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‘Nanoball’ batteries could recharge car in minutes

March 12, 2009

MIT scientists have designed an experimental battery that charges about 100 times as fast as normal lithium ion batteries.

It contains a cathode made up of 50-nanometer-wide nanoballs of lithium iron phosphate. If cellphone batteries can be made using the material, they could charge in 10 seconds; bigger batteries for plug-in hybrid electric cars could charge in just 5 minutes, vs. 8 for existing batteries.

Virus-Built Electronics

October 17, 2007

Angela Belcher, a professor of materials science and biological engineering at MIT, is assembling nanomaterials with the help of innocuous viruses genetically engineered to bind to and organize inorganic materials.

The research could lead to threadlike batteries and photovoltaics that can be woven into clothing, for example.

Common sense boosts speech software

March 24, 2005

MIT researchers have combined speech recognition software with The Open Mind Common Sense Project database to distinguish among words that sound the same or similar.

The database contains more than 700,000 facts that MIT Media Lab researchers have been collecting from the public.

‘Alien’ message tests human decoders

January 9, 2002

A message that will be broadcast into space later in 2002 has been released to scientists worldwide, to test that it can be decoded easily. The researchers who devised the message eventually hope to design a system that could automatically decode an alien reply.

The new binary message can be downloaded from the CETI home page. The project leaders hope that it will be transmitted by… read more

Hadoop, a Free Software Program, Finds Uses Beyond Search

March 17, 2009

Hadoop, a free software program, is making it easier and cheaper than ever Google, Yahoo, and others to analyze and access the unprecedented volumes of data churned out by the Internet.

By mapping information spread across thousands of cheap computers and by creating an easier means for writing analytical queries, engineers no longer have to solve a grand computer science challenge every time they want to dig into data.… read more

Microbots made to twist and turn as they swim

February 17, 2011

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a way to propel and rotate microbots in water.

Their microbot, which is 3 millimeters long, is essentially a diode, which they control by applying electrical fields. The development may some day allow microbots to perform remote diagnosis and drug delivery in the body, “Fantastic Voyage” style.

Pandemic test undertaken by financial services paints dire scenario

October 26, 2007

If a pandemic strikes the U.S., it will kill about 1.7 million people, hospitalize 9 million, exhaust antiviral medications and reduce basic food supplies, according to a planning scenario developed by financial service firms preparing for such a catastrophe.

A U.S. pandemic would exhaust antiviral medications, reduce basic food supplies, put ATMs out of service, shut down call centers, increase gas prices and up health insurance claims by 20… read more

The Coming Chip Revolution

April 8, 2005

Carbon nanotubes are emerging as a leading candidate to replace silicon in future chips.

One IBM prototype device using carbon nanotubes can carry up to 1,000 times the current of copper wires used in today’s silicon chips, making it vastly more efficient.

In addition to being excellent conductors of heat, nanotubes are 10 times stronger than steel and are resistant to radiation. This matters because as chips get… read more

Tracing the Neural Circuitry of ‘Second Sight’

February 7, 2002

Researchers have traced the light sensing circuitry for a type of “second sight” that is distinct from the conventional visual system and seems to interact directly with the body’s internal clock. The researchers speculate that subtle genetic malfunctions of this machinery might underlie some sleep disorders.In an article published in the February 8, 2002, Science, a research team led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator King-Wai Yau described the circuitry,… read more

Study Shows Red Meat Consumption Linked to Higher Risk of Dying From Cancer, Heart Disease

March 25, 2009

Men and women who eat higher amounts of red meat and processed meat have a higher risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other causes compared to those who eat less, according to a new ten-year study by University of North Carolina School of Public Health supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Possible reasons:

  • The meats are a source of carcinogens formed during cooking.
  • read more

    Big Chunk Of The Universe Is Missing — Again

    November 6, 2007

    University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) researchers have found that new calculations might leave the mass of the universe as much as ten to 20 percent lighter than previously calculated.

    At One Trillion Degrees, Even Gold Turns Into the Sloshiest Liquid

    April 20, 2005

    Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island have produced a state of matter that flows better than water at about a trillion degrees instead of turning into a gas, as expected.

    The scientists stopped short of announcing that they had created a subatomic soup known as quark-gluon plasma. Physicists are interested in quark-gluon plasma because it will help them understand the “strong force” that holds protons and… read more

    Nano-based DNA detection

    February 24, 2002

    Microelectrodes and gold nanoparticle probes are being used to create lower-cost, faster and more accurate DNA detection.Northwestern University scientists used a synthetic sequence of DNA that models the anthrax lethal factor to test a technology that could displace polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conventional fluorescence probes in clinical diagnostics and make point-of-care DNA testing possible in the doctor’s office and on the battlefield.

    A simple electrical signal indicates that… read more

    Skin to Stem Cell Breakthrough Promises Health Care Revolution

    March 31, 2009

    A new stem-cell technique discovered by Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka creates stem cells without using and destroying human embryos and allows for testing drugs for genetic diseases.

    iPhone brain training app for research into aging minds

    March 4, 2011

    Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are taking the first step towards discovering the true effectiveness of brain training exercises with the release of their own app aimed at those over 50.

    The Brain Jog application is available to download free for iPhone, iPod or iPad. It is the product of 18 months of work by researchers at Queen’s School of Music and Sonic Arts to… read more

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