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May 8, 2020

Podcast #45: The Post Covid-19 Future, Part 2, Economics and Investing with Jim Lee

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, finance

“The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.”–Bernard Baruch.

May 8, 2020

Three Brilliant Innovations in Synthetic Foods

Posted by in categories: energy, food

Food from electricity, NASA’s attempt to create food from rocket fuel, and other brilliant and bizarre innovations in synthetic foods.

May 8, 2020

Spacecraft that sail on sunshine could be the next big thing in spaceflight

Posted by in category: space travel

These solar sails could herald a new era of spaceflight in which spacecraft forgo the rocket motors they’ve relied on for decades.

Artist’s concept of LightSail 2 above Earth. Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society.

May 8, 2020

Tesla abruptly suspends car production at Shanghai Gigafactory

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The production halt means that Tesla is not making any cars worldwide because its other electric vehicle assembly plant – in Fremont, California – has been idled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

May 8, 2020

Second skin protects against chemical, biological agents

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, military

Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the use of chemical weapons in the Syria conflict have provided a stark reminder of the plethora of chemical and biological threats that soldiers, medical personnel and first responders face during routine and emergency operations.

Personnel safety relies on which, unfortunately, still leaves much to be desired. For example, high breathability (i.e., the transfer of water vapor from the wearer’s body to the outside world) is critical in protective military uniforms to prevent heat-stress and exhaustion when soldiers are engaged in missions in contaminated environments. The same materials (adsorbents or barrier layers) that provide protection in current garments also detrimentally inhibit breathability.

To tackle these challenges, a multi-institutional team of researchers led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist Francesco Fornasiero has developed a smart, breathable fabric designed to protect the wearer against biological and chemical warfare agents. Material of this type could be used in clinical and medical settings as well. The work was recently published online in Advanced Functional Materials and represents the successful completion of Phase I of the project, which is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency through the Dynamic Multifunctional Materials for a Second Skin “D[MS]2” program.

May 8, 2020

Astronaut-led video tour reveals details in ‘For All Mankind’ moon base

Posted by in category: space travel

A real astronaut leads the tour of a fictional moon base packed with references to real-life space history in a newly-released video by Apple.

Former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, who logged more than 90 of his 107 days in space on board the International Space Station, hosts the virtual tour of Jamestown moon base, or rather the set for such, that was featured in the first season of the alternate Apollo history drama “For All Mankind.” Reisman, who also worked for and now serves as a senior advisor to SpaceX, was a technical consultant for the Apple TV+ series, which was created and written by Ronald D. Moore (“Star Trek,” “Battlestar Galactica”).

“Mankind has always been fascinated by the moon and traveling there was one of humanity’s greatest achievements. But what if landing on the moon was just a beginning?” says Reisman as the four-and-a-half-minute video begins. “Welcome to Jamestown, 1974.”

May 8, 2020

Clean energy: Tesla’s most ambitious idea may not be an electric car

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s energy services are a quieter part of the company’s plans. That could soon be about to change.

May 8, 2020

Samsung Confirms Critical Security Issue For Millions: Every Galaxy After 2014 Affected

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, security

Samsung has confirmed a “perfect 10” critical security issue that has been present in every Galaxy smartphone from late 2014 onward. Here’s what you need to know.

May 8, 2020

Graphene Nanomesh: New Nanotechnology ‘Brick’ for Modern Micromachines

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Researchers at Japan advanced institute of science and technology (JAIST) have successfully fabrication the suspended graphene nanomesh in a large area by the helium ion beam microscopy. 6nm diameter nanopores were pattern on the 1.2 um long and 500 nm wide suspended graphene uniformly. By systematically controlling the pitch (nanopore’s center to nanopore’s center) from 15 nm to 50 nm, a series of stable graphene nanomesh devices were achieved. This provides a practical way to investigate the intrinsic properties of graphene nanomesh towards the application for gas sensing, phonon engineering, and quantum technology.

Graphene, with its excellent electrical, thermal and optical properties, is promising for many applications in the next decade. It is also a potential candidate instead of silicon to build the next generation of electrical circuits. However, without a bandgap, it is not straightforward to use graphene as field-effect transistors (FETs). Researchers tried to cut the graphene sheet into a small piece of graphene nanoribbon and observed the bandgap opening successfully. However, the current of graphene nanoribbons is too low to drive the integrated circuit. In this case, the graphene nanomesh is pointed out by introducing periodical nanopores on the graphene, which is also considered as very small graphene nanoribbon array.

A research team led by Dr Fayong Liu and Professor Hiroshi MIZUTA has demonstrated in collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) that large area suspended graphene nanomesh is quickly achievable by the helium ion beam microscopy with sub-10 nm nanopore diameter and well-controlled pitches. Comparing to slow speed TEM patterning, the helium ion beam milling technique overcomes the speed limitation, and meanwhile, provides a high imaging resolution. With the initial electrical measurements, it has found that the thermal activation energy of the graphene nanomesh increased exponentially by increasing the porosity of the graphene nanomesh. This immediately provides a new method for bandgap engineering beyond the conventional nanoribbon method. The team plans to continue exploring graphene nanomesh towards the application of phonon engineering.

May 8, 2020

Scientists Buzzing Over Virgin Birth and Genetic Mystery That’s Been Solved

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, sex

In a study published on May 7, 2020, in Current Biology, researchers from University of Sydney have identified the single gene that determines how Cape honey bees reproduce without ever having sex. One gene, GB45239 on chromosome 11, is responsible for virgin births.

“It is extremely exciting,” said Professor Benjamin Oldroyd in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. “Scientists have been looking for this gene for the last 30 years. Now that we know it’s on chromosome 11, we have solved a mystery.”

Behavioral geneticist Professor Oldroyd said: “Sex is a weird way to reproduce and yet it is the most common form of reproduction for animals and plants on the planet. It’s a major biological mystery why there is so much sex going on and it doesn’t make evolutionary sense. Asexuality is a much more efficient way to reproduce, and every now and then we see a species revert to it.”