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Oct 4, 2023

Chiral detection of molecules gets a laser-driven boost

Posted by in category: space

A new method rapidly detects the ‘handedness’ of molecules using laser fields that encode chirality in time, not space.

Oct 4, 2023

Passive Desalination Discovers How To Avoid Salt-Clogging

Posted by in category: sustainability

Saltwater is plentiful, but no good for drinking. Desalinization is the obvious solution, but a big problem isn’t taking the salt out, it’s where all that leftover salt goes. Excess salt accumulates, crystallizes, collects, and clogs a system. Dealing with this means maintenance, which means higher costs, which ultimately limits scalability.

The good news is that engineers at MIT and in China have succeeded in creating a desalination system that avoids this problem by intrinsically flushing accumulated salt as it is created, keeping the system clean. And what’s more, the whole thing is both scalable and entirely passive. The required energy all comes from gravity and the sun’s heat.

Continue reading “Passive Desalination Discovers How To Avoid Salt-Clogging” »

Oct 4, 2023

Starlink launches V2 mini-satellites with ‘space lasers’

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Starlink/ X

Space-based internet services took a giant leap when SpaceX launched Starlink’s first satellites just over three years ago. The service has grown rapidly thanks to SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rockets and an increasing number of users looking to connect to the internet while being located remotely.

Oct 4, 2023

Compact Gene-Editing Enzyme Could Enable More Effective Clinical Therapies

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, robotics/AI

The investigators carried out animal trials with the engineered AsCas12f system, partnering it with other genes and administering it to live mice. The encouraging results indicated that engineered AsCas12f has the potential to be used for human gene therapies, such as treating hemophilia.

The team discovered numerous potentially effective combinations for engineering an improved AsCas12f gene-editing system, and acknowledged the possibility that the selected mutations may not have been the most optimal of all the available mixes. As a next step, computational modeling or machine learning could be used to sift through the combinations and predict which might offer even better improvements.

And as the authors noted, by applying the same approach to other Cas enzymes, it may be possible to generate efficient genome-editing enzymes capable of targeting a wide range of genes. “The compact size of AsCas12f offers an attractive feature for AAV-deliverable gRNA and partner genes, such as base editors and epigenome modifiers. Therefore, our newly engineered AsCas12f systems could be a promising genome-editing platform … Moreover, with suitable adaptations to the evaluation system, this approach can be applied to enzymes beyond the scope of genome editing.”

Oct 4, 2023

MilliMobile is a tiny, self-driving robot powered only by light and radio waves

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Small mobile robots carrying sensors could perform tasks like catching gas leaks or tracking warehouse inventory. But moving robots demands a lot of energy, and batteries, the typical power source, limit lifetime and raise environmental concerns. Researchers have explored various alternatives: affixing sensors to insects, keeping charging mats nearby, or powering the robots with lasers. Each has drawbacks: Insects roam, chargers limit range, and lasers can burn people’s eyes.

Researchers at the University of Washington have now created MilliMobile, a tiny, self-driving robot powered only by surrounding light or radio waves. Equipped with a solar panel-like energy harvester and four wheels, MilliMobile is about the size of a penny, weighs as much as a raisin and can move about the length of a bus (30 feet, or 10 meters) in an hour even on a cloudy day. The robot can drive on surfaces such as concrete or packed soil and carry three times its own weight in equipment like a camera or sensors. It uses a to move automatically toward light sources so it can run indefinitely on harvested power.

The team will present its research Oct. 2 at the ACM MobiCom 2023 conference in Madrid, Spain.

Oct 4, 2023

​‘Zuckerbergism’: Why the young founder myth is a trap for entrepreneurs

Posted by in category: business

There’s no shortage of stories about young, hyper-successful entrepreneurs. From the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists to films like “The Social Network”, these stories offer an alluring blueprint for early success: dream huge, work hard, and soon enough you too can get filthy, tech-titan rich.

You’re less likely to hear the more common story: a young entrepreneur starts a new business, accrues debt, runs out of luck, gets demoralized and then, reluctantly, takes on a regular job. What explains the frequency of these crash-and-burn stories? It seems the problem doesn’t lie in the pursuit of entrepreneurism, but rather in the age at which entrepreneurs start launching businesses.

That’s the takeaway of a recent study that found the mean age for the 1-in-1,000 fastest growing new ventures to be 45 years. This finding held true across “high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits.” So, although conventional thinking tends to paint the young generation as uniquely creative innovators and (sorry in advance) Big Thinkers, it seems that older generations are more likely to possess traits that facilitate entrepreneurial success.

Oct 4, 2023

Bill Gates says Warren Buffett taught him to value free time: Filling ‘every minute of your schedule’ doesn’t make you more serious

Posted by in category: education

Bill Gates said he used to think leaders filled every minute of their days working toward success, until he saw Warren Buffett’s calendar.

Oct 4, 2023

Microsoft CEO: AI will make Google more dominant

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Despite investing $100 billion in Bing, the search engine simply can’t compete with Google due to its monopoly position, says Satya Nadella.

Oct 4, 2023

Microsoft says it spent $100 Billion on Bing and is stopping Google from having a monopoly

Posted by in category: futurism

He also touched upon the news of Google paying Apple to keep Google Search as the default search on iOS devices. Nadella questioned if Google would continue paying if it were the only player in the market. He also said that Apple was using Microsoft to “bid up the price” it received from Google.

Do you think Google would continue to pay Apple if there was no search competition? Why would they do that?

Satya Nadella also talked about Google’s dominance in the market saying, “You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth and you search on Google”. He also told the Google lawyer that Microsoft is “competing against someone who has a 97% share”.

Oct 4, 2023

500,000x Smaller Than a Human Hair: Game-Changing Electronic Sensor the Size of a Single Molecule

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

Australian researchers have developed a molecular-sized, more efficient version of a widely used electronic sensor, in a breakthrough that could bring widespread benefits.

Piezoresistors are commonly used to detect vibrations in electronics and automobiles, such as in smartphones for counting steps, and for airbag deployment in cars. They are also used in medical devices such as implantable pressure sensors, as well as in aviation and space travel.

Breakthrough in Piezoresistor Technology.

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