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Why the feds fear nanobots

March 26, 2004

The $3.7 billion 21st-Century Nanotech Research and Development Act excludes funding for molecular manufacturing.

One theory holds that government and business fret that any talk of nanobots would conjure up the Magician’s Apprentice scenario (in which tiny, replicating machines get out of control and cover the Earth). That could raise the odds that environmental groups would attack nanotechnology just as they have attacked genetically modified plants and foods.

Molecular logic proposed

March 26, 2004

Researchers have devised a scheme for designing logic circuits by connecting a pair of benzene molecules to two gold electrodes.

The scheme could eventually be used to produce small, fast computers and store large amounts of data in very small spaces.

Thou shalt not make scientific progress

March 26, 2004

Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush’s religious convictions stand in its way.

“Embryonic stem cells are magical,” says Michael West of Advanced Cell Technology. “We’ve never had anything like this before, they are a whole quantum leap beyond adult stem cells. They’re absolutely magical — and that magic that… read more

Robot-controlled inks create 3D structures

March 25, 2004

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are creating complex, three-dimensional structures with micron-size features using a robotic deposition process called direct-write assembly.

The precisely patterned parts could be used as bio-scaffolds, micro-fluidic networks, sensor arrays or templates for photonic materials for such applications such as drug-delivery, micro-fluidics, photonics and tissue engineering.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign news release

Asian Investors Seek Profit in Neural `Karma’

March 25, 2004

The market for esoteric trading systems, such as those based on neural networks, is hot at the moment. For example, computer scientist John Moody runs a $6 million hedge fund using a program called RoboTrader, which trains a computer to select trading strategies by trial and error.

All the news that’s fit for searching

March 25, 2004

Microsoft researchers are creating technology to make searching for news more effective. “NewsJunkie” could help Microsoft develop a search function in Windows to compete with Google.

Using AI and information retrieval, NewsJunkie keeps track of what a reader has already seen. It reorganizes news stories to rank those with the most new information at the top and push those with repetitive information to the bottom, or filter them out… read more

The God Particle and the Grid

March 25, 2004

The physics lab that brought you the Web is reinventing the Internet. Get ready for the atom-smashing, supercomputing, 5-gigabits-per-second Grid Economy: a super-reliable, superpowerful network that supplies on-demand computing capacity anytime, anywhere.

Good vibrations for lab-on-a-chip

March 25, 2004

Sound can be used to guide the movement of cells. The technique could help create a lab-on-a-chip: a device the size of a postage stamp that is capable of running biology or chemistry experiments.

Many laboratory processes, such as sorting of cells into different types, could be miniaturized and automated on such chips. The technique could be particularly useful in sorting cells during disease diagnosis.

Nano-lightning’ could cool computer chips

March 25, 2004

Jumping electric charges could waft breezes of ionised air through microchips, replacing the bulky, noisy fans that cool down today’s computers.

The technolgy could be built directly into a computer chip’s heat sink to provide a faster, quieter, and lighter cooling system, producing a cooling rate similar to water: 40 watts per square centimeter.

Scientists Report Evidence of Saltwater Pools on Mars

March 25, 2004

Mars was once a much warmer, wetter place, with pools of saltwater that sometimes flowed across the surface, scientists reported Tuesday. It was the first concrete evidence that water might have flowed on the Martian surface, and it provided new hints that life may have existed there.

Smart nanoparticles target cancer cells

March 24, 2004

Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Biologic Nanotechnology are developing “smart” drug delivery devices to knock out cancer cells with lethal doses, leaving normal cells unharmed, and even reporting back on their success.

The U-M group is using lab-made spherical nanoparticles called dendrimers as the backbones of their delivery system. These spheres have loose ends where you can attach a targeting agent that can recognize a cancer… read more

Tell It What You’re Searching For

March 24, 2004

Web surfers may be able to talk to their computers one day using a browser announced by Opera Software. The new browser incorporates IBM’s ViaVoice technology, enabling the computer to ask what the user wants and “listen” to the request.

The new browser will allow users to interact with the content on the Web in a more natural way and could open up the Internet to users physically unable… read more

Onfolio Organizes Your Web Searches

March 24, 2004

Onfolio, one of a new class of productivity software called Search Information Managers, makes it easier for users to research, store, reorganize, and share Web-based and private information.

Scientists create fifth form of carbon

March 24, 2004

Researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra have created a new form of carbon: an intersecting web of nanosize carbon tubes formed at temperatures of around 10,000 degrees C.

“Nanofoam” could one day help treat cancer by absorbing infrared heat and enhance MRI scans because of its magnetic properties.

Mr. Otis, Call Your Office: A Nano-Elevator Is Built

March 23, 2004

In an elegant bit of nanoscale engineering, chemists at the University of California, Los Angeles have designed and built what must be the world’s tiniest elevator, a molecular platform on legs that can be raised or lowered on command.

The device, created by Dr. J. Fraser Stoddart, a professor of organic chemistry, and colleagues from rotaxane molecules, is about 2.5 nanometers high, and the platform moves less than a… read more

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