Quantum software has finally left the dark ages with the creation of the first practical, high-level programming language for quantum computers. Called Quipper, it could guide the design of quantum computers and make them easier to program, New Scientist reports.
July 8, 2013
Lab-on-a-chip devices are microfluidic cells that incorporate pipes, reaction vessels, valves and a host of other implements typically found in laboratories. These components are typically carved into an inexpensive flat plastic plate, made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), to enable efficient… read more
The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do, by Dr. Daniel Berleant (388 pages), the first book published by the Lifeboat Foundation, is available free (Kindle version) to KurzweilAI readers on July 8 as a one-day promo.
A non-fiction book verging on science fiction, its imaginative future scenarios include colonizing the planet Mercury (it has water at the poles), GPS-enabled… read more
July 5, 2013
University of New South Wales (UNSW) physicists are studying a distant star where gravity is more than 30,000 times greater than on Earth to test their controversial theory that α (alpha) — also known as the fine-structure constant — is not a constant.
“If alpha [the fine-structure constant] were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter… read more
July 5, 2013
The research effort, pursued under a new $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, will attempt to design a vaccine conferring immunity to nicotine, using nanoscale structures assembled from DNA.… read more
Ethylene glycol functions well in a “continuous flow” reactor — an approach to making thin-film solar cells that is easily scaled up for mass production at industrial levels, they note.
The research, published in Material… read more
Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function, according to a Princeton University research team.
The researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience that when mice allowed to exercise regularly experienced a stressor — exposure to cold water — their brains exhibited a spike in the activity of neurons… read more
July 5, 2013
An international group of researchers, headed by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, has shown that a graphene layer can reduce the working temperature in hotspots inside a processor by up to 25 percent — which can significantly extend the working life of computers and other electronics.
“This discovery opens the door to increased functionality and continues to push the boundaries when it comes to… read more
July 4, 2013
Theoretically, hydrogen is the ultimate non-carbon, non-polluting fuel for storing intermittent energy from the wind or sun. When burned for energy, hydrogen produces water but no carbon dioxide. But practically speaking, producing hydrogen from… read more
July 4, 2013
In work that will raise hope that organs could be repaired or even grown from scratch using a patient’s own tissue as the raw material, Japanese researchers have created functioning liver tissue from stem cells and successfully transplanted them into mice, MIT Technology Review reports.
The researchers found that a mixture of human liver precursor cells and two other cell types can spontaneously form three-dimensional structures dubbed… read more
July 4, 2013
Imperial College London scientists say improving “crystallization,” an industrial process for making plastics, could revolutionize the way we produce electronic products, reducing the cost and improving the design of solar cells and other electronic devices.
The process of making many well-known products from plastics involves controlling the way that microscopic crystals are formed within the material.
That allows engineers to determine the exact properties they want,… read more
Douglas C. Engelbart, a visionary scientist whose singular epiphany in 1950 about technology’s potential to expand human intelligence led to a host of inventions — among them the computer mouse — that became the basis for both the Internet and the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday at his home in Atherton, Calif., The New York Times reports. He was 88….
In a single stroke he had what… read more
‘Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.are developing a system called “Wi-Vi” that transmits a low-power Wi-Fi signal and uses its reflections to track moving humans — even if they are in closed rooms or hiding behind a wall.
How it works
The researchers borrowed a technique called inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), which has been… read more
A unique new instrument at Gemini South in Chile takes the removal of atmospheric distortions (using new adaptive-optics technology) to a new level. The release of seven ultrasharp, large-field images from the instrument’s first science observations demonstrate its remarkable discovery potential.