Home > News > If I only had a brain
May 21st, 2007
If I only had a brain
Particularly encouraging is research into artificial muscles comprising sheets of carbon nanotubes - big cylindrical molecules of pure carbon with unusual electrical and mechanical properties. When an electrical voltage is applied gradually, ions inside the carbon move to one side, bending the nanotube sheets.
The speed and extent to which the sheets bend depend on how fast and by how much the power is increased. When the power is switched off, the sheets unbend and return to their original shape. This allows the artificial muscles to work like humans' opposing muscle groups.
Some of these materials might be used for android fingers in the future, predicts Professor Jarvis, who favours Nitinol, which bends or stretches when heated by an electric current. MIT researchers in the United States, on the other hand, are developing skin that senses, and can stop, something slipping through an android's fingers.
A sponge-like molecular cage for purification of fullerenes December 15th, 2014
'Trojan horse' proteins used to target hard-to-reach cancers: Scientists at Brunel University London have found a way of targeting hard-to-reach cancers and degenerative diseases using nanoparticles, but without causing the damaging side effects the treatment normally brings December 11th, 2014
Detecting gases wirelessly and cheaply: New sensor can transmit information on hazardous chemicals or food spoilage to a smartphone December 8th, 2014
Green meets nano: Scientists at TU Darmstadt create multifunctional nanotubes using nontoxic materials December 3rd, 2014
Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers
Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications December 21st, 2014
Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014
Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014
Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014
Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting November 5th, 2014
Iran-Made Respiratory Nano Masks Provided to Hajj Pilgrims October 23rd, 2014
Japanese gold leaf artists worked on a nano-scale: Study demonstrates X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive way to date artwork July 3rd, 2014
Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013