Atom-thick material runs rings around silicon: A UManchester research group (including Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim who discovered graphene in 2004) has figured out how to "carve" a transistor one atom thick and ten atoms wide out of graphene, a material made from flat sheets of carbon in a honeycomb arrangement, taking us closer to a solution to the 10nm stability limit of silicon. The resulting devices are only 1nm across and contain just a few carbon rings. Wait, you say: Graphene usually lacks the switchable conductivity properties that a transistor would need to control electric current. The way the team got around this is to "carve" out small "quantum dots" of the material a few nanometers across -- this enables them to use quantum effects that are dominant at this scale to trap electrons, providing the needed control. Eliminate the magnetic field, the current stops; reinstate it, the current flows.
New high temperature superconductors discovered: Thanks to researchers in Japan and China, we now know that arsenic and iron together create a compound that forms a superconductor that can conduct electricity with no resistance at very high temperatures. The only problem -- we don't know how they do it. The best high-temp superconducting materials before this discovery were copper and oxygen (cuprates) -- materials researchers are hoping that the arsenic and iron versions may yield the secrets to their capabilities better than the cuprates. Whether the FeAs versions work the same way as the CuO ones is another question researchers will be plumbing.
How it works. Regularly, electrons flowing in metal bounce off defects in the crystal structure of the metal. Below a certain temperature, the electrons form pairs and the only way to deflect them is to break the bond (and there's not enough energy to do that). Superconductivity.