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Novel Nanowires for Faster Memory

September 27, 2007

University of Pennsylvania researchers have pioneered a new technique for producing phase-change nanowires.

The technique could make it possible to build memory devices thousands of times faster and eight to ten times more energy efficient than memory currently on the market, such as flash.

The plan is to jolt the wires into an amorphous phase (the equivalent of a one in computer logic) or back into a crystalline… read more

Software Taming Gene Data Pool

February 3, 2005

New software is making it easier for researchers to search and pool the massive amount of data generated by microarray technologies — which consist of silicon chips that light up to reveal active genes, allowing researchers to see which genes are being expressed and how.

A new stem-cell-like treatment target for deadly brain tumors

August 2, 2012

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A study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers  reveals new insight into why the most common, deadly kind of brain tumor in adults recurs and identifies a potential target for future therapies.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) currently is considered incurable. Despite responding to initial therapy, the cancer almost always returns.

GBM is a fast-growing, malignant brain tumor that occurred in 15 percent of the… read more

Quantum Theory Could Expand the Limits of Computer Chips

September 20, 2001

Quantum theory may turn out to have surprisingly practical applications in manufacturing faster computer chips getting around the wavelength limits of traditional optical lithography.University of Maryland at Baltimore scientists experimentally verified a way to focus light to far less than half its wavelength. The technique could lead to smaller, faster chips without the need to change the basic manufacturing processes of lithography.

In the experiment, they forced photons into… read more

Human fails Turing Test

March 5, 2009

Blogger James Bach was so unimpressed by the contrived and seemingly scripted responses to his typed questions to the Web Greeter site that be became convinced he was talking to an unthinking chatbot rather than a human.

We checked out the site. The robotic “welcome” message does give that impression at first, but web greeter Alex assured me that the “Turing test does not apply to humans”… read more

Weaving Batteries into Clothes

October 9, 2007

A new machine that makes nanostructured fibers could turn soldiers’ uniforms into power supplies.

Among the machine’s many potential uses is assembling fibers in regular, nanoscale patterns that combine battery electrodes with a polymer separator and electrolyte to form a complete battery.

Pig Stem Cells to Be Used to Grow Human Organs?

February 17, 2005

It might be possible to transplant embryonic stem cells from pigs into humans to grow new organs, a new study shows, if stem cells come from specific stages of an embryo’s development.

The End of Snail Mail?

October 14, 2001

Is the threat of a deadly disease enough to kill off postal deliveries? Expect a dip in mail volume similar to the one that hit the stock market –without the expectation that the bounce-back will eventually surpass the present status. The reason is simple: when compared to anthrax bacilli, computer viruses don’t seem so threatening.

Researchers find ways to sniff keystrokes from thin air

March 13, 2009

The electromagnetic radiation that is generated every time a computer keyboard is tapped is easy to capture and decode, two separate research teams, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and security consultancy Inverse Path, have found.

Drug-resistant Staph Infection Appears More Widespread Than Previously Thought

October 18, 2007

Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) appear to be more prevalent than previously believed, affecting certain populations disproportionately and are being found more often outside of health care settings, according to a study in the October 17 issue of JAMA.

MRSA has become the most frequent cause of skin and soft tissue infections among patients presenting to emergency departments in the United States, and can also cause severe,… read more

Powerful quantum computer made with superconducting ‘artificial atoms’ is possible

March 2, 2005
Optical micrograph showing an "artificial atom" made with a superconducting circuit. The red arrow points to the heart of the qubit -- the Josephson junction device that might be used in a future quantum computer to represent a 1, 0, or both values at once.

Two superconducting devices have been coaxed into a special, interdependent state that mimics the unusual interactions sometimes seen in pairs of atoms, an important step toward the possible use of “artificial atoms” made with superconducting materials for storing and processing data in an ultra-powerful quantum computer of the future.

Research using real atoms as qubits has advanced rapidly, but superconducting circuits offer the advantage of being easily… read more

Immune system booster could combat bioweapons

November 8, 2001

It could soon be possible to temporarily boost people’s immune systems to fight off all sorts of diseases, including anthrax.
The method is based on a key difference between human and bacterial DNA. In people, when the bases cytosine and guanine occur together, the cytosine usually carries a methyl group. In bacteria, it doesn’t.

Several teams are now developing synthetic CpGs that trigger this response. They have shown great… read more

Ultimate virtual reality will trigger five senses

March 19, 2009

Researchers from the University of York and the University of Warwick are working on plans for a device able to manipulate five of a person’s senses, to given them the sensation of being somewhere else.

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Terabyte Thumb Drives Made Possible by Nanotech Memory

October 29, 2007

Arizona State University researchers have developed a low-cost, low-power computer memory–one-tenth the cost of and 1,000 times as energy-efficient as flash memory–that could put terabyte-sized thumb drives in consumers’ pockets within a few years.

The programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology uses nanowires from copper atoms the size of a virus to record binary ones and zeros.

Need a Building? Just Add Water

March 16, 2005

Engineers in London have come up with a “building in a bag” — a sack of cement-impregnated fabric. To erect the structure, all you have to do is add water to the bag and inflate it with air. Twelve hours later, the Nissen-shaped shelter is dried out and ready for use.

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