The Race to Replace Silicon Semiconductors
We've enjoyed exponential increases in computing power that have driven down the price of consumer electronics. All that may be about to end unless an alternative to silicon can be found.
What's the Latest Development?
Stanford researchers are using nanotechnology to design what might may become the next generation of computer circuits. They are one of several teams looking beyond the silicon semiconductor as it becomes increasingly difficult to increase computer power using yesterday's tricks. Chip makers already etch circuits shorter than a wavelength of light to make computers smaller, faster and cheaper. By using nanocircuits just atoms think, Stanford can make smaller chips that use less energy.
What's the Big Idea?
The rule laid down by Gordon Moore in 1965, which would become known as Moore's Law, that computing power would double every year has mostly held true (it tends to double every 18 months). This has been accomplished by doubling the number of transistors on each microchip but that method is approaching its limit, say computer engineers. The circuits on chips will soon be so small and numerous that powering them will cause the machine to overheat, fusing together crucial electrical components.
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It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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