April 23/30, 2003   

   Nanocomputer skips clock
Harnessing nanotechnology to build computer chips could lead to ultrafast, ultracheap, low-power computers. But today's chip designs don't translate well to the molecular scale. One proposal calls for throwing out the clock.
Full story
DNA motor keeps cranking
Researchers have been making DNA perform all sorts of shape-changing tricks in recent years, but the need to add pieces of DNA at every step has made it a bit of a stretch to call these molecules motors. A method that keeps the process humming changes things.

Software sorts tunes
Efforts to get computers to categorize music usually involve researchers telling the computers what to listen for. A system that compares music files without any help from humans plays off subtle clues we may not notice. The method could be tapped to determine music authorship, and could even be used in disciplines like art history and forensics.

Silver bits channel nano light
Lightwaves can only be focused down to a certain length; nanotech devices are considerably smaller. Light is so useful for measuring matter and transmitting information, however, that researchers are looking for ways to sidestep the limit in order to shine light at the nanoscale. A path of minuscule silver rods points the way.

News briefs
Tiny drug capsules shine... Degree of difference sorts data... Casting yields non-carbon nanotubes... Material makes backwards lens... Juiced liquid jolts metal into shapes... Nanotube web could mimic brain.

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