Drug-resistent yeast, synthetic synapses on the nano scale, and memristor research.

For the last decade or so, bacteria that are immune to the effects of antibiotics have been a persistent and growing threat in medicine. Ultimately, the problem goes back to the antibiotic not being administered long enough to kill off the entire colony. The few survivors that managed to make it through the increasing toxicity of their environment because they either had a gene which rendered them immune (and the toxins released when the other bacteria died weren't enough to poison them) or assembled one and survived long enough to breed and pass the gene along to other bacteria. This …

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Duo-dimensional circuitry and nanosurgical devices.

When we think of circuitry, people tend to think of one of two things: Either fairly large discrete components that will balance comfortably on the tip of your finger (image credit: Creatively Maladjusted), or slabs of plastic and ceramic encapsulating integrated circuits which are comprised of millions upon millions of components. At the time I write this article we can fabricate circuitry on a scale of about 14 nanometers and in about two years we'll be able to reliably build circuitry around 10 nanometers in size, which is significantly bigger than the atoms of the elements used in chip manufacture …

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Glueing wounds back together, human cloning, and using bio-nano to infiltrate synthetic DNA.

If you've ever been injured enough to need stitches, you know that it's no picnic. Administration of local anesthetic aside (which usually involves multiple shallow injections directly into the wound site), flesh is touchy stuff to suture back together. Get the suture too close to the edge of the wound and it might rip through and pop open again. There may not be enough usable skin far enough away from wound site to stick a needle through (such as on particularly skinny fingers or the backs of some ankles). Some parts of the body just don't take well to being …

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Microbot dance recital at Duke University.

The field of nanotechnology just took a hop, a skip, and a jump past a xenon atom stick figure and mechanical gears microns in diameter. No, researchers at Duke University didn't take up country line dancing, they created microscopic robots microns in size and caused them to dance across a one square millimeter floor. The microbots are shaped more like spatulae with guide rods attached to them than people, but they capable of interacting with each other as well as shimmying across the miniscule dance surface, propelled by oscillations in an electrical field... which happened to have the same rhythm …

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Nanofibres used to assist in nerve regeneration.

Neurologists at Northwestern University have made a minor breakthrough in the field of nerve regeneration: They've developed a form of self-assembling nanofibre that can be used by damaged nerve cells to stitch themselves back together. The process involves a solution of molecules (the names of the compounds involved were not included in this article) that, under the correct circumstances, will arrange themselves into molecular-sized tubes that act as repair scaffolds for injured nerve cells in the spinal cords of mice. Ordinarily, when nerves are damaged, scar tissue develops at the injury sites and precludes rejoining the ends in any fashion …

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