together could allow for optical switches for fiber networks, eliminatng network bottlenecks and forwarding data at up to 100 times the speed of today’s fastest networks.

Assembling Nano Building Blocks

August 19, 2004

University of Michigan researchers have discovered a way to self-assemble nanoparticles into wires, sheets, shells and other unusual structures using sticky patches that make the particles group themselves together in programmed ways. This method could be used to fabricate new nanoscale materials and devices.

The assemblies could serve as basic structural units to further prepare materials with more complex structures such as tubes, helices and 3-D networks, which could… read more

Artificial Retina

August 19, 2004

A retinal prosthesise implanted in the eye could restore the sight of millions.

It would use a digital video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, coupled via a miniature transmitter to a retinal implant array underneath the retina. The array’s electrodes would stimulate surviving nerve cells in response to images from the camera, providing a small patch of vision.

The Boston Retinal Implant Project hopes to test… read more

Web Surfers Hit Higher Speeds

August 19, 2004

A majority of U.S. home Internet users now have broadband: an estimated 63 million broadband users, or 51 percent of all home Internet users, as of July.

Special offers for broadband services, the growing use of multimedia on the Web, and the availability of music and video downloads drove Internet users to the faster service.

Nano convergence topic of SEMI webcast

August 18, 2004

The convergence of nanotechnology and the semiconductor industry will be discussed during SEMI’s quarterly webcast Wednesday at noon EDT.

New Technique That Improves The Power Of Atomic Force Microscopy

August 18, 2004

Researchers have developed a method that could vastly improve the ability of atomic force microscopes (AFM) to “see” the chemical composition of a sample on a nanometer scale, follow variations of the sample, and map its topographic structure.

To use the AFM in its new mode, the researchers attached antibodies keyed to individual proteins to the tip of an AFM’s probe. When an antibody reacts with the protein it… read more

A Laser Gets at the Layers

August 18, 2004

A new “selective plane illumination microscope” uses a slice of laser light to illuminate an intact specimen one thin layer at a time, building a high-resolution picture of the entire specimen without cutting it.

Samples can be kept alive and studied for hours or days while tissues develop and differentiate. The scientists say the microscope has better resolution than other living-sample imaging techniques, like multiphoton microscopy.

Nanotubes may have no ‘temperature’

August 18, 2004

Physicists have made a bizarre discovery: the concept of temperature is meaningless in some tiny objects because of the statistical fluctuations inherent in the quantum world.

Although the concept of temperature is known to break down on the scale of individual atoms, research now suggests that it may also fail to apply in rather larger entities, such as carbon nanotubes.

“If you’re down to a scale where temperature… read more

Report: World spending $8.6 billion on nano in ’04

August 17, 2004

Public and private individuals and institutions will spend more than $8.6 billion worldwide on nano research and development this year, according to “The Nanotech Report 2004,” published by New York-based Lux Research Inc.

The report also found that nanotech startups are beginning to make money, with revenue ranges between $10 million and $20 million.

Prions speed evolution

August 17, 2004

Prions could help organisms adapt to tough situations by subtly altering the proteins manufactured by a cel1. The discovery backs the idea that proteins as well as DNA are vital in driving evolution.

A yeast prion can change the way that cells behave. In their infectious form, the prions sometimes helped the yeast to adapt, changing their rates of survival when they were grown in various nutrients or temperatures.

Trying to Take Technology to the Masses

August 16, 2004

Pioneering AI researcher Raj Reddy plans to unveil at yearend the PCtvt, a $250 wirelessly networked personal computer intended for the four billion people around the world who live on less than $2,000 a year.

Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

August 16, 2004

100 terabytes of data on a 3.5-inch disk may be possible with a new technique for creating an “Atomic Holographic DVR” disc drive within five years, priced at $570 to $750 with the replacement discs for $45.

Faster Wi-Fi spec suggested

August 16, 2004

A consortium of networking companies calling itself WWiSE (World Wide Spectrum Efficiency) is proposing a new 802.11n standard that will allow for throughput rates of up to 100 megabits per second.

802.11g, the current fastest Wi-Fi standard, has optimal rates of 54mbps but average rates of about half that.

Computers with multiple personalities

August 16, 2004

“Virtualization software” allows computers to run multiple operating systems and save money by using one computer to do the work of several.

Protein-Based Nanoactuators

August 13, 2004

Protein-based nanoactuators can now be controlled rapidly and reversibly by thermoelectric signals, emulating how muscle tissue contracts or relaxes.

The protein motors could power linear motion of nanowires for uses such as bioanalysis chips and gene delivery.

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