Report: Memories are 'geotagged' with spatial information

Using a video game in which people navigate through a virtual town delivering objects to specific locations, a team of neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Freiburg University has discovered how brain cells that encode spatial information form "geotags" for specific memories and are activated immediately before those memories are recalled.

'World's smallest wrench' could help build solar sails

Taking advantage of laser light's ability to gently push and pull microscopic particles, researchers have created what they're calling the world's smallest wrench.

'Transformer' robot can become almost anything

MIT engineers say they've created a miniature device that can fold itself up into amost any shape, opening the way for cheap, reconfigurable robots.

Prosthetic arm is controlled by thought

The world's first thought-controlled robotic arm is due to be implanted in a patient this winter.

Cambridge center to study tech extinction risks

A proposed new center at Cambridge University will examine technologies, from biotechnology to artificial intelligence, that could perhaps threaten the future of our species.

Brain-controlled cursor sets record for accuracy

Stanford researchers say they've designed the fastest, most accurate algorithm yet for brain-implantable prosthetic systems that let disabled people maneuver computer cursors with their thoughts.

Touch-sensitive plastic skin can heal itself

Stanford scientists have for the first time created a synthetic material that can sense subtle pressure and heal itself when torn or cut.

Researchers build 'perfect' invisibility cloak

Duke University scientists say they've succeeded for the first time in building a truly effective invisibility cloak.

Is graphene ready to replace silicon?

For the first time, semiconductors have been produced from graphene - a potential revolution for the electronics market. The Norwegian developers say products could be on the market in as little as five years.

Navy turns sea water into jet fuel

Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide from seawater and use it to produce hydrogen gas, which can then be catalytically converted into jet fuel.

New materials could boost computer memory

Scientists have discovered a new class of materials that could lead to improvements in computer memory.

Computing using water droplets

Forget optical computing or quantum computing: researchers at Aalto University have successfully used water droplets as bits of digital information.

'Solid smoke' is world's lightest material

A new aerogel could be used for insulated clothing, refrigerators with thinner walls and building insulation, thanks to a series of breakthroughs.

Quantum processor factors prime number

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have built a quantum processor that can factor a composite number - in this case the number 15 - into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5.

Genetics book encoded in DNA

To demonstrate that DNA's suitable for use as a large-scale data storage medium, a team of scientists has encoded a 5.27MB book using DNA microchips, and then read it back again.

Swarms of micro-robots could one day carry cargo

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have worked out how to create tiny robots, just a few microns long, that can swim through liquids such as water and could one day be used for everything from drug delivery to construction.

New windows could generate electricity

UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that could allow windows to generate electricity.

Robots scan ships' hulls for mines

Human divers - and dolphins - could have a reprieve from searching out mines attached to ships' hulls, thanks to a new algorithm from MIT.

Spintronic LED is brighter and cheaper

A new 'spintronic' organic light-emitting diode promises to be brighter, lower-cost and more environmentally friendly than those currently used in lighting, television and computer displays and other electronic devices.

Robotic legs move just like yours

US researchers have built what they say is the first set of robotic legs that walk just like a human being.