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Magnetic Levitation Detects Proteins, Could Diagnose Disease 26

LilaG writes "Not just a way to transport trains at high speed, magnetic levitation could find use in diagnosing disease. Researchers at Harvard have shown that they can detect proteins in blood using MagLev. The researchers, led by George Whitesides, use levitation to detect a change in the density of porous gel beads that occurs when a protein binds to ligands inside the beads. The lower the bead levitates, the more protein it holds. The method (abstract of paywalled article) could work for detecting disease proteins in people's blood samples in the developing world: The magnets cost only about $5 each, and the device requires no electricity or batteries. Because the beads are visible to the naked eye, researchers can make measurements with a simple ruler with a millimeter scale."

Nanomagnets Could Replace Transistors in Microprocessors 91

redwolfe7707 writes "Computers today move electrons, using lots of energy in the process. A new report out of UC Berkeley shows that doing computing with nano magnetic domains could reduce the energy consumption by a factor of a million." As usual, the factor of a million would be in the ideal case and is close to the minimum permitted by the universe.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.