science + technology news

Nanowires make flexible circuits

October 23, 2003

Researchers from Nanosys, Inc. have found a way to assemble large arrays of nanowires made from silicon or other semiconductors into a densely-packed thin film, then process the assembly to produce relatively efficient transistors on a variety of surfaces.

The technology may eventually enable very large flat-panel displays, tiny radio frequency identification devices, and disposable computing and storage electronics.

CRN Calls for Global Administration of Molecular Nanotechnology

October 22, 2003

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) is calling for the creation of a collaborative international administrative structure to deal with the problems of molecular manufacturing.

“The threat of MNT is the potential of developing and fabricating dangerous weapons and other undesirables covertly or in large quantity,” said CRN Executive Director Mike Trager.

“This administration will need global scope, and will require careful and innovative planning to balance competing… read more

Farewell lawnmower…hello robot

October 22, 2003
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe press release

Robot orders in the first half of 2003 were up by an unprecedented 26%, according to a report released today by The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

In 2002, sales of “domestic robots” — mostly self-piloting lawnmowers and window-cleaners — rose to 33,000 up from 20,000 the previous year. The total number of robots in use worldwide is around 1.4 million.

Warfare at the speed of light

October 21, 2003

The Pentagon inside of a decade could be armed with a beam weapon that is near-instantaneous, gravity-free and truly surgical.

It could focus to such hair-splitting accuracy that it could avoid civilians while detonating munitions miles away or even cruise missiles at ranges of up to dozens of miles in good weather.

In clear air above the clouds, a high-powered laser could reach 500 miles to destroy rising… read more

A New Kind of Genomics, With an Eye on Ecosystems

October 21, 2003

Researchers are beginning to sequence “metagenomes,” the DNA of entire microbial ecosystems.

Some scientists think can will be used to find new enzymes, monitor the health of environments, predict environmental impacts, and find patterns in the bacterial population in humans that will predict when someone is about to get sick.

Regrow Your Own

October 21, 2003

Researchers have succeeded in making mouse stem cells mature again to resemble muscle, bone, or fat cells, similar to what happens with newt tissue.

The research could lead to humans regrowing cells in damaged organs.

Sexual Identity Wired by Genetics

October 21, 2003

Sexual identity is wired into the genes, which discounts the concept that homosexuality and transgender sexuality are a choice, University of California researchers reported.

Tiny tubes squeeze electricity from water

October 21, 2003

An entirely new way of generating electricity has been discovered.

How it works: you squeeze water through fine channels. The surface of the channel walls becomes charged, which builds up a charge on opposite ends of the channel, generating an electrical current when connected.

German chatty bot is ‘most human’

October 20, 2003

Jabberwock by Juergen Pirner was awarded first place for human-like communication in the Loebner Prize Contest 2003, held at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK on Saturday October 18.

Science Plans “Non-stick” Submarine

October 20, 2003

Nanotechnologists are developing what could be the ultimate non-stick surface. The material is covered with nano-scale needles that enable a liquid, for example, to slip straight off it. One application could be non-stick submarines, which would glide through the water with much less resistance and require less force and fuel.

Discovery May Spur Cheap Solar Power

October 20, 2003

A major European chipmaker says it had discovered new ways to produce solar cells that will generate electricity 20 times cheaper than today’s solar panels. Over a typical 20-year life span of a solar cell, one watt should cost as little as $0.20, compared with the current $4.

Messaging Worms Could Infect At Lightning Speed

October 20, 2003

A computer worm transmitted via instant messaging programs could infect half a million computers within 30 seconds, simulations have shown.

Self-assembled nanocells function as non-volatile memory

October 20, 2003

“Nanocells,” disordered assemblies of gold nanowires and conductive organic molecules, can function as non-volatile memory, Rice University chemists have found.

NanoCells offer the potential to reduce device size and fabrication costs by several orders of magnitude

The research appears in the Oct. 29 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. It marks the first time that a self-assembled ensemble of molecular electronic components has been used… read more

Candle in the Dark

October 20, 2003

Cable Science Network, or CSN, is in the offing, offering in-depth coverage of science issues.

Moms Battle Genetic Engineering

October 20, 2003

A group of New Zealand mothers led by a former pop star have launched a provocative billboard campaign to protest their government’s decision to allow agricultural genetic engineering.

The billboard ads feature a four-breasted woman attached to a milking machine.

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