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Efficient Ethanol Fuel Cells

February 2, 2009

Portable fuel cells powered directly by ethanol could soon be practical, thanks to a new catalyst developed by researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory that breaks a strong bond at the heart of ethanol molecules, freeing electrons and generating electricity.

Such fuel cells could replace batteries in laptops and cell phones, and could eventually be used to power electric vehicles.

Israeli Researcher Develops New Theoretical Model of Time Machine

August 17, 2007

Technion Israel Institute of Technology researchers have developed a theoretical model of a time machine based on the principles of curvature development in the theory of relativity. It could possibly enable future generations to travel into the past.

“The machine is spacetime itself,” Prof. Amos Ori explains. “Today, if we were to create a time machine — an area with a warp like this in space that would enable… read more

Sunlight to Fuel Hydrogen Future

December 9, 2004

The photovoltaic cell is old news: the latest way to exploit the sun is through tiny materials that can directly convert sunlight into large amounts of hydrogen.

Hydrogen Solar of Guilford, England, and Altair Nanotechnologies are building a hydrogen-generation system that captures sunlight and uses the energy to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The company’s current project is a fuel station in Las Vegas that will soon… read more

Ultrathin Alternative to Silicon for Future Electronics

November 23, 2010

Fabricating an indium oxide (InAs) device starts with a) epitaxially growing and etching InAs into nanoribbon arrays that are get stamped onto a silicon/silica (Si/SiO2 ) substrate; b) and c) InAs nanoribbon arrays on Si/SiO2; d) and e) InAs nanoribbon superstructures on Si/SiO2. (Berkeley Lab)

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, have successfully integrated ultra-thin layers of the semiconductor indium arsenide onto a silicon substrate to create a nanoscale transistor (down to a thickness of 10 nanometers on silicon substrates).

The material’s superior electron mobility and  velocity makes it an outstanding candidate for future high-speed, low-power electronic devices.… read more

Smart bacteria

May 28, 2001

Genetically engineered bacteria that function like microchip components are being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers modified Pseudomonas putida cells to produce AND and OR gates. For the AND gate, they used chemical “inducers” as inputs. One causes a gene to make a protein that the second input inducer must have to express the output enzyme.

In theory, a single cell could do massively parallel computations.

Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones

February 6, 2009

Google said the 1.5 million public domain books it has scanned and made available free on PCs are now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1, and Amazon will make the titles for the Kindle available on a variety of mobile phones.

Nanowire-bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics

May 19, 2014

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Taking the next step beyond silicon integrated circuits, engineers at the University of California, Davis have developed a new approach that allows nonsilicon nanowires and other nanostructures to be combined with silicon surfaces.

It shows promise for a new generation of fast, robust electronic and photonic devices.

Bypassing silicon’s limits

Circuits built on conventionally etched silicon have reached their lower size limit, which restricts operation… read more

America’s Hackable Backbone

August 24, 2007

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition software, or SCADA, used around the country to control infrastructure like nuclear power plants, water filtration and distribution, trains and subways, dams, manufacturing, and natural gas and oil pipelines, are increasingly connected to the Internet, leaving large parts of America’s critical infrastructure exposed to anyone with moderate information technology training and a laptop.

Dr Raj Reddy makes PCs talk the masses language

December 22, 2004

Raj Reddy, Head of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Lab, is using AI and speech recognition software to empower illiterates in villages in India to use computers.

The computer will also serve as a low-cost TV, DVD player/recorder and conferencing unit.

Military Game Simulations Add Emotional Realism

June 21, 2001

The U.S. Army is adding emotional realism to its battlefield computer simulations, using sophisticated computer animation, voice synthesis, voice recognition, and surround theater sound in research at the University of Southern California, under a $45 million Army grant.

The exercise illustrates the latest challenge among researchers: to focus on the more unpredictable side of the human psyche, simulating emotions and the unexpected effects that panic, stress, anxiety and fear… read more

Scientists read minds with infrared scan

February 11, 2009

Researchers at Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference — with the goal of ultimately opening the world of choice to children who can’t speak or move.

Apple Reactions: The Future of Wireless Audio and Video

September 6, 2007

Apple’s iPod Touch represents the emergence of a class of a low-cost, compact portable computer that can surf the Web, listen to music, and stream millions of videos on YouTube, all from a server–the model of the future.

wishlist@nature.com

January 4, 2005

Responses by news@nature.com readers to a request for New Year’s wishes ranged from futuristic visions such as photosynthesis in humans and nanocameras that fit inside cells, to serious themes including recognition for scientists in developing countries and freedom from reliance on oil.

Pro-WikiLeaks cyber army gains strength; thousands join DDoS attacks

December 10, 2010

The retaliatory attacks by pro-WikiLeaks activists are growing in strength as hackers add botnets and thousands of people download an open-source attack tool, security researchers said today.

n recent days, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have been launched against several sites, including those belonging to Amazon,MasterCard, PayPal and the Swiss payment transaction firm PostFinance, after each terminated WikiLeaks accounts or pulled the plug on services.

In a new step… read more

Biocompatible silicon developed

July 14, 2001

Silicon can be developed into a biocompatible and biodegradable material that could lead to smaller, smarter and more-interactive implants in the human body. The secret: “porous” silicon ­– bulk silicon that has been deliberately riddled with nanometer-sized holes.
Rather than having to shield a silicon-based device from body tissues and the bloodstream, it is now theoretically possible to construct silicon-based devices that are genuinely “bioactive.”

The surface of a… read more

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