It’s a problem chip manufacturers have known about for some time: As electronic components continue to grow more and more diminutive in size, the metal interconnects between them will soon cease to meet the needed performance criteria that devices demand.This is where optical interconnections—or using light instead of an electrical current as a transmission medium—come into play. Engineers and physicists at MIT have devised a new method for integrating this photonic circuitry onto a silicon chip, a discovery that could soon add the power and speed of light waves to traditional electronics.
In fact, consumers could start to see entirely new devices, systems, and applications in computing and telecommunications that use “optics on a chip” within the next five years, MIT researchers said in a new study published in the Journal of Nature Photonics.
US researchers say they have created a “virtual” model of all the biochemical reactions that occur in human cells.They hope the computer model will allow scientists to tinker with metabolic processes to find new treatments for conditions such as high cholesterol.
It could also be used to individually tailor diet for weight control, the University of California team claimed.
A team of six bioengineering researchers at the University of California analysed the human genome to see what genes corresponded to metabolic processes, such as those responsible for the production of enzymes.
They spent a year manually going through 1,500 books, review papers and scientific reports from the past 50 years before constructing a database of 3,300 metabolic reactions.
The information was then used to create a network of metabolic processes in the cell, similar to a traffic network.
For 50 years, science fiction has been tantalizing us with visions of airborne roadways and quickly maneuvering, sports-car-like flying cars. And for 50 years, companies have been chasing the dream, releasing the occasional prototype to keep their investors investing. Now, an Israeli company names Urban Aeronautics has made a bold projection: A flying car on the market by 2012.
A novel approach to synthesizing nanowires (NWs) allows their direct integration with microelectronic systems for the first time, as well as their ability to act as highly sensitive biomolecule detectors that could revolutionize biological diagnostic applications, according to a report in Nature.
“We electronically plugged into the biochemical system of cells,” said senior author Mark Reed, Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Engineering & Applied Science. “These developments have profound implications both for application of nanoscience technologies and for the speed and sensitivity they bring to the future of diagnostics.”
In other words, we can turn our reactive healthcare system into a preventive healthcare system. That means we’ll catch diseases in early developing stages and undertake measures to prevent them from happening. We’ll be healthier and greatly curbing our healthcare costs.
This is one of the reasons why I’m optimistic for the future.
“We have a new motor mechanism for a nanomachine,” said David Leigh, a professor of chemistry at the University.
Scientists are trying to unravel the secrets of nanomachines and nanotechnology, which works on a tiny scale. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or about 80,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.
“Molecular machines allow life itself to occur at a molecular level. Our new motor mechanism is a small step toward doing that sort of thing with artificial molecular machines,” Leigh told Reuters.
“It is a machine mechanism that is going to take molecular machines a step forward to the realization of the future world of nanotechnology. Things that seem like a Harry Potter film now are going to be a reality.”
Not sure what the Harry Potter remark is all about. I guess Leigh is just trying to get the world to brace itself for vast change…