• Credit: S. Melanie Lee, Zbigniew Mikulski, Sarkis K. Mazmanian

Current Technologies

Here are some examples of Caltech's newest technologies:

Memory technology

Computation and Neural Systems and Electrical Engineering professor Shuki Bruck would like to enhance how information is stored and processed. His team has developed a new system for writing and recording information in flash technology. The system is called rank modulation and has improved the capacity, endurance, reliability, and speed of flash memory, as well as made it possible for the flash technology already widely used in portable electronic devices to be expanded for use in large-scale computing and other big enterprises.

Autism therapy and diagnostics

Biology professor Sarkis Mazmanian could revolutionize how autism is treated and diagnosed with research that explores a unique link between the activation of the immune system during pregnancy and elevated risk for autism in the offspring. In a mouse model of this risk factor, a probiotic restores the balance of beneficial microbes in the offspring's gut, reduces gastrointestinal symptoms, and corrects autism-like behaviors. The presence of specific gut bacterial metabolites in the blood may also be used as an early diagnostic test for autism.

Chemical synthesis

Chemistry professor Brian Stoltz is leading a research team that is creating new ways of making complex molecules that are useful in developing pharmaceuticals and natural products that would otherwise be too challenging to produce. The team has devised a chemical reaction that selectively and accurately produces complex compounds for use in creating products ranging from chemotherapeutic agents to bioactive plant materials such as morphine.

Wonder material

Physics professor Nai-Chang Yeh and staff scientist David Boyd are working toward a new material platform for tomorrow's nano-electronics and energy-generating and -saving devices. They are the first to have developed a method for cheaply and efficiently fabricating—at room temperature—large, high-quality sheets of a "wonder material," graphene. This novel material is thin, flexible, and strong, as well as transparent and conductive.