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Terahertz rays allow imaging at nanoscale

October 24, 2003

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have shown that terahertz rays can be used in conjunction with scanning near-field microscopy, according to a paper published in Applied Physics Letter.

The technique circumvents the usual “diffraction limit” on imaging methods, which restricts the resolution to the same order of magnitude as the wavelength of the radiation used.

By demonstrating a resolution of 150 nm using THz radiation of 150 microns, the… read more

Moving through time

January 22, 2010

University of Aberdeen psychologists have found that our perceptions of space and time are tightly coupled.

In an experiment, they found that engaging in mental time travel resulted in physical movements corresponding to the metaphorical direction of time. Those who thought of the past swayed backward while those who thought of the future moved forward.

Laser-sensitive drug seals blood vessels in a flash

June 13, 2008

A new technique developed by Canadian, British and American researchers allows near-infrared laser light to penetrate two or three times deeper into living tissue, shutting off blood vessels to treat certain tumors or age-related macular degeneration.

Using two-photon excitation, it is a significant upgrade to an existing treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves injecting a light-sensitive compound into diseased tissue. Exposing the compound to laser light generates a… read more

Spinning new theory on particle spin brings science closer to quantum computing

September 11, 2006

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have devised a potentially groundbreaking theory demonstrating how to control the spin of particles without using superconducting magnets — a development that could advance the field of spintronics and bring scientists a step closer to quantum computing.

Folding@home’s biological research now on supercomputers

November 21, 2011

By moving protein-folding modeling to supercomputers, researchers hope to open the door to large numbers of scientists (credit: Stanford University)

A new distributed framework for supercomputers called Copernicus, based on of the computing technology used in Folding@home, has been developed by Stanford researchers and presented at the SC11 supercomputing conference.

With open-source Copernicus software, other researchers can now run simulations, including molecular models, using processor time on multiple supercomputers or computing clusters, rather than home computers. With an interest in solving… read more

Logic and memory shown on molecular scale

November 3, 2003

Rice University researchers have demonstrated that molecule-sized electronic devices can be used for both logic and memory, despite being randomly wired, error-prone and inaccurately formed at the nanoscale.

Rice professor James Tour said his work demonstrates that today’s chip makers can achieve increases of two to three orders of magnitude in chip density by leveraging the lithographic tools they already have to form random-access addresses into arrays of nanoscale… read more

Robots Display Predator-Prey Co-Evolution, Evolve Better Homing Techniques

January 29, 2010

Robots are learning how to navigate a maze, cooperate and share, and develop complex predator-prey interactions at the Swiss Laboratory of Intelligent Systems in the Ecole Polytechnique Federale.

iRobot to develop ‘ChemBot’ for military

June 18, 2008

iRobot has been awarded a multimillion-dollar R&D contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office for a new type of soft, flexible “ChemBot” robot for the military.

The Chembot will be a soft, flexible, mobile robot that is “soft enough to squeeze or traverse through small openings, yet large enough to carry an operationally meaningful payload,” according to DARPA’s request. The robot… read more

Copper Circuits Help Brain Function; Could Tweaking the Circuits Make Us Smarter?

September 26, 2006

The flow of copper in the brain has a previously unrecognized role in cell death, learning and memory, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine.

The researchers’ findings suggest that copper and its transporter, a protein called Atp7a, are vital to human thinking. They speculate that variations in the genes coding for Atp7a, as well as other proteins of copper homeostasis, could partially account for differences in… read more

How Does the Brain Work?

November 11, 2003

While lacking a coherent framework, scientists are making progress in mapping the correlations between brain activity and behavior.

New imaging tools reveal circuits and overall patterns of activity as people solve problems or reflect on their feelings. Genes expressed in mouse brain cells are being mapped so that researchers can begin to find out if neurons that look alike have different proteins and functions. A magnetic device can knock… read more

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included

February 8, 2010

Darpa is investing $6 million in a project called BioDesign to develop creatures that are genetically engineered to bolster cell resistance to death.

Scandinavian scientists designing robotic snakes

June 26, 2008

The Sintef Group of Trondheim, Norway is designing a robot modeled on snakes to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans.

The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines, and clean ventilation systems.

20 Smart Companies to Start Now

October 10, 2006

Business 2.0 Magazine has listed 20 tantalizing business ideas, ranging from a host of new websites and applications to next-generation power sources and a luxury housing development.

Researcher demos threat of ‘transparent’ smartphone botnets

December 7, 2011

In a presentation at TakeDownCon in Las Vegas, security researcher Georgia Weidman demonstrated how malware on smartphones could be used to create smartphone “botnets” that could be used in the same way as PC botnets, providing hackers with a way to insert code between the operating system’s security layers and the cell network, Ars Technica reports.

Weidman said that the approaches used by… read more

Nano-transistor self-assembles using biology

November 21, 2003

A functional electronic nano-device has been manufactured using biological self-assembly for the first time. It harnesses the construction capabilities of DNA and the electronic properties of carbon nanotubes to create a self-assembling nano-transistor.

The team used proteins to allow carbon nanotubes to bind to specific sites on strands of DNA. They then turned the remainder of the DNA molecule into a conducting wire. The team has already connected two… read more

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