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Sep 22, 2015

Scientists figure out how to make flexible materials 3 times stronger than steel

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

Australian scientists have published an ‘instruction manual’ that makes it a whole lot easier and cheaper to create metallic glass — a type of flexible but ultra-tough alloy that’s been described as “the most significant materials science innovation since plastic”. The material is similar to the sci-fi liquid-type metal used to create the T-1000 in Terminator 2 - when it’s heated it’s as malleable as chewing gum, but when it cools it’s three times stronger than steel.

Researchers have been dabbling with the creation of metallic glass — or amorphous metal — for decades, and have made a range of different types by mixing metals such as magnesium, palladium, or copper — but only after an expensive and lengthy process of trial and error. Now, for the first time, Australian scientists have created a model of the atomic structure of metallic glass, and it will allow scientists to quickly and easily predict which metal combinations can form the unique material.

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Sep 22, 2015

IBM Smarter PlanetVoice: Meet The Brain-Inspired Computer Chip That Can Smell, Feel And Hear

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

By Dharmendra S. Modha, Ph. D., IBM Research

Building a computer that could match the power of the human brain has long been a goal of scientists.

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Sep 22, 2015

Unofficial Tesla Drone Could Change Filmmaking Forever

Posted by in categories: drones, media & arts

Start jotting down your Christmas list for next year, because the Tesla Drone will be the hottest next thing! — B.J. Murphy for Serious WOnder.

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Sep 22, 2015

Disney invests $65 million to help make virtual-reality movies the next thing

Posted by in categories: entertainment, virtual reality

With more than $100 million in total investment, Jaunt is among the cluster of startups trying to take VR mainstream.

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Sep 22, 2015

Digestible batteries needed to power electronic pills

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics, engineering, materials

Imagine a “smart pill” that can sense problems in your intestines and actively release the appropriate drugs. We have the biological understanding to create such a device, but we’re still searching for electronic materials (like batteries and circuits) that pose no risk if they get stuck in our bodies. In Trends in Biotechnology on September 21, Christopher Bettinger of Carnegie Mellon University presents a vision for creating safe, consumable electronics, such as those powered by the charged ions within our digestive tracts.

Edible electronic medical devices are not a new idea. Since the 1970s, researchers have been asking people to swallow prototypes that measure temperature and other biomarkers. Currently, there are ingestible cameras for gastrointestinal surgeries as well as sensors attached to medications used to study how drugs are broken down in the body.

“The primary risk is the intrinsic toxicity of these materials, for example, if the battery gets mechanically lodged in the gastrointestinal tract–but that’s a known risk. In fact, there is very little unknown risk in these kinds of devices,” says Bettinger, a professor in materials science and engineering. “The breakfast you ate this morning is only in your GI tract for about 20 hours–all you need is a battery that can do its job for 20 hours and then, if anything happens, it can just degrade away.”

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Sep 22, 2015

Watch two drones build a bridge strong enough for humans

Posted by in categories: drones, information science

Two quadrocopters construct a rope bridge strong enough to carry the weight of a human in the hypnotic video (above), uploaded to YouTube this week by researcher Federico Augugliaro. The impressive feat wasn’t a one-person operation. It’s the latest accomplishment from many researches and contributors at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, and incorporates lessons learned from other tests at the Flying Machine Arena in Zurich, Switzerland.

The 10-by-10-by-10-meter portable space doubles as the setting of the footage and the lab in which many of the researchers, including Augugliaro, perform drone experiments and exercises. According to the Flying Machine Arena’s website, the room “consists of a high-precision motion capture system, a wireless communication network, and custom software executing sophisticated algorithms for estimation and control.”

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Sep 22, 2015

Monument Valley’s Creators Just Made a Stunning VR Game

Posted by in categories: entertainment, virtual reality

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XwJ9fiH2Ksw

The creators of Monument Valley have released their first VR game, and it’s amazing.

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Sep 22, 2015

New painless nano-patch can detect diseases in the blood

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers in Australia have developed a patch lined with microscopic needles that can quickly and painlessly detect disease-carrying proteins in the blood, potentially replacing the need for needle-based blood samples, and time spent waiting for lab analysis.

Based on a similar patch that could one day deliver injection-free vaccines through the skin, the diagnostic nanopatch has been designed to identify diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, which are prevalent in remote areas and developing regions where people might not have the resources to routinely draw blood and analyse it.

“The concept here is that we could just put a patch on the skin and this could give a result based on what it can find in your blood,” one of the researchers, Simon Corrie from the University of Queensland, told Fairfax Media. “The microneedle arrays can capture proteins that circulate around the body that are normally tested for in blood samples.”

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Sep 22, 2015

Your Brain Isn’t a Computer. It’s a Quantum Field.

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

For centuries, religious texts have explored the idea that reality breaks down once we get past our surface perceptions of it; and yet, it is through these ambiguities that we understand more about ourselves and our world. In the Old Testament, the embattled Job pleads with God for an explanation as to why he has endured so much suffering. God then quizzically replies, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4). The question seems nonsensical — why would God ask a person in his creation where he was when God himself created the world? But this paradox is little different from the one in Einstein’s famous challenge to Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle”: “God does not play dice with the universe.” As Stephen Hawking counters, “Even God is bound by the uncertainty principle” because if all outcomes were deterministic then God would not be God. His being the universe’s “inveterate gambler” is the unpredictable certainty that creates him.

The mind then, according to quantum cognition, “gambles” with our “uncertain” reason, feelings, and biases to produce competing thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Then we synthesize those competing options to relate to our relatively “certain” realities. By examining our minds at a quantum level, we change them, and by changing them, we change the reality that shapes them.

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Sep 22, 2015

First driverless pods to travel public roads arrive in the Netherlands

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The WEpod will be the first self-driving electric shuttle to run in regular traffic, and take bookings via a dedicated app.

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