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Feb 26, 2017

Dream of energy-collecting windows is one step closer to reality

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are bringing the dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy one step closer to reality thanks to high tech silicon nanoparticles.

The researchers developed technology to embed the nanoparticles into what they call efficient (LSCs). These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. When light shines through the surface, the useful frequencies of light are trapped inside and concentrated to the edges where small solar cells can be put in place to capture the energy.

The research is published today in Nature Photonics.

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Feb 26, 2017

Holographic 3D printer uses lasers to print thousands of times faster than its rivals

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, holograms

Think you’ve seen it all when it comes to 3D printing? This hologram-powered 3D printer prints using green lasers and a tub of goo.

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Feb 26, 2017

Newly-found star system has 7 Earth-like planets and 3 may host life

Posted by in categories: alien life, virtual reality

The planets were discovered orbiting a dwarf star known as Trappist-1, which is 39 light years from Earth. The international group of researchers claim they will know if life exists there within a decade.

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Feb 26, 2017

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab created these super-strong grippers

Posted by in category: space

These NASA-designed grippers can lift massive rocks.

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Feb 26, 2017

Five Robots Named Paul

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

These five robots will draw custom portraits of you.

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Feb 26, 2017

AIDS vaccine ‘cures’ 5 patients and are ’virus free‘

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new study from the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain has found a vaccine that has ‘functionally cured’ five HIV patients. It could prevent the need to take antiretroivral drugs again.

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Feb 26, 2017

Don’t fall for Silicon Valley’s hubris—our technological future is more fragile than we think

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Lompico is the rough jewel of Santa Cruz, California—high in the mountains and deep in the redwood forest, population 1,140. Weather providing, it takes less than an hour to get here from Silicon Valley, where technologists are hard at work designing our brave new world.

But heavy rains have made the valley barely accessible to Lompico residents like me this winter. Road closures are common in Lompico, caused by mudslides, fallen trees, and rising waters. California governor Jerry Brown requested federal disaster relief funds on Feb. 11 for this and other nearby counties, estimating damage at $162 million.

Now, just getting out of my neighborhood takes an hour. I navigate perilous one-lane trails with caravans of cars waiting their turn in either direction. Drivers back up onto cliff edges in the dark and fog to let each other by, hoping for the best. Out here, a comfortable, technologically advanced future hardly seems assured. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that our lives are still subject to the whims of nature. All it takes is a few hours of steady rain to down a dead tree and wreak havoc on an otherwise peaceful week.

Continue reading “Don’t fall for Silicon Valley’s hubris—our technological future is more fragile than we think” »

Feb 26, 2017

The ‘Celestial Empire’ Looks to Space

Posted by in categories: futurism, satellites

China’s State Council, the country’s chief administrative authority, recently published a White Paper on its space policies. It not only lifted a veil of secrecy that shielded Beijing’s space policies, but also outlined the country’s recent achievements and offered a five-year outlook on future activities.

Since its first satellite launch in 1970, China has become a major player in the space domain. However, it was only in 2003 that China became the third country to independently send people into space.

Beijing has placed significant resources into narrowing the capability gap that has separated it from other leading nations in this area. It took only eight years from its entry into manned spaceflight, in 2003, to the launch of the first prototype component of its space station, the Tiangong-1.

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Feb 26, 2017

Australian Scientists Have Designed a Filter That Removes Arsenic From Drinking Water

Posted by in category: health

Arsenic poisoning from drinking water is still a health concern for 137 million people in more than 70 countries around the world.

But a new filtration system created by Australian researchers could be the cheap and easy technology required to help solve this huge health issue — and best of all, it can be made using recycled parts.

Current systems for removing arsenic from ground water, such as reverse osmosis or iron exchange, aren’t cost effective or efficient, which means they’re not much use in the countries that really need them, like Vietnam and Bangladesh.

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Feb 26, 2017

What Does Artificial Intelligence See In A Quarter Billion Global News Photographs?

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

What deep learning algorithms can tell us about the visual narratives of the world’s news imagery, from depictions of violence to the importance of people to visual context – a look inside what we see about the world around us.

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