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Picosecond X-ray Crystallography of a Protein

July 18, 2003

Picosecond x-ray crystallography of a protein has been demonstrated for the first time, making possible picosecond-scale movies, such as one showing a mutant myoglobin molecule getting rid of a toxic carbon monoxide (CO) molecule.

The system uses 150-ps x-ray pulses from the European Synchrotron and Radiation Facility synchrotron.

Engage the x drive: Ten ways to traverse deep space

December 21, 2009

Ion thrusters, magnetoplasma rockets, and fusion rockets are among the proposed new technologies for instellar travel.

DSL Prime: Free Nationwide Wireless

May 24, 2006

One company has applied to the FCC for 20 MHz of spectrum in return for providing 95 percent of U.S. customers free high speed wireless Internet coverage.

Engineers demonstrate first room-temperature semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz radiation

May 19, 2008

Engineers and applied physicists from Harvard University have demonstrated the first room-temperature electrically-pumped semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz (THz) radiation, also known as T-rays.

The breakthrough in laser technology, based upon commercially available nanotechnology, has the potential to become a standard Terahertz source to support applications ranging from security screening to chemical sensing.

The ability of Terahertz rays to penetrate efficiently through paper, clothing, cardboard, plastic and many… read more

Brain machine ‘improves musicianship’

July 25, 2003

Scientists have created a technique using biofeedback that dramatically improves the performance of musicians.

The “Neurofeedback” system monitors brain activity through sensors attached to the scalp which filter out the brainwaves. These filtered brainwaves are then fed back to the individual in the form of a video game displayed on a screen.

The participant learns to control the game by altering particular aspects of their brain activity.

Do computers understand art?

December 24, 2009

Certain artificial-vision algorithms can differentiate between artistic styles and periods based on low-level pictorial information, such as pixel and color distribution, diversity of the color palette, and entropy (degree of disorder), researchers at the University of Girona and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have found.

New biosensor melds carbon nanotubes, DNA

November 16, 2011

Microbiosensors based on DNA-modified single-walled carbon nanotube decorated with platinum black nanoparticles

Purdue University scientists have developed a method for combining synthetic DNA and carbon nanotubes onto a biosensor electrode that may lead to more accurate measurements of glucose, ATP, and other compounds related to diabetes and other diseases.

Standard sensors employ metal electrodes coated with enzymes that react with compounds and produce an electrical signal that can be measured. But the inefficiency of those sensors leads… read more

A Sponge’s Guide to Nano-Assembly

June 6, 2006

University of California, Santa Barbara researchers, using clues gleaned from marine sponges, have developed a method of synthesizing semiconducting materials with useful structures and novel electronic properties.

The first applications could be ways to make materials for more powerful batteries and highly efficient solar cells at a lower price.

Virtual biopsy can tell whether colon polyp is benign without removal

May 22, 2008

Mayo Clinic researchers have built a colonoscopy probe system that can tell whether or not cells in a polyp are benign (not precancerous) without needing to remove the polyp for biopsy.

The probe includes a tiny imaging tool, 1/16th of an inch in diameter, that can be attached to endoscopes used during colonoscopies. When a suspicious polyp is seen, the doctor can magnify the view by 1,000 times (enough… read more

Unlocking the Brain’s Secrets

August 1, 2003

An international team of six scientists has been involved in scanning thousands of images of the brains of people of all ages with a range of conditions, in the hopes of creating a “map” that would reveal the mysteries of how the brain controls everything from language to movement.

Five Tech Themes for 2010

January 4, 2010

What might be big in 2010: The third wave of mobile applications (a glucose monitor that could directly port blood sugar readings and other health information into a program for analysis), location-based applications, continued decline of the wireline, and the Web and mobile phones becoming a larger repository for our memories.

Stem cell superpowers exposed

June 16, 2006

Biologists say they are close to finding a cellular elixir of youth: a cocktail of proteins that can convert adult cells into embryonic stem cells that are able to grow replacement tissues, according to two studies published in Nature June 14.

If found, this recipe could leapfrog the intense controversy involved in extracting stem cells from a human embryo, which is destroyed in the process.

Instead, doctors might… read more

Monkey Thinks Robot into Action

May 29, 2008
(Andrew Schwartz et al.)

In a dramatic display of the potential of prosthetic arms, a monkey at the University of Pittsburgh was able to use his brain to directly control a robotic arm and feed himself a marshmallow.

To achieve the feat, two monkeys had a grid of microelectrodes implanted into the motor cortex, part of the brain that controls motor planning and execution. The animals had previously been trained to… read more

The New Diamond Age

August 12, 2003

Diamond microchips could handle higher temperatures than today’s microprocessors, allowing them to run at speeds that would liquefy ordinary silicon.

“If Moore’s law is going to be maintained, processors are going to get hotter and hotter,” says Bernhardt Wuensch, an MIT professor of materials science. “Eventually, silicon is just going to turn into a puddle. Diamond is the solution to that problem.”

Two startups are developing multicarat, gem-quality… read more

Plastic Logic Device Showcases Organic Transistors

January 8, 2010


Plastic Logic announced the details of the first consumer product based on organic transistors.

The company’s thin, lightweight e-reader, called the Que, uses organic transistors to power a black and white, touch-sensitive display made by E-Ink. Such transistors can be built on lightweight plastic backings.

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