Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a “superlens” that can break the so-called diffraction limit of optics through negative refraction, allowing for imaging of 60-nanometer objects.
November 2, 2005
The group velocity of an ultrasound wave could theoretically jump by five orders of magnitude over its ordinary values and exceed c (the speed of light), when pulses of high-frequency sound strike a mixture of water and tiny (approximately 0.1-mm diameter) plastic spheres.
January 29, 2010
French scientists have transmitted simple images through opaque objects using a laser beam by reverse-engineering the scattering process.
They transmitted the laser beam more than 1000 times, changing the shape of the beam each time using a spatial light modulator. A digital camera on the other side of the glass detected the different scattering patterns produced each time. Comparing what it saw with what had been done to the… read more
The latest supermarket scanner developed by Toshiba Tec may make conventional barcodes in supermarkets obsolete.
May 30, 2007
The C. botulinum genome has been sequenced, providing a tool against biological attack as well as the more familiar infection from food.
Developed by the Institute for the Future, Superstruct, the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game, goes live today and will last for six weeks, played on forums, blogs, videos, wikis, and other online spaces.
“By playing the game, you’ll help us chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how we might solve the problems we’ll face,” the Web site says. “Because this is about more than… read more
September 5, 2003
An analysis of Internet virus activity shows that on September 11th, an advanced worm attack is set to infiltrate the Internet and could potentially halt email traffic worldwide. We need to act now.
Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings, which appear online February 27 in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.
Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, is known to play an important role in maintaining metabolic balance in multiple tissues, and studies in… read more
Understanding how photosynthesis works, thinks Daniel Nocera, professor of chemistry at MIT, could lead to ways to produce and store solar energy in forms that are practical for powering cars and providing electricity even when the sun isn’t shining.
March 8, 2013
Glial cells — a family of cells found in the human central nervous system and, until recently, considered mere “housekeepers” — now appear to be essential to the unique complexity of the human brain.
Scientists reached this conclusion after demonstrating that when transplanted into mice, these human cells could influence communication within the brain, allowing the animals to learn more rapidly.
The study suggests that the… read more
September 24, 2013
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have reported the first experimental evidence that supports the theory that a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle commonly called a buckyball is the result of a breakdown of larger structures rather than being built atom-by-atom from the ground up.
Technically known as fullerenes, these spherical carbon molecules have shown great promise for uses in medicine, solar energy, and optoelectronics.… read more
September 19, 2007
Scientists from University College London and at the Queen’s University of Belfast have demonstrated a method of achieving ultrahigh light dispersion that makes use of surface plasmon polaritons on nanostructures.
Uses would be in such areas as quantum information processing, lab-on-chip applications for spectral analysis, chemistry and electronic engineering, and optical communications as signal processing devices.
March 24, 2006
Physicists in Denmark and France have developed a new class of waveguide that could get round one of the biggest obstacles to photonic circuits. The devices allow light at telecommunications wavelengths to be “squeezed” to below the diffraction limit, allowing it to pass though small regions such as channels on a chip without being significantly lost.
These photonic circuits could manipulate light pulses directly and therefore increase data rates.
July 29, 2005
The surfaces of most paper documents, plastic cards and cardboard packages contain unique “fingerprints” that could be used to combat fraud, according to physicists.
The fingerprint is contained in microscopic imperfections on the surface and can be read by a portable laser scanner. The results could eventually eliminate the need for expensive security measures — such as holograms, chips and special inks — on passports, identity cards and pharmaceutical… read more