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Ultra-thin capacitors could acclerate development of next-gen electronics

February 28, 2014

All-nanosheet ultrathin capacitor (credit: C. Wang et al./ACS Nano)

Japanese researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science and Shinshu University have developed a way to shrink capacitors — key components that store energy — further, which could accelerate the development of more compact, high-performance next-gen electronic devices. The study appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Takayoshi Sasaki and colleagues note that current technology has almost reached its limit in terms of materials and processing, which in turn… read more

Selective nanopores in graphene dramatically improve desalination and purification

February 28, 2014

holes_graphene

A team of researchers at MIT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and in Saudi Arabia succeeded in creating subnanoscale pores in a sheet of graphene, a development that could lead to ultrathin filters for improved desalination or water purification. Their findings are published in the journal Nano Letters.

The new work, led by graduate student Sean O’Hern and associate professor of mechanical engineering Rohit Karnik, is the first… read more

Can space elevators really work?

February 28, 2014

Climber ascends space elevator, heading spaceward from its aeroshell (credit: Frank Chase/Chase Design Studios)

Yes. A space elevator appears possible and space elevator infrastructure could indeed be built via a major international effort, a study conducted by experts under the auspices of the International Academy of Astronautics has found, Space.com writer Leonard David reports.

Two technologies pacing the development of the space elevator are an ultra-strong space tether and other space elevator components, and lightweight solar cells, according to study lead… read more

Worldwide Future Day kicks off at noon March 1 in New Zealand

"We need to do everything in our power to make the future a radically better place, by any means necessary." --- DJ Steve Aoki comment re Future Day from his concert venue in Sao Paulo, Brazil
February 28, 2014

futureday

“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed,” William Gibson famously said. Future Day aims to do something about that.

The global event begins at noon March 1 in New Zealand (6 PM Friday Feb. 28 in New York), when Stephanie Pride of the World Futures Studies Federation launches the Future Day Google Hangout, and continues in cities around the… read more

With the ‘Bionanoprobe,’ rapid freezing leads to better nanoscale imaging of cells

February 28, 2014

nano-freezing

For scientists to determine if a cell is functioning properly, they must destroy it (with X-rays), possibly giving false accounts of how the cell actually works.

Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a new probe that freezes cells to “see” at greater detail without damaging the sample.*

Traditional X-ray fluorescence methods look at cells that have either been… read more

Transhuman Visions 2.0′s ‘deep future’ exploration

February 28, 2014

TV2.0

Piedmont, California near Oakland will be the traditional setting for a radical “deep-future” symposium titled “TRANSHUMAN VISIONS 2.0 — East Bay” on Saturday March 1. Inside the 50′s-era Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium perched above the town’s Police Department, there will be 12 hours (9 am — 9 pm) of serious brain-boosting ideas, keynoted by eminent transhumanists Natasha Vita-More and Max More.

Here’s how event producer Hank Pellissier… read more

NASA’s Kepler mission discovers 715 new planets

February 27, 2014

The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on. (Credit:  NASA)

NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system.

Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized planets more akin to Earth than previously identified exoplanets (planets… read more

Magnetic medicine: nanoparticles and magnetic fields train immune cells to fight cancer in mice

Tumors in mice treated with T-cell-stimulating nanoparticles and magnetism stopped growing and shrunk 10 times smaller
February 27, 2014

magnetic_medicine_schematic

Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, by using nanoparticles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells,  The experiments, described in ACS Nano February 24, represent a significant step toward using nanoparticles and magnetism to treat a variety of conditions, the researchers say.

“By using small enough particles, we could, for the first time, see a key difference… read more

Newly developed chemical restores light perception in blind mice

A potential drug candidate for treating patients suffering from degenerative retinal disorders
February 27, 2014

A retinal ganglion cell fire when illuminated by a targeted light after application of a photoswitch compound (credit: Ivan Tochitsky et al./Neuron)

Richard Kramer of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleagues have invented a “photoswitch” chemical named DENAQ that confers light sensitivity on normally light-insensitive retinal ganglion cells, restoring light perception in blind mice.*

An earlier photoswitch investigated by the researchers in 2012 (reported by KurzweilAI) called AAQ requires very bright ultraviolet light, which can be damaging; and AAQ dissipates from the eye within a… read more

3D printer creates hi-res implantable device for customized heart treatment

Could radically transform measurement, treatment, and prediction of cardiac disorders
February 27, 2014

efimov_heart_membrane

Using an inexpensive 3-D printer, Washington University biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders.

Igor Efimov, PhD, at the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis and an international team of biomedical engineers and materials scientists have created a 3-D elastic membrane made of a soft, flexible,… read more

Futurists plan worldwide 24-hour discussion to celebrate Future Day March 1

Six international futurist organizations join forces to invite their members and the public to come online at 12 noon in their timezone to explore how they can help build a better future
February 26, 2014

futureday

On March 1, Future Day, six international futurist organizations will come together to conduct a 24-hour conversation about the world’s potential futures, challenges, and opportunities, according to Millennium Project CEO Jerome Glenn and Humanity+ Secretary Adam A. Ford.

In addition to The Millennium Project, the organizations are: Association of Professional Futurists, Club of Amsterdam, Humanity+, Worldread more

Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land, Stanford-led study says

Wind farm could reduce peak hurricane wind speeds by up to 92 mph and decrease storm surge by up to 79 percent
February 26, 2014

Offshore wind farm (credit: Seimens)

Computer simulations by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages.

For the past 24 years,  Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, has been developing a complex computer model… read more

Nanopatterned natural biological scaffold for stem cells may allow for softer engineered tissues

February 26, 2014

nanofibers

Feng Zhao of Michigan Technological University (MTU) has persuaded fibroblasts — cells that make up the extracellular matrix in the body — to make a well-organized nanopatterned scaffold (support structure). This discovery could have major implications for growing engineered tissue to repair or replace virtually any part of our bodies.

In all multicellular organisms, including people, cells make their own extracellular matrix, a… read more

Researchers hijack cancer migration mechanism to ‘move’ brain tumors

February 25, 2014

gbm-samples

One factor that makes glioblastoma cancers so difficult to treat is that malignant cells from the tumors spread throughout the brain by following nerve fibers and blood vessels to invade new locations.

Now, Georgia Tech and Emory University researchers have learned to hijack this migratory mechanism, turning it against the cancer by using a film of nanofibers to lure tumor cells away.

Instead of invading new… read more

New wireless tech may radically transform mobile video streaming

February 25, 2014

pCell users will have 100 percent unshared access to high-speed mobile communications, says Perlman (credit: Artemis)

Entrepreneur Steve Perlman has demonstrated a new wireless technology called pcell that he says will facilitate ubiquitous broadband mobile connections, enabling an unlimited number of devices to share the same spectrum simultaneously, Venturebeat reports.

At Columbia University, he showed eight iPhones streaming HD video sharing just 5 MHz of spectrum.

His Artemis Networks startup plans to begin installing pWaves, its little pCell base stations,… read more

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