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Nanotubes enable molecular assembly line

April 29, 2004
Model of a nanoscale conveyer belt<br />
(courtesy of Zettl Research Group)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have transformed carbon nanotubes into conveyor belts capable of ferrying atom-sized particles to microscopic worksites.

By applying a small electrical current to a carbon nanotube, they moved indium particles along the nanotube like auto parts on an assembly line.

The method lays the groundwork for high-throughput molecular assembly of atomic-scale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices.

The ability to shuttle a… read more

Gates, venture capitalist Doerr issue warning about America’s future

June 15, 2010

Bill Gates, General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt and venture capitalist John Doerr are lobbying Congress and the White House on a proposal to increase annual U.S. spending on clean energy research and development from $5 billion to $16 billion.

Of the top 30 new energy technology companies worldwide that produce batteries, solar technologies and advanced wind energy, only four are headquartered in the United States, Doerr said.

Invention: Universal detector

September 29, 2008

University of California, San Diego researchers have invented a low-power, small, portable Star Trek tricorder-like device that can test for any surface contamination and detect everything from explosives to bacteria.

It uses a nanoperforated plate zapped with laser light, causing surface plasmons to emit light with a spectrum related to materials touching the plate, combined with a sensor device to decode the emitted spectrum associated with the detected material.

New 3D ‘flyovers’ let viewers swoop down on Mars

March 14, 2007

Dramatic virtual flyovers of NASA’s two Mars rover landing sites have been made using 3D imagery from the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The flyovers give a first taste of the probe’s astoundingly precise 3D mapping abilities and may help the Opportunity rover find a safe path into the yawning chasm of Victoria crater.

Common Alzheimer’s drug may benefit patients in later stages of disease

March 11, 2012


The drug donepezil, approved for use only in the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease, could benefit patients in the later stages of the disease, researchers at King’s College London have found.

The study assessed the effects of two Alzheimer’s drugs — donepezil (Aricept) and memantine (Ebixa or Axura). Donepezil is currently licensed in the UK for use in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s,… read more

‘Junk’ DNA reveals vital role

May 7, 2004

University of California, Santa Cruz, researchers have found more than 480 “ultraconserved” regions of “junk” DNA that are completely identical across the man, mouse and rat species, implying that they are essential to the descendants of these organisms. The regions largely match up with chicken, dog and fish sequences too.

The most likely scenario is that they control the activity of indispensable genes. The sequences may help slice and… read more

Neuroscientists predict students’ behavior better than their self reports

June 24, 2010

UCLA neuroscientists have found in an experiment that monitoring activity in the medial prefrontal cortex using fMRI was a more accurate predictor of future behavior than self reports by 20 college students.

“From this region of the brain, we can predict for about three-quarters of the people whether they will increase their use of sunscreen beyond what they say they will do,” said the study’s senior author, Matthew Lieberman,… read more

This is your grid on brains

October 3, 2008

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology plan to use living neural networks composed of thousands of brain cells from laboratory rats to control simulated power grids in the lab.

From those studies, they hope to create a “biologically inspired” computer program to manage and control complex power grids in Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria and elsewhere, and possibly other complex systems, such as traffic-control systems or global financial networks.… read more

Study details catastrophic impact of nuclear attack on US cities

March 21, 2007

A new study by researchers at the Center for Mass Destruction Defense (CMADD) at the University of Georgia details the catastrophic impact a nuclear attack would have on American cities and the inability of the nation’s current medical system to handle casualties.

It also suggests what the authors said are much needed yet relatively simple interventions that could save tens of thousands of lives.

Among the… read more

Metamaterials boost wireless power transfer

March 14, 2012

A way to enhance the efficiency of wireless power transfer systems by incorporating a lens made from a new class of artificial materials has been developed by researchers from Duke University and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories.

When a changing electric current flows through a wire it generates a magnetic field, which in turn can induce a voltage across a physically separate second wire. Called inductive coupling,… read more

Bush Letter Sees Promise of Stem Cells

May 17, 2004

The Bush administration has acknowledged that additional lines, or colonies, of embryonic stem cells could speed scientific research, a statement that advocates for patients say could mark the first step toward easing limits on taxpayer financing for the studies.

Fossilised cell blobs could be oldest multicellular life

July 1, 2010

(El Albiani & Mazurier)

At 2.1 billion years old, a new fossil from Gabon, West Africa, could be the earliest known multicellular life form.

California Scientists Demonstrate How to Use Advanced Fiber-Optic Backbone for Research

October 10, 2008

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) brought together about 100 researchers, campus administrators and networking infrastructure officials at the University of California, San Diego to explore breakthroughs in super-fast networking among research institutions in California to help scientists make new discoveries.

Falko Kuester, Calit2′s Professor of Visualization and Virtual Reality at UC San Diego, demonstrated the prototype for a system he calls the “HIPerVerse,” which allows… read more

Boeing working on Fuel Cell Airplane

March 29, 2007

Boeing researchers and industry partners throughout Europe are planning to conduct experimental flight tests this year of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries.

Disaster Movie Makes Waves

June 1, 2004

The Day After Tomorrow eco-disaster film’s premise that human activity could trigger a sudden ice age is unlikely, say scientists.

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