InfoWorldMike passed us a link to a story at his site about a way to perform computer functions on the atomic level. IBM has pioneered the process at their Almaden Research lab in California. Essentially, researchers detect 'magnetic anisotropy, a property of the magnetic field that gives it the ability to maintain a particular direction'. Since the process allows the detection of the 'direction' individual atoms are facing, this is the first step towards the ones and zeroes used in binary. "In a second report, researchers at IBM's lab in Zurich, Switzerland, said they had used an individual molecule as an electric switch that could potentially replace the transistors used in modern chips. The company published both research reports in Friday's edition of the journal Science.The new technologies are at least 10 years from being used for components in commercial products, but the discoveries will allow scientists to take a large step forward in their quest to replace silicon, said IBM spokesman Matthew McMahon."