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How to use DNA to assemble a transistor from graphene

September 10, 2013

Stanford chemical engineering professor Zhenan Bao and her co-authors have revealed a plan to build smaller field-effect transistors (FETs) that use less power but operate faster,* using ribbons of single-layer graphene laid side-by-side to create semiconductor circuits.

(Graphene, laterally confined within narrow ribbons less than 10 nanometers in width, exhibits a bandgap, meaning it can function as a semiconductor.)

Given the material’s tiny dimensions… read more

Plastic Logic, Maker of Thin Reader Device, Peeks Out

May 28, 2009

Plastic Logic has revealed its E Ink reading screen, a thin monochrome screen similar in size to the Kindle DX but with a touch screen instead of a keyboard, and intended for business uses.

Low fat, low protein diet boosts longevity

June 1, 2005

Lowering the amount of protein and fat in flies’ diet helped increase lifespan by nearly 65%, while eating less sugar increased longevity only by about 9%, implying that the effect was not due solely to a reduction of total calories.

New Diet Drug in Battle of the Bulge

January 11, 2008

Merck researchers report that the cannabinoid receptor blocking drug taranabant helped obese patients lose weight during a 12-week trial, even at low doses ranging from 0.5 to six milligrams.

Taranabant is the second appetite suppressant and weight-loss drug that works by blocking cannabinoid receptors.

Boffins develop ‘sociable’ robots

May 22, 2002

Irish scientists developing robots that are friendly and sociable so that people will be able to relate to them more naturally.

The first prototype, Anthropos, has cameras for eyes, a speaker as a mouth, voice recognition, and motors that control how it moves.

First pig stem cells could make ‘humanised’ organs

June 3, 2009

The world’s first pig stem cells have been created by researchers at the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology in China.

The researchers hope to genetically modify Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (derived from the stem cells) to make pig organs compatible with the human immune system, allowing for xerotransplantation without an adverse reaction from the patient’s own immune system. They also intend to produce pigs resistant to diseases,… read more

New approach to producing 3D microchips

February 29, 2012


MIT researchers have come up with a new approach to MEMS design that enables engineers to design 3-D configurations, using existing fabrication processes: a MEMS device that enables 3-D sensing on a single chip.

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are small devices with huge potential. Typically made of components less than 100 microns in size — the diameter of a human hair — they have been used as tiny biological… read more

Thin films of silicon nanoparticles roll into flexible nanotubes

June 15, 2005

By depositing nanoparticles onto a charged surface, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have crafted nanotubes from silicon that are flexible and nearly as soft as rubber.

“Resembling miniature scrolls, the nanotubes could prove useful as catalysts, guided laser cavities and nanorobots,” said Sahraoui Chaieb, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Illinois.

To create their flexible nanotubes, Chaieb and his colleagues – physics professor… read more

A New Treatment for Alzheimer’s?

January 16, 2008

A drug commonly used to treat arthritis caused a dramatic and rapid improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to physicians in California. However, scientists and others not involved in the work worry that the report, which was based on trials in a few patients and hasn’t been independently confirmed, may offer little more than false hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families.

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Light’s Information-Carrying Capacity Doubles

June 17, 2002

Scottish researchers report that they have succeeded in encoding two bits of information on a single photon by sorting individual photons according to their orbital angular momentum (one of two possible spin states).

The findings represent a step toward exploiting orbital angular momentum for quantum information processing and the possibility of a much greater density of information transfer.

Oily fish ‘can halt eye disease’

June 9, 2009

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like mackerel and salmon) appear to slow or even halt the progress of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Tufts University researchers have found.

Mind is analog, not digital

June 30, 2005

The mind works the way biological organisms do — as a dynamic continuum, cascading through shades of gray — says a new Cornell study, which found evidence that language comprehension is a continuous process.

The older models of language processing theorized that neural systems process words in a series of discrete stages. The alternative model suggests that sensory input is processed continuously, so that even partial linguistic input can… read more

Rogue stem cells hold clue to melanoma growth (preview)

January 22, 2008

Harvard Medical School researchers have identified cancer stem cells for melanoma that both trigger the initial tumor and drive its later growth.

The discovery may help lead to better treatments against the cancer. The cancer stem cells pump out chemicals from cancer cells, helping the tumor resist chemotherapy.

“Random walkers” may speed peer-to-peer networks

July 8, 2002

Peer-to-peer computing could reach new levels of power, stability, and scalability by having a few messages “walk” randomly between machines rather than flooding across the whole system, according to a research team from Princeton University, the University of California at Berkley, AT&T and Cisco.

New Glimpses of Life’s Puzzling Origins

June 16, 2009

In the last few years, four surprising advances have renewed confidence that a terrestrial explanation for life’s origins will eventually emerge.

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