Tech

A world-first breakthrough to treat high blood pressure has been successfully trialled in Melbourne.

The clinical trial showed significant improvement in blood pressure of participants who were given a new catheter-based treatment where blood pressure lowering medication had failed.

McGill University researchers have successfully amplified light with so-called "colloidal quantum dots," a technology that had been written off by many as a dead-end.

Over the last 15 years, repeated quantum dot research efforts failed to deliver on expected improvements in amplification, and many researchers started to believe that an unknown but insurmountable law of physics was blocking their path. Essentially, they said, quantum dots would simply never work well for one of their primary applications.

Patients with severe heart failure can be bridged to eventual transplant by a new, smaller and lighter implantable heart pump, according to a just-completed study of the device. Results of this third-generation heart assist device were reported at the 58th annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology on March 30.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 22, 2009 –— Scientists from Germany today reported a major advance toward opening the doors of a carbohydrate-based medicine chest for the 21st Century. Much more than just potatoes and pasta, these carbohydrates may form the basis of revolutionary new vaccines and drugs to battle malaria, HIV, and a bevy of other diseases.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 22, 2009 — Researchers are describing a long-awaited advance toward applying the marvels of nanotechnology in the battle against cancer. They have developed the first hollow gold nanospheres — smaller than the finest flecks of dust — that search out and "cook" cancer cells. The cancer-destroying nanospheres show particular promise as a minimally invasive future treatment for malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, the researchers say. Melanoma now causes more than 8,000 deaths annually in the United States alone and is on the increase globally.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In the quest to pack ever-smaller electronic devices more densely with integrated circuits, nanotechnology researchers keep running up against some unpleasant truths: higher current density induces electromigration and thermomigration, phenomena that damage metal conductors and produce heat, which leads to premature failure of devices.

But University at Buffalo researchers who study electronics packaging recently made a pleasant discovery: that's not the case with Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs).

WASHINGTON, March 17—The world's largest international conference on optical communications begins next week and continues from March 22-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) is the premier meeting where experts from industry and academia intersect and share their results, experiences, and insights on the future of electronic and wireless communication and the optical technologies that will enable it.

It is 6 p.m. and the museum is closing down for the night. The building's alarm system is switched on and the security guard does his rounds. A novel motion sensor developed by the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm and for Computer Architecture and Software Technology FIRST in Berlin could provide even more security in future, enabling window panes and glass doors to detect movements thanks to a special coating. If anything changes in front of the pane, or someone sneaks up to it, an alarm signal is sent to the security guard.

PITTSBURGH—Using rigorous computer calculations, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington have established evidence that supercooled silicon experiences a liquid-liquid phase transition, where at a certain temperature two different states of liquid silicon exist. The two states each have unique properties that could be used to develop new silicon-based materials. Furthermore, the methods developed can be applied to gain a better understanding of other materials.