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GaAs self-assembled nanowires could make chips smaller and faster

April 21, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a new way to make transistors smaller and faster (with diameters as small as 5 nanometers), using self-assembled, self-aligned, and defect-free nanowire channels made of gallium arsenide.

Neurons grow into semiconductor tubes: future intelligent chips?

March 23, 2011

Nanomembrane Tubes

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, led by Minrui Yu, have successfully induced nerve cell tendrils to grow through semiconductor tubes using strained silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge) nanomembranes as a cell culture substrate.

In many neural culture studies, neurite migration on a flat, open surface does not reflect the three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment in vivo.

Their xperiments show that the SiGe substrate and the tube fabrication process… read more

Zombie PCs being sent to steal IDs

March 16, 2005

Bot nets, collections of compromised computers controlled by a single person or group, have become more pervasive and increasingly focused on identity theft and installing spyware.

The large networks of compromised computers are now a tool for groups of criminals bent on making money through identity fraud or adware installation. A person whose computer is infected with bot software runs the risk of having sensitive information such as account… read more

Will you soon be able to buy your own bladder?

December 6, 2007

Eventually, scientists will take one of the white spheres floating in the jars — the scaffolds — and add layers upon layers of human bladder cells, then ship the organ to a surgeon, who will implant it in the body of its donor. From biopsy to surgery, Tengion’s process takes six to eight weeks.

That patient just bought a new bladder, made out of her own cells. This may… read more

Taking Curl for a Whirl

December 5, 2001

A new Web site technology called “Curl” that makes browsing and Web site development faster has been developed by Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee and other MIT experts.

Curl’s speed acceleration is due to the use of a single application to run diverse content and a downloadable browser plug-in that uses the site visitor’s own CPU to process pages built with Curl for page redraws, graphics processing, database duties and… read more

Nanosensor Arrays ‘Smell’ Cancer

April 28, 2009

Israel Institute of Technology researchers used a network of 10 sets of chemically modified carbon nanotubes to create a multicomponent sensor capable of discriminating between a healthy breath and one characteristic of lung cancer patients.

Using 10 different organic coatings, the investigators created field-effect transistors comprising random networks of each of the different coated nanotubes, and the resulting array produces a characteristic change in electrical output when exposed to… read more

Probe captures high-resolution images of nanomaterials

March 30, 2011

Nano Materials

Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have pioneered a new chemical mapping method that provides unprecedented insight into materials at the nanoscale, says Alexander Weber-Bargioni, a postdoctoral scholar in the Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures Facility at the Foundry.

The team designed and fabricated a coaxial antenna capable of focusing light at the nanoscale using a state-of-the-art focused ion beam tool. The antenna consists of… read more

26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs

March 27, 2005

Ray Kurzweil has been named to Inc. magazine’s “26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs” list “because he is Edison’s rightful heir.”

Kurzweil in number 8 in Inc.’s slide show profiling innovative entrepreneurs, joining Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, Trip Hawkins, Michael Dell, and others.

“Kurzweil’s businesses rely on one basic theme: pattern recognition,” the Inc. slide show explains. “‘I gather as much data as I can to develop patterns at every… read more

Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins

December 11, 2007

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a new way to seek out specific proteins, including dangerous proteins such as anthrax toxin, and render them harmless using nothing but light.

Ravi S. Kane, professor of chemical and biological engineering, described the research: “By attaching peptides to carbon nanotubes, we gave them the ability to selectively recognize a protein of interest — in this case anthrax toxin — from a mixture… read more

Biomimicry: Super Fly

January 13, 2002

Researchers are trying to replicate the incredibly accurate hearing mechanism of a rare fly — the Ormia ochracea — and use it to create everything from the world’s most sophisticated hearing aid to tiny microphones that might help catch the future Osama bin Ladens of the world.
The incredibly accurate hearing mechanism of the Ormia ochracea’s ears have evolved the ability to pinpoint the location of chirping crickets, thanks to… read more

Diamond challenges for quantum computing crown

May 4, 2009

University College London resarchers say crystalline carbon containing nitrogen vacancies can store qubits for relatively long periods of time and can house a relatively large number of qubits in a small volume and at room temperature.

How to read minds

April 7, 2011

Scientists from Washington University have demonstrated that humans can control a cursor on a computer screen using words spoken out loud or just thought.

The study used electrocortiography (ECoG) to place electrodes directly onto a patient’s brain to record electrical activity. The electrodes emitted signals that were acquired, processed, and stored on a computer.

The clinical trials involved four epileptic patients sitting in front of a… read more

Non-acoustic sensors detect speech without sound

April 11, 2005

DARPA is working on Advanced Speech Encoding, aimed at replacing microphones with non-acoustic sensors that detect speech via the speaker’s nerve and muscle activity, rather than sound itself.

DARPA is also pursuing an approach first developed at NASA’s Ames lab, which involves placing electrodes called electromyographic sensors on the neck, to detect changes in impedance during speech. A neural network processes the data and identifies the pattern of words.… read more

Encouraging people to contribute knowledge

December 17, 2007

Google is inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool they call “knol,” which stands for a unit of knowledge.

Similar to Wikipedia, the goal is to “encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it,” and Google hopes authors will cover all topics. Google says it will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, as well as… read more

Computerized moths diversify to survive

February 11, 2002

Real birds pecking virtual moths have shown how camouflage probably evolves. The computerized prey adapted to blend into their background, and developed a wide range of different markings.
University of Nebraska biologists made virtual moths. A set of computer instructions representing an electronic genome determined their wing patterns. The researchers trained captive blue jays to hunt the moths. Pecking at an on-screen moth earned a jay a food pellet. After… read more

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