March 27, 2006


Foundry in a fiber
A method for chemically assembling nanoscale metal and semiconductor wires, tubes and circuits inside hollow optical fibers promises a simple route to making long nanodevices and devices that combine light and electricity. The technique could be used to make chemical and light sensors and new types of lasers. (Microstructured Optical Fibers as High-Pressure Microfluidic Reactors, Science, March 17, 2006)

Fuel cell muscles
A pair of artificial muscles made from carbon nanotubes also work as fuel cells that generate their own power from hydrogen or methanol. The fuel-based artificial muscles could be used to drive robots and micro machines sans batteries. (Fuel-Powered Artificial Muscles, Science, March 17, 2006)

Nanotube circuit
A single carbon nanotube forms the backbone of an integrated logic circuit of 12 transistors. The work shows that carbon nanotubes could complement or eventually replace today's silicon circuitry. (An Integrated Logic Circuit Assembled on a Single Carbon Nanotube, Science, March 24, 2006)

Double-barreled cancer treatment
A combination of two anti-cancer treatments -- a virus that kills cancer cells and a type of immune system cell -- proved effective at targeting cancer tumors in mice while leaving surrounding tissue largely unaffected. The virus hitches a ride on an immune system cell that homes in on cancer tumors, and both virus and cell attack the cancer. (Synergistic Antitumor Effects of Immune Cell-Viral Biotherapy, Science, March 24 2006)

Molecular pedal power
A molecule uses light-driven pedals to twists an attached rotor molecule, a step forward for molecular machines. Connecting multiple molecular devices in this way could provide control mechanisms for smart materials, smart drugs and nanomechanical devices. (Mechanical twisting of a guest by a photoresponsive host, Nature, March 23, 2006)

Faster plastic electronics
A semiconductor plastic whose molecules are closely aligned conducts electricity almost as well as the amorphous silicon circuitry used in some flat screen displays. Efficient plastic electronics promise cheap, flexible devices like electronic paper and radiofrequency identification tags. (Liquid-crystalline semiconducting polymers with high charge-carrier mobility, Nature Materials, April 2006)


View from the High Ground: Cornell's Jon Kleinberg
Six degrees of separation, buying gasoline by the molecule, the science of popularity, all just getting along online, intellectual prosthetics, Big Science, making up questions, and telling stories.

How It Works: Quantum computing: qubits
Photons, electrons and atoms, oh my! These particles are the raw materials for qubits, the basic building blocks of quantum computers.

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March 16, 2006
DNA nanotech made easy
Scientists have produced two-dimensional patterns from DNA for several years, but the process is complicated and the yields are often low. A researcher from the California Institute of Technology has found a simple way to arrange DNA into just about any pattern that can be formed from 200 dots

March 12, 2006
Loneliness trumps exercise

February 24, 2006
In hot water

February 16, 2006
Don't think about it

"In most areas of science and technology, the origins of new breakthroughs can still be found in the work of a small number of people -- or even a single person -- working at their own pace on their own questions, pursuing things that interest them. "
- Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

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