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Biomimetic nanotechnology

August 4, 2004

Researchers are exploring several ways to imitate biology at the submicrometer level.

One approach tries to inorganically duplicate biological materials that have extraordinary properties, such as those of geckos, which can cling even to smooth surfaces when upside down because of capillary and van der Waals forces between the surface and densely packed 200-nm-wide keratin hairs on the soles of their feet.

A second major biomimetic approach uses… read more

A ‘Kill Switch’ for Rogue Microbes

August 20, 2010

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Researchers at Boston University have developed a highly tunable genetic “switch” that makes it possible to stop the production of a protein and restart it again, or act as a “dimmer switch” to finely tune how much protein a microbe would produce over time.

For years, researchers have been trying to develop these self-destruction mechanisms to allay concerns that genetically engineered microbes might prove impossible to eradicate once they’ve… read more

Making Graphene More Practical

November 18, 2008

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found a simple way to make large pieces (tens of micrometers wide) of the carbon material graphene that can be deposited on sheets on silicon wafers to make prototype field-effect transistors.

Electrons flow through graphene sheets tens of times faster than they flow in silicon, so graphene could lead to electronic devices that are smaller, faster, and less power-hungry than… read more

Killer App Expo — Ray Kurzweil

May 21, 2007

Ray Kurzweil’s speech at Killer App Expo in Fort Wayne, Indiana, can ve viewed online in 1080p (HD quality), 720p (DVD quality), and 480p (standard video) formats.

A Laser Gets at the Layers

August 18, 2004

A new “selective plane illumination microscope” uses a slice of laser light to illuminate an intact specimen one thin layer at a time, building a high-resolution picture of the entire specimen without cutting it.

Samples can be kept alive and studied for hours or days while tissues develop and differentiate. The scientists say the microscope has better resolution than other living-sample imaging techniques, like multiphoton microscopy.

Medical nanotech could find unconventional oil

August 31, 2010

Researchers are developing methods borrowed from medical nanotech to locate and extract the estimated 360 billion barrels of remaining oil in old U.S. oil fields.

A Clearer Picture of Cancer

November 24, 2008

A new 3-D near-infrared imaging system that uses an ultrafast camera and femtosecond laser to capture unscattered light has been developed by researchers at the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging at the Helmholtz Center and Northeastern University.

It’s been used to create richer, higher-resolution images of the molecular workings of lung cancer in mice, and with further development, it might be used to study disease in thicker tissues… read more

Dawn of the Ultra Mobile PC

May 31, 2007

Ready or not, here come the ‘tweeners. Palm’s Foleo (a just-announced ultracompact portable computer and smartphone adjunct) is just the latest evidence that the electronics industry is determined to create a new category of mobile computing devices.

Cloning from the dead claim attacked

September 1, 2004

Viable embryos have been created from dead people by fusing their cells with empty cow eggs, a controversial fertility scientist, Panayiotis Zavos, claimed on Tuesday.

However, the claims were immediately met with both revulsion and scepticism from the UK scientific community.

Green machine: Squeezing solar juice from jellyfish

September 9, 2010

Swedish researchers are developing a photovoltaic device based on green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria.

The team deposit two aluminium electrodes with a tiny gap between them onto a silicon dioxide substrate. A droplet of green fluorescent protein is then added on top, whereupon the protein assembles itself into strands between the electrodes. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the GFP absorbs photons and emits… read more

Molecular fireworks could produce ’30-minute genomes’

December 2, 2008

Pacific BioSciences says that by 2013, it could sequence a person’s entire genome in half an hour with 99.999 per cent accuracy for under $1000.

The new technique involves attaching a different coloured fluorescent dye to each of the four types of nucleotide and watching these flash as they are incorporated into the strand (see diagram). The sequence of coloured flashes in this molecular fireworks display indicates the order… read more

A Wirelessly Powered Lightbulb

June 8, 2007

Researchers at MIT have shown that it’s possible to wirelessly power a 60-watt lightbulb sitting about two meters away from a power source.

Using a remarkably simple setup–basically consisting of two metal coils using resonant coupling–they have demonstrated, for the first time, that it is feasible to efficiently send that much power over such a distance. The experiment paves the way for wirelessly charging batteries in laptops, mobile phones,… read more

Improved superconductors discovered

September 10, 2004

Scientists have demonstrated a simple and industrially scaleable method for improving the current densities of superconducting coated conductors in magnetic field environments by adding nanoscale defects. The discovery could increase the carrying capacity of superconducting wires and tapes by as much as 200 to 500 percent.

The advance is important for the development of powerful, energy-efficient superconducting electric motors and generators for civilian and military applications.

Magnetic fields… read more

Program For The Future explores collective intelligence

December 8, 2008

Program for the Future: A Summit & Workshop on Collective Intelligence, to be held December 8th – 9th
conference at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Adobe and Stanford University, aims to discover the best new Collective Intelligence tools through a global competition and enhance our capability for problem-solving, decision-making and knowledge organization.

The event will also allow for virtual attendance, including an online video stream… read more

Capturing ultrasharp images of multiple cell components simultaneously

Could shed light on complex cellular pathways and lead to new ways to diagnose and monitor disease
February 12, 2014

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A new microscopy method could enable scientists to generate images of dozens of different biomolecules in a human cell simultaneously, a team from the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University reported in Nature Methods.

Such images could shed light on complex cellular pathways and potentially lead to new ways to diagnose disease, track its prognosis, or monitor the effectiveness of therapies at a cellular… read more

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