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Jul 28, 2016

Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

The finding is reported in the July 29 issue of Science and was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. A provisional patent application has been filed.

Unlike conventional , which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such “artificial leaves” could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.

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Jul 28, 2016

Russia to Create New Powerful Plasma Rocket Engine

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

A Russian rocket engine company, with the assistance of a major research and development institute, will work on a project to create a powerful electrodeless plasma rocket engine, Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation said Wednesday.

The project will be developed by the Kurchatov Institute, Russia’s leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, and the Chemical Automatics Design Bureau (CADB).

“The project involves the development of a new-generation electrodeless plasma engine. It is a high-power engine using fuel in a plasma state. It has a high energy efficiency, an ability to use almost any kind of rocket fuel… and its maximum engine power is limited only by the power supply of a high-frequency generator,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

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Jul 28, 2016

A new, independent review of the Orion spacecraft is pretty damning

Posted by in category: space travel

The next president needs to invest the damn money that’s needed to get this entire thing going. No more deferring. No more dithering. If this turns out to be an impossibility, then we should just privatize the entire production and design process, get rid of the red tape, and just get it DONE before we get delay after delay and then, when we finally DO get there, we find the Chinese have already built a damned settlement.

Scientific Method —

A new, independent review of the Orion spacecraft is pretty damning.

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Jul 28, 2016

Tonight, a meteor shower created by a mysterious comet will reach its peak — here’s how to watch

Posted by in category: space

Right now, we are in the middle of a meteor shower called the Delta Aquarids, which began around July 12. And tonight, the shower will reach its peak.

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Jul 28, 2016

Growing Organs on Apples

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The future of regenerative medicine may be plants.

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Jul 28, 2016

New Group Takes On Massive Computing Needs of Big Data

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

Big Data and Obama’s Brain Initiative — As we harness mass volumes of information and the current tech explosion around information; we will seeing an accelerated growing need/ urgency for more advance AI, QC, and new brain-mind interface intelligence to assist others when working with both super-intelligence AI and the mass volumes of information.

Engineers are experimenting with chip design to boost computer performance. In the above layout of a chip developed at Columbia, analog and digital circuits are combined in a novel architecture to solve differential equations with extreme speed and energy efficiency. Image: Simha Sethumadhavan, Mingoo Seok and Yannis Tsividis/Columbia Engineering.

In the big data era, the modern computer is showing signs of age. The sheer number of observations now streaming from land, sea, air and space has outpaced the ability of most computers to process it. As the United States races to develop an “exascale” machine up to the task, a group of engineers and scientists at Columbia have teamed up to pursue solutions of their own.

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Jul 28, 2016

Exclusive Interview with a BioRobotics Researcher

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

An interview with the ever humble Francesco Corucci world re-known BioRobotics researcher with the BioRobotics Institute.

We had the unique opportunity to interview Francesco Corucci, a Phd Fellow at the BioRobotics Institute. As we aren’t researchers ourselves, here are the unedited answers by Francesco instead of paraphrasing or rewording his message.

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Jul 28, 2016

New theory explains how beta waves arise in the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Beta rhythms, or waves of brain activity with an approximately 20 Hz frequency, accompany vital fundamental behaviors such as attention, sensation and motion and are associated with some disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Scientists have debated how the spontaneous waves emerge, and they have not yet determined whether the waves are just a byproduct of activity, or play a causal role in brain functions. Now in a new paper led by Brown University neuroscientists, they have a specific new mechanistic explanation of beta waves to consider.

The new theory, presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the product of several lines of evidence: external brainwave readings from human subjects, sophisticated computational simulations and detailed electrical recordings from two mammalian model organisms.

“A first step to understanding beta’s causal role in behavior or pathology, and how to manipulate it for optimal function, is to understand where it comes from at the cellular and circuit level,” said corresponding author Stephanie Jones, research associate professor of neuroscience at Brown University. “Our study combined several techniques to address this question and proposed a novel mechanism for spontaneous neocortical beta. This discovery suggests several possible mechanisms through which beta may impact function.”

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Jul 28, 2016

Yale team designs gene modification system

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

A Yale research team has designed a system to modify multiple genes in the genome simultaneously, while also minimizing unintended effects. The gene-editing “toolbox” provides a user-friendly solution that scientists can apply to research on cancer and other disciplines, according to a news release from Yale.

The study was published on July 26 in Nucleic Acids Research.

The news release states that, with modern genetic engineering techniques, researchers can edit genes in experiments. This allows researchers to study important disease-related genes and may ultimately allow them to treat genetic diseases by making edits in specific sites of the human genome. However, progress has been hampered by several challenges, including the editing of unintended sites — referred to as off-target effects.

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Jul 28, 2016

Scientists Synthesize Liquid Fuel from Solar Energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The nextgen of Solar and fuel energy.

Scientists have just discovered a way to directly convert solar energy into a synthetic fuel using carbon dioxide. Current solar technologies operate in either photovoltaic solar or thermal solar. Photovoltaic solar energy is generated through solar panels, which are typically seen on the roofs of houses and many solar plants. The other method of thermal solar is typically only used in large-scale energy plants, as it used mirrors to focus solar energy to heat a liquid which then powers turbines. Both methods, however, involve the conversion of solar energy into electricity. While electricity is useful, much energy is lost in the storing of electricity, something that the conversion process to liquid fuel overcomes.

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