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‘Spiderbots’ talk amongst themselves inside active volcano

August 12, 2009

A squadron of robust, self-healing, remotely controllable “spiderbots” inside Mount St. Helens is the first network of volcano sensors that can automatically communicate with each other via a mesh network and with satellites, route data around any sensors that break, and be dropped into volcanoes.

Similar networked robots could one day be used to study geological activity elsewhere in the solar system.

SpiderFab: low-cost kilometer-scale antennas in space

September 17, 2012


“We’d like someday to be able to have a spacecraft create itself entirely from scratch, but realistically that’s quite a ways out; that’s still science fiction,” says Robert Hoyt, CEO and chief scientist of Tethers Unlimited Inc. Instead, with his “SpiderFab” project, he proposes to use 3D printing technology aboard a tiny CubeSat to create a much larger structure in space.

The  project received $100,000 from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts… read more

Spiders, Grubbs’ and polymer-powered nanomotors

September 12, 2011

Chemical spider (credit: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.)

A chemical spider that spins a polymer thread using a simple organometallic polymerization catalyst could drive a nanomotor, according to researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

Ayusman Sen and colleagues say that these nanomotors have potential applications in the deposition of polymers in the channels of microdevices, for instance.

Click here to watch related videos from the Sen Group

Ref.: Pavlick, R. A., Sengupta, S., McFadden,… read more

Spielberg: Games consoles doomed

May 21, 2009

Steven Spielberg has suggested that game consoles will one day be replaced by in-home virtual reality entertainment.

Spies could hide messages in gene-modified microbes

September 27, 2011
Microbial messaging

A new encryption method, “steganography by printed arrays of microbes (SPAM),” uses a collection of Escherichia coli strains modified with fluorescent proteins that glow in a range of seven colors.

“You can think of all sorts of secret spy applications,” says David Walt, a chemist at Tufts University, who led the research.

Ref.: Manuel A. Palacios, et al., InfoBiology by printed arrays of microorganism colonies forread more

‘Spin’ Could Be Quantum Boost for Computers

August 21, 2001

Spintronics, based on magnetic properties of electrons, promises to make possible radical advances in computers and other electronic devices.Possible applications of spintronics include:

  • M-RAM, or magneto resistive memory, which will remember data after the power is turned off, eliminating boot-up time and possibly doing processing and storage in the same chip.
  • Quantum computers that can perform multiple computations simultaneously.
  • reprogrammable computer chips
  • Spin Doctors Create Quantum Chip

    January 13, 2006

    University of Michigan scientists have created the first quantum microchip, using an ion trap to isolate individual charged atoms and manipulate their quantum states.

    To isolate an ion, scientists confine it in the ion trap while applying electric fields. Laser light manipulates the spin of the ion’s free electron to flip it between quantum states.

    The new chip, which is made of gallium arsenide, should be easily scaled… read more

    Spin flip trick points to fastest RAM yet

    August 14, 2008

    Researchers in Germany have built a Magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) system that is 10 times faster than existing MRAM systems.

    MRAM is a faster and more energy efficient version of the RAM used in computers today, and hardware companies think it will in a few years dominate the market.

    Spin liquids: an exotic quantum state of matter

    August 16, 2011

    Anti-ferromagnetic order (upper) compared to a spin liquid phase (lower). In an anti-ferromagnet, the spins are anti-aligned. A spin liquid has no order and the spins can be viewed as bobbing about like water molecules in liquid water (credit: E. Edwards)

    Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) in College Park, Maryland, and colleagues, have uncovered evidence for a long-sought-after quantum state of matter: a spin liquid.

    The researchers studied what happens when “frustration” (ensembles of interacting components that cannot settle into a state that minimizes each interaction) occurs in materials with a hexagonal (six-sided) unit cell lattice.

    These atoms interact via their respective spins. The… read more

    Spin Me Right Round

    July 11, 2003
    A molecular motor moves its rotors in one direction because of hydrogen-bonding stations specific to its rotor rings, while sitting in molecules of dichloromethane.

    Tiny rotary motors made of spinning molecules hold the promise of driving microscopic devices of the future. But so far, scientists have had a difficult time controlling which direction tiny artificial cogs spin. New interlocking rings designed by a team of researchers may solve that problem, bringing the vision of clockwork machinery on a molecular scale one step closer to reality.

    UV laser bursts could easily make the rings… read more

    Spin soliton could make cell phone communication more secure

    September 16, 2010

    Soliton (NIST)

    Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found theoretical evidence of a new way to generate the microwave transmissions used in modern communication devices such as cell phones. Their analysis, if supported by experimental evidence, could contribute to a new generation of wireless technology that would be more secure and resistant to interference than conventional devices.

    The team’s findings point toward an oscillator that would… read more

    Spin-based ‘magnetologic gate’ to replace silicon chips

    October 6, 2011

    The image shows a magnetologic gate, which consists of graphene contacted by several magnetic electrodes. Data is stored in the magnetic state of the electrodes, similar to the way data is stored in a magnetic hard drive. For the logic operations, electrons move through the graphene and use its spin state to compare the information held in the individual magnetic electrodes. (Credit: Kawakami lab, UC Riverside)

    The University of California, Riverside has received a $1.85 million National Science Foundation grant to develop a new way of electron-spin-based computing beyond the scope of conventional silicon electronics.

    The goal of the project is to speed up applications that process large amounts of data such as Internet searching, data compression, and image recognition.

    “Conventional silicon electronics will soon face its ultimate limits,” said… read more

    ‘Spin-orbitronics’ could ‘revolutionize the electronics industry’ by manipulating magnetic domains

    April 14, 2015

    magnetic-domain switching ft.

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have found a new way of manipulating the walls that define magnetic domains (uniform areas in magnetic materials) and the results could one day revolutionize the electronics industry, they say.

    Gong Chen and Andreas Schmid, experts in electron microscopy with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, led the… read more

    Spinach Could Power Better Solar Cells

    September 22, 2004

    MIT Researchers integrated a protein complex derived from spinach chloroplasts with organic semiconductors to make a solar cell that could be combined with solid state electronics.

    Previous efforts to integrate the energy harnessing capability of chlorophyll with conventional electronics have failed because it normally requires a watery environment in which to work. Here researchers artificially stabilized the protein complex at the heart of their system using synthetic peptides to… read more

    Spinal cord stem cells could be basis of new treatment

    July 22, 2008

    A researcher at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has pinpointed stem cells within the spinal cord that, if persuaded to differentiate into more healing cells and fewer scarring cells following an injury, may lead to a new, non-surgical treatment for debilitating spinal-cord injuries.

    MIT news

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