September 22/29, 2004   

   Fuel cell converts waste to power
Fuel cells are a promising technology for generating cheap, relatively clean energy. One problem is that fuel cells produce carbon monoxide, which can gum up the works. This is usually dealt with in a step that uses relatively expensive heating and cooling equipment. A room-temperature method for cleaning up the waste product also contributes to energy production.
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Bank transfer demos quantum crypto
As quantum cryptography nears practical application, researchers are working on the next generation of the technology, which includes the weird quantum phenomenon of entanglement. A bank transfer demonstration in Vienna shows that entangled photons can withstand the rigors of the real world.

Agent model yields leadership
Developing teams of robots or software agents that have efficient collective behavior is an emerging field of research. One avenue involves letting agents receive advice from their acquaintances. A simulation shows that when agents have limited knowledge, the process of seeking advice causes a small minority of leaders to emerge.

Flexible sensors make robot skin
The combination of a rubber sheet, embedded graphite particles and an array of organic transistors makes for an artificial pressure-sensitive skin. The flexible sensor array could enable floors that detect when someone has fallen, car seats that monitor drivers' conditions, and robots that safely interact with people.

Microscope etches ultrathin lines... Nanowire makes standup transistor... Plastics ease nanotube circuits... Virus forms nano template... Photo molecules flip current... Nanotubes on cloth fire electrons

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