February 27, 2002   

   Handheld DNA detector near
A technique for coaxing strands of DNA to build tiny wires is at the heart of a DNA detector that could lead to handheld devices capable of identifying thousands of microbes. The DNA detector, which could be available in a few years, would give health care workers a tool for quickly identifying the nasty bugs from food poisonings and bioterrorism.
Full story
Microscopic antenna unzips DNA
Stick a vanishingly small speck of metal on a single DNA molecule, hit it with radio waves and the DNA molecule will unzip, ready for action.

Cheaper LED shines the right light
Extending fiber-optic networks to individual homes will get the Internet up to hype speed. The problem is figuring out how to do so affordably. A hybrid plastic-crystal LED could be the answer.

X-rays light 3-D microscope
Bouncing x-rays off of metals and semiconductors gives you a picture of how the materials' atoms line up. A 3-D version that goes more than skin deep could result in safer airplanes and cheaper computer chips.

Nanotubes pack power
Slicing the ends off of single-walled carbon nanotubes could lead to better batteries.

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