You don't always need GPS, a map or a compass to find the right way. What demands a tremendous amount of computational power from today's navigation computers can also be achieved by taking advantage of the laws of physical chemistry and practicing so-called 'chemical computing'.
The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.
In less than a minute, a miniature device can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals.
Researchers report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.
Scientists will receive about $1.25 million from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to develop an implantable device that delivers therapeutic drugs at a rate guided by remote control. The device's effectiveness will be tested aboard the International Space Station and on Earth's surface.
Researchers have broken new ground in the development of proteins that form specialized fibers used in medicine and nanotechnology. For as long as scientists have been able to create new proteins that are capable of self-assembling into fibers, their work has taken place on the nanoscale. For the first time, this achievement has been realized on the microscale - a leap of magnitude in size that presents significant new opportunities for using engineered protein fibers.