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Nov. 15, 2010 — Imagine a computer equipped with shock-proof memory that's 100,000 times faster and consumes less power than current hard disks. EPFL Professor Mathias Kläui is working on a new kind of "Racetrack" memory, a high-volume, ultra-rapid non-volatile read-write magnetic memory that may soon make such a device possible. Annoyed by how long it took his computer to boot up, Kläui began to think about an alternative. Hard disks are cheap and can store enormous quantities of data, but they are slow; every time a computer boots up, 2-3 minutes are lost while information is transferred from the hard disk into RAM (random access memory). The global cost in terms of lost productivity and energy consumption runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a day. Like the tried and true VHS videocassette, the proposed solution involves data recorded on magnetic tape.
Nov. 16, 2010 — A pioneering lighting system that can kill hospital superbugs -- including MRSA and C.diff -- has been developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The technology decontaminates the air and exposed surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light. Clinical trials at Glasgow Royal Infirmary have shown that the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System provides significantly greater reductions of bacterial pathogens in the hospital environment than can be achieved by cleaning and disinfection alone, providing a huge step forward in hospitals' ability to prevent the spread of infection.
Science and Technology