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Apr 12, 2018

Making custom qubits

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

For the first time, we’ve made a molecule by pressing two atoms together to make them bond on command. This could help build better qubits for quantum computers.

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Apr 12, 2018

Scientists Create Beautiful Iridescent Material That Could Be Edible

Posted by in categories: food, physics

What makes something red, or blue, or green? It’s all in the way light bounces off its surface. Something that primarily reflects light with shorter wavelengths will appear bluer, while something that reflects longer wavelengths will appear redder. By playing around with that principle, scientists have created a material that, much like soap bubbles and certain insect wings, displays a gorgeous iridescence—a shifting rainbow of colors they can tweak with the same surface.

Even more interestingly, the researchers made this material from common cellulose, the simple stuff that makes up paper and which can be extracted from wood, cotton, or other renewable sources. We’ve already mentioned scientists arranging cellulose fibers in a way that makes them appear incredibly white. But now instead of laying fibers, a team of physicists are molding cellulose films with tiny, regularly spaced impressions (like an upside-down Lego piece).

The outcome was a thin, single-centimeter iridescent film that reflects light based on the spacing of the dots, according to the paper published recently in Nature Photonics.

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Apr 12, 2018

Trouble Detected in Infamous Dark Matter Signal

Posted by in category: cosmology

Independent scientists have cast serious doubt on a claimed detection of dark matter.

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Apr 12, 2018

Scientists Edit Thousands of Genes at Once With Upgraded CRISPR

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

When the gene-editing technology CRISPR first made a splash back in 2012, it foretold a future in which curing diseases might simply involve snipping out problematic bits of genetic code. Of course, innovation is rarely so straightforward. As incredible as CRISPR is, it also has some pretty sizable flaws to overcome before it can live up to its hype as a veritable cure-all for human disease.

A new study published this week in the journal Nature Genetics tackles one CRISPR complication. CRISPR gene-editing systems can easily cut many pieces of DNA at once, but actually editing all those genes is a lot more time-consuming. Now, scientists at UCLA have come up with a way to edit multiple genes at once.

When scientists use CRISPR for genetic engineering, they are really using a system made up of several parts. CRISPR is a tool taken from bacterial immune systems. When a virus invades, the bacterial immune system sends an enzyme like Cas9 to the virus and chops it up. The bacteria then adds short bits of virus DNA to its own code, so it can recognize that virus quickly in the future. If the virus shows up again, a guide RNA will lead the Cas9 enzyme to the matching place in the virus code, where it again chops it up. In CRISPR, when that cutting is done, scientists can also insert a new bit of code or delete code, to, for example, fix disease-causing genetic mutations in the code before patching it up. But delivering that new code and making the patch is where it can get especially tricky.

Continue reading “Scientists Edit Thousands of Genes at Once With Upgraded CRISPR” »

Apr 12, 2018

World’s first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Stretch of road outside Stockholm transfers energy from two tracks of rail in the road, recharging the batteries of electric cars and trucks.

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Apr 12, 2018

Cancer: New drug may fight treatment resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A new drug that blocks a molecule that cancer cells rely on for transcribing genetic information shows promise in tackling treatment-resistant tumors.

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Apr 12, 2018

Timeline of early spaceflights

Posted by in category: space travel

Very interesting.


Vostok (Russian for ‘East’) was a Soviet human spaceflight project that developed the Vostok spacecraft which was used to place the first human in space.

The first manned US spacecraft was Mercury, which was first launched in suborbital flights on Redstone rockets and then in orbital missions on Atlas launchers.

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Apr 12, 2018

ARA Develops Lightweight Laser Weapon System

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, military, space

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) is developing a compact, completely self-contained directed-energy weapon that is the first of its size and specifications, making it a standout from existing systems.

The Silent Saber is high power, 1.5 kilowatt fiber laser packaged in a backpack with power supplies and a unique thermal control system. A telescope with multiple potential mounting configurations can be mounted to existing Picatinny rails of a soldier’s rifle, and a laser is connected to the telescope by a fiber cable.

“This tool provides options to the warfighter to support explosive ordnance disposal, counter infrastructure and counter drone missions,” said Principal Engineer Joseph Paranto, ARA’s Director of Directed Energy Systems.

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Apr 12, 2018

FakeApp lets people make fake videos of anyone

Posted by in category: futurism

Click on photo to start video.

Face-swapping videos could lead to more “fake news.”

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Apr 12, 2018

Scientists solve mystery of how Giant’s Causeway was formed

Posted by in category: futurism

Volcanologists use samples from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland to recreate famous hexagonal columns in laboratory.

Science correspondent.

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