science + technology news

Consortium seeks to ramp nanoelectronics research

December 10, 2005

Seeking to accelerate nanoelectronics research in the United States, a consortium of companies has announced its first research grants under the Semiconductor Industry Association’s new Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI). The goal is to demonstrate novel computing devices with critical dimensions below 10-nm.

The grants will fund the creation of two new university-based nanoelectronics research centers — one in California and the other in New York. The grants will also… read more

Public comments open on EPA nanotech white paper

December 9, 2005

The U.S. EPA is open to public comments on its Draft Nanotechnology White Paper. An excerpt:

“We are currently nearing the end of basic research and development on the first generation of materials resulting from nanotechnologies that include coatings, polymers, more reactive catalysts, etc. (Figure 2). The second generation, which we are beginning to enter, involves targeted drug delivery systems, adaptive structures and actuators, and has already provided some… read more

Strong Magnetism Creates Two-Dimensional Superconductivity

December 9, 2005

It should be possible to achieve stable superconductivity at higher temperatures by restricting electrons to two dimensions in space, University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has shown.

Electrons will become completely two-dimensional within laboratory-produced magnetic fields that are between 200,000 times and a million times stronger (10 to 50 Tesla) than the magnetic field at the surface of the Earth, Lebed said.

In research published in the Dec.… read more

Cyborg Suits Strut the Catwalk

December 9, 2005

Designs incorporating computer chips and sensors could monitor the wearer’s health or extend their social network, MIT Media Lab’s Alex Pentland said at a futuristic fashion show presented by the Materials Research Society, or MRS.

Connotate looks beyond traditional search

December 9, 2005

A new generation of “intelligent search” tools is emerging.

Connotate Technologies supplies “intelligent agents” programmed to retrieve specific information from the Web in real time.

The company claims its software can search more than 500 billion Web pages and seek out specific pieces of information and monitor specified Web pages as often as once per second, delivering alerts and summaries to customers via the Web, e-mail, mobile devices… read more

How to create a crystal made entirely of holes

December 9, 2005

Computer experiments have revealed that crystal-like structures can be formed entirely from the “holes” left behind as electrons move through a semiconducting material.

Such materials could mean superconductivity at higher temperatures, with uses in computers, antennas, and power lines.

NEC Develops Paper-Thin Mobile Battery

December 9, 2005

NEC has developed the ORB (Organic Radical Battery), a flexible battery only 300 microns thick made out of “organic radical polymer” and that recharges in under a minute.

NEC said it initially would be used in applications such as smartcards and “intelligent paper.”

Yahoo’s human touch to answers

December 9, 2005

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Answers, which allows users to get their questions answered online for free by volunteers.

Users can submit questions on any topic at and wait for others to post responses. To flag inaccuracies, individuals can rate the responses based on quality.

Japanese researchers unveil 3-D stack for chip integration

December 8, 2005

Japanese researchers have come up with a new three-dimensional integration technology called Super-Smart-Stack that uses a self-assembly technique to maintain chip alignment accuracy to within 1 micron.

The technique promises to allow for stacking various chips types with different sizes and thicknesses and fabricated using different process technologies.

Ethical Concerns on Face Transplant Grow

December 8, 2005

American scientists are expressing increasing concerns that the world’s first partial face transplant, performed in northern France on Nov. 27, may have been undertaken without adequate medical and ethical preparation.

Boxer bares all

December 8, 2005

Researchers have published the full genetic code of a dog. It should make it easier to find the causes of genetic diseases, such as cancer, that affect both dogs and people.

The scientists involved in the effort, whose research appears in Nature on December 8, say the genome has already helped them to pinpoint a group of DNA sequences that do not code for specific genes, but are extremely… read more

‘Data-in, data-out’ signals quantum breakthrough

December 8, 2005

Harvard University and Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have succeeded in transferring quantum information between “quantum memories” — from atoms to photons and back again.

Both teams employed powerful laser pulses to extract quantum information from a cloud of atoms in the form of a single photon. That photon was then transmitted through a normal optical fiber before its quantum state was transferred to a second atomic cloud.… read more

Intel Research Shows Compound Boosts Chip Performance

December 8, 2005

Intel researchers’ latest experiments with Indium Antimonide have shown that it has the potential to bump future transistors’ performance by as much as 50 percent, while reducing power consumption by a factor of 10 against that of its current state-of-the-art transistors.

Printing Organs on Demand

December 7, 2005

University researchers have developed bio-ink and bio-paper that could make so-called organ printing a reality.

So far, they’ve made tubes similar to human blood vessels and sheets of heart muscle cells, printed in three dimensions on a special printer.

Why this brain flies on rat cunning

December 7, 2005

A “brain” grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a single rat embryo has been taught to fly an F-22 jet simulator by scientists at the University of Florida.

They hope their research into neural computation will help develop sophisticated hybrid computers with a thinking biological component. The first result could be to enable scientists to enabling more flexible and varied means of solving problems.

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