Canada’s PM Shows Reporter He Knows Quantum Computing

When you go to a press talk at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, you expect there to be some smart remarks about what people may or may not know. Be warned, if you try to do this to Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau he will show you just how much he knows.

The clip starts with the reporter asking that he “was going to ask you [Trudeo] to explain quantum computing” before going to ask a question regarding Canadas ISIL mission. Trudeau wasn’t going to let this slide though and began by fully explaining how quantum computing works. He explains everything from how regular computers currently work and how quantum computing could allow us to “encode more information into a much smaller computer”.

https://youtu.be/rRmv4uD2RQ4

Throughout the entire response, Trudeau is backed by cheers and laughter from the crowd, with many probably as surprised as the reporter that asked the question in the first place that he was able to accurately responds with a range of details regarding not only quantum theory but also how it would help computers.

With steps being made in quantum computing including the diamonds being used to maintain stable quantum superpositions and quantum entanglement working at room temperature, it is nice to know that some people in power understand how technology may change in the near future.

Lab Proves Transplanted Skin Can Grow Hair

Recently technology has made huge strides in providing us with new ways of replacing damaged body parts, with the ability to 3d print organs being one of the most revolutionary changes that could soon see us being able to replace damaged organs. Now scientists in Japan are showing off again by showing that transplanted skin can grow hair.

Shown in the image above, the transplanted skin is marked with a green protein and clearly shows that the transplanted skin is actually growing hair. The process started by taking stem cells from a mouse’ gums and was crafted into multiple layered pieces of skin, sweat glands and hair follicles included. Upon being transplanted to a “nude mouse”, the skin integrated with the new host and even grew the hair shown above.

With the results showing promise the team says that the end result may be 5-10 from being translated to human research. Dr Takashi Tsuji from the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe was part of the team that conducted the research and is quoted as saying:

“Up until now, artificial skin development has been hampered by the fact that the skin lacked the important organs, such as hair follicles and exocrine glands, which allow the skin to play its important role in regulation

With this new technique, we have successfully grown skin that replicates the function of normal tissue.

We are coming ever closer to the dream of being able to recreate actual organs in the lab for transplantation

With so many breakthroughs and advanced in science thanks to technology it’s hard not to agree with the dream of being able to recreate and replace organs with those built in a lab.

IBM’s Watson Now Has A Cook Book

Who doesn’t like their food? From the simple sandwich to a Sunday roast, there are plenty of meals you can make to enjoy in anything from five minutes to five hours. When it comes to trying to make something new, most people including professional chefs, prefer to go with using combinations and mixtures they know and like. IBM decided that they didn’t quite like this and tasked Watson, their cognitive computing system, to create a culinary cook book and it delivered.

Available now, the cookbook is a combination of Watsons and the Institute of Culinary Education’s experience creating over 65 different recipes using a combination of classical chef talent and cognitive science. Watson generates the recipes list of ingredients, with the result presenting a combination of scientific flavours while a Chef combined the ingredients to create recipes that even a computer could love.

Starting with a Baltic Apple Pie, Kris Naudus of Engadget found out the hard way that some of the recipes are a little more tricky than the originals they were based upon. The first thing that surprised Naudus was the inclusion of pork to the Apple pie, and the two sauces and garnish included in the recipe only add to the restaurant feel the book looks to create.

With recipes like Indian Tumeric Paella, which “brings simple Indian flavors to a classic paella”, and Turkish Bruschetta, a simple meal that would now include spices and even Japanese eggplants (also known as aubergines).

You can find the cook book on Amazon for £26.88 and so far the reviews seem to be coming in good, for the most part.

Science Textbooks to Contain Illustrations by XKCD’s Randall Munroe

The popular webcomic XKCD has shown for years how well science, technology and humour can be mashed together through the medium of stick figures. Fans of the webcomic created by former NASA roboticist, Randall Munroe will be glad to find that his skills are going to be put towards more than just entertainment, with his artwork to feature in a number of textbooks in America published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).

Munroe’s art will be taken from one of his books titled Thing Explainer, which contains simply drawn and annotated blueprints for objects varying from rockets to bombs and even household objects like pens. This art will feature in three of HMH’s 2017 textbooks, HMH Chemistry, HMH Biology, and HMH Physics and are known to include The Pieces Everything is Made of (aka The Periodic Table), Bags of Stuff Inside You (The Human Torso), and Heavy Metal Power Buildings (Nuclear Reactors).

It won’t all be reused assets either, as HMH have commissioned Munroe to provide a number of exclusive new illustrations and digital animations of some of the pieces featured in Thing Explainer. These new works will be part of a new series of science materials from HMH that will be utilized during the 2017-18 educational year.

“Randall’s wit, originality, and deep scientific knowledge elevate our curriculum and is a great way to engage students,” said Peggy Smith-Herbst, Senior Vice President, HMH Studios. “His sense of humor and ability to make science fun will encourage a love of scientific inquiry and creativity, both within and beyond the classroom, and we are proud to be bringing his engaging insight exclusively to our customers.”

Hopefully, Munroe may just be able to take the typical droll science textbook and make it into an interesting and entertaining piece that can help a new generation of students get interested in science. Now all I have to ask is where was this when I was growing up?

Marvel Launches Program For Female Scientists

When people talk about Marvel they are normally discussing either the comics, the movies or the characters that feature in or both of the former. With some of the largest movies released (and with them only seeming to increase in both size and reception) it is only natural that people look to them when they think of heroes. Now the studio is looking for real life heroes in the form of female scientists.

In partnership with the national Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, Marvel has launched a program in the hopes of finding female applicants who are interested in STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).

The project titled Girls Reforming the Future Challenge is open to girls aged 15 to 18 and submitted projects need to include a short video demonstrating their idea and then explaining how far-reaching its potential is.

Five finalists will be picked to present their projects to a panel of experts and visit the red carpet at the release of Captain America: Civil War on April 12th. Alongside this, they’ll get to tour Walt Disney Studios, receive $500 from Synchrony Bank and one lucky winner will get an internship at Marvel studios itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOd3QKD518g

Entries are still open until March 26th at CaptainAmericaChallenge.com so if you have any idea and want to enter, please check out the site here.

Vantablack – The New Blackest Material Ever!

A few years ago, Surrey NanoSystems revealed they had created a carbon nanotube-based material capable of reflecting only 0.035% of light, making it the blackest material ever made. Now, Vantablack is back and darker than ever, this new version of Vantablack is so absorbent that no-one knows how much light gets absorbed because Surrey’s spectrometer’s can’t measure it!

While it may be called Vantablack, it is not really black, or even any colour at all, instead it is a complete absence of colour due to the material absorbing all light that hits it. Created using a ‘forest’ of carbon nanotubes, the light, is reflected into the cavities in the tubes and converted into heat, instead of being reflected back. The result is stunning, especially when shown side-by-side with other materials.

In a demonstration video released by Surrey NanoSystems, they demonstrate the new Vantablack’s light absorbing properties using a laser pointer shone at it. As the pointer passes from the surrounding material onto the sample, the light completely disappears. Another video from Surrey shows Vantablack facing off against other dark materials, black paint and the best black available for space applications, with the winner being clear.

The real-world uses for such a material are countless, especially for military and space applications where it could coat stealth craft, especially if it also contains radar-absorbant properties too. Unfortunately, if you want to use it for art, you’re out of luck, with Anish Kapoor currently holding exclusive rights from Surrey Nanosystems for usage of the material in art.

Lab-grown Sperm Used To Create Healthy Mice

Technology can do amazing things, we’ve seen it give people the ability to walk again to creating fresh organs like candyfloss. The problem with technology is that you have to wait to see just how much things progress, with every day bringing new technology and miracles. Why would we not look forward to the news that infertility could soon be a thing of the past with lab-grown sperm being used to create healthy mice in a lab.

The study showed that by taking a stem cell, the researchers were able to create sperm and use this to create healthy baby mice. The study went on to show not only that it was a success but that the children were able to grow up and even have their own offspring.

This research could be the first step to help people who have become infertile, with the artificial growth and injection of sperm cells or the earlier form of sperm called spermatids could produce not only healthy offspring could be used to create human babies, a process that is being debated for its ethical and legal reasons all over the world. The only issue that the group have found so far is that adult humans don’t have embryonic stem cells, but are hopeful that turning skin cells into a stem-cell-like state could be the key.

With more and more people being helped by technology on a daily basis, you can’t help but be amazed at these scientists work who are keen to help everyone overcome their life difficulties.

The Human Brain Capable of Holding 1 Petabyte of Data

A new study suggests that the human brain may be capable of storing as much as 1 petabyte of data, and yes that is a lot; it’s even ten times more information that was previously believed. With so much data, it’s no wonder I struggle to find the bit of information in my brain that knows where my car keys are, but that’s a whole different story.

“This is a real bombshell in the field of neuroscience,” Salk Institute for Biological Studies researcher Terry Sejnowski said. “Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.”

The team reconstructed a rat’s hippocampus in 3D, allowing them to study the memory center of the brain. Through this process, they realised that the brain synapses are capable of changing dimensions, altering their memory capacity. While other synapses were duplicating, allowing the reconstruction of connectivity, shapes and volumes of the brain tissue. This also led to the idea that there may be as many as 26 categories of synapses, far more than previously thought.

“This is roughly an order of magnitude of precision more than anyone has ever imagined,” Sejnowski said. “The implications of what we found are far-reaching. Hidden under the apparent chaos and messiness of the brain is an underlying precision to the size and shapes of synapses that was hidden from us.”

The research can now help advance deep learning and neural networking computer techniques, as we discover how the brain can process with unmatched abilities while consuming just 20 watts of power. With a petabyte, and maybe even more at its disposal, the human brain is an amazing thing. If you can’t grasp just how much data that is, just imagine downloading the entire internet, literally all of it, and storing it in your head with room left over! Although I can’t imagine how big the piracy fine would be for doing so.

Russia Has Plans to Nuke Asteroids

We’ve seen the movies. I’m thinking about the one with Bruce Willis in, the asteroid hurtling towards earth and a timer that just won’t stop ticking. I am course referring to Armageddon, a film in which an asteroid could end all life on earth. We’ve heard the chances of asteroids hitting the Earth, NASA even has a task force to deal with the issue. What you probably didn’t know is Russia has a plan for when the asteroids come knocking; nuke them!

A joint country initiative was set up under the European Commission, titled NEOShield. Each country under the scheme was responsible for researching different ways and methods of preventing asteroids and other NEO’s (Near-Earth Objects) from impacting the planet. Russia’s solution has a simple elegance to it, to nuke it. While it may not be able to destroy an asteroid, the scientists believe that a nuclear blast near to the asteroid would burn up its mass, producing a jet thrust effect that would be used to change the asteroid’s path, avoiding the earth.

The announcement of the research details comes alongside the newly stated goals for the Russian Space program, which wants to develop a “space barrier”. A series of satellites that would detect any object that could present a threat to the planet.

With a follow-up program launched (NEOShield-2), even the slightest threat of an object from outer space crashing into the planet is being taken seriously. If it contains just rock or an Alien being, it looks like the world wants to not only know about it, but also how to stop it.

Professor Hawking Warns Technology is the Greatest Threat to Humanity

During this century and beyond, the human race will face its greatest threat ever from the rise of science and technology, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned. Hawking told the Radio Times (via The Guradian) that as developments in science and tech accelerate unabated, the chances of global disaster will increase.

“We will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period,” Hawking said, prior to his lecture at this year’s BBC Reith, adding that, “We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them.”

Professor Hawking’s outlook is not entirely doom and gloom, though. “It’s also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can lose all hope if you can’t laugh at yourself and at life in general,” he said. “Just because I spend a lot of time thinking doesn’t mean I don’t like parties and getting into trouble.”

This is not the first time Professor Hawking has made his fear of technology known. He is a vocal critic of artificial intelligence, saying that “the real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence.”

Image courtesy of Trending Radio.

A Look At Time Magazines Selected Space Images Of 2015

Long lasting American magazine “Time” has recently announced a selected list of 55 space images that have captured the imagination of readers and experts alike, below is a look at just a few of these amazing and awe-inspiring pics.

Below is a fantastic image that was captured by The Hubble Space Telescope of the Eagle Nebula “Pillars of Creation”, this was published in January 2015 and it is an incredible image, the detail certainly captures the imagination of space for both budding and also veteran astronomers.   

The image below was captured by the New Horizons spacecraft of Pluto in July 2015, “The New Horizons mission is helping NASA understand worlds at the edge of the solar system by making the first reconnaissance of the dwarf planet Pluto and by venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt – a relic of solar system formation”.   The image is fantastic and conveys a world that has previously been out of reach for explorers.  

Below is an image that was captured of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket which exploded just after launching from Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, on Oct. 28, 2014. The rocket was carrying an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft filled with NASA cargo, this image was finally released in 2015.  The image feels as if it has just been lifted from a blockbuster movie set or a newly released video game, certainly a spectacular image.

This image below is of Astronaut Scott Kelly who re-entered the International Space Station (ISS) after a space walk, as you do, the image is again spectacular and was released in October 2015. 

The final image was released in December 2015 and is of the Vega rocket that was launched with the aim of testing a variety of methods to detect gravitational waves, the image was released in December 2015. The image certainly conveys the power needed to propel a rocket into space.

Could We See A More Powerful Nuclear Bomb?

Happy New Year everyone, let’s talk about Nuclear Bombs. The threat of Nuclear annihilation has been in the public consciousness for quite a while, as the tech behind such weapons becomes more advanced, so is the possibility of a more powerful arms race. This is one of the concerns after Japanese scientist’s synthesized element 113.

What is element 113 I hear you ask? This is the atomic number for Ununtrium and is an extremely radioactive synthetic element that can only be created in a laboratory. It also contains elements of plutonium with the added feature of being able to emit more radiation. So far scientists have found the element to be not stable enough for it to be implemented into anything such as nuclear bombs.

Japan have pushed ahead and aspires to be a world leader in nuclear research, this ambition could be in part be down to the 1945 attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed an estimated 129,000 people. This attack has been the only use of nuclear weapons to date. Scientific research is essential and I hope the proper safeguards are put in place to protect against any notion that one day these elements can be used for weapons with the aim of world carnage.

Town Bans Solar Panels For “Sucking Up All The Energy Of The Sun”

Solar panels are a great step in renewable energy. They are constantly being upgraded, from absorbing new areas of the light spectrum to being made see-through. Companies and governments are understanding their importance and role they could play in renewable energy, France has even made it a legal requirement to use them if your building a new office. MIT recently said that solar panels could power the planet’s energy requirements alone, and with the steps they are making that means fewer panels for the same amount of energy, doing away with things like nuclear or coal stations. The reason we don’t see more solar panels? Fear and recently Woodland, North Carolina, proved this by voting to not only stop development on a solar farm but also to ban all future solar farms.

Woodland Town Council recently voted to stop a rezoning application that would have allowed the development of a solar farm. Retired science Teacher Jane Mann told Roanoke-Chowan News Herald that she had witnessed plants around the solar panels going brown and dying because they didn’t get enough solar energy. She went on to question the number of cancer deaths in the area saying no one could tell that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.

Bobby Mann, a local, stated that he had watched communities dry up when the I-95 was built and that solar panels would do the same to Woodland. He continued to say that solar farms would “suck up all the energy from the sun”.

The development of a newly renamed “solar vacuums” are on hold as we wonder what education and scientific principle were used to ban solar farms, while not perfect they are environmentally friendly and to go so far as voting on a moratorium on future solar farms with these “facts”, we hope they rethink the issue through soon.

Do you have solar panels? How have you found them? Do you like the idea of a solar farm outside your local area to help power the community or are you afraid of the effects the new technology may have?

Peter Jackson to Direct Episode of Doctor Who

A year ago we released an article stating that Peter Jackson could direct a future episode of Doctor Who. The time is nigh.

Peter Jackson is very active with his facebook, posting snippets from behind the scenes and regarding causes he actively supports. While he is well known for his work on the J.R.R Tolkien films such as the Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, Jackson is well known for supporting and looking out for anything that he could be creative with. Doctor Who is just one of those shows and as a video posted on his facebook shows, he is not one to shy away from announcing his activity in the show in the near future.

While there are no real details and this may be premature, there is hope that this could mean in the near future, maybe next season, we could see an episode with the Jackson touch. While famous for its big guest appearances there is rarely a guest producer or director, especially one known for his large films. As if that wasn’t mean enough for the Doctor Who fans, Tolkien fans may notice the Silmarillion (yet another one of Tolkien’s books set in Middle Earth) marked with post-it notes and an inserted page. Because teasing one fan base is just not enough.

You Can Now Do Real Science in Eve Online

EVE Online is one of the most popular MMORPG games around, set 21,000 years into the future as human colonize deep space and compete for resources. The games got a long history behind it, rich with lore and a huge player base to get involved with. However, all that exploring and colonizing just isn’t enough these days, as the games explorers, skirmishers, industrialists and colonizers can now take a more scientific route.

EVE Online has announced that it has joined forces with a Swiss startup called Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), as well as students at Reykjavik University. The team is bringing real-world science projects to the game in the form of mini-games. The completion of these mini-games pays out in-game currencies, allowing you to help the real world research teams while earning yourself some extra digital pocket-money.

The mini-games revolve around classifying beautiful images from the Human Protein Atlas, a project to map out the protein distribution in the human body. This research is aiming to discover a huge amount of information about the human body, illnesses, cancer and more.

“This new feature brings the opportunity for EVE players to help solve real world science problems through their in-game activity,” say organizers.

Research Finds In-Game Usernames Correlated With Anti-Social Behaviour

According to the latest research, it turns out the names we pick in game are a good predictor of how we behave in-game. By looking at the usernames of player in League of Legends, researchers were able to correlate anti-social tendencies in game with both age and the choice of username.

Rating names based on Anti-Social Naming Tendency (ANT) and Age as derived from the username, researchers correlated this data with Riot’s in-game reporting system. Not surprisingly, players with anti-social usernames tended to have more reports and complaints. It also found that younger players tended to have a much higher amount of reports sent and received, well in excess compared tot he amounts for older players.

Players with more neutral usernames tended to receive less reports and were more willing to give out “honor” or a positive report of other players. The same held true for older players who sent out honor 6% more often and received it 2% more frequently.

While we might think of older gamers are those in their late 20 and 30s and even beyond, it turns out that going up to 22-25 years of age was enough to see positive impacts. The researchers chalk up the age differences as due to cognitive development of the young male demographic. The anti-social naming is more self-explanatory, with real world personality being the driver. Interestingly enough, those with anti-social names tended to do very slightly better on average. With more research, it will be interesting to see the interaction between our real world and in-game personalities.

China’s New Space Robot Looks Like an Iron Man Knockoff

At the 17th China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, China’s space agency rolled out their new Mars Probe, which consists of a new orbiter and landing rover, and while normally that would be the star of the show, it certainly wasn’t. The new space-faring robot known as Xiaotian is a lawsuit waiting to happen, sporting some very familiar Iron Man colours and a check piece that looks to be a knock-off arc reactor, albeit a fake one, not a real arc reactor, that would be a tad implausible to say the least.

As I was saying, the robot (pictured above) looks a lot like Robert Downey Jr’s version of Iron Man (pictured below, obviously).

The new robot, Xiaotian, which translates as “little sky”, was developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., which is the nation’s primary space contractor; let’s just hope their tech department is a little more creative than their design team.

The robot is designed to deal with the harsh environment of space, to perform tasks in zero gravity on space stations, lunar landings, space probes and more. It uses flexible arms and hands, allowing it to do intricate work. Unfortunately, there are no plans to put Iron Man, erm, I mean Xiaotian in space just yet.

NASA Releases Astonishing Images of The Sun in 4K

Modern technology has allowed us all to see the beauty of our own solar system and gaze in its wonder. The advent of ultra-high resolution video means it’s now possible to observe planetary bodies in such an unbelievable degree of detail. Today, NASA released a video which captures the Sun’s temperature variation is glorious 4K. In NASA’s own words:

“SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material,” NASA’s YouTube channel explains. “In this video we experience images of the Sun in unprecedented detail captured by SDO. Presented in ultra-high definition video (4K) the video presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”

The footage is accompanied by a soothing audio track which makes the video extremely relaxing and quite mesmerizing. Perhaps as imaging technology improves, scientists will be able to unveil more about the solar system and further our understanding of the universe. I really hope funding doesn’t inhibit research in the next century as scientific discovery is essential to progress the human race. If you even have a passing internet in astronomy, I’d definitely give the video a look!

Bridging a Spinal Injury with Electronics Offers Hope to Paralysis

Science is a vital element to the exploration and development of a range of subjects and techniques, one such field is of course the medical profession, huge leaps and bounds have been made over the last decade or so. Now, Scientists at “Case Western Reserve University in Ohio have unveiled a technique that has enabled them to incorporate electronics with the aim of helping a paralysed man’s spinal injury, permitting him to use an implant in his brain to move his arm and hand”.

Robert Kirsch, who is a biomedical engineer at Case Western explained that this is the first timesignals collected in the brain have been conveyed directly to electrodes placed inside someone’s arm to restore movement”. The end goal is eventually to be in a position whereby a wireless system is introduced with the aim of transmitting brain signals through the air to electronics sewn into the limbs of paralysed people, thereby restoring the ability to carry out simple daily tasks.

It’s fascinating yet somewhat complicated but I will persist, the study results so far have indicated that the volunteers movements are still rough and as yet not as coordinated as an able-bodied person’s would be. But it’s remarkable to think that a person who is paralysed is able to control their own body and to stimulate muscles in a specific way to make them move.

Volunteers who have undertaken brain implant studies have previously attempted rudimentary tasks which have included moving a computer cursor.  This research had moved up a notch after a different Ohio man with partial arm paralysis received a brain implant and was able to mentally “open and close his hand”. This latest case is different as the current volunteer has a spinal injury that prevents him from moving or opening his arms at all.

So, in the words of Kryten, aka Robert Llewellyn, how did they do it? Now, this is the uber (not that one) complicated bit. It all started 9 months ago after surgeons implanted two bunches of silicon electrodes, called Utah arrays, into the volunteer’s motor cortex. (The Motor Cortex is the part of the brain where movements are planned) “Wires from each array then emerged from the skull through metal ports before connecting to computers that interpret the signals”.

To complete the bridge, doctors then inserted more than 16 fine wires into the volunteer’s right arm and hand. “Electrical impulses sent to those electrodes caused different muscles to contract, creating movement in the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, an approach known as functional electrical stimulation, or FES.

According to Robert Kirsch, the volunteer is able to accurately control a computer simulation of his wired-up arm using his brain signals, the challenging part is moving his real arm under brain control since it has been paralysed for so long and therefore the muscles have considerably weakened.

It’s certainly fascinating and opens up a vast array of possibilities for providing hope to paralysed individuals, the dream for scientists is to be able to offer a paralysed person the chance to undertake normal activities, I.e. walking around a room etc. Of course, this vision is as yet in the distant future, but every development provides a new possibility which in turn moves the technology and also understanding forward. We could be looking into a future whereby it is indeed possible to provide a workaround to Paralysis.

How Many Laser Pointers Would You Need in Order to Kill a Human?

Scientists seem to have a lot of time on their hands if this is anything to go by, but hey ho, if you quite liked the idea of world domination while using a death ray, then this article is for you.

A single laser pointer is not anywhere near powerful enough to inflict a nasty end on one’s enemies due to having a power rating of 5-milliwatts. According to James Kakalios who is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of “The Physics of Superheroes”, what a job that is, makes the point that it’s in reality quite tough to kill a human being with lasers. But he did have a go at explaining it by stating that the most effective way to use a laser on a human is to “target the eye and thus melting the brain”, blimey, he must be fun at dinner parties.

So, how many lasers would you need? Well, according to Rebecca Thompson of the America Physical Society, you would need a laser at approximately 1KW, this equates to around 200,000 laser pointers. You would also need each laser pointer to focus through a lens on one spot with the aim of concentrating enough power. Every laser beam would also need to be in a “semi-circle with a radius of about 5.5”, so in theory you could buy 200,000 “laser pointers before mounting them on a Sphere with a radius of 5, 5 and aim them all through a lens.”

So yes, there you go, now you can in theory build your own death ray, well sort of, (quick disclaimer, eTeknix would advise that no one attempted to build their own death ray, we do want readers that are not melted.)

On a side note, below is a video that shows this concept being conveyed at an insane level, a Youtuber who goes by the username “styropyro” has built his own Laser shotgun which has a combined power of 40W, as you do. Guns are a problem within society, let’s hope no one decides to use laser weapons instead.

The Pope Argues Social Media Has Caused Loneliness

Social media is an integral component of modern society and theoretically helps people to stay in contact with friends, family members and business acquaintances. However, our over-reliance on impersonal communication is arguably causing humans to experience loneliness according to a speech by Pope Francis:

“Today’s culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone,”  

“The most important thing today seems to be to follow the latest trend of activity, even at a religious level. Today consumerism determines what is important.”

“I would dare say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of radical loneliness that so many people live in today. Running after the latest fad, a like, accumulating followers on any of the social networks.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon as social media has been blamed for negatively impacting on people’s ability to converse with others. Furthermore, the ‘selfie’ culture and need to let others know of daily activities could indicate a rise in narcissistic behavior. On the other hand, this might just be a part of evolution as humans become more liberal and forthright with their routine.

It’s certainly an interesting discussion topic and I personally believe those addicted to social media who check-in online before brushing their teeth are extremely lonely and in denial. Social media is a wonderful invention providing we use it responsibility and not at the expense of human interaction.

Do you think social media is a cause of society’s problems?

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

Record For Furthest Distance Quantum Data Transmission Broken

Recently, there have been a lot of articles about technologies straight from science fiction. With lasers being mounted to airplanes by 2019 and Japan firing a laser equal to a thousand times the world’s electricity consumption. With everything from science fiction becoming a reality, it was only a matter of time before this topic appeared in our news again, Quantum Data. Quantum refers to anything that can be in two forms at the same time, for example, Quantum computers are looking at changing how your computer works from  “yes, no” to “yes, no, both”. Quantum Data transmission is a step further.

From Star Trek to Gundam teleportation has always been at the head of science fiction, the ability to go from one place to another by being transmitted like an email or text message. A team of scientists at the US’ National Institute of Standards and Technology have gone and transmitted a photon of information across 63 miles. Now calm down, lets put that into perspective. When transmitting data that far, 99% of photons wouldn’t make the full trip, and this latest record was only broken because of a set of new detectors.

With the ability to transmit data, in what could possibly be the most secure way, across miles from your home to your work and local shops, transmitting quantum data could make WiFi look like plastic cups and string. Would you look forward to being able to use your computer from 63 miles away aware that no one could intercept your messages because you were using the same computer that was 63 miles away, at the same time? Confusing isn’t it?

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of Drum Beat Marketing.

Australia To Teach Coding From Primary School

Every day we use computers if we use them at our fingers or just by buying something from a store or driving down the road. Technology is a big part of everyone’s lives these days, and this has been recognised by many countries pushing for STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) to become a focus in many educations, the latest of which seems to be Australia.

As one of his last acts as Education Minister, Christopher Pyne has given the approval for a new national curriculum which will see subjects like History and Geography replaced with Coding. Australia is seeing a large push towards STEM subjects as its new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pushes a focus on innovation and preparing the future generations for the jobs and economies of the future.

Pyne said in a statement that “high-quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s Productivity and economy well-being, both now and in the future”.

With big plans such as Summer Schools supporting and teaching STEM to underrepresented groups, the development of the maths curriculum and a new P-TECH style school which will bring together education and industry in hopes of further strengthening students futures in the job market.

Thank you Mashable for the information.

Image courtesy of Gizmondo.

A Portable Blood Cleanser Being Developed by Harvard Researchers

Science and tech are compatible with each other when it comes to developing new ideas for a variety of applications. This is certainly evident in the health sector which has seen a wide scope of innovations which in turn have been implemented to save lives.

Portability is essential and Harvard researchers are actively developing a machine which can filter pathogens from the blood, this newly proposed technique could offer hope for faster and more effective treatment for sepsis. This machine is nearing the point to which it could be clinically tested on sets of human control groups, which is crucial to the operation and further development of the device.

A prototype of this device has been tested on rats under lab conditions and the results have so far been rather encouraging, below is the current understanding of this machine.

“ It has been found the device which works in a similar way to the dialysis machines already used to filter the blood of patients with kidney failure, not only efficiently removes pathogenic material from the bloodstream but also works in concert with antibiotics to prevent a harmful immune response that can lead to organ malfunction and even death”.

 The project which is being led by researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is part of an effort by the U.S. defence department to design a portable machine for treating soldiers in the field.

Sepsis is an incredibly dangerous and life threatening condition which is triggered by an infection, there is currently no effective therapy and the disorder kills millions of people around the world every year.

This device is potentially an exciting breakthrough in the search for a treatment to sepsis, what’s more exciting and potentially revolutionary is the new device removes pathogens regardless of their identity. It does this by using a genetically engineered blood protein that can bind to more than 90 varieties of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

Let’s hope this machine can be successfully developed with the aim of rolling out to patients and not stocked for US defence use only. It’s exciting times to watch from afar as the boundaries of human health treatments are being pushed to a whole new technical level.

Thank you MIT and harvard.edu for providing us with this information.

 

Airforce Wants Its Jets To Have Lasers By 2020

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ARABIAN GULF (Nov. 16, 2014) The Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Everyone loves a good laser, be it shot into the sky at a festival, or at your favourite hero as they try to save the galaxy. Even the real world is liking them, with more and more of science fiction being created and used in the real world. The Navy have even created and mounted a rail gun onto a ship  while BAE are looking at magnetic force fields.  Now even the Airforce want to get in on the science fiction weapons and mount “lasers” onto their Jets by 2020.

Dubbed Directed-Energy weapon pods, the devices will be mounted onto jets and will use beams of directed energy to ‘burn’ missiles and UAV’s, with the hopes of being powerful enough to even combat other aircraft. With a large contract on the line several companies have come up with solutions, HELLADS (High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defence System), from General Atomics, runs off a single lithium-ion battery and is small enough to fit onto a predator drone.

With the possibilities of being mounted to both land, sea and air vehicles, laser technology could revolutionise the way we act against other weapons. With the ability to shoot down missiles and heat up and melt the components in vehicles laser technology could quickly become the new step in modern warfare.

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of LiveScience.

Scientists Are Concerned That Humans May Send Aliens Malware

Space exploration is quite frankly both awe-inspiring and also necessary to the understanding of possible life within the vastness of planets and also galaxies. If you thought our tech could in no way harm these efforts then think again, as scientists at the elitist university of Oxford have warned humans that we in fact could send Mr E.T a Trojan Horse.

Speaking at the British Science Festival Dr Anders Sandberg, of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, said humans must be extremely cautious about what digital messages they send into space. Dr Sandberg conveyed the security problems which include languages that can hide a lot of information by stating that “We’re worried about malware being sent to aliens”.

Scientists are not usually known for their sense of humour, but Dr Sandberg also quipped that “Some people think we’re already spamming the universe with reality soaps.” This is oh so very true considering the degradation of quality over the last decade or so, which has now seen the destruction reach quite epic proportions with a new show on Channel 4 entitled “The Changing Room” Yes it’s as brain numbing as it sounds considering the premise is watching people change in shop fitting rooms.

Anyway, enough of that tangent, the possibility of communicating with a different species is mind-boggling, but if you had the chance to send a message, virus scanned of course, what would it be? The UK research network for SETI (UKSRN) has envisaged this possibility and has therefore joined forces with the Breakthrough Message Initiative with the aim of inviting the public to have their say on the message to send into space. This intergalactic notion of democracy also has a prize on offer of $1 million dollars for the best ideas.

I believe there are life forms which are different to our own considering the vastness of the universe; it would be foolish to believe that we are the only ones in all of time and space. The question has always remained concerning the outcomes that could happen if we do indeed find extra terrestrial life; will it be a friendly engagement or Independence Day all over again.

Transmitting viruses to aliens at this stage is extremely theoretical, but who knows how different life forms would react to binary numbers and data.

Thank you the telegraph for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of mashable

3D Printed Sternum And Ribs For Cancer Patient

3D Printing has taken off in recent years, with everything from toys to houses being designed and built by anyone with a computer (and a big enough printer). Some of the biggest advantages of the 3D printer are quite simply those provided to medical sciences, with advances allowing people to print items that could help people in ways unthought of several years ago, such as a 3D printed skull for a 3-year-old girl in china. The latest though is another step, with a set of ribs and sternum being printed for a 54-year-old man.

Medical company Anatomics and CSIRO’s 3D printing facility developed the technology required to 3D print the titanium sternum and ribcage implant that was used. In this instance, the gentlemen had several bones removed that had been affected by a cancerous tumour, called chest wall sarcoma.

Crediting the surgery as a success, Surgeon José Aranda stated that “to his knowledge this is the first 3D titanium printed sternum (made through) custom-made processes”. What this means is that in place of a regular sheet of titanium the implant was actually constructed and designed before being built, making it an easier fit and more accurate to the original autonomy of the gentlemen involved.

Thank you Tech Spot for the information and the image.