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Unusually Long and Aligned ‘Buckytubes’ Grown at Duke

April 23, 2003

Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing one-atom-thick cylinders of carbon (nanotubes) 100 times longer than usual, while maintaining a soda-straw straightness with controllable orientation. Their achievement solves a major barrier to the nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices, said the team’s leader.

Unusually long and aligned ‘buckytubes’ grown at Duke

April 25, 2003

Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing nanotubes 100 times longer than usual (4 mm.), while maintaining straightness with controllable orientation and cross-connecting nanotube grids. The achievement solves a major barrier to nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices.

Unusual 3D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage

July 18, 2014

3-D boron nitride featured

An unusual three-dimensional porous nanostructure called pillared boron nitride (PBN) could achieve a balance of strength, toughness, and ability to transfer heat that could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage, and composite materials that perform multiple functions, Rice University engineers have discovered.

Their findings were published online July 14 in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

The 3-D prototypes they made (using computer simulations) fuse one-dimensional boron nitride… read more

Until Cryonics Do Us Part

July 12, 2010

The men who want to be cryonically preserved — like Robin Hanson, an associate professor of economics at George Mason University — and the women who sometimes find it hard to be married to them.

Unthinking Machines

May 4, 2011

Artificial intelligence needs a reboot, according to experts at MIT’s Brains, Minds, and Machines symposium, calling for a return to the style of research that marked the early years of the field, one driven more by curiosity rather than narrow applications.

Patrick Winston, director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997, blamed the stagnation in part on the decline in funding after the… read more

Untangling Web Information

October 21, 2008

Radar Networks’ Twine, a Web organizer based on semantic technology, launches publicly today.

Twine is part bookmarking tool, part social network, and part recommendation engine, helping users collect, manage, and share online information related to any area of interest.

Twine uses machine learning and natural language processing to parse the contents of Web pages and extract key concepts, such as people, places, and organizations, from the pages that… read more

Untangling life’s origins

The "Big Bang" of protein evolution
March 13, 2013


Researchers in the Evolutionary Bioinformatics Laboratory at the University of Illinois in collaboration with German scientists have been using bioinformatics techniques to probe the world of proteins for answers to questions about the origins of life.

Proteins are formed from chains of amino acids and fold into three-dimensional structures that determine their function. According to crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, very little is known about… read more

Unstoppable Trend? Survey Says Online Music Swap Pervasive

March 18, 2002

Despite controversy over Web-based downloadable music, recent surveys show that this online trend is gaining momentum.

American youth, turned off by limited radio song selections and lured by the ease of Internet access, collect thousands of songs online without ever paying a cent.In particular, rising CD costs have turned many US college students into Web music download aficionados. Many have even traded in their stereos, using their PCs as… read more

Unreal Meetings

July 11, 2007

MIT researcher Drew Harry designs virtual spaces that don’t look like the familiar world–his virtual meeting room looks more like a football field than like a conference room. He says his goal is to stop mimicking the physical world and start creating a new kind of space.

His virtual meeting room arranges people based on their allegiance. Where an avatar stands signifies whether a person agrees or disagrees with… read more

Unprecedented growth seen for solar energy

February 9, 2009

“To go from the 1 gigawatt of generation capacity that we have now [in the United States] to the 170 to 200 gigawatts called for by 2030 amounts to a 26 percent compounded annual growth rate over the next 20 years,” according to John Lushetsky, program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Lushetsky predicted that the solar energy… read more

Unplugged? Sue your ISP (at least in Germany)

January 25, 2013


Can you force your ISP to pay for loss of access to an Internet connection?

Apparently yes, at least in Germany, where a Federal Court of Justice awarded a plaintiff €50 ($65) per day for the period his was unable to use his DSL, fax over IP and VoIP services, Computerworld UK reports.

The rationale: the Internet has been a crucial part of people’s economic living… read more

Unplugged: Without the Grid, Modern Man Is Totally in the Dark

August 16, 2003

Perhaps this is time for everyone to take stock of their dependence on invisible technologies.

Ray Kurzweil, author of “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” says the Blackout of 2003 shows that the electrical grid is merely a first Industrial Revolution technology. It’s highly centralized. It’s old-fashioned. We are now in the midst of the second Industrial Revolution, which favors decentralized technologies such as the Internet.

“The second is… read more

Unplugged: Goodbye cables, hello energy beams

February 8, 2010

Wireless power transmission, resonant magnetic coupling, and infrared lasers are three methods of charging home appliances currently being researched, but safety concerns have been voiced.

Unnatural selection: Robots start to evolve

February 5, 2009

Researchers at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UK have created a robot that adapts to such changes by mimicking biological evolution, using an incremental evolutionary algorithm (IEA) capable of adding new parts to its robot brain over time.

The robot is controlled by a neural network that can be trained. For example, if the goal is to remain balanced and the robot receives inputs from sensors that it is… read more

Unnatural Selection

January 28, 2005

Evolutionary algorithms, also known as genetic algorithms, are proving useful for solving complex problems, such as antenna design, and even creating inventions.

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