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Jun 7, 2020

Room-temperature superconductors could revolutionize the world’s energy

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

· 4 hrs ·

Now that they exist it certainly will change the world.

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Jun 7, 2020

Symmetries and quantum error correction

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

It’s always exciting when you can bridge two different physical concepts that seem to have nothing in common—and it’s even more thrilling when the results have as broad a range of possible fields of application as from fault-tolerant quantum computation to quantum gravity.

Physicists love to draw connections between distinct ideas, interconnecting concepts and theories to uncover new structure in the landscape of scientific knowledge. Put together information theory with quantum mechanics and you’ve opened a whole new field of quantum information theory. More recently, machine learning tools have been combined with many-body physics to find new ways to identify phases of matter, and ideas from quantum computing were applied to Pozner molecules to obtain new plausible models of how the brain might work.

Continue reading “Symmetries and quantum error correction” »

Jun 7, 2020

Researchers Create Human Cells with Tunable Optical Properties

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By drawing inspiration from the structures and functionalities of squid skin cells, a team of researchers designed and engineered human cells that contain stimuli-responsive photonic architectures and, as a consequence, possess the ability to change their appearance and transmission of light.

Jun 7, 2020

Exploring the Evolution of the Human Brain at the Single-cell Level

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Oligodendrocytes and astrocytes displayed more differences in the human evolutionary lineage than neurons as compared to similar cells in other primates. Credit: Pavel Odinev/ Skoltech.

Jun 7, 2020

Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Future Energy Systems

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have a utilization (or capacity) factor of 15–20% worldwide. We propose to enhance the energy yield in a software-defined manner by complementing commodity solar PV systems with cloud-based IoT-controlled reflectors. We also propose designs for brownfield and greenfield settings in solar farms. We study a number of practical engineering issues including effect of solar azimuth, shadowing effects, ground coverage ratio (GCR) tradeoff, constraints on angular control etc. Our designs can raise solar PV energy yield between 50–100% with modest tradeoffs on operational complexity, land requirements (ground coverage ratio) etc. The software-defined IoT control allows a variety of current and future operational or business constraints to be flexibly factored in to tradeoff these factors versus economic gain (eg: levelized cost of energy, LCOE). The paper presents both simulation and experimental evidence for our system. We are actively piloting this technology with solar PV developers and engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) companies in emerging markets.

Jun 7, 2020

Nanodevices track how cells change from inside

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

This work on one-cell embryos could advance our knowledge of the mechanisms that underpin cellular behaviour in general, and may ultimately provide insights into what goes wrong in aging and disease.

For the first time, scientists have added microscopic tracking devices into the interior of cells, giving a peek into how development starts.

Jun 6, 2020

Electron-Eating Microbes Found in Odd Places

Posted by in categories: biological, food

Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such life-forms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated.

Jun 6, 2020

The pandemic is challenging China’s breakneck race to the top of science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, education, government, policy, science

Like all countries, China is facing severe economic losses from the pandemic, and that will certainly have a negative impact on scientific research, because funding will be reduced and projects will be delayed, says physicist Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing. Some universities have already announced a cut in funding. The research budget given by the education ministry to Jiangnan University in Wuxi, for example, will drop by more than 25% for 2020, and other universities are facing similar reductions. “An overall budget cutting of government spending on higher education is highly possible, though the level and scope may vary by regions, universities and fields,” says Tang Li, a science-policy scientist at Fudan University in Shanghai.

The country is rapidly gaining on the United States in research, but problems could slow its rise: part 5 in a series on science after the pandemic.

Jun 6, 2020

Exotic radioactive molecules could reveal physics beyond the Standard Model

Posted by in category: physics

Radium monofluoride produced at CERN is ideal for measuring the electron electric dipole moment.

Jun 6, 2020

New-and-improved MEG helmet scans the entire brain

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, neuroscience, wearables

When it comes to monitoring electrical activity in the brain, patients typically have to lie very still inside a large magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine. That could be about to change, though, as scientists have developed a new version of a wearable helmet that does the same job.

Back in 2018, researchers at Britain’s University of Nottingham revealed the original version of their “MEG helmet.”

The 3D-printed device was fitted with multiple sensors that allowed it to read the tiny magnetic fields created by brain waves, just like a regular MEG machine. Unlike the case with one of those, however, wearers could move around as those readings were taking place.