Engineering articlesContact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision
Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes -- visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.
Energy-efficient refrigeration from ultranarrow silicon wires
Supernarrow silicon wires, or silicon nanowires, are laying the foundation for a new type of cheap yet energy-efficient microscopic refrigeration, with no moving parts, report researchers from the California Institute of Technology in a study published today in the journal Nature.
Monkey's thoughts make robot walk from across the globe
In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the brain activity of a monkey has been used to control the real-time walking patterns of a robot halfway around the world, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
Researchers aim to harness sperm power for nano-robots
Researchers at Cornell are working to use the same energy that drives sperm to power nanoscale robots or to deliver chemo drugs or antibiotics, for example, to targeted sites within the body.
Why the web tells us what we already know
The Internet is not the font of all knowledge, despite the plethora of information available at your fingertips.
Stanford site advances science of turning 2-d images into 3-d models
An artist might spend weeks fretting over questions of depth, scale and perspective in a landscape painting, but once it is done, what's left is a two-dimensional image with a fixed point of view. But the Make3d algorithm, developed by Stanford computer scientists, can take any two-dimensional image and create a three-dimensional "fly around" model of its content, giving viewers access to the scene's depth and a range of points of view.
Nowhere to hide - new ultra-powerful microscope probes atomic world
A unique electron microscope, the first of its kind in the world, was unveiled at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington. It will enable scientists to study atoms within materials in a way that has never before been possible and will pave the way for pioneering research relating to every aspect of our lives, from research into liver disease, to the creation of the mobile phones and computers of the future.
New technique makes tissues transparent
If humans had see-through skin like a jellyfish, spotting disease like cancer would be a snap: Just look, and see a tumor form or grow.
New kind of transistor radios show capability of nanotube technology
Carbon nanotubes have a sound future in the electronics industry, say researchers who built the world's first all-nanotube transistor radios to prove it.
Nanomaterials used to localize, control drug delivery
Using nanotechnology, scientists from Northwestern University and UCLA have developed a localized and controlled drug delivery method that is invisible to the immune system, a discovery that could provide newer and more effective treatments for cancer and other diseases.
Student designs safety helmet that signals for help
Brycen Spencer, an engineering student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has designed a safety helmet that could help save the lives of thousands of outdoor sports enthusiasts involved in accidents each year. His Wireless Impact Guardian, or WIG, which signals for help even when the wearer is unconscious, is a giant leap forward in helmet safety.
Team develops energy-efficient microchip
Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments have unveiled a new chip design for portable electronics that can be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than present technology. The design could lead to cell phones, implantable medical devices and sensors that last far longer when running from a battery.
Optical scientists add new, practical dimension to holography
University of Arizona optical scientists have broken a technological barrier by making three-dimensional holographic displays that can be erased and rewritten in a matter of minutes.
Engineers announce record-setting high-frequency circuit
Engineering researchers from the University of Florida and Texas Instruments have crafted the world's highest-frequency circuit made with a common type of semiconductor transistor, a step that could slash the price of detectors useful in earlier cancer detection and quicker pollution spotting.
T-ray breakthrough signals next generation of security sensors
A new generation of sensors for detecting explosives and poisons could be developed following new research into a type of radiation known as T-rays, published in Nature Photonics.
Scientists from Europe, Israel and the US develop robotic rats to aid in rescue missions
A new initiative, bringing together nine research groups from seven countries, including teams of robotics and brain researchers from Europe, the USA and Israel, has recently been set up with the aim of imitating nature.
Carbon capture strategy could lead to emission-free cars
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a strategy to capture, store and eventually recycle carbon from vehicles to prevent the pollutant from finding its way from a car tailpipe into the atmosphere. Georgia Tech researchers envision a zero emission car, and a transportation system completely free of fossil fuels.
Copper connections created for high-speed computing
As computers become more complex, the demand increases for more connections between computer chips and external circuitry such as a motherboard or wireless card. And as the integrated circuits become more advanced, maximizing their performance requires better connections that operate at higher frequencies with less loss.
New sensor system improves detection of lead, heavy metals
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a new rapid, portable and inexpensive detection system that identifies personal exposures to toxic lead and other dangerous heavy metals. The device can provide an accurate blood sample measurement from a simple finger prick, which is particularly important when sampling children.
Sandia, stirling energy systems set new world record for solar-to-grid conversion efficiency
On a perfect New Mexico winter day — with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual — Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES's "Serial #3" solar dish Stirling system at Sandia's National Solar Thermal Test Facility.