Biology of the Brain: Georgia Tech Researchers Seek a Better Understanding of the Brain
Researchers at Georgia Tech are applying their expertise, tools and techniques to understand on a fundamental level how the brain works. Because the human brain is immensely complex, the researchers are pursuing many levels of inquiry – from molecules to cells to circuits to the mystery of the mind itself – and also studying brain disorders and development, along with daily feats of brain activity, such as vision, speech, movement and memory.
Brain Development: Study Shows How Pathway Competition Affects Early Differentiation of Higher Brain Structures
A new study shows how the strength and timing of competing molecular signals during brain development has generated natural and presumably adaptive differences in a brain region known as the telencephalon -- much earlier than scientists had previously believed.
Artificial Transparent Skin: Arrays of Piezoelectric “Taxels” Convert Mechanical Motion to Electronic Controlling Signals for Improved Tactile Imaging
Using bundles of vertical zinc oxide nanowires, researchers have fabricated arrays of piezotronic transistors capable of converting mechanical motion directly into electronic controlling signals. The arrays could help give robots a more adaptive sense of touch, provide better security in signatures and offer new ways for humans to interact with electronic devices.
FlipperBot: Sea Turtles and Flipper-Driven Robot Reveal Principles of Moving on Sand and Other Granular Media
Based on a study of both hatchling sea turtles and "FlipperBot" -- a robot with flippers -- Georgia Tech researchers have learned principles for how both robots and turtles move on granular surfaces such as sand.
Anatomy of a Blast: Researchers Develop Sensor System to Assess the Effects of Explosions on Soldiers
To study the effects of improvised explosive devices on soldiers and help provide continuing treatment, researchers have developed a sensor system that measures the physical environment of an explosion and collects data that can correlate what the soldier experienced with long-term outcomes.
Stress Relief: Battery-Free Wireless “Smart Skin” Sensors Could Provide Remote Monitoring of Aging Infrastructure
Researchers are developing a novel technology that would facilitate close monitoring of bridges, parking decks and other structures for early signs of strain, stress and formation of cracks. Their approach uses wireless sensors that are low cost, require no power, and can be implemented on tough yet flexible polymer substrates.
Research Horizons Winter/Spring 2007 — As robots edge ever closer to having fundamental impact in our daily lives, more and more concerns are being raised on just what this will really mean.
April 5, 2007 — Researchers have demonstrated a prototype nanometer-scale generator that produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow.
March 29, 2007 — Researchers have identified a group of bacteria that can detoxify a common type of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have contaminated more than 250 U.S. sites, including river and lake sediments. The discovery is a first step toward a bioremediation strategy that would naturally detoxify the chemicals without risky removal of the sediments in which they persist.
March 29, 2007 — Producing three-dimensional polymer line structures as small as 65 nanometers wide just became easier with new two-photon absorbing molecules that are sensitive to laser light at short wavelengths, allowing researchers to create them without highly sophisticated fabrication methods.
March 8, 2007 — The three-dimensional shells of tiny ocean creatures could provide the foundation for novel electronic devices, including gas sensors able to detect pollution faster and more efficiently than conventional devices. Using a chemical process that converts the shells’ original silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) into the semiconductor material silicon, researchers have created a new class of gas sensors based on the unique and intricate three-dimensional (3-D) shells produced by microscopic creatures known as diatoms.
March 8, 2007 — Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have patented a discovery that could significantly increase reliability and reduce cost in equipment that helps protect U.S. military aircraft from attack.
February 28, 2007 — Researchers have taken advantage of the unique coupled semiconducting and piezoelectric properties of zinc oxide nanowires to create a new class of electronic components and devices that could provide the foundation for a broad range of new applications.
February 14, 2007 — Researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have developed an easier and faster method to detect specific types of target molecules in liquid samples using highly porous, micron-sized, silica beads. The researchers developed a technique to simultaneously or sequentially add optical and magnetic nanoparticles into the beads. Adding magnetic nanoparticles allows the use of a magnetic field to attract and easily remove the beads from a liquid sample.
February 1, 2007 — A new sensor that measures the motion created by sound waves under water could allow the U.S. Navy to develop compact arrays to detect the presence of enemy submarines. These new arrays would detect quiet underwater targets, while also providing unambiguous directional information.
January 22, 2007 — Georgia Tech researchers have joined with colleagues at six other U.S. institutions to form the Center for Nanotechnology in Society. Headquartered at Arizona State University, the new center has so far received more than $6 million in funding from the National Science Foundation.