science + technology news

Danielle Fong: how to store the world’s excess energy

July 3, 2012

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A company called LightSail Energy aims to store the world’s excess energy in giant tanks of compressed air.

The goal is to plug these tanks into wind and solar farms, so that they can squirrel away energy for times when it’s most needed, much like reservoirs store rain water.

The wind and the sun are prime sources of renewable energy, but they generate power unpredictably. LightSail’s compressed air… read more

Dangerous Knowledge

March 14, 2006

Can dangerous knowledge — such as the publication of the full genome of the 1918 influenza virus on the Internet — ever be contained? Once opened, might Pandora’s Box be shut again? Those questions lie at the heart of an ongoing debate over the necessity and application of precaution in the deployment of new technologies.

“Reversibility” is a concept that Jamais Cascio proposes as a wiser alternative to the… read more

Dancing lasers levitate carbon nanotubes

June 7, 2004

Carbon nanotubes have been picked up and moved with a laser beam for the first time. The trick may make it easier to build nanotube-based microchips.

The “optical trapping” technique exploits the ability of a laser beam to trap small particles: when the beam moves, the particles move with it.

Dance to senator saying Net is ‘series of tubes’

July 16, 2006

Commentary and parodies are spreading across the Web after U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, described the Internet as a “series of tubes” during a debate on net neutrality June 28.

Stevens went on to say that his staff sent him an “Internet” that was apparently delayed by Net congestion.

Damaged DNA may lead to anti-cancer drugs and therapies

March 15, 2005

Johns Hopkins chemists have discovered a new way to sabotage DNA’s ability to reproduce, a finding that could eventually lead to the development of more targeted anti-cancer drugs and therapies.

They created a synthetic, double-stranded DNA with special chemical characteristics and exposed it to long wavelength light that selectively switches on the DNA damage process.

The synthetic DNA is very similar to that which is produced when cells… read more

Daisy has all the digital answers to life on Earth

August 21, 2005

Scientists have unveiled plans to create a digital library of all life on Earth. They say that the Digital Automated Identification System (Daisy), which harnesses the latest advances in artificial intelligence and computer vision, will have an enormous impact on research into biodiversity and evolution.

Daily pill to beat genetic diseases

April 24, 2007

A pill that can correct a wide range of faulty genes that cause crippling illnesses should be available within three years, promising a revolution in the treatment of thousands of conditions.

The drug, known as PTC124, has already had encouraging results in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. The final phase of clinical trials is to begin this year, and it could be licensed as early as… read more

Daily Coverage From Singularity University All Next Week

June 26, 2009

H+ magazine writer Lisa Rein will be sitting in on the first week of Singularity University, starting Monday, blogging daily and twittering (@lisarein).

Daily caffeine ‘protects brain’

April 3, 2008

Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the brain, a University of North Dakota study suggests.

It found that the blood-brain barrier of rabbits fed a fat-rich diet was protected in those given a caffeine supplement equivalent to one cup of coffee a day.

Daily aspirin could help prevent and treat cancer: The Lancet

March 21, 2012

tabletsistock

Three new studies of using aspirin to prevent cancer, led by researchers at Oxford University, raise the possibility that a daily low dose of the drug could be effective, not just as a preventative measure, but as an additional treatment for those with cancer.

This follows the finding that aspirin can reduce the chances of tumors spreading to other parts of the body.

“We are not… read more

Daemon’s bot-mediated reality

February 16, 2009

Forget reality TV. Nextgen is Augmented Reality TV: botnet replaces Judge Judy, artficial reality game (ARG) players determine real-life actions and events, new world order replaces democracy.

That’s the theme of the new ARG thriller Daemon. We are already steps away, with the building blocks in place now: GPS networks, pervasive botnets, top-down and bottom-up ubiquitous satellite surveillance, cams, and sensor networks.

D-Wave Systems previews 2000-qubit quantum processor

September 28, 2016

D-Wave 2000-qubit processor (credit: D-Wave Systems)

D-Wave Systems announced Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2016) a new 2000-qubit processor, doubling the number of qubits over the previous-generation D-Wave 2X system. The new system will enable larger problems to be solved and performance improvements of up to 1000 times.

D-Wave’s quantum system runs a quantum-annealing algorithm to find the lowest points in a virtual energy landscape representing a computational problem to be solved. The lowest points… read more

D-Wave Systems makes quantum-computer video available

March 16, 2007

D-Wave Systems, Inc. has made the video of its 16-bit quantum-computer launch event at the Computer History Museum available online.

(Free registration required.)

D-Wave Systems breaks the 1000 qubit quantum computing barrier

June 26, 2015

(credit: D-Wave Systems)

D-Wave Systems has broken the quantum computing 1000 qubit barrier, developing a processor about double the size of D-Wave’s previous generation, and far exceeding the number of qubits ever developed by D-Wave or any other quantum effort, the announcement said.

It will allow “significantly more complex computational problems to be solved than was possible on any previous quantum computer.”

At 1000 qubits, the new processor considers 21000 possibilities… read more

D-Wave reveals use of ‘quantum annealing’ to make eight qubits

May 16, 2011

DWave-Processors

Quantum annealing can be used to make eight coupled quantum bits (qubits) find their ground state, a step forward in building a commercially viable quantum computer,  researchers at D-Wave Systems in Vancouver, B.C. have demonstrated.

Quantum annealing is a method for finding solutions to combinatorial optimization problems. The researchers used it with eight flux qubits (micrometer sized loops of superconducting metal) within one of D-Wave System’s integrated circuits. These contained… read more

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