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‘Metascreen’ forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak

March 27, 2013

Cloaked cylinder hidden from microwaves (Credit: IOP)

Invisibility cloaks put forward by scientists have been fairly bulky contraptions.

Now University of Texas at Austin researchers have developed a cloak that is just microns thick and can hide 3D objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers’ positions.

The trick: a new, ultrathin layer called a “metascreen,” made by attaching strips of 66-micron-thick copper taperead more

Biodegradable Transistors

November 13, 2009

Fully biodegradable organic transistors have been fabricated by researchers at Stanford University.

They could be used to control temporary medical implants placed in the body during surgery, and help monitor the healing process from inside the body.

Chip for topological quantum computer designed

October 5, 2011

Quantum spin Hall topological insulator (credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Rice University physicists have developed a new method for making a “quantum spin Hall topological insulator,” a chip for future quantum computers that are based on “topological quantum computing.”

Topological designs are expected to be more fault-tolerant than other types of quantum computers because each qubit (quantum bit) in a topological quantum computer will be made from a pair of highly stable theoretical quantum particles… read more

Software Helps Develop Hunches

March 13, 2006

Eric Bonabeau, founder of Icosystem, has introduced “the hunch engine,” software designed to enhance and refine human intuition.

When the user starts the hunch engine he or she is presented with a seed — a starting point — and a set of mutations. The user selects mutations that look promising, and the application uses that selection to generate another set of mutations, continuing in that fashion until the user… read more

Protein test predicts invasive breast cancer

April 28, 2008

University of California at San Francisco researchers have built a protein profile test for breast cancer that predicts whether women with a breast-cancer precursor called ductal carcinoma will develop invasive breast cancer that requires aggressive treatment.

If the high-risk protein profiles become a standard test, people with low-risk profiles could be spared unnecessary surgery and drugs.

How to download a movie in 5 seconds

June 5, 2003

Imagine an internet connection that lets you download a whole movie in just 5 seconds or access TV-quality video servers in real time. That’s the promise from a team at the California Institute of Technology that has developed a system called Fast TCP.

The trick: software and hardware on the sending computer continually measure the time it takes for sent packets to arrive and how long acknowledgements take to… read more

Intel: Chips in brains will control computers by 2020

November 20, 2009

By the year 2020, you won’t need a keyboard and mouse to control your computer, say Intel Corp. researchers, who are close to gaining the ability to build brain sensing technology into a headset that culd be used to manipulate a computer, working with associates at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Their next step is development of a tiny, far less cumbersome sensor that could be… read more

2020 computing: Champing at the bits

March 27, 2006

Despite some remaining hurdles, the mind-bending and frankly weird world of quantum computers is surprisingly close.

High-Flying Electrons May Provide New Test of Quantum Theory

April 30, 2008

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany believe they can achieve a significant increase in the accuracy of one of the fundamental constants of nature, the Rydberg constant (the quantity that specifies the precise color of light that is emitted when an electron jumps from one energy level to another in an atom) by boosting an electron to an orbit… read more

Nanotechnology: the next small thing

June 16, 2003

Governments and venture capitalists invested more than $3 billion in the nanotechnology sector in 2002, according to a report to be published this week by Lux Capital.

Dear God, please confirm what I already believe

December 1, 2009

Believers subconsciously endow God with their own beliefs on controversial issues, University of Chicago researchers have found.

“These findings help explain why supernatural religious agents are often attributed a physical form and issue edicts that resemble the social practices of the culture from which they emerge,” says Jordan Grafman of the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Europe launches first two Galileo navigation satellites

October 21, 2011


The European Space Agency launched today its first two Galileo global navigation system satellites, BBC News reports.

Unlike the Global Positioning System, developed by the U.S. military, Galileo is designed for civilian purposes and aims to end Europe’s reliance on GPS. The system is expected to start operating in 2015.

It also aims for better positional accuracy. While a position fixed by the publicly… read more

Virus-Assembled Batteries

April 7, 2006

MIT researchers have demonstrated that genetically engineered viruses can assemble active battery materials into a compact, regular structure, to make an ultra-thin, transparent battery electrode that stores nearly three times as much energy as those in today’s lithium-ion batteries.

It is the first step toward high-capacity, self-assembling batteries.

Nano-designed transistors with disordered materials, but high performance

May 5, 2008

Researchers at Hitachi Central Research Laboratory and Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey have demonstrated that for transistors of disordered silicon films, superior switching performance (low leakage current, and steep sub-threshold slope) can be achieved by making the conduction channel in the transistor very thin.

The sentient office is coming

June 29, 2003

Sentient computing systems are likely to be everywhere within five years –listening and watching, and ready to anticipate their users’ every need.

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