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Oct 3, 2023

How Microbes Could Aid the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life

Posted by in category: biological

Microbes have survived the ravages of time, withstood inhospitable conditions and shaped Earth uniquely, prompting research into the plausibility that microbial life might exist beyond our planet.

Oct 3, 2023

Spintronics Revolution: How Topological Materials Are Paving the Way

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Researchers highlight the potential of cobalt-tin-sulfur in spintronic devices, revealing its capability to reduce energy consumption and heralding a new era in electronics.

A team of researchers has made a significant breakthrough that could revolutionize next-generation electronics by enabling non-volatility, large-scale integration, low power consumption, high speed, and high reliability in spintronic devices.

Details of their findings were published recently in the journal Physical Review B.

Oct 3, 2023

Functional photoacoustic imaging: from nano- and micro- to macro-scale

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

In the biomedical field, optical characterization of cells and tissues is a valuable tool for understanding physiological mechanisms. Current biomedical optical imaging techniques include fluorescence imaging [1], confocal microscopy [2], optical coherence tomography [3], two-photon microscopy [4], near-infrared spectroscopy [5], and diffuse optical tomography [6]. These techniques have significantly advanced biomedical technology and are widely used for both preclinical and clinical purposes. However, the strong optical scattering within turbid biological tissues fundamentally limits the imaging depth of these pure optical imaging techniques to no deeper than the optical ballistic depth ( 1 mm). Thus, their observation depth is superficial and other imaging modalities are needed to explore deeper layers of biological tissue [7].

Photoacoustic imaging (PAI), a promising biomedical technique, achieves superior imaging depths by forming images from optically-derived acoustic signals, which inherently attenuate less than optical signals in biological tissue [8, 9, 10]. PAI is based on the photoacoustic (PA) effect, in which energy is converted from light to acoustic waves via thermoelastic expansion [11,12,13,14,15,16]. To generate PA waves, a laser beam with a typical pulse width of a few nanoseconds illuminates the target tissue. The optical chromophores in biological tissue absorb the light energy and then release the energy soon after. The energy release can can occur as either light energy with a slightly shifted wavelength or as thermal energy that causes thermoelastic expansion. In PAI, the rapidly alternating thermoelastic expansion and contraction caused by pulsed light illumination generates vibrations in tissue that propagate as acoustic waves called PA waves. The generated PA waves can be detected by conventional ultrasound (US) transducers for image generation. Because PAI and ultrasound imaging (USI) share the same signal reception and image reconstruction principle, the two modalities are technically fully compatible and can be implemented in a single US imaging platform accompanied with pulse laser source [17,18,19,20,21]. Since PAI can capture the photochemical properties of the target site, combining PAI with USI can provide both chemical and structural information about a target tissue.

One distinctive advantage of PAI is that its resolution and imaging depth can be adjusted to suit a specific target area. The resolution of PA signals depends on both the optical focus of the excitation laser and the acoustic focus of the receiving US transducer [22], so images with tuned spatial resolutions and imaging depths can be achieved by modifying the system configuration [23]. PAI’s wide applications to date have included nanoscale surface and organelle imaging [24,25,26,27,28], microscale cellular imaging [29,30,31,32], macroscale small animal imaging [33,34,35], and clinical human imaging [36,37,38].

Oct 3, 2023

Airbnb Is Fundamentally Broken, Its CEO Says. He Plans to Fix It

Posted by in category: habitats

If you haven’t had the experience yourself, you’ve likely heard the horror stories: Someone shows up to their Airbnb and finds the pool is overgrown with algae. The heat doesn’t work. Or a booking gets canceled at the last minute leaving travelers without a place to stay. Consistency and reliability have become an enormous Achilles heel for Airbnb, an issue that Chesky has long described as a managerial crisis that requires wrapping his arms around millions of hosts in hundreds of thousands of locations—and not stripping them of their individuality.

“Our system,” says Chesky—referring to the disruptive tech platform where “adventurous travelers” could buy and sell products (in this case, rooms or homes), process secure payments and leave reviews—“was designed for a much smaller company which grew like crazy.”

“To use a precise metaphor, it’s kind of like we never fully built the foundation. Like, we had a house and it had four pillars when we needed to have 10.”

Oct 2, 2023

There are $10 trillion dollars of productivity to be reaped from AI, says IBM

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Paul Burton, general manager of IBM Asia Pacific, “if you leverage AI correctly, there’s probably $10 trillion of productivity that will be reaped by companies and governments over the next 10 years.”

Oct 2, 2023

AI could help predict pancreatic cancer, study finds

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet, robotics/AI

A new study finds artificial intelligence could help predict pancreatic cancer. Dr. Chris Sander, one of the co-authors of the study, joined CBS News to talk about the findings.

#news #ai #cancer.

Continue reading “AI could help predict pancreatic cancer, study finds” »

Oct 2, 2023

Instant evolution: AI designs new robot from scratch in seconds

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, supercomputing

A team led by Northwestern University researchers has developed the first artificial intelligence (AI) to date that can intelligently design robots from scratch.

To test the new AI, the researchers gave the system a simple prompt: Design a robot that can walk across a . While it took nature billions of years to evolve the first walking species, the compressed to lightning speed—designing a successfully walking robot in mere seconds.

But the AI program is not just fast. It also runs on a lightweight and designs wholly novel structures from scratch. This stands in sharp contrast to other AI systems, which often require energy-hungry supercomputers and colossally large datasets. And even after crunching all that data, those systems are tethered to the constraints of human creativity—only mimicking humans’ past works without an ability to generate new ideas.

Oct 2, 2023

Simulations reveal the atomic-scale story of qubits

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers led by Giulia Galli at University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering report a computational study that predicts the conditions to create specific spin defects in silicon carbide. Their findings, published online in Nature Communications, represent an important step towards identifying fabrication parameters for spin defects useful for quantum technologies.

Electronic spin defects in semiconductors and insulators are rich platforms for , sensing, and communication applications. Defects are impurities and/or misplaced atoms in a solid and the electrons associated with these carry a spin. This quantum mechanical property can be used to provide a controllable qubit, the basic unit of operation in quantum technologies.

Yet the synthesis of these spin defects, typically achieved experimentally by implantation and annealing processes, is not yet well understood, and importantly, cannot yet be fully optimized. In —an attractive host material for spin qubits due to its industrial availability—different experiments have so far yielded different recommendations and outcomes for creating the desired spin defects.

Oct 2, 2023

Scientists discover a durable but sensitive material for high energy X-ray detection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

X-ray technology plays a vital role in medicine and scientific research, providing non-invasive medical imaging and insight into materials. Recent advancements in X-ray technology enable brighter, more intense beams and imaging of increasingly intricate systems in real-world conditions, like the insides of operating batteries.

To support these advancements, scientists are working to develop X-ray materials that can withstand bright, high-energy X-rays—especially those from large X-ray synchrotrons—while maintaining sensitivity and cost-effectiveness.

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and their colleagues have demonstrated exceptional performance of a new material for detecting high energy X-ray scattering patterns. With excellent endurance under ultra-high X-ray flux and relatively low cost, the detector material may find wide application in synchrotron-based X-ray research.

Oct 2, 2023

Physicists coax superconductivity and more from quasicrystals

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

In research that could jumpstart interest into an enigmatic class of materials known as quasicrystals, MIT scientists and colleagues have discovered a relatively simple, flexible way to create new atomically thin versions that can be tuned for important phenomena. In work reported in Nature they describe doing just that to make the materials exhibit superconductivity and more.

The research introduces a new platform for not only learning more about quasicrystals, but also exploring exotic phenomena that can be hard to study but could lead to important applications and new physics. For example, a better understanding of superconductivity, in which electrons pass through a material with no resistance, could allow much more efficient electronic devices.

The work brings together two previously unconnected fields: quasicrystals and twistronics. The latter was pioneered at MIT only about five years ago by Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at MIT and corresponding author of the paper.

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