Researchers at Purdue University have created a new “plasmonic oxide material” that could make possible modulator devices for optical communications (fiber optics, used for the Internet and cable television) that are at least 10 times faster than conventional technologies.
August 6, 2015
An international group of 26 experts, including prominent genetic engineers and fruit fly geneticists, has unanimously recommended a series of preemptive measures to safeguard gene drive research from accidental (or intentional) release from laboratories.
RNA-guided gene drives are genetic elements — found naturally in the genomes of most of the world’s organisms — that increase the chance of the gene they carry being passed on to all offspring. So … read more
August 6, 2015
Scientists say they have cracked the secret of why some people live a healthy and physically independent life over the age of 100: keeping inflammation down and telomeres long.
Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing in the U.K. and Keio University School of Medicine note that severe inflammation is part of many diseases in the old, such as diabetes or diseases attacking the bones… read more
There’s a big problem with big data: the huge RAM memory required. Now MIT researchers have developed a new system called “BlueDBM” that should make servers using flash memory as efficient as those using conventional RAM for several common big-data applications, while preserving their power and cost savings.
Here’s the context: Data sets in areas such as genomics, geological data, and daily twitter feeds can be as… read more
August 5, 2015
Imagine being able to test your food in your kitchen to quickly determine if it carried any deadly microbes. Technology now being commercialized by Optokey may soon make that possible.
Optokey, a startup based in Hayward, California, has developed a miniaturized sensor using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that can quickly and accurately detect or diagnose substances at a molecular level. The technology is based on… read more
August 5, 2015
EPFL scientists have captured images of living cells with unprecedented nanoscale resolution — even the evolution of their structure and molecular characteristics.
They did that by combining two cutting edge microscopy techniques — high-speed atomic force microscopy and a single-molecule-localization, super-resolution optical imaging system — into one instrument.
Their work was published in the journal ACS Nano Letters.
The “correlated single molecule localization microscope” combines… read more
August 4, 2015
New technology developed by bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, promises to dramatically speed up the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA test and make it cheaper and more portable by simply accelerating the heating and cooling of genetic samples with the switch of a light.
August 4, 2015
An interdisciplinary team led by Stanford electrical engineer Krishna Shenoy has developed a technique to improve brain-controlled prostheses. These brain-computer-interface (BCI) devices, for people with neurological disease or spinal cord injury, deliver thought commands to devices such as virtual keypads, bypassing the damaged area.
The new technique addresses a problem with these brain-controlled prostheses: they currently access a sample of only a few hundred neurons, so tiny errors in… read more
By themselves, graphene is too conductive while boron nitride nanotubes are too insulating, but combining them could create a workable digital switch — which can be used for controlling electrons in computers and other electronic devices.
To create this serendipitous super-hybrid, Yoke Khin Yap, a professor of physics at Michigan Technological University, and his team exfoliated (peeled off) graphene(from graphite) and modified the material’s surface… read more
Imagine being able to label a trillion cells in the body to detect what’s going on in each individual cell.
That’s the eventual goal of a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study to allow individual cells to produce laser light. The wavelengths of light emitted by these intracellular microlasers differ based on factors such as the size, shape, and composition of each microlaser, allowing precise labeling of individual… read more
August 3, 2015
President Obama has signed an executive order authorizing the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), with the goal of creating the world’s fastest supercomputers. The NSCI is charged with building the world’s first-ever exascale* (1,000-petaflops) computer — 30 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputer.
The order mandates:
- Accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system that integrates hardware and software capability to deliver approximately
August 3, 2015
The diode’s rectification ratio (ratio of forward to reverse current at fixed voltage) is in excess of 200, “a record for single-molecule devices,” says Jeff Neaton, Director of the Molecular Foundry, a senior faculty scientist… read more
The Millennium Project released today its annual “2015-16 State of the Future” report, listing global trends on 28 indicators of progress and regress, new insights into 15 Global Challenges, and impacts of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and other advanced technologies on employment over the next 35 years.
“Another 2.3 billion people are expected to be added to the planet in… read more
July 31, 2015
Using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new supercapacitor material that provides electrical-energy storage capacity rivaling some batteries.
Capacitors can provide large amounts of current quickly (high power density), unlike batteries. So if this material can be scaled up from laboratory samples, devices made from it could surpass traditional electrolytic (high-capacity) capacitors for applications… read more
Using an electron microscope, researchers have peered down inside the brain of an adult mouse at a scale previously unachievable, generating dramatic color images at 3-nm-pixel resolution. The research was published Thursday July 30 in an open-access paper in the journal Cell.
Focusing on a small area of the mouse brain that receives sensory information from mouse whiskers, the researchers built a system that automatically slices a subject… read more