Atomic Magnetometer Points to Better Picture of Heart Conductivity

Mapping the electrical conductivity of the heart would be a valuable tool in diagnosis and disease management, but doing so would require invasive procedures, which aren’t capable of directly mapping dielectric properties. Significant advances have recently been made that leverage atomic magnetometers to provide a direct picture of electric conductivity of biological tissues, and in Applied Physics Letters, new work in quantum sensors points to ways such technology could be used to examine the heart.

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Extreme High-Frequency Signals Enable Terabits-Per-Second Data Links

Using the same technology that allows high-frequency signals to travel on regular phone lines, researchers tested sending extremely high-frequency, 200 GHz signals through a pair of copper wires. The result is a link that can move data at rates of terabits per second, significantly faster than currently available channels. In Applied Physics Letters, the scientists discuss their work using experimental measurements and mathematical modeling to characterize the input and output signals in a waveguide.

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Recipe for Neuromorphic Processing Systems?

The field of “brain-mimicking” neuromorphic electronics shows great potential for basic research and commercial applications, and researchers in Germany and Switzerland recently explored the possibility of reproducing the physics of real neural circuits by using the physics of silicon. In Applied Physics Letters, they present their work to understand neural processing systems, as well as a recipe to reproduce these computing principles in mixed signal analog/digital electronics and novel materials.

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Robotic Gripping Mechanism Mimics How Sea Anemones Catch Prey

Researchers in China demonstrated a robotic gripping mechanism that mimics how a sea anemone catches its prey. The bionic torus captures and releases objects by crimping its skin. The grasper not only is relatively cheap and easy to produce but also can grab a variety of objects of different sizes, shapes, weights and materials. They discuss their work in this week’s Applied Physics Letters.

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Ultrasound Selectively Damages Cancer Cells When Tuned to Correct Frequencies

Doctors have used focused ultrasound to destroy tumors without invasive surgery for some time. However, the therapeutic ultrasound used in clinics today indiscriminately damages cancer and healthy cells alike. Researchers have now developed a low-intensity ultrasound approach that exploits the properties of tumor cells to target them and provide a safer option. Their findings, reported in Applied Physics Letters, are a new step in oncotripsy, the singling out and killing of cancer cells based on their physical properties.

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