Category Archives: Science

Goodbye, Oil: US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer

Wireless electricity? It’s here

By Matthew Ponsford and Nick Glass, CNN

(CNN) — Katie Hall was shocked the second she saw it: a light-bulb glowing in middle of a room with no wires attached.

Looking back, it was a crude experiment, she remembers: a tiny room filled with gigantic cooper refrigerator coils — the kind you’d see if you cracked open the back of your freezer.

She walked in and out between the coils and the bulb — and still the bulb glowed.

“I said: ‘Let’s work on this. This is the future.'”

What’s the trick?

“We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires,” says Dr Hall, now Chief Technology Officer at WiTricity — a start-up developing wireless “resonance” technology.

“But, we’re not actually putting electricity in the air. What we’re doing is putting a magnetic field in the air.”

It works like this: WiTricity build a “Source Resonator” — a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic field when power is attached.

If another coil is brought close, an electrical charge can be generated in it. No wires required.

“When you bring a device into that magnetic field, it induces a current in the device, and by that you’re able to transfer power,” explains Dr Hall.

And like that, the bulb lights up.

Wireless homes

Don’t worry about getting zapped: Hall assures that the magnetic fields used to transfer energy are “perfectly safe” — in fact, they are the same kind of fields used in Wi-Fi routers.

In the house of the future, wire-free energy transfer could be as easy as wireless internet.

If all goes to WiTricity’s plans, smartphones will charge in your pocket as you wander around, televisions will flicker with no wires attached, and electric cars will refuel while sitting on the driveway.

WiTricity have already demonstrated their ability to power laptops, cell-phones, and TVs by attaching resonator coils to batteries — and an electric car refueller is reportedly in the works.

Hall sees a bright future for the family without wires:

“We just don’t think about it anymore: I’m going to drive my car home and I’m never going to have to go to the gas station and I’m never going to have to plug it in.

“I can’t even imagine how things will change when we live like that.”

World outside

Beyond these effort-saving applications, Hall sees more revolutionary steps.

When Hall first saw the wireless bulb, she immediately thought of medical technology — seeing that devices transplanted beneath the skin could be charged non-intrusively.

WiTricity is now working with a medical company to recharge a left-ventricular assist device — “a heart-pump essentially.”

The technology opens the door to any number of mobile electronic devices which have so far been held back by limited battery lives.

“The idea of eliminating cables would allow us to re-design things in ways that we haven’t yet thought of, that’s just going to make our devices and everything that we interact with, that much more efficient, more practical and maybe even give brand new functionality.

Read more » CNN
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/14/tech/innovation/wireless-electricity/index.html

Hundreds of tiny satellites could soon deliver free internet worldwide

Developers say they are less than a year away from deploying prototype satellites that could someday soon broadcast free and universal internet all over the globe from high in orbit.

The “Outernet” project being bankrolled by the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) of New York is currently in the midst of conducting technical assessment of the project, but say by June they hope to develop test satellite in order to see how long-range WiFi would work if beamed down by a tiny 10x10x10-centimeter payload called a CubeSat.

If all goes as planned, a test CubeSat will be sent into orbit next January, and within a few years there could be hundreds of similar devices circling the Earth and sending back down internet signals. Once that is accomplished, countries that largely censor the web — like China and North Korea — would be hard-pressed to restrict internet access without also going into orbit.

“We exist to support the flow of independent news, information, and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies,” MDIF President Peter Whitehead told the National Journal recently. “It enables fuller participation in public life, holds the powerful to account and protects the rights of the individual.”

Read more » rt.com
http://rt.com/usa/outernet-cubesat-free-internet-153/

E6 Electric Car Launched Officially in China – Can Do 300 Miles per Charge

Chinese auto-maker BYD in collaboration with the famous US investor Warren Buffett, has officially released its first all-electric car that will be available to private buyers.

The vehicle’s 75 kW motor gives it a range of nearly 300 km on a single charge in urban conditions. BYD also said on its website that the BYD e6 is equipped with an iron battery that can be fully recharged in about 40 minutes.

The electric car is capable of reaching a top speed of 140 km/h. Unlike ordinary oil-consuming vehicles, the e6 can save its owner about 75 percent of the energy cost.

BYD Auto was founded in 2003, being a part of the rechargeable battery maker,the BYD Co Ltd. Some reports said that in 2010 the sales were estimated at 519,800 units and the production capacity at 700,000 units. In December 2008, Warren Buffet has allocated $230 million to buy a 10 percent stake in BYD.

So the Chinese CAN build a car that’s about the price of a Nissan Leaf and the range of a Tesla Model S. Then why don’t the others follow? Is it some kind of a strategy for we aren’t yet prepared to get in electric cars? Or what?

Courtesy: GreenOptimistic
http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2011/10/27/byd-e6-china-launch/#.UwYw0YXWY2A

Soros To Fund Free Wi-fi From Space – Blasting Whole Planet

‘You might think you have to pay through the nose at the moment to access the Internet.

But one ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth. Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015.

And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea.’

Courtesy: davidicke
http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/soros-to-fund-free-wi-fi-from-space-blasting-whole-planet/

Pill camera to screen for colon cancer approved in U.S.

Ingestible pill camera could be option for up to 10% of those who can’t have complete colonoscopy

An ingestible pill camera to help screen for polyps and early signs of colon cancer has been approved for use in the U.S.

Given Imaging Ltd.’s PillCam Colon was originally touted as an alternative to traditional colonoscopy procedures, but the company’s research found images taken by the mini-camera aren’t as clear as those taken during the more invasive procedure.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the device for patients who have experienced an incomplete colonoscopy. The company estimates 750,000 U.S. patients are not able to complete the procedure each year, due to anatomy issues, previous surgery or various colon diseases.

Read more » CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/pill-camera-to-screen-for-colon-cancer-approved-in-u-s-1.2521511

Battery advance could boost renewable energy take-up

By Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website

US researchers have made an important step forward in the quest to store electricity from intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.

A Harvard University team came up with a way to drive down the cost of flow battery technology, which is capable of storing energy on large scales – within an electrical power grid, for example. Grid-scale storage for renewables could be a game-changer – making wind and solar more economical and reliable.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25674738

16 year-old Invents Bio-plastic from Banana Peels

By: Amanda Froelich

What comes to mind before you discard your banana peel? Certainly not the consideration of its use to reduce petroleum-based pollution and create bio-plastic, yet this is exactly what Elif Bilgin, 16, from Istanbul, Turkey, sought to achieve and successfully accomplished. Winner of the 2013 Science in Action award, Google’s third $50,000 annual competition, she addressed the need for environmentally friendly alternatives with practical resources and easy-to-attain banana peels.

Read more » True Activist
http://www.trueactivist.com/16-year-old-invents-sustainable-bio-plastic-from-banana-peels/

Scientists racing to build invisibility devices

Metamaterials are the tool of choice for scientists racing to build all sorts of wave-cloaking devices

By Reuters

Singapore: A new way of assembling things, called metamaterials, may in the not too distant future help to protect a building from earthquakes by bending seismic waves around it. Similarly, tsunami waves could be bent around towns, and soundwaves bent around a room to make it soundproof.

While the holy grail of metamaterials is still to make objects and people invisible to the eye, they are set to have a more tangible commercial impact playing more mundane roles — from satellite antennas to wirelessly charging cellphones.

Metamaterials are simply materials that exhibit properties not found in nature, such as the way they absorb or reflect light. The key is in how they’re made. By assembling the material — from photonic crystals to wire and foam — at a scale smaller than the length of the wave you’re seeking to manipulate, the wave can, in theory, be bent to will.

This makes metamaterials the tool of choice for scientists racing to build all sorts of wave-cloaking devices, including the so-called invisibility cloak — a cover to render whatever’s inside effectively invisible by bending light waves around it.

“The invisibility cloak was just one more thing we were discovering — that we have all this flexibility in this material and here’s another thing we can do,” David Smith of Duke University, widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of metamaterials, said in a telephone interview.

“But we’re equally interested in seeing this transition in making a difference in people’s lives.” Indeed, Smith’s own journey from laboratory to factory illustrates that while metamaterials have for some become synonymous with “Harry Potter” cloaks, their promise is more likely to be felt in a range of industries and uses, from smaller communication devices to quake-proof buildings.

Bending light

At the heart of both metamaterials and invisibility are waves. If electromagnetic waves — whether visible light, microwave or infrared — can be bent around an object it would not be visible on those wavelengths. It was long thought you couldn’t control light in this way with natural materials as their optical properties depended on the chemistry of the atoms from which they were made.

It was only when Smith and his colleagues experimented with altering the geometry of material in the late 1990s that they found they could change the way it interacted with light, or other kinds of wave — creating metamaterials. With that, says Andrea Alu, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, scientists found “it may be possible to challenge rules and limitations that were for centuries considered written in stone.” The past decade has seen an explosion in research that has built on Smith’s findings to make objects invisible to at least some forms of light.

“There have now been several demonstrations of cloaking at visible wavelengths, so cloaking is truly possible and has been realised,” says Jason Valentine of Vanderbilt University, who made one of the first such cloaks. These, however, have limitations — such as only working for certain wavelengths or from certain angles. But the barriers are falling fast, says Valentine.

In the past year, for example, Duke University’s Yaroslav Urzhumov has made a plastic cloak that deflects microwave beams using a normal 3D printer, while Alu has built an ultra-thin cloak powered by electric current.

Invisible army

Funding much of this US research is the military. Urzhumov said in an email interview that the US Department of Defence is “one of the major sponsors of metamaterials and invisibility research in the US.” The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, which commissions advanced research for the Department of Defence, has funded research into metamaterials since 2000, according to the department’s website.

Military interest in metamaterials was primarily in making a cloak, said Miguel Navarro-Cia of Imperial College London, who has researched the topic with funding from the European Defence Agency and US military.

But an invisibility cloak needn’t be a sinister tool of war.

Vanderbilt’s Valentine suggests architectural usage. “You could use this technology to hide supporting columns from sight, making a space feel completely open,” he said.

Other potential uses include rendering parts of an aircraft invisible for pilots to see below the cockpit, or to rid drivers of the blind spot in a car.

Read more » Gulfnews
http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/scientists-racing-to-build-invisibility-devices-1.1270952

Bee Venom Destroys Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving the surrounding cells unharmed. The research was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The Nanoparticles carry melittin, which is the principal active component of bee venom. Melittin fuses with the HIV virus and destroys it’s protective envelope while molecular bumpers prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells. Bee venom is known to disrupt cellular walls and destroy tumour cells as well.

Bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. Large amounts of free melittin can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, in addition to anti-viral therapy, the paper’s senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has shown melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.

The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells. That’s because Hood added protective bumpers to the nanoparticle surface. When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV, on the other hand, is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits. (1)

Most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus’s ability to replicate. This is an anti-replication strategy that does nothing to stop the infection, and many strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and continue reproducing. Given this discovery, a new vaginal gel could possibly be used in places where HIV is prominent. It can be used as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection and prevent the spread of HIV. The bee venom HIV study was published a several days ago in the journal Antiviral Therapy.

More than 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and over 3 million of them are under the age of 15. Everyday, thousands of people contract HIV around the world.

– See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/03/13/bee-venom-destroys-human-immunodeficiency-virus-hiv/#sthash.7Amjn3a3.dpuf

Russia unveils ‘unique’ dual-screen YotaPhone

A Russian company has come up with a double sided smartphone which includes an electronic paper display on the back. Yota Devices hope the revolutionary technology will help it win market share in Europe and the Middle East.

The main feature of the gadget is a black-and-white electronic paper display on the reverse of the smartphone, which is always switched on. The screen on the back mirrors the information on the main screen, without wasting energy.

“It’s a new type of gadget. With smartphones it’s always one problem – its display is always black, it always sleeps, which we think is fundamentally wrong,” Vlad Martynov, Yota Device’s Chief Executive said Reuters. “If we really hit the mark, we’ll be happy because in two to three years everyone will be copying us.”

Read more » rt.com
http://rt.com/business/revolutionary-russian-smartphone-globe-plans-696/

Facebook wants to give gift to the entire world

Facebook-led project seeks Internet access globally for all

By Reuters

New York (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Qualcomm Inc and four other companies for a project aimed at bringing Internet access to people around the world who cannot afford it, following efforts by Google Inc.

The project, called Internet.org, is the latest move by an Internet company trying to expand Web access globally. Facebook rival Google is hoping technology, including balloons, wireless and fibre connections will expand connectivity.

Internet.org, which was launched on Wednesday, will focus on seeking ways to help the 5 billion people – or two-thirds of the world’s population – who do not have Internet access, come online, the company said in a statement.

It added that so far, only 2.7 billion people around the world have Internet access.

The partnership’s potential projects will include the development of lower-cost smartphones and the deployment of Internet access in underserved communities as well as working on ways to reduce the amount of data downloads required to run Internet applications, according to Facebook.

Continue reading Facebook wants to give gift to the entire world

GravityLight: a revolutionary new approach

GravityLight: lighting for developing countries.

We have developed a realistic alternative to Kerosene lamps by harnessing the power of gravity. We need your help to make it happen.

GravityLight is a revolutionary new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free.

Following the initial inspiration of using gravity, and years of perspiration, we have refined the design and it is now ready for production. We need your help to fund the tooling, manufacture and distribution of at least 1000 gravity powered lights. We will gift them to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly. The follow-up research will tell us how well the lights met their needs, and enable us to refine the design for a more efficient MK2 version. Once we have proved the design, we will be looking to link with NGOs and partners to distribute it as widely as possible. When mass produced the target cost for this light is less than $5.

Why GravityLight?

Did you know that there are currently over 1.5 billion people in the World who have no reliable access to mains electricity? These people rely, instead, on biomass fuels (mostly kerosene) for lighting once the sun goes down.

Continue reading GravityLight: a revolutionary new approach

Scientists Finally Discover The Function of the Human Appendix

By Barbara Miller

It has long been regarded as a potentially troublesome, redundant organ, but American researchers say they have discovered the true function of the appendix.

The researchers say it acts as a safe house for good bacteria, which can be used to effectively reboot the gut following a bout of dysentery or cholera.

The conventional wisdom is that the small pouch protruding from the first part of the large intestine is redundant and many people have their appendix removed and appear none the worse for it.

Scientists from the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina say following a severe bout of cholera or dysentery, which can purge the gut of bacteria essential for digestion, the reserve good bacteria emerge from the appendix to take up the role.

Continue reading Scientists Finally Discover The Function of the Human Appendix

“The story of DNA continues to twist and turn”!

Scientists Discover Quadruple Helix: Four Strand DNA In Human Cells

by Arjun

The human race knows very little of itself, almost like a race with amnesia. As we continue to move forward through time, new discoveries are made that make old theories obsolete and false. It’s a good lesson that shows us how we can attach ourselves to “truths” and believe them whole-heartedly, often forgetting that truth is constantly changing and new paradigms of perception always lurk around the corner.

Decades after scientists described our “chemical code” of life using the double helix DNA, researchers have discovered four-stranded DNA within human cells. The structures are called G-quadruplexes, because they form in regions of DNA that are full of guanine, one of the DNA molecule’s four building blocks. The others are adenine, cytosine and thymine. A hydrogen bond is responsible for holding the four guanines together. The four stranded DNA usually presents itself right before cell division.

The discovery was published online in Nature Chemistry, and you can take a look at it here. The study was led by Shankar Balasubramanian at the University of cambridge, UK.

For us, it strongly supports a new paradigm to be investigated – using these four-stranded structures as targets for personalized treatments in the future.We have found that by trapping the quadruplex DNA with synthetic molecules we can sequester and stabilise them, providing important insights into how we might grind cell division to a halt — Shankar Balasubramanian

The study went on to show certain links between concentrations of four-stranded G-quandruplexes and the process of DNA replication, which is crucial to cell division and cell production. G-quadruplexes, (when targeted with synthetic molecules responsible for trapping and holding these DNA structures) prevent cells from replicating their DNA, thus blocking cell division. Scientists believe that this discovery could possibly lead to a stop in cell proliferation at the root of cancer ….

Read more » Collective Evolution
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/07/17/scientists-discover-quadruple-helix-four-strand-dna-in-human-cells/

Via – Facebook

MIT recognises Pakistani as one of world’s brilliant minds

KARACHI: All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them, says Walt Disney.

Disney’s quote, perhaps, best explains the success story of Farhan Masood, who has been recognised as one of the world’s brilliant minds by Massachusetts Institute of Technology earlier this year for his product – world’s fastest retina and face scanner algorithm called SmartXS.

Masood’s dream – to build a Pakistani product and turn it into a global one – came true this year after he won the MIT Business Acceleration Plan contest, a highly competitive annual event whose objective is to help Pakistani IT, ITES, telecom and new media companies improve their business.

Of the 165 participants that compete in this contest, some members of top teams also get a chance to attend an entrepreneurship development programme at MIT in Cambridge, USA.

After a winning performance in the contest, Masood joined the list of MIT alumni. He has just returned after attending a course at MIT, one of the world’s best educational institutes. Those who attended this programme previously had benefited a great deal.

According to Pakistan Software Export Board’s website, some of the companies that participated in this programme saw their revenues grow by 5 to 10 times and valuation increase by 15 times. Giving the example of Sofizar, the PSEB’s website stated that the company’s revenue increased from less than $1 million to $30 million in two and a half years.

Continue reading MIT recognises Pakistani as one of world’s brilliant minds

Quantum Computer

A Strange Computer Promises Great Speed

By

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Our digital age is all about bits, those precise ones and zeros that are the stuff of modern computer code.

But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between — all at the same time.

It sounds preposterous, particularly to those familiar with the yes/no world of conventional computing. But academic researchers and scientists at companies like Microsoft, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard have been working to develop quantum computers.

Now, Lockheed Martin — which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago — is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business.

Continue reading Quantum Computer

Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness

By JohnThomas Didymus

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.
She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals. She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled “fundamentalist” is expansive. She continued: “I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm.

First Tests For Fusion-Powered Spaceship Propulsion Successful

By Mark Hoffman

University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company are currently building components of a fusion-powered rocket, which could enable astronauts to travel to Earth’s neighboring planet Mars within weeks instead of months, at speeds considerably faster than feasible until now. The current travel speeds using fuel rockets make Mars travel a journey of about four years but the new fusion technology being tested by researchers at the University of Washington promises that in 30 to 90 days.

The lab tests have proven to be successful on each part of the process and the scientists are now planning to combine the sections into a one final and overall test.

“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.”

The team has developed a technology using a special type of plasma that will be encased in a magnetic field. When the plasma is compressed with high pressure by the magnetic field, nuclear fusion takes place.

Continue reading First Tests For Fusion-Powered Spaceship Propulsion Successful

Schools need new science standards to make U.S. competitive: National Research Council

Science in U.S. schools needs to be more comprehensive, hands on and rigorous to produce more engineers, doctors and inventors to help the U.S. compete, according to groups that are promoting new education standards.

The Next Generation Science Standards, developed by organizations such as the National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association, were released yesterday. Twenty-six states, including California, New York and New Jersey, took part in drafting the voluntary guidelines and will consider adopting them for state curriculums.

The science guidelines follow a similar effort to create uniform expectations in math, writing and reading, called Common Core State Standards, issued in 2010 and which have been adopted in 45 states. The science standards were devised in part by looking at what is taught in countries that lead international tests, such as Singapore, South Korea and Finland. The U.S. ranked 17th in science and 25th in math in a 2009 assessment, according to the Next Generation Science Standards website.

“The U.S. system of science and mathematics education is performing far below par and, if left unattended, will leave millions of young Americans unprepared to succeed in a global economy,” the group said.

Continue reading Schools need new science standards to make U.S. competitive: National Research Council

BlackBerry inventor starts quantum technology fund aiming to turn “Star Trek” devices into reality

BlackBerry Inventor Starts Fund to Make Star Trek Device Reality

By Hugo Miller & Jon Erlichman

Mike Lazaridis, inventor of the BlackBerry smartphone, is starting a C$100 million ($97 million) quantum technology fund that’s aiming to turn devices like the medical tricorder from “Star Trek” into reality.

The fund, called Quantum Valley Investments, is being financed exclusively by Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, an old friend and co-founder of Research In Motion Ltd. (BB), the company behind the BlackBerry. The goal is to commercialize technologies from a cluster of research labs that have been bankrolled by Lazaridis. At least one startup has signed up with the fund and the first products may emerge in the next two to three years, he said.

“What we’re excited about is these little gems coming out,” Lazaridis said in an interview in Toronto. “The medical tricorder would be astounding, the whole idea of blood tests, MRIs — imagine if you could do that with a single device. That may be possible and possible only because of the sensitivity, selectivity and resolution we can get from quantum sensors made with these quantum breakthroughs.”

Lazaridis, who stepped down as RIM’s co-chief executive officer 14 months ago, is putting his time and fortune into quantum computing and nanotechnology — sometimes referred to as the “science of the small” — which uses atomic-sized technology in fields ranging from medicine to cryptography.

Quantum Computing

He opened the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre in his hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, last September, financing the effort with a $100 million donation. That lab complements the Institute for Quantum Computing and the more-than-decade-old Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, both founded with more than $250 million of Lazaridis’s own money and additional funds he helped raise.

The Quantum Valley fund will probably focus on one to two dozen companies, he said. It may take a few years to make the investments, said Lazaridis, who declined to name the startups that are under consideration.

“We’re being very strategic with the funds,” he said. “This is not a venture capital fund that we’re all used to.”

Noninvasive medical-testing equipment — the real-life versions of the scanning devices used by “Star Trek” medics — will probably be a focus of the fund.

Continue reading BlackBerry inventor starts quantum technology fund aiming to turn “Star Trek” devices into reality

Uchek app tests urine for medical issues

By Jane Wakefield, Technology reporter

A smartphone app that uses a phone’s camera to analyse urine and check for a range of medical conditions has been shown off at the TED (Technology, Education and Design) conference in Los Angeles.

Uchek tests for 25 different health issues and could help diagnose and treat diseases in the developing world.

Increasingly mobile health is being talked up as a lifesaver in such areas.

The app is the brainchild of TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale.

“I wanted to get medical health checks into users’ hands,” he told the BBC.

Urine can be tested for the presence of 10 elements – including glucose, proteins and nitrites.

These can be used to pinpoint a range of conditions including diabetes, urinary tract infects, cancers, liver problems as well as being used to keep track of general health.

Users need to collect their urine and dip a standard test strip into it. ….

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21586082

US scientists turn bags into batteries

The US is investing millions of dollars in a new centre designed to recycle used plastic bags, turning them into batteries that can power everything from smartphones to electric cars. Al Jazeera’s John Hendren spent a day at the government laboratory near Chicago where scientists have made a breakthrough in green technology.

Read more » Al Jazeera
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2013/02/2013218111949627594.html

Going nuclear-free: Germany smashes solar power world record

Germany’s solar power plants produced a record 22 gigawatts of energy on Friday, equivalent to the output of 20 nuclear plants. The country is already a world-leader in solar power and hopes to be free of nuclear energy by 2022.

The director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, northeast Germany, said the solar power delivered to the national grid on Saturday met 50 per cent of the nation’s energy quota.

“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity. Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over,” Norbert Allnoch told Reuters news agency.

The German government decided to turn its back on nuclear energy last year after the Fukushima disaster and plans to be nuclear-free by 2022. Critics have rounded on the initiative, skeptical that renewable sources can meet the nation’s growing energy needs.

“This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power. It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants,” stressed Allmoch. ….

Read more » The Idealist Revolution
http://www.theidealistrevolution.com/going-nuclear-free-germany-smashes-solar-power-world-record/

The 50 most innovative companies in the World: No Canadian companies on the list.

Traditional companies getting in on the innovation push

BY TAVIA GRANT

It’s not just Apple and Google. Auto makers, industrial companies and old-fashioned conglomerates are now some of the most innovative companies in the world.

Tech and telecom firms still dominate Boston Consulting Group’s annual ranking, to be released Thursday, taking seven of the top 10 spots. But turbulence in their sector means many – including Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion – have tumbled out of the global top-50 list while traditional companies such as General Motors and Siemens are gaining ground.

Innovation – or successfully creating value out of new ideas – is a big buzz word these days. It pays off, as the most innovative companies tend to see sustained, above-average returns. More executives are moving innovation higher up on their priority list to drive growth, especially given that most have completed cost cuts, and that mergers or acquisitions are too expensive.

“One of the big untapped value drivers is to dramatically increase rates of organic growth – and that leads to innovation,” Andrew Taylor, partner and manager director at Boston Consulting, said in an interview.

Canadian companies are notably absent from the top-50 list, after RIM tumbled out of the ranking. Innovation is a broader challenge in Canada; in its most-recent assessment, the Conference Board of Canada gave the country a “D” grade, saying Canada remains below average in its capacity to innovate. ….

Continue reading The 50 most innovative companies in the World: No Canadian companies on the list.

Google to Offer Free Wi-Fi in Chelsea, New York

By Sarah Frier

Google Inc. (GOOG), the world’s biggest Internet-search company, plans to offer free wireless Internet access in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, creating the largest public outdoor network in the city. …

Read more » Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-08/google-to-offer-free-wi-fi-in-chelsea.html

Unidentified flying object (ufo) dropped from SKY in “Dadu, Sindh.”

One hundred Eighty Seven Kilograms heavy unidentified flying object full of complex electronic circuits dropped from SKY in “Dadu, Sindh.
Click ZemTv for more details in urdu/ Hindi.
More » http://www.zemtv.com/2012/11/29/undefined-machine-dropped-from-sky-in-dadu-sindh-pakistan/

More details » The News Tribe

The missing link to renewable energy

What’s the key to using alternative energy, like solar and wind? Storage — so we can have power on tap even when the sun’s not out and the wind’s not blowing. In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. As he says: “We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big.

Courtesy: Ted.com » YouTube