Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Research

A high purity titanium bar (Photo: Heinrich Pniok)

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) have been selected by ARPA-E, the US government's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, to carry out a one year project aimed at developing a low cost method to obtain titanium metal from its ore. It is thought that the process could lower the cost of the metal by up to 60 percent.  Read More

Stanford EE graduate student Max Schulaker holds a silicon wafer on which have been grown ...

In a technological tour de force, researchers at Stanford University have constructed a one-bit, one-instruction programmable computer on a chip using carbon nanotube-based electronics for all logic elements. Containing 178 carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, the computer is only able to carry out only one instruction, called SUBNEG. However, SUBNEG is Turing-complete, allowing the computer to run, albeit with an extraordinary level of inefficiency, any program, given enough memory, time, and programming ingenuity.  Read More

A new lithographic method has been used to build highly nonlinear optical materials (Photo...

Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Seoul National University have developed a new lithographic method with the help of a very low-tech tool: Scotch Magic tape. This new method, which promises to enhance our ability to fabricate nanostructures, has been used to build highly nonlinear optical materials consisting of sheets of 25 micron (0.001 in) metal blocks separated by nanometer-wide insulating channels. As light squeezes through these channels, incompletely understood plasmonic effects enable novel optical behavior.  Read More

Do 'plasmonic nanostructures' hold the key to next-generation solar power?  (Photo: Shutte...

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to harvest energy from sunlight more efficiently, with the help of so-called plasmonic nanostructures. The new findings suggest that plasmonic components can enhance and direct optical scattering, creating a mechanism that is more efficient than the photoexcitation that drives solar cells. The development could therefore provide a real boost to solar cell efficiency and lead to faster optical communication.  Read More

Stanford scientists have used DNA molecules to assemble high-performance graphene transist...

A team of Stanford researchers has found a way to grow graphene nanoribbons using strands of DNA. This important development could be the key to large-scale production of graphene-based transistors that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster and less power-hungry than current silicon technology.  Read More

Students of the Biodesign program design MetaboShield to fight obesity and reverse type 2 ...

MetaboShield, is an innovative intestinal sleeve that can be lodged permanently in the small intestine via the throat in an anesthesia-free procedure. Though it is still a prototype, when developed the sleeve could help people shed unwanted pounds and potentially help reverse type 2 diabetes.  Read More

Scientists have managed to stop light within a crystal for up to one minute (Photo: TU Dar...

Researchers at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany have managed to stop light for up to one minute inside a crystal and store digitally-encoded information inside it. The technique shatters previous records and could prove very useful in developing faster and highly-efficient quantum and optical computers.  Read More

New trial vaccine against malaria shows promise (Image: CDC/Jim Gathany)

A vaccine against malaria currently being developed in the US offers new hope to fight the infectious disease that enters the body through a mosquito bite. According to the World Health Organization, malaria killed 660,000 people in 2010. The intravenous vaccine currently being developed by Sanaria and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has produced promising results in volunteers who received a high dose the vaccine.  Read More

ScanEagles can provide real time telemetry for prolonged periods (Image: Boeing)

Radio has come a long way since Marconi bashed a telegraph key and radar is a miracle compared to when it was just a squiggle on a cathode tube, but despite a century of advances, they’re still prone to the same problems as the first pioneers encountered. For five days in July, the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Research Vessel (R/V) Knorr made a survey in the waters off Virginia Beach, Virginia using ScanEagle UAVs to study the effect of oceanic and atmospheric changes on radar and radio waves with the aim of producing more secure military communications and improve the ability of radar to detect hostile craft.  Read More

The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (Photo: Perkins+Will)

Architectural firm Perkins+Will has designed a new research campus for the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Completed in December, 2012, at a cost of US$31 million, the 54-acre (22-hectare) plot overlooks the ocean in East Boothbay, Maine, and has been awarded LEED Platinum status.  Read More

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