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Beyond silicon: Transistors without semiconductors

June 24, 2013 9:04 am | by Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Technological University | News | Comments

Most efforts to move past the limitations of traditional transistors have relied on the use of semiconducting materials. However, alternative materials like boron-nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) may be able to do the same thing through the phenomenon of quantum tunneling. Researchers in Michigan and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have recently demonstrated precise control of electrons using quantum dot-equipped BNNTs.

Bacterial DNA may integrate into human genome more readily in tumor tissue

June 21, 2013 10:57 am | News | Comments

After analyzing genomic sequencing data from the Human Genome Project and other sources, scientists in Maryland have found evidence that lateral gene transfer is possible from bacteria to the cells of the human body, known as human somatic cells. They also found that bacterial DNA was more likely to integrate in the genome in tumor samples than in normal, healthy somatic cells.

New method 700 times faster at magnifying digital images

June 21, 2013 10:42 am | News | Comments

A computer engineer in Spain has been developing new image thresholding algorithms to greatly speed the process of image magnification without compromising image quality. Images transferred over the Internet are often reduced; restoring them to their former quality requires complex mathematical routines, many of which are time-consuming. The faster algorithm could affect a wide variety of imaging routines, such fingerprints or MRI scans.

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New trophallactic strategy allows multiple UAVs to fly in formation

June 21, 2013 10:24 am | News | Comments

In recent years, formation control of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles has an important aerospace research topic. Engineers in China have recently investigated the trophallactic—or fluid exchange by direct contact—swarming behavior exhibited by a variety of animals, including birds and insects. By imitating that behavior and considering the communication requirements of the network control system, a new network control method was proposed.

2-D atomically flat transistors show promise for green electronics

June 21, 2013 9:16 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with Univ. of Notre Dame, have recently demonstrated the highest reported drive current on a transistor made of a monolayer of tungsten diselenide (WSe2). The discovery is also the first demonstration of an "n-type" WSe2 field-effect-transistor, showing the potential of this material for future low-power and high-performance integrated circuits.

Maplesoft, JSOL partner to combine powerful modeling techniques

June 21, 2013 9:08 am | News | Comments

JMAG is a powerful finite element analysis (FEA) tool that allows engineers to develop, analyze, and fine-tune electric motors and generators, taking into account such diverse factors as thermal, structural, and vibration issues.  This week, Maplesoft has launched a new product that allows users to combine JMAG with the advanced physical modeling approach of MapleSim.  This allows engineers to produce high-fidelity system models.

Graphene-based system could lead to improved information processing

June 21, 2013 7:40 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed a new system that combines ferroelectric materials with graphene. The resulting hybrid technology could eventually lead to computer and data-storage chips that pack more components in a given area and are faster and less power hungry. The new system works by controlling waves called surface plasmons.

Seeing the human pulse

June 20, 2013 11:01 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new algorithm that can accurately measure the heart rates of people depicted in ordinary digital video by analyzing imperceptibly small head movements that accompany the rush of blood caused by the heart’s contractions.

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Reported: First entanglement between light and optical atomic coherence

June 20, 2013 7:36 am | News | Comments

Using clouds of ultracold atoms and a pair of lasers operating at optical wavelengths, researchers have reached a quantum network milestone: entangling light with an optical atomic coherence composed of interacting atoms in two different states. The development could help pave the way for functional, multimode quantum networks.

GTRI agile aperture antenna technology tested on autonomous ocean vehicle

June 19, 2013 4:28 pm | News | Comments

Antenna technology originally developed to quickly send and receive information through a software-defined military radio may soon be used to transmit ocean data from a wave-powered autonomous surface vehicle. The technology, the lowest-power method for maintaining a satellite uplink, automatically compensates for the movement of the antenna as the boat bobs around on the ocean surface.

Cheap, color, holographic video

June 19, 2013 4:13 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In the journal Nature, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab report a new approach to generating holograms that could lead to color holographic-video displays that are much cheaper to manufacture than today’s experimental, monochromatic displays. The same technique could also increase the resolution of conventional 2-D displays.

Multiview 3-D photography made simple

June 19, 2013 7:57 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The first commercial application of computational photography is the so-called light-field camera, which can measure not only the intensity of incoming light but also its angle. However these cameras trade a good deal of resolution for that extra angle information. That is, until now.

Airborne laser reveals hidden city in Cambodia

June 19, 2013 1:08 am | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

Laser technology has uncovered a network of roadways and canals, illustrating a bustling ancient city linking Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple complex. The discovery was announced this week after the publication of a study describing how airborne laser scanning revealed a previously undocumented formally planned urban landscape integrating the 1,200-year-old temples.

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Scientists discuss new photo-taking satellite

June 19, 2013 12:52 am | by Dirk Lammers, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly 120 scientists and engineers from around the world are meeting in South Dakota this week to discuss operational and technical issues with collecting images from the Landsat 8 satellite. In February, NASA launched the satellite, which takes images of every inch of the Earth’s surface to see what happens over time, and recently handed over operational control of it to the EROS Center.

Sandia Labs hosts annual Robot Rodeo

June 19, 2013 12:46 am | News | Comments

This week, Sandia National Laboratories is hosting the seventh annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise, a challenging five-day event that draws civilian and military bomb squad teams from across the country to see who can most effectively defuse dangerous situations with the help of robots. The competition provides an opportunity to practice using robots and new technology in a low-risk, but competitive environment.

New method helps distinguish between neighboring quantum bits

June 18, 2013 10:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of New South Wales have proposed a new way to distinguish between quantum bits that are placed only a few nanometers apart in a silicon chip, taking them a step closer to the construction of a large-scale quantum computer.

China’s Tiahne-2 is the new world champ of supercomputing

June 18, 2013 9:27 am | News | Comments

Tiahne-2, or Milky Way-2, a supercomputer developed by China's National Univ. of Defense Technology, is the new No. 1 ranked machine on the industry-standard Top500 list of the world's most powerful high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

Database helps building owners, investors evaluate energy-efficient buildings

June 18, 2013 7:32 am | News | Comments

A new database of building features and energy use data helps building managers, owners, real estate investors and lenders evaluate the financial results of energy efficiency investment projects and identify high- and low-performing buildings.

Surprising turns in magnetic thin films could lead to better data storage

June 18, 2013 7:19 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A magnetic phenomenon newly discovered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers could lead to much faster, denser and more energy-efficient chips for memory and computation. The findings could reduce the energy needed to store and retrieve one bit of data by a factor of 10,000.

Google begins launching Internet-beaming balloons

June 17, 2013 2:54 pm | by Martha Mendoza and Nick Perry, Associated Press | News | Comments

Eighteen months in the works, the top-secret project was announced Saturday in New Zealand, where up to 50 volunteer households are already beginning to receive the Internet briefly on their home computers via translucent helium balloons that sail by on the wind 12 miles above Earth. Google is launching these Internet-beaming antennas into the stratosphere aboard giant, jellyfish-shaped balloons.

Working backward: Computer-aided design of zeolite templates

June 17, 2013 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Taking a page from computer-aided drug designers, Rice Univ. researchers have developed a computational method that chemists can use to tailor the properties of zeolites, one of the world’s most-used industrial minerals. The method allows chemists to work backward by first considering the type of zeolite they want to make and then creating the organic template needed to produce it.

A robot that runs like a cat

June 17, 2013 9:00 am | News | Comments

Thanks to its legs, whose design faithfully reproduces feline morphology, a Swiss research institute’s new four-legged “cheetah-cub robot” has the same advantages as its model: It is small, light and fast. Still in its experimental stage, the robot will serve as a platform for research in locomotion and biomechanics.

Can you feel me now?

June 14, 2013 7:31 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In the near future, a buzz in your belt or a pulse from your jacket may give you instructions on how to navigate your surroundings. Think of it as tactile Morse code: vibrations from a wearable, GPS-linked device that tell you to turn right or left, or stop, depending on the pattern of pulses you feel.

ZEISS announces plans to acquire Xradia

June 13, 2013 11:10 pm | News | Comments

Optics and optoelectronics manufacturer ZEISS on Thursday announced the planned acquisition of the California-based Xradia, Inc. Xradia, an R&D 100 Award-winning company, is known for its innovative 3-D x-ray microscopes for industrial and academic research applications. This marks an expansion for ZEISS from light and electron microscopy to x-ray instrumentation.

Researchers reveal next-generation emergency response technology

June 13, 2013 5:07 pm | News | Comments

Americans are accustomed to calling 9-1-1 to get help in an emergency. A research team lead by Ram Dantu of the University of North Texas sees the growth of cell phone and smartphone usage as an opportunity to improve 9-1-1 response. His team has designed several innovative smart phone apps that virtually place 9-1-1 operators at the scene of an emergency, allowing faster response.

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