Stanford bioengineers create circuit board modeled on the human brain

Stanford bioengineers have developed a new circuit board modeled on the human brain, possibly opening up new frontiers in robotics and computing. For all their sophistication, computers pale in comparison to the brain. The modest cortex of the mouse, for instance, operates 9,000 times faster than a personal computer simulation of its functions.

Stanford engineers build computer using carbon nanotube technology

A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes, a semiconductor material that has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips. This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising material.

Stanford scientists publish theory, formula to improve 'plastic' semiconductors

Anyone who's stuffed a smart phone in their back pocket would appreciate the convenience of electronic devices that could bend. Flexible electronics could spawn new products: clothing wired to cool or heat, reading tablets that could fold like newspaper, and so on.

How much energy is required to store wind and solar power on the grid?

Renewable energy holds the promise of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But there are times when solar and wind farms generate more electricity than is needed by consumers. Storing that surplus energy in batteries for later use seems like an obvious solution, but a new study from Stanford University suggests that might not always be the case.

New possibilities for efficient biofuel production

Limited availability of fossil fuels stimulates the search for different energy resources. The use of biofuels is one of the alternatives. Sugars derived from the grain of agricultural crops can be used to produce biofuel but these crops occupy fertile soils needed for food and feed production.

Scientists read a mouse's mind

Stanford scientists have found a way of observing real-time brain activity in a live mouse, letting them work out where the mouse is in an enclosure on the basis of which neurons are firing.

Why Superman's such a sweet guy

Getting superpowers in a game makes people more altruistic, say Stanford researchers, who have found that the ability to fly makes you more willing to help others.

Robot hedgehogs could explore Martian moon

Rolling robots like spiky tumbleweeds could be used to explore the moons of Mars, says a team of NASA, Stanford and MIT engineers.

Stick-on solar cells can go almost anywhere

Stanford engineers have developed new peel-and-stick solar panels that they say can be applied to almost any surface.

How big are the biggest black holes?

Astronomers have had to come up with a whole new word for black holes that are too big to be described as merely 'supermassive' - and now say there may be a lot more of them around then previously thought.

Pacific Northwest, Himalayas, may be set for major quake

New seismic observations indicate that the Himalayas and Pacific Northwest may be primed for major earthquakes.

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.

Humans may be becoming less intelligent

A new study suggests that humans may be (slowly) losing our intellectual and emotional abilities because they're at risk from mutation or loss from the genome.

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.

Scientists design first all-carbon solar cell

Scientists at California's Stanford University have managed to construct the first solar cell made entirely of carbon.

Century-old battery technology given new life

Nickel-iron batteries, a rechargeable technology developed by Thomas Edison more than a century ago, have been largely out of favor since the 1970s - until now.

Big Solar and US team up to slash cost

A total of $7.5 million of research grants has been allocated to pushing down the cost of utility-scale solar in the U.S.

Who'd want a sarcastic Siri?

Computers could become sarcastic or exaggerate for effect, say two Stanford researchers, who have developed a mathematical model aimed at improving natural language processing.

Rewritable digital data storage built in DNA

Scientists have successfully and repeatedly encoded, stored and erased digital data within the DNA of living cells.

Plasmonics used to create cloaking device

Stanford University engineers have created a device that can detect light while itself remaining invisible.