June 25, 2011

Defkalion internal tests of the Rossi Energy Catalyzer on their forum

A Defkalion company representative is answering questions on the Defkalion forum.

Defkalion is commercializing the Rossi Energy Catalyzer.

A big number of in house lab prototype e-cat tests have been successfully concluded by Defkalion GT during the previous months. As far as we know, there are no any more third party testing or demos scheduled on lab prototype e-cats (similar to Kullander or other) till November.

At the moment there are no other third party testing on Hyperion Products other than the ones in progress by the Greek Authorities.

Results of these official tests on performance, stability, functionality and safety will be released following the issuing of the final Certificates by the Greek Authorities

Any other scheduled before end of October third-party-tests on Hyperion products and their results (including data, protocols etc) will be announced and published through DGT official site

Single Atom Imaging of DNA Sequencing '…just look at the thing!

"Single Atom Imaging of DNA Sequencing '…just look at the thing!'"
Andrew Bleloch, PhD, Head of Microscopy, Halcyon Molecular

All things are made of atoms (the most important info to pass on in case of a cataclysm of science death. Feynmann)

100,000 point mutations for some cancers

Need better than 99.9999% accuracy in gene sequencing

Heavy atoms for contrast agents for electron microscope

17 years of nanorobotics

Ari Requicha, PhD, Founder of USC's Molecular Robotics Lab

nano –manipulation
nano-robots swarms

network of sensors and actuators

bottom up assembly
AFMs (PicoSPM, CP-R, MFP-3D)

Interactive pushing
Time consuming and labor intensive to move atoms this way
Automated. Start and goal motions. Matching for pushing motion with Hungarian algorithm. Greedy algorithm to achieve final position

Molecular, Mesoscale and Macroscopic Dynamics: Quantum Theory in Molecular Computation

"Molecular, Mesoscale and Macroscopic Dynamics: Quantum Theory in Molecular Computation"

William A. Goddard, III, PhD, Director of CalTech's Materials & Process Simulation Center

Mechanically bonded macromolecules

Carbon based materials
Not may options below 30 nm of placement accuracy

Self assembly on a DNA template
DNA structure and CNT-DNA linker

Currently assembling with over 100 nm placement accuracy

Goddard working towards 3nm placement accuracy
DNA spacers 60 bp 22nm
DNA spacers 7 bp 2.9 nm

From Molecular Lego to Programmable Matter

"From Molecular Lego to Programmable Matter"
Christian Schafmeister, PhD, Temple University, Feynman Prize for Experimental Work

Bricks that make DNA

Bricks that make proteins

Unnatural brick that fold – foldamers ( a field guide to foldamers)

Program their shape
Bis-amino acids (reactive groups) assemble to bis-peptide
Connect with pairs of bonds

Brillouin Energy Corporation

Brillouin Energy Corporation (BEC) technology uses the hydrogen in ordinary water in a nuclear process that produces no hazardous waste. The process stimulates a Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) in a catalyst. This process creates low energy neutrons. The neutrons generate heat as they are captured, building heavier elements.

NOTE- This group is using a process with some similarities to Rossi energy catalyzer. They are not getting as much energy gain (a little more than double right now, but are targeting getting more than triple as they improve the current system). They are working at a few hundred watts (so about ten times less than what Rossi is claiming).

Brillouin’s proprietary electronic pulse generator promotes proton-electron capture reactions. The pulses change some of the protons in metal to neutrons, and surrounding nuclei subsequently captures these produced neutrons. The subsequent neutron capture reactions generate heat, and because the pulses are controlled the thermal output from Brillouin’s proprietary technology safely provides clean heat on demand.
Technical discussion of Brillouin's work on a powerpoint.

* Quantum Fusion theory indicates reaction will scale with increasing temperature and pressure.

* Existing system has demonstrated over 2 Pout/Pin less tha 3. (getting more than twice the power out as they are putting in.)

* Next round will demonstrate greater than 3X.

* Next round expected to prove technology will have industrial applications.

PANEL — The Scientific Challenges of Truly Transformative Nanotech

PANEL — "The Scientific Challenges of Truly Transformative Nanotech"
Andrew Bleloch, (Halcyon), Matt Francis (UC-Berkeley), Sir J Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern), William Goddard (CalTech), Chris Schafmeister (Temple)

Tough to characterize and see what you are working on. Takes a long time
Interface control is tough

Molecules have to be put together with the other materials to get a device

Interdisciplinary challenges

Need to have the people trained with seamless collaboration

What tool is holding you back (if it was an order of magnitude of order better)

Integrating Molecular Switches and Machines with the Everyday World by Fraser Stoddard

"Integrating Molecular Switches and Machines with the Everyday World"
Sir Fraser Stoddart, PhD, Head of Northwestern's Mechanostereochemistry Group

875 papers and publications

Briefly reviewed his work

1981 to 1998 to make a molecular switch

Spread the switch onto monolayer

Works with Jim Heath to work on crossbars

electrochemical switching of the bistable catenane (2000)

Building New Materials from Synthetically Modified Proteins

Matthew Francis, PhD, Rising star of nanotech at UC-Berkeley 10:15-10:45am
Building New Materials from Synthetically Modified Proteins

Protein desirable properties -

Rigid three dimensional structures for object positioning
self assembled capabiliities to establish order over large lengths
dynamic shape changes in response to external stimuli
analyte binding with high specificity

Jim Von Ehr - From Lab to Market : Commercializing Nanotechnology

James R. Von Ehr, II, President/Founder of Zyvex Labs 9:45-10:15am "New Synthetic Methods for Development of Nanoscale Materials"

Liveblogging notes of Foresight 2011 talk by Jim Von Ehr of Zyvex

Zyvex Labs
Zyvex Technology
Zyvex Asia
Zyvex Performance Materials
Zyvex Group

From Lab to Market : Commercializing Nanotechnology

Zyvex started in 1997 to develop molecular nanotechnology

Started Texas Nanotechnology Initiative

At the Foresight Conference Today

I am at the Foresight Conference today.

I will try to liveblog but the WiFi seems very sluggish.

Hopefully that clears up

You can try sending questions to speakers by using this Twitter tag (though in-person participants get first priority): #foresight2011

Foresight conference schedule

Free webcast at ustream tv

June 24, 2011

Saving 950,000 lives each year with clean birth kits a part of 3.6 million from trained and equiped midwives

Nevada's state legislature has approved the use of driverless cars

Nevada's state legislature has approved the use of driverless cars.

Nevada has now charged the state Department of Transportation to come up with a list of regulations ranging from performance standards to licensing requirements for the robot cars.

AB 511 revising certain provisions governing transportation" passed the Assembly (36-6) and the Senate (20-1) and was signed into law by the governor this week.

AB511 full 8 page text is here.

Google lobbied for the bill to help legalize the google robotic car.

Five leading russian figures in design of Iran nuclear facilities perish in crash

Five Russian scientists who assisted in the design of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant were among the 44 fatalities of Monday's Russian plain crash.

The Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire upon making an emergency landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk. A preliminary investigation ruled out the possibility of a technical failure.

Breakthrough Reported in Transconductance in Ink-jet Printing

University of Cambridge researchers report that they have successfully achieved a transconductance of 0.76 S/m for organic thin-film transistors with 4 V-operation. The team writes: “This is the highest transconductance reported for organic TFTs fabricated using printing, to the best of our knowledge.”

Thanks to ultra-low volume (subfemtoliter) inkjet nozzles, small transistors (channel length ~ 1 μm) were fabricated using electrodes printed from nanoparticle metal inks.

The small dimensions allowed the authors to demonstrate low-power and high-speed operation (theoretically up to a few MHz) of organic transistors, a requirement for useful circuits. 

The researchers go on to show that organic and printed electronics are not limited to large and slow devices, but can be extended to fast and miniaturized circuits while remaining compatible with low-cost fabrication on cheap flexible substrates.

Insulated container optimized for months of vaccine storage

Super insulation techniques have been used to help store cryogenic fluids and protect spacecraft from the high and low temperatures of outer space. Using similar principles, Intellectual Ventures developed an insulated container optimized for vaccine storage that can maintain the necessary temperature for months using only ice. Vaccines can then be retrieved as needed without jeopardizing the remaining vials and the insulated container can remain in the field for repeated use.

Realization of a Knill-Laflamme-Milburn controlled-NOT photonic quantum circuit combining effective optical nonlinearities

The KLM NS gate. (A) If the NS gate succeeds it is heralded; indicated conceptually by the light globe. (B) The original KLM NS gate is heralded by detection of a photon at the upper detector and no photon at the lower detector. Gray indicates the surface of the BS from which a sign change occurs upon reflection. (C) A simplified KLM NS gate for which the heralding signal is detection of one photon.

PNAS - Realization of a Knill-Laflamme-Milburn controlled-NOT photonic quantum circuit combining effective optical nonlinearities

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bristol, UK, and the Universities of Osaka and Hokkaido, Japan, has demonstrated a fundamental building block for quantum computing that could soon be employed in a range of quantum technologies. The optical circuit enables a new approach to quantum technologies. The researchers have demonstrated a quantum logic gate acting on four particles of light – photons. The researchers believe their device could provide important routes to new quantum technologies, including secure communication, precision measurement, and ultimately a quantum computer—a powerful type of computer that uses quantum bits (qubits) rather than the conventional bits used in today’s computers.

“Each time we add a photon, the complexity of the problem we are able to investigate increases exponentially, so if a one-photon quantum circuit has 10 outcomes, a two-photon system can give 100 outcomes and a three-photon system 1000 solutions and so on.”

The Centre for Quantum Photonics now plans to use their chip-based approach to increase the complexity of their experiment not only by adding more photons but also by using larger circuits.

TerraPower Traveling Wave Fission Reactor May Be Developed Overseas

NY Times - If ongoing negotiations with a foreign sponsor are successfully completed then Terrapower, Traveling Wave Reactor will be developed overseas says Roger Reynolds, TerraPower's technical adviser.

China, Russia, India and France have talked to TerraPower.

TerraPower design employs a high-temperature, liquid metal core cooling technology suited to a breeder reactor with "fast" neutron activity, rather than today's predominant reactors whose water cooling systems slow neutrons. TerraPower wants to partner with countries that are actively pursuing fast, breeder reactor technology.

Many countries have strategic oil reserves but China has strategic pork reserve for social stability

Pork plays a vital role in China’s commerce. There are almost half a billion pigs in China, one for every three people. In gross terms, like in humans, China dwarfs other countries in pigs. And there’s no India of pigs to rival China. The next biggest producer is the U.S., which has 65 million pigs, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. In fact China produces more pigs than the next 43 pork producing countries combined. China is the biggest pork producer in the world—almost all of its 50 million metric tons of production in 2010 (half of all the pork in the world) was consumed domestically.

China has a frozen pork reserve, a series of icy warehouses around the country it set up a few years ago to stabilize pork prices.

Charts and information below are form the report Feeding China’s Pigs: Implications for the Environment, China’s Smallholder Farmers and Food Security By Mindi Schneider, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, May 2011.

Gene found that can double yeast lifespan when turned on late in life

A whole yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cell viewed by X-ray microscopy. Inside, the nucleus and a large vacuole (red) are visible. Image: NIH

Human cells have a finite lifespan: They can only divide a certain number of times before they die. However, that lifespan is reset when reproductive cells are formed, which is why the children of a 20-year-old man have the same life expectancy as those of an 80-year-old man.

MIT biologists have now found a gene that appears to control cell age resetting in yeast. Furthermore, by turning on that gene in aged yeast cells, they were able to double their usual lifespan.

If the human cell lifespan is controlled in a similar way, it could offer a new approach to rejuvenating human cells or creating pluripotent stem cells, says Angelika Amon, professor of biology and senior author of a paper describing the work in the June 24 issue of the journal Science.

“If we can identify which genes reverse aging, we can start engineering ways to express them in normal cells,” says Amon, who is also a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Lead author of the paper is Koch Institute postdoc Elçin Ünal.

Science - Gametogenesis Eliminates Age-Induced Cellular Damage and Resets Life Span in Yeast

Eukaryotic organisms age, yet detrimental age-associated traits are not passed on to progeny. How life span is reset from one generation to the next is not known. We show that in budding yeast resetting of life span occurs during gametogenesis. Gametes (spores) generated by aged cells show the same replicative potential as gametes generated by young cells. Age-associated damage is no longer detectable in mature gametes. Furthermore, transient induction of a transcription factor essential for later stages of gametogenesis extends the replicative life span of aged cells. Our results indicate that gamete formation brings about rejuvenation by eliminating age-induced cellular damage.

President Obama has launched an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership

President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness. Investing in technologies, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, will support the creation of good jobs by helping U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development.

The President’s plan, which leverages existing programs and proposals, will invest more than $500 million to jumpstart this effort. The President believes that even as we live within our means, we must invest to win the future. Investments will be made in the following key areas: building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries; reducing the time needed to make advanced materials used in manufacturing products; establishing U.S. leadership in next-generation robotics; increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes; and developing new technologies that will dramatically reduce the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods. Leading universities and companies will compliment these federal efforts helping to invent, deploy and scale these cutting-edge technologies.

NBF NOTE - Looks like mostly coordination of existing programs and efforts

Google Nexus 4G and Samsung 4G Tablet later this year and iPhone 5

Google Nexus 4G specs are at Boy Genius report

Google Nexus 4G will feature a next-generation dual-core 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz CPU, and contrary to reports about it featuring an NVIDIA Kal-El processor, our source indicates it’s most likely an OMAP 4460 or a, ultra low-power 28nm Krait-based Snapdragon. The display is said to be a 720p HD “monster-sized” screen, and it won’t feature physical Android menu buttons below the screen anymore — everything will be software-based.

Expect a 4G LTE radio, 1GB of RAM, 1080p HD video capture and playback, a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It will have an advanced 5-megapixel sensor delivering class-leading image quality in addition to superior low-light performance. The Google Nexus 4G will run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and hold everything together in an ultra-thin package. We were told that Google is aiming to make the phone available around Thanksgiving.

Apple has delayed the launch of iPhone 5 as the phone is in need of significant hardware changes in order to compete with these phones.

June 23, 2011

$3.1 million grant for Helicon Double Layer Thruster with 2013 target for deployment in space

ANU's Plasma Research Laboratory has $3.1 million in Australian government funding Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT). If its work is successful, the HDLT driver could be in space as early as 2013 via a collaboration between the ANU, Surrey University's space centre, and aerospace firm EADS-Astrium.

Nextbigfuture covered the Helicon Double Layer Thruster back in 2009

The Helicon thruster has the edge on rival technologies as it is simpler and has been proven to work with many propellants including hydrogen, a waste product of human habitation.

Carnival of Space 202

The Carnival of Space 202 is up at Chandra blog

The Chandra space telescope research team announced the discovery of baby black holes in the early universe

This composite image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) combines the deepest X-ray, optical and infrared views of the sky. Using these images, astronomers have obtained the first direct evidence that black holes are common in the early Universe and shown that very young black holes grew more aggressively than previously thought.

Brain Implant Could Revive Paralyzed Limbs

Researchers at the University of Michigan take another step towards the Holy Grail of neurological technology--a device that would restore natural movement to the paralyzed.

The BioBolt, as the implant is called, can act as an interface between the human brain and an external device like a computer. It's not the first device to do so. But the BioBolt is distinguished from similar devices by its minimal invasiveness and low power usage. Whereas other neural implants require the skull to be open--rather drastically limiting the range of their usefulness--the BioBolt doesn't penetrate the cortex, and it can be completely covered by the patient's skin, crucial to fending off infection. (Still, points out MedGadget, this "minimally invasive" technology does require a wee-bit of skull drilling.)
Biobolt prototype placed on primate skull

The BioBolt brain implant could someday translate thoughts into movement

A brain implant developed at the University of Michigan uses the body's skin like a conductor to wirelessly transmit the brain's neural signals to control a computer, and may eventually be used to reactivate paralyzed limbs.

The implant is called the BioBolt, and unlike other neural interface technologies that establish a connection from the brain to an external device such as a computer, it's minimally invasive and low power.

Defkalion Press Conference

Defkalion's Press Conference finished around 16.30 Athens time (6:30AM PST June 23, 2011)

Defkalion is trying to commercialize the highly controversial Rossi Energy Catalyzer (low energy nuclear reactions, cold fusion)

In Palaio Faliro Municipality Congress Center, around 150 people attended. Among them:

The Minister of Industry and Energy Mr Xinidis.
Prepresentatives of political parties. Among them, The Green Party of Germany
The President of Greek Technical Chamber
The president of Union of Greek Chambers
The president of the Greek-American Chamber of commerce
Representative of the Industrial Union of North Greece
and other officials local and foreigners.

Press coverage: 7 cameras from Greek mainstream stations, RAI, newspaper journalists from major Greek newspapers, Italian, Associated Press, and others.

Japan Industry Minister Kaieda calls for local permission to restart 20 nuclear reactors to enable the recovery of the Japanese economy

Banri Kaieda, minister for economy, trade and industry, has now said that for nuclear to remain one of Japan's key energy sources, "It is indispensible to obtain lessons we should learn from the accident in order to present a general image of nuclear safety measures and to put such measures into practice." He added that it is also important to "clarify the actual situation of the accident" at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (Tepco's) Fukushima Daiichi plant.

A shortage of electricity would be the greatest obstacle to economic recovery in Japan following the huge earthquake and tsunami in March, according to the country's industry minister. He said that this makes local permission for restarting Japan's nuclear power plants essential.

Twenty units, with a combined generating capacity of 17,705 MWe (or 36.2% of total nuclear capacity) were not operating as they had been shut for periodic inspection, while another two units had been shut for unplanned inspections or equipment replacement. It is not yet known when these units will be restarted.

Tissue Regeneration with Extracellular Matrices and BioDome Regenerative Sleeve

Left- Biological scaffolds made of extracellular matrices, Center - mound of ECM powder or pixie dust that regenerate finger tips, Right - pixie dust in a test tube

Stephen Badylak is a leading researcher on tissue regeneration. Here is a link to his publications.

It appears that they are having success with inducing the regeneration of muscle tissue using extracellular matrices and bioscaffolds and using recellularized tissue. They hope to regenerate whole limbs with biodome regenerative sleeve which will control the conditions around a wound to allow for regeneration.

Badylak was featured in a 60 minutes feature in late 2009 on growing body parts.

Badylak is featured in the July/August 2011 Discover Magazine for his work in regenerating the muscle tissue in the leg of marine Corporal Isaias Hernandez.

Partial regeneration of leg muscle in Corporal Hernandez.

In the case of Corporal Hernandez, his arms and legs were injured when a mortar exploded while he was hauling a television to a military vehicle in preparation for an upcoming trip. 70% of the muscle in his right thigh was destroyed by a mortar. His right leg received the worst of the shrapnel, initially doctors advised him to have the leg amputated. Instead Corporal Hernandez was put on a fitness regime to build up his existing muscle; surgeons then cut open his thigh and inserted a thin slice of the extracellular matrix. After a few weeks Corporal Hernandez found his leg rapidly growing in bulk and strength.

Researchers at the McGowan Institute hope to eventually be able to restore not only muscle but complete limbs as well. While these types of animal hormone based therapies remain controversial, it’s difficult to argue against saving life and limb.

Limb Regeneration research with a biodome regenerative sleeve

BioDome regenerative sleeve for biochemical and biophysical stimulation of tissue regeneration.

Previous research on vertebrate limb regeneration indicates there are several mediating factors involved during the re-growth process. These factors are both biochemical and biophysical. While the phenomenon of adult limb regeneration does not occur naturally in mammalian species, prior research has focused mainly on biochemical modes of stimulating tissue growth and regeneration. The BioDome was aimed at developing a new experimental tool to permit the more systematic study of the impact of biophysical and biochemical factors on mammalian tissue regeneration. The BioDome is a multi-component sleeve assembly that encompasses the wound site of an amputated murine digit and provides an environment conducive to tissue regeneration. The studies showed that the BioDome was effective in supporting early stages of murine digit tip regeneration when combined with a porcine urinary bladder matrix (UBM) pepsin digest and electrical stimulation. The hydrated inner environment of the BioDome influenced regeneration, with additional effects seen with the application of electrical stimulation and pharmacological treatments.

Defkalion Green Technologies new website and how they plan to commercial the Rossi Energy Catalyzer

The architecture of the kW Hyperion products is based on the simplified design above: area A is the E-Cat, area B is a hydrogen canister under pressure, areas C consists of the electronics that monitor and control the safety conditions of the operation as well as the security of the product against any unauthorized use.

Defkalion Green Technologies has a new website and a white paper that discusses their company overview, market strategy and global positioning (11 pages) Have not seen anything yet that will convert any people who are skeptical.

Defkalion Green Technologies s.a. was established for the purpose to manufacture and release to the market products based on the Andrea Rossi E-Cat invention; essentially undertaking the path from invention to industrialization on a global scale. There is no government financing involved.

Praxen Defkalion Green Technologies (Global) Ltd., is based in Cyprus; it owns the contract signed with the inventor regarding the industrial secret with right of first refusal to sell globally except the US.

These two companies work towards preparing an efficient and competitive market entry of its products (Hyperion) initially into the Greek market, and then with maximum efficiency to the Balkans and worldwide.

The technology is currently in its final stages of becoming an industrialized and
commercially viable prototype. This forms the basis for a broad range of products under the commercial name Hyperion. The current range of products produces surplus energy from 6 to 30 times more heat than energy consumed during its operation. Licensing of all Hyperion products is in progress. A fully functioning 1MW heat producing reactor will be inaugurated in Q4 of 2011.

Economist predicts that China will be a democracy by 2017

Charles Robertson, chief economist of Renaissance Capital, predicts that China will be a democracy by 2017

China could be a democracy by 2017 assuming the economy grows and annual incomes rise to $15,550 a head.

A groundbreaking report analyses 150 countries and 60 years of history, and concludes that rising levels of wealth are entrenching democracy in many emerging markets.

According to the report, Russia is highly likely to become a strong democracy within the next few years; China will become a democracy by 2017; and Kenya and Ghana are set to follow Nigeria towards ever-safer democracy levels. It concludes that trade and investment in “non-democracies” should be increased, rather than imposing sanctions on them.

The report asserts that democracies are “immortal” above the per-capita GDP level of $10,000, which probably now includes Mexico, Brazil and Turkey, as well as all EU member states and South Korea. It notes that autocracies have less chance of becoming democracies than vice-versa up to the $3,500 per-capita GDP level; and that rising income levels will lead to democracy unless the country is an energy exporter. “Controversially, it would appear that trade, investment and even tourism to foster growth is a better policy option than sanctions for Western governments hoping to promote democracy in non-energy exporting states,” the report concludes.

He is probably using PPP per capita

June 22, 2011

A low-cost Chinese smartphone is helping launch wave of app innovation in East Africa

Smart phones surged in popularity in February after Safaricom, Kenya's dominant telecom, began offering the cheapest smart phone yet on the market—an Android model called Ideos from the Chinese maker Huawei, which has been making inroads in the developing world. In Kenya, the price, approximately $80, was low enough to win more than 350,000 buyers to date.

A sudden surge in smart-phone adoption in Kenya has been joined by a huge wave of application development efforts, with goals ranging from connecting citizens with health information to delivering organic-farming advice.

IEEE Spectrum admits error in calling Dwave Systems a loser technology in 2010

IEEE Spectrum January 2010 report on winners and loser, aimed one loser arrow that might have missed its mark.

Building a practical quantum computer has proved hard. Really hard. Despite efforts by some of the world's top physicists and engineers and the likes of IBM, HP, and NEC, progress has been slow. Ask the experts and they'll tell you these systems are a decade—or five—away.

Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-22 Raptor fight jet and the Mars Odyssey orbiter, bought a quantum computer from D-Wave for $10 million (sale revealed two weeks ago, but actual sale occurred Nov 2010.)

I had predicted Dwave's commercial success back in 2006.

Prediction - There will be a quantum computer with over 100 qubits of processing capability sold either as a hardware system or whose use is made available as a commercial service by Dec 31, 2010

MP3 podcast interview with Geordie Rose, CTO of Dwave Systems

Lockheed Martin is getting help with optimization and sampling problems.
Lockheed Martin wants to see if they can get verification and validation through Dwave's quantum computer. Lockheed wants to ensure that systems and components perform to an acceptable level and they can use optimization to achieve that goal.
Dwave partners with clients. Provide the hardware and technical knowledge and work with them to develop the software and help them to crack their hard problems that are suited to the system.
Dwave has a roadmap to achieve larger systems. The current system is not enough to crack Lockheed Martin's core problem. But over the next 3 to 7 years Lockheed and Dwave will learn how to apply the Dwave system to the problem so that when the larger system is ready then they can run the software and the approach that they develop for the problem at that time.

Nobel Laureate, Brian Josephson favors Rossi E-cat in a Video discussion of Credibility

In January 2011 Andrea Rossi demonstrated a device that purported to develop 10 kW of power from a nuclear reaction. This video discusses its credibility, the investigations that have been done on the device, and its future prospects.

Ny Teknik's articles on the Rossi reactor can be found at http://bit.ly/CFnyteknik , and the Bushnell interview at http://www.evworld.com/evworld_audio/dennis_bushnell_part1.mp3. Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson is Emeritus Professor of Physics, and Judith Driscoll Professor of Materials Science, both at Cambridge University

Molecular glue sticks it to cancer and interferes with the growth of cancer

“This is a totally new approach to cancer therapy,” said Professor Patrick Gunning of chemical and physical sciences (University of Toronto). “Everything prior to this has targeted functionally relevant binding sites. Our approach inhibits the mobility of cancer-promoting proteins within cells — essentially, it’s like molecularly targeted glue.”

Gold nanoparticles help earlier diagnosis of liver cancer

Cancer spotters A new diagnostic technique can spot tumor-like masses as small as 5 millimeters in the liver. Gold nanoparticles with a polyelectrolyte coating can make smaller tumors more visible through X-ray scatter imaging, enabling earlier diagnosis. Credit: Rose-Petruck Lab/Brown University

A research team led by Brown University has devised a new technique to spot cancerous tumors in the liver as small as 5 millimeters. The technique, using gold nanoparticles, is the first to deploy metal nanoparticles as agents to enhance X-ray scattering of image tumor-like masses.

American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters - Nanomaterials for X-ray Imaging: Gold Nanoparticle Enhancement of X-ray Scatter Imaging of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

China High Speed Rail Debate

1. China daily has a debate about high speed rail in China.

Against more high speed rail is the need for more freight rail capacity

Low population density is a serious problem that development of high-speed railways in the western region faces.

Considering its price and speed, high-speed railway is more competitive than flights for short distances, say between 300 and 800 kilometers, but less attractive for passengers who travel more than 1,000 km. For instance, Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, is 3,100 km away from Beijing and 2,500 km from Xi'an. There is no reason why businesspeople and tourists would choose high-speed railways over planes, because it would demand more time and higher costs.

What the western region needs most is not high-speed railway, but simply more freight trains. The biggest obstacle for people in the west is inferior means of freight transportation. The money spent on a high-speed railway linking the west to the rest of the country can be used to build at least two double lines on the same route, which would remove the bottleneck that freight transportation faces and integrate the region into the country's wider market.

Crocus Introduces Breakthrough Magnetic-Logic-Unit™ (MLU) Technology

Crocus Technology, a leading developer of magnetic semiconductors, today announced its Magnetic-Logic-Unit (MLU) architecture, a scalable evolution of Crocus' Thermally Assisted Switching™ (TAS) technology, that permits practical implementation of advanced logic and memory capabilities, a first for the industry. This innovation will expand the market for Crocus' magnetic technology by opening up new applications in high density data storage, secure commerce and communications, high performance network processing and high temperature automotive and industrial uses.

Adequate midwifery could save over 3-million lives

“Super sand” for better purification of drinking water

Scientists have developed a way to transform ordinary sand — a mainstay filter material used to purify drinking water throughout the world — into a “super sand” with five times the filtering capacity of regular sand.

The researchers used a simple method to coat sand grains with graphite oxide, creating a super sand that successfully removed mercury and a dye molecule from water. In the mercury test, ordinary sand was saturated within 10 minutes of filtration, while the super sand absorbed the heavy metal for more than 50 minutes, the scientists discovered. Its filtration “performance is comparable to some commercially available activated carbon,” the scientists said. “We are currently investigating strategies that will enable us to assemble functionalized GO particles on the sand grains to further enhance contaminant removal efficiencies,” they write.

ACS Applied Material Interfaces - Engineered Graphite Oxide Materials for Application in Water Purification

Statistics were manipulated to fabricate an increase in infant mortality in eight US cities claim for Fukushim

Scientific American checks the numbers on the claim that there was a 35% increase in infant mortality in the USA after Fukushima.

By explicitly excluding data from January and February were Sherman and Mangano able to froth up their specious statistical scaremongering. It certainly is true that there were fewer deaths in the four weeks leading up to Fukushima (in green) than there have been in the 10 weeks following (in red), the entire year has seen no overall trend. When I plotted a best-fit line to the data (in blue), Excel calculated a very slight decrease in the infant mortality rate.

Bose–Einstein Condensate Theory of Deuteron Fusion in Metal

Journal Condensed Matter Nuclear - Bose–Einstein Condensate Theory of Deuteron Fusion in Metal by Yeong E Kim of Purdue University (14 pages, 2010

Theory of Bose–Einstein condensation nuclear fusion (BECNF) has been developed to explain many diverse experimental results of deuteron induced nuclear reactions in metals, observed in electrolysis and gas loading experiments. The theory is based on a single conventional physical concept of Bose–Einstein condensation of deuterons in metal and provides a consistent theoretical description of the experimental results. The theory is capable of explaining most of the diverse experimental observations, and also has predictive powers as expected for a quantitatively predictive physical theory. It is shown that the fusion energy transfer to metal can be accomplished by the stopping power of metal without invoking hypothesis of fusion energy transfer to metal lattice vibrations. It is also shown that observed anomalous tritium production can be explained by a sub-threshold resonance reaction mechanism. The basic concept and important features of the BECNF theory is presented, and theoretical explanations of the experimental observations are described. Key experimental tests of theoretical predictions are proposed and discussed.

* experiments at these low (20-77 K) temperatures could provide tests for enhancement of the reaction rate

iPhone 5 in September with A5 processor, 8 megapixel camera and high sceen resolution iPad

Apple is rumored to have a new iPhone that will include the A5 processor, the more powerful chip that Apple added to the iPad 2 earlier this year, along with an 8-megapixel camera, up from the 5-megapixel model in the iPhone 4. Apple is also testing a new version of the iPad that has a higher resolution screen, similar to the one now used in the iPhone 4.

Apple is also working to finish a cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at attracting customers in developing countries. This device would use chips and displays of similar quality to today’s iPhone 4.

EADS showcases VoltAir superconducting electric motor propulsion system concept for 2030

Flying High with batteries – EADS Innovation Works, the corporate research and technology network of EADS, is showcasing an allelectric propulsion system concept at Le Bourget. The VoltAir technology concept platform supports the vision of a zero-emission air vehicle which could become a reality 20 years from today. VoltAir is one of the projects that are grouped under the name of eCO2avia by EADS Innovation Works as part of the EADS Group’s research towards achieving the aviation industry’s climate protection goal.

The current design calls for liquid nitrogen tanks that would be used to cool a superconducting, rear-mounted engine. The plane is designed to make short trips carrying just 50 to 70 passengers.

The VoltAir’s next-generation electric energy storage system (batteries) will power highly efficient superconducting electric motors which drive counter-rotating, shrouded propellers. Combined with a radical approach to airframe design, the expected promising developments in electric propulsion technologies could pave the way towards ultra-quiet and emission-free flight.

* No carbon dioxide emission during flight
* Next-generation energy storage
* Ultra high density electric engines
* Enhanced passenger comfort

June 21, 2011

Formation of a long-lived hot field reversed configuration by dynamically merging two colliding high-β compact toroids

Physics of Plasmas - Formation of a long-lived hot field reversed configuration by dynamically merging two colliding high-β compact toroids (H/T Talk Polywell

Tri-Alpha energy (which has about $100 million in funding for field reversed nuclear fusion) had a paper in May 2011.

Colliding toroids sounds like Helion Energy.
This picture is from Helion, do not have an image of the Tri-alpha Energy colliding toroid setup

A high temperature field reversed configuration (FRC) has been produced in the newly built, world’s largest compact toroid (CT) facility, C-2, by colliding and merging two high-β CTs produced using the advanced field-reversed θ-pinch technology. This long-lived, stable merged state exhibits the following key properties: (1) apparent increase in the poloidal flux from the first pass to the final merged state, (2) significantly improved confinement compared to conventional θ-pinch FRCs with flux decay rates approaching classical values in some cases, (3) strong conversion from kinetic energy into thermal energy with total temperature (Te + Ti) exceeding 0.5 keV, predominantly into the ion channel. Detailed modeling using a new 2-D resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code, LamyRidge, has demonstrated, for the first time, the formation, translation, and merging/reconnection dynamics of such extremely high-β plasmas.

Pig bladder powder and biological scaffold now regenerates leg muscle

A US soldier whose leg muscles were destroyed by a bomb in Afghanistan has been able to start walking again after using a radical therapy that enabled his body to regrow the lost tissue.
Marine Corporal Isaias Hernandez lost 70 per cent of his right thigh muscles in the blast, an injury so severe that amputation is normally the only treatment.

Corporal Hernandez was, however, offered a therapy in which his remaining muscles were impregnated with an experimental growth promoting substance extracted from pig bladders. It prompted the muscles to regenerate to a point that Corporal Hernandez has regained most of his strength.

D-Dalus new kind of flying machine that can silently hover and fly around the inside of buildings

D-Dalus is a new aerial platform that can approach as gently and silently as a hot air balloon, can stay in the air like a humming-bird, can rotate in any direction like a football, can ‘glue down’ on the deck of a ship like a ‘tossed pancake’, can see in all directions like a crystal ball, can fly as fast as a jet, is as invisible as a 155mm shell and can be repaired by a local car mechanic. It can lift heavy loads, and becomes even more efficient in doing so as it scales upwards in size, it is also envisaged as a platform for loading and unloading ships when cranes are not available.

At the heart of D-DALUS is a revolutionary propulsion system containing a number of patented inventions, including a friction free bearing at the points of high G force, and a system that keeps propulsion in dynamic equilibrium, thereby allowing the guidance system to quickly restore stability in flight.

The propulsion consists of 4 sets of contra-rotating disks, each set driven at the same rpm by a conventional aero-engine. The disks are surrounded by blades whose angle of attack can be altered by off-setting the axis of the rotating disks. As each blade can be given a different angle of attack, the resulting main thrust can be in any required direction in 360° around any axis. This allows the craft to launch vertically, remain in a fixed position in the air, travel in any direction, rotate in any direction, and thrust upwards thereby ‘gluing down’ on landing.

Gizmag has coverage

New Uranium recovery from Phosphate process would be almost three times cheaper and could recover 7690 tons of uranium per year from existing phosphate

If the historic uranium recovery from phosphate process were to be revived in the current economic climate, recovery costs would be around $50-70 per pound U3O8 and would be above the current spot market prices for uranium. The PhosEnergy process, however, can deliver low operating costs estimated at $20-25 per pound U3O8 and uranium recoveries estimated at 92% with improved environmental outcomes and reduced waste, the company claims.

The PhosEnergy Process at the Uranium Equities website

The PhosEnergy process is designed as a "bolt-on" that can be added to existing phosphate processing facilities. A fully integrated and process controlled demonstration plant that fits into two 40-foot (12-metre) shipping containers has been built in Australia and is now undergoing final commissioning before being shipped to the USA.

Worldwide, more than 100 million tonnes of phosphate rock is processed into phosphoric acid annually, with major producers in North America, northern Africa and Asia. According to UEQ this could represent potential uranium production of 20 million pounds U3O8 (7690 tU) per year. Total world uranium production from all sources in 2010 was 53,663 tU, with Cameco producing some 16% of that from its interests in Canada, the USA and Kazakhstan.

Superconducting supersonic engine patents for Sonicstar supersonic business jet

The SonicStar supersonic business jet concept was unveiled at the 2011 Paris Air Show. It will cruise at mach 3.5 by leveraging superconductors to achieve 70% more efficiency. Here are three patents related to the revolutionary engine technology.

Integrate a gas power turbine, superconducting electric power and propulsion generation

Patent 20110138765 - MAGNETIC ADVANCED GENERATION JET ELECTRIC TURBINE - Supersonic Magnetic Advanced Generation Jet Electric Turbine (S-MAGJET) described herein, and a subsonic derivative, MAGJET, integrate a gas power turbine, superconducting electric power and propulsion generation, and magnetic power flux field systems along with an ion plasma annular injection combustor which utilizes alternative petroleum-based fuel and combustion cycles to create a hybrid turbine turbomachine for aerospace propulsion. The propulsion unit is able to achieve a dramatic increase in horsepower, combustion and propulsion efficiency, and weight reduction. In addition, the turbomachinery structures may be disposed within an exo-skeleton architecture that achieves an increase in thrust to weight ratio with a concomitant increase in fuel efficiency and power generation over traditional gas turbine technology today. The engine continuously adjusts the temperature, pressure and mass airflow requirements using an electromagnetic power management system architecture. Engine performance may be controlled across the entire desired flight envelope, whether subsonic, transonic or supersonic flight conditions. With bypass fan(s), compressor stages and turbine segments controlled electrically in a shaftless turbine design, the S-MAGJET maximizes the propulsion efficiencies over a broader range of operating conditions compared to current art of turbine technology and at much higher thermodynamic and aerodynamic efficiencies.

Tilera Unveils the Ultimate Cloud Computing Processor that is ten times more energy efficient than Intel Sandybridge chip

Tilera Corporation, the leader in manycore general purpose microprocessors, today unveiled the TILE-Gx™ 3000 processor family specifically designed for today’s most common cloud computing applications. Co-developed with some of the world’s largest Internet brands, the TILE-Gx 3000 processors are optimized for cloud datacenters. The family delivers a 10-fold performance-per-watt advantage over Intel’s SandyBridge processor family by supplying an unprecedented reduction in total system power consumption and footprint, and provides an estimated 50 percent reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).

* Slashes power with each core consuming less than 0.5 watts

* High performance 64-bit processors with 36, 64 or 100 cores at 1.5 G

Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) Press Conference in Greece set for June 23

Defkalion Green Technologies, who has world rights (minus Americas and military) to sell, distribute, and license Andrea Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer), recently sent out invitations to certain individuals to attend a press conference about the technology on June 23 in Greece.

Several places are covering the announcement of the press conference.

Hypermach Sonicstar Mach 3.5 business jet for 2021 will leverage superconducting technology

The SonicStar supersonic business jet concept was unveiled at the 2011 Paris Air Show It will cruise at mach 3.5 by leveraging superconductors to achieve 70% more efficiency. The aircraft will have a cruise fuel efficiency below 1.05 lbs. of fuel, per pound of thrust, per hour at Mach 3.5. Jet-A, JP-4 and JP-7 fuel capable, the jet can carry 75,000 lb. of fuel providing a range of 6,000 nautical miles. The SonicStar's will enhance efficiency with its aerodynamic double delta supersonic laminar flow wing design. To reduce skin friction, the titanium structure wings feature carbon composite structural skins and panels, and titanium nickel-cobalt alloy leading and trailing edges, while the tail section has high temperature composite skins and titanium alloyed leading edges.

SonicBlue vision is the development of revolutionary engine design to fundamentally change the way aero gas-turbine engines operate in order to significantly improve the performance of aircraft systems.

* Hybrid engine technology developed to offer a highly efficient, supersonic, variable bypass fan ratio engine design.
* The engine operates electrically by generating a large amount of on-board electric power through its superconducting electric turbine ring generator system.
* Engine produces sufficient power to operate the multi-stage counter rotating, superconducting, dual ring motor electric bypass fans and superconducting electric ring motor axial compressor, power generation and thrust comes from 5-stage superconducting axial turbine.
* The 54,700 thrust class S-MAGJET engine (two engines) described is optimized to fly the HyperMach SonicStar aircraft at 62,000 ft, at a specific fuel consumption below 1.05 at Mach 3.3, this performance will be unprecedented and will welcome in a new era of the future of aerospace transport.
* Electrical generation is provided by superconducting ring generators that are powered by the high velocity exhaust thrust from the combustor section of the engine.

Singularity University announces partnership with World Expo 2015 in Milan and opens 2011 Graduate Studies Program

Singularity University (SU) and Expo 2015 S.p.A. (Expo2015) today announce a multi-year partnership where Singularity University, as an aggregator of accelerating and exponential innovation, will help guide the technology thinking for Expo2015 as a lead research partner.

The theme of the 2015 Universal Expo is “Feeding the planet, energy for Life.” It is expected that over 100 countries will showcase the future of food production and sustainable living with cutting edge technologies and next-generation ideas.

The Singularity University had the opening ceremonies for their 2011 Graduate Studies Program (2011 GSP).

Intel's 14nm and 10 nm processes based on Trigate 3D

Intel announced in February, 2011 plans to invest more than $5 billion to build a new chip manufacturing facility at its site in Chandler, Ariz. that would have a 14 nanometer process. Intel's new Arizona factory, designated Fab 42, will be a 300-mm plant. It will also be compatible for 450-mm-if or when that wafer size is ready, according to the chip giant. Fab 42 will process wafers at the 14-nm node-and perhaps beyond. This is said to be the world's most advanced fab. Construction of the new fab is expected to begin in the middle of this year and is expected to be completed in 2013

June 20, 2011

Intel will introduce 50 core processor in 2012

The Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture is a key addition to the company’s existing products, including Intel Xeon processors, and expected to help lead the industry into the era of exascale computing. The first Intel MIC product, codenamed "Knights Corner,” is planned for production on Intel’s 22-nanometer technology that featuring innovative 3-D Tri-Gate transistors. Intel is currently shipping Intel MIC software development platforms, codenamed “Knights Ferry,” to select development partners.

Ars Technica - Intel's Larrabee GPU will finally go into commercial production next year, but not as a graphics processor. Instead, the part will make its debut in a 50-core incarnation fabbed on Intel's 22nm and aimed squarely at one of the fastest growing and most important parts of NVIDIA's business: math coprocessors for high-performance computing (HPC).

Intel Aims For Exaflop Supercomputer By 2018 and Cray claims current XK6 maxes out at 50 petaflops

Intel laid down its roadmap in terms of computing performance for the next eight or so years in a press release, and revealed its expectations until 2027.

A current TFLOPS machine currently consumes around 5 Kilowatts, Intel estimates that an Exascale TFLOPS machine would sip only 20 Watts; in other words, a 1000x performance improvement that's accompanied by a "mere" 10x power increase.

Intel also announced that its first MIC (Many Integrated Core) product, codenamed Knights Corner, will be produced using its just announced 22nm 3D Trigate manufacturing process, while its software development platform "Knights Ferry" is already being shipped to selected partners.

Uranium Market Outlook from Royal Bank of Canada

Based on our (Royal Bank of Canada) analysis, only 26 million pounds of additional uranium can be brought into production between $40 per pound and $60 per pound and an incremental 60 million pounds can be added at prices between $75 per pound and $90 per pound

The Royal bank is still projecting increases in mined uranium of about 3500 tons for 2011 over 2010 and 6000 tons for 2012 over 2011. The Royal Bank has performed a thorough mine by mine and country by country analysis going out to 2020.

They are expecting China to have 90 GW of nuclear power generation in 2020 and a minimum of 80 GW of nuclear energy in 2020.

A few thousand neutral grounding resistors could protect the United States from EMP

H.R. 668, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (or SHIELD) Act is a bill before congress which would require that the most critical components of America’s electrical infrastructure be secured against the threat posed by a potentially catastrophic electromagnetic pulse.

It has been proposed to add some fairly small and inexpensive resistors in the transformers’ ground connections. The addition of that little bit of resistance would significantly reduce the amount of the geomagnetically induced currents that flow into the grid. In its simplest form, it’s something that might be made out of cast iron or stainless steel, about the size of a washing machine. It is still at the conceptual design phase, but we think it’s do-able for $40,000 or less per resistor. That’s less than what you pay for insurance for a transformer.

NIU scientists discover simple, green and cost-effective way to produce high yields of highly touted graphene

Scientists at Northern Illinois University say they have discovered a simple method for producing high yields of graphene, a highly touted carbon nanostructure that some believe could replace silicon as the technological fabric of the future.

In a June communication to the Journal of Materials Chemistry, the NIU researchers report on a new method that converts carbon dioxide directly into few-layer graphene (less than 10 atoms in thickness) by burning pure magnesium metal in dry ice.

Journal of Materials Chemistry - Conversion of carbon dioxide to few-layer graphene

Burning magnesium metal in dry ice resulted in few-layer nanosheets of graphene in high yields. These carbon nanomaterials were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray powder diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. This work provides an innovative route for producing one of the most promising carbon nanostructures by capturing carbon dioxide that is popularly known as the greenhouse gas.

Africa could come close to doubling GDP by 2020 versus 2007

Rocky, Low-Mass Planet Discovered by Microlensing

Universe Today - gravitational microlensing, promises to find planets down to 10 Earth masses, much further out from their parent stars. Using this technique, a team of astronomers has just announced the detection of a rocky planet just in this range.

Arxiv - Discovery and Mass Measurements of a Cold, 10-Earth Mass Planet and Its Host Star (38 pages)

Astronomers have discovered 13 planets using gravitational microlensing. The newly announced one, MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, is estimated to be just over 10 times the mass of Earth and orbits at a distance of 3.2 AUs around a parent star with roughly half the mass of the Sun. The new finding is important because it is one of the first planets in this mass range that lies beyond the “snow line”, the distance during formation of a planetary system beyond which ice can form from water, ammonia, and methane. This presence of icy grains is expected to assist in the formation of planets since it creates additional, solid material to form the planetary core. Just beyond the snow line, astronomers would expect that planets would form the most quickly since, as you move further, beyond this line, the density drops. Models have predicted that planets forming here should quickly reach a mass of 10 Earth masses by accumulating most of the solid material in the vicinity. The forming planet then, can slowly accrete gaseous envelopes. If it accumulates this material quickly enough, the gaseous atmosphere may become too massive and collapse, beginning a rapid gas accretion phase forming a gas giant.

Self-assembling Electronic Nano-components

“Self-organization” of nano-devices: Magnetic molecules (green) arrange on a carbon nanotube (black) to build an electronic component (Photo: C. Grupe, KIT).

A team of INT researchers headed by Mario Ruben adopted a trick from nature : Synthetic adhesives were applied to magnetic molecules in such a way that the latter docked on to the proper positions on a nanotube without any intervention. In nature, green leaves grow through a similar self-organizing process without any impetus from subordinate mechanisms. The adoption of such principles to the manufacture of electronic components is a paradigm shift.

Nature Materials - Supramolecular spin valves

Magnetic molecules are potential building blocks for the design of spintronic devices. Moreover, molecular materials enable the combination of bottom-up processing techniques, for example with conventional top-down nanofabrication. The development of solid-state spintronic devices based on the giant magnetoresistance tunnel magnetoresistance and spin-valve effects has revolutionized magnetic memory applications. Recently, a significant improvement of the spin-relaxation time has been observed in organic semiconductor tunnel junctions single non-magnetic molecules coupled to magnetic electrodes have shown giant magnetoresistance and hybrid devices exploiting the quantum tunnelling properties of single-molecule magnets have been proposed. Herein, we present an original spin-valve device in which a non-magnetic molecular quantum dot, made of a single-walled carbon nanotube contacted with non-magnetic electrodes, is laterally coupled through supramolecular interactions to TbPc2 single-molecule magnets (Pc=phthalocyanine). Their localized magnetic moments lead to a magnetic field dependence of the electrical transport through the single-walled carbon nanotube, resulting in magnetoresistance ratios up to 300% at temperatures less than 1 K. We thus demonstrate the functionality of a supramolecular spin valve without magnetic leads. Our results open up prospects of new spintronic devices with quantum properties.

Keith Henson describes low-cost access to space and meeting future energy needs

Writer Keith Henson has extensively studied space-based solar power issues. Henson recently published a proposal to reduce the cost of getting payload to orbit by orders of magnitude . In an interview with Sander Olson, Henson describes using skylon rocket planes to release payloads at high altitudes. Concentrated lasers would then heat hydrogen in the payload, providing thrust and propelling the payload into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Henson believes that this scheme could reduce launch costs to $100 per kilogram, and could make space-based solar power cost effective and feasible.

Keith Henson interview

Question: You have proposed (on Next Big Future) using a laser powered second-stage with Skylon rocket plane to launch payloads into space. How thoroughly have you explored this concept?

I have been researching cost reduction to space for the past five years. For the first quarter of getting into space, the Skylon burns air, achieving remarkably high specific impulse. Specific impulse, alternately, exhaust velocity determine the performance of the engine, and higher is better. Till it runs out of air, Skylon's equivalent exhaust is 10.5 km/s. That's 2 and 1/3 times better than the Shuttle's engines.

Fujitsu has built the fastest supercomputer at 8.2 petaflops the K supercomputer

The K supercomputer, made by Fujitsu, at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan runs at 8.2 petaflops.

The previous fastest machine was the Chinese computer Tianhe-1A, which was clocked at 2.507 petaflops.

The rankings for the world's fastest computers are kept by a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, one Jack Dongarra.

The top 500 machines is based on how fast they run Linpack, a benchmark application developed to solve a dense system of linear equations.

Jaguar, a Cray supercomputer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at No. 3 with 1.75 petaflop/s.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Nebulae at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Shenzen (1.27 petaflop/s), Tsubame 2.0 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (1.19 petaflop/s), Cielo at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (1.11 petaflop/s), Pleiades at the NASA Ames Research Center in California (1.09 petaflop/s), Hopper at DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in California (1.054 petaflop/s), Tera 100 at the CEA (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) in France (1.05 petaflop/s), and Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (1.04 petaflop/s).

The K Supercomputer achieved an extraordinarily high computing efficiency ratio of 93.0%. This achievement is made possible by the K computer's integration of technologies, including its massive number of CPUs, the interconnectivity that links them together, and the software that is able to bring out the highest performance from the hardware.

When configuration of the K computer is complete in 2012, it is designed to achieve LINPACK performance of 10 petaflops. It will be widely used in a variety of computational science fields where it is expected to contribute to the generation of world-class research results.

June 19, 2011

A new Design For Manufacturing approach to combine machining and additive manufacturing

Arxiv - A new Design For Manufacturing approach to combine machining and additive manufacturing (18 pages)

Design For Manufacturing (DFM) approaches aim to integrate manufacturability aspects during the design stage. Most of DFM approaches usually consider only one manufacturing process, but products competitiveness may be improved by designing hybrid modular products, in which products are seen as 3-D puzzles with modules realized aside by the best manufacturing process and further gathered. A new DFM system is created in order to give quantitative information during the product design stage of which modules will benefit in being machined and which ones will advantageously be realized by an additive process (such as Selective Laser Sintering or laser deposition). A methodology for a manufacturability evaluation in case of a subtractive or an additive manufacturing process is developed and implemented in a CAD software. Tests are carried out on industrial products from automotive industry.

300House project winners

With roughly two billion people living in adverse poverty, a $25000 contest challenged the world to present concepts and designs for a house that can be built for under $300.

* Community Prize: $10,000 + 2 week prototyping workshop for place one to three
* Jury Prize: Jury picks an additional 2 participants to go on a prototyping workshop (workshop details to be determined)

The winners were announced.

300 possibilities was the winner of the jury prize

Second Jury winner was Hybrid house - DVS design was based on a hybrid structure of thermal mass and a lightweight configurable structure to react to whatever climate the slum dwellers are facing.

The three community winners were all variations earth bag buildings.


Earthbag is strong and simple. But the walls are heavy to build. And these heavy walls take a lot of care to reinforce for safety in earthquakes.

Bags and tubes can also make walls with other materials- straw and clay, or trash. Hyper-adobe is earth in a 12" diameter mesh tube. Hyper-wattle are smaller mesh tubes filled with natural materials or trash.

New approach to cancer vaccines proves successful for curing prostate cancer in mice

(a) Prostate weights of mice injected intraprostatically with PBS, VSV-GFP or ASEL, 2 or 10 d after injection (n = 3). (b–d) Histology of prostates 10 d after intraprostatic injection of PBS (b) or ASEL (c,d). Scale bars, 100 μm

University of Leeds researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, have used a library of DNA to create a vaccine that could be used to treat cancer, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

Before now, 'gene therapy' vaccines have often delivered just one gene to stimulate the immune system. It produces a protein, called an antigen, which activates the immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Nature Medicine - Broad antigenic coverage induced by vaccination with virus-based cDNA libraries cures established tumors

TVA signs letter of intent for six MPower modular reactors to be built by 2020

Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc., has signed a letter of intent with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that defines the project plans and associated conditions for designing, licensing and constructing up to six B&W mPower small modular reactors (SMRs) at TVA's Clinch River site in Roane County, Tennessee.

Generation mPower LLC (GmP), a majority-owned subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, is a company formed by affiliates of B&W and Bechtel Power Corporation to design, license and build the world's first commercially viable Generation III++ small modular nuclear power plant based on B&W mPower SMR technology.

Zero Emission High Speed Transport proposed

The Zero Emission High Speed Transport or ZEHST is a supersonic passenger airliner project by EADS.

EADS revealed the proposal at the Le Bourget air show (June 18, 2011). It is expected to fly at mach 4, 32km above the ground, and it will carry 50 to 100 people. It will combine three propulsion systems: two turbofans for take-off and up to Mach 0.8, then rocket boosters up to Mach 2.5, then two underwing ramjets would accelerate it to Mach 4.

Passengers will be able to fly between Paris and Tokyo in 2.5 hours, at least that is the picture of the future EADS paints as it unveils its idea for a hypersonic passenger aircraft.

57th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

The 57th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers is up at the ANS Nuclear Cafe

Fox news has reportedly removed a video from its website with bogus content, it has gone viral and appears in numerous places on the Internet. The video has anti-nuclear groups claims that radiation levels in the water in Philadelphia are responsible for a spike in infant mortality. These kinds of bogus news stories scare parents and the truth rarely catches up with fiction.

Munk Debate Does the 21st Century Belong to China? Kissinger versus Ferguson

Is China’s rise unstoppable? Powered by the human capital of 1.34 billion citizens, the latest technological advances, and a comparatively efficient system of state-directed capitalism, China seems poised to become the global super power in the coming century. But the Middle Kingdom also faces a series of challenges. From energy scarcity to environmental degradation to political unrest to growing global security burdens, a host of factors could derail China’s global ascent.

PRO - 21st century belongs to China

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Ferguson is the author of numerous bestsellers including The Ascent of Money. His latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, will be released in Canada in November 2011.

"For the next 10 or 20 years it is going to be very hard to derail China’s economic locomotive.”

David Daokui Li is the Director of the Center for China in the World Economy at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing

China’s economic emergence is showcasing a new model of economic growth and interaction between China and the rest of the world.”


Henry Alfred Kissinger was the 56th Secretary of State of the United States from 1973 to 1977. He is one of the world’s most influential commentators on geopolitics. Among his many accomplishments as a public servant Dr. Kissinger has been credited for normalizing relations between the United States and China at a crucial juncture in the history of both countries.

“They will have a huge demographic problem…so one shouldn’t project a straight line in which China emerges as totally dominant.”

Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program—Fareed Zakaria GPS, and the Editor-at-Large of TIME.

“China is entering a new era but seems ideologically and operationally ill prepared for it.”

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