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2006: A year of invention

January 2, 2007

A CD-ROM that doubles as a biological weapons detector, body-wired headphones, and a display that takes pictures while displaying images were among the interesting patents awarded in 2006.

Top 10 stories of 2006

December 29, 2006

News@nature.com’s hit-lists of hot news for 2006 include “‘Vegetative’ patient shows signs of conscious thought” and “Hawking rewrites history… backwards.”

Technique quickly identifies bacteria for food safety

December 29, 2006

Researchers at Purdue University have used a new technique to rapidly detect and precisely identify bacteria, including dangerous E. coli, without the time-consuming treatments usually required.

Called desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI, it could be used to create a new class of fast, accurate detectors for applications ranging from food safety to homeland security.

The Year in Nanotech

December 29, 2006

Carbon-nanotube displays and computers, nanowires that generate electricity from body movements, and nanospheres that engulf cancer cells are among the year’s developments.

Scientists create molecule-size keypad lock

December 29, 2006

Scientists have created a keypad lock a single molecule in size. The lock only activates when exposed to the correct password, a sequence of chemicals and light.

Researchers suggest their device could in the future lead to a new level of safeguards for secret information or recognize when certain sequences of chemicals are released in the body.

Samsung Develops Marathon Fuel Cell

December 28, 2006

Samsung has engineered a fuel cell that can power a notebook computer eight hours a day, five days a week, for up to a month, to be released for mass production by the end of 2007.

Can We Live Longer?

December 28, 2006

As more people hit the century mark and beyond, scientists search for the key. Genes, diet and inflammation are just some of the clues.

The Year in Energy

December 28, 2006

Biowaste to ethanol could soon power cars, the plug-in hybrid-vehicle era begins, massive recalls spark interest in better batteries, cheaper solar power is on the horizon, and clean coal technologies get mixed up in politics.

Virtual reality shocker

December 28, 2006

Researchers have recreated in a virtual world one of the most extreme social experiments ever performed in the real world, using the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority.

The results suggest that virtual environments could provide a way to explore human nature in ways that ethical concerns could make impossible to do for real.

The 20 Most Innovative Products of the Year

December 28, 2006

An operating system that runs entirely on the Web, the fastest desktop chip, and an e-reader are among the most innovative products of 2006.

Also listed: 5 innovations to look for in 2007.

The Year in Biotech

December 27, 2006

Brain chips, gene Chips, life-extending pills, and stem-cell cures and among the biotech developments on 2006.

The Perfect Human

December 27, 2006

Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 days. He does 200 miles just for fun. He’ll race in 120-degree heat. 12 secrets to his success.

Snake-like Robot And Steady-hand System Could Assist Surgeons

December 27, 2006
Steady-hand robot

Johns Hopkins University researchers are designing new high-tech medical tools to equip the operating room of the future.

A snakelike robot could enable surgeons, operating in the narrow throat region, to make incisions and tie sutures with greater dexterity and precision.

Another robot, the steady-hand, may curb a surgeon’s natural tremor and allow the doctor to inject drugs into tiny blood vessels in the eye, dissolving… read more

2006: The year in biology and medicine

December 27, 2006

Lab-grown bladders, face transplants, wider genetic screening of embryos, and ethical stem cells, are some of this year’s highlights.

2006: The year in tech

December 27, 2006

Gut-crawling robots as an alternative to colonoscopy, quasar encryption, a two-legged robot, and a working “invisibility cloak” are some of this year’s tech highlights.

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