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March 30th, 2009

2009-2010 top tech trends

Abstract:
Mini sensors: Nanopiezoelectronics

Nanoscale sensors are exquisitely sensitive, very frugal with power, and, of course, tiny. They could be useful in detecting molecular signs of disease in the blood, minute amounts of poisonous gases in the air, and trace contaminants in food. But the batteries and integrated circuits necessary to drive these devices make them difficult to fully miniaturise. The goal of Zhong Lin Wang, a materials scientist at Georgia Tech, is to bring power to the nano world with minuscule generators that take advantage of piezoelectricity. If he succeeds, biological and chemical nano sensors will be able to power themselves.

Cheap medicines: $100 genome

In the corner of the small lab is a locked door with a colourful sign taped to the front: "$100 Genome Room-Authorised Persons Only." BioNanomatrix, the startup that runs the lab, is pursuing what many believe to be the key to personalised medicine: sequencing technology so fast and cheap that an entire human genome can be read in eight hours for $100 or less. With the aid of such a powerful tool, medical treatment could be tailored to a patient's distinct genetic profile.

Source:
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