We love this quote from Dr. Anirban Bandyopadhyay of Japan's National Institute for Materials Science:
...this is the first time we have created a nano-brain.
Is anyone else a little flushed after reading that? Here's the story:
While nanotechnology promises to supply us with tiny robots that enter our blood and fix the damage we've done by years of drinking on the job, scientists still haven't known how to direct the robots to the right place (perhaps you'd prefer them to remove that tumor as opposed to that testicle).
Now scientists have developed a "nano brain" that can move molecules via a scanning tunneling microscope.
16 duroquinone molecules form a ball around one duroquinone molecule in the middle. Once the middle molecule is activated, it simultaneously activates the 16 surrounding molecules to one of four billion different potential outcomes.
When these duroquinone brains are combined with existing nano machines, the brains have been able to control up to eight nano machines at once while processing 16 bits of information. Better still, brain prototypes have already been developed supporting 256 and 1024 operations at once.
So what's the real-world result of this recent development? One example is "The world's tiniest elevator." It takes a 2-nanometer device up and down by one nanometer. We'll let you know when scientists port "The world's tiniest Gizmodo RSS feed." Until then, hold tight. [bbc]