July 14, 2014
High-density, next-generation computer memory that can store about one terabyte of data on a device the size of a postage stamp — more than 50 times the data density of current flash memory technology — is now a step closer to to mass production.
That’s because Rice University’s breakthrough silicon oxide technology will allow manufacturers to fabricate “resistive random-access memory” (RRAM) devices at room temperature with conventional production… read more
Scientists have discovered a split-second burst of radio waves using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, published July 10 in The Astrophysical Journal.
The finding marks the first time that a “fast radio burst” has been detected using an instrument other than the Parkes radio telescope in Australia.
Scientists using the Parkes Observatory have recorded a handful of such events, but the lack of any similar findings… read more
July 11, 2014
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory.
DARPA’s interest is in traumatic brain injury (TBI), which disrupts memory. DARPA says TBI has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000. It could also help… read more
July 10, 2014
Purdue University researchers have developed a technique that could be used to create “soft machines” made of elastic materials and liquid metals for robotics, medical devices, and consumer electronics.
Think robots with sensory skin, or stretchable garments that let you interact with a computer, or for therapeutic purposes.
July 10, 2014
IBM announced today it is investing $3 billion for R&D in two research programs to push the limits of chip technology and extend Moore’s law.
The research programs are aimed at “7 nanometer and beyond” silicon technology and developing alternative technologies for post-silicon-era chips using entirely different approaches, IBM says.
IBM will be investing especially in carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum… read more
July 9, 2014
MIT engineers have developed the first light-sensitive protein molecule that enables neurons to be silenced noninvasively. Using a light source outside the skull makes it possible to do long-term studies without an implanted light source.
The protein, known as Jaws, also allows a larger volume of tissue to be influenced at once. The researchers described the protein in Nature Neuroscience.
Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists… read more
July 8, 2014
A team of Korean researchers has synthesized hexagonal carbon nanosheets similar to graphene, using a polymer. The new material is free of the defects and complexity involved in producing graphene, and can substitute for graphene as transparent electrodes for organic solar cells and in semiconductor chips, the researchers say.
July 8, 2014
Inventor Dean Kamen is planning a 2.5 kW home version of his Deka Research Beacon 10 Stirling engine that could provide efficient around-the-clock power or hot water to a home or business, reports Forbes.
July 8, 2014
Scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have developed concepts for futuristic technologies that could be incorporated in military and civil aircraft of 2040 or earlier:
- 3D printers so advanced they could print UAVs during a mission;
- Aircraft parts that can heal themselves in minutes;
- A new type of long range aircraft which divides into a number of smaller aircraft when it reaches its destination;
USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers have developed a flexible, transparent, energy-efficient, lower-cost hybrid design that could replace silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips.
The new design, described in a paper recently published in Nature Communications, combines carbon nanotube thin-film transistors with thin-film transistors comprised of indium, gallium and zinc oxide (IGZO).
July 7, 2014
Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems have developed an algorithm in which distributed agents — such as robots exploring a building — collect data and analyze it independently. Pairs of agents, such as robots passing each other in the hall, then exchange analyses.
In experiments involving several different data sets, the researchers’ distributed algorithm actually outperformed a standard algorithm that works on data aggregated… read more
July 7, 2014
A team of Boston medical researchers has identified a way to trigger regrowth of human corneal tissue using stem cells. The finding could restore vision for victims of chemical injury and others with damaging eye diseases.
Limbal stem cells, which reside in the eye’s limbus, help maintain and regenerate corneal tissue. Their loss due to injury or disease is one of the leading causes of blindness.… read more
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a nanoshell to protect foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells as part of chemotherapy.
Enzymes are naturally smart machines that are responsible for many complex functions and chemical reactions in biology. However, despite their huge potential, their use in medicine has been limited by the immune system, which is designed to attack foreign intruders.
For… read more
July 3, 2014
Scientists at USC have developed a water-based organic battery that is long-lasting and built from cheap, eco-friendly components (no metals or toxic materials).
The new battery is intended for use in power plants, where it could make the energy grid more resilient and efficient by creating a large-scale means to store energy for use as needed.
“The batteries last for about 5,000 recharge cycles, giving them an estimated… read more