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A Step Closer to Perfect 3-D Data Storage

July 7, 2010

(ESRF)

The ultimate in holographic (three-dimensional) data storage–a chemically pure crystal composed solely of fluorescent proteins that can be read and reversibly switched between at least two different states using nothing but light from lasers–is being developed in preliminary research by an international group of scientists.

Such a crystal would represent something approaching the theoretical limit of data density in a storage medium: each bit would be represented by a single… read more

A Step Closer to Printing-Press Electronics

July 3, 2007

One goal for the future of electronics is the ability to print large, flexible circuits using machines similar to printing presses. While great strides have been made in developing bendable and lightweight organic materials to use in this type of circuitry, methods to deposit those materials over large areas have not been as successful.

Recently, scientists from the DuPont’s Material Science and Engineering division and Organic ID, a subsidiary… read more

A Step Toward a Living, Learning Memory Chip

June 8, 2007

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have demonstrated that neurons cultured outside the brain can be imprinted with multiple rudimentary memories that persist for days without interfering with or wiping out others.

According to Eshel Ben-Jacob, previous attempts to trigger the cells to create a repeating pattern of signals sent from neuron to neuron in a population–which neuroscientists believe constitutes the formation of a memory in the context… read more

A step toward a saliva test for cancer

September 1, 2011

A new saliva test developed by researchers at National Chung Cheng University (NCCU) in Taiwan that can measure the amount of potential carcinogens stuck to a person’s DNA was reported during the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.

“The test measures the amount of damaged DNA [DNA adducts] in a person’s body,”… read more

A step toward better brain implants using conducting polymer nanotubes

September 30, 2009

Brain implants developed at the University of Michigan are coated with nanotubes made of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), a biocompatible and electrically conductive polymer that has been shown to record neural signals better than conventional metal electrodes.

A step toward creating a bio-robot hybrid

December 3, 2012

Orr Yarkoni, Lynn Donlon and Daniel Frankel<br />
Department of Chemical Engineering, Newcastle University,

Would it be possible to integrate biological components with advanced robotics, using biological cells to do machine-like functions and interface with an electronic nervous system — in effect, creating an autonomous, multi-cellular biohybrid robot?

Researchers Orr Yarkoni, Lynn Donlon, and Daniel Frankel, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University think so, and they’ve developed an interface to allow communication… read more

A step toward creating microprocessors with graphene

April 3, 2012

Moire Pattern

University of Arizona (UA) physicists are making discoveries with graphene that may advance electronic circuit technology.

Resembling chicken wire on a nano scale, graphene — single sheets of graphite — is only one atom thick, making it the world’s thinnest material. Two million graphene sheets stacked up would not be as thick as a credit card.

The tricky part physicists have yet to figure out… read more

A step toward simulating a worm brain in a computer

December 31, 2013

(Credit: OpenWorm Project)

The OpenWorm Project — an open-source project dedicated to creating a virtual C. elegans nematode in a computer by reverse-engineering its biology—  has now developed software that replicates the worm’s muscle movement.

You can explore that with the OpenWorm browser, or the iOS OpenWorm 3D Browser app.

The ultimate scientific goal of OpenWorm: understanding how the worm brain works via a full  digital… read more

A step toward the $1,000 personal genome using readily available lab equipment

August 5, 2005

The theoretical price of having one’s personal genome sequenced just fell from the prohibitive $20 million dollars to about $2.2 million, and the goal is to reduce the amount further–to about $1,000–to make individualized prevention and treatment realistic.

The sharp drop is due to a new DNA sequencing technology developed by Harvard Medical School researchers.

The new technique calls for replicating thousands of DNA fragments attached to one-micron… read more

A step toward the ‘quantum Internet’

April 12, 2012

Quantumstate transfer

The first elementary quantum network based on interfaces between single atoms and photons has been developed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ).

It consists of two coupled single-atom nodes that communicate quantum information via coherent, reversible exchange of single photons.

Besides giving insights into fundamental questions in physics, the finding could also have applications in secure communication and the simulation… read more

A step towards ‘programmable materials’

"Could change the world of mechanics forever"
March 13, 2014

A one-dimensional working model. Each stub has a piezoelectric disc (converts mechanical to electrical energy) and is connected to an external circuit to damp (reduce) a specific resonance frequency. (Credit: A. Bergamini et al./Advanced Materials)

Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have developed a prototype of a selective vibration-damping material that they claim “could change the world of mechanics forever” as a step toward “programmable materials.”

Described in the journal Advanced Materials, this “material of the future” can damp mechanical vibrations completely or selectively suppress specific vibration frequencies or ranges of frequencies.

The one-dimensional working model consists of a… read more

A Step Towards Reality for VHF Internet

December 9, 2003

BushLAN, which uses a 7MHz-wide VHF channel, will support symmetrical data rates of around 250Kbps at distances of up to 40 kilometers. Over shorter distances, megabit speeds are feasible.

Note: one statement in the article is erroneous: “VHF–long known and exploited by ham radio, for example, to make international contact–is its ability to reach long distances, both because the signals follow the curvature of the atmosphere, and because they… read more

A step towards repairing the central nervous system

January 31, 2013

Researchers at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the University of Barcelona in Spain have discovered a biomaterial that can  generate new differentiated neural stem cells, as part of a project to develop an implant that allows brain repair and regeneration.

The team tested different types of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable material allowing neural cell adhesion and growth. They found that PLA with… read more

A step towards total autopilot

Will this solve the drone-collision problem?
September 20, 2012

total_autopilot

Will planes someday fly without pilots? Three EPFL laboratories are working on a completely automated aerial collision-avoidance system by developing collision-prediction, avoidance, and real-time vision algorithms.

The project is a formidable technological challenge. It will first be used for small airplanes or drones in non-military applications, such as forest fire surveillance or monitoring access to industrial sites and borders. And it could prove invaluable in missions that are hazardous or simply… read more

A sticky touch screen lets you feel the buttons

May 11, 2011

Touch Screen-2

A touch screen that lets you feel virtual buttons has been developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia, the University of Canterbury, and Northwestern University.

The T-Pad (Tactile Pattern Display) uses vibration to create variable friction areas on a touch screen so that your finger “feels” a physical structure.

As you pass your finger across the surface it slips… read more

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