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Aug 4, 2016

Facts About the Secret Laser Weapons Systems Russia is Developing

Posted by in category: military

Reminds me of the 1980s all over again with Reagan’s StarWars Program.

Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has revealed that the Russian military has commissioned several types of laser weaponry, but remains tight-lipped about the kinds of systems being developed. What kinds of systems does the officer have in mind? Military experts speaking to one of Russia’s leading independent newspapers attempted to find out.

Laser beam

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Aug 4, 2016

US Government gives go-ahead to research to grow part-animal part-human organs for transplants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, policy

Posting for the friends who hasn’t heard about the US funding the new program to grow half human and half animal embryos. Part of the goal is to enable organs to be made available for transplants, etc…

The federal government is planning to lift a moratorium on funding of controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.

The National Institutes of Health has unveiled a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make the embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.

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Aug 4, 2016

Engineers implanted tiny sensors in rats’ nerves and muscles. Are humans next?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, health

The benefits of the technology for humans, while still largely hypothetical, are promising. The sensors could allow physicians to monitor the health of organs, create new therapies for neurological disorders, and help the physically impaired to control prosthetics.

While chips have been implanted in humans and other animals before, these sensors mark a significant improvement because they are small, wireless, batteryless, and could last in the body for years without degrading, said Michel Maharbiz, the associate professor who devised and studied the sensors alongside neuroscientist Jose Carmena.

“Hopefully the [tiny sensors] demonstrate a new direction for the field, and then you could build the consensus that’s needed to drive these forward,” Maharbiz said.

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Aug 4, 2016

New way to model molecules

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing, encryption, quantum physics, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Magine a future in which hyper-efficient solar panels provide renewable sources of energy, improved water filters quickly remove toxins from drinking water, and the air is scrubbed clean of pollution and greenhouse gases. That could become a reality with the right molecules and materials.

Scientists from Harvard and Google have taken a major step toward making the search for those molecules easier, demonstrating for the first time that a quantum computer could be used to model the electron interactions in a complex molecule. The work is described in a new paper published in the journal Physical Review X by Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and several co-authors.

“There are a number of applications that a quantum computer would be useful for: cryptography, machine learning, and certain number-theory problems,” Aspuru-Guzik said. “But one that has always been mentioned, even from the first conceptions of a quantum computer, was to use it to simulate matter. In this case, we use it to simulate chemistry.”

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Aug 4, 2016

MIT and DARPA Pack Lidar Sensor onto Single Chip

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI, transportation

Smaller than a dime and with no moving parts, MIT’s lidar-on-a-chip is exactly what cars and robots need.

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Aug 4, 2016

Porous plasmonic nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman scattering applications

Posted by in category: particle physics

A novel strategy is used to synthesize porous gold-silver alloy nanospheres encased in ultrathin silica shells that can act as highly sensitive single-particle probes.

Gold (Au) and silver (Ag) nanoparticles are typical plasmonic nanoparticles that exhibit an intense electromagnetic field in their proximity when they are irradiated by incident light. Within these fields—known as ‘hotspots’—the Raman scattering of molecules can be magnified by many orders of magnitude (depending on the intensity of the local electric field). In this so-called surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) phenomenon,1 the Raman scattering signals contain information relating to the bond vibrations and thus provide ‘signatures’ of the molecules (which enables their spectroscopic detection). In the pursuit of high-sensitivity SERS analyses, it is therefore highly desirable to specifically construct hotspots.

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Aug 4, 2016

Carbon Nanotube “Stitches” Strengthen Composites

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, transportation

The newest Airbus and Boeing passenger jets flying today are made primarily from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic — extremely light, durable materials that reduce the overall weight of the plane by as much as 20 percent compared to aluminum-bodied planes. Such lightweight airframes translate directly to fuel savings, which is a major point in advanced composites’ favor.

But composite materials are also surprisingly vulnerable: While aluminum can withstand relatively large impacts before cracking, the many layers in composites can break apart due to relatively small impacts — a drawback that is considered the material’s Achilles’ heel.

Now MIT aerospace engineers have found a way to bond composite layers in such a way that the resulting material is substantially stronger and more resistant to damage than other advanced composites. Their results are published this week in the journal Composites Science and Technology.

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Aug 4, 2016

Peter Thiel Wants Young Blood. Do You Want Young Blood?

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Definitely makes a person squeamish.

It probably depends on how rich you are.

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Aug 4, 2016

Liquid Fire Ants

Posted by in category: futurism

Watch how these fire ants stick together to avoid drowning.

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Aug 4, 2016

How Scientists Plan to Grow Cities Out of Living Organisms

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, education, environmental, robotics/AI, space travel

Imagine a future where there is no need to cut down a tree and and reshape that raw material into a chair or table. Instead, we could grow our furniture by custom-engineering moss or mushrooms. Perhaps glowing bacteria will light our cities, and we’ll be able to bring back extinct species, or wipe out Lyme disease—or maybe even terraform Mars. Synthetic biology could help us accomplish all that, and more.

That’s the message of the latest video in a new mini-documentary Web series called Explorations, focusing on potentially transformative areas of scientific research: genomics, artificial intelligence, neurobiology, transportation, space exploration, and synthetic biology. It’s a passion project of entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, founder of OS Fund and the payments processing company Braintree.

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