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Tools design DNA-nanotube logic

August 26, 2004

Researchers have recently begun to use DNA to assemble carbon nanotubes into transistors, the building blocks of computer chips.

Researchers from Duke University are aiming to make the process easier with a suite of computer-aided design (CAD) tools designed to build computer circuits at a density of 2,500 transistors per square micron — about 30 times more closely packed than devices made using current chipmaking technologies.

Seven-month-old babies can ‘read minds’

December 24, 2010

Babies as young as seven months old may be able to take into account the thoughts and beliefs of other people, according to a paper published December 23 in Science.Called “theory of mind,” this ability is central to human cooperation.

The research team made the discovery by measuring a simple behavior–how long infants stare at a scene–in experiments that did not require infants to explicitly assess others’ thoughts or predict… read more

Nanodiamonds Serve as Transport Mechanism for Therapeutic Insulin

July 31, 2009

Northwestern University scientists are experimenting with using nanodiamonds to transport and selectively deliver insulin molecules to wounds (insulin can help wounds heal faster), triggered by alkaline pH levels in wounds.

Seeds of Future Agriculture Enter Doomsday Deep Freeze

February 27, 2008

The first batch of 100 million of the most important agricultural seeds were placed into the “doomsday repository” Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.

The vault is a backup of last resort, stocked with copies of different crops from national seed storage facilities. In cold isolation the seeds can keep for hundreds and thousands of years–sorghum alone can last for 20,000 years–effectively allowing agriculture to be restarted in the… read more

Intel Tests Long-Range Wireless Chip

September 8, 2004

Intel is testing a new chip, dubbed “Rosedale,” designed for long-distance, high-speed, wireless Internet access (WiMax).

WiMax allows users to access the Internet wirelessly across a city or rural area. Intel is looking to put its WiMax chips into laptops and other mobile devices. The final version of the WiMax chips will be released within the next 12 months.

Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010

January 3, 2011

The first self-replicating, synthetically designed life; a new model of the recycled universe; and water discovered on the moon are among the top scientific breakthroughs of 2010, according to Wired.

IBM gets $16 million to bolster its brain-on-a-chip technology

August 10, 2009

IBM has received $16.1 additional funding from DARPA to work on the Systems of neuromorphic adaptive plastic scalable electronics (SyNAPSE) program, bringing the total to $21 million.

DARPA is looking to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that is scalable to biological levels. The goal is to develop systems capable of analyzing vast amounts of data from many sources in the blink of an eye, letting the military or civilian… read more

The World’s Smallest Crime Lab

March 4, 2008

George Mason University researchers have built a microwave smaller than an ant that can heat pinhead-size drops of liquid to precise temperatures–critical for the kind of lab-on-a-chip devices investigators could someday use in the field.

One big potential payoff: a portable DNA-analysis kit that could use crime-scene evidence, such as a drop of blood, to produce the genetic fingerprint of the culprit.

Alice Chatbot Wins for Third Time

September 20, 2004

Richard Wallace’s Alice chatbot program beat three other finalists to take the 2004 bronze metal for the Loebner Prize competition.

The bronze metal goes to the program best able to maintain a life-like conversation. No program has won gold or silver metals, which will go to programs able to convince half the judges that the program is a human, either via video (gold) or text (silver).… read more

Top Director Shot Entire Movie with iPhone

January 11, 2011

Park Chan-Wook used only the iPhone 4 to shoot his new project, a 30 minute short film called Paranmanjang, with a budget of $133,000.

Advantages: a wide variety of angles and edits were possible because numerous low-cost cameras could be used, it’s light and small, and anyone can use it. The directors attached lenses to their phones and nothing was particularly different from shooting a regular movie.

Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise

August 17, 2009

Eating fatty food triggers a short-term decline in both short-term memory and exercise performance, according to the lead study researcher, physiologist Andrew Murray of Cambridge University.

Entangled memory is a first

March 7, 2008

California Institute of Technology physicists are the first to store two entangled quantum states in a memory device and then retrieve the states with their entanglement intact.

Their demonstration, which involves “stopping” photons in an ultracold atomic gas and using a hologram to store the states for 8 microseconds, could be an important step towards the practical implementation of quantum computers.

Printed photonic crystal mirrors shrink on-chip lasers

The incredible shrinking laser
July 25, 2012


Electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised a new laser for on-chip optical connections that could give computers a huge boost in speed and energy efficiency.

At just 2 microns (millionths of meter) in height, the surface-emitting laser’s vastly lower profile could make it cheaper and easier for manufacturers to integrate high-speed optical data connections into… read more

Motion Detector 1,000 Times More Sensitive

October 1, 2004

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a motion detector that allows for viewing a motion of 10 nm with the naked eye.

The device depends upon a formerly unrecognized property of optics: light diffracted from very small gratings that move very small lateral distances undergoes a relatively big, and thus easily measurable, change in reflection.

Sandia National Laboratories news release

Recreating the Big Bang Inside Metamaterials

August 24, 2009

A phase transition inside a special metamaterial could lead to the sudden creation of an optical analog of the Big Bang, Igor Smolyaninov at the University of Maryland found in mathematical simulations.

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