Developments to Watch
-- Painful injections for diabetics and other patients could become a thing of the past. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a way to make drugs penetrate the skin with pulses of low-frequency ultrasound. The technique has already been used to administer a variety of drugs, including insulin.
-- Cellular phones and handheld computers are so prevalent that some companies worry about possible side effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI). But University of Buffalo researchers have developed a new and improved EMI blocker: skinny carbon filaments, one micron in diameter, that are plated with nickel and embedded in plastic.
-- Diagnosing what ails sick buildings just took a new twist. Environmental scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that often foul indoor air don't always stem from the usual list of suspects, such as foam insulation and synthetic carpet fibers. Molds and fungi growing inside walls or air-conditioning ducts also produce the same VOC gases--sometimes enough to affect indoor air quality.EDITED BY OTIS PORT