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Nov 18, 2015

Smallest-possible Diamonds Form Ultra-thin Nanothread

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A team has, for the first time, discovered how to produce ultra-thin “diamond nanothreads” that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today’s strongest nanotubes and polymer fibers. Such exceedingly strong, stiff, and light materials have an array of potential applications, everything from more-fuel efficient vehicles or even the science fictional-sounding proposal for a “space elevator.”

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Nov 18, 2015

Face transplant

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Here’s how doctors pulled off the most complicated face transplant ever.

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Nov 18, 2015

Fresh Voices: Researchers Grow New Vocal Cords From Cells

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

As many as 20 million Americans have impaired voices because of damage to the vocal cords — more precisely, vocal folds — the researchers report in the journal Science Translational Medicine. There’s no good solution for them now.

Organs for transplant are always in short supply and no one’s really tried transplanting vocal folds into a living patient, the team said. They decided to try growing new ones.

It’s not an easy thing to do. The tissue that makes up vocal folds is extremely specialized. Not just any old tissue will do the job.

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Nov 18, 2015

Apple to Introduce 100% Solar-Powered Retail Store

Posted by in categories: policy, solar power, sustainability

Tech behemoth Apple is set to become the first completely solar-powered company in Singapore.

As part of a long-term partnership with Sunseap Group, Apple will draw upon Sunseap’s vast network of more than 800 solar panel-equipped buildings, which will satisfy the energy requirements for the company’s forthcoming 2,500-person corporate campus and retail store operations in Singapore.

According to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, the company aims to completely kick its dependence on fossil fuels and rely instead on renewable energy sources for its facilities worldwide.

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Nov 18, 2015

Nick Bostrom: It would be a great tragedy if artificial superintelligence is never developed

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Bostrom tells IBTimes UK that advanced AI creation is on the path to the ‘best possible future’.

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Nov 18, 2015

Inexplicable Superconductor Fractals Hint at Higher Universal Laws

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

What seemed to be flaws in the structure of a mystery metal may have given physicists a glimpse into as-yet-undiscovered laws of the universe.

The qualities of a high-temperature superconductor — a compound in which electrons obey the spooky laws of quantum physics, and flow in perfect synchrony, without friction — appear linked to the fractal arrangements of seemingly random oxygen atoms.

Those atoms weren’t thought to matter, especially not in relation to the behavior of individual electrons, which exist at a scale thousands of times smaller. The findings, published Aug. 12 in Nature, are a physics equivalent of discovering a link between two utterly separate dimensions.

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Nov 18, 2015

Three Alternative Fusion Projects That Are Making Progress

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists pin their hopes on new magnets and fast lasers.

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Nov 18, 2015

Samsung is making a flip phone that looks like it’s from 2004

Posted by in category: mobile phones

With a glass and metal design reminiscent of the Galaxy S6, it could prove pretty popular.

It’s actually quite difficult to buy a phone these days that isn’t a buttonless smartphone — leaving people who prefer a physical keyboard (they still exist, as the Blackberry Priv shows) without many options.

The market for this phone might be fairly niche, but if it satisfies users’ nostalgia and actually works it could be a success.

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Nov 18, 2015

‘Super natural killer cells’ destroy cancer in lymph nodes to halt metastasis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, nanotechnology

Nanoscale liposomes (orange) containing TRAIL protein (green) attach to the surface of white blood cells (blue), bump into cancer cells (brown), and program them to die (credit: Cornell University)

Cornell biomedical engineers have developed specialized white blood cells they call “super natural killer cells” that seek out cancer cells in lymph nodes with only one purpose: to destroy them, halting the onset of cancer tumor cell metastasis.

“We want to see lymph-node metastasis become a thing of the past,” said Michael R. King, the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Biomedical Engineering and senior author of a paper in the journal Biomaterials.

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Nov 18, 2015

Bioengineered Shark Fins Could Save 70 Million Sharks

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, information science, sustainability

Each year, an estimated 70 million sharks are killed for their fins. The brutal shark finning process involves cutting off a live shark’s fins and returning the debilitated animal back into the water to die a slow death. Highly valued in traditional Asian medicine and cuisine, the fins can sell for as much as $300 a pound on the black market.

What if an artificial shark fin could remove sharks from the equation completely?

New Wave Foods, a San Francisco-based sustainable seafood company, is developing a bioengineered fin product that could pull the rug out from underneath the shark trade.

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