Physicists working at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Konstanz in Germany have developed a breakthrough in the use of diamond in quantum physics, marking an important step toward quantum computing. The results are reported in this week’s online edition of Nature Physics.
Researchers have uncovered a material that they say has distinct advantages over traditional silicon and even graphene for use in electronics. Called molybdenite (MoS2), this mineral is abundant in nature and is commonly used as an element in steel alloys or, thanks to its similarity in appearance and feel to graphite, as an additive in lubricant. But the mineral hadn’t been studied for use in electronics, which appears to have been an oversight with new research showing that molybdenite is a very effective semiconductor that could enable smaller and more energy efficient transistors, computer chips and solar cells.
IBM Thursday announced a breakthrough in computer memory technology, which may lead to the development of solid-state chips that can store as much data as NAND flash technology but with 100 times the performance and vastly greater lifespan.
From The Guardian:
Doctors have treated a life-threatening blood disease by repairing flaws in the genetic code of a living animal, the first time such an ambitious feat has been achieved.
The work raises the prospect of powerful new therapies that can target and repair the genetic defects behind a wide range of human diseases that cannot be tackled with modern medicines.
The new technique, called genome editing, holds particular promise for a group of illnesses that run in families and are caused by faults in genes that underpin the healthy working of the immune system, bone marrow and liver.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Defense Department’s high-risk granting body, is about to jump into synthetic biology in a big way. One of the latest research buzzwords, synthetic biology means different things to many. But for a new DARPA program, it represents modifying the metabolic and genetic machinery of cells to produce useful products. “We want to create a new manufacturing capability for the United States,” says DARPA Program Manager Alicia Jackson. Approved barely a month ago, the $30 million Living Foundries program should be sending out a request for proposals in the next few weeks and making awards several months from now.
Today’s silicon-based microprocessor chips rely on electric currents, or moving electrons, that generate a lot of waste heat. But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets – like tiny refrigerator magnets – for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons.
Such chips would dissipate only 18 millielectron volts of energy per operation at room temperature, the minimum allowed by the second law of thermodynamics and called the Landauer limit. That’s 1 million times less energy per operation than consumed by today’s computers.