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Aug 22, 2016

Dark Matter review – quantum fiction that’s delightfully unserious

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Blake Crouch, author of the Wayward Pines trilogy, opens up a new and infinitely filmable world.

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Aug 22, 2016

Spin Nano-Systems Result in New Type of Quantum Bits

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Excellent progress.


The rapid progress that has been sweeping the field of crystal growth and related device technology is opening doors. Perhaps nowhere is the effect of this evolution being felt more than in the development of ultra-small structures whose material properties can be controlled on the nanoscale. The reason for this development: because solid-state nano–structures possess unique optical and electronic properties, they have the potential to be the launching pad of a new generation of devices.

Within the field, researchers are particularly focused on the properties of spins confined within the nano-structures – with the ultimate goal being to use spin nano-systems to develop, for example, robust quantum bits (qubits) capable of storing vast amounts of information. Here, the EU -funded S^3NANO project has successfully developed qubits in a new, innovative form. According to project researchers, these qubits could serve as the information units of the quantum computers of the future.

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Aug 22, 2016

Rice News Release: Light and matter merge in quantum coupling

Posted by in category: quantum physics

By Newsroom America Feeds at 11:43 am Eastern

SUMMARY: Rice University physicists probe the boundaries of light-matter interactions as they bridge traditional condensed matter physics and cavity-based quantum optics.

Rice university office of public affairs / news & media relations.

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Aug 22, 2016

New camera uses just 1 photon per pixel

Posted by in category: electronics

Capturing clear photos in low light can be tricky. The solution could come from the technology behind a camera that uses a single photon per pixel.

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Aug 22, 2016

‘Artificial atom’ created in graphene

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

When they are confined to a small space, the behavior of electrons can only be explained by quantum physics. Much like electrons in an atom, they are forced into discrete quantum states. These states can be used for quantum information technologies.

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Aug 22, 2016

Now we can watch DNA Repair itself!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Watching DNA self-repair itself.


After 2015’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded for advancements in our understanding of DNA repair, a recent Nature report characterises the mechanism in molecular detail. The implications for cancer research are vast.

Researchers in Paris, France, and Bristol, England, have leveraged recent advances in microscopy and fluorescent imaging to characterise the entire process of DNA repair at the molecular level. They were able to observe RNA polymerase, which ‘reads’ DNA and initiates its replication, as it moved along the DNA strand.

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Aug 22, 2016

Artificial Intelligence could help eradicate global poverty

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability

Another spin on AI in how it eradicates poverty; hmmm.


Eradicating extreme poverty, measured as people living on less than $1.25 US a day, by 2030 is among the sustainable development goals adopted by United Nations member states last year.

A team of computer scientists and satellite experts created a self-updating world map to locate poverty, said Marshall Burke, assistant professor in Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science.

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Aug 22, 2016

Yearlong simulation of Mars on Mauna Loa is coming to an end

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

Hmmm; I did know that the early day astronauts did practice the moon walk near one of the volcanoes in Hawaii.


Since August last year, six scientists have been living isolated from the outside world 8,200 feet up a dormant volcano in Hawaii. Confined to a dome 11 metre wide with a living area of about 1,000 square feet, the team is only allowed to venture outside when wearing NASA spacesuits, just like future astronauts on Mars will have to do.

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Aug 22, 2016

Identifying the Microbial Culprits Initiating Oceanic Nitrogen Loss

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) extend over about 8 percent of the oceanic surface area, but account for up to 50 percent of the total loss of bioavailable nitrogen and thus play an important role in regulating the ocean’s productivity by substantially impacting the nitrogen cycle. By sequencing single cells and metagenomes from OMZs, researchers identified bacteria of the SAR11 clade as being abundant in these areas, although no previously known anaerobic metabolism had been described for this group. Detailed sequence analysis of SAR11 single cells, followed by functional characterization experiments, revealed the presence of functional nitrate reductase pathways as a key adaptation to oxygen-poor, or anoxic, environments. These results link SAR11, the world’s most abundant organismal group, to oceanic nitrogen loss.

The Impact

Microbes play key roles in maintaining the planet’s biogeochemical cycles, and while the role of SAR11 bacteria in the marine carbon cycle has been well documented, its important role in regulating nitrogen bioavailability was hitherto unknown. In partnering with a national user facility, scientists had access to state-of-the-art single-cell sorting and synthetic biology capabilities at the DOE JGI, enabling them to identify and functionally characterize the role of SAR11 in oxygen minimum zones in the ocean.

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Aug 22, 2016

Cellular agriculture: a way to feed tomorrow’s Smart City?

Posted by in categories: food, space

New way to farming.


Cellular agriculture enables production of animal protein without the need to raise and manage livestock. This is an alternative which could help meet the challenges facing the agricultural sector, given the need to produce more food because of demographic changes and growing urbanisation.

The world’s population is increasing inexorably. According to the United Nations, the planet will play host to 9.7 billion inhabitants by 2050 and and cities and towns will be accommodating the majority of the population. Back in 1960, city dwellers accounted for 34% of the world’s population, but this figure had risen to 54% by 2014 and the number of people living in cities is expected to rise by 2% per year on average until 2030. These two billion extra mouths to feed and the concentration of people in urban areas means that the entire food production and distribution chain will have to be re-thought.

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