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Jul 2, 2016

MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

Posted by in categories: mathematics, neuroscience

Thomas Aquinas and other ludicrous pseudo-philosophers (in contradistinction with real philosophers such as Abelard) used to ponder questions about angels, such as whether they can interpenetrate (as bosons do).

Are today’s mathematicians just as ridiculous? The assumption of infinity has been “proven” by the simplest reasoning ever: if n is the largest number, clearly, (n+1) is larger. I have long disagreed with that hare-brained sort of certainty, and it’s not a matter of shooting the breeze. (My point of view has been spreading in recent years!) Just saying something exists, does not make it so (or then one would believe Hitler and Brexiters). If I say:” I am emperor of the galaxy known as the Milky Way!” that has a nice ring to it, but it does not make it so (too bad, that would be fun).

Given n symbols, each labelled by something, can one always find a new something to label (n+1) with? I say: no. Why? Because reality prevents it. Somebody (see below) objected that I confused “map” and “territory”. But I am a differential geometer, and the essential idea there, from the genius B. Riemann, is that maps allow to define “territory”:

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Jul 2, 2016

Quantum technologies to revolutionise 21st century — Nobel Laureates discuss at Lindau

Posted by in categories: computing, economics, quantum physics

Nice read.


Is quantum technology the future of the 21st century? On the occasion of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, this is the key question to be explored today in a panel discussion with the Nobel Laureates Serge Haroche, Gerardus ’t Hooft, William Phillips and David Wineland. In the following interview, Council Member Professor Rainer Blatt, internationally renowned quantum physicist, recipient of numerous honours, and Scientific Co-Chairman of the 66th Lindau Meeting, talks about what we can expect from the “second quantum revolution”.

Blatt has no doubt: quantum technologies are driving forward a technological revolution, the future impact of which is still unclear. Nothing stands in the way of these technologies becoming the engine of innovations in science, economics and society in the 21st century. Early laboratory prototypes have shown just how vast the potential of quantum technologies is. Specific applications are expected in the fields of metrology, computing and simulations. However, substantial funding is required to advance from the development stage.

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Jul 2, 2016

Novel Biomaterial Developed for Injectable Neuronal Control

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A light-activated injectable device that could eventually be used to stimulate nerve cells and manipulate the behavior of muscles and organs has been developed.

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Jul 2, 2016

Solar nano-grids light up homes and businesses in Kenya

Posted by in categories: business, computing, economics, habitats, nanotechnology

First installations go live as INTASAVE Energy pursues $30M impact investment.

Villagers in Lemolo B and Echareria in Nakuru County, Kenya, are waking up today to a new future as new solar nano-grids installed over the last two weeks allows them to switch on lights and operate new agri-processing machinery. The two communities are the first to receive a revolutionary new model for clean, affordable and reliable energy where a central solar hub provides both commercial energy for new village enterprises and household energy using cutting-edge up-cycled laptop batteries. The hub allows energy to be shared between households, businesses and the community bringing economic, social and environmental benefits.

The installation is the start of a major INTASAVE Energy solar nano-grid initiative (SONG) that ultimately aims to bring the benefits now beginning for villagers in Lemolo B and Echareria to over 450,000 people across the globe. INTASAVE Energy has launched a $30M impact investment programme to make this goal a reality.

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Jul 2, 2016

New material switches from water-repelling to water-loving with electric current

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Definitely makes sense when you consider how things work in nature.


Generally, water repellent objects and those that attract or absorb water have very different microscopic-level attributes that endow them with their behavior. For example, the myriad tiny hairs on a gecko’s body help it to efficiently repel water, whilst specially treated cotton designed for harvesting water from the air contains millions of tiny pores that draw in liquid. Now researchers have discovered a way to use a single type of material to perform both functions, switching between liquid attraction and liquid repulsion, simply through the application of an electric voltage.

Developed by a team of scientists from TU Wien, the University of Zurich, and KU Levin, the new material alters its water-handling behavior by changing its surface structure at the nanoscale to effect a change at the macroscale. Specifically, the behavior of liquid on the new material is as a result of altering the “stiction” (static friction) of the molecular surface. One with a high-level of stiction keeps moisture clinging to it, whilst one with a low-level allows the liquid to run right off.

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Jul 2, 2016

A Fatality Forces Tesla to Confront Its Limits

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

This couldn’t of happened at a worse time. Everyone was starting to ramp up for self driving cars. It looked like everyone was going to start taking them to market in 2020. This one incident might move things back 5 years.


Elon Musk’s confidence in Tesla’s technology has seemed boundless, but trying to stay ahead of the competition has posed risks.

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Jul 1, 2016

What the evolution of human culture can teach us about international relations — By Mark Leon Goldberg | UN Dispatch

Posted by in category: human trajectories

Unknown

An interview with Stewart Patrick, “a Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.”

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Jul 1, 2016

Interesting Futurism Animation 32

Posted by in category: futurism

RNA polymerase!

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Jul 1, 2016

SanDisk’s new 256GB microSD makes your phone as spacious as a laptop

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

SanDisk doubles the capacity of its microSD memory cards with 256GB Ultra and Extreme options.

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Jul 1, 2016

Researchers identify calorie-burning pathway in fat cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a natural molecular pathway that enables cells to burn off calories as heat rather than store them as fat. This raises the possibility of a new approach to treating and preventing obesity, diabetes, and other obesity-linked metabolic disorders including cancer.

Reporting in an online publication by the journal Cell, scientists led by Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, director of the Center for Energy Metabolism and Chronic Disease at Dana-Farber, and professor of cell biology and medicine at Harvard Medical School, discovered the mechanism in energy-burning brown and beige fat in mice. They identified an enzyme, PM20D1, which is secreted by the cells and triggers the production of compounds called N-acyl . These N-acyl amino acids “uncouple” fat burning from other metabolic processes, allowing for . Such “uncouplers” were known as synthetic chemicals but this is the first known natural small molecule with uncoupling activity.

When they injected the N-acyl amino acids into obese mice which ate a high-fat diet, the researchers noted significant weight loss after eight days of treatment. The weight loss was entirely in fatty tissue.

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