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February 2011

Research Watch Blog

EMFs and biochemistry
February 23, 2011
Evidence is accumulating that electromagnetic fields induce biochemical changes. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that cellphone EMFs temporarily boost brain cell metabolism...

Nanotech: for good and ill
February 22, 2011
A pair of research papers shows nanotechnology's Jekyll and Hyde nature.

Has quantum biology's time come?
January 28, 2011
The idea that quantum processes, particularly entanglement, could play a role in consciousness has intrigued physicists, philosophers and New Age dreamers for decades. But the improbability of fragile quantum states surviving in living beings...

As the worm turns — on demand
January 24, 2011
We’ve seen remote control rats and remote control cockroaches...

Papers of Note

Looks like nature picked a good one when she came up with the onion. Fill an onion-like nanoparticle with the right protein, fuse the nanolayers to each other, and you have a vaccine that’s safer than live viruses and more effective than synthetic vaccines.
Interbilayer-crosslinked multilamellar vesicles as synthetic vaccines for potent humoral and cellular immune responses, Nature Materials

Structure networks like an onion, with a tightly connected core and concentric outer layers, and you can make them more secure against attacks.
Onion-like network topology enhances robustness against malicious attacks, Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment

Stories Elsewhere

Nanotubes protect brain tissue from stroke damage, Chemistry World
(Source: Nature Nanotechnology paper Amine-modified single-walled carbon nanotubes protect neurons from injury in a rat stroke model)

A Dazzling Show Inside a Laser, but a Vacuum of Light Outside, New York Times
Beam Bagged: "Reverse Laser" Functions as Near-Perfect Light Absorber, Scientific American
Physicists Build World’s First Antilaser, Wired
(Source: Science paper Time-Reversed Lasing and Interferometric Control of Absorption)

The First Full-Color Display with Quantum Dots, Technology Review
Connect the Quantum Dots for a Full-Color Image, Nature News
(Source: Nature Photonics paper Full-colour quantum dot displays fabricated by transfer printing)

The Smallest Computing Systems Yet, Technology Review
Molybdenite transistor is a first,
Scaled-Down Success: Programmable Logic Tiles Could Form Basis of Nanoprocessors, Scientific American
Harvard Team Makes Programmable Logic from Nanowires, IEEE Spectrum
(Source: Nature paper Programmable nanowire circuits for nanoprocessors)

Atom-Thick Material Shows Electronic Promise, Technology Review
New material for semis said to beat silicon, EE Times
(Source: Nature Nanotechnology paper Single-layer MoS2 transistors)


Nano cancer drugs move to the next level: humans
A growing number of cancer therapies packaged in infinitesimal particles are making their way to patients.

Can nanotech beat cancer?
Cancer will always be with us in some form, but the fear and devastation it causes could be history within a generation. We'll have the tiniest of things to thank for it.

View from the High Ground
Email conversations with researchers in high places.

How It Works
Get the nitty-gritty on nanotechnology, biochips, self-assembly, DNA technologies, quantum cryptography, and more.

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"In most areas of science and technology, the origins of new breakthroughs can still be found in the work of a small number of people -- or even a single person -- working at their own pace on their own questions, pursuing things that interest them. "
- Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

"Funding, of course, enables discoveries but does not guarantee they will occur. Lack of funding can almost certainly guarantee that discoveries will not be made."
- Ronald Arkin, Georgia Institute of Technology

"Physics is to the rest of science what machine tools are to engineering. A corollary is that science places power in our hands which can be used for good or ill. Technology has been abused in this way throughout the ages from gunpowder to atomic bombs."
- John Pendry, Imperial College London

Thanks to Kevin from
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