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Silicon Valley’s plan to stop skyjackings–all of them

September 14, 2001

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has an idea for preventing skyjacking, using GPS and autopilot-based landing to a nearby airport.Steve Kirsch, best known as the founder of the Infoseek search engine, proposes that we install “safe mode” panic buttons that “put the plane on forced autopilot that cannot be overridden, except in special circumstances.” He’d have them mounted in the cockpit and crew areas.

Based on the location of the… read more

Silicon Valley’s Solar Innovators Retool to Catch Up to China

October 13, 2010

Silicon Valley start-ups dreamed of transforming the economics of solar power by reinventing the technology used to make solar panels and deeply cutting the cost of production, attracting billions of dollars in venture capital investment.

But as the companies finally begin mass production, they are finding that the economics of the industry have already been transformed, by the Chinese. Chinese manufacturers, heavily subsidized by their own governmen… read more

‘Silicon Velcro’ could make sticky chips

June 20, 2006

“Silicon Velcro”, an exotic form of silicon that can be stuck together and then peeled apart, has been developed by German researchers.

The material could be used to manufacture microprocessors and devices that manipulate fluids on microscopic scales.

‘Silicon womb’ to begin fertility trials

February 28, 2008

Trials will soon begin in the UK of a “silicon womb” that allows test-tube embryos created in the lab to be incubated inside a perforated silicon container inserted into a woman’s own womb for several days.

They are then removed and selected for implantation in the womb.

Embryos incubated in the lab must have their growth medium changed every few hours to provide new nutrients and get rid… read more

Silicon-based magnets boost spintronics

March 23, 2004

A family of silicon-based semiconductors that exhibit magnetic properties has been discovered, paving the way for “spintronic” computer chips that are compatible with existing silicon manufacturing technology.

Silicon-based ‘spintronics’ device developed

May 17, 2007

Researchers have for the first time shown that they can inject spin-polarized electrons into silicon, manipulate them, and measure them coming out the other side.

The development of a working silicon device that can manipulate the spin of electrons could lead to smaller, faster and more efficient computers.

Silicon-hydrogel electrodes improve lithium-ion battery performance

Inexpensive silicon-based electrodes dramatically improve the charge storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries
June 4, 2013

battery electrode 

Stanford University scientists have dramatically improved the performance of lithium-ion batteries by creating novel electrodes made of silicon and conducting polymer hydrogel, a spongy substance similar to the material used in soft contact lenses and other household products.

“Developing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with high energy density and long cycle life is of critical importance to address the ever-increasing energy storage needs for portable electronics, electric… read more

Silicon’s Long Good-bye

November 19, 2010

Strips of indium arsenide have been chemically etched so that they release from the surface beneath. They can then be transferred to silicon wafers to make speedy, low-power transistors.  (Nature Publishing Group)

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a reliable way to make fast, low-power, nanoscopic transistors out of a indium arsenide. Their method is simpler, it promises to be less expensive, and requires less power to operate at faster speeds, compared to existing methods using silicon.

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering using 3-D printers

Could allow for printing tissues loaded with pharmaceuticals or for use in biomedical implants and tissue engineering
September 3, 2015

Scientists have developed a silk-based, 3-D printer ink for use in biomedical implants or tissue engineering. (credit: American Chemical Society )

Tufts University scientists have developed a silk-based bio-ink that could allow for printing tissues that could be loaded with pharmaceuticals, cytokines (for directing stem cell functions), and antibiotics (for controlling infections), for example, or used in biomedical implants and tissue engineering.

Current 3-D printing processes are limited to simple body parts such as bone. And most inks currently being developed for 3-D printing are made of thermoplastics, silicones, collagen,… read more

Silk may be the new ‘green’ ultra-high-capacity material for batteries

March 11, 2015

Silk is graphetized (left) to create porous nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets as an improved ultra-high-capacity material for battery anodes and supercapacitors (credit: Jianhau Hou et al./ACS Nano)

Scientists at Beijing Institute of Technology have developed a new “green” method to boost the performance of widely used lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, using a material derived from silk.

Currently, graphite (a form of  carbon found in “lead” pencils) is used in Li-ion energy storage devices, including batteries and supercapacitors.

Chuanbao Cao and colleagues found a sustainable solution: a one-step process for using natural silk… read more

Silk moth’s antenna inspires new nanotech tool

March 1, 2011

Silk moth's antenna (Chris Burke)

By mimicking the structure of the silk moth’s antenna, University of Michigan researchers led the development of a better nanopore—a tiny tunnel-shaped tool that could advance understanding of a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer’s.

A paper on the work is newly published online in Nature Nanotechnology. This project is headed by Michael Mayer, an associate professor in the U-M departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. Also… read more

Silky brain implants may help stop spread of epilepsy

July 29, 2013

Example of Silk Implant Used in the Study. Silk implants designed to release adenosine were placed into rat brains to stop the spread of epilepsy. Image courtesy of Dr. Boison, from Legacy Research Institute and OHSU.

A NIH-funded study suggests a role for adenosine in molecular processes involved in epilepsy.

Silk has walked straight off the runway and into the lab. According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, silk implants placed in the brain of laboratory animals and designed to release a specific chemical, adenosine, may help stop the progression of epilepsy.

The research was… read more

Silver nanocubes make super-light-absorbers

December 10, 2012


Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensors or solar cells, Duke University researchers have found.

Metamaterials are man-made materials that have properties often absent in natural materials. They are constructed to provide exquisite control over the properties of waves, such as light.

Creating these materials for visible light… read more

Silver nanoparticles in wastewater may be killing beneficial bacteria

April 30, 2008

University of Missouri researchers have found that silver nanoparticles in water may harm benign bacteria used to remove ammonia from wastewater treatment systems, halting their reproduction.

Products containing silver nanoparticles include socks (to inhibit odor-causing bacteria), and high-tech, energy-efficient washing machines, where they are used to disinfect clothes.

See Also As nanotechnology goes mainstream, ‘toxic socks’ raise concerns

University of Missouri-Columbia News Release

Silver nanoparticles show ‘immense potential’ in prevention of blood clots

May 28, 2009

Scientists have tested silver nanoparticles injected into mice that reduced the ability of platelets to clump together by as much as 40 percent.

The nanoparticles have the potential to prevent blood clots in coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

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