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Apr 10, 2019

New algorithm optimizes quantum computing problem-solving

Posted by in categories: business, computing, information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Tohoku University researchers have developed an algorithm that enhances the ability of a Canadian-designed quantum computer to more efficiently find the best solution for complicated problems, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Quantum computing takes advantage of the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at the same time. It is expected to take modern-day computing to the next level by enabling the processing of more information in less time.

The D-Wave annealer, developed by a Canadian company that claims it sells the world’s first commercially available quantum computers, employs the concepts of quantum physics to solve ‘combinatorial optimization .’ A typical example of this sort of problem asks the question: “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each and returns to the original city?” Businesses and industries face a large range of similarly complex problems in which they want to find the optimal solution among many possible ones using the least amount of resources.

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Apr 10, 2019

New York Declares Health Emergency As Measles Spreads In Parts Of Brooklyn

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

New York City on Tuesday ramped up the battle against the spread of a measles outbreak in a Brooklyn hot spot, declaring a public health emergency and calling for mandatory vaccinations.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the emergency covers four Brooklyn ZIP codes, including most of Williamsburg and Borough Park, which have seen more than 285 cases of the measles since October.

“We cannot allow this dangerous disease to make a comeback here in New York City. We have to stop it now,” de Blasio said at a news conference. “We have a situation now where children are in danger. We have to take this seriously,” he added.

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Apr 10, 2019

Novel membrane material removes more impurities without the need for toxic solvents

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Natural gas and biogas have become increasingly popular sources of energy throughout the world in recent years, thanks to their cleaner and more efficient combustion process when compared to coal and oil.

However, the presence of contaminants such as within the gas means it must first be purified before it can be burnt as fuel.

Traditional processes to purify typically involve the use of toxic solvents and are extremely energy-intensive.

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Apr 10, 2019

Bacteria that oxidizes methane found in common soil

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

A team of researchers with members from Norway, Austria, Russia and Germany has found a kind of bacteria that oxidizes methane. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their findings and suggest their work could lead to progress in combating global warming.

Scientists have reached consensus that is happening, and that it is because humans continue to pump into the atmosphere. The main culprit is , but there are other greenhouse gases making their way into the atmosphere, as well—one of them is methane. Humans produce methane naturally, via flatulence, as do animals. It also results from production of rice and other crops, and released it during oil extraction. To combat global warming, we stop emitting methane, or find a way to remove it. In this new effort, the researchers report a natural way to remove methane from the air by supporting a type of bacteria that oxidizes it.

Scientists have suspected for many years that one or more types of bacteria oxidize methane because testing has shown that methane levels drop in places where there is soil present.

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Apr 10, 2019

Potential for Earth-friendly plastic replacement

Posted by in categories: economics, food

A biodegradable replacement for petroleum-based products has to meet all sorts of standards and, so far, attempts at viable replacements from renewable sources have faced limited success due to processing and economic constraints. Among the obstacles, products to date have been too brittle for food packaging.

But new research from The Ohio State University has shown that combining natural rubber with bioplastic in a novel way results in a much stronger replacement for plastic, one that is already capturing the interest of companies looking to shrink their environmental footprints.

Almost all plastics — about 90 percent — are petroleum-based and are not biodegradable, a major environmental concern.

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Apr 10, 2019

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Posted by in category: space

This image from Flyby 1 of Detailed Survey: Baseball Diamond phase shows the rocky surface of Bennu just south of the asteroid’s equator. The PolyCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft took the image on March 7 from a distance of 3 miles. For scale, the cracked rock at the top is 69 ft long, about the length of 4 parallel parking spots.

More details on the image: bit.ly/2IpIKSG

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Apr 10, 2019

Science fact: Astronomers reveal first image of a black hole

Posted by in categories: cosmology, science

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists on Wednesday revealed the first image ever made of a black hole, depicting a fiery ring of gravity-twisted light swirling around the edge of the abyss.

The picture, assembled from data gathered by eight radio telescopes around the world, shows the hot, shadowy lip of a supermassive black hole, one of the light-sucking monsters of the universe theorized by Einstein more than a century ago and confirmed by observations for decades. It is along this edge that light bends around itself in a cosmic funhouse effect.

“We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole,” Sheperd Doeleman of Harvard, leader of a team of about 200 scientists from 20 countries, announced as the colorized orange-and-black picture was unveiled.

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Apr 10, 2019

An Interview with Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

At Undoing Aging 2019, we interviewed some of the best researchers who are involved in discovering therapies for the root causes of aging. Their research aims to ameliorate the damages of aging and may one day lead to a future without age-related diseases.

We even had the chance to interview the well-known Dr. Aubrey de Grey, whose organization, the SENS Research Foundation, partnered with Forever Healthy Foundation to make Undoing Aging 2019 a reality. We asked him questions about how far SENS has come as an organization and what we can expect from future conferences.

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Apr 10, 2019

Ocean plastic pollution costs the planet $2.5 trillion per year

Posted by in categories: food, health, security

It’s the first-ever quantification of the damage caused by plastic pollution on a global scale.

Global plastic pollution and the damage it causes to marine ecosystems now has a price tag attached to it. A team of researchers from the UK and Norway analyzed the many ways in which plastic pollution damages or destroys natural resources, and came up with a staggering figure – $2.5 billion – as the annual cost to society.

Much of our current understanding about plastic pollution is on a local level that cannot be interpreted easily on a global scale; and yet, this is a global threat. An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans annually, and because of its material persistence and ability to disperse widely, must be viewed from a broader perspective if we hope to tackle it effectively. The researchers, whose study was just published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, looked at the many ways in which marine ecosystems benefit the planet, including food provision for billions of people, carbon storage, waste detoxification, and cultural benefits (recreational and spiritual). When these benefits are threatened by the presence of plastic, it “has the potential to significantly impact the wellbeing of humans across the globe, owing to the loss of food security, livelihoods, income and good health.”

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Apr 10, 2019

NASA is trying to build a supersonic aircraft without the boom

Posted by in category: transportation

NASA awarded a $247.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin to design and build an aeroplane that breaks the sound barrier without shattering the peace and quiet.

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