Researchers boost solar concentrator efficiency →
The advancement could be an important breakthrough for solar energy harvesting, said UC Merced physics professor Sayantani Ghosh, who led the project. “We tweaked the traditional flat design for luminescent solar concentrators and made them into cylinders,” Ghosh said. “The results of this architectural redesign surprised us, as it significantly improves their efficiency.”
Startup Makes 'Wireless Router for the Brain' →
Optogenetics has been hailed as a breakthrough in biomedical science—it promises to use light to precisely control cells in the brain to manipulate behavior, model disease processes, or even someday to deliver treatments. But so far, optogenetic studies have been hampered by physical constraints. The technology requires expensive, bulky lasers for light sources, and a fiber-optic cable attached...
On the Internet of Things IBM Tracks Your Pork... →
IBM has set out to prove it can revolutionize the food industry with data, starting with China. Six industrial slaughterhouses and 100 markets in Shandong Province are part of a large scale test in tracking pork from farm to customer. Pigs are marked with ear tags containing unique barcodes, those same barcodes appear on the bins that carry their meat during processing, and on the packages for...
YouTube Reaches 4 Billion Views Per Day →
Google’s video-sharing property YouTube now sees 4 billion video views per day. That’s a 25% increase over the past eight months, the company told Reuters in a report released this morning. There’s now approximately 60 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, compared with roughly 48 hours uploaded in May. The last time YouTube released this data was in May 2011, when the company was...
Microreactors enable safer, more efficient... →
Manufacturing products and drugs will be safer and more efficient in the future, thanks to the use of microreactors being developed at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The invention promises to make it possible to manufacture drugs, cosmetics and household products in a safer and more efficient manner, using a new kind of microreactor for industry that reinvents how chemical...
NEOShield to assess Earth defence →
NEOShield is a new international project that will assess the threat posed by Near Earth Objects (NEO) and look at the best possible solutions for dealing with a big asteroid or comet on a collision path with our planet.
Mind Over Motor: Controlling Robots With Your... →
Over recent months, in José del R. Millán’s computer science lab in Switzerland, a little round robot, similar to a Roomba with a laptop mounted on it (right), bumped its way through an office space filled with furniture and people. Nothing special, except the robot was being controlled from a clinic more than 60 miles away—and not with a joystick or keyboard, but with the brain waves of a...
“Recreational genomics,” 4 years on →
In an exchange with Mark Shriver, I was pointed to this 2007 position paper in Science, The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing. It’s an interesting historical artifact. Much of the critique was aimed at AncestrybyDNA, but it can be generalized. Now that 23andMe has ~100,000 customers, have the things which they worried about come to be? Perhaps one of the more curious aspects of all...
Urban gardens: The future of food? →
With penny-farthings, handlebar mustaches and four-pocket vests back in fashion, the rise of urban farming should just about complete our fetish for the late 1800s. Today, you can find chicken coops on rooftops in Brooklyn, N.Y., goats in San Francisco backyards, and rows of crops sprouting across empty lots in Cleveland. That it fits so snugly into the hipster-steampunk throwback trend is what...
Why Don’t We Have Abundant Solar Power? Blame... →
In the world of renewable energy resources, solar power is the epitome – abundant, reliable, and green. For decades scientists and engineers have been working tirelessly to improve the efficiency at which photovoltaic cells convert sunlight to electricity. If they can simply make PV cells efficient enough, then they would be cheaper than fossil fuels and most of the world could switch over to...
Nano Med Tech Researchers Develop Nanoparticle... →
Nano Med Tech researchers are developing multi-chambered nanoparticles that are attracted to infected cells but harmless to healthy tissues. When integrated into antibiotics, they will make the drugs much more effective by ensuring that they reach only those cells in need of treatment. As the particles have been specifically engineered to penetrate through the bacterial cell membranes, researchers...
Next-gen supercomputers have huge energy cost →
Warehouse-size supercomputers costing $1 million to $100 million can seem as distant from ordinary laptops and tablets as Greek immortals on Mount Olympus. Yet the next great leap in supercomputing could not only transform U.S. science and innovation, but also put much more computing power in the hands of consumers.
Could the Internet Ever Be Destroyed? →
The raging battle over SOPA and PIPA, the proposed anti-piracy laws, is looking more and more likely to end in favor of Internet freedom — but it won’t be the last battle of its kind. Although, ethereal as it is, the Internet seems destined to survive in some form or another, experts warn that there are many threats to its status quo existence, and there is much about it that could be...
6 Predictions For Business Intelligence In 2012 →
When we set New Year’s resolutions in our house, we tend to tweak the list for a few weeks, figuring out what’s more wishful thinking versus realistically achievable. Then up they go, taped to the kitchen cupboard over last year’s lists. It’s always a chuckle, sometimes an inspiration, to compare last year’s list with this year’s.
CFD Predictions of Bubbly Flow around an... →
The Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) was the first air lubrication system in the world to be applied to a newly built ship, and resulted in a substantial reduction in the ship’s resistance. Therefore, a performance estimation method using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) needs to be established as soon as possible to apply the MALS to general commercial ships. In this study, we...
Chinese Test train can hit 500 km/h (310mph) →
The first test train that can reach speeds of up to 500 km an hour stands on a railway line in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Thursday. Dou Xin / Xinhua Beijing - China’s largest train maker, CSR Corp Ltd, launched over the weekend its first test train that can reach speeds of up to 500 km an hour. The six-carriage train with a tapered head is the newest member of the CRH...
Can drones fly as well as Luke Skywalker? →
Next-generation drones may fly like Luke Skywalker zipping through the Endor forest on a speeder bike, suggests new research which focuses on how birds such as northern goshawks determine their maximum speed limit. These birds race after prey through the forest canopy without smacking into tree trunks. They avoid this fate by observing a theoretical speed limit, according to scientists at the...
Magnetic Nanoparticles Lead to a New Class of... →
How can you make a material that is simultaneously strong, flexible and light? The answer has long been advanced composites that combine plastics, metals and ceramics to get the best characteristics out of each of them. But achieving a balance between these materials’ qualities of strength, flexibility and lightness is difficult to come by and often comes down to being able to manipulate...