January 14, 2012

Proposed Full Adder Cell using Molecular Electronics

A New Full Adder Cell using Molecular Electronics (13 pages)

Due to high power consumption and difficulties with minimizing the CMOS transistor size, molecular electronics has been introduced as an emerging technology. Further, there have been noticeable advances in fabrication of molecular wires and switches and also molecular diodes can be used for designing different logic circuits. Considering this novel technology, we use molecules as the active components of the circuit, for transporting electric charge. In this paper, a full adder cell based on molecular electronics is presented. This full adder is consisted of resonant tunneling diodes and transistors which are implemented via molecular electronics. The area occupied by this kind of full adder would be much times smaller than the conventional designs and it can be used as the building block of more complex molecular arithmetic circuits.

Busting Irans Nuclear Facility at Furdow

Boeing's 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), an ultra-large bunker buster for use on underground targets, with Iran routinely mentioned as its most likely intended destination, is a key element in the implicit U.S. threat to use force as a last resort against Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A/B is a U.S. Air Force massive, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (13,608 kg) "bunker buster" bomb. The Air Force now has revived delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011.

* Warhead: 5,300 pounds (2.4 metric tons) high explosive
* Penetration:

* 200 ft (61 m) of 5,000 psi (34 MPa) reinforced concrete
* 26 ft (7.9 m) of 10,000 psi (69 MPa) reinforced concrete
* 130 ft (40 m) of moderately hard rock

It is designed for delivery by B-2 Stealth bombers.

Would that weapon, delivered in a gouging combination with other precision-guided munitions, pulverize enough rock to reach down and destroy the uranium enrichment chamber sunk deep in a mountain at Fordow, Iran's best sheltered nuclear site?

Critics of Iran's nuclear program tend to agree that military action against Iran's nuclear work would be their last and worst option. Not only would this risk civilian casualties, but Iran would seek to retaliate against Western targets in the region, raising the risk of a regional war and risking global economic turmoil.

Once it had recovered it would probably decide unequivocally to pursue a nuclear bomb.

GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator

John Cochrane, a defense specialist at the London-based Exclusive Analyst risk consultancy, said he believed the bunker-busting MOP might make a difference. But he suggested Fordow was at the very limit of the bomb's capacities, which he said could reach down to a maximum of 60 meters.

"Repeated strikes by Tomahawk cruise missiles and MOP might be effective in penetrating the site, if it is not as deep as 80m but, even then, we question whether an attack would have the same level of assurance in terms of damage as strikes on other 'softer' sites," he told Reuters.

US Tells Israel not to Attack Iran and China could make up to $100 million every day there are full Sanctions on Irans oil

1. Wall Street Journal - U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.

The high-stakes planning and diplomacy comes as U.S. officials warn Tehran, including through what administration officials described Friday as direct messages to Iran's leaders, against provocative actions.

Surgical robots to provide open-source platform for medical robotics research

In a basement on the University of Washington campus perch seven identical robots. Named Raven, each has two winglike arms that end in tiny claws designed to perform surgery on a simulated patient.

Soon the robots will be flown to campuses across the country, where they will provide the first common research platform to develop the future of surgical robotics.

Mary Levin, UW Photography. Three of the seven Raven II robots. Each one has a pair of tiny hands that are controlled by a surgeon and can operate on a simulated patient.

Carbon nanotubes for computer chip cooling that is over 100 times better than traditional forced air convection cooling

Nanotechnology Journal - A complete carbon-nanotube-based on-chip cooling solution with very high heat dissipation capacity

Compared with the traditional forced air convection cooling method which can achieve 50 W cm−2 cooling capability, the CNT microfin on-chip cooling scheme has demonstrated the ability to handle a heat flux as high as 7000 W cm−2, and this can be even higher with thicker CNT microfins and higher water velocity. In contrast to previous research results using other materials as microchannel cooling fins, the structure demonstrated in this study has a power density factor which is two orders of magnitude higher (~320 cm−2 versus ~1–4 cm−2) while still dissipating much higher heat flux on the chip.

Heat dissipation is one of the factors limiting the continuous miniaturization of electronics. In the study presented in this paper, we designed an ultra-thin heat sink using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as micro cooling fins attached directly onto a chip. A metal-enhanced CNT transfer technique was utilized to improve the interface between the CNTs and the chip surface by minimizing the thermal contact resistance and promoting the mechanical strength of the microfins. In order to optimize the geometrical design of the CNT microfin structure, multi-scale modeling was performed. A molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) was carried out to investigate the interaction between water and CNTs at the nanoscale and a finite element method (FEM) modeling was executed to analyze the fluid field and temperature distribution at the macroscale. Experimental results show that water is much more efficient than air as a cooling medium due to its three orders-of-magnitude higher heat capacity. For a hotspot with a high power density of 5000 W cm−2, the CNT microfins can cool down its temperature by more than 40°C. The large heat dissipation capacity could make this cooling solution meet the thermal management requirement of the hottest electronic systems up to date.

Design and fabrication process of the interface-enhanced CNT microfin on-chip cooling system. (a) Clean Si wafer with SiO2 layer. (b) Fabrication of heating elements and temperature sensors on test chips. Temperature sensors are calibrated by standard RTD. (c) Evaporation of Ti/Au/In for CNT–substrate interface enhancement. (d) Patterning of Al2O3/Fe catalyst layer (10/1 nm thick) for CNT growth on Si substrate by standard photolithography and lift-off processes. (e) Growth of CNT microfins by TCVD using acetylene as carbon precursor. (f) Metal-enhanced CNT transfer onto the test chip surface acting as on-chip cooling microfins. Contact resistance is reduced and adhesion between CNTs and substrate is improved due to the metal enhancing layer. (g) A plastic cover is assembled onto the test chip to form microchannels. The cover is transparent so that the CNT microfins and coolant flow in the microchannels are visible. (h) CNT cooling fin integrated test chip soldered onto supporting substrate. (i) 3D structure in (h). (j), (k) Coolant flow path assembled onto the test chip using adhesive. (l) The test chip with on-chip CNT cooling fins packaged by PDMS for mechanical protection.

Carbon nanotubes for better 3D electronics could be in production by 2016

Researchers at Chalmers have demonstrated that two stacked chips can be vertically interconnected with carbon nanotube vias through the chips. This new method improves possibilities for 3D integration of circuits, one of the most promising approaches for miniaturization and performance promotion of electronics.

Three dimensional integration is a hot field within electronics since it offers a new way to package components densely and thus build tiny, well-functioning units. When stacking chips vertically, the most effective way to interconnect them is with electrical interconnects that go through the chip (instead of being wired together at the edges) – what are known as through-silicon vias.

The industry thus far has primarily used copper for this purpose; however, copper has several disadvantages that can limit the reliability of 3D electronics. Another major issue involves cooling when the chips get hot. The excellent thermal qualities of carbon nanotubes can play a decisive role in this respect.

Two chips have interconnects that are filled with thousands of carbon nanotubes. The chips are then bonded with adhesive so that the carbon nanotubes are directly contacted. A connection using two such interconnects is pictured to the right.
Image credit: Teng Wang, Kjell Jeppson, Lilei Ye, Johan Liu. Carbon-Nanotube Through-Silicon Via Interconnects for Three-Dimensional Integration. Small, 2011, Volume 7, pages 2,313–2,317. Copyright Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA

protein SAA plays a key role in chronic inflammation and lung damage in COPD will be a target for new treatments

New discovery could dramatically improve treatments and slow the progression of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) which includes the incurable condition emphysema.

COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe and is mostly caused by excessive smoking. Approximately 2.1 million Australians have some form of COPD. By 2050, this figure is expected to more than double to 4.5 million.

The international team identified that the protein SAA plays a key role in chronic inflammation and lung damage in COPD and also inhibits the natural effort of the lung to repair itself after smoking has stopped.

According to the latest WHO estimates (2004), currently 64 million people have COPD and 3 million people died of COPD. WHO predicts that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

Scientists Learn how Stem cell implants help heal traumatic brain injury

Eurekalert - For years, researchers seeking new therapies for traumatic brain injury have been tantalized by the results of animal experiments with stem cells. In numerous studies, stem cell implantation has substantially improved brain function in experimental animals with brain trauma. But just how these improvements occur has remained a mystery.

Now, an important part of this puzzle has been pieced together by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In experiments with both laboratory rats and an apparatus that enabled them to simulate the impact of trauma on human neurons, they identified key molecular mechanisms by which implanted human neural stem cells — stem cells that are in the process of developing into neurons but have not yet taken their final form — aid recovery from traumatic axonal injury.

January 13, 2012

Taiwan Election has been won by KMT, it is a second term for KMT Ma

KMT Ma has won a second term

KMT Ma 51 percent
DPP Tsai 46 percent
PFP Soong 2.8 percent

the victory means a continuation of close ties with China and Taiwan.
The results for the third party were lower than pre election polls. The closeness of the election likely drew away voters.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou maintained a lead over rival Tsai Ing-wen in the last opinion polls permitted before presidential and legislative elections.

Last pre-election Poll from Dec 28-Jan 2
KMT Ma 44 percent
DPP Tsai 36 percent
PFP Soong 7 percent

Publishing opinion poll results is banned during the 10 days leading up to an election, according to the Central Election Commission. Exit poll results can’t be published until voting stations close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 14.

Other polls showed a tighter race and that turnout would be the key. Higher turnout is to KMT Ma's advantage Today's weather has been good which will help turnout.

More than 200,000 businessmen have returned from China to vote in the close election. The businessmen would be pro-KMT. The KMT is encouraging stronger ties to China which is a boost for business and the economy.

10:00 PM PST Jan 13 is 2:00 PM Jan 14 Taiwan time

Nvidia Details Projections and plans for Echelon Exascale Supercomputer for 2018

46 page presentation by Nvidia's head of architecture Keckler

Nvidia estimates to be able to run processors at a mild 2.5GHz frequency on a 10nm high-performance node, or 2GHz in the low-power version, and is aiming at 4x power savings over current 40nm designs.

Nvidia’s preferred foundry partner’s TSMC has previously announced that 10nm would be possible in the 2017/2018 time frame.

They describe what is needed to get to 2 petaflops per cabinet and using 38 kilowatts. They outline 500 cabinets deliver an exaflop and using 19 megawatts.

Superconducting Fault Current Limiter installed in Europe

Nexans, a worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, has successfully commissioned the world's first resistive superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) based on second-generation superconductor tapes. The SFCL, equipped with superconducting elements developed in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has been installed on behalf of Vattenfall Europe Generation AG to provide short-circuit protection for the internal medium voltage power supply that feeds coal mills and crushers in the Boxberg lignite power plant in Saxony, Germany.

Particle-free silver ink prints small, high-performance electronics

University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new reactive silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.

Electronics printed on low-cost, flexible materials hold promise for antennas, batteries, sensors, solar energy, wearable devices and more. Most conductive inks rely on tiny metal particles suspended in the ink. The new ink is a transparent solution of silver acetate and ammonia. The silver remains dissolved in the solution until it is printed, and the liquid evaporates, yielding conductive features.

“It dries and reacts quickly, which allows us to immediately deposit silver as we print,” Walker said.

flexible silver electrode. Photo by S. Brett Walker. Reactive silver ink is airbrushed onto a thin, stretchy plastic film to make a flexible silver electrode.

Journal of the American Chemical Society - Reactive Silver Inks for Patterning High-Conductivity Features at Mild Temperatures

Breakthrough in Early Cancer Detection with cheek swab for detecting lung cancer

NSF - A simple cheek swab could show early signs of lung cancer
Cape Cod-TV correspondent Melissa Chartrand went into the hospital three years ago to undergo a hysterectomy, a common procedure that was supposed to eliminate her abdominal pains. But for Melissa, a far more serious pain was just beginning.

"I went in for a hysterectomy and when I woke up, they told me I had ovarian cancer. Let's just say I was in total shock," recalls Chartrand. Her shock was followed by five months of intense chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer that put her life on hold. The five-year survival rate for her stage III diagnosis was roughly one in three. Chartrand, a mother of three, was in for the fight of her life.

NASA has video confirming their belief in LENR and their research and Rossi claims to ahve started producing small Energy Catalyzers at $100-150 per kilowatt

1. NASA has a video from Joseph Zawodney and researchers at Langley which fully endorses Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) and indicates that the processes are real and energy generating. It is entitled "Method for Enhancement of Surface Plasmon Polaritons to Initiate and Sustain LENR.

Nyteknik coverage

Dr. Joseph Zawodny, Senior Research Scientist at NASA, states that the new type of nuclear reactions ‘has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste’.

NASA explains in the video that ‘this form of energy is also powerful, able to support everything from transportation systems to infrastructure’.

January 12, 2012

Graphene quantum dots made in bulk from carbon fiber

A Rice University laboratory has found a way to turn common carbon fiber into graphene quantum dots, tiny specks of matter with properties expected to prove useful in electronic, optical and biomedical applications.

The Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, in collaboration with colleagues in China, India, Japan and the Texas Medical Center, discovered a one-step chemical process that is markedly simpler than established techniques for making graphene quantum dots.

Nanoletters - Graphene Quantum Dots Derived from Carbon Fibers

IBMs new experimental atomic-scale magnet memory is at least 100 times denser than conventional memory

Scientists from IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) have successfully demonstrated the ability to store information in as few as 12 magnetic atoms. This is significantly less than today’s disk drives, which use about one million atoms to store a single bit of information. The ability to manipulate matter by its most basic components – atom by atom – could lead to the vital understanding necessary to build smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices.

While silicon transistor technology has become cheaper, denser and more efficient, fundamental physical limitations suggest this path of conventional scaling is unsustainable. Alternative approaches are needed to continue the rapid pace of computing innovation.

By taking a novel approach and beginning at the smallest unit of data storage, the atom, scientists demonstrated magnetic storage that is at least 100 times denser than today’s hard disk drives and solid state memory chips. Future applications of nanostructures built one atom at a time, and that apply an unconventional form of magnetism called antiferromagnetism, could allow people and businesses to store 100 times more information in the same space.
Writing and reading a magnetic byte: this image shows a magnetic byte imaged 5 times in different magnetic states to store the ASCII code for each letter of the word THINK, a corporate mantra used by IBM since 1914. The team achieved this using 96 iron atoms − one bit was stored by 12 atoms and there are eight bits in each byte

Science - Bistability in Atomic-Scale Antiferromagnets

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory team achieves breakthrough detecting nuclear materials

A team of LLNL researchers has developed the first plastic material capable of efficiently distinguishing neutrons from gamma rays, something not thought possible for the past five decades or so.

As a result, the new technology could assist in detecting nuclear substances such as plutonium and uranium that might be used in improvised nuclear devices by terrorists and could help in detecting neutrons in major scientific projects.

With the material's low cost, huge plastic sheets could be formed easily into dramatically larger surface areas than other neutron detectors currently used and could aid in the protection of ports, stadiums and other large facilities.

Natalia Zaitseva, an LLNL materials scientist, leads a team of Livermore researchers that has developed the first plastic material capable of efficiently distinguishing neutrons from gamma rays, something not thought possible for the past five decades or so. Photo by Jacqueline McBride

China cleared to buy worlds fourth largest uranium deposit and China will speed up revision of nuclear power development

1. Namibia's competition commission said on Wednesday it had cleared a Chinese nuclear company to take over an Australian mining firm with rights to the world's fourth-largest uranium deposit.

The go-ahead would allow Taurus Mineral, a subsidiary of state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC), to buy a controlling share in Australia-based Extract Resources, which holds exploration licenses for the massive Husab uranium deposit in west-central Namibia.

2. China Daily - China Huaneng Group said on Wednesday that it will strive to get its proposed Shidaowan nuclear plant included on the national planning list this year as it continues site selection for other new nuclear facilities.

Engine Friction can be overcome for 18% fuel efficiency gains in 5-10 years and up to 61% in 15-25 years

No less than one third of a car’s fuel consumption is spent in overcoming friction, and this friction loss has a direct impact on both fuel consumption and emissions. However, new technology can reduce friction by anything from 10% to 80% in various components of a car, according to a joint study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in USA. It should thus be possible to reduce car’s fuel consumption and emissions by 18% within the next 5 to 10 years and up to 61% within 15 to 25 years.

Reductions in frictional losses will lead to a threefold improvement in fuel economy as it will reduce both the exhaust and cooling losses also at the same ratio.

There are 612 million cars in the world today. The average car clocks up about 13,000 km per year, and in the meantime burns 340 litres of fuel just to overcome friction, costing the driver EUR 510 per year.

Of the energy output of fuel in a car engine, 33% is spent in exhaust, 29% in cooling and 38% in mechanical energy, of which friction losses account for 33% and air resistance for 5%. By comparison, an electric car has only half the friction loss of that of a car with a conventional internal combustion engine.

Annual friction loss in an average car worldwide amounts to 11,860 MJ: of this, 35% is spent in overcoming rolling resistance in the wheels, 35% in the engine itself, 15% in the gearbox and 15% in braking. With current technology, only 21.5% of the energy output of the fuel is used to actually move the car; the rest is wasted.

Tribology Internation journal - Global energy consumption due to friction in passenger cars

Stephen Colbert Polls Higher Than John Huntsman in South Carolina and Considers running in Primary

Ny Daily - Stephen Colbert, a South Carolina native, pulled in 5% in a recent Public Policy Polling survey of the Palmetto State.

While that was well behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — who were at 27% and 23%, respectively — he placed a point ahead of Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, who finished third this week in New Hampshire.

On Wednesday, Colbert asked his audience if he should throw his hat into the ring.

“Nation: What do you think? Should I run for President in South Carolina?” Colbert asked to wild cheering.

“But that's a really big decision. First, I need to pray on it,” said the Comedy Central star, who then paused for less then a second.

“Okay, God's good with it. But obviously, I still have to go home, sit down and talk it over with my money.”

“How can I ever compete with an established candidate like Jon Huntsman?” Colbert zinged. 'Wait, wait, wait, that's crazy! These guys have been running for a year now.”

Video from Comedy Central

Improved Spacex Merlin Engines Enable Vastly Superior Falcon Heavy and Even better future systems

Nasaspaceflight talks about Spacex starting up their reusable Faclon 9 rocket development program this year and the advances in the Merlin 1D engine that could fly this year.

Upcoming upgrades to the engine (Merlin 1D) will provide a vast improvement in performance, reliability and manufacturability – all of which could provide a timely boost to aiding the potential for success for the fully reusable Falcon 9.

Increased reliability: Simplified design by eliminating components and sub-assemblies. Increased fatigue life. Increased chamber and nozzle thermal margins,” noted SpaceX in listing the improvements in work.

Improved Performance: Thrust increased from 95,000 lbf (sea level) to 140,000 lbf (sea level). Added throttle capability for range from 70-100 percent. Currently, it is necessary to shut off two engines during ascent. The Merlin 1D will make it possible to throttle all engines. Structure was removed from the engine to make it lighter.

Improved Manufacturability: Simplified design to use lower cost manufacturing techniques. Reduced touch labor and parts count. Increased in-house production at SpaceX.

Spaces will begin testing a vertical propulsion landing system later this year. This is the research and development effort designed to help us learn more about propulsive landing systems to advance plans for producing reusable rockets.

This is a long-term project. SpaceX must successfully complete extensive testing before we will see reusable vehicles.

Even for an expendable launch vehicle, where you don’t attempt any recovery, you only get maybe two to three percent of your lift-off weight to orbit. That’s not a lot of room for error.

OK, now let’s make it reusable. You have to strengthen the stages, add a lot of weight, a lot of thermal protection – a lot of things that add weight to that vehicle – and still have a useful payload to orbit. You’ve got to add all that’s necessary to bring the stages back to the launch pad to be able to re-fly them and still have useful payload to orbit.
test firing a Merlin 1D

This is why the record high thrust to weight ratio of the Merlin D (160 thrust to 1 weight) is critical. By getting lift off weight to orbit up to 3.77 percent (117,000 pounds to LEO versus 3.1 million pounds of liftoff weight) then there is 50,000 pounds that could be used for reusability (thermal protection, strengthened stages, return fuel) while leaving 67,000 pounds for payload to orbit.

There are more improvements planned for the Merlin engines and better engines would mean better one time rockets and more capacity for any potential reusable rocket.

Lead Battery Capacitor Hybrid could enable widespread microhybrid cars for 4-10% efficiency boost

CNET - Axion Power International has a developed an advanced lead-acid battery it hopes will attract automakers and grid storage providers. The basic chemistry and components are the same, but the company has an activated carbon negative electrode, a change that leads to better performance over time.

The company is targeting start-stop hybrids in particular. Also called microhybrids, start-stop systems feature a small battery to run a car's electronics when idle and to aid in accelerating.

Unlike an all-electric car, the fuel efficiency savings from start-stop technology are incremental. Ford, for example, estimates an efficiency gain between 4 and 10 percent for its system.

One of the advantages of Axion Power's approach is that its technology can be fitted into existing manufacturing lines.

Axion Power - The PbC® battery is a hybrid device that uses the standard lead acid battery positive electrode and a supercapacitor negative electrode that is made of activated carbon. The specific type of activated carbon we use has an extremely high surface area (1500 m2/g) and has been specifically formulated by Axion for use in electrochemical applications.

China considers a small carbon tax of 10 yuan ($1.55) per ton of CO2

The Australian - China is planning a carbon tax on big energy consumers by 2015 in a development that has been seized on by the Gillard government as further evidence the rest of the world is acting to cut global greenhouse emissions.

But the mooted starting carbon price of $1.55 (10 yuan) from the world's biggest carbon-emitting economy has reignited business concern that Australia's $23-a-tonne starting price from July 1 is too high and will damage business competitiveness.

The proposals for a new environmental taxation system had already been submitted for review to the Ministry of Finance and were expected to be implemented before the end of the 2011-15 five-year plan.

The possible China carbon tax would be tiny but the US and many other countries have no carbon tax and are not talking about one.

January 11, 2012

Discovery Could Lead to an Exercise Pill

MIT Techology Review - A newly identified hormone acts like a workout, and transforms bad fat into good.

Researchers have discovered a natural hormone that acts like exercise on muscle tissue—burning calories, improving insulin processing, and perhaps boosting strength. The scientists hope it could eventually be used as a treatment for obesity, diabetes, and, potentially, neuromuscular diseases like muscular dystrophy

Nature - A PGC1-α-dependent myokine that drives brown-fat-like development of white fat and thermogenesis

Death rate down in latest US statistics and murders no longer in top 15 causes of death

US National Vital Statistics Reports for 2010 from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (69 pages)

* The age-adjusted death rate decreased from 749.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009 to 746.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010.

* From 2009 to 2010, age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly for 7 of the 15 leading causes of death: Diseases of heart, Malignant neoplasms, Chronic lower respiratory diseases, Cerebrovascular diseases, Accidents (unintentional injuries), Influenza and pneumonia, and Septicemia.

* Assault (homicide) fell from among the top 15 leading causes of death in 2010, replaced by Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids as the 15th leading cause of death.

* The age-adjusted death rate increased for 5 leading causes of death: Alzheimer’s disease, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, Parkinson's disease, and Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids.

* Life expectancy increased by 0.1 year from 78.6 in 2009 to 78.7 in 2010.

China's new super rice increases yield by 15% over 2004 and will help feed China and the World

Yuan Longping, China's leading agricultural scientist, realized one of his 80th birthday wishes recently when his super grain brought yields of 13.9 tons of rice a hectare, setting a new world record for rice output.

The rice breed, DH2525 (Y two superior No 2), produced a harvest of 13.9 tons a hectare during its trial planting in Longhui county in Hunan province.

China plants about 29 million hectares of rice every year, with an average output of 6.3 tons a hectare, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

By 2010, super hybrid rice accounted for nearly 25 percent of the total acreage.

Academician Professor Yuan Longping, previously featured in this magazine for his innovation in introducing system of rice intensification to China said that the target of super-rice in this third phase had been achieved by better variety, better method, excellent paddies that provided many advantage of climate and ecology, and good management.

Does the present breakthrough translate into a yield of 13.5 tons per hectare at commercial scale? Yuan did not think so, but 80% at more than 10.5 tons per hectare is realizable according to past experience.

The highest rice yield in the world is in Australia, on average about 9.9 tons per hectare (660 kg/mu), followed by 6.7 tons per hectare (445 kg/mu) in Japan. The yields of China’s super-rice have now reached 550 and 600 kg/ mu, respectively, at large scale, as the result of the first two phases of development.

About one out of every ten stars has an earth size planet in the habitable zone per a gravitational microlensing survey

Approximately one out of every ten stars have a planet roughly the size of the Earth with an orbit that, if there was water and atmosphere, would create a temperature and climate roughly that same as on Earth – we could live there

University of Copenhagen - Six years of observations of millions of stars now show how common it is for stars to have planets in orbits around them. Using the gravitational microlensing method that is highly sensitive to planets that lie in a habitable zone around the host stars, astronomers, including members from the Niels Bohr Institute, have discovered that most of the Milky Way’s 100 billion stars have planets that are very similar to the Earth like planets in our own solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, while planets like Jupiter and Saturn are more rare. The results are published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.

“Our results show that planets orbiting around stars are more the rule than the exception. In a typical solar system approximately four planets have their orbits in the terrestrial zone, which is the distance from the star where you can find solid planets. On average, there are 1.6 planets in the area around the stars that corresponds to the area between Venus and Saturn” explains astronomer Uffe Gråe Jørgensen, head of the research group Astrophysics and Planetary Science at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Gravitational microlensing method requires that you have two stars that lie on a straight line in relation to us here on Earth. Then the light from the background star is amplified by the gravity of the foreground star, which thus acts as a magnifying glass. When astronomers observe the light from the background star there might be a little extra bump on the light curve if there is a planet around the foreground star.

Nature - One or more bound planets per Milky Way star from microlensing observations

Xbox Kinect and Sesame Street creating Interactive TV

Gamesradar - During its keynote at CES 2012, Microsoft unveiled yet another tool to thwart children's attempts to go outside or read a book. It's called Kinect Sesame Street TV, and it looks to bring the imaginative, classic world of Sesame Street to an interactive medium unlike the world has ever seen.

During a demonstration, a prop child was asked by Grover to throw coconuts at the screen. The Kinect sensor picked up her movements, and showed the coconuts landing in Grover's box. If she didn't oblige (out of either malice or ignorance) she was supported by Cookie Monster, who rushed Grover and slam dunked the coconuts himself.

In the second demo, Elmo's world was brought into the real world with rainbows and sparkles. As the actors flailed, their world was transformed in a way that is sure to blow the minds of anyone under ten years old.

Progress to robotic cars - 40% of compact cars will have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems which will reduce accidents

Frost and Sullivan - Providing sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like driver monitoring system, lane departure warning, intelligent headlamp control and traffic sign recognition to compact cars such as the Ford Focus or Citroen C4 has helped to bring down driver assistance systems from high-end cars to mass-volume compact cars.

According to Frost & Sullivan, technological developments such as the integration of radar and camera as well as sensor fusion between multiple applications are enabling a price reduction which may well lead to a 40 per cent penetration of ADAS in compact cars by 2018.

According to the Accident Research of the German Association of Insurers (GDV), lane departure warning alone can prevent up to 15 per cent of road fatalities. Similarly, intersection assist can prevent up to 35 per cent of accidents in Germany.

"ADAS is surely set to be more popular over the next decade as it will help achieve the European Union's Transport Policy 2011–2020 which aims to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent," says Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Manish Garg.

Stanford has classes on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Nanodiamond follow up

Drexel University has a press release about the Nature Nanotechnology article about Nanodiamonds. We covered the original paper about the properties and applications of nanodiamonds

Nanodiamonds, diamond-structured particles measuring less than 10 nanometers in diameter, which are the resultant residue from a TNT or Hexogen explosion in a contained space, are now being studied in a variety of science, technology and health applications.

“We examine the importance of nanodiamond in biomedical, optical, composites, lubricants and other applications,” Gogosti said. “The success of nanodiamond materials in biomedical applications stems from the fact that many small molecules such as proteins, antibodies, therapeutics and nucleic acids can bind to the surface of nanodiamonds, making it an ideal candidate for use in drug-delivery and surgical implants.”

Structure of a single nanodiamond particle

Shadow War - Explosion kills Iranian nuclear scientist could be Mossad

FARS News - Israeli sources confirmed that the terrorist attack which killed a senior Iranian scientist in Tehran on Wednesday was a joint operation carried out by the agents of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

The magnetic bomb which was planted by an unknown motorcyclist under the car of Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, a professor at Tehran's technical university, also wounded two other Iranian nationals in Seyed Khandan neighborhood in Northern Tehran.

"Instead of actually fighting a conventional war, Western powers and their allies appear to be relying on covert war tactics to try to delay and degrade Iran's nuclear advancement," said Theodore Karasik, a security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born analyst based in Israel, said Iran's leadership is being pushed toward a decision on whether to "retaliate or compromise" as sanctions squeeze the economy and undercut the value of the Iranian rial.

"From the international consensus that we can see against Iran, even if (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) does retaliate, it's not very likely that the pressure — sanctions and isolation — would ease," he said. "He's in a tight spot."

In December, 2011, we covered the explosions at Iranian nuclear and military facilities

I look forward to the movies inspired by these events.

Past movies related to Mossad and the response to Munich

Sword of Gideon

Dwave systems publishes a paper showing 84 qubit calculation

Arxiv - Experimental determination of Ramsey numbers with quantum annealing (16 pages)

In an interview that I had with CTO Geordie Rose, he mentioned that published papers lag the actual work by about 2 years. Currently, Dwave Systems is working on their prototype 512 qubit chips which will be commercially available later in 2012.

Ramsey theory is a highly active research area in mathematics that studies the emergence of order in large disordered structures. It has found applications in mathematics, theoretical computer science, information theory, and classical error correcting codes. Ramsey numbers mark the threshold at which order first appears and are notoriously difficult to calculate due to their explosive rate of growth. Recently, a quantum algorithm has been proposed that calculates the two-color Ramsey numbers R(m, n). Here we present results of an experimental implementation of this algorithm based on quantum annealing and show that it correctly determines the Ramsey numbers R(3, 3) and R(m, 2) for 4 less than or equal to m less than or equal to 8. The R(8, 2) computation used 84 qubits of which 28 were computational qubits. This computation is the largest experimental implementation of a scientifically meaningful quantum algorithm that has been done to date.

a) Layout of qubits and couplers. The chip architecture is a 4 × 4 array of unit cells, with each unit cell containing 8 qubits. Within a unit cell, each of the 4 qubits in the left-hand partition (LHP) connects to all 4 qubits in the right-hand partition (RHP), and vice versa. A qubit in the LHP (RHP) also connects to the corresponding qubit in the LHP (RHP) of the units cells above and below (to the left and right of) it. Qubits are labeled from 1 to 128, and edges between qubits represent couplers with programmable coupling strengths. Grey qubits indicate usable qubits, while white qubits indicate qubits that could not be calibrated to operating tolerances and were not used. All experiments were done on a chip with 106 usable qubits. (b) R(8, 2) embedding for qubit connectivity. Embedding used to compute R(8, 2) that produced the needed qubit couplings. In low energy states like-colored qubits have the same Bloch vector and constitute a single effective qubit. This allows an indirect coupling of qubits that are not directly coupled in hardware.

Carnival of Space 231

Weirdwarp has Carnival of Space 231

Weirdwarp has Does God exist? That is a question that has been pondered over for 1000s of years since humanity could first think about his existence. Religions claim to know the answer and scientists take an objective view that is always changing as evidence appears. Most religions have to look at their beliefs differently or disregard science completely to justify their beliefs as science comes up with theories such as evolution and can say with some certainty when the universe came into existence.

January 10, 2012

Does War Bring Prosperity Or Is It A Disaster To Be Avoided--And How Does Technical Progress really happen

Guest Post By Joseph Friedlander

Acknowledgement: Dr. Bruce Cordell’s 21stcenturywaves.com for extensive quotes---this is a summary of many threads of his put in one place for reader convenience and to facilitate the discussion of ideas. This serves as a

One line summary: War does not lead to prosperity and only marginally to new tech-- a debunking—the tech advances gained by war can be obtained in peace by careful incubating of tech seeds and the adroit management and exploitation of those tech seeds that do sprout--yet usually the opposite policies, ruinous in economic effect, are the default setting of many powerful bureaucractic forces.
War during Maslow Window is a particular disaster.

Life Technologies Benchtop Ion Proton Sequencer will sequence human genomes in one day for less than $1000 by yearend and Illumina will have a competing sub-$1000 per human genome sequencer by yearend

1. Life Technologies introduces the Benchtop Ion Proton™ Sequencer. It is designed to sequence a Human Genome in one day for $1,000.

The Ion Proton™ Sequencer, priced at $149,000, is based on the next generation of semiconductor sequencing technology that has made its predecessor, the Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™), the fastest-selling sequencer in the world.

Up to now, it has taken weeks or months to sequence a human genome at a cost of $5,000 to $10,000 using optical-based sequencing technologies. The slow pace and the high instrument cost of $500,000 to $750,000 have limited human genome sequencing to relatively few research labs.

Baylor College of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and The Broad Institute, have each signed up for multiple Ion Proton™ Sequencers and will be the first customers to adopt this transformative technology.

Innovative Interstellar Explorer updates from Ralph McNutt

Centauri Dreams provides an update on the Innovative Interstellar Explorer (IIE)

IIE is a 200 AU mission that is still really difficult. Hence, many of us believe that (1) the next step past Voyager needs to be taken and that scientific case can be made, (2) speed is important, and (3) one has to be realistic about what can – and cannot – be accomplished with that next step. A large launch vehicle, upper stage, Jupiter gravity assist, and REP continues – at least to me – to look like the current best bet, but I am always open to practical suggestions. To get to the “interesting” region of the sky as seen by Cassini MIMI and IBEX instruments in the last couple of years, the next window for a Jupiter gravity assist opens in ~2024 – and that could be done.

Ralph answers questions from the first article

NEC Demonstrates First Terabit/s Superchannel Transmission over 10,000km

EC Corporation (NEC) has announced the successful experimental demonstration of 1.15-Tb/s ultra-long haul optical transmission over 10,000 kilometers using optical superchannel technology. This is the first instance that a terabit/s channel generated from a single laser source has been transmitted over such a distance. Four superchannels were transmitted together by wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to achieve a total capacity of 4 Tb/s and a spectral efficiency of 3.6 b/s/Hz. The results clearly demonstrate that practical high-capacity transmission for transoceanic communication can be achieved using cost-effective superchannel technology.

New Hampshire Republican Primary Mitt Romney first, Ron Paul second and Huntsman third

With 95% of precincts reporting, it appears that Ron Paul is a solid second behind Mitt Romney

Romney     40%        7 Delegates 
Paul       23%        3 Delegates
Huntsman   17%        2 Delegates    
Gingrich   10%        
Santorum    9%        
Perry       1%

Under new Republican Party rules, all states that hold their contests before April must award their delegates proportionally rather than by winner-take-all. There are 12 delegates in New Hampshire, so Ron Paul will get 3 delegates. Romney will get 5.

A big win by Ron Paul in a caucus state would net him more delegates than a narrow victory in a big (and expensive) state such as Florida. As long as Paul is able to stay competitive in the big states, the thinking goes, his wins in caucus states could help him catch up to Romney.

some big questions after this primary -

Will the anti-Romney vote settle on Ron Paul ?
Or after South Carolina and Florida will the anti-Romney be Gingrich ?
Will Romney sweep through the rest ?

Santorum appears to not have momentum in the polling for upcoming states and has a weak organization.

Gingrich and Santorum will have a test in South Carolina, where each is trying to get a second place.

Gingrich is far stronger in Florida polling.

Perry and Huntsman still look like they are not getting anywhere. Huntsman has a little bit of life with a third place here. Huntsman is moving his numbers slightly in South Carolina.

On the Democratic side there was about a 15% write in vote which was likely for Hillary Clinton.

Interaction of Expected Technological Improvements

Technologies that I expect to see having a lot of progress in the 2012-2016 timeframe should see each of the technologies enabling more improvement in the other technologies in the 2014-2019 timeframes. The exact timeframes would depend upon how fast leaders in one technological area are able to incorporate advances from other areas.

the whole list of 2012-2016 Technologies

1. Energy Revolution - Mass produced fission, fusion, and maybe cold fusion
2. Memristors and other significant computing and electronic improvements.
3. Robotics
4. Urbanization Broad Group skyscrapers, Tata flat packed buildings
5. Space
6. Supersmartphones, exoskeletons and wearable systems
7. Hyperbroadband
8. Energy Efficiency - superconductors, thermoelectrics, improved grid
9. Additive manufacturing
10. Not so mundane - neuromorphic chips, quantum computers, photonics
11. Automated transportation (leading to robotic cars and planes)
12. Supermaterials
13. Improve medicine and public health
14. Synthetic biology and recombineering
15. Sensors everywhere
16. Education transformed and accelerated innovation

I would be looking at
4. Urbanization Broad Group skyscrapers
3. Robotics - new wave of factory automation being led by Foxconn
8. Improved engines (for machines like the crane for lifting parts). Superconductors and general engine improvements could boost the power and speed of the cranes used by Broad Group to build their skyscrapers
15. Sensors everywhere - could be used to get more tracking of workflow and to monitor the structural health of the skyscrapers that are built
12. Supermaterials could be used to improve the buildings. This will likely take longer to produce enough supermaterials to matter for skyscraper construction. the supermaterials would have to be improved concrete and steel.
9. Additive manufacturing could start having an impact for some parts of the factory mass produced skyscrapers.

Broad Group has built 15, 30 and even 50 story buildings at a speed of two stories per day. They have built a 6 story building in one day and believe they can build an 8 story building in one day. They believe the high rises can be built at 4 stories per day. A projected 200 story building is planned for 4 months of factory manufacturing followed by 60 days of onsite assembly.

The adoption of Foxconn robotic manufacturing in Broad Group factories and simply scaling to more and larger factories could cut down the factory construction time by 2 to 10 times. Continuing ongoing improvement of onsite assembly and robotic systems and faster and more powerful cranes could speed the onsite assembly.

Besides Broad Group looking like they could achieve something close to their goal of capturing (with their partners) 30% of the world commercial construction market is that competitors will have to aggressively adopt Broad Groups methods and compete with them. The entire construction industry should be transformed before 2020 either by Broad Group or their surviving competitors.

Ten million dollar Qualcomm Medical Tricorder Xprize has been officially launched

A few days ago, Nextbigfuture has reviewed the Life sciences related Xprizes that were under development of consideration.

The $10 million Qualcomm Medical Tricorder xprize was officially launched at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.

Introducing the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE.

Imagine a portable, wireless device in the palm of your hand that monitors and diagnoses your health conditions. That’s the technology envisioned by this competition, and it will allow unprecedented access to personal health metrics. The end result: Radical innovation in healthcare that will give individuals far greater choices in when, where, and how they receive care.

Quick-Cooking Nanomaterials in a $40 Microwave Oven To Make Tomorrow’s Solid-State Air Conditioners and Refrigerators

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method for creating advanced nanomaterials that could lead to highly efficient refrigerators and cooling systems requiring no refrigerants and no moving parts. The key ingredients for this innovation are a dash of nanoscale sulfur and a normal, everyday microwave oven.

Nature Materials - A new class of doped nanobulk high-figure-of-merit thermoelectrics by scalable bottom-up assembly

Obtaining thermoelectric materials with high figure of merit ZT is an exacting challenge because it requires the independent control of electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and Seebeck coefficient, which are often unfavourably coupled. Recent works have devised strategies based on nanostructuring and alloying to address this challenge in thin films, and to obtain bulk p-type alloys with ZT over 1. Here, we demonstrate a new class of both p- and n-type bulk nanomaterials with room-temperature ZT as high as 1.1 using a combination of sub-atomic-per-cent doping and nanostructuring. Our nanomaterials were fabricated by bottom-up assembly of sulphur-doped pnictogen chalcogenide nanoplates sculpted by a scalable microwave-stimulated wet-chemical method. Bulk nanomaterials from single-component assemblies or nanoplate mixtures of different materials exhibit 25–250% higher ZT than their non-nanostructured bulk counterparts and state-of-the-art alloys. Adapting our synthesis and assembly approach should enable nanobulk thermoelectrics with further increases in ZT for transforming thermoelectric refrigeration and power harvesting technologies.

Getting large quantitities of material with figure of merit at 2 will open up large new markets for thermoelectrics. At a figure of merit of 3 the new material would capture large parts of the refrigeration and air conditioner markets and small engine markets (lawn mowers, hand tools etc...). At a figure of merit of 4 or better there would be many areas where thermoelectrics could compete against gas engines.

New Scientist Attempts to Serve up Revised Limits to Growth

New Scientists has an article about revisiting the prophecies of Boom and Doom from the book Limits to Growth

Limits to Growth used the MIT World3 computer model to predict that boom would be followed by bust: a sharp decline in industrial output, food production and population. In other words, the collapse of global civilisation.

World3 was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The team took what was known about the global population, industry and resources from 1900 to 1972 and used it to develop a set of equations describing how these parameters affected each other. Based on various adjustable assumptions, such as the amount of non-renewable resources, the model projected what would happen over the next century.

Ugo Bardi has a book The Limits to Growth Revisited.

Nextbigfuture has refuted Ugo Bardi's claim that uranium cannot be extracted from Seawater for net energy gain.

Ugo looks at the Strait of Gibraltar which carries an ocean current of about 1 Sverdrup.

Japan has proposed various scaling up plans for uranium from seawater They look at the Black Current (42 Sverdrup, 42 times stronger than the current Ugo looked at) in the ocean off of Japan and how much materials it is moving.

Ugo considers a process where membranes for uranium extraction are carried at sea, submerged for a while, raised, brought back to land for processing, and then the cycle is repeated.

Japan is looking at offshore processing, which would save the fuel costs of bringing the absorbent from the ocean to a land based facility.

Japan has lab scale work for extraction of uranium from seawater that is about twice the current cost of traditionally mined uranium using cotton dipped in juice with a lot of tannins.

Ugo also bases his calculations on once through reactors. Switching to advanced breeder reactors or extensive reprocessing can increase the efficiency of uranium usage by 60 times.

Bottom Line - Ugo is over 100 times too pessimistic in the near term and over 10,000 times too pessimistic in the longer term on uranium from seawater.

The Limits to Growth Revisited claims are :

1. Limits to Growth did not predict that the collapse would happen at 2000 or before.
2. Limits to Growth included technological fix scenarios

They did not and do not have a full set of the technological fixes that are happening today.

They do not consider how large the buffers are against collapse. World War 2 level rationing can be used to reduce energy and food requirements by over 90%.

North Dakota produces a record 509,754 barrels of oil per day in November 2011

North Dakota had another oil production record for November, 2011 with 509,754 barrels of oil per day which was 22,000 barrels of oil per day more than the previous month. It was almost 170,000 barrels of oil per day more than the beginning of the 2011. If December had a comparable increase then North Dakota will have increased oil production by about 50%.

Architect comments on Broad Group Accelerated Construction Technique

Treehugger - Lloyd Alter, architect, gives positive comments while reviewing China's Broad Group accelerated construction methods.

[Building the thirty story building in 15 days] completely changes the way buildings are constructed and, I believe, is about to change the entire industry.

* Even the floor tiles are put on in the factory.

* All of the other components they need for that particular slab, the walls, the interior finishes, are lifted together with the slab, so there is no separate shipping of drywall or studs, everything you need is right there. What a difference this would make in work flow on a construction site.

Nanoscale biological coating halts bleeding nearly instantaneously could prevent battlefield deaths

MIT engineers have developed a nanoscale biological coating that can halt bleeding nearly instantaneously, an advance that could dramatically improve survival rates for soldiers injured in battle.

The researchers, led by Paula Hammond and funded by MIT’s Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies and a Denmark-based company, Ferrosan Medical Devices A/S, created a spray coating that includes thrombin, a clotting agent found in blood. Sponges coated with this material can be stored stably and easily carried by soldiers or medical personnel. The sponges could also prove valuable in civilian hospitals, says Hammond, the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering.

MIT researchers have developed a coating of thrombin, shown here, and tannic acid. After being sprayed onto a surface, the material can halt bleeding within seconds
Image: Wikimedia/Nevit Dilmen

Advanced Materials - Hemostatic Multilayer Coatings
Spray layer-by-layer assembly is used to create hemostatic films containing thrombin and tannic acid. The spray assembly technique enables coating of porous and absorbent commercial gelatin sponges with these films. Coated sponges are able to promote instantaneous hemostasis in a porcine spleen bleeding model.

CES highlights - Intel making ultrabooks with Touch, Gesture and Voice Control

Technology Review - Touch, voice control, and even gesture control—the latter popularized by Microsoft's Kinect gaming controller—will be coming to lightweight laptops dubbed "ultrabooks," said Mooly Eden, Intel's vice president for sales and marketing, at Intel's press conference this morning.

Touch, voice recognition, and novel hybrid tablet-laptop designs have all been developed and will be licensed to partners such as Asus, Acer, and HP, which make ultrabooks. Eden also showed a brief demonstration of an ultrabook able to recognize hand and arm gestures made in front of its screen, using software developed by Intel. A simple game involved using a slingshot, operated by extending an arm into the space in front of the ultrabook, making a grasping motion in thin air, then pulling back and releasing to fire the catapult. "We believe that we'll see gestures even with our ultrabook," said Eden. He didn't explain how the technology worked but the ultrabook appeared to have a normal camera, suggesting it was using machine vision software to process video from its webcam.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Electronics Association makes his predictions

CES this year will see regular PCs strive to become more simple themselves. Some 50 ultrabooks—very lightweight, thin laptops modeled on the MacBook Air—are expected to launch. They get their sleek looks in part thanks to designers channelling Apple, and also from throwing out USB and other ports, optical drives and large screens. Looking further ahead, PCs and tablets will also start to use voice and gesture recognition, said DuBruvac.

ee through: A prototype ultrabook called a Nikiski has a large, transparent touch pad that stretches the full width of the device.
Technology Review

January 09, 2012

Details behind Broad Groups claims of 6 times less material usage and 5 times Energy Efficiency

China's Broad Group has a lot of details about their new 'Can Be Built' system for rapid high rise and building construction.

There are four presentations that describe the energy efficiency, material efficiency and quality construction and 50 year maintenance for their buildings.

The 15 story Ark Hotel that they built onsite in 6 days uses 53 kg of steel and 43 kg of concrete per square meter and a total 320 kg of all materials per square meter. They give comparisons to existing landmark buildings in China.

Buildings use 50% of the raw materials used each year in the world and 40% of the energy. Radical reductions in material usage and rapid increases in building energy efficiency will have a hugely beneficial impact on energy and the environment.

The 15 story building uses 30 kilowatt hours per square meter each year for heat and air conditioning.

Broad has already built the 50 Story (163 meter tall) Horizon hotel in Beijing.

After looking at the planned 200 story (666 meter tall) Sky city plans they plan to spend 4 months pre-making the building and spending 60 days (3.3 floors assembled per day) assembling it on site. They also indicate that the system can enable up to 8 floors to be built per day. They built the a six story expo pavillion building for the Shanghai 2010 expo in 1 day.

The first building built using these methods was a three story building on August 21, 2009.

Superlens microscope can use visible light to view 100 nanometer features which is twice as small as diffraction limit

Durdu Guney, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has taken a major step toward creating superlens that could use visible light to see objects as small as 100 nanometers across.

Optical lenses are limited by the nature of light, the so-called diffraction limit, so even the best won’t usually let us see objects smaller than 200 nanometers across, about the size of the smallest bacterium. Scanning electron microscopes can capture objects that are much smaller, about a nanometer wide, but they are expensive, heavy, and, at the size of a large desk, not very portable.

To build a superlens, you need metamaterials: artificial materials with properties not seen in nature. Scientists are beginning to fabricate metamaterials in their quest to make real seemingly magical phenomena like invisibility cloaks, quantum levitation—and superlenses.

In this illustration of Durdu Guney's theoretical metamaterial, the colors show magnetic fields generated by plasmons. The black arrows show the direction of electrical current in metallic layers, and the numbers indicate current loops that contribute to negative refraction.

Future Skylines

China Broad Group built a 30 story building in 15 days and will mass factory mass produce skyscrapers. A factory has been built to produce 10 million square meters of mass produced skyscrapers (about 100 million square feet) each year. The 30 story building is 183000 square feet so the factory can produce about 500 of the 30 story building each year and many more factories will be built. There goal is to have the production of two factories for 2012. They are trimming their costs to 7,000 yuan ($1100 per square meter) to 8,000 yuan per square meter.

(NOTE- This article has been updated with pictures and a discussion of the similarity in appearance of most existing high rises and skyscrapers

The Economist Magazine business travel blog refers to this article)

The 421-meter-tall Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai's second tallest building, cost 20,000 yuan ($3,088) per square meter to build. The Broad Group method will lower China's cost of skyscraper construction by three times. The Burj Khalifa cost $5000 per square meter to build. Freedom Tower is costing about $12,000 per square meter to build.

Broad Group has detailed plans for a 666 meter tall building using their factory mass production methods.

A new skyscraper is built every five days in China. Skyscrapers are defined in the report as buildings of more than 500 feet (152.4 meters) in height. China started construction on more than 200 skyscrapers in 2011. A 32 story office building, 50 story hotel/apartment or 40 story mixed use building would be about 152.4 meters tall.

January 08, 2012

Pill that mimics effects of exercise protects against heat stroke

In a new study published today in the journal Nature Medicine, scientists discovered what they believe is one of the first drugs to combat heat stroke. AICAR – an experimental therapy once dubbed the “couch potato pill” for its ability to mimic the effects of exercise in sedentary mice – protected animals genetically predisposed to the disorder and may hold promise for the treatment of people with enhanced susceptibility to heat-induced sudden death.

The number of heat-related injuries in the U.S. more than doubled from 1997 to 2006. In that 10-year period, an estimated 55,000 people were treated for the condition in emergency rooms across the country.

3D Systems announces Cubify a potential game changing 3D printer system

3D Systems announced today that its Cubify.com 3D @home create-and-make online experience will go live in a beta release January 10, 2012.

Cubify.com combines coloring book simplicity with cloud gaming excitement to deliver a vivid 3D create-and-make experience through a fully integrated, fluid interface. With intuitive 3D apps, rich 3D printable content libraries of games, puzzles and collections, Cubify.com turns any mobile device, tablet or Kinect® into a powerful, digital canvas that unleashes creativity and brings ideas to life in 3D. Compelling content creation, capture and customization apps make it simple and fun to personalize creations and Cubify them at home on a Cube™ 3D printer or have them Cubified using our online 3D printing service. Now everyone can unleash their creativity and earn money by marketing their own 3D creations or by developing new apps for Cubify.com.

Japan has done OK in the lost decade

The NY Times has an opinion piece that makes the case that Japan has performed quite well in the supposed lost decade.

True the real estate prices and stock market have not recovered past highs.

However, GDP per capita has done well, especially if Shadowstats is right about US GDP being overestimated. Life expectancy has increased and is 4.8 years better than the USA. The life expectancy is due to better healthcare and came in spite of adoption of a less healthy western diet.

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