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Spring-loaded nanotubes could be used in microcircuits

June 13, 2003

Multiwalled nanotubes can act like telescoping spring-loaded shock absorbers, opening the possibility of use in silicon circuits and optoelectronic devices, according to an article in Nature Materials Update, June 12, 2003.

In experiments at Vanderbilt University, it was found that if the inner tubes are partially pulled out and then released, they spring back inside their sheath, oscillating back and forth at a frequency of around 1 gigahertz until… read more

Timewarp: How your brain creates the fourth dimension

October 23, 2009

By understanding the mechanisms of our brain’s clock, researchers hope to learn ways of temporarily resetting its tick. This might improve our mental speed and reaction times, and since time is crucial to our perception of causality, a faulty internal clock might also explain the delusions suffered by people with schizophrenia.

Mice Can Sense Oxygen Through Skin

April 18, 2008

University of California, San Diego researchers have discovered that the skin of mice can sense low levels of oxygen and regulate the production of erythropoietin (EPO), the hormone that stimulates our bodies to produce red blood cells and allows us to adapt to high-altitude, low-oxygen environments.

They found breathing in one concentration of oxygen and exposing skin to another concentration triggered the body to produce its own EPO. If… read more

Cheaper Fuel Cells

April 5, 2006

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers who developed a new, simple-to-produce material that boosts the performance of fuel cells many times — and could be a major step toward making them affordable.

Remote control

June 26, 2003

Direct brain-to-brain communication is a key goal of DARPA’s $24 million Brain Machine Interface program — almost 10% of DARPA’s basic research budget, according to a Nature June 19 article.

Research also includes:

* A Silicon chip to replace parts of the brain (the hippocampus is first).

* Reminiscent of The Matrix, memory implants to allow pilots to perform moves they may not actually have learned through… read more

AI Spacesuits Turn Astronauts Into Cyborg Biologists

November 3, 2009

Patrick McGuire, a University of Chicago geoscientist, has developed algorithms that can recognize signs of life in a barren landscape, using a Hopfield neural network, which compares incoming data against patterns it’s seen before, picking out those details that qualify as new or unusual.

Bionic eye ‘blindness cure hope’

April 22, 2008

A “bionic eye” developed by Second Sight may hold the key to returning sight to people left blind by a hereditary disease.

The Argus II device works via a camera that transmits a wireless signal to an ultra-thin electronic receiver and electrode panel that are implanted in the eye and attached to the retina.

Watching the brain ‘switch off’ self-awareness

April 20, 2006

Researchers conducted a series of experiments using fMRI to pinpoint the brain activity associated with introspection and that linked to sensory function.

They found that the brain assumes a robotic functionality when it has to concentrate all its efforts on a difficult, timed task — only becoming “human” again when it has the luxury of time.

Language localized in the brain

August 31, 2011


MIT researchers have found that there are parts of our brain dedicated only to language, a finding that marks a major advance in the search for brain regions specialized for sophisticated mental functions.

Functional specificity refers to the idea that discrete parts of the brain handle distinct tasks. Scientists have long known that functional specificity exists in certain domains: in the motor system,… read more

DNA makes nano barcode

July 8, 2003

Duke University researchers have programmed strands of synthetic DNA to self-assemble into a bar-code-like structure. The process could eventually be used to make templates that will enable molecule-by-molecule construction of electronic circuits.

The method coaxes columns of looped and non-looped strands of DNA to stack into a pattern that is readable by microscope. The researchers programmed the process to produce two different barcodes — 01101 and 10010. The prototype… read more

DNA Origami Nanoscale Breadboards Developed For Carbon Nanotube Circuits

November 11, 2009

Caltech researchers have developed simple nanometer-scale electronic circuits out of carbon nanotubes by sticking them to DNA origami in a desired geometric pattern.

DNA origami is a type of self-assembled structure made from DNA that can be programmed to form nearly limitless shapes and patterns. It is created from a long single strand of viral DNA and a mixture of different short synthetic DNA strands that bind to and… read more

Scientists Show First 3-D Image of Antibody Gene

April 25, 2008

UC San Diego and San Diego Supercomputer Center researchers and their colleagues used a multidisciplinary mix of geometry, biological research, and supercomputer techniques to show how a gene is organized in three-dimensional space.

They used the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus–responsible for generating diverse kinds of antibodies–for the project.

While many gene and genome sequences are known, how the genome is organized in three-dimensional space isn’t. The… read more

Brain Power

May 3, 2006

The Classification System for Serial Criminal Patterns (CSSCP) combs through police department IT systems, searching for patterns or clusters of data elements that might tie together a string of crimes and give police the data they need to find the perpetrators, derived from analysis of the most successful detectives in Chicago.

Quantum logic could make better robot bartenders

September 7, 2011

Creating robots with multiple personalities may be one way to make them act more like us. Quantum logic, with its limitless and apparently random outcomes, could do the trick.

To help in designing and testing quantum-driven programs with multiple personalities, roboticists used a science fiction story about a robot bartender.

A Quantum Leap in Cryptography

July 17, 2003

BBN network engineer Chip Elliott is building what he hopes will be an unbreakable encryption machine, designed to harness subatomic particles to create a hacker-proof way to communicate over fiber-optic networks.

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