MinION – $900 usb-powered DNA sequencer on sale this year – [via]
Oxford Nanopore (ON) has been developing a disruptive nanopore-based technology for sequencing DNA, RNA, proteins, and other long-chain molecules since its birth in 2005. The company has just that within the next 6-9 months it will bring to market a fast, portable, and disposable protein sequencer that will democratize sequencing by eliminating large capital costs associated with equipment required to enter the field.
MinION – $900 usb-powered DNA sequencer - [Link]
Sony’s SmartTags could change phone habits @ Crave – CNET – [via]
Near field communication (NFC) technology enables smartphones to work with mobile payments and public transit systems, but a new accessory from Sony could make the wireless wonder much more personal.
SmartTags are small programmable tokens that give your NFC-equipped Android phone a series of commands to keep you from performing repetitive tasks.
For example, swiping your phone by a SmartTag placed on a nightstand could turn your phone silent, turn off Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, and activate your alarm for the following morning. While the aforementioned tasks are easy to do on your own, perhaps there is a certain charm in an automatic trigger.
“SmartTags” could change phone habits - [Link]
Forget the fuel. Our stoves cook your meals with nothing but the twigs you collect on your journey, eliminating the need for heavy, expensive, polluting petroleum gas. It’s quick to light, fast to boil and clean to use.
Charge your gadgets. By converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, our stoves will recharge your phones, lights and other gadgets while you cook dinner.
Have fun. Like a campfire, you can sit around the CampStove and watch the flames dance as you roast marshmallows and tell stories with friends.
- Powers all USB-chargeable devices including smartphones, LED lights, GPS and many others.
- Fast to boil.
- Lights quickly and easily.
- Burns sticks, pine cones, pellets and other biomass.
- Folds for easy packing.
- Packed size: 8.25 x 5″.
- Weight: 2 Lbs 1 oz / 935 gram
BioLite CampStove – Charge your gadgets in fire - [Link]
Imec and Genalyte have developed and produced a set of disposable silicon photonics biosensor chips for use in diagnostic and molecular detection equipment. The chips combine standard silicon photonic waveguide technology with bio-compatible modifications and were manufactured using standard microelectronic CMOS fabrication technology. The chips have been tested in the field and proven to meet the functional requirements with high yield.
The high integration level of silicon photonics on the chips enables extensive multiplexed biosensing. Each chip can contain up to 128 ring resonator sensors coated with application-specific chemicals to provide very sensitive molecular detection capability. [via]
Disposable Biosensors Feature Molecular Detection - [Link]
David Biello writes:
One drinking-water bottle could provide enough energy for an entire household in the developing world if Dan Nocera has his way. A chemist from M.I.T. and founder of the company Sun Catalytix, Nocera has developed a cobalt-based catalyst that allows him to store energy the same way plants do: by splitting water.
“Almost all the solar energy is stored in water splitting,” Nocera told the inaugural ARPA-E conference on March 2. Solar Catalytix is among five companies awarded government funding to develop “direct solar fuels,” dubbed “electrofuels” by ARPA-E, the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for transformational energy technologies. “We emulated photosynthesis for large-scale storage of solar energy.”
Artificial photosynthesis could power your house - [Link]
Last month, a small Norwegian company called Thinfilm Electronics and PARC, the storied Silicon Valley research lab, jointly showed off a technological first—a plastic film that combined both printed transistors and printed digital memory.
Such flexible electronics could be an important component of future products, such as food packaging that senses and record temperatures, shock-sensing helmets, as well as smart toys. But the story of how PARC’s technology—the printed transistors—wound up paired with memory technology from an obscure Norwegian company also provides a window onto a 10-year struggle by Xerox to transform the way it commercializes R&D ideas.
Logic circuits and computer memory are printed together on a sheet of plastic - [Link]
The driving bass rhythm of rap music can be harnessed to power a new type of miniature medical sensor designed to be implanted in the body. Such a device might ultimately help to treat people stricken with aneurisms or incontinence due to paralysis.
The heart of the new sensor, developed at Purdue University, is a vibrating cantilever, a thin beam attached at one end like a miniature diving board. Acoustic waves from music or plain tones in the range of 200 to 500 Hz pass through body tissue and cause the cantilever to vibrate, generating electricity that can be used to charge a capacitor. Simply playing tones in the right frequency range would be possible but annoying. The researchers therefore experimented with four types of music: rap, blues, jazz and rock. [via]
Rap against incontinence - [Link]
Silver Ink Solution For Cheaper, Faster Flexible Circuits – [via]
A silver ink for printing high-performance electrical circuits on flexible substrates has been developed by a team at the University of Illinois. Electronics printed on flexible substrates are gaining popularity with the rising desire for thinner electronic gadgets, wearable devices, and the nascent market for flexible screens.
The team was led by Jennifer Lewis, Hans Thurnauer professor of materials science and engineering, and Jennifer Bernhard, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Lewis and graduate team member Brett Walker have published the work in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Silver Ink Solution For Cheaper, Faster Flexible Circuits - [Link]
This is so cool, and it has enormous potential — think nanotransponders for the Internet of Things (or sub-dermal radios). From nanotechweb: [via]
The first graphene device capable of significant voltage amplification (more than 10 dB) has been fabricated by researchers in Italy. The result confirms that the “wonder material” could compete head-on with silicon as the material of choice in electronics and is not simply limited to niche, low-voltage gain, high-frequency applications as currently thought.
The voltage amplifier (a device capable of amplifying small alternating voltage signals) is the main building block in analogue electronics. Thanks to its unique electrical and mechanical properties, graphene (a sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like lattice just one atom thick) should be ideal for use in a host of technological devices – such as high-speed transistors – and in photonics. However, many scientists believe that it cannot compete with silicon in applications requiring voltage amplification, like analogue amplifiers and digital logic gates.
Even though it is their first graphene amplifier, it already shows “remarkable performance”, according to Sordan and colleagues – with a flat frequency response well exceeding the audio range (>20 kHz) and a very low total harmonic distortion (<1%).
Using Graphene to Build Nanoamplifiers - [Link]
The Fourier transform is a method for representing an irregular signal as a combination of weighted sine waves or ‘frequencies’. To calculate it quickly the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) was devised some 50 years ago and ever since people have been searching for methods to make it even faster. At MIT a group of researchers has now developed an algorithm that, in a large range of practically important cases, achieves an up to a tenfold speed increase.
Signals whose Fourier transforms contain a relatively small number of strong frequencies are called ‘sparse’. In nature, most of the normal signals are sparse. The new algorithm determines the weights of the strongest frequency components contained in a signal; the sparser the signal, the greater the speedup the algorithm provides. Indeed, if the signal is sparse enough, the algorithm can simply sample it randomly rather than reading it in its entirety. [via]
EFFT – the Even Faster Fourier Transform - [Link]