August 25/
September 1, 2004   

   Selective shutdown protects nets
Power grids are notoriously vulnerable to cascade failures, which occur when a single event creates a wave of disruption that spreads through a large portion of the network. The Internet and other complex networks are similarly vulnerable. A study shows that an effective defense is to knock out more nodes immediately after an initial failure. The key is picking the right nodes.
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Tools design DNA-nanotube logic
Laying out the millions of transistors that make up a computer chip is a difficult job that requires sophisticated software. Future nanotechnology-based computer architectures will be no less complicated. One research team is getting a jump on the problem by developing a suite of design tools for building computer chips made from carbon nanotubes and assembled by DNA.

Five photons linked
Quantum computing relies on the weird phenomenon of entanglement, which links traits of particles like photons and electrons regardless of the physical distance between the particles. A photon experiment sets the record with five entangled particles. Five-photon entanglement enables a quantum correction code critical to making quantum computers practical. The researchers also used the five entangled photons to carry out a new type of quantum teleportation.

Liquid crystal IDs pathogens
Liquid crystal is not only the stuff of computer screens and watch displays, it is also how your cell membranes are structured. Combining the similarly structured artificial and biological materials makes a device that detects viruses and toxins. One prototype makes colorful patterns in the presence of harmful substances and works without a power source.

Photosynthesis drives solar cell... Hybrid nanowire makes transistor... Nanocrystals spark efficient LEDs... Nanotubes make fluid filter... DNA copier uses little power... Method makes stronger steel.

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