October 22/29, 2003   

   Body network gains speed
Enabling a handshake paperless exchange of business cards could be just the beginning for personal area networks that use the human electric field. A prototype that zips along at ethernet speed points the way to indoor wireless networks without radio waves or infrared beams. The key to the network is a sensitive crystal.
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Queries guide Web crawlers
Search engines approach the problem of sorting out the vast amount of information on the Internet by casting their nets as widely as they can, then sifting through the catch. An algorithm that analyzes what people are looking for could point search engines toward more relevant pages.

Nanowires make flexible circuits
Nanowires might one day be used to make microscopic machines. But before then they could help liberate computer circuits from the rigid, expensive confines of silicon chips. A process that makes thin films from semiconductor nanowires improves the prospects for plastic electronics and electronic paper.

DNA forms nano waffles
A method for stitching together strands of DNA yields microscopic waffled sheets and ribbons. The nanostructures make handy building materials that could help bridge the huge technological chasm between the realm of molecules and the merely microscopic.

Fiber handles powerful pulses... Process prints nanoparticles... Single electrons perform logic... Embedded rotors mix fluids... Nanowires boost plastic circuits... Chip mixes droplets faster.

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