Sci Station Canada

Monday, December 20, 2004

News From NINT

The National Institute for Nanotechnology is maintaining its' position in the forefront of the international Nanotech research community with a new one-of-a-kind transmission electron microscope (TEM), a Hitachi HF 3300 TEM equipped with a cold field emission gun - the first instrument of its kind in the world. More info on the microscopes can be found here.

In other news from NINT, Dr. Hicham Fenniri continues to push the boundaries of nanotube self-assembly. His team of Visiting Fellow Dr. Jose Raez and PhD candidate Jesus Moralez was able to align organic nanotubes using simple drop flow methods - the first time this has ever been done.
This accomplishment is a huge boost for the field of molecular electronics - the development of electronic devices based on components consisting of individual molecules rather than the continuous materials found in today's semiconductor devices.
'Alignment is a critical issue for molecular electronics,' explains Dr. Fenniri. 'The challenge is not only to make an electronic device from molecules; it is to put the molecules together in a configuration that takes advantage of their properties. We've shown this can be done using a very simple tool, there's no need for complex and expensive methods. This is a quantum leap.'

Sunday, December 19, 2004

New microchip uses less energy

ABC Science Online again ...
Canadian engineers say they have designed a microchip that uses analog, rather than digital, processing to save energy ... said to be 100 times more energy efficient than conventional chips ...

The University of Alberta researchers said the chip used analog processing, rather than conventional digital methods, to handle incoming transmissions. They said this needed fewer transistors and so consumed less power.

If successful, the chip could one day find use in mobile or communications devices as an error control decoder, translating voice and data transmissions.

You better watch out ...

This is a serious safety problem, but I can't help but think that it reminds me of a "Simpsons" episode! ABC Science Online recently ran the following story that took place in Region 14 ...
The festive season can be a dangerous time for kids keen to explore and taste new things, like Christmas trees A child who inhaled part of a Christmas tree that got stuck in his lung has made medical history, Canadian doctors say.

The doctors, who described the first case of 'Christmas tree aspiration', warned of what could happen at a time of year when children explore and taste new things. They reported the case in the current issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The two-and-a-half-old boy had repeated bouts of pneumonia starting from when he was 10 months old, a few months after his first Christmas. He hadn't choked and there was nothing in the family's medical history that pointed to lung disease.

When doctors at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, x-rayed and performed CT scans of the boy's chest, they found a lump at the outer edge of his right lung. When they operated, they found part of a branch from an evergreen tree wedged there, 3 centimetres long and 0.5 centimetres round. This had blocked off part of the lung, causing the repeated bouts of pneumonia. Once the blockage was removed, the child made a full recovery."

That reminds me of a funny story about how we got the tradition of the Angel on the top of the Christmas tree *COUGHCYNDIJO*