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Space elevator by 2050 planned, to include space solar power

February 22, 2012

space_elevator

Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has unveiled a project to build a space elevator by the year 2050 that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth and transmit power to the ground.

A cable, made of carbon nanotubes, would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of… read more

Toward achieving 1 million times increase in computing efficiency

July 11, 2012

Magnetoresistive spin-transistor

Northwestern University researchers may have found an alternative to CMOS (current computer processor chips) that would allow for highly efficient computer logic circuits that generate much less heat: an entirely new logic circuit family based on magnetic semiconductor devices that could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today’s.

Background

Modern-day computers are based on logic circuits using semiconductor transistors.… read more

How to watch everything in 3D

August 3, 2012

3DVision

Gene Dolgoff has developed a converter called 3-D Vision that he claims will instantly transform any 2-D video content — from TV to video games — into 3-D, using algorithms that present stereoscopic image pairs and give the illusion of depth, PandoDaily reports.

His crowdsourced Fundable 3-D Vision project (for design of the box) has reached more than half of its $10,000 goal in only four… read more

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of pathogens

April 6, 2012

portableplasmaflashlight

Imagine a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant — no soap and water required.

It could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations, and wherever treatment is required in remote locations.

It’s called a “plasma flashlight.”

In an experiment, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm with 17 different layers of one of the most… read more

Combining antennas with solar panels for high efficiency, low weight and volume

December 3, 2013

antenna-solar cell

Researchers at EPFL have managed to combine telecommunication antennas and solar cells to work together with unprecedented efficiency.

Traditionally, antennas and solar cells have never worked well together, as they have to function independently of each other in order to avoid interference. This has an impact on the weight and size of satellites — the surface area has to be large enough for both antenna systems, which… read more

New metamaterial lens focuses radio waves

Device could improve satellite and molecular imaging
November 15, 2012

The orientation of 4,000 S-shaped units forms a metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision, and very little energy lost (credit: Dylan Erb/MIT)

MIT researchers have fabricated a three-dimensional, lightweight metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision.

The concave lens exhibits a property called negative refraction, bending electromagnetic waves — in this case, radio waves — in exactly the opposite sense from which a normal concave lens would work.

Concave lenses typically radiate radio waves… read more

NASA Mars rover fully analyzes first soil samples

December 5, 2012

curiosity_trenches_mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil, including water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances.

The rover’s laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty… read more

Software predicts tomorrow’s news by analyzing today’s and yesterday’s

February 4, 2013

800px-World_newspapers_

Prototype software can give early warnings of disease or violence outbreaks by spotting clues in news reports.

Researchers have created software that predicts when and where disease outbreaks might occur, based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data. The research comes from Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, MIT Technology Review reports.

The system could someday help aid organizations and… read more

Water on the moon: it’s been there all along

February 21, 2013

Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.

The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early moon. The new findings indicate that the early moon was wet and that water there… read more

70% of American adults have high-speed broadband access at home

August 28, 2013

pew - internet

As of May 2013, 70% of American adults ages 18 and older have a high-speed broadband* connection at home, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Groups with the highest rates of home broadband adoption continue to be college graduates, adults under age 50, and adults living in households earning at least $50,000, as well as whites and adults living in… read more

Germany to tap brakes on high-speed trading

October 29, 2012

hft_chart

Germany is set to advance a bill Wednesday imposing a spate of new rules on high-frequency trading, escalating Europe’s sweeping response to concerns that speedy traders have brought instability to the markets.

The measure seeks to require traders to register with Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, collect fees from those who use high-speed trading systems excessively, and force stock markets to install circuit breakers that can interrupt trading if… read more

Drug-delivery nanoparticles mimic white blood cells to avoid immune rejection

February 4, 2013

Camouflaged nanoparticles (yellow) cloaked in the membranes of white blood cells rest on the surface of an immune system cell (phagocyte, blue) without being recognized, ingested, and destroyed (credit: Methodist Hospital, Houston)

Scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute have found a possible way to fool the immune system to prevent it from recognizing and destroying nanoparticles before they deliver their drug payloads.

“Our goal was to make a particle that is camouflaged within our bodies and escapes the surveillance of the immune system to reach its target undiscovered,” said Department of Medicine Co-Chair Ennio Tasciotti, Ph.D.,… read more

NASA announces asteroid grand challenge

June 19, 2013

asteroid

NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.

The challenge is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA’s recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.… read more

A laser that could find and zap tumors

Also penetrates the skull for brain tumors, researchers say
August 2, 2012

Femtosecond laser (credit: University of Tennessee Space Institute)

Researchers at the Center for Laser Applications at the University of Tennessee Space Institute have invented a system that uses lasers to find, map, and non-invasively destruct cancerous tumors.

The technology uses a femtosecond laser (creating pulses lasting one-quadrillionth of a second). The high speed enables the laser to quickly focus in on a specific region without overheating.

“Using ultra-short light pulses gives us the ability… read more

D-Wave quantum computer solves protein folding problem

August 20, 2012

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A 128-qubit D-Wave One quantum computer has solved the puzzle of how certain proteins fold, Nature News Blog reports.

The latest finding from a Harvard’s Alan Aspuru-Guzik and his colleagues shows that the D-Wave one could predict the lowest-energy configurations of a folded protein.

The model consisted of mathematical representations of amino acids in a lattice, connected by different interaction strengths. The D-wave computer… read more

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