Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Feb 2, 2018.
Computer that SELF-DESTRUCTS if it’s HACKED!
Are you a cyborg?
How to generate electricity from your body, bioprint a brain, and “resleeve your stack.”
February 14, 2018
Bioprinting a brain
Cryogenic 3D-printing soft hydrogels. Top: the bioprintingprocess. Bottom: SEM image of general microstructure (scale bar: 100 µm). (credit: Z. Tan/Scientific Reports)
A new bioprinting technique combines cryogenics (freezing) and 3D printing to create geometrical structures that are as soft (and complex) as the most delicate body tissues — mimicking the mechanical properties of organs such as the brain and lungs.
The idea: “Seed” porous scaffolds that can act as a template for tissue regeneration (from neuronal cells, for example), where damaged tissues are encouraged to regrow — allowing the body to heal without tissue rejection or other problems. Using “pluripotent” stem cells that can change into different types of cells is also a possibility.
Smoothy. Solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) in an isopropanol bath is used to rapidly cool hydrogel ink (a rapid liquid-to-solid phase change) as it’s extruded, yogurt-smoothy-style. Once thawed, the gel is as soft as body tissues, but doesn’t collapse under its own weight — a previous problem.
Current structures produced with this technique are “organoids” a few centimeters in size. But the researchers hope to create replicas of actual body parts with complex geometrical structures — even whole organs. That could allow scientists to carry out experiments not possible on live subjects, or for use in medical training, replacing animal bodies for surgical training and simulations. Then on to mechanobiology and tissue engineering.
Source: Imperial College London, Scientific Reports (open-access).
How to generate electricity with your body
Bending a finger generates electricity in this prototype device. (credit: Guofeng Song et al./Nano Energy)
A new triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) design, using a gold tab attached to your skin, will convert mechanical energy into electrical energy for future wearables and self-powered electronics. Just bend your finger or take a step.
Triboelectric charging occurs when certain materials become electrically charged after coming into contact with a different material. In this new design by University of Buffalo and Chinese scientists, when a stretched layer of gold is released, it crumples, creating what looks like a miniature mountain range. An applied force leads to friction between the gold layers and an interior PDMS layer, causing electrons to flow between the gold layers.
More power to you. Previous TENG designs have been difficult to manufacture (requiring complex lithography) or too expensive. The new 1.5-centimeters-long prototype generates a maximum of 124 volts but at only 10 microamps. It has a power density of 0.22 millwatts per square centimeter. The team plans larger pieces of gold to deliver more electricity and a portable battery.
Source: Nano Energy. Support: U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Basic Research Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Beijing Science and Technology Projects, Key Research Projects of the Frontier Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ,and National Key Research and Development Plan.
This artificial electrical eel may power your implants
How the eel’s electrical organs generate electricity by moving sodium (Na) and potassium (K) ions across a selective membrane. (credit: Caitlin Monney)
Taking it a giant (and a bit scary) step further, an artificial electric organ, inspired by the electric eel, could one day power your implanted implantable sensors, prosthetic devices, medication dispensers, augmented-reality contact lenses, and countless other gadgets. Unlike typical toxic batteries that need to be recharged, these systems are soft, flexible, transparent, and potentially biocompatible.
Doubles as a defibrillator? The system mimicks eels’ electrical organs, which use thousands of alternating compartments with excess potassium or sodium ions, separated by selective membranes. To create a jolt of electricity (600 volts at 1 ampere), an eel’s membranes allow the ions to flow together. The researchers built a similar system, but using sodium and chloride ions dissolved in a water-based hydrogel. It generates more than 100 volts, but at safe low current — just enough to power a small medical device like a pacemaker.
The researchers say the technology could also lead to using naturally occurring processes inside the body to generate electricity, a truly radical step.
Source: Nature, University of Fribourg, University of Michigan, University of California-San Diego. Funding: Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Institutes of Health.
E-skin for Terminator wannabes
A section of “e-skin” (credit: Jianliang Xiao / University of Colorado Boulder)
A new type of thin, self-healing, translucent “electronic skin” (“e-skin,” which mimicks the properties of natural skin) has applications ranging from robotics and prosthetic development to better biomedical devices and human-computer interfaces.
Ready for a Terminator-style robot baby nurse? What makes this e-skin different and interesting is its embedded sensors, which can measure pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow. That makes it sensitive enough to let a robot take care of a baby, the University of Colorado mechanical engineers and chemists assure us. The skin is also rapidly self-healing (by reheating), as in The Terminator, using a mix of three commercially available compounds in ethanol.
The secret ingredient: A novel network polymer known as polyimine, which is fully recyclable at room temperature. Laced with silver nanoparticles, it can provide better mechanical strength, chemical stability and electrical conductivity. It’s also malleable, so by applying moderate heat and pressure, it can be easily conformed to complex, curved surfaces like human arms and robotic hands.
Source: University of Colorado, Science Advances (open-access). Funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Vertebral cortical stack (credit: Netflix)
Altered Carbon takes place in the 25th century, when humankind has spread throughout the galaxy. After 250 years in cryonic suspension, a prisoner returns to life in a new body with one chance to win his freedom: by solving a mind-bending murder.
Resleeve your stack. Human consciousness can be digitized and downloaded into different bodies. A person’s memories have been encapsulated into “cortical stack” storage devices surgically inserted into the vertebrae at the back of the neck. Disposable physical bodies called “sleeves” can accept any stack.
But only the wealthy can acquire replacement bodies on a continual basis. The long-lived are called Meths, as in the Biblical figure Methuselah. The uber rich are also able to keep copies of their minds in remote storage, which they back up regularly, ensuring that even if their stack is destroyed, the stack can be resleeved (except for periods of time not backed up — as in the hack-murder).
Chief Innovation Officer Summit
Dates: May 7 – 8, 2018
Location: San Francisco, California
Learn How to Foster an Innovation Ecosystem for 2018
The Chief Innovation Officer Summit brings together thought leaders from the world’s most respected companies, creating an open forum for discussion.
Fortune 500 companies are working to tackle culture and ideation, but what lies beyond that? Pipeline management, new product development & innovating at scale, as well as traditional problems like budgets & managing future product trends are at the forefront of the innovator’s challenges.
Topics to be discussed:
Learn to arm your team with key skills needed to harness a more innovative environment to push effective ideation.
Construct an effective strategy from the ground up to establish a company culture that promotes long term innovation.
Familiarize yourself with emerging technologies and innovation tools to optimize at all phases of the Innovation cycle.
Measure, analyze and benchmark your organization’s data initiatives against your competitors and across different industries.
Who Will You Meet?
This is a MUST attend event if your role includes:
Innovation, R&D, Concept Development, New Product Development, Design, Human Resources, Marketing, Intellectual Property, Prototyping, Ideation, Sustainability, or Innovation Architecture.
From exploratory case studies to panel sessions and open discussions, this summit is a forum for the most influential and driven practitioners to walk away with truly valuable contacts and insights.
Event Site: Chief Innovation Officer Summit
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BUGATTI
BY TROY TURNER 02/28/2017
Bizarre and elusive, the late 1930s Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is largely considered to be one of the most beautiful automotive designs in history… and perhaps even the first supercar ever! Its iconic teardrop shape, dramatic fender flares and unique details like the split fin down the middle inspired this modern take on the Atlantic. Its a stunning hybrid of old and new with a modern Bugatti front half and classic rear. Our mouths are watering to see more!
Designer: Julian Swietlicki
Quantum Computing Needs a Lot of Power. This Machine Could be the Answer.
Scientists from the Netherlands have successfully created a 2-qubit silicon quantum processor. Silicon is widely used in current computer hardware, and the team hopes their success will eventually make it easier to control and produce quantum chips.
With 17-qubit chips and IBM’s 50-qubit computer, quantum computing is coming — that much is undeniable. But if quantum computers are ever going to be used for more complex tasks, they’re going to need thousands — if not millions — of qubits. And we’re not quite there yet.
Whether the machines are primarily tasked with performing calculations or correcting incorrect information caused by external forces (which qubits are very sensitive to) practical quantum computers are going to require a lot of qubits. Therefore, we’ll need to manufacture processors capable of handling all the qubits needed for these machines to run. That’s the challenge a team of scientists from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands hopes they’ve found a solution to, by using silicon to make a programmable quantum processor.
In their research, published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they controlled the spin of a single electron using microwave energy. In silicon, the electron would spin up and down simultaneously, effectively keeping it in place. Once this was achieved, the team linked two electrons together and programmed them to perform quantum algorithms. The data from the new processor matched the data from a traditional computer running the same algorithms.
What’s most notable about the team’s research is that they successfully created a 2-qubit silicon-based quantum processor. It’s not all that surprising that it worked: silicon is a material the computer industry is already familiar with, as it’s readily used to manufacture computer chips currently in use.
“As we’ve seen in the computer industry, silicon works quite well in terms of scaling up using the fabrication methods used,” Dr. Tom Watson, one of the authors of the research, explained to the BBC.
If Watson and his team can manage to link even more electrons successfully, it could lead to qubit processors that could be mass-produced, which would bring us one step closer to the quantum computers of the future.
Professor Lieven Vandersypen, another author of the research, is already looking ahead to such developments. He told the BBC that next up, the team plans to “develop silicon quantum chips with more qubits, both in the Delft cleanrooms and in industrial cleanrooms with our partner Intel.”
Watch a 1953 nuclear blast test disintegrate a house in high resolution
Footage may or may not contain a flying toilet.
By Kelsey D. Atherton March 24, 2017
OPERATION UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE ANNIE NUCLEAR TEST
Civil Defense looked at how houses fared in nuclear blasts, to plan for possible survival after an attack.
Video still, public domain footage from Los Alamos National Laboratory
On March 17th, 1953, a nuclear blast threw something out of the second story floor of a house built on the Nevada Proving Grounds. The test, dubbed “Annie”, was part of the larger Operation Upshot-Knothole, served two purposes: the military wanted to test new weapons, for possible inclusion in the United States’ arsenal, and Civil Defense wanted to learn what, exactly, a nuclear blast could do to a house. The lessons from these and other tests influenced decades of American nuclear posture, yet they left some questions unanswered.
Like: is that a toilet flying through the air, or what?
declassified nuclear test footage online, which prompted Wellerstein to dig up the footage that might or might not show a toilet.
The object certainly seems toilet-shaped in some frames from the test footage, and appeared as such when Popular Science first wrote about the test in May 1953. But the mysterious object isn’t toilet-shaped in all frames from the test footage, and even with the high-resolution footage Los Alamos National Laboratory sent to Wellerstein, the nature of the specific object may in fact be unknowable.
Operation Doorstep, which was known as an effects test, where Civil Defense looked at the aftermath of nuclear blasts.
“The question was can you plan for a nuclear attack if you know for example that what kind of shelter would work best,” says Wellerstein. “Doorstep was meant to tell them information about civilian houses, so they want to know things like, if your house is a certain distance from where a nuclear weapon goes off, would you survive by being in the basement? Would you survive by being on the top floor? Would your chance of survival increase if you went to the basement when you’re on the top floor? What kind of variables matter?”
Is China's space laser for real?
It's not a Death Star super laser. It's a space broom.
By Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer February 15, 2018
IT'S NOT THIS.
China's space broom isn't the Death Star super laser. It's an orbiting satellite with a laser only powerful enough to heat up pieces of space junk, so that they change course burn up in the atmosphere.
In a recent article in scientific journal Optik, a faculty member at China's Air Force Engineering University proposed building a laser-armed satellite, a "broom" to do battle with the pernicious problem of space debris.
Laser-armed satellites, naturally, generate a lot of attention, and so the proposal of Quan Wen and his co-authors has made its way into several splashy headlines. But it's more than hype. The concept addresses a real (and growing) problem: there's something like 17,852 artificial objects orbiting earth (PDF), and an estimated 300,000-plus pieces of space debris larger than a marble. At the fast orbital velocities up in space, even large craft like the International Space Station have to maneuver out of the way of small objects to avoid catastrophic damage.
Quan's research looks at the efficacy of a hypothetical laser operating near the infrared spectrum. It would blast away targeted space debris for a couple minutes, at a rate of twenty bursts of laserfire a second. That amount of energy would be sufficient to vaporize part of the object's mass. Contrary to public imagination, space laser brooms like the one proposed don't actually vaporize space debris, but rather "burn off" a chunk. This would create sufficient kinetic force from the chemical combustion to change the object's orbit. With that change in direction, the debris will quickly reenter the atmosphere and burn up. Because of atmospheric distortion, it's much more effective to zap space debris with a satellite than, say, a ground-based laser.
Of course, for now it's all theory. The laser broom would need to be actually mounted on a satellite and lofted into orbit to test its true efficacy. And even then, it'd still face some legal grey areas (technically speaking, space debris are still the property of owners of the satellites they originated from, which is very, very difficult to track) as well as major suspicion about the idea of implementing a weapon-like technology up in space.
Like many others, China's space program has both civilian and military applications. (The AoLong 1 satellite, for example, has a robotic arm for mechanically de-orbiting space debris that has has potential as an anti-satellite sabotage technology.) And so there's an obvious question: can the space laser broom be an anti-satellite weapon? It's certainly possible, though a cost-effective laser broom would need to be small—just big enough to take care of small debris. To quickly deal serious damage to enemy spacecraft, one would need a much larger space laser weapon; perhaps an orbital battlemoon?
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