A new nano-scale wiretap device could tell researchers about the inner workings of cells, according to a new Harvard study.
It involves a transistor that can take electrical readings, embedded inside a membrane that fits inconspicuously inside an individual living cell. The tiny probe, which is smaller than many viruses, is the first semiconductor device to take measurements of the inside of a cell.
Teamwork among honeybees keeps a hive running smoothly. Worker bees collect pollen, nurse bees care for larvae, and male drones spread the colony's genes. Each insect's efforts ensure the colony's success. That strategy led Gu-Yeon Wei to suggest that Rob Wood morph an almond-size robotic fly he had developed into a fleet of autonomous bees, each capable of carrying out specialized tasks. Perhaps, they speculated, the "RoboBees" could supplement the pollinating duties of bees stricken by a mysterious affliction that's killed 36 percent of America's 2.4 million hives.
By Gregory MonePosted 10.19.2007 at 2:35 pm 0 Comments
Harvard University scientists have created solar cells made from a single wire that's just 300 nanometers wide. The technology could be used to provide electricity to tiny sensors, or lead to cheaper solar power.
Each of the tiny wires is made up of layers of silicon that basically take over the job of semiconductors in conventional solar cells. Eventually, the nanowires could be packaged together into larger arrays, and might even lead to less-expensive rooftop solar panels. This research is just one aspect of a larger effort to make solar power more competitive with cheaper sources of energy, and according to scientists, it's an important step forward.—Gregory Mone