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Hearing Machines

January 4, 2007

While hearing in machines lags far behind vision in machines, the potential is great, and researchers are beginning to make impressive progress.

DNA motor programmed to navigate a network of tracks

January 24, 2012

A depiction of a DNA origami tile with a built-in network of tracks. The DNA engine or motor, in red, can be programmed to navigate a series of junctions to reach one of four desired end points (credit: Sugiyama Lab, Kyoto University iCeMS)

Researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Oxford have used DNA building blocks to construct a motor capable of navigating a programmable network of tracks with multiple switches, allowing motor molecules to travel along these rail systems.

The research uses DNA origami — strands of DNA molecules sequenced to self-assemble into 2D or 3D structures.

“We have demonstrated that it is possible to… read more

View to the Edge of No-Return

February 23, 2004

Imagine making a natural telescope more powerful than any other telescope currently operating. Then imagine using it to view closer to the edge of a black hole where its mouth is like a jet that forms super-hot charged particles and spits them millions of light-years into space.

The length of a telescope needed to do that would have to be gigantic, about a million kilometers wide. But just such… read more

Achieving Fiber-Optic Speeds over Copper Lines

April 26, 2010

Alcatel-Lucent has developed a prototype technology that could dramatically increase the speed of data communications, using two copper phone lines: 100 megabits per second at one kilometer.

By amplifying cell death signals, scientists make precancerous cells self-destruct

August 18, 2008

Rockefeller University scientists have figured out a way in mice to amplify the signals that tell precancerous cells to die, by inactivating the IAP protein (stands for “inhibitor of apoptosis protein”), which normally helps cells avoid self-destruction.

How chemical components protected each other to create RNA

July 31, 2013

A computer graphic of an RNA molecule (credit: Richard Feldmann)

The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways, according to new research led by University of Washington scientists.

It could mean a simpler scenario for how that first spark of life came about on the planet, according to Sarah Keller, UW professor of chemistry, and Roy Black, UW affiliate professor… read more

Scientists Warn of Diminished Earth Studies From Space

January 16, 2007

The nation’s ability to track retreating polar ice and shifting patterns of drought, rainfall and other environmental changes is being put “at great risk” by faltering efforts to replace aging satellite-borne sensors, the National Research Council of the National Academies warned.

By 2010, the number of operating Earth-observing instruments on NASA satellites, most of which are already past their planned lifetimes, is likely to drop by 40 percent.

Fast, open-science publishing for biology and medicine

January 31, 2012


The Faculty of 1000 (F1000) has announced an experiment in online science publishing aimed at sharing research results widely and rapidly, Nature News Blog reports.

Unlike ArXiv, it will use open peer review to check postings afterwards and will charge for submissions.

The F1000 Research project begins publishing later this year, covering biology and medicine. It will accept any format… read more

Next From PARC: Smarter, Easier Networks

March 4, 2004

PARC researchers have come up with an “enrollment station” device that lets new users securely sign on to a wireless LAN in less than five minutes, as well as a way for otherwise incompatible digital consumer devices to exchange data.

Life After Moore’s Law

May 3, 2010

“We have reached the limit of what is possible with one or more traditional, serial central processing units, or CPUs,” says Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at NVIDIA, citing the failure of power scaling (energy consumed by each unit of computing would decrease as the number of transistors increased).

“It is past time for the computing industry–and everyone who relies on it for continued… read more

How to Travel at a Million Files a Minute

August 22, 2008

For faster surfing, upgrade to a higher-tier Internet access, add more RAM to your computer, switch to Firefox, and use Google Web Accelerator (for Windows).

Military Builds Robotic Insects

January 24, 2007

Israel is developing a robot the size of a hornet to attack terrorists. Micro Air Vehicles, or MAVs, are much closer than that.

British Special Forces already use 6-inch MAV aircraft called WASPs for reconnaissance in Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force sees future MAVs landing and hopping or crawling on the ground like insects, enabling them to get inside buildings to disable power or deliver bombs.

First NASA Quantum Future Technologies Conference

February 6, 2012


Presentations at the First NASA Quantum Future Technologies Conference conference at NASA Ames Research Center, January 17–21, 2012, are now available online in PDF and full video.

The conference brought together NASA scientists and quantum technology experts from academia, government and industry to identify where quantum technologies can have the greatest impact in space exploration, aeronautics, earth and space science. It focused on quantum measurement, quantum… read more

Fat Cells Boost Blood Vessel Growth

March 16, 2004

A team of researchers has evidence that cells found in fatty tissues can boost blood vessel production. The team injected immature fat cells, called stromal cells, into the hind legs of mice with poor circulation and found that their blood flow was boosted fivefold. The discovery could pave the way for new treatments for many heart and circulation conditions.

Lining Up

May 11, 2010

Magnetic "nanodots" made of nickel could help improve the capacity of memory chips (Jay Narayan)

A new technique developed by researchers at North Carolina State University makes it possible to arrange magnetic “nanodots”–particles around six nanometers wide–in orderly arrays, making it easier to use them to store bits of information magnetically.

A nanodot chip measuring one centimeter square could, in theory, store a terabit of data–50 times more than flash, the densest form of memory currently available.

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