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X-ray laser explores how to write data with light

March 21, 2013 7:52 am | News | Comments

Using laser light to read and write magnetic data by quickly flipping tiny magnetic domains could help keep pace with the demand for faster computing devices. Now experiments with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser have given scientists their first detailed look at how light controls the first trillionth of a second of this process, known as all-optical magnetic switching.

High-resolution endoscope is as thin as a human hair

March 13, 2013 10:09 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

Engineers at Stanford have developed a prototype single-fiber endoscope that improves the resolution of these much-sought-after instruments fourfold over existing designs. This so-called micro-endoscope can resolve objects just 2.5 micrometers in size and could lead to an era of needle-thin, minimally invasive endoscopes able to view features out of reach of today’s instruments.

Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing

February 26, 2013 9:47 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Studying these progenitor cells could someday lead to discoveries that help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.

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Researchers develop tool for reading the minds of mice

February 19, 2013 3:41 pm | News | Comments

If you want to read a mouse's mind, it takes some fluorescent protein and a tiny microscope implanted in the rodent's head. Stanford University scientists have demonstrated a technique for observing hundreds of neurons firing in the brain of a live mouse, in real time, and have linked that activity to long-term information storage. The work could provide a useful tool for studying new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's.

Light-emitting bioprobe fits in a single cell

February 14, 2013 8:04 am | News | Comments

A Stanford University study is the first to demonstrate that sophisticated, engineered light resonators can be inserted inside cells without damaging the host. The researchers say it marks a new age in which tiny lasers and light-emitting diodes yield new avenues in the study and influence of living cells.

Researchers break million-core supercomputer barrier

January 28, 2013 10:18 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

Stanford Engineering's Center for Turbulence Research has set a new record in computational science by successfully using a supercomputer with more than one million computing cores to solve a complex fluid dynamics problem—the prediction of noise generated by a supersonic jet engine.

Reduce greenhouse gas by exporting coal?

January 16, 2013 9:36 am | News | Comments

Western U.S. coal companies looking to expand sales to China will likely succeed, according to Stanford University economist Frank Wolak. But, due to energy market dynamics in the United States, those coal exports are likely to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Egg-cellent world-record battery performance

January 9, 2013 7:59 am | News | Comments

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University scientists have set a world record for energy storage, using a clever "yolk-shell" design to store five times more energy in the sulfur cathode of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery than is possible with today's commercial technology.

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Researchers develop acrobatic space rovers to explore moons, asteroids

January 2, 2013 7:48 am | News | Comments

Stanford University researchers, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have designed a robotic platform that could take space exploration to new heights. The mission proposed for the platform involves a mother spacecraft deploying one or several spiked, roughly spherical rovers to the Martian moon Phobos.

Lab research team solves condensed matter physics puzzle

December 28, 2012 7:32 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers, led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has answered a longstanding, much debated question in condensed matter physics. The question had to do with the rare earth element cerium (Ce), which undergoes a surprising, large isostructural volume collapse at high pressure.

Optical tweezers trap specimens a few nanometers across

December 5, 2012 9:53 am | News | Comments

A microscale technique known as optical trapping uses beams of light as tweezers to hold and manipulate tiny particles. Stanford University researchers have found a new way to trap particles smaller than 10 nm, which until now have escaped light's grasp.

Scientists develop new technique for visualizing blood flow

December 3, 2012 7:33 am | News | Comments

Stanford University scientists have developed a new technique for watching blood flow in living animals. The technique involves carbon nanotubes and lasers, and will allow researchers to better study arterial diseases and therapies.

Diamond-like coating improves electron microscope images

November 26, 2012 12:01 pm | News | Comments

Coating the surface of a material with a single layer of diamond-like crystals greatly improves images of it taken with an electron microscope, according to a study led by scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. In results, the group reported a nearly three-fold improvement in the quality of photoelectron emission microscope images when they used the coating.

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A leap forward in brain-controlled computer cursors

November 19, 2012 9:00 am | News | Comments

Stanford University researchers have designed the fastest, most accurate algorithm yet for brain-implantable prosthetic systems that can help disabled people maneuver computer cursors with their thoughts. The algorithm's speed, accuracy, and natural movement approach those of a real arm, doubling performance of existing algorithms.

Stanford researchers take first step toward quantum cryptography

November 16, 2012 9:53 am | News | Comments

Quantum mechanics offers the potential to create absolutely secure telecommunications networks by harnessing a fundamental phenomenon of quantum particles. Now, a team of Stanford University physicists has demonstrated a crucial first step in creating a quantum telecommunications device that could be built and implemented using existing infrastructure.

Surprising competition found in high-temperature superconductors

November 14, 2012 2:00 pm | News | Comments

A team led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University scientists has made an important discovery toward understanding how a large group of complex copper oxide materials lose their electrical resistance at remarkably high temperatures. The materials in question are high-temperature superconductors, which conduct electricity perfectly with no resistance when cooled below -100 C.

Touch-sensitive plastic skin heals itself

November 12, 2012 8:09 am | by Kelly Servick, Stanford University | News | Comments

A team of Stanford University chemists and engineers has created the first synthetic material that is both sensitive to touch and capable of healing itself quickly and repeatedly at room temperature. The advance could lead to smarter prosthetics or resilient personal electronics that repair themselves.

Scientists build the first all-carbon solar cell

November 5, 2012 11:16 am | News | Comments

Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford's thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution.

Atom optics to help detect the imperceptible

October 22, 2012 8:43 am | by Lori Keesey | News | Comments

Predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, the waves occur when massive celestial objects move and disrupt the fabric of space-time. But by the time these waves reach Earth, they are so weak that the planet expands and contracts less than an atom in response. No instrument or observatory has ever directly detected them. A pioneering technology capable of atomic-level precision is now being developed to detect what so far has remained imperceptible.

Bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi, the biological Internet

September 27, 2012 11:32 am | News | Comments

If you were a bacterium, the virus M13 might seem innocuous enough. It insinuates more than it invades, setting up shop like a freeloading house guest, not a killer. Once inside it makes itself at home, eating your food, texting indiscriminately. Recently, however, bioengineers at Stanford University have given M13 a bit of a makeover; they have parasitized the parasite and harnessed M13's key attributes to create what might be termed as the biological Internet, or "Bi-Fi."

Astrophysicists get first images for Dark Energy Camera

September 17, 2012 7:08 am | News | Comments

When the Dark Energy Camera opened its giant eye last week and began taking pictures of the ancient light from far-off galaxies, more than 120 members of the Dark Energy Survey eagerly awaited the first snapshots. Those images have now arrived.

Researchers create tiny, wirelessly powered cardiac device

September 5, 2012 6:01 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

Stanford University electrical engineers overturn existing models to demonstrate the feasibility of a millimeter-sized, wirelessly powered cardiac device. The findings, say the researchers, could dramatically alter the scale of medical devices implanted in the human body.

Stanford researchers discover the 'anternet'

August 27, 2012 4:27 am | News | Comments

A collaboration between a Stanford University ant biologist and a computer scientist has revealed that the behavior of harvester ant as they forage for food mirrors the protocols that control traffic on the Internet.

Study details power of new chip to diagnose disease, analyze proteins

August 20, 2012 10:33 am | by Krista Conger | News | Comments

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Intel Corp. have collaborated to synthesize and study a grid-like array of short pieces of a disease-associated protein on silicon chips normally used in computer microprocessors. Used recently to identify patients with a severe form of lupus, the new technology has the potential to improve diagnoses of a multitude of diseases.

Scientists develop new way to study inner-workings of algae cells

August 20, 2012 9:14 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have developed a way to send molecules and proteins across the cell wall of algae, a feat that opens the door for a new way to study and manipulate these tiny organisms. The research could advance the advance the development of algae-based biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and other useful compounds.

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