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Apr 25, 2016

Shoot the Blighter! Anti-drone ‘death ray’ may be installed after Heathrow plane collision (VIDEO)

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI

A military-grade drone-killing ‘death ray’ that can reportedly destroy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from up to 6 miles away could soon be in use in UK airports following a suspected collision with a passenger jet at Heathrow last Thursday.

The collision, which led to a drone ban over London during US President Barrack Obama’s UK visit, has forced authorities to consider more aggressive countermeasures.

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Apr 25, 2016

Media unveils Russian battle robots for future warfare

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

It Looks exactly like Boston Dynamics cancelled Big Dog project, and it is armed with some kind of a Light machine gun. I said that cancelling the Big Dog project was a mistake. We Can’t Allow a robotics gap between the US and Russian/Chinese forces. And, the other side has absolutely no hang ups about arming their robots.

In his twitter page Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the Russian magazine Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense) has published the first-ever photos of Russia’s advanced biomorphic combat robot.

The alleged advanced biomorphic combat robot of Russia will move like a four legged animal and it will be equipped with a machine gun and guided antitank missiles, as suggested by the photos.

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Apr 25, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Thin films of crystalline materials called perovskites provide a promising new way of making inexpensive and efficient solar cells. Now, an international team of researchers has shown a way of flipping a chemical switch that converts one type of perovskite into another—a type that has better thermal stability and is a better light absorber.

The study, by researchers from Brown University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could be one more step toward bringing to the mass market.

“We’ve demonstrated a new procedure for making solar cells that can be more stable at moderate temperatures than the perovskite solar cells that most people are making currently,” said Nitin Padture, professor in Brown’s School of Engineering, director of Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, and the senior co-author of the new paper. “The technique is simple and has the potential to be scaled up, which overcomes a real bottleneck in perovskite research at the moment.”

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Apr 25, 2016

Physicists detect the enigmatic spin momentum of light

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Ever since Kepler’s observation in the 17th century that sunlight is one of the reasons that the tails of comets to always face away from the sun, it has been understood that light exerts pressure in the direction it propagates. Radiation pressure is produced by the momentum carried by light, and it plays a crucial role in a variety of systems, from atomic to astronomical scales.

In a recent theoretical paper, a group from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan showed that density in non-uniform optical fields has an unusual component, which is orthogonal to the propagation direction of and is proportional to the optical spin, which means the degree of circular polarization. They predicted that this spin momentum would produce a transverse spin-dependent optical force, a few orders of magnitude weaker than the usual .

Now, based on the theoretical work, a group from RIKEN, the University of Bristol, and other institutions have used an extremely precise technique to experimentally verify that light does in fact exert the extraordinary perpendicular force, which is determined by the polarization of the light. The research has been published in Nature Physics.

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Apr 25, 2016

Engineers Explore How Nanoparticles’ Shape Improves Energy Storage

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Very nice.

Many technologies rely upon nanomaterials that can absorb or release atoms quickly and repeatedly. New work by Jennifer Dionne’s research group provides a first look inside these phase-changing nanoparticles, showing how their shape and crystallinity affect their performance for battery applications.

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Apr 25, 2016

Pollution affecting the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Hyderabad: Infections, haemorrhage, swelling and head injuries are some of the prime reasons for brain surgery but experts say taking the patient under the knife is the last option because of the complexities of the procedure which could lead to disability or death.

Senior doctors said despite advancements in technology, dealing with brain surgeries requires much expertise and continues to be a challenging area.

Senior neurosurgeon Dr Radha Krishna said, “Brain surgeries are complex and the protocol is to first opt for medicines. Nowadays due to diagnostic technologies, even the smallest of lesions or tumours are picked up but it is still important to treat them with medicines.”

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Apr 25, 2016

Researchers find potential new treatment target for deadly brain cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A team of researchers has found a key player in brain tumour formation that may lead to new therapies for a deadly and incurable cancer.

The study published in Nature Neuroscience is the first to show that a protein called OSMR (Oncostatin M Receptor) is required for glioblastoma tumours to form.

Glioblastoma is one of the most deadly cancers, resistant to radiation, chemotherapy and difficult to remove with surgery.

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Apr 25, 2016

Direct Current Brain Stimulation May Boost Creativity

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The use of tDCS in the frontopolar cortex of the brain gives an added boost to creativity in the performance of novel tasks, suggesting potential benefits in areas of reasoning and decision making.

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Apr 25, 2016

Interfering with brain pathway early could improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

This makes me a little nervous because pathways are very fragile and just the smallest change can result is some very bad/ even devastating results in other areas of the brain/ body.

Alzheimer’s remains one of the costliest yet most mysterious conditions in the United States, where an estimated 5.1 million Americans are living with the incurable, progressive disease. But researchers at The Rockefeller University have found that manipulating a protein pathway linked with Alzheimer’s helped improve memory impairment in mice— a finding that offers hope for new treatment in humans. Memory loss is the hallmark symptom of the disease.

Scientists with the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University used a complex set of imaging technologies and experiments to identify an early trafficking protein pathway (COPI) that affects amyloid precursor protein (APP), which precedes the formation of amyloid plaques. Previous research on Alzheimer’s have targeted this plaque, but scientists haven’t successfully identified a way to halt its progression. There is currently no cure or effective treatment for the disease.

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Apr 25, 2016

Reliability of material simulations put to test

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Change is good; looks like we’re about to re-review some existing simulation codes around Quantum Mechanic Simulation.

Researchers show that new generations of quantum mechanical simulation codes agree better than earlier generations’. The study appears in Science.

Several international scientists from over 30 universities and institutes teamed to investigate to what extent quantum simulations of material properties agree when they are performed by different researchers and with different software. Torbjörn Björkman from Åbo Akademi participated from Finland. Björkman has previously worked at COMP Centre of Excellende at Aalto University. “A group of researchers compared the codes, and the results we got were more precise than in any other calculations before,” he said.

The possibility to produce identical results in independent yet identical researches is a corner stone of science. Only in this way science can identify ‘laws’, which lead to new insights and new technologies. However, several recent studies have pointed out that such reproducibility does not always come spontaneously. Even predictions by computer codes require caution, since the way in which theoretical models are implemented may affect simulation results.

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