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Jul 8, 2019

US Navy is developing ‘supersonic submarine’ inside a bubble

Posted by in category: military

As swimmers know, moving cleanly through the water can be a problem due o the huge amounts of drag created — and for submarines, this is even more of a problem.

However, US Navy funded researchers say they have a simple solution — a bubble.

Researchers at Penn State Applied Research Laboratory are developing a new system using a technique called supercavitation.

Jul 8, 2019

The Magnetohydrodynamic Drive Is Real—and You Can Build One

Posted by in categories: entertainment, physics

I know it’s an old movie (and it was an even older book before that), but I want to look at the physics of the special submarine drive in The Hunt for Red October. In the story, the Russians build a so-called “caterpillar drive” using hydro-magneto power instead of the traditional propeller. This new drive is way quieter than the traditional type—so quiet that it could sneak up on the United States and blow it up. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.

Here is the cool part: This magnetohydrodynamic drive, which turns water into a sort of rotor, is a real thing. (Although technically in the book version this drive is something other than magnetohydrodynamic. Quibbles.) In fact, it’s pretty simple to build. All you really need is a battery, a magnet, and some wires. Oh, also this will have to operate in salt water, so you might need some salt. Here is the basic setup.

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Jul 8, 2019

New research sheds light on a possible cause of autism: processed foods

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

The more we learn about the microbiome, the more the pieces are fitting together.

Jul 8, 2019

Climate Facts: Bridge to Nowhere

Posted by in category: climatology

Report that natural gas is just as bad as coal due to rampant methane leaks which cause global heating.

Jul 8, 2019

Researchers discover semiconducting nanotubes that form spontaneously

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, quantum physics

If scientists could find a way to control the process for making semiconductor components on a nanometric scale, they could give those components unique electronic and optical properties—opening the door to a host of useful applications.

Researchers at the Laboratory of Microsystems, in EPFL’s School of Engineering, have taken an important step towards that goal with their discovery of semiconducting nanotubes that assemble automatically in solutions of metallic nanocrystals and certain ligands. The tubes have between three and six walls that are perfectly uniform and just a few atoms thick—making them the first such nanostructures of their kind.

What’s more, the nanotubes possess photoluminescent properties: they can absorb light of a specific wavelength and then send out intense light waves of a different color, much like and quantum wells. That means they can be used as in , for example, or as catalysts in photoreduction reactions, as evidenced by the removal of the colors of some organic dyes, based on the results of initial experiments. The researchers’ findings have made the cover of ACS Central Science.

Jul 8, 2019

The Junk Food Effect

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away for much longer. CO2 pollution is sucking the nutrients out of our healthiest foods. #YEARSproject

Jul 8, 2019

How algae could help solve some of the world’s biggest problems

Posted by in category: food

Here’s a billion-dollar question. How do we transform our systems of food production and distribution, so that we can produce food much closer to where it’s consumed and therefore reduce food miles, food waste and our impact on the environment?

Jul 8, 2019

Honeywell Trapped Ion Quantum Computer

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Honeywell Quantum Solutions has demonstrated record-breaking high fidelity quantum operations on their trapped-ion qubits. It is a major step towards producing the world’s most powerful quantum computer. Honeywell targets an operational trapped ion quantum computer by the end of 2019.

Currently the leading trapped ion quantum computer is by the startup IonQ. There are commercial quantum annealing systems from D-Wave Systems with 2000 qubits. There are superconducting quantum computers with 16–72 qubits from Google, IBM, Intel and Rigetti Systems.

Jul 8, 2019

Team programs a humanoid robot to communicate in sign language

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

For a robot to be able to “learn” sign language, it is necessary to combine different areas of engineering such as artificial intelligence, neural networks and artificial vision, as well as underactuated robotic hands. “One of the main new developments of this research is that we united two major areas of Robotics: complex systems (such as robotic hands) and social interaction and communication,” explains Juan Víctores, one of the researchers from the Robotics Lab in the Department of Systems Engineering and Automation of the UC3M.

The first thing the scientists did as part of their research was to indicate, through a simulation, the specific position of each phalanx in order to depict particular signs from Spanish Sign Language. They then attempted to reproduce this position with the robotic hand, trying to make the movements similar to those a human hand could make. “The objective is for them to be similar and, above all, natural. Various types of were tested to model this adaptation, and this allowed us to choose the one that could perform the gestures in a way that is comprehensible to people who communicate with sign language,” the researchers explain.

Finally, the scientists verified that the system worked by interacting with potential end-users. “The who have been in contact with the robot have reported 80 percent satisfaction, so the response has been very positive,” says another of the researchers from the Robotics Lab, Jennifer J. Gago. The experiments were carried out with TEO (Task Environment Operator), a for home use developed in the Robotics Lab of the UC3M.

Jul 8, 2019

Five Couples Agree to CRISPR Their Babies to Avoid Deafness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

They think gene-editing is a risk worth taking — if it means their babies will be able to hear.