November 27/
December 4, 2002   

   Molecule stores picture
Using technology similar to that found in your local hospital's MRI machine, a research team has stored a 1-kilobit digital image in a single liquid crystal molecule. The achievement could eventually lead to ultra-dense, molecular data storage. First, the researchers need to find a suitable solid molecule that can be built into computer chips.
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Fast quantum crypto demoed
Using the random fluctuations in the number of photons that make up a laser beam, researchers have come up with a way to encrypt messages and send them at 250 megabits per second. The scheme allows those who have already exchanged encryption keys to use perfectly secure quantum encryption.

Software system heals itself
Your body does a good job of fixing itself. No such luck for computer systems. But what if rather than extending your wait in line, that Department of Motor Vehicles database kept humming along when hit by a virus or hacker? A prototype database system points the way to more resilient software.

Motifs distinguish networks
Styles of art, literature and music are often characterized by their recurring motifs. It turns out that types of networks can also be classified by motifs. The Internet, food chains, social networks, electronic circuits and biochemical processes all have repeating elements that distinguish them. Studying these motifs could be beneficial for a wide range of endeavors from nanotechnology to the Middle East peace process.

Oxygen makes nanotube memory
Oxygen is one of the most reactive elements. This turns out to be useful for making memory devices out of carbon nanotubes. Oxidizing bundles of nanotubes makes the metallic tubes semiconducting, and produces defects that are key to storing data.

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