October 10, 2001   

   Tiny tubes construct logic
Carbon nanotubes aren't likely to replace silicon in computer chips anytime soon, but logic circuits fashioned out of the single-molecule tubes are a step toward giving microscopic machines a little brainpower. They could also lead to better biological and chemical sensors.
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Mobile radios make intranet
Making your refrigerator an Internet node is a piece of cake compared to turning a bunch of handheld radios into a data network. Such mobile radio networks could keep firefighters and soldiers online in the field.

Quantum code splits secrets
Write a message on a piece of paper, tear it in two and give the pieces to a couple of friends. Neither can read the message until they come together. A quantum mechanical twist on this idea of secret sharing could strengthen more sophisticated versions of the scheme.

Computer tells convincing story
We're happy to have computers do a lot of mundane chores for us, but we get a little uneasy when some of them start beating chess grandmasters. How will it make us feel to have computers write our children's bedtime stories?

Virtual beings boost evolutionary theory
A computer model shows that he who reproduces fastest doesn't always help his team win the game of evolution. The key is how fast the organisms mutate. Better strategies for making software that evolves could be one consequence.

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