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Feb 28, 2017

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes

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

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials have announced.

The approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last week gives Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company permission to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall.

The company said the potatoes contain only potato genes, and that the resistance to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine, comes from an Argentine variety of potato that naturally produced a defense.

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Feb 28, 2017

Researchers coax colloidal spheres to self-assemble into photonic crystals

Posted by in categories: engineering, food, particle physics

Colloidal particles, used in a range of technical applications including foods, inks, paints, and cosmetics, can self-assemble into a remarkable variety of densely-packed crystalline structures. For decades, though, researchers have been trying to coax colloidal spheres to arranging themselves into much more sparsely populated lattices in order to unleash potentially valuable optical properties. These structures, called photonic crystals, could increase the efficiency of lasers, further miniaturize optical components, and vastly increase engineers’ ability to control the flow of light.

A team of engineers and scientists from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the NYU Center for Soft Matter Research, and Sungkyunkwan University School of Chemical Engineering in the Republic of Korea report they have found a pathway toward the self-assembly of these elusive photonic crystal structures never assembled before on the sub-micrometer scale (one micrometer is about 100 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair).

The research, which appears in the journal Nature Materials, introduces a new design principle based on preassembled components of the desired superstructure, much as a prefabricated house begins as a collection of pre-built sections. The researchers report they were able to assemble the colloidal spheres into diamond and pyrochlore crystal structures — a particularly difficult challenge because so much space is left unoccupied.

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Feb 28, 2017

Researchers Have Directly Tested Two Quantum Computing Technologies

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

If you aren’t already, you’re likely soon to find yourself looking forward to the day when quantum computers will replace regular computers for every day use. The computing power of quantum computers is immense compared to what regular desktops or laptops can do. The downside is, current quantum computing technology are limited by the bulky frameworks and extreme conditions they require in order to function.

Quantum computers need specialized setups in order to sustain and keep quantum bits — the heart of quantum computing — working. These “qubits” are particles in a quantum state of superposition, which allows them to encode and transmit information as 0s and 1s simultaneously. Most computers run on binary bit systems which use either 0s or 1s. Since quantum computers can use both at the same time, they can process more information faster. That being said, Sustaining the life of qubits is particularly difficult, but researchers are investigating quantum computing studies are trying to find ways to prolong the life of qubits using various techniques.

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Feb 28, 2017

Novel 3D printing technique uses magnets to create smart materials for soft robotics and medicine

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

New research describes a novel 3D printing technique for the production of smart materials that may find use in soft-robotics and advanced medicine.

In a recent academic paper the, “striking phenomena” that “can be produced by embedding magnetic particles into polymer with designed patterns,” are described in detail. These phenomena include smart materials with, “tunable elastic properties, giant deformational effects, high elasticity, anisotropic elastic and swelling properties, and quick response to magnetic fields.

As previously reported by 3D Printing Industry, investigations into smart and meta materials are increasingly using 3D printing techniques.

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Feb 28, 2017

Xperia® Agent CONCEPT

Posted by in category: futurism

The future of smart devices is here. Sony brings you Xperia Ear, Xperia Touch, Xperia Agent CONCEPT, and Xperia Ear Open-style CONCEPT—all here on the official Sony website.

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Feb 28, 2017

Existence of a new quasiparticle demonstrated

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, particle physics

How do molecules rotate in a solvent? Answering this question is complicated, since molecular rotation is perturbed by a very large number of surrounding atoms. For a long time, large-scale computer simulations have been the main approach to model molecule-solvent interactions. However, they are extremely time consuming and sometimes infeasible. Now, Mikhail Lemeshko from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) has proven that angulons—a certain type of quasiparticle he proposed two years ago—do, in fact, form when a molecule is immersed in superfluid helium. This offers a quick and simple description for rotation of molecules in solvents.

In physics, the concept of quasiparticles is used as a technique to simplify the description of many-particle systems. Namely, instead of modeling strong interactions between trillions of individual particles, one identifies building blocks of the system that are only weakly interacting with one another. These building blocks are called quasiparticles and might consist of groups of particles. For example, to describe air bubbles rising up in water from first principles, one would need to solve an enormous set of equations describing the position and momentum of each water molecule. On the other hand, the bubbles themselves can be treated as individual particles—or quasiparticles—which drastically simplifies the description of the system. As another example, consider a running horse engulfed in a cloud of dust. One can think of it as a quasiparticle consisting of the horse itself and the dust cloud moving along with it.

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Feb 28, 2017

Disney Brings You the Wireless-Powered Room–Is Real-Life TRON Next?

Posted by in category: energy

Word association time. I say “quasistatic cavity resonance”; you say…?

“Whaaaa?” or “Heh heh, cavity” are expected. But if you said “enabling purpose-built structures, such as cabinets, rooms, and warehouses, to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained nearly anywhere within,” you win the virtual no-prize.

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Feb 28, 2017

Singularity.FM: The Original and Best Known Singularity Podcast

Posted by in categories: futurism, singularity

Nikola Danaylov Soars to No. 1 Best Seller for.
‘Conversations With The Future: 21 Visions for the 21st Century’

Singularity. FM Podcaster and Author, Nikola Danaylov was recently recognized as an Amazon #1 International Best Seller for his new book, “Conversations with the Future: 21 Visions for the 21st Century.”

“Conversations with the Future” reached #1 on Amazon’s U.S. and Canadian Best Seller lists in several categories including:

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Feb 28, 2017

Do Robots Deserve Rights?

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

Super-smart robots with artificial intelligence is pretty much a foregone conclusion: technology is moving in that direction with lightning speed. But what if those robots gain consciousness? Will they deserve the same rights as humans? The ethics of this are tricky. Explore them in the video below.

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Feb 28, 2017

Support LEAF campaign!

Posted by in category: life extension

Support LEAF/ with a geeky science t-shirt and help us to continue creating quality content, engaging science and supporting research.

Trust me, I’m a “Biologist” experiments with fun and also tries to do a little good from time to time. Today we run a T-shirt campaign – to support another non-profit: LEAF (! Because we’re deep into aging research.

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