Jun 232016
 

South Korean scientists from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology appear to have cleared the largest obstacle to the feasibility of building brain-like computers: power consumption. In their paper “Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption,” published in the June 17th edition of Science Advances, the researchers describe how they use organic nanowire (ONW) to build synaptic transistors (STs) whose power consumption is almost one-tenth of the real thing.

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Jan 182006
 

FedEx Institute of TechnologyThe FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis announced today that they will be launching a new robotics research center focused on developing robot technology with everyday uses. The new research center, the first since the FedEx Institute opened in 2003, will be initially funded by FedEx Corporation with corporate and government sponsorships to hopefully follow. The center will be home to students, researchers, and faculty and will host public events in addition to the research and academic work.

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Nov 022005
 

NewScientist.com has a brief article today about the work done by Nicholas Kotov at the University of Michigan in developing a nanoscale spring thermometer. Traditional spring thermometers, also known as bimetal thermometers, consist of two thin metallic layers, usually iron and copper joined together to make a strip that is often formed into a coil. Because the two metals have different constants of expansion, the coil will expand if heated and contract when cooled. The change can measured and calibrated allowing the coil to act as a thermometer. Unfortunately these types of thermometers are notoriously insensitive, sometimes exhibiting errors of up to ±10 °C. Kotov’s nanoscale version functions in much the same way but is accurate to ±3 °C over the range of 20 – 80 °C.

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Oct 282005
 

Richard SmalleyNobel prize winner Richard Smalley, co-discoverer of fullerene and one of the most prominent and well-respected nanotechnology researchers in the world, passed away today after a six year battle with cancer. He was 62 years old.

Dr. Smalley shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of buckminsterfullerene with Robert Curl, another Rice University chemist, and British chemist Sir Harold Kroto. Named in honor of Richard Buckminster Fuller, fullerene is a molecule made up entirely of atoms of carbon that can be in the shape of a sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. The spherical molecules are often called buckyballs while the tubes are known as buckytubes. This discovery jump started the the field of nanotechnology and still remains one of the most influential discoveries in the discipline.

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Oct 282005
 
UC Riverside 9,10-dithioanthracene Walker

Credit: L. Bartels

Only last week we learned about a nanoscale car developed by researchers at Rice University. Today BoingBoing points us to this news release from the University of California at Riverside about a molecule that scientists there have developed that can move in a straight line in a manner that mimics human walking. The research team, led by Ludwig Bartels, believe this discovery will help clear a significant hurdle towards the development of molecular memory that could be 1000 times more compact than that found in current storage devices.

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Oct 262005
 

CNET News.com published an article today about NaturalNano, a New York nanotech company that has taken the unique approach of using clay as a carrier in it’s nanotube applications. Halloysite is a naturally occurring clay mineral made up of primarily aluminum, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Historically used for making porcelain, bone and fine china, researchers in the 50’s discovered it’s particles were tube shaped which is why NaturalNano is focusing on it as a relatively cheap yet effective alternative to synthetic, carbon nanotubes.

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Oct 222005
 
Nanocar

Y. Shira/Rice University

LiveScience.com is reporting that scientists at Rice University have invented the world’s smallest car. At a mere 4 nanometers wide, the car is able to roll on its buckyball wheels. While other teams have been able to make vehicle-shaped nano machines, this car is the first to actually roll versus sliding along the surface as was proved using STM analysis. The next goal for scientists is to build nano trucks able to carry molecules around in mini factories.

Read the full article here: “The World’s Smallest Car.”

Oct 032005
 

LiveScience.com has published an article regarding the research work done by Joseph Jacobson of the Molecular Machines group at MIT in developing minature robots that mimic the way living cells replicate DNA.

In order for a cell to replicate it’s DNA, enzymes known as polymerases in the nucleus read the structure of the DNA and assemble nucleotides, the basic building block of DNA floating in the nucleoplasm, in the correct order to match the original. In addition to being self-assembling, many DNA polymerases are self-correcting: able to excise incorrect sequences of nucleotides and continue building the chain in the correct order.

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Sep 292005
 
Ray Kurzweil

Futurist Ray Kurzweil

CNET posted an interview with one of my favorite authors, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil to promote his new book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.” Kurzweil, whose previous books include “The Age of Intelligent Machines” and “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” predicts that we will reach the Singularity, a time when changes to ourselves and our environment due to advances in computing, AI, nanotechnology, and biology will exceed the ability for pre-Singularity humans to understand or even predict, by 2045. This belief is rooted in his now famous 2001 essay, The Law of Accelerating Returns, in which he generalizes Moore’s law to include technologies outside of the integrated circuits that Moore’s law covers.

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