Tech

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A supercomputer named Novo-G described by its lead designer as likely the most powerful computer of its kind in the world became operational this week at the University of Florida.

A first-of-its-kind RAND Corporation study has linked the rapid growth in health care costs in the United States with job losses and lower output among industries that commonly provide workers with health insurance.

Researchers examined the economic performance of 38 industries from 1987 through 2005 and compared changes in employment, gross economic output and the value added to the gross domestic product for industries where a large number of workers have employer-sponsored health insurance to those industries where few workers have job-based health insurance.

Scientists at Rice University and North Carolina State University have found a method of attaching molecules to semiconducting silicon that may help manufacturers reach beyond the current limits of Moore's Law as they make microprocessors both smaller and more powerful.

Their findings are published this month by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) physicians has developed a new general anesthetic that may be safer for critically ill patients. In the August issue of Anesthesiology, they describe preclinical studies of the drug called MOC-etomidate – a chemically altered version of an exiting anesthetic – which does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anesthetics or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the original version of the drug.

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a novel way to monitor in real time the behavior of the TB bacterium in mouse lungs, noninvasively pinpointing the exact location of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The new monitoring system is expected to speed up what is currently a slow and cumbersome process to test the safety and efficacy of various TB drug regimens and vaccines in animals. A report on the system appears in the July 16 issue of the online journal Public Library of Science (PLoS One).

By miniaturizing a device that monitors the delivery of healthy cells, researchers at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a powerful instrument for physicians to use in treating patients with Parkinson's syndrome, brain tumors, and other diseases.

While cell replacement therapies can be effective, the challenge is to deliver a sufficient quantity of healthy cells, said Boyd Evans III of the lab's Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division.

PASADENA, Calif.—Using devices millionths of a meter in size, physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a technique to determine the mass of a single molecule, in real time.

A team of physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, led by Christian Roos and Rainer Blatt, have proven in a comprehensive experiment that it is not possible to explain quantum phenomena in non-contextual terms. The scientists report on their findings in the current issue of Nature.

Two papers by a University of Oregon biophysicist and colleagues suggest that putting lipids and other cell membrane components on manufactured surfaces could lead to new classes of self-assembling materials for use in precision optics, nanotechnology, electronics and pharmaceuticals.