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Researchers combat global disease with a cell phone, Google Maps and a lot of ingenuity

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 27, 2012) — In the fight against emerging public health threats, early diagnosis of infectious diseases is crucial. And in poor and remote areas of the globe where conventional medical tools like microscopes and cytometers are unavailable, rapid diagnostic tests, or RDTs, are helping to make disease screening quicker and simpler.

RDTs are generally small strips on which blood or fluid samples are placed. Specific changes in the color of the strip, which usually occur within minutes, indicate the presence of infection. Different tests can be used to detect various diseases, including HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and syphilis.

While the advantages of RDTs are significant -- better disease-management...

Wearable electronics:Transparent, lightweight, flexible conductor could revolutionize electronics industry

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 27, 2012) — The most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity has been invented by a team from the University of Exeter. Called GraphExeter, the material could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, phones and MP3 players.

GraphExeter could also be used for the creation of 'smart' mirrors or windows, with computerised interactive features. Since this material is...

Strong Grip: Unexpected interaction between organic semiconductors

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TechAndComputer (Mar. 9, 2012) — Jülich physicists have discovered an unexpectedly strong bond between organic layers. Such structures are still puzzling scientists throughout the world. These structures form the basis for novel electronic components made from organic semiconductors that are now increasingly used in smart phones and television sets.

The results have been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Organic semiconductors are cheap to produce, can be...

Toward better electronics: Researchers develop new way to oxidize promising graphene

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 19, 2012) — Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new method for chemically altering graphene, a development that could be a step toward the creation of faster, thinner, flexible electronics.

Highly desired for its many promising attributes, graphene is a one-atom thick, honeycomb-shaped lattice of carbon atoms with exceptional strength and conductivity. Among graphene's many possible applications is electronics: Many experts believe it...

Domestic consumption main contributor to Africa's growing E-waste problem

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 10, 2012) — West Africa faces a rising tide of E-waste generated by domestic consumption of new and used electrical and electronic equipment, according to a new United Nations report. Domestic consumption makes up the majority (up to 85 percent) of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) produced in the region, according to the study. The E-waste problem in West Africa is further exacerbated by an ongoing stream of used equipment from industrialized...