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Sep 23, 2015

Scientists shatter distance record for teleporting quantum data

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, internet, quantum physics

Quantum teleportation, the act of reconstructing quantum data somewhere else, is impressive just by itself. However, scientists at the US’ National Institute of Standards and Technology have managed to one-up that feat. They’ve broken the distance record for quantum teleportation by transferring the information from one photon to another across 63 miles of optical fiber. That may not sound like much, but it’s an achievement just to beam that data in the first place — 99 percent of photons would never make the complete trip. It was only possible thanks to newer detectors that could pick up the faint signal of the lone light particle.

You’d clearly need to send much more information before this teleportation becomes practical, but the achievement does open the door to many possibilities in quantum computing. You could use unbreakable quantum encryption at inter-city distances, for instance. The biggest challenge may simply be to extend the range to the point where quantum data transfers work on the scale of the internet, where there are occasionally thousands of miles between connections.

[Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto].

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Sep 23, 2015

Marines test Google’s latest military robot

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

The latest version of a walking, quadruped battlefield robot from Boston Dynamics, the military robotics maker owned by Google X, was tested by U.S. Marines last week.

Spot weighs about 70kgs, is electrically operated and walks on four hydraulically-actuated legs. It’s controlled via wireless by an operator who can be up to 500 meters away.

It underwent trials and testing at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia as part of evaluations by the Marines on future military uses of robotic technology. In a series of missions, it was evaluated in different terrains including hills, woodlands and urban areas.

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Sep 23, 2015

Breakthrough medical discovery: 3D printing might be used to regenerate nerves

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones

Having significantly damaged nerve tissue is bad for a lot of reasons because it doesn’t regenerate easily and it can lead to various serious medical conditions including paralysis. But many scientists are already studying ways of fixing this issue, and a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Princeton University, and Johns Hopkins University has figured out how to use 3D printing for nerve growth.

DON’T MISS: 85 legitimate iPhone apps that were infected with malware in the big App Store hack

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Sep 22, 2015

Calculations with nanoscale smart particles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

Researchers from the Institute of General Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences and MIPT have made an important step towards creating medical nanorobots. They discovered a way of enabling nano- and microparticles to produce logical calculations using a variety of biochemical reactions.

Details of their are given in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. It is the first experimental publication by an exclusively Russian team in one of the most cited scientific magazines in many years.

The paper draws on the idea of computing using biomolecules. In electronic circuits, for instance, logical connectives use current or voltage (if there is voltage, the result is 1, if there is none, it’s 0). In biochemical systems, the result can a given substance.

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Sep 22, 2015

Where the Higgs belongs — By Sarah Charley | Symmetry Magazine

Posted by in category: particle physics

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“If you were Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and you carried a tiny green Jedi master on your back through the jungles of Dagobah for long enough, you could eventually raise your submerged X-wing out of the swamp just by using the Force.”

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Sep 22, 2015

Humanity makes first ever withdrawal from the doomsday seed vault

Posted by in categories: existential risks, food

When humanity needs to make use of a facility known lovingly as the “doomsday seed vault,” you know things have gone off the rails. After four years of civil war in Syria, the region’s main source of important seeds in the region has been damaged, and researchers from the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is asking to make a withdrawal from the seed bank. This will be the first time humanity has had to draw on this resource.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was officially opened in 2008 and contains more than 860,000 samples of seeds from nearly every country on Earth. Its goal is to preserve important agricultural crops like beans, wheat, and rice so they will be available in the event of war or natural disaster.

To do this, the vault is built into the side of a mountain in the remote northern reaches of Norway on the Svalbard archipelago. It’s only 800 miles (1300 km) from the north pole, which allows researchers to keep the seeds at a frosty 0 degrees fahrenheit. Even if all the people left Svalbard and the power went offline, the vault would remain frozen and intact for at least a few centuries.

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Sep 22, 2015

Minority Report, Limitless TV shows launch Monday, Tuesday

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience, virtual reality

A sequel to Steven Spielberg’s epic movie, MINORITY REPORT is set in Washington, D.C., 10 years after the demise of Precrime, a law enforcement agency tasked with identifying and eliminating criminals … before their crimes were committed. Now, in 2065, crime-solving is different, and justice leans more on sophisticated and trusted technology than on the instincts of the precogs. Sept. 21 series premiere Mondays 9/8:00c

LIMITLESS, based on the feature film, is a fast-paced drama about Brian Finch, who discovers the brain-boosting power of the mysterious drug NZT and is coerced by the FBI into using his extraordinary cognitive abilities to solve complex cases for them. Sept. 22 series premiere Tuesdays 10/9c

Topics: Cognitive Science/Neuroscience | Entertainment/New Media | Human Enhancement | VR/Augmented Reality/Computer Graphics.

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Sep 22, 2015

First application to pursue genome editing research in human embryos

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics

Human embryos are at the center of a debate over the ethics of gene editing (credit: Dr. Yorgos Nikas/SPL)

The first application to pursue CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing research in viable human embryos has been submitted to the UK’s fertility regulator by a team of researchers affiliated with the Francis Crick Institute in London.

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Sep 22, 2015

Samsung’s 950 Pro SSD achieves 2,500MB/s read speeds

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Solid state drives are now the clear storage solution choice inside laptops and desktop PCs if you value speed. But as the NAND flash memory inside SSDs has improved, the drives have come up against some limitations, the main one being a SATA connection. We typically see SATA-connected SSDs top out at 550MB/s read and write speeds.

Storage companies have attempted to overcome that limitation with a move to PCI Express. Samsung made the move to PCIe with the 850 Pro SSD, which connected through an M.2 interface. However, that SSD was still limited to read and write speeds in the 500MB/s range. But today, Samsung has unveiled the 950 Pro SSD, and it blows everything that has come before out the water.

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Sep 22, 2015

Physicists Discovered New State of Matter

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics, quantum physics

I remember the time when states of matter were pretty simple: Solid, liquid and gas. Then came plasma state, supercritical fluid, Bose –Einstein condensate and more. Now this list of states of matter has grown by one more, with the surprising discovery of a new state dubbed “dropletons” that shows some similarity to liquids but occur under very unlike circumstances.

The discovery of new state of matter occurred when a team of scientists at the University of Colorado Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics were concentrating laser light on gallium arsenide (GaAs) to generate excitons.

Excitons are made when a photon strikes a material, mostly a semiconductor. If an electron is knocked loose, or excited, it leaves what is labelled as “electron hole” behind. If the forces of other charges at very close distance keep the electron close enough to the hole in order to feel an attraction, a certain state forms called as an Exciton. Excitons are also called quasiparticles because the holes and electrons act together as if they were like a single particle.

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