is particularly useful for sensing pathogens
like those used in biological weapons. The
trick to making sensors that can be used in
the field is integrating DNA with electronics.
It turns out that diamond is accommodating
to both. Sticking strands of DNA to a thin
film of diamond makes for sensors prepared
to withstand the rigors of the real world.
Material soaks up the sun
The semiconductor indium nitride got a raw deal
a few decades back when it was misclassified as
a mediocre photovoltaic. It turns out the stuff
could be a champ at changing sunlight into electricity.
If all goes according to plan, indium nitride will
make for more efficient solar cells.
links quantum bits
Realizing the potential of phenomenally fast quantum
computers means having to link thousands of quantum
bits, which are the transistors of computers that
carry out logic operations using attributes of atoms
and subatomic particles. So far researchers have
been able to connect only a few. A scheme for linking
many tiny superconducting loops may pull it all
mix strengthens magnet
Magnets are usually an either-or proposition. They
either generate a strong magnetic field or they
hold up well in the presence of external magnetic
fields. A method that mixes the two types of magnets
at the nanoscale could pave the way for smaller
electric motors and generators.
pulses could speed memory
Like a good double-play combo in baseball, laser-to-electric-to-magnetic
could be the key to fast magnetic memory chips:
a pair of staggered, ultrafast laser pulses generates
an electric field in a piece of semiconductor that,
in turn, produces a square magnetic pulse. The square
pulse hits a magnetic bit all at once, allowing
the bit to store information very quickly.