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Nanowires Key to Future Transistors, Electronics

December 3, 2009

(Purdue University, Birck Nanotechnology Center/Seyet LLC)

A method for creating nanowire transistors with layers of silicon and germanium sharply defined at the atomic level has been developed by researchers at IBM, Purdue University and UCLA.

The nanowires are “grown” vertically, so they have a smaller footprint, which could make it possible to fit more transistors on a chip, extending Moore’s law.

Artificial mouth takes on a chewy problem

May 7, 2008
(American Chemical Society)

An artificial mouth that can reproduce the mush created by a human munching on an apple has been created by French researchers.

It could form part of a robotic taste-tester designed to improve food quality and our understanding of flavor.

Google Earth v4 Released

June 13, 2006

A new beta version of Google Earth features 3D textured buildings, better user interface, and higher resolution images.

Quantum logic gate lights up

August 11, 2003

University of Michigan physicists have taken another important step towards making a quantum computer. They have created a logic gate using two electron-hole pairs, also known as “excitons,” in a quantum dot.

New Model of the Universe Says Past Crystallises out of the Future

December 8, 2009

A new “crystallising block universe” model that combines relativity and quantum mechanics suggests that the past crystallises out of the future, in the instant we call the present.

Powerset brings the Semantic Web to Wikipedia

May 12, 2008

Powerset has launched a public beta of its Wikipedia search engine that brings a new, rich semantic dimension via natural language query processing to Wikipedia, greatly improving the search and reading experience.

Powerset’s engine, based on techology licensed from PARC, has read 2.5 million Wikipedia pages and extracted “meaning” from the sentences, creating a navigation and semantic layer on top of the popular Web encyclopedia.

Powerset has also… read more

Higher-Capacity Lithium-Ion Batteries

June 26, 2006

Researchers in France have created lithium-ion battery electrodes with several times the energy capacity, by weight and volume, of conventional electrodes.

The new electrodes could help shrink the size of cell-phone and laptop batteries, or else increase the length of time a device could run on a charge.

Computer model forecasts crime sprees

August 19, 2003

A more powerful tool for forecasting crime is emerging from a huge electronic database of six million crimes.

A team from Carnegie Mellon University analyzed the data in two ways: A statistical analysis that spots broad trends allowed researchers to quantify the rules of thumb that police officers often learn from experience; and a list leading indicators — minor offences such as vandalism and trespassing that crime analysts believe… read more

That inexplicable feeling of being ‘you’

December 16, 2009

A new exhibition in London tackles the ambiguities that lie at the heart of who we are and the ways in which science continuously morphs the meaning of identity.

In one room, the diaries of Clive Wearing — a musician whose encephalitis left him unable to form memories — record the endless series of fits and starts that mark a life confined to a perpetual Now.

Rewiring the brain from sight to sound to sight again

May 16, 2008

California Institute of Technology researchers have found that the brain doesn’t lose one sensory ability (sound movement, in this case) when it rewires an area for use by another sense (visual movement, in this case).

The MT+/V5 area of the brain is used for visual motion processing in sighted people. In the formerly blind people they studied, this area had been co-opted for processing auditory motion (sounds moving from… read more

Keeping Synthetic Biology Away from Terrorists

July 6, 2006

Scientists want to adopt a set of declarations to improve the security of research that uses DNA synthesis.

The researchers pledged, for example, to develop better software to detect when orders for dangerous DNA sequences have been placed with DNA synthesis companies, and they recommended that scientists work only with companies who use such software.

Silent pump for water-cooled PCs developed

August 26, 2003

A new water-cooling system for computer chips has been developed that incorporates a clever pump with no moving parts. The system, developed by Californian start-up company Cooligy, aims to silently solve the problem that the faster chips get, the hotter they become.

In the near future, the chips in high-speed laptops and desktop PCs will generate so much heat that traditional air cooling systems will struggle to cope. Simply… read more

A Review Of The Best Robots of 2009

December 23, 2009

In 2009, robots continued their advances in industrial/manufacturing, humanoid, and other areas.

Looking into Live Cells at Nanoscale Resolution

May 20, 2008
Mitochondrion images (Nature Methods/Stefan Hell)

A super-high-resolution 3-D light microscope developed at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry will allow biologists to watch the workings of the tiniest organelles and even individual clusters of proteins in living cells at a resolution of 40 nanometers.

The Max Planck group developed a way to get around light’s fundamental wavelength limitations by using two beams instead of one. The first light beam plays the… read more

Researchers Build Sharpest Tip

July 13, 2006

Robert Wolkow, a physics professor at the University of Alberta, has made the sharpest tip ever known: a one atom-thick coating of nitrogen for binding a pyramid of metal atoms.

These sharp tips are needed for making contact with metals or semiconductors as well as for the manipulation and examination of atoms, molecules and small particles. They may also allow for make the highest-resolution electron microscopes.

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