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Startram — maglev train to low earth orbit

March 13, 2012


The present cost of inserting a kilogram (2.2 lb) of cargo by rocket into low earth orbit (LEO) is about US$10,000. A manned launch to LEO costs about $100,000 per kilogram of passenger.

Instead, imagine sitting back in a comfortable magnetic levitation (maglev) train and taking a train ride into orbit.

That’s the concept for Startram, a superconducting maglev launch system.

The system would see a spacecraft… read more

Startup called Webaroo touts ‘Web on a hard drive’

April 9, 2006

Webaroo has developed a set of proprietary search algorithms that whittle the estimated one million gigabytes on the Web down to more manageable chunks that will fit on a hard drive.

They include up to 256 megabytes for a growing menu of “Web packs” on specific topics — your favorite Web sites, city guides, news summaries, Wikipedia and the like — that make up the service’s initial offerings; and… read more

Startup can detect tiny traces of cancer markers in blood samples

May 13, 2008

Cambridge (MA) startup Quanterix is developing a protein-detection technology that can count single molecules in blood samples.

The technology uses “microwells” etched into an optical fiber and coated with protein-capturing antibodies. Each well is 2.5 micrometers wide and sits at the tip of an individual thread of the fiber. If the antibodies capture a protein from a blood sample, a chemical reaction will be triggered and fluoresce… read more

Startup debuts ‘nanoimprint’ litho tool for 20-nm designs

December 4, 2002

Molecular Imprints Inc. plans to unveil next week “the world’s first step and flash imprint lithography” tool for use in processing a range of emerging devices at the 100-nm (0.10-micron) node, down to a few nanometers and at about one-tenth the cost of traditional projection systems.

The tool is geared for the emerging nanotechnology field.

Startup ducks immigration law with ‘Googleplex of the sea’

December 29, 2011


Blueseed has released detailed mockups of its floating incubator, intended to increase the flow of “bold and creative” foreign entrepreneurs into Silicon Valley, with seed capital from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, Wired Enterprise reports.

To get around the government’s immigration choke-hold, the startup plans to sail foreign innovators 12 miles off the Northern California shore, into international waters, without worrying about worker visas or… read more

Startup makes ‘wireless router for the brain’

January 23, 2012


Small, light, wireless prototype devices developed by Kendall Research could make optogenetics research much more practical.

Optogenetics relies on genetically altering certain cells to make them responsive to light, and then selectively stimulating them with a laser to either turn the cells on or off.

Instead of an expensive, bulky laser light source, the researchers use LEDs and laser diodes incorporated into a small head-borne device that… read more

Startup promises a revolutionary grid battery

January 4, 2012

eos_energy storage

Battery developer Eos Energy Storage claims to have solved key problems holding back a battery technology that could revolutionize energy storage on the power grid.

If the company is right, its zinc-air batteries will be able to store energy for half the cost of natural gas, the method currently used to meet peak power demands.

Startup Says It Can Make Ethanol for $1 a Gallon, and Without Corn

January 28, 2008

Coskata, which is backed by General Motors and other investors, uses bacteria to convert almost any organic material, from corn husks to municipal trash, into ethanol, for less than $1 a gallon.

See also Cheap Ethanol from Tires and Trash

Startup Says Quantum Crypto Is Real

November 6, 2003

MagiQ Technologies Inc. announced it’s shipping the first security system based on quantum cryptography.

Startup Sees Promise in Virus

August 19, 2005

The concept of applying viruses and proteins to develop electronics is a methodology that’s gaining traction in research labs.

Startup turns your cell-phone number into a location fix

December 20, 2011


Startup company Loc-Aid can use your cell-phone number to figure out exactly where you are right now — if you give the company permission to do so.

“We can locate any one of the more than 350 million devices on the major U.S. and Canadian carriers in real time,” says Rip Gerber, founder and CEO of Loc-Aid, based in San Francisco.

To cut fraud, a person… read more

Startup Uses Light, Not Electrons, For New Chip

May 7, 2002

Digital signal processing startup Lenslet Labs of Israel has developed a way to use properties of light as computational elements rather than electrons, eliminating problems from waste heat and allowing for more parallelism.

The EnLight 256, a specialized processor, is designed to be used in applications like cellular basestations, software-defined radio, and ADSL transceivers.

News tip: Sander Olson

Startup uses tiny probes to store data

February 28, 2005

Nanochip Inc. has developed prototype arrays of atomic-force probes, tiny instruments used to read and write information at the molecular level and hopes to offer its first product by mid-2007. These arrays can record up to one terabit in a single square inch.

That’s the storage density that magnetic hard disk drive makers hope to achieve by 2010. It’s roughly equivalent to putting the contents of 25 DVDs on… read more

Startups Focus on AI at South by Southwest

March 15, 2010

The Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator competition starts today at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive event, with many of the 200 startup companies focusing on social media and rapidly maturing areas of artificial intelligence.

Two panels of judges will select winners in four categories: innovative Web technologies, personal social media, business social media, and entertainment technology.

Also see: Where to Watch SXSW Online

Startups Seek Perfect Particles To Search And Destroy Cancer

April 21, 2003

Several companies are developing new cancer treatments that send nanoparticles into patients’ bodies to find tumor cells. Once they do, doctors excite the particles with electromagnetic energy to attack the tumor without collateral damage to nearby healthy cells and without the frightening side effects of chemotherapy and radiation: hair loss, nausea, and ravaged immune systems.

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