July 16, 2002
Applications for the Thiel Foundation’s 20 Under 20 fellowship program for 2013 are due by 11:59 P.M. (UTC–12) on December 31, 2012.
Thiel Fellowships consist of separate grants of $100,000 to 20 people under 20 years old, so that they can leave the classroom and pursue innovation. In addition to the financial support, Thiel Fellows are mentored by hundreds of highly accomplished entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, thinkers, and innovators of the Thiel Network.… read more
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and investor Peter Thiel took aim at each other in a recent debate, CNET reports.
Schmidt said technology and access to information has increased productivity and quality of life worldwide. Thiel thanked Schmidt for “doing a fantastic job” as “minister of propaganda” for Google. The tech sector has made remarkable strides in the areas of computers and software, he said, but has seen a “catastrophic” failure in other… read more
The latest craze in materials science is graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that looks like molecular chicken wire and is the thinnest of all possible materials in the universe.
Graphene can be made from graphite flakes using ordinary Skotch tape. Physicists have made transistors out of graphene and used it to explore odd quantum phenomena at room temperatures.
The U.S. military has been funding development of flexible OLEDs with long enough lifetimes and consistent quality, with the aim of providing soldiers with rugged, thin communications devices that can display maps and video without adding too much weight to their load.
The U.S. Army is testing a prototype “watch” that’s lightweight and thin and has a full-color display. This display is built on flexible materials encased in a… read more
By depositing nanoparticles onto a charged surface, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have crafted nanotubes from silicon that are flexible and nearly as soft as rubber.
“Resembling miniature scrolls, the nanotubes could prove useful as catalysts, guided laser cavities and nanorobots,” said Sahraoui Chaieb, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Illinois.
To create their flexible nanotubes, Chaieb and his colleagues – physics professor… read more
New thin-film solar cells may enable solar-cell technology to maintain its 50% annual growth during the past five years.
Candidate materials to replace today’s amorphous silicon include cadmium telluride, CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide), and dyes painted onto the surface of nanometer-size particles of titanium dioxide.
In sunny climates, the technology is expected to lead to “grid parity” — electricity generated by photovoltaics as cheaply as it is… read more
University of Tokyo researchers have developed a flexible artificial “skin” capable of sensing pressure and temperature that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch.
Future artificial skins could incorporate sensors also for light, humidity, strain or sound.
Solar cells made from cheap nanocrystal-based inks have the potential to be as efficient as the conventional inorganic cells currently used in solar panels, but can be printed less expensively, says Solexant, which expects to sell modules for $1 per watt, with efficiencies above 10 percent.
Some people think modern astronomy’s convoluted theory of “dark matter” and “dark energy” is based on a kludge similar to Ptolemy’s theory of epicycles. If something else is actually causing those effects, the whole theoretical edifice would come crashing down.
According to a paper just published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, irregularities in the cosmic microwave background may have been misinterpreted. They may have been… read more
Are silicon circuits that mimic the nervous systems of insects and other animals the future of computing?
Nature considers the merits of neuromorphic engineering.
New tools to improve human performance will emerge from the convergence of nanotech, biotech, infotech and cognitive science.
When data from nanobiochips that can analyze DNA, RNA and proteins is combined with data from next-generation brain imaging systems , new tools for mental health will emerge.
Nanobiochips that can perform the basic bioanalysis functions (genomic, proteomic, biosimulation and microfluidics) at a low cost will transform biological analysis and… read more
Researchers in the blossoming field of neurogastroenterology are finding that our “second brain” — the enteric nervous system — does much more than handle digestion; it partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.
Some surprising facts:
The Wall Street Journal looks ahead 10 years–2018–to imagine how technology will change the way we shop, learn and entertain ourselves, and how it will it change the way we get news, protect our privacy, and connect with friends.
Many of the changes will come from a couple of rapidly improving technologies: mobile devices and global positioning systems.
A new study by Princeton University researchers shows for the first time that bacteria don’t just react to changes in their surroundings — they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in the June 6 issue of Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems have this ability.
In addition to shedding light on deep questions in biology, the findings could have many practical… read more