Tech

CMOS biomimicry: Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color

CMOS biomimicry: Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color

Rice University researchers have created a CMOS-compatible, biomimetic color photodetector that directly responds to red, green and blue light in much the same way the human eye does.

The new device uses an aluminum grating that can be added to silicon photodetectors with the silicon microchip industry's mainstay technology, "complementary metal-oxide semiconductor," or CMOS.

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles

Nanoparticles, engineered materials about a billionth of a meter in size, are around us every day. Although they are tiny, they can benefit human health, as in some innovative early cancer treatments, but they can also interfere with it through viruses, air pollution, traffic emissions, cosmetics, sunscreen and electronics.

Faster, cheaper tests for sickle cell

Faster, cheaper tests for sickle cell

Within minutes after birth, every child in the U.S. undergoes a battery of tests designed to diagnose a host of conditions, including sickle cell disease. Thousands of children born in the developing world, however, aren't so lucky, meaning many suffer and die from the disease each year.

A.J. Kumar hopes to put a halt to at least some of those deaths.

Mortimer: the musical robot that gives musicians a helping hand

Mortimer: the musical robot that gives musicians a helping hand

Meet the musical robot that’s giving musicians a helping hand. He is Mortimer, the drumming robot.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have developed and tested a robot that can interact with musicians, and even influence the way they play. But is it a harmonious relationship or one-hit wonder?

Mortimer the drumming robot. Credit: Louis McCallum

Antarctic sea-level rising faster than global rate

Antarctic sea-level rising faster than global rate

A new study of satellite data from the last 19 years reveals that fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2cm more than the global average of 6cm.

Researchers at the University of Southampton detected the rapid rise in sea-level by studying satellite scans of a region that spans more than a million square kilometres.

Seatbelt laws encourage obese drivers to buckle up

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Obesity is associated with many health risks, including heart disease and diabetes, but University of Illinois researchers have found a possible way to mitigate one often-overlooked risk: not buckling up in the car.

A new study led by Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science and of mathematics, found that increasing the obesity rates are associated with a decrease in seatbelt usage. However, these effects can be mitigated when seatbelt laws are in effect.

Changing microbial dynamics in the wake of the Macondo blowout

In an article in the September issue of BioScience, Samantha Joye and colleagues describe Gulf of Mexico microbial communities in the aftermath of the 2010 Macondo blowout. The authors describe revealing population-level responses of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes to the unprecedented deepwater oil plume.

Scientists create renewable fossil fuel alternative using bacteria

The development is a step towards commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide an alternative to fossil fuels.

Propane is an appealing source of cleaner fuel because it has an existing global market. It is already produced as a by-product during natural gas processing and petroleum refining, but both are finite resources. In its current form it makes up the bulk of LPG (liquid petroleum gas), which is used in many applications, from central heating to camping stoves and conventional motor vehicles.

Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story.

Now Northwestern University scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from tumbling so that its potential for new applications can be harnessed: shine a single laser on a trapped molecule and it instantly cools to the temperature of outer space, stopping the rotation of the molecule.

New tuberculosis blood test in children is reliable and highly specific

A new blood test provides a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children, a new proof-of-concept study shows. The newly developed test (TAM-TB assay) is the first reliable immunodiagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children. The test features excellent specificity, a similar sensitivity as culture tests in combination with speed of a blood test. The promising findings are a major advance for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic regions.