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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Sep 14, 2017

IBM Makes Breakthrough in Race to Commercialize Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, quantum physics

Research paves way for possible advances in chemistry, material science.

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Sep 3, 2017

Ray Kurzweil — A Revolutionary Future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, life extension, nanotechnology, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading minds on artificial intelligence, technology and futurism. He is the author of five national best-selling books, including “The Singularity is Near” and “How to Create a Mind.”

Raymond “Ray” Kurzweil is an American author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist. Aside from futurology, he is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.

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Aug 25, 2017

Major leap towards storing data at the molecular level

Posted by in categories: chemistry, mobile phones, supercomputing

From smartphones to supercomputers, the growing need for smaller and more energy efficient devices has made higher density data storage one of the most important technological quests.

Now scientists at the University of Manchester have proved that storing data with a class of molecules known as single-molecule magnets is more feasible than previously thought.

The research, led by Dr David Mills and Dr Nicholas Chilton, from the School of Chemistry, is being published in Nature. It shows that magnetic hysteresis, a memory effect that is a prerequisite of any data storage, is possible in individual molecules at −213 °C. This is tantalisingly close to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (−196 °C).

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Aug 25, 2017

This Small Quantum-Computing Firm Wants to Supercharge AI Startups

Posted by in categories: business, chemistry, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Berkeley-based quantum computing firm Rigetti will allow 40 machine learning startups from 11 countries to make use of its devices to help crunch their AI problems.

Rigetti is small compared to its main rivals—the likes of Google, IBM, and Intel. But as we’ve reported in the past, the firm is working on a complex chip architecture that promises to scale up well, and should be particularly suited to applications like machine learning and chemistry simulations. That’s why we made it one of our 50 Smartest Companies of 2017.

But, like IBM and Google, part of Rigetti’s business model has always been to develop a kind of quantum-powered cloud service that would allow people to make use of its technology remotely. The newly announced partnership—which will be with companies from Creative Destruction Lab, a Canadian incubator that focuses on science-based startups—is a chance to test that theory out using Rigetti’s Forest programming environment.

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Aug 20, 2017

Scientists Are Finally Set to Mass-Produce The Active Compound Found in Magic Mushrooms

Posted by in categories: chemistry, neuroscience

For nearly 60 years scientists have known the chemical responsible for magic mushrooms’ psychedelic reputation is a compound called psilocybin. What we haven’t known is the biochemical pathway behind this famous hallucinogen.

Feel free to now tick that one off your chemistry bucket-list. German researchers have identified four key enzymes involved in making the chemical, potentially setting the stage for mass production of a promising pharmaceutical.

Psilocybin was first identified by the Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann way back in 1959, but has only recently re-entered the spotlight as a safe way to treat conditions related to anxiety, depression, and addiction.

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Jun 7, 2017

Your DNA Changes With the Seasons, Just Like the Weather

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Ah, my sweet summer child. What do you know of inflammation? Inflammation is for the winter, when genes uncoil in your blood and messengers send codes containing the blueprints for proteins to protect you from the harsh diseases of the cold. Inflammation is for those long nights, when the sun hides its face, or rain clouds block the sky, and trillions of little T-cells are born to fight the diseases of cold and flu season.

At least, that’s the news from a new study showing that DNA reacts to the seasons, changing your body’s chemistry depending on the time of year.

The findings, published today in Nature Communications ^1^, show that as many as one-fifth of all genes in blood cells undergo seasonal changes in expression. Genes often are seen as immutable, but a lot of our body’s workings depend upon which genes are translated when. In the winter, the study found, your blood contains a denser blend of immune responders, while summer veins swim with fat-burning, body-building, water-retaining hormones. These seasonal changes could provide insight into inflammatory diseases like hypertension, and autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.

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May 27, 2017

Nitinol – an alloy that remembers its shape

Posted by in category: chemistry

When I saw this for the first time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Well, I still kind of don’t…

Nitinol is a metal alloy of nickel and titanium, where the two elements are present in roughly equal atomic percentages.

Shape memory is the ability of nitinol to undergo deformation at one temperature, then recover its original, undeformed shape upon heating above its “transformation temperature”.

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May 12, 2017

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, life extension, neuroscience

The Buck institute is in the spotlight today.


Located in Novato, California, not too far from Mount Burdell Preserve and Olompali State Historic Park, is one of the world’s leading research centres for ageing and age-related diseases—the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Opened in 1999 thanks to the substantial bequest of American philanthropist Beryl Hamilton Buck, the Buck Institute set to fulfill her wishes that her patrimony be spent to “extend help towards the problems of the aged, not only the indigent but those whose resources cannot begin to provide adequate care.” Over the years, the Institute has certainly honoured its commitment: The Buck can boast some of the most eminent experts on ageing among its research staff, and a number of laboratories that push forward our understanding of age-related pathologies every day—such as the Campisi Lab and the Kennedy Lab, just to name a few.

The Buck’s approach to investigating ageing is a multifaceted one. The institute rightfully acknowledges the necessity to bring together experts from disparate fields of science—from physics to engineering, from mathematics to anthropology—in order to properly understand the complex networks of biochemical processes underlying ageing and ultimately leading to pathology. Biochemistry, molecular endocrinology, proteomics, genomic stability, and cell biology are only some of the areas of investigation of the Buck, and the medical conditions researched by their teams range from Huntington’s disease to ischemia, to Parkinson’s, to cancer and Alzheimer’s. The three main questions the Buck set to answer are why do ageing tissues lose their regeneration capacity, why do stem cells fail to function with ageing, and how do tissues change during ageing so that they no longer support normal regenerative processes.

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May 4, 2017

Exploring Titan With Aerial Platforms

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space, transportation

A very popular theme during NASA’s “Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop” was the exploration of Titan. In addition to being the only other body in the Solar System with a nitrogen-rich atmosphere and visible liquid on its surface, it also has an environment rich in organic chemistry. For this reason, a team led by Michael Pauken (from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) held a presentation detailing the many ways it can be explored using aerial vehicles.

The presentation, which was titled “Science at a Variety of Scientific Regions at Titan using Aerial Platforms “, was also chaired by members of the aerospace industry – such as AeroVironment and Global Aerospace from Monrovia, California, and Thin Red Line Aerospace from Chilliwack, BC.

Together, they reviewed the various aerial platform concepts that have been proposed for Titan since 2004.

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Mar 29, 2017

Quantum computer startup Rigetti Computing Raised $64 Million

Posted by in categories: chemistry, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Rigetti Computing, a leading quantum computing start-up, announced it has raised $64 million in Series A and B funding.

Rigetti Computing is building a cloud quantum computing platform for artificial intelligence and computational chemistry. Rigetti recently opened up private beta testing of Forest, its API for quantum computing in the cloud. Forest emphasizes a quantum-classical hybrid computing model, integrating directly with existing cloud infrastructure and treating the quantum computer as an accelerator.

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