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May 21, 2003

Some tiny new machines may be biomedical devices that could deliver drugs to precise targets inside your body, or carry out internal repairs on the spot. Nanotechnologists are working at the level of individual atoms and molecules, either to create new materials with astonishing properties, or to build miniscule machines. Right now, prototypes of these miracle machines exist. Some are made of natural molecules; others are hybrids of molecules and… read more

One small step for neurons, one giant leap for nerve cell repair

October 8, 2009

Nerve cells will grow and generate synapses with an artificial component, in this case, plastic beads coated with a substance that encourages adhesion and attracts the nerve cells, McGill University researchers have found.

This approach bypasses the need to force nerve cells to artificially grow long distances and eliminates the demand for two neurons to make a synapse.

“We believe that within the next five years we will… read more

IBM creates working racetrack memory device

April 11, 2008

A “racetrack” memory device, a new type of computer memory that could provide faster, cheaper and higher capacity storage than RAM or hard disk storage, has been demonstrated by IBM researchers.

Bits in racetrack memory are stored in the tiny magnetic domains of a very thin U-shaped wire. A magnetic field is used to write data to the domains. Pulsing current through the wire pushes those domains along the… read more

Far Out, Man. But Is It Quantum Physics?

March 13, 2006

“What the Bleep, Down the Rabbit Hole,” a new sequel to the popular new-age film, “What the #$!%* Do We Know!?,” argues, based on the insights of modern quantum physics, that reality is just a mental construct that we can rearrange and improve.

The films raise a disturbing question about the muddled intersection between science and culture: do we have to indulge in bad physics to feel good?

Nanodiamond circuits for extreme environments

August 8, 2011

Scanned Electron Microscope image of a triode made from nanodiamond thin film that shows how the diamond components are cantilevered over a silicon dioxide substrate (credit: Davidson Laboratory, Vanderbilt University)

Electrical engineers at Vanderbilt University have developed all the basic components needed to create microelectronic devices out of thin films of nanodiamond, including diamond versions of transistors and, most recently, logical gates.

Diamond-based devices have the potential to operate at higher speeds and require less power than silicon-based devices, the engineers said. The nanodiamond circuits are a hybrid of old fashioned vacuum tubes and modern… read more

Imagine Machines That Can See

June 5, 2003

Robotics experts are turning to biomimetics (machines are designed to function like biological systems) for guidance in making machines that see, hear, smell and move like living creatures.

For example, one system imitates small eye movements that humans use to gather 3-D information about objects in their visual fields and improve overall visual sensitivity.

Smallest Electronic Component: Researchers Create Molecular Diode

October 19, 2009

(Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University)

Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute researchers and collaborators have found a way to make single-molecule diodes, which could surpass silicon limits.

New microscope creates near-real-time videos of nanoscale processes

December 15, 2015

A new high-speed microscope produces images of chemical processes taking place at the nanoscale, at a rate that is close to real-time video. This closeup shot of the microscope shows transparent tubes used to inject various liquids into the imaging environment. This liquid can be water, acid, buffer solution for live bacteria, cells, or electrolytes in an electrochemical process. Researchers use one as an inlet and the other as an outlet to circulate and refresh the solutions throughout an experiment. (credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

MIT | Microscope creates near-real-time videos of nanoscale processes

MIT engineers have designed an atomic force microscope (AFM) that scans images 2,000 times faster than existing commercial models. Operating at near-real-time-video speed, it can capture structures as small as a fraction of a nanometer from single strands of DNA down to individual hydrogen bonds.

Existing AFMs have similar spatial resolution but function… read more

Neanderthals speak out after 30,000 years

April 16, 2008

Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton has used new reconstructions of Neanderthal vocal tracts to simulate the voice.

He inferred the dimensions of the larynx of a Neanderthal based on its skull. He says the ancient human’s speech lacked the “quantal vowel” sounds that underlie modern speech.

Surface plasmons squeeze light

March 24, 2006

Physicists in Denmark and France have developed a new class of waveguide that could get round one of the biggest obstacles to photonic circuits. The devices allow light at telecommunications wavelengths to be “squeezed” to below the diffraction limit, allowing it to pass though small regions such as channels on a chip without being significantly lost.

These photonic circuits could manipulate light pulses directly and therefore increase data rates.

Allen claims success in work on computers that can reason

June 16, 2003

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has claimed preliminary success in Project Halo, a hitherto secret project to enable computers to answer questions they’ve never seen before and to state their reasoning.

The project’s early phases are limited to facts in hard science, so Allen’s Vulcan Inc. investment arm stands a better chance of success than did earlier, sweeping AI projects seeking to reduce all human knowledge to computer-readable form, said… read more

Augmented reality system lets you see through walls

October 26, 2009

An augmented reality system has been built by Carnegie Mellon University researchers that gives the impression that one is seeing through walls.

It uses two cameras: one that captures the driver’s view and a second that sees the scene behind a view-blocking wall. A computer takes the feed from the second camera and layers it on top of the images from the first so that the wall appears to… read more

Google Wants to Index Your DNA, Too

April 21, 2008

After investing at least $4.4 million in the genetic screening company 23andMe in 2007, Google is also putting money into a second Silicon Valley DNA-screening startup, Navigenics.

For $2,500, Navigenics gives customers their genetic likelihood for 18 medical conditions, from Alzheimer’s to rheumatoid arthritis to several types of cancer. Navigenics aims to boost disease prevention by providing customers reports on their DNA that they can share with their doctors.… read more

MIT group develops ‘mind-reading’ device

April 5, 2006

MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a device that “reads minds” and alerts wearers to the emotional state of the person they’re conversing with.

The research team hopes the Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic (ESP)device will help people with autism learn to better read the social cues of others.

More free online Stanford computer science courses

August 22, 2011


Two other Stanford Computer Science courses are joining Stanford University’s “bold experiment in distributed education”: Professor Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course and Professor Jennifer Widom’s Introduction to Databases.

More than 100,000 prospective participants have signed up for Stanford’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and a study group has formed at reddit , according to I Programmer.

The Stanford Engineering Everywhereread more

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