ONCE you know what it is, this apparently innocuous picture of a blob assumes a terrible gravity. It is an adult human brain that is entirely smooth – free of the ridges and folds so characteristic of our species' most complex organ.
We can only imagine what life was like for this person. He or she was a resident of what is now North Texas State Hospital, a mental health facility, and died there in 1970, but that's all we know. While the jar containing the brain is labelled with a reference number, the microfilm containing the patient's medical records has been lost.
A promising new application of graphene has been described by researchers at MIT, Columbia University and IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center in the latest issue of Nature Photonics. It has been revealed that graphene in photo detectors could convert optical signals to electrical signals in integrated optoelectronic computer chips.
Light will be used by them instead of electricity to move data both within and between computer chips. This could drastically reduce the power consumption and heat production. These are the problems to engulf with increase in computational capacity.