May 4/11, 2005   

   Memory mimic aids reading
Human memory works by association -- when one piece of information is recalled, related information also comes to mind. Not surprisingly, text is organized in a similar way, with related words appearing near each other. Software that highlights terms related to a query takes advantage of both organizational structures.
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Chip gauges cell reactions
Biological cells react to all kinds of stimuli, often by changing size. Measuring changes in size can give scientists clues about the effects of drugs and radiation on human cells and bacteria. A prototype microfluidic device promises fast, simple diagnostics.

View from the High Ground: NYU's Nadrian Seeman
An email conversation with New York University chemistry professor Nadrian Seeman: DNA nanotechnology, nanorobotics, algorithmic self-assembly, failure, Escher, Art of the Soluble, and Osiris and Isis.


Surface tension drives nanomotor
The simple act of a large droplet absorbing a smaller one is key to a powerful nanomotor that could power all manner of microscopic machines.

Laser sniffs explosives
A laser made from a thin plastic film makes it possible to sniff out trace amounts of vapors emitted by explosives.

Nano pyramids boost fuel cells
The key to making efficient fuel cells for cars could be pyramids that measure only a few millionths of a millimeter on a side.

Noisy snapshots show quantum weirdness
Pictures of light scattering off clouds of atoms open a window into the weirdness that lies at the heart of quantum computers.

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