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Nov 19, 2020

Researchers describe fundamental processes behind movement of magnetic particles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

The motion of magnetic particles as they pass through a magnetic field is called magnetophoresis. Until now, not much was known about the factors influencing these particles and their movement. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago describe several fundamental processes associated with the motion of magnetic particles through fluids as they are pulled by a magnetic field.

Their findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Understanding more about the motion of magnetic particles as they pass through a magnetic field has numerous applications, including , biosensors, molecular imaging, and catalysis. For example, loaded with drugs can be delivered to discrete spots in the body after they are injected into the bloodstream or using magnets. This process currently is used in some forms of chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

Nov 19, 2020

Small finlets on owl feathers point the way to less aircraft noise

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability, transportation

A recent research study conducted by City, University of London’s Professor Christoph Bruecker and his team has revealed how micro-structured finlets on owl feathers enable silent flight and may show the way forward in reducing aircraft noise in future.

Professor bruecker is city’s royal academy of engineering research chair in nature-inspired sensing and flow control for sustainable transport and sir richard olver BAE systems chair for aeronautical engineering.

His team have published their discoveries in the Institute of Physics journal, Bioinspiration and Biomimetics in a paper titled ‘Flow turning effect and laminar control by the 3D curvature of leading edge serrations from owl wing.’

Nov 19, 2020

Career Buzz

Posted by in categories: employment, transportation

Just finished up an interview for “Career Buzz,” a radio progam airing on Toronto based CIUT next Wednesday at 11am. The topic initially focused around jobs in the Canadian aerospace industry, but after the host noted that air travel was down 94% over the last year because of covid and no one sane is going to buy any new planes for a very, very long time, the focus changed to Covid and how that’s affecting the industry. I’ve been invited back next month to talk more about Covid. It’s the big story of our generation…


Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm

Since 2006, we’ve broadcast unrehearsed and informative conversations featuring extraordinary career stories of ordinary people, and insights from future-of-work thought leaders including Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson, Canada’s career guru Barbara Moses, National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis, and career scholars Norm Amundson, John Krumboltz and many more.

Nov 18, 2020

Glaciers in The Desert

Posted by in category: futurism

This Himalayan community has taken on an ice-cold approach to fight rising temperatures.

Nov 18, 2020

Synthetic biology crucial to human missions to Mars

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, chemistry, genetics, space travel

In Project Apollo, life support was based on carrying pretty much everything that astronauts needed from launch to splashdown. That meant all of the food, air, and fuel. Fuel in particular took up most of the mass that was launched. The enormous three-stage Saturn-V rocket was basically a gigantic container for fuel, and even the Apollo spacecraft that the Saturn carried into space was mostly fuel, because fuel was needed also to return from the Moon. If NASA’s new Orion spacecraft takes astronauts back to the Moon, they’ll also use massive amounts of fuel going back and forth; and the same is true if they journey to a near-Earth asteroid. However, once a lunar base is set up, astronauts will be able use microorganisms carried from Earth to process lunar rock into fuel, along with oxygen. The latter is needed not just for breathing, but also in rocket engines where it mixes with the fuel.

Currently, there are microorganisms available naturally that draw energy from rock and in the process release chemical products that can be used as fuel. However, as with agricultural plants like corn and soy, modifying such organisms can potentially make a biologically-based lunar rock processing much more efficient. Synthetic biology refers to engineering organisms to pump out specific products under specific conditions. For spaceflight applications, organisms can be engineered specifically to live on the Moon, or for that matter on an asteroid, or on Mars, and to synthesize the consumables that humans will need in those environments.

In the case of Mars, a major resource that can be processed by synthetic biology is the atmosphere. While the Martian air is extremely thin, it can be concentrated in a biological reactor. The principal component of the Martian air is carbon dioxide, which can be turned into oxygen, food, and rocket fuel by a variety of organisms that are native to Earth. As with the Moon rocks, however, genetic techniques can make targeted changes to organisms’ capabilities to allow them to do more than simply survive on Mars. They could be made to thrive there.

Nov 18, 2020

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: First Human Study Shows Reversal in Biology of Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

TEL AVIV — November 18, 2020: In a scientifically verified approach, signalling an important breakthrough in the study of aging, Tel Aviv University and The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center announced today that, for the first time in humans, two key biological hallmarks of aging, telomere length shortening, and accumulation of senescent cells, can be reversed. The prospective clinical trial, published in peer-reviewed Journal Aging, utilizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy protocols to demonstrate cellular level improvement in healthy aging adults.


For the first-time a human study shows the reversal in the biology of aging including telomere shortening with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Continue reading “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: First Human Study Shows Reversal in Biology of Aging” »

Nov 18, 2020

What is AMD’s new RDNA 2 feature Infinity Cache, and what does it do?

Posted by in category: computing

AMD’s new RDNA 2 architecture packs something called Infinity Cache, which is a superpower in its fight against the Ampere GPUs.

Nov 18, 2020

Company Aims to Make Nuclear Reactors Pocket-Sized

Posted by in categories: education, nuclear energy

Hydrogen boron could be used essentially for radiationless portable reactors.


These reactors use gravity and buoyancy to spontaneously circulate the cooling water. Another selling point is the size. WIRED reports that it’s “about the size of two school buses stacked end to end, you could fit around 100 of them in the containment chamber of a large conventional reactor.”

Continue reading “Company Aims to Make Nuclear Reactors Pocket-Sized” »

Nov 18, 2020

Cerebras’ wafer-size chip is 10,000 times faster than a GPU

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Cerebras Systems and the federal Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory today announced that the company’s CS-1 system is more than 10,000 times faster than a graphics processing unit (GPU).

On a practical level, this means AI neural networks that previously took months to train can now train in minutes on the Cerebras system.

Cerebras makes the world’s largest computer chip, the WSE. Chipmakers normally slice a wafer from a 12-inch-diameter ingot of silicon to process in a chip factory. Once processed, the wafer is sliced into hundreds of separate chips that can be used in electronic hardware.

Nov 18, 2020

Researchers hacked a robotic vacuum cleaner to record speech and music remotely

Posted by in categories: media & arts, robotics/AI

It seems these robots could be used to spy on you from home. 😃


A team of researchers demonstrated that popular robotic household vacuum cleaners can be remotely hacked to act as microphones.

The researchers—including Nirupam Roy, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science—collected information from the laser-based in a popular vacuum robot and applied and deep learning techniques to recover speech and identify playing in the same room as the device.

Continue reading “Researchers hacked a robotic vacuum cleaner to record speech and music remotely” »