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Researchers unravel the secret to making cheap, high-density data storage

October 11, 2012

surface smoothness

Researchers from A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered that an ultra-smooth surface is the key factor for “self-assembly” — a cheap, high-volume, high-density patterning technique for data storage.

This technique allows manufacturers to use the method for data storage on a variety of different surfaces. This discovery paves the way for the development of… read more

3D printing may put global supply chains out of business: report

October 11, 2012

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Will 3D printing make global supply chains unnecessary? That’s a real possibility, according to a recent report from Transport Intelligence, Smart Planet reports.

3D printing (or “additive manufacturing,” as it’s called in industrial circles) takes offshore manufacturing and brings it back close to the consumer. It has enormous potential to shift the trade balance. Goods will be cheaper to reproduce within the domestic market, versus manufacturing and then shipping them… read more

Glowing DNA allows for high speed disease detection

October 11, 2012

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University of Copenhagen scientists have invented a method that promises to shave days off the lab work done to reveal diseases, using cheap methods and easy to use analytical apparatuses.

Many diseases, including cancers, leave genetic clues in the body just as criminals leave DNA at the scene of a crime. But tools to detect the DNA-like sickness clues known as miRNAs, tend to be slow… read more

Extending Einstein’s theory beyond light speed

October 11, 2012

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University of Adelaide applied mathematicians have extended Einstein’s theory of special relativity to work beyond the speed of light.

Einstein’s theory holds that nothing could move faster than the speed of light, but Professor Jim Hill and Dr Barry Cox in the University’s School of Mathematical Sciences have developed new formulas that allow for travel beyond this limit.… read more

A ‘compound eye’ on light sent from galaxies 10 billion years ago

October 12, 2012

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At ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile they are about to fit a new instrument called KMOS that can record the light from 24 galaxies simultaneously.

KMOS has 24 robotic arms tipped with gold-plated mirrors that can be trained on a different galaxy — each arm has almost 200 facets making them rather like an insect’s compound eye. Light from these mirrors is channelled… read more

Panetta warns of dire threat of cyberattack on US

October 12, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Thursday that the United States was facing the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” and was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could dismantle the nation’s power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government, The New York Times reports.

He said he was reacting to increasing aggressiveness… read more

The world’s first 3D-printed guitar

October 12, 2012

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Scott Summit created a 3D model of his ideal guitar and sent the computer design to 3D Systems, which used its massive 3D printers to transform the graphic model into an actual acoustic instrument that Summit can play, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

As far as anyone seems to know, this is the first 3D-printed guitar on the planet, and it raises all kinds musical possibilities. “It’s rich and full and… read more

3D model for lung cancer mimics the real thing

October 12, 2012

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Using a new technique that allows scientists to grow lung cancer cells in three dimensions, researchers at The Methodist Hospital and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have created a model that uses biological matter to form miniature lungs that mimic the structure and function of real lung cancer, after which human lung cancer cells are added.

The model could accelerate discoveries for a type of cancer that has benefited… read more

Prospective Alzheimer’s drug builds new brain-cell connections

October 12, 2012

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Washington State University researchers have developed a new drug candidate that dramatically improves the cognitive function of rats with Alzheimer’s-like mental impairment.

Their compound, which is intended to repair brain damage that has already occurred, is a significant departure from current Alzheimer’s treatments, which either slow the process of cell death or inhibit cholinesterase, an enzyme believed to break down a key neurotransmitter involved in… read more

Dyson sphere hunt using Kepler data

October 12, 2012

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Geoff Marcy has received a grant from the UK’s Templeton Foundation to look for Dyson spheres, Paul Gilster writes on Centauri Dreams, the news forum of the Tau Zero Foundation.

Freeman Dyson hypothesized the vast structures over fifty years ago that could ring or completely enclose their parent star. Such structures, the work of a Kardashev Type II civilization — one capable of drawing on the… read more

‘Nanoflowers’ increase battery and supercapacitor storage capacity

October 15, 2012

The GeS "nanoflowers" have petals only 20-30 nanometers thick, and provide a large surface area in a small amount of space (credit: Cao, et al./North Carolina State University)

Researchers from North Carolina State University have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS) — a semiconductor material — that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area.

The GeS flower holds promise for next-generation energy storage devices, including supercapacitors used with solar cells.

“Creating these GeS nanoflowers is exciting because it gives us a huge surface area in a small amount… read more

‘Invisibility’ could be a key to better electronics

MIT team applies technology developed for visual ‘cloaking’ to enable more efficient transfer of electrons
October 15, 2012

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A new approach that allows objects to become “invisible” using matamaterials has now been applied to an entirely different area: letting particles “hide” from passing electrons, which could lead to more efficient thermoelectric devices and new kinds of electronics.

The concept — developed by MIT graduate student Bolin Liao, former postdoc Mona Zebarjadi (now an assistant professor at Rutgers University), research scientist Keivan… read more

Organic solar cells recharge portable electronics at low light levels

October 15, 2012

(Credit: Apple Inc.)

An organic solar cell that generates a sufficiently high voltage to recharge a lithium-ion battery directly has been created by scientists from the University of Warwick, in collaboration with spinoff company Molecular Solar.

The development means portable electronic devices such as e-book readers, cameras and some mobile phones could soon be recharged on the move in low light levels and with partial shading.

Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, the… read more

New web-based model for sharing research datasets could have huge benefits

October 15, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A group of researchers have proposed creating a new web-based data network to help researchers and policymakers worldwide turn existing knowledge into real-world applications and technologies and improve science and innovation policy.

Researchers around the world have created datasets that, if interlinked with other datasets and made more broadly available, could provide the needed foundation for policy and decision makers. But these datasets are spread across countries, scientific disciplines… read more

Cracking the quantum safe

October 15, 2012

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The Nobel Prize in Physics went to achievements in quantum information, Adam Frank, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, writes in The New York Times.

It may not catch as many headlines as the hunt for elusive particles, but the field of quantum information may soon answer questions even more fundamental — and upsetting —… read more

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