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Dec 27, 2016

The colossal African solar farm that could power Europe

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Good Morning, People of the Page. Thanks to fellow writer Bruce P. Grether for this story about solar power. And also, thank you, Bruce, for all your wonderful posts to the page, especially in the last few days…the posts you’ve been making in your travels. Much appreciated.

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Dec 27, 2016

Harvard May Have Pinpointed the Source of Human Consciousness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In Brief

  • A study of 36 patients with brainstem lesions revealed that the majority of those in comas had damage in a specific area of the brainstem, while most conscious patients did not.
  • The identification of the areas of the brain responsible for consciousness could lead to new treatment options for patients in comas or vegetative states.

Human consciousness has been defined as awareness, sentience, a person’s ability to experience and feel, but despite the important role it plays in our lives and making us who we are, we actually know very little about how consciousness works.

Scientists currently believe that consciousness is composed of two components: arousal and awareness. The first is regulated by the brainstem, but the physical origins of the latter were always a mystery. Now, a team of researchers at Harvard think they may have discovered the regions of the brain that work with the brainstem to maintain consciousness.

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Dec 27, 2016

Organovo 3D bioprinted liver tissue could make it to the FDA by 2019

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

Speculation on 3D printed tissue coming to humans sooner than we think is backed by new pre-clinical findings from 3D bioprinting company Organovo (NASDAQ: ONVO). Though it will still be 3 – 5 years before the U.S. based Organovo apply for clearance of their liver tissue, that is still sooner than perhaps even the FDA had in mind.

Pre-clinical trial data shows that 3D bioprinted liver tissue has been successfully planted into lab-bred mice. The human liver-cell tissue shows regular functionality and, at this stage, is being explored as a suitable patch for the organ.

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Dec 27, 2016

Space mining: The intergalactic gold rush is on

Posted by in category: space

Asteroid mining is the new Wild West, and the resources hidden in asteroids, potentially worth trillions, are available to whomever can get there first.

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Dec 26, 2016

Israel invents breath-checking device for identifying diseases

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A device was just invented by researchers, which can make out up to 17 different diseases just by analyzing the chemical makeup of a persons breath.

This is the worlds first singular device that can make an authenticated reading of a persons breath and the first to accurately check for a wide array of afflictions with just the one sample already mentioned including but not limited to Parkinsons disease and kidney cancer even.

The team of researchers led by Hossam Haick from the Technion-Israel Institute of technology told foreign media, “Since antiquity (~400 BC), physicians learned to evaluate their patients by exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs), among other means, that are linked to diseases. For example, the stools and urine of infant noblemen were smelt daily by their physicians.”

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Dec 26, 2016

Realistic training for extreme flight conditions

Posted by in category: transportation

Missions at sea, in mountainous regions or close to skyscrapers are extremely risky for helicopter pilots. The turbulent air flows near oil rigs, ships, cliffs and tall buildings can throw a helicopter off balance and cause a crash. To provide pilots with optimal preparation for these challenging conditions, engineers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are developing new simulation software.

Providing helicopter pilots with the best possible preparation for extreme situations: That is the goal of the new simulation software being developed by researchers working at TUM’s Chair of Helicopter Technology. For the first time, real-time computational analysis will be implemented for both fluid mechanics and flight dynamics. “Until now, flight simulators have not adequately reflected the reality of flying in close proximity to large objects,” says Dr. Juergen Rauleder. “The problem is that, when it comes to wind conditions and the response of the helicopter, existing programs follow a rigid pattern. That means that local variations and changing conditions are not taken into account — unless the entire flow environment is known in advance.”

But it is the unforeseen air flows that can be the most treacherous: For example, a moving ship causes air turbulence and sudden local shifts in wind speed known by specialists as “ship airwake flow”. It changes continually through wave action and fluctuating inflow conditions. In addition, turbulence occurs near the deck, the bridge and other ship structures. As a helicopter approaches the ship, there is interference between these air currents and the flow produced by the rotors. Conditions near a mountain slope or next to high buildings are similarly complicated. In all of these cases, the helicopter’s flight characteristics are influenced by complex and overlapping aerodynamic effects.

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Dec 26, 2016

Self-Assembly Process Strikes Perfect Balance for Making Atoms-Wide Nanowires

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics


Diamondoids build smallest possible copper-sulfur nanowires, could construct many other nanomaterials.

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Dec 26, 2016

China tests new jet fighter FC-31 Gyrfalcon prototype

Posted by in category: military

The newest version of the J-31, now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon, took to the air for the first time on Friday, the China Daily reported.

The FC-31 first came under the spotlight in 2012 when the first prototype managed to stay airborne for as long as 11 minutes during a test.

Previously known as the J-31, the twin engine, radar evading aircraft is still under development by Shenyang Aircraft Corp, part of the Aviation Industry Corp of China.

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Dec 26, 2016

China plans to land probes on far side of moon, Mars by 2020

Posted by in categories: military, space

By 2018, China plans to land on the dark side of the moon; within 3 years Mars. Last year, we learned that China has interests in mining raw materials from the Moon particularly from the dark side of the moon. Also, researchers have discovered some very resilient raw materials for things such as concrete on Mars. SO, could we see in the next 5 years mining by China on Mars?

“To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly,” read a white paper setting out the country’s space strategy for the next five years. It says China aims to use space for peaceful purposes and to guarantee national security, and to carry out cutting-edge scientific research.

The white paper, released by the information office of China’s Cabinet, points to the growing ambitions of China’s already rapidly advancing space program. China places great emphasis on the development of its space industry, seen as a symbol of national prestige that will raise the country’s standing in the world. Although the white paper doesn’t mention it, China’s eventual goal is to land an astronaut on the moon.

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Dec 26, 2016

China to beef up research of key components

Posted by in categories: internet, materials

China makes heaving R&D investments in technologies for telecom and travel industry (namely railway) that reduces China’s dependency on foreign tech companies. Looks like we’re heading more and more into a protectionism world.

China will ramp up investment to develop essential industrial components and materials next year, in a move to reduce reliance on foreign technology in key sectors including telecommunications and railways.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said on Monday the ministry will channel more resources to help tackle technological bottlenecks in 20 industrial parts and 15 industrial materials.

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