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Making textiles permanently germ-free

July 6, 2011 4:55 am | News | Comments

A University of Georgia researcher has invented a new technology that can inexpensively render medical linens and clothing, face masks, paper towels—and yes, even diapers, intimate apparel, and athletic wear, including smelly socks—permanently germ-free.

Using imprint processing to mass-produce tiny antennas

July 6, 2011 4:29 am | News | Comments

Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have found a way to mass-produce antennas so small that they approach the fundamental minimum size limit for their bandwidth, or data rate, of operation.

Termites' digestive system could act as biofuel refinery

July 6, 2011 4:12 am | by Brian Wallheimer | News | Comments

One of the peskiest household pests, while disastrous to homes, could prove to be a boon for cars, according to a Purdue University study.

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A new way to build nanostructures

July 6, 2011 3:58 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The making of 3D nanostructured materials has become a fertile area of research, producing materials that are useful for electronics, photonics, phononics, and biomedical devices. But the methods of making such materials have been limited in the 3D complexity they can produce. Now, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team has found a way to produce more complicated structures by using a blend of current "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches.

New laser technology could kill viruses, improve DVDs

July 5, 2011 11:39 am | News | Comments

A team led by a professor at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering has made a discovery in semiconductor nanowire laser technology that could potentially do everything from kill viruses to increase storage capacity of DVDs.

Hot springs microbe yields heat-tolerant enzyme

July 5, 2011 9:28 am | News | Comments

Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that happily eats plant material—cellulose—at temperatures near the boiling point of water.

Laser, electric fields combined for new lab-on-chip technologies

July 5, 2011 8:20 am | by Emil Venere | News | Comments

Researchers are developing new technologies that combine laser and electric fields to manipulate fluids and tiny particles such as bacteria, viruses, and DNA for a range of potential applications, from drug manufacturing to food safety.

Pushing the boundary with high carbon emission scenarios

July 5, 2011 5:01 am | News | Comments

US and Swiss researchers have, for the first time, modeled a climate system with extremely high carbon emissions in an attempt to test the boundaries of the current computer simulation programs that inform us.

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Breaking Kasha's rule

July 5, 2011 4:42 am | by Lynn Yarris | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers created tetrapod molecules of semiconductor nanocrystals and watched them break a fundamental principle of photoluminescence known as "Kasha’s rule." The discovery holds promise for multicolor light emission technologies, including LEDs.

Preventing midair collisions

July 5, 2011 4:13 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated that by 2020, all commercial aircraft must be equipped with a new tracking system that broadcasts GPS data, providing more accurate location information than ground-based radar. In anticipation of the deadline, the FAA has also charged Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers with leading an investigation of the system’s limits and capacities.

Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency

July 1, 2011 7:46 am | News | Comments

Future computers may rely on magnetic microprocessors that consume the least amount of energy allowed by the laws of physics, according to an analysis by University of California, Berkeley, electrical engineers.

Radar for the human eye

July 1, 2011 5:41 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. But the standard test to detect the cloudy patches in the eye's lens requires a $5,000 piece of equipment called a slit lamp, and a trained physician to interpret its results. Now a team of MIT researchers has developed a simple device that can clip onto an ordinary smartphone (or smart device such as an iPod) and provide a diagnosis of cataracts within a few minutes.

Printable nanotech solar cells developed

July 1, 2011 5:25 am | News | Comments

Australian researchers have invented nanotech solar cells that are thin, flexible, and use one hundredth the materials of conventional solar cells.

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LLNL opens HPC Innovation Center

July 1, 2011 4:11 am | News | Comments

In an initiative that aims to boost the nation's economic competitiveness, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced the opening of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC). The innovation center will facilitate national lab/industry collaboration, applying high performance computing to product design, development, and manufacturing; data management; and the operation of complex energy and communication systems.

Getting a glimpse of adolescent universe from instrument-on-a-chip

June 30, 2011 1:02 pm | News | Comments

Scientists know what the universe looked like when it was a baby. They know what it looks like today. What they don't know is how it looked in its youth. Thanks to technological advances, however, scientists hope to complete the photo album and provide a picture of how the cosmos developed into the kind of place that could support life like that found on Earth. They plan to gather these never-before-obtained insights with a potentially "game-changing" instrument that is expected to be 10,000 times more sensitive than the current state-of-the-art.

Change in material boosts prospects of ultrafast single-photon detector

June 30, 2011 12:47 pm | News | Comments

By swapping one superconducting material for another, researchers at NIST have found a practical way to boost the efficiency of the world's fastest single-photon detector, while also extending light sensitivity to longer wavelengths. The new tungsten-silicon alloy could make the ultrafast detectors more practical for use in quantum communications and computing systems, experiments testing the nature of reality, and emerging applications such as remote sensing.

'Zombie' stars key to measuring dark energy

June 30, 2011 10:06 am | News | Comments

"Zombie" stars that explode like bombs as they die, only to revive by sucking matter out of other stars. According to an astrophysicist at UC Santa Barbara, this isn't the plot for the latest 3D blockbuster movie. Instead, it's something that happens every day in the universe—something that can be used to measure dark energy.

Squeezed light from single atoms

June 30, 2011 9:48 am | News | Comments

A team from the Max Planck Institute has observed that the light emitted by a single atom may exhibit much richer dynamics than classical optics light. Strongly interacting with light inside a cavity, the atom modifies the wave-like properties of the light field, reducing its amplitude or phase fluctuations below the level allowed for classical electromagnetic radiation. This is the very first observation of "squeezed" light produced by a single atom.

Metal particle generates new hope for hydrogen energy

June 30, 2011 8:21 am | News | Comments

Tiny metallic particles produced by Univ. of Adelaide chemistry researchers are bringing new hope for the production of cheap, efficient, and clean hydrogen energy. The researchers are now exploring how the metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Tug-of-war between electrons can lead to strange magnetism

June 30, 2011 4:58 am | News | Comments

At the smallest scales, magnetism may not work quite the way scientists expected, according to a recent paper in Physical Review Letters by Rafal Oszwaldowski and Igor Zutic of the Univ. at Buffalo and Andre Petukhov of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The three physicists have proposed that it would be possible to create a quantum dot that is magnetic under surprising circumstances.

Argonne electrifies energy storage research

June 30, 2011 4:18 am | News | Comments

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory is working to develop advanced energy storage technologies to aid the growth of a nascent U.S. battery manufacturing industry, help transition the U.S. automotive fleet to one dominated by plug-in hybrid and electric passenger vehicles, and enable greater use of renewable energy technologies.

The future of chip manufacturing

June 30, 2011 3:56 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

MIT researchers show how to make e-beam lithography, commonly used to prototype computer chips, more practical as a mass-production technique.

'Odd couple' binary makes dual gamma-ray flares

June 29, 2011 11:01 am | News | Comments

In December 2010, a pair of mismatched stars in the southern constellation Crux whisked past each other at a distance closer than Venus orbits the sun. The system possesses a so-far unique blend of a hot and massive star with a compact fast-spinning pulsar. The pair's closest encounters occur every 3.4 years and each is marked by a sharp increase in gamma rays. The unique combination of stars, the long wait between close approaches, and periods of intense gamma-ray emission make this system irresistible to astrophysicists.

Researchers look for ingredients of happiness around the world

June 29, 2011 10:37 am | News | Comments

In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed that all humans seek to fulfill a hierarchy of needs, which he represented with a pyramid. In a new study, researchers at the Univ. of Illinois put Maslow's ideas to the test with data from 123 countries representing every major region of the world.

Ovarian cancer genome mapped

June 29, 2011 10:14 am | News | Comments

Scientists have developed the first comprehensive catalog of the genetic aberrations responsible for an aggressive type of ovarian cancer that accounts for 70% of all ovarian cancer deaths. Hundreds of researchers from more than 80 institutions deciphered the genome structure and gene expression patterns in high-grade serous ovarian adenocarcinomas from almost 500 patients. The result is the most expansive genomic analysis of any cancer to date and a major step toward the personalized treatment of ovarian cancer.

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