Tech

Electronic memory chips may soon gain the ability to bend and twist as a result of work by engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As reported in the July 2009 issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters,* the engineers have found a way to build a flexible memory component out of inexpensive, readily available materials.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Actinic keratoses are sun-damaged rough patches or lesions on the skin — often pink and scaly — that doctors have long believed can turn into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.

Now researchers at Brown University, the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Providence and Oklahoma City, and others have determined that actinic keratoses appear responsible for a larger spectrum of skin cancers than previously thought. Their research is highlighted in the current edition of Cancer.

Approximately a third of the electricity consumed by large data centers doesn't power the computer servers that conduct online transactions, serve Web pages or store information. Instead, that electricity must be used for cooling the servers, a demand that continues to increase as computer processing power grows.

And the trend toward cloud computing will expand the need for both servers and cooling.

In these times of trillion-dollar budgets and deficits, $6.3 billion may not seem like much money, but that's what the United States potentially could save on each group of adolescents who enter foster care every year.

These savings could be achieved by using a more intensive and more costly private model of foster care than programs offered by public agencies across the country, according to new research led by economists and foster care experts from the University of Washington and Casey Family Programs, a non-profit agency with offices in Washington and Oregon.

Penguin poo (guano) stains, visible from space, have helped British scientists locate emperor penguin breeding colonies in Antarctica. Knowing their location provides a baseline for monitoring their response to environmental change.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 2, 2009 -- New research shows some bees brace themselves against wind and turbulence by extending their sturdy hind legs while flying. But this approach comes at a steep cost, increasing aerodynamic drag and the power required for flight by roughly 30 percent, and cutting into the bees' flight performance.

The findings are detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

MADISON, WI, June 1, 2009 -- There is growing interest in using crop residues as the feedstock of choice for the production of cellulosic-based ethanol because of the more favorable energy output relative to grain-based ethanol. This would also help provide a solution to the debate of food versus fuel, because less of the grain would be diverted to ethanol production, leaving more available for food and feed consumption.

In nature, trees pull vast amounts of water from their roots up to their leaves hundreds of feet above the ground through capillary action, but now scientists at the University of Rochester have created a simple slab of metal that lifts liquid using the same principle — but does so at a speed that would make nature envious.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fast and affordable genome sequencing has moved a step closer with a new solid-state nanopore sensor being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.

The nanopore sensor, made by drilling a tiny hole through a thin film of aluminum oxide, could ultimately prove capable of performing DNA analysis with a single molecule, offering tremendous possibilities for personalized medicine and advanced diagnostics.

Scientists are reporting two findings that could influence the way researchers screen for, treat and assess prognosis for women with locally advanced breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease. One finding offers a critical message regarding treatment strategy, they say.

"Women with locally advanced breast cancer and their clinicians need to be aware that a growing breast mass should not be ignored even if someone has had a recent normal mammogram," says Laura Esserman, MD, UCSF professor of surgery and radiology and director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center.