New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers imbed selective adsorber particles in filtration membranes.
The breakthrough findings allow better understanding of the counterintuitive behaviour of water at the molecular scale and are important for development of more efficient technologies including filtration, desalination and distillation.
Carbon nanotube fibers may provide the best way to communicate directly with the brain. The fibers have proven superior to metal electrodes for deep brain stimulation and to read signals from a neuronal network. Because they provide a two-way connection, they show promise for treating patients with neurological disorders while monitoring the real-time response of neural circuits in areas that control movement, mood and bodily functions.
Researchers have made an experimental breakthrough in explaining a rare property of an exotic magnetic material, potentially opening a path to a host of new technologies. From information storage to magnetic refrigeration, many of tomorrow's most promising innovations rely on sophisticated magnetic materials, and this discovery opens the door to harnessing the physics that governs those materials.
As nanotechnology makes possible a world of machines too tiny to see, researchers are finding ways to combine living organisms with nonliving machinery to solve a variety of problems. Like other first-generation bio-robots, the new nanobot is a far cry from Robocop. It's a robotic germ.