A concise blog reporting on articles of importance to the future of human and social development.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My apologies for the lack of updates. My Internet connection is still a work in progress and a multitude of distractions weigh themselves upon me.

Much of the news for today is from physorg.com. Two separate groups of biomedical engineers have published experiments regarding evidence that the nano-scale surface texture of implanted materials assists in the substance being accepted by the body. This research could pave the way for new materials science to crafting implants that will not be rejected by the growth of new tissue.

Also at the atomic scales, another engineering team has designed a new form of solar panel that utilizes a miniscule 3d pattern on it's surface to reflect un-absorbed light back into itself. A process by which the panels can be made has been developed, but testing has yet to be preformed to determine if these panels will be more efficient.

Even more from the nano front, a generator has been designed that can harvest energy from vibrations at the sub-microscopic level. While much research has been preformed on the tools and uses of nanomachines, not much thought has been put towards powering them. This generator is capable of producing microamps of electricity, more than enough to power anything we'd like at that scale.

Zooming in a step smaller than the nano, scientists are working on deriving a communication medium from the strange realm of quantum entanglement. The Caltech Quantum Optics group has tacked on a third first. Previously, they succeeded in creating a remote pair of entangled nodes, and then used them to teleport a photon. Now, these scientists have demonstrated a quantum based repeater segment, one that divides a group of entangled atoms. the scientist separated them by threemeters and employed an encryption method known as photon polarization to ensure a secure transmission.

The last big story is, that a large number of alpine and ice climbers are reporting eyewitness accounts of global warming. Climate science may seem remote when one talks about a few degrees change over a century, but with mountaineers bemoaning ice dissapearing from peaks all around the world, it gets much more personal.

Since I've been away so long, here are a few quickie headlines.

Studies show that tendency towards religiousness is a partially genetic trait.

Los Angeles plans to pump sludge down into empty oil and gas resivours to generate energy.

Scientific American reports that a study shows that people prefer an even distribution of wealth.

That's all for today. I'll try not to procrastinate so long with my next post.


Funnyguts said...

Hey there! I found something pretty cool that just came out, I think.


Some computer scientists have made a supercomputer that can simulate half a mouse's brain (as in, half the size, not one lobe.) Thought you might want to include it?

Good luck with this! I'm waiting for the next installment..

C.B. said...

Woah, someone actually reads me.

Sweet. Anyways, theoretically, Blue Gene L is within an order of magnitude or two of being able to simulate human thought processes. We haven't completely reverse-engineered enough of the human mind to try it yet though. Actually modeling the neurons in the brain takes significantly more processing power per neuronal connection, so it makes sense that they're starting slow.

As for another update, I promise I'll have one out by the end of the weekend. Thanks for commenting, it's feedback which really motivates me to do this stuff ^__^.