From Ars Technica: Single-molecule motor sits on a single-atom ball bearing

The base of the device holds a Ru atom, and the five-armed device can rotate on top of it.
Image from Perera et. al., Nature Nanotechnology

For some time now, researchers have been managing to craft ever-smaller devices, though they’re approaching the problem from two directions. Some researchers are etching small features into chips to carve out nanoscale versions of familiar devices. But others are taking advantage of our ability to synthesize and interact with individual molecules to create systems that are only a few dozen atoms across. And, in many cases, these single-molecule devices look disturbingly like their full-scale counterparts.

When last we left single-molecule motors, they were four wheeling across a sheet of copper, powered by electrons fed in by an atomic force microscope. In the latest iteration, researchers have managed to create a reversible rotor that sits atop a ball bearing—but in this case, the bearing is a single ruthenium atom.

Again, the tricky part comes in building the molecules required. The base of the system involves a boron atoms that coordinates three ringed structures that are chemically similar to the bases of DNA. Nitrogens at a corner of these ringed structures coordinate the ruthenium atom, placing it at the peak of a three-sided pyramid. (This compound has the succinct name [n5-1-(4- tolyl )-2,3,4,5-tetra(4-ferrocenylphenyl) cyclopentadienyl hydrotris [6-((ethylsulphanyl)methyl)indazol-1-yl] borate ruthenium(II)], which should provide some sense of its complexity.)

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from Ars Technica

From Homepage :: NASA Tech Briefs: NASA Researchers Turn Trash into Power

NASA researchers focusing on the difficulties of traveling into deep space have identified an unusual source for fuel that astronauts will be carrying with them anyway: trash. Scientists say there is a good chance that food wrappers, used clothing, scraps, tape, packaging and other garbage accumulated by a crew of four astronauts flying beyond low Earth orbit can be turned into valuable methane gas, oxygen and even water using processes and much smaller versions of devices that are already doing the same thing on Earth.

from Homepage :: NASA Tech Briefs

From Lifehacker: DIY Cryogenic Fluid Made from Dry Ice and Rubbing Alcohol Performs Most Liquid Nitrogen Demonstrations

If you’re a science hobbyist you probably don’t have access to actual liquid nitrogen (-320 degrees Fahrenheit) but you can make your own cryo-fluid from dry ice and rubbing alcohol that goes down to -110 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to instantly freeze flowers, cherries, and other popular liquid nitrogen demonstrations. More »

from Lifehacker

From Coolest Gadgets: Hyundai Connectivity Concept turns smartphones into car keys

Now here is a novel idea – since “there is an app for everything”, why not expand that horizon with the Hyundai Connectivity Concept? Imagine your smartphone doubling up as your vehicle’s key, now what would make one less thing to remember to bring with you wherever you go, don’t you think so? After all, vehicle manufacturers have been moving in a direction where content from your smartphone is being sent to your vehicle, and with a smartphone, you are able to access navigation, music, text messaging and other phone functions from the driver and/or passenger seat. With the Hyundai Connectivity Concept, the South Korean vehicle manufacturer intends to bring things up by another level, allowing you to transfer all of the phone’s content to the car’s touchscreen display wirelessly and throwing in other wireless functions to boot.

Hyundai has named it the Connectivity Concept, being a “technology study” and has a dream of it reaching production within the next three years. In fact, Hyundai has already equipped the conceptual system on a New Generation i30 as part of its demonstration purposes. The Connectivity Concept hardware will kick off before you even enter the car. Instead of a hard or electronic key, the Hyundai Connectivity Concept will rely on near-field communications (NFC) to pop the locks of the vehicle open, all you need to do is place the smartphone over an NFC tag on the door, and be prepared to enter.

When you have planted your rear end on the comfortable seat, the smartphone can then slide into a wireless dock that is located in the center console, where the entire slew of its content, ranging from music to phone contacts, and profile settings among others are then streamed to the car’s 7-inch touchscreen. The car’s infotainment system will resemble the look and function of the phone’s touchscreen, and a wireless charger is also thrown into the mix. This technology is expected to be commercialized in 2015.

Press Release

[ Hyundai Connectivity Concept turns smartphones into car keys copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

from Coolest Gadgets

From Autoblog: Report: Suzuki demand in US rises after bankruptcy

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Following word that Suzuki is ceasing car sales in America, it appears that demand for the Japanese automaker’s wares have increased. According to The Detroit News, American Suzuki Motor Corp. will import an additional 2,500 vehicles to quench demand that has jumped since the company announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and ending sales in America.

Dealers recently informed their sales personnel that no more vehicles would be produced and that this was the final push. With heavy incentives and a seven-year warranty as value-adds, November sales for Suzuki rose in November some 22 percent, up to 2,224 vehicles. December sales also rose, but neither month’s gains outweigh the long-term losses for the automaker. While Suzuki will sell roughly 22,000 cars this year in the US, it was selling about 120,000 annually before 2008.

As it stands, Suzuki will sell off the rest of its vehicle inventory, including the 2,500 additional units, and dealers will continue to provide parts an warranty work. With all of this negative news for the automaker, it’s impressive to see an interest in Suzuki vehicles even with the imminent shuttering of its North American car sales.

Suzuki demand in US rises after bankruptcy originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Dec 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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