April 10, 2006


Virus-built batteries

A thin film assembled by viruses contains gold-cobalt oxide nanowires that can serve as electrodes for lithium ion batteries. The technique could lead to thin, flexible batteries for powering flexible electronic devices like electronic paper. (Virus-Enabled Synthesis and Assembly of Nanowires for Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes, Science, published online April 6, 2006)

Micro plastic assembly line

A technique for making minuscule plastic objects uses flashes of light to pattern and harden liquid plastic flowing through tiny channels. The technique could be used to quickly and inexpensively make photonic chips, micromechanical devices and biocompatible particles for drug delivery and disease diagnosis. (Continuous Flow Lithography for High-Throughput Microparticle Synthesis, Nature Materials, published online April 9, 2006)

Thumbnail document browser

A method for navigating documents fills the screen with thumbnails of every page, magnifies the thumbnail below the cursor and highlights the thumbnail of the most recently viewed page. The technique is faster and easier to use than scrolling. (Faster Document Navigation with Space-Filling Thumbnails, Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2006, April 22-28, Montréal, Canada)

All hands on desk

A hand gesture interface for a tabletop display taps group cooperation to carry out commands like clearing the screen and sizing images. (Cooperative Gestures: Multi-User Gestural Interactions for Co-located Groupware, Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2006, April 22-28, Montréal, Canada)

Liquid silicon

A liquid chemical process for making transistors from the polycrystalline form of silicon opens the way for inkjet printing of high-speed circuitry. The technique could hasten the arrival of flexible electronic devices like large-area displays. (Solution-Processed Silicon Films and Transistors, Nature, April 6, 2006)

Blood typing biochip

A disposable plastic biochip determines blood type within three minutes. The device promises to speed and simplify the process of matching donors and recipients. (Disposable Integrated Microfluidic Biochip for Blood Typing by Plastic Microinjection Molding, Lab on a Chip, published online April 4, 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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