Princeton researchers have found a simple and economical way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells, the cheap and flexible plastic devices that many scientists believe could be the future of solar power.
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
March 17, 2014
Researchers in EPFL’s Signal Processing 5 Laboratory (LTS5), working with PSA Peugeot Citroën, have developed an emotion detector based on the analysis of facial expressions in a car, using an infrared camera placed behind the steering wheel.
The researchers say they can read facial expressions and identify which of the seven universal emotions a person is feeling: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise, or… read more
December 1, 2014
A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks “killer electrons,” which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites, and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.
The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth — an inner… read more
November 16, 2012
New artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns and infused with paraffin wax can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than the same size natural muscle, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international team from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil.
The… read more
October 24, 2013
Researcher Dr. Jeroen de Vries from the University of Twente MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology suggests we could store data for one million to one billion years, using a new storage medium based on tungsten and graphene oxide.
He imagines two possible scenarios:
- Disaster has devastated the earth and society must rebuild the world
- We need to create a legacy for
October 31, 2013
A unique nanostructure developed by a team of international researchers* promises improved all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.
It can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided (Janus) surface and within its porous interior and can:
- Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the breast or the prostate. This promises earlier diagnosis than is
January 6, 2014
In the search for cheaper materials that mimic their purer, more expensive counterparts, researchers are abandoning hunches and intuition for theoretical models and pure computing power.
In a new study, researchers from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering used computational methods to identify dozens of platinum-group alloys that were previously unknown to science but could prove beneficial in a wide range of applications.
Platinum… read more
March 6, 2012
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding Boston Dynamics’ development of a prototype robot called the Cheetah.
The cat-like bot managed to gallop 18 mph on a treadmill, setting a new land speed record for legged robots. (The previous record: 13.1 mph, set at MIT in 1989.)
The company has a prototype human-like robot in the works called the Atlas… read more
By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have created a prototype camera that could capture up to 50 gigapixels of data (50,000 megapixels) and images with unprecedented detail.
The AWARE-2 camera’s resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.
By comparison, most consumer cameras are capable of taking photographs with sizes ranging… read more
June 5, 2012
Intrigued by the idea of eliminating human error from driving, a California legislator has introduced a bill to clarify that driverless cars are street legal.
The technology has a supporter in state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained mechanical engineer. Padilla’s Senate Bill 1298 would make it clear under California law that autonomous vehicles can use the public roads.… read more
June 18, 2013
With a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously, Gizmag reports.
Using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run.
February 20, 2012
The smallest transistor ever built has been created using a single phosphorous atom by an international team of researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University and the University of Melbourne.
The latest Intel chip, the “Sandy Bridge,” uses a manufacturing process to place 2.3 billion transistors 32 nanometers apart.
A single phosphorus atom, by comparison, is just 0.1 nanometers across, which would significantly reduce… read more
December 16, 2014
Stanford engineers have build 3D “high-rise” chips that could leapfrog the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today’s circuit cards, which are subject to frequent traffic jams between logic and memory.
The Stanford approach would attempt to end these jams by building layers of logic atop layers of memory to create a tightly interconnected high-rise chip. Many thousands of nanoscale electronic “elevators” would move data between… read more