April 9/16, 2003   

   Painted LEDs make screen
Spread it on a surface, shine tiny spots of ultraviolet light on it, and voila, a certain type of plastic turns into a full-color, high-resolution, flexible flat screen display. The simple process could make computer screens much cheaper.
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Infrared headset nixes radiation
Many cell-phone users have taken to using hands-free headsets to avoid the microwave radiation the devices emit, but the electrical wires that connect the headsets to the phones can also act as antennas for microwaves. A headset that connects a cell phone via infrared light waves sidesteps the radiation problem.

Fiber loop makes quantum memory
Trapping light in a fiber-optic loop seems like an obvious way to store photons for optical quantum computing, but preserving a stored photon's fragile quantum information is challenging. One device works, albeit briefly, by splitting the photon.

Glowing beads make tiny bar codes
Microscopic glass beads with stripes that glow different colors are the latest entrants in the field of micro barcodes, which can be used to tag ink, document fibers, and biological materials like DNA. The beads even glow at wavelengths that don't interfere with DNA experiments.

News briefs
Alcohol powers fuel cell... Sandwich promises cheap storage... Liquid crystals go 3D... Nanoscale rubber hoses debut... Biochip moves liquids with heat... Twisted nanotubes have spring.

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