A research team has shown that some recently developed bulk metallic glasses (BMGs)—metal alloys that have randomly arranged atoms as opposed to the orderly, crystalline structure found in ordinary metals—can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can't be achieved using regular metal, yet without sacrificing the strength or durability that metal affords.
Benjamin Clough, a doctoral student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has developed a novel method for eavesdropping on terahertz information hidden in invisible plasma acoustic bursts. He has demonstrated a promising technique that employs sound waves to boost the distance from which researchers can use powerful terahertz technology to remotely detect hidden explosives, chemicals, and other dangerous materials.
New York Univ. physicists have developed a method for packing microscopic spheres that could lead to improvements in commercial products ranging from pharmaceutical lotions to ice cream.
It’s not quite Jurassic Park, but who wants Paleozoic scorpions scurrying around anyway? Scientists used a powerful microscope at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to detect remnants of protein and chitin in the exoskeleton of a 417-million-year-old fossil of an extinct mega-scorpion, a discovery that is several hundred million years older than previously thought possible.
Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing a solid composite material to help cool small, powerful microelectronics used in defense systems. The material, composed of silver and diamond, promises an exceptional degree of thermal conductivity compared to materials currently used for this application.
By mimicking the structure of the silk moth's antenna, Univ. of Michigan researchers led the development of a better nanopore—a tiny tunnel-shaped tool that could advance understanding of a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer's.
Over the week, the R&D Daily has been highlighting MIT's Project Angstrom, an ambitious initiative to create tomorrow’s computing systems from the ground up by developing new hardware, a new operating system, and sophisticated programming language to take advantage of multicore chips. MIT's Larry Hardesty, in the last part of this series, discusses how programmers will need software development systems that will let multicore chips express themselves in fundamentally new ways.
A technique designed by a Univ. of Michigan-led team aims to make computer-aided tissue analysis better, faster, and simpler.
Researchers at North Carolina State Univ. have developed a cheap and easy method for assembling nanowires, controlling their alignment and density. The researchers hope the findings will foster additional research into a range of device applications using nanowires, from nanoelectronics to nanosensors, especially on unconventional substrates such as rubber, plastic, and paper.
Recently, Rhode Island-sized chunks of ice have separated from Greenland and Antarctica, garnering worldwide attention. And, although ice sheet models are already used, the models are not easily adapted for use in global climate models. To help with this issue, the Scalable, Efficient, and Accurate Community Ice Sheet Model project began on Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is teaming up with Willow Garage, a Silicon Valley robotics research and design firm, to launch an international “perception challenge” to drive improvements in sensing and perception technologies for next-generation robots.
An Austrian research group led by physicist Rainer Blatt suggests a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennae, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers.
A team of scientists has developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide. The new class of optical fiber, which allows for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light, promises to open the door to more versatile laser-radar technology.
Today's consumers expect mobile devices that are increasingly small, yet ever-more powerful. They want all the bells and whistles, however, these technologies suck up energy. To promote energy-efficient multitasking, a Harvard Univ. grad student has developed and demonstrated a new device with the potential to reduce the power usage of modern processing chips.
Ormia ochracea is a small parasitic fly best known for its strong sense of directional hearing. A female fly tracks a male cricket by its chirps and then deposits her eggs on the unfortunate host. The larvae subsequently eat the cricket. Though it doesn't work out well for male crickets, such acute hearing in a tiny body has inspired a Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison researcher as he studies new designs for very small, powerful antennas.
Over the week, the R&D Daily has been highlighting MIT's Project Angstrom, an ambitious initiative to create tomorrow’s computing systems from the ground up by developing new hardware and a new operating system to take advantage of multicore chips. MIT's Larry Hardesty continues discussing the development of new algorithms. Today, efforts to adapt Fourier transforms for everyday computing use are described.
The new tagline could be: this microbe's for you. Cornell scientists took regular samples of bioreactor sludge from nine Budweiser brewing facilities over the course of a year and, using genome sequencing software, they analyzed gene sequences of the microbes in the sludge. Budweiser already harnesses these microbes for methane; researchers hope to re-purpose them for other fuels.
New findings by a Univ. of Maryland-led team of scientists indicate that a genetically engineered fungus carrying genes for a human anti-malarial antibody or a scorpion anti-malarial toxin could be a highly effective, specific and environmentally friendly tool for combating malaria, at a time when the effectiveness of current pesticides against malaria mosquitoes is declining.
A new article written by a fellow at Rice Univ.’s Baker Institute for Public Policy calls on the intelligence community to jointly create a policy on cybersecurity and determine the degree to which the U.S. should protect intellectual property and national infrastructure of other nations.
A research team led by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has developed a powerful method that allows them to sift through thousands of candidate hairpin-shaped RNA molecules at a time and pull out only those RNAs that potently shut down the activity of a target gene.
Conversion of biomass to fuel requires several steps: chemical pretreatment to break up the biomass, such as with dilute sulfuric acid; detoxification to remove the toxic chemicals; then microbial fermentation to convert the soluble sugars to fuels. Virginia Tech researchers have discovered an enzyme mixture that works in the presence of the toxin-infused liquid biomass, meaning that the detoxification step is unnecessary.
Like snowflakes or fingerprints, no two quantum dots are identical. But a new etching method for shaping and positioning these semiconductor nanocrystals might change that. What's more, tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) confirm that etched quantum dots emit single particles of light (photons), boosting prospects for powering new types of devices for quantum communications.
Using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar, a team is developing a nanopore approach, which promises a drastic reduction in time and costs for DNA sequencing. Their research reveals the shape of DNA moving through a single nanopore. As the DNA passes through the pore, the sequence of nucleotides is read by a detector.
At its most fundamental, computer science is about the search for better algorithms. But most new algorithms are designed to run on serial computers, which process instructions one after another. Retooling them to run on parallel processors is rarely simple.
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Univ. of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have identified hyperactive cells in a tiny brain structure that may play an important role in depression. The study, conducted in rats, is helping to reveal a cellular mechanism for depressive disorders that could lead to new, effective treatments.