PBS NewsHour Visits Singularity University
Optical trap catches atoms swinging in time to... →
It’s bizarre to feel awestruck and disappointed at the same time. Yet this is often how I feel when I read articles about ultracold atoms and Bose Einstein condensates. I’ll get to the awesome and awestruck parts later, but let me explain my disappointment. These experiments sit right at the boundary between classical and quantum physics. When we play with ultracold atoms, we make...
Graphene found to emit infrared light →
Ever since its discovery in 2004, graphene, the honey-comb arranged sheet of one atom thick carbon atoms, has continued to make waves in both the physics and engineering worlds. Now comes news from yet another research team heralding a new found property of the fascinating material. This time, as the group describe in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, it’s been found to have...
Mini cargo transporters on a rat run: New insight... →
Kinesins assume a vital function in our cells: The tiny cargo transporters move important substances along lengthy protein fibers and ensure an effective transportation infrastructure. Biophysicists of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the Ludwig Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen have now discovered how some of these transporters can, like cars on a multi-lane motorway, change lanes. The...
App Tracks Your Teenager's Driving Habits →
By merging data from cars’ onboard computers and drivers’ smart phones, AT&T researchers have created a system that reports on drivers’ real-time behavior and long-term driving trends—and reveals whether a particular mistake might have been caused by phone use.
A Trash-Powered Plane Takes To The Skies →
A modern day Lindbergh is attempting to show us the power of a new kind of fuel by flying the length of England using only garbage to power his flight.
Ex-Flight Director Urges NASA to Kill Next Rocket... →
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is a bit of a mixed bag. Promising a return to Saturn V-type strength, the rocket is a congressional camel reflecting the self interested agendas of the congressmen responsible for its funding. Former flight director Chris Kraft is adding his to the growing number of dissenting voices decrying SLS as deeply flawed. It’s destroying jobs and killing...
DARPA seeks non-thermal approaches to thin-film... →
When the Department of Defense (DoD) wants to build a jet engine, it doesn’t put a team of engineers in a hangar with a block of metal and some chisels. Jet engines are made up of individual components that are carefully assembled into a finished product that possesses the desired performance capabilities. In the case of thin-film deposition—a process in which coatings with special properties...
Penn researchers create first custom designed... →
Protein design is technique that is increasingly valuable to a variety of fields, from biochemistry to therapeutics to materials engineering. University of Pennsylvania chemists have taken this kind of design a step further; using computational methods, they have created the first custom-designed protein crystal. Picking an ambitious design target with challenging features, the...
Science Fiction or Fact: Humanlike Intelligent... →
In many futuristic tales, our heroic protagonists are often helped — and sometimes harmed — by intelligent machines far more clever than an iPhone. These computers sometimes walk and talk among us. Quick-witted machines serve on spaceships like Lieutenant Commander Data on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” or in our homes like the wisecracking housemaid Rosie the Robot on “The...
Will Organic Food Fail to Feed the World? →
Food for hungry mouths, feed for animals headed to the slaughterhouse, fiber for clothing and even, in some cases, fuel for vehicles—all derive from global agriculture. As a result, in the world’s temperate climes human agriculture has supplanted 70 percent of grasslands, 50 percent of savannas and 45 percent of temperate forests. Farming is also the leading cause of deforestation in the...
Just a few cell clones can make heart muscle →
Just a handful of cells in the embryo are all that’s needed to form the outer layer of pumping heart muscle in an adult zebrafish. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center used zebrafish embryos and careful employment of a new technique that allows for up to 90 color labels on different cells to track individual cells and cell lines as the heart formed. The scientists were surprised...
Bangalore India slum kids use open-source software... →
When kids from the slum neighborhood of Bengaluru in Bangalore, South India learn to use free computer ‘open-source’ software, they also learn important lessons in freedom and gender equality.
Making human textiles: Research team ups the ante... →
A lot of people were skeptical when two young California-based researchers set out more than a decade ago to create a completely human-derived alternative to the synthetic blood vessels commonly used in dialysis patients. Since then, they’ve done that and more.
Should Robots Be Blamed for Battlefield Mistakes? →
If a robot in combat accidentally kills a civilian, who is to blame? This isn’t as straightforward of a question as it sounds. A team of scientists presented a study at the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction and found that although robots don’t have free will, people sometimes treat them as if they do.
Open Source Medicine Puts Health Above Profits →
Open source is powering a revolution in medicine and health care in multiple ways. Open source software and methods make large-scale collaborative research projects feasible, multiplying the brainpower applied to a project, expanding the data pool, and creating transparency and accountability. This is a huge win for the advancement of new treatments and cures, and cutting the costs of research....
'Junk DNA' can sense viral infection →
Once considered unimportant “junk DNA,” scientists have learned that non-coding RNA (ncRNA) — RNA molecules that do not translate into proteins — play a crucial role in cellular function. Mutations in ncRNA are associated with a number of conditions, such as cancer, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. Now, through the use of “deep sequencing,” a technology used to...