March 7, 2001   

   Neuron-chip link advances
While it doesn't herald a coming age of cyborgs, a feedback loop engineered between a nerve cell and a computer chip does point the way to monitoring drugs in the brain, tying prosthetic limbs and organs into the nervous system, and maybe even surgically implanting computer input devices.
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Electricity moves fluids
Taking literally the idea that a good jolt can get the juices flowing, a team of researchers has developed a system for controlling the movement of fluids in a network of tiny channels.

Quantum effect makes fast connections
Make electronics small enough, and quantum weirdness kicks in. The fact that we can't know for sure where electrons are could be the basis for ultrafast circuits.

Chain reaction yields microscopic wires
Apply electric charges to an exceedingly thin film of organic material and tiny wires spring into existence. The technique could one day produce cheap computer chips with circuits more than two orders of magnitude smaller than today's.

Noise can bring quiet surprise
Sometimes the best way to quiet things down is to make some noise.

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