-- WASTEWATER FROM FISH farms can pollute streams. But hydroponic strawberries (above) thrive on it. The Agriculture Dept. says nutrients in the water helped boost productivity 10 times.

-- BY SANDWICHING THIN layers of carbon nitride and titanium nitride, Northwestern University researchers created industrial coatings that are nearly as hard as industrial diamonds. And unlike diamonds, which require temperatures up to 900C, the new composite can be produced at room temperature.

-- CRAY RESEARCH INC.'S newest supercomputer tears along at 60 billion calculations per second. That's not why everyone is talking about it, however. Ingenious new connectors let Cray eliminate 36 miles of wiring among boards and other components, slashing manufacturing costs. Even so, the world's first almost wireless supercomputer--called the T90--costs $2.5 million and up.

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