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Oct 2, 2015

3 Drugs With Anti-Aging Potential

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Do any existing drugs have longevity promoting effects? Here are 3 currently under investigation.

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Oct 2, 2015

NIH and Kavli Foundation invest $185 million for BRAIN Initiative research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

Scientists funded by the NIH BRAIN Initiative hope to diagram all of the circuits in the brain. One group will attempt to identify all of the connections among the retina’s ganglion cells (red), which transmit visual information from bipolar cells (green) and photoreceptors (purple) to the brain. (credit: Josh Morgan, Ph. D. and Rachel Wong, Ph. D./University of Washington)

The National Institutes of Health and the Kavli Foundation separately announced today (Oct. 1, 2015) commitments totaling $185 million in new funds supporting the BRAIN Initiative — research aimed at deepening our understanding of the brain and brain-related disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

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Oct 2, 2015

‘Major’ IBM breakthrough breathes new life into Moore’s Law

Posted by in categories: computing, innovation

IBM scientists take a big step toward their quest to bring us speedy, low-power chips. The secret: carbon nanotubes.

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Oct 2, 2015

Worriers Are More Perceptive and More Intelligent

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

A propensity to worry indicates a strong ability to consider the past and future in precise detail, perhaps explaining why worriers also tend to be more intelligent.

While worriers have often been considered a liability to groups of professionals and friends alike, due to their apparent lack of confidence, they may be better at learning from past mistakes than others, and preparing for future threats.

Researchers have recently found that worriers are better at telling when others are lying and are quicker at detecting threats, such as smoke in the room caused by a fire elsewhere. Now, a survey of one hundred students at MacEwan University has shown that worrying goes hand in hand with having a higher intelligence.

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Oct 2, 2015

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop has 5 key advantages over today’s fastest trains

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

For one, it’s way faster.

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Oct 2, 2015

Google, NASA using quantum computing to push A.I., machine learning

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, robotics/AI, space

Google and NASA are continuing to test quantum computers and this week entered into a new agreement to work with a series of updated systems.

D-Wave Systems, a quantum computing company based in Burnaby, British Columbia, announced this week that it had signed a deal to install a succession of D-Wave systems at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. NASA and Google on Wednesday also confirmed the deal.

NASA and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) are collaborating on the project, which is focused on advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Oct 2, 2015

Nanotube Electronics Could Replace Silicon — IBM Research Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, engineering

IBM announced a major engineering breakthrough that could open the way to replacing silicon transistors with carbon nanotubes in future electronics and computing technologies.

Silicon transistors have become dramatically smaller in the last decades following Moore’s Law — the observation that the number of transistors per unit area doubles every two tears. However, silicon transistor technology is approaching a point of physical limitation.

With Moore’s Law running out of steam, shrinking the size of transistors — including the channels and contacts — without compromising performance is a research and manufacturing challenge. Carbon nanotube technology could lead to much smaller transistors and keep electronics and computing devices on the Moore’s Law of exponentially decreasing size and thus increasing performance. However, as devices become smaller, increased contact resistance for carbon nanotubes has hindered performance gains until now.

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Oct 1, 2015

A living being

Posted by in category: energy

“A living being, but not alive.” The Dutchman artist Theo Jansen creates these structures which move through the strength of the winds. He uses wood, PET bottles and rags to transform wind energy in a synchronized motion that looks like their creations have a life of its own! Sensational!

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Oct 1, 2015

Graphene nanoribbons as electronic highways

Posted by in categories: materials, physics, solar power, sustainability

Physicists have developed a method to synthesise a unique and novel type of material which resembles a graphene nanoribbon but in molecular form. This material could be important for the further development of organic solar cells.

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Oct 1, 2015

IBM unlocks the secret to carbon nanotube transistors

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, internet, materials, neuroscience

Following Moore’s law is getting harder and harder, especially as existing components reach their physical size limitations. Parts like silicon transistor contacts — the “valves” within a transistor that allow electrons to flow — simply can’t be shrunken any further. However, IBM announced a major engineering achievement on Thursday that could revolutionize how computers operate: they’ve figured out how to swap out the silicon transistor contacts for smaller, more efficient, carbon nanotubes.

The problem engineers are facing is that the smaller silicon transistor contacts get, the higher their electrical resistance becomes. There comes a point where the components simply get too small to conduct electrons efficiently. Silicon has reached that point. But that’s where the carbon nanotubes come in. These structures measure less than 10 nanometers in diameter — that’s less than half the size of today’s smallest silicon transistor contact. IBM actually had to devise a new means of attaching these tiny components. Known as an “end-bonded contact scheme” the 10 nm electrical leads are chemically bonded to the metal substructure. Replacing these contacts with carbon nanotubes won’t just allow for computers to crunch more data, faster. This breakthrough ensures that they’ll continue to shrink, following Moore’s Law, for several iterations beyond what silicon components are capable of.

“These chip innovations are necessary to meet the emerging demands of cloud computing, Internet of Things and Big Data systems,” Dario Gil, vice president of Science & Technology at IBM Research, said in a statement. “As technology nears the physical limits of silicon, new materials and circuit architectures must be ready to deliver the advanced technologies that will drive the Cognitive Computing era. This breakthrough shows that computer chips made of carbon nanotubes will be able to power systems of the future sooner than the industry expected.” The study will be formally published October 2nd, in the journal Science. This breakthrough follows a number of other recent minimization milestones including transistors that are only 3-atoms thick or constructed from a single atom.

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