October 11, 2014

Singularity University Startup Miroculus developing blood test to diagnose most diseases at molecular level

Imagine a simple blood test that can tell you, at the molecular level, the exact type of disease you have and its severity before presenting any symptoms. Miroculus brings an accurate, easy to use, non-invasive, decentralized, operator independent and affordable microRNA detection platform for molecular data gathering, analysis and interpretation.

Miroculus is building a near future where diseases are treated better, because they are constantly diagnosed and monitored at the molecular level.

1. Extract the total RNA from the patient's blood sample and pipette it in a standard 96 well plate

Each well of this plate has our patented biochemistry that is looking for a specific microRNA. This biochemistry acts like a trap that closes only when the microRNA is present in the sample. Whenever a trap closes it will shine with green color.

2. Prepare and load the 96 well plate in our device

The reaction runs for approximately 60 minutes. Your smartphone processes the results, matches the wells that shine with specific microRNAs, and analyzes how much and how fast they shine. This tells us which microRNAs are present in the sample and whether they are over-regulated or down-regulated.

3. Login to visualize your patient's results.

They optimize our methods regularly to provide real time data interpretation with high accuracy. Our data analysis platform lets you visualize trends and correlations over time, stratify patients, view results in real time and add other contextual information. If we want to better understand and decode diseases we must stop treating them as acute isolated episodes and consider and measure everything that affects our health on a permanent basis.


Ebola numbers show response is currently inadequate to achieve containment

EMC2 Fusion Releases Results and Needs $30 million for the next phase

For years, EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. has had to conduct its research into what's known as Polywell fusion outside public view because the Navy wanted it that way. Now the Navy is phasing out its funding, and EMC2 Fusion is planning a three-year, $30 million commercial research program to see if its unorthodox approach can provide a fast track to cheap nuclear fusion power.

EMC2 Fusion's latest findings on its Polwell approach are more positive than skeptics suspected but not as positive as some supporters hoped.

"This finding ... is just one step along the way," said M. Simon, a frequent contributor to the Talk-Polywell online discussion forum. "It makes the case that further experiments are warranted. In other words, no showstoppers."

Nicholas Krall, a plasma physicist who has been working in the fusion field for more than a half-century and has been an adviser to EMC2 Fusion, was more enthusiastic. "I think this is the most exciting experimental advance that I've been involved in," he told NBC News. 'I'm stoked."



Arxiv - High Energy Electron Confinement in a Magnetic Cusp Configuration

Dynomak nuclear fusion roadmap and technical details

The Dynomak reactor system is the possible realization of economical fusion enabled by Imposed-Dynamo Current Drive (IDCD). IDCD could enable a spheromak commercial fusion development path.

• High CD (Current drive) efficiency improves over the tokamak.
• 30% CD efficiency enables the spheromak with high TBR and economically competitive with coal.

The HIT-SI, a cold (~10-20 eV) concept exploration experiment, has demonstrated such efficient sustainment with adequate confinement. (Reaches stability beta-limit with current drive power) IDCD.

The Steady Injective Helicity Injection method has achieved 90 kA toroidal current and current gains approaching 4.

NIMROD simulations of a bigger and hotter HIT show fluctuations may not break flux surfaces of stable equilibria



New Spheromak Fusion reactor concept called a Dynomak could be cheaper than coal

University of Washington engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

UPDATE- the technical details and proposed timeline are provided in the next nextbigfuture article

The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The UW’s design is known as a spheromak, meaning it generates the majority of magnetic fields by driving electrical currents into the plasma itself. This reduces the amount of required materials and actually allows researchers to shrink the overall size of the reactor.

New Energy and Fuel reports the concept entails a recently discovered imposed-dynamo current drive (IDCD) and a molten salt (FLiBe) blanket system for first wall cooling, neutron moderation and tritium breeding. The feasibility of the energy generating system is made possible from newly available materials and an ITER-developed cryogenic pumping system - See more at:

The Dynomak will have very high neutron wall loading and FLiBe blanket which offers most attractive blanket power density, which is also an economic metric for power plant considerations. Imposed-Dynamo Current Drive (IDCD) perturbs and sustains a stable spheromak equilibrium, avoiding severe confinement quality limitations apparent in previous dynamo-driven experiments. IDCD enables energy efficient current drive when compared to conventional current drive methods, further reducing the recirculating power fraction

Fusion Engineering and Design - The dynomak: An advanced spheromak reactor concept with imposed-dynamo current drive and next-generation nuclear power technologies



October 10, 2014

Microsoft will try to make Topological Qubit Quantum Computer

Microsoft has yet to even build a qubit. But in the kind of paradox that can be expected in the realm of quantum physics, it may also be closer than anyone else to making quantum computers practical. The company is developing a new kind of qubit, known as a topological qubit, based largely on that 2012 discovery in the Netherlands. There’s good reason to believe this design will be immune from the flakiness plaguing existing qubits. It will be better suited to mass production, too. “What we’re doing is analogous to setting out to make the first transistor,” says Peter Lee, Microsoft’s head of research. His company is also working on how the circuits of a computer made with topological qubits might be designed and controlled. And Microsoft researchers working on algorithms for quantum computers have shown that a machine made up of only hundreds of qubits could run chemistry simulations beyond the capacity of any existing supercomputer.

The optimization and simulation problems that DWave solves are the most important and economically valuable problems. DWave seems to be providing actual commercial scale solutions. Google is a customer and Google is trying to leverage the Dwave work with a system that could leverage error correction. Dwave is doubling qubits every year and will have a commercial version with 1152 qubits in early 2015. If DWave is scaling the performance then competitors will face a substantial challenge to catchup

Cheap natural gas boosts US manufacturing

The surge in its production of shale gas has made the United States the largest natural gas producer in the world, and it is expected to join the legion of liquefied natural gas exporters and even become a net
exporter of natural gas later this decade (U.S. EIA 2014). With surging supply and weak demand, natural gas prices in the United States have fallen sharply in recent years and are effectively decoupled from those in the rest of the world. In particular, prices in Asia and the European Union have risen, partly because of the indexation of imported natural gas prices to oil prices. So far, energy users in the United States have been the main beneficiaries of the energy price declines that have resulted from the U.S. shale revolution. However, that revolution has helped to stabilize international energy prices, including by freeing global energy supply for European and Asian markets, thus offsetting some of the shortages attributable to geopolitical disruptions. Also, the U.S. shale boom has displaced coal from the United States to Europe, lowering energy
costs in the latter.

Cheap natural gas has delivered a significant boost to US manufacturing exports, the International Monetary Fund has found. Advances in shale rock drilling have led to a sharp rebound in US gas production, driving prices in the US to a steep discount to markets in Europe and Asia. US gas sells for $4 per million British thermal units, compared with $10 in Europe and close to $18 in Asia.

The natural price gap has led to a 6 per cent average increase in US manufactured product exports.


The IMF have a 24 page working paper The U.S. Manufacturing Recovery: Uptick or Renaissance?


Canada will have pipeline 50% bigger than Keystone XL running oilsand oil to the eastcoast by 2018

Energy East is an improbable pipeline that has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude.

The natural gas pipeline is underused because of the shale gas boom in the United States.

Its end point, a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply.

Canada wants more than one pipeline out of the oilsands in Alberta. Having a major pipeline in the bag and large rail facilities provides leverage in other pipeline negotiations.


Stem-Cell Breakthrough cures diabetic mice in less than 10 days

In what may lead to the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes in three decades, Xander University Professor Douglas Melton and colleagues have figured out the complex series of steps necessary to turn stem cells into beta cells. Beta cells are the sugar-sensing, insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas that are missing in Type 1 diabetics, casualties of the body’s own immune attack on itself.

“We wanted to replace insulin injections” with “nature’s own solution,” says Melton, who has been a leading scientist in and advocate for the field of stem-cell biology ever since he switched from studying developmental biology in frogs after his young son, and later his daughter, were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

They have succeeded in developing a procedure for making hundreds of millions of pancreatic beta cells in vitro. These cells, Melton explains, “read the amount of sugar in the blood, and then secrete just the right amount insulin in a way that is so exquisitely accurate that I don’t believe it will ever be reproduced by people injecting insulin or by a pump injecting that insulin.”

In diabetic mice, they cure diabetes right away, in fewer than 10 days.



Journal Cell - Generation of Functional Human Pancreatic β Cells In Vitro

Michael Pettis Discusses the US Dollar Reserve Currency Burden and Systemic Suppressed Savings

Michael Pettis discusses the burden on the United States for having the US dollar as the World's reserve currency.

There seems to be a slow change in the way the world thinks about reserve currencies. For a long time it was widely accepted that reserve currency status granted the provider of the currency substantial economic benefits. Pettis started to think more seriously about the components of the balance of payments and realized that when Keynes at Bretton Woods argued for a hybrid currency (which he called “bancor”) to serve as the global reserve currency, and not the US dollar, he wasn’t only expressing his dismay about the transfer of international status from Britain to the US. Keynes recognized that once the reserve currency was no longer constrained by gold convertibility, the world needed an alternative way to prevent destabilizing imbalances from developing.

China has Risen to Number One in Purchasing Power and Wesley Clark Call for a New Long Term China Strategy and a Global Leadership Partnership

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2014, China, not the United States, has the world’s largest economy. The official point of China passing the US is in October.

By the end of 2014, China will make up 16.48% of the world's purchasing-power adjusted GDP (or $17.632 trillion), and the US will make up just 16.28% (or $17.416 trillion). By 2019, China will be about 20% larger than the US economy on a purchasing power basis.

Former NATO supreme Allied commander in Europe General Wesley Clark says China’s harsh suppression of political dissent, from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, and its close ties to Russia, Iran and North Korea, have finally laid to rest the dream many Western leaders have had since the 1990s: that “constructive engagement” would eventually, inevitably lead to more openness and democracy.

NBF Comment - Really the "best" that could have been hoped for would be a faux democracy like Taiwan or an effective but authoritarian system like Singapore. However, a nation that is an economy that will be 200 times bigger than Singapore or 40 times Taiwan would always have a huge effect on the world order.

Nextbigfuture reported correct rumors 6 days ago about the Tesla Motor Model D car with dual engines and autopilot

Tesla Motors revealed the Tesla Model D.

The rumors that Nextbigfuture reported six days ago were correct.

the Model D is a dual electric motor car with all wheel drive and an autopilot for driver assistance.

The All-wheel drive will be an available option on all Model S trim levels and the new top-end P85D version will have a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. It will also feature a small increase in range, to 275 miles, over its rear-wheel drive predecessor.

Standard Model S sedans have until now all featured a single rear motor slung between and slightly behind the car’s rear axle, powering the rear wheels only; the new "D" models will add a second motor between the two front wheels. The new models will have a "D" suffix added to their model, so the entry-level Model S with the 60 kWh battery and all-wheel drive would be the "60D," and the top-end P85 performance model would become the "P85D."

All three new models—the 60D, 85D, and P85D—use the same 188-hp front motor. The 60D and 85D use it on the rear axle as well. The supercar-grade P85D, however, keeps the existing 470-hp motor in back for a monstrous 691-hp / 687 lb-ft combo.



October 09, 2014

Towards Megawatt Solar Powered Lasers for Magnesium Production and future space applications

Solar pumped lasers have long been a technology which are an important enabling option for space based solar power and for beam powered propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar applications.

Recent work has looked at laser starways where laser power is beamed 70 Astronomical Units

There has been earth based progress towards using solar powered lasers for Magnesium production. Having a profitable industrial application to fund and drive and scale the development of solar powered lasers is good news for accelerating solar powered lasers for space applications. There was a 2012 research paper that also looked at solar powered lasers.

They are scaling to 1 megawatt of solar collection and 30 watts of laser per square meter of collection area. A space based system could have 60 watts of lasers since there is no atmosphere blocking sunlight. Space based being application would then need another fresnel lens to focus the lasers for long range beaming.



Perfect Storm of War and Political Appointees Made this Ebola Outbreak Worse

Professor Peter Piot, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was part of a team that discovered Ebola in 1976.

Why was this Ebola Outbreak worse ?

The World Health Organization African regional office isn't staffed with the most capable people but with political appointees. And the headquarters in Geneva suffered large budget cuts that had been agreed to by member states. The department for haemorrhagic fever and the one responsible for the management of epidemic emergencies were hit hard. But since August WHO has regained a leadership role.

Every individual circumstance is a bit worse than normal and they then combine to create a disaster.

Some of the countries involved were just emerging from terrible civil wars, many of their doctors had fled and their healthcare systems had collapsed. In all of Liberia, for example, there were only 51 doctors in 2010, and many of them have since died of Ebola.



Nomura Predicts Japanese Stocks Rising 57% by 2020

Nomura Chief Executive Officer Koji Nagai predicted Japanese stocks will rally over the next six years as economic expansion fuels corporate profits.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) will climb to around 25,000 by 2020, up about 57 percent from today, the CEO of Japan’s biggest brokerage said at a forum in Tokyo. “Growth of Japan’s economy is assured until 2020 as it will benefit from development in Asia,” said Nagai

Greening deserts are very bad for the fish in the oceans

Nextbigfuture interviewed Jason McNamee, former Director and Operations Officer of the Haida Salmon Restoration project and now Scientific Advisor to the World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation. Jason provided a lot of information and I will provide a series of articles related to his information. He educated me about processes in the deep ocean (100 miles from the coast) and how more still needs to be learned. Nextbigfuture covered how the 120 ton iron fertilization in 2012 increased salmon catches in 2013 and 2014.

Most people have been hearing warnings about desertification and how the deserts are increasing. Actually the deserts are becoming more green and are producing less dust. This is driving the steady reduction of iron into the oceans by about 1% per year. 42% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that plants in the desert need to breathe less and keep more water. Less dust from the desert means less iron into the ocean. Iron shortage in the ocean is the key factor that is reducing algae and plankton in the ocean. There is plenty of nitrogen and phosphorous. Less algae and plankton causes reduction in the amount and size of fish.

China has massive projects to spray the desert with bacteria and carpet bomb the desert with seedling plants.

Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface

About 3% is icecap and ice sheets.

Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world's protein consumed by humans.

Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth’s land area and occur where rainfall is less than 50 cm/year.

Sahara desert supplying the Atlantic with dust and iron

Laser Ion propelled interstellar generation ship using this century technology

Dana Andrews looks at a minimum transit speed of 2 percent of the speed of light (fifty years per light year) for an interstellar generation ship. This makes for transit times in the neighborhood of hundreds of years, depending on destination. A key requirement is the ability to decelerate and rendezvous with the destination planet using a magnetic sail (magsail) that can be built using high-temperature superconductors. Andrews also assumes 20-30 years of research and development before construction actually begins.

He assumes that a space-based infrastructure sufficient to begin active asteroid mining will be in place.
He cites a thirty-five year timeframe for getting these needed systems operational.
Some of the R&D could presumably be underway even as this infrastructure is being built, but we also have to take into account what we know about the destination.

Credit Dana Andrews and H/T Centauri Dreams


October 08, 2014

Flying cars and flying motorcycles. They fly and are legal but you have to build the kit

In 2012, the Maverick was accepted by the United States FAA to operate as an Experimental homebuilt, S-LSA, or E-LSA. The 1100-pound 'Maverick' vehicle is powered by a 128 hp (95 kW) engine that can also drive a five-bladed pusher propeller.

Hopefully in 2016 a couple of models will be licensed for sport flying and will be permitted to be sold completely assembled.

So the future you wanted and were promised is here but you have to have (or will have to have) at least about $80,000, put some of it together yourself and get a flying license. You can have the future of the flying car but you have to want it really bad.



A roadable aircraft (also referred to as a flying car) is a hybrid vehicle that combines the flying capability of an aircraft with the option of being driven as an automobile on the ground.

Most roadable aircraft fall into one of two styles; integrated (all components can be carried in the vehicle, or on a trailer attached to the vehicle), or modular (some aeronautical sections are left at the airport while the vehicle is driven).

In the U.S. the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has shown an interest in the concept with a sixty five million dollar program called Transformer

Future proofing against mass unemployment from robotics

People are afraid of mass unemployment from robotics and automation.

Universal Basic Income has been proposed but this would require a fund of about $53 trillion to provide $10,000 per person per year for 300 million people for life. This would also be $3 trillion per year. A redistribution of existing financial aid programs and tax increases might enable it but is political unrealistic.

DARPA is a for researching advanced military technology to ensure that the $700 billion to $1.2 trillion that is spent on the defense of the United States leverages the leading edge of technology and so that the USA is not surprised by new military technology. DARPA has a budget of about $3.5 billion per year. DARPA is considered successful.

The US with federal and state programs spends about $1.2 trillion on aid programs for the poor. There should be a similar to DARPA scale program to develop ground breaking means of providing the services that are needed for the poor and for all people in the USA.

This program could also be viewed as a financial PUT option against the value of most current workers.

Politically enable the birth of a cash cow to fund Universal Basic Income

To fund a Universal Basic Income of $10,000 per year for 300 million Americans would cost $3 trillion per year or require the investment of about $53 trillion. This would be reversing the current US debt and then tripling it in an investment fund.

An unconditional basic income [UBI] (also called basic income, basic income guarantee, universal basic income, or citizen’s income) is a proposed system of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere.

Typically proponents talk about rolling up the existing support programs (food stamps, unemployment, medicare etc...) and topping up with tax increases.

Most of the World's large sovereign funds have been developed from taxes or earnings from oil or in China's case from production of products. However, China built a large part of its economy by leveraging cheap coal power.

There are lengthy discussions about Universal basic income.


Third party Report on 32 day continuous run study of Energy Catalyzer shows 3.2 to 3.8 times more energy output than input

Observation of
abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel (53 pages)


They were running the system at about 2300 watts or power output and putting in about 900 watts. The total net energy obtained during the 32 days run was about 1.5 MWh

ABSTRACT

New results are presented from an extended experimental investigation of anomalous heat production in a special type of reactor tube operating a t high temperatures . The react or, named E - Cat, is charged with a small amount of hydrogen - loaded nickel powder plus some additives , mainly Lithium . The reaction is primarily initiated by heat from resistor coils around the reactor tube. Measurements of the radiated power from the react or were performed with high - resolution thermal ima ging cameras . The measurements of electrical power input were performed with a large bandwidth three - phase power analyzer. Data were collected during 32 days of running in March 2014. The reactor operating point was set to about 1260 º C in the first half of the run, and at about 1400 ° C in the second half . The measured energy balance between input and output heat yielded a COP factor of about 3.2 and 3.6 for the 1260 º C and 1400 º C run s, respectively . The total net energy obtained during the 32 days run was about 1.5 MWh. This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume . A sample of the fuel was carefully examined with respect to its isotopic composition before the run and after the run, using several standard methods : XPS, EDS, SIMS, ICP - MS and IC P - A E S . The isotope composition in Lithium and Nickel was found to agree with the natural composition before the run , while after the run it was fo und to have changed substantially . N uclear reactions are therefore indicated to be present in the run process, which however is hard to reconcile with the fact that no radioactivity was detected outside the reactor during the run



Unclear how unconnected the people are ? But also would they support a knowing scam

Giuseppe Levi, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy

Giuseppe Levi is a reputed to be a long time friend of Rossi (Andre Rossi is the developer of the super controversial e-cat)

Evelyn Foschi, Bologna, Italy
Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Hanno Essén, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedes and the others appear qualified and have much to lose if they were to be involved in a scam of some kind.

October 07, 2014

Canada starts sequestering most emissions at one coal power plant and other carbon capture and storage projects

Carbon Sequestering 1 million tons in Canada

The world's first big carbon capture experiment at a coal power plant has begun at a Saskatchewan coal-fired power plant, which will purportedly sequester almost all of its emissions.

This first commercial-scale project will capture about a million tons of carbon a year in the world's first post-combustion coal-fired CCS project .

Canadian utility SaskPower plans to capture 90 percent of emissions at the 110 megawatt Boundary Dam power station. If this $1.35 billion experiment works, they plan to retrofit the other two units at a cost of 20-30 percent less. Building the technology for the first unit has already revealed ways to make improvements on design and engineering, they say.



There have been industrial scale carbon capture and storage projects.

As at September 2012, the Global CCS Institute identified 75 large-scale integrated projects in its 2012 Global Status of CCS report. 16 of these projects are in operation or in construction capturing around 36 million tonnes of CO2 per annum

World industry and transportation is producing 40 billion tons of CO2 in 2014. So carbon capture and storage needs to be scaled up 1000 times to start balancing the production.

1. In Salah CO2 Injection — Algeria

In Salah is a fully operational onshore gas field with CO2 injection. CO2 is separated from produced gas and reinjected in the producing hydrocarbon reservoir zones. Since 2004, about 1 Mt/a of CO2 has been captured during natural gas extraction and injected into the Krechba geologic formation at a depth of 1,800m. The Krechba formation is expected to store 17Mt CO2 over the life of the project.

Thermowave power using graphene or carbon nanotubes could enable pulsed power from liquid fuel without emissions

Scientists from MIT say they’ve figured out the underlying physics of a new type of energy generation which could one day make it possible to generate electricity directly from liquid fuels using a process called a Thermopower Wave.

There’s no heavy pollution, no noisy engine, and intermediary energy state, although the technology is still very much in the experimental stage.

Eventually, it is hoped that nanowire thermowave generators could be built with thousands of nanowires joined together to continually generate pulses of energy from liquid fuels, using conventional electrical circuits to smooth out the power and use it to drive a electrical gadgets, devices and even electric cars

In the case of a transportation fuel, refuelling would take place in a similar way to a gasoline vehicle — but without the harmful emissions associated with internal combustion engines, while increased energy density would make it possible to have a far greater range vehicle than with current battery technologies.

Nextbigfuture first covered Thermopower wave in 2010.

They have improved efficiency by 10,000 times since 2010 but are still only at 0.1% efficiency. They need to get to 20% efficiency or so to have significant impact and past 50% or so to beat regular current engines (25-60%).

Strano says they could be useful in some niche applications, where a sudden burst of power is needed. And Strano says that the further improvements in efficiency mean broader applications could soon be feasible.



ACS Nano - Excess Thermopower and the Theory of Thermopower Waves

Progress to the Vertical Takeoff and Landing TF-X flying car

Development of TF-X™ is expected to last another 7-11 years.

Terrafugia is pleased to announce the winner of their GrabCAD TF-X™ industrial design challenge. Vedran Martinek's design was selected as having the best aesthetic improvement while remaining true to the baseline TF-X™ flying car concept. This industrial design concept will now go through a series of technical, aerodynamic, and structural evaluations which will continue to refine the outer mold line (OML) of TF-X™.


Lightbridge still negotiating with utility and reactor partners

Lightbridge has fuel development efforts with both Russian and domestic development partners/vendors. A domestic partner/vendor may eliminate the need to seek a separate U.S. export license authorization for this work.

[From transcript of shareholder conference call] On the fuel, Lightbridge does a great deal of work in Russia and they are in discussions with some European countries, discussions in China, elsewhere in Russia. It is point-to-point work with utilities in those countries. They will work with few fabricator companies like Babcock and Wilcox in the U.S. and could be like TVEL in Russia and others around the world to license our patents to them. They manufacture the nuclear fuel and they work with their existing customers or new customers, selling the fuel to utilities. So the short answer on fuel is their focus is U.S. and Russia for fuel fabricators and some discussions now in China, little bit elsewhere. The main nuclear fuel fabricating countries for the world, as well as some European that they’re talking to.

Lightbridge increases the surface area of the fuel by changing the shape from a cylindrical rod to the other shape. For Boiler Water reactors it is often a cylinder shape (so inside areas along with outside areas). These alternative fuel shapes are called Annular fuel and were originally developed at MIT. South Korea is also working on it. By increasing the surface area they make it easier to cool and also enable more power to be generated from the same reactor. Reactors were built with extra safety margins so increasing the power by 10 to 17% is possible. There are extended uprating and other kinds of nuclear power uprates. This would be a fuel uprate. I did not include the full uprate discussion and annular fuel discussion as it involves repeating many previous articles.

More economic and technical details of the Lightbridge uprates are here

Here is the latest investor presentation



Here is the latest annual report

IMF has been overestimating world GDP growth by 0.6% on average the last 4 years as the BRICS and middle east disappoint

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecasts global growth to average 3.3 percent in 2014―unchanged from 2013―and to rise to 3.8 percent in 2015. The weaker than expected growth outlook for 2014 reflects setbacks to economic activity in the advanced economies during the first half of 2014, and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging market economies, says the report.

Here is the 44 page updated IMF world Economic Outlook

It included a five-page explanation of why it has kept overestimating the strength of the recovery.

Bad guesses on growth in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—accounted for about half the error, even though their share of the global economy is only about 28 percent, the IMF said. In addition, “Four stressed economies in the Middle East account for another 20 percent of the global forecast error,” it said. Those four are Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Libya. In the case of the BRICs, the IMF said it has been gradually revising down not only the countries’ near-term growth, but their long-term growth potential.

From 2011 through 2014, the average miss on the year-ahead forecasts was 0.6 percentage point, the IMF said in its post mortem.



Japan nuclear restarts will reduce oil imports and improve financial situation

Japan's utilities have applied to restart 20 reactors, and last month the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved a restart of two units at Kyushu Electric's Sendai plant in southwestern Japan, expected to be scheduled for early 2015.

Thermal coal imports hit a record of 111.52 million tonnes after rising 5 percent from the previous year.

Oil use for power fell nearly a fifth over the same fiscal period to less than 418,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from a 16-year high of nearly 510,000 bpd the previous year.

While power firms reduced oil use last fiscal year, their coal use rose nearly 20 percent and LNG by less than 1 percent.

Carnival of Nuclear 229

1. Forbes James Conca - Are California Carbon Goals Kaput?

In one fell swoop, the unnecessary closing of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego wiped out the equivalent of almost all the wind and solar installed in California, reversing the state’s 20-year progress in low-carbon energy.



October 06, 2014

Carnival of Space 374

The Carnival of Space 374 is up at Cosmoquest.

Universe Today - Making the Case for a Mission to the Martian Moon Phobos


From where did Phobos arise or arrive? The Inner or Outer Solar System? Is it dry or wet? Should we flyby or sample & return? Or should it be Boots or Bots? In the illustration, space probes (L-R) Phobos-Grunt 2, JPL/SAR, ARC PADME. Also, Stardust’s return capsule, Phobos above Mars, the Solar Nebula and the MRO HiRISE photo of Phobos. (Photos: NASA, Illustration:T.Reyes)

Three prominent planetary scientists have joined forces in a new paper [The value of Phobos sample return] in the journal Planetary and Space Science to explain the case for a mission to the moons of Mars, particularly Phobos.

“Phobos occupies a unique position physically, scientifically, and programmatically on the road to exploration of the solar system,” say the scientists. In addition, the moons may possibly be a source of in situ resources that could support future human exploration in circum-Mars space or on the Martian surface. But a sample return mission first could provide details on the moons’ origins and makeup.

Iranian Nuclear Facility has a large explosion and at least two fatalities

A fire and explosion at a military explosives facility near the Iranian capital Tehran has left at least two people dead, reports say.

The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (Isna) said the fire was in an "explosive materials production unit".

The pro-reform website Sahamnews said the explosion on Sunday evening was so intense that windows of buildings 15km (nine miles) away were shattered.

The glare from the blast could also be seen from a great distance, the report added.

Polarizing leader in integrating DNA and Protein analysis for much faster and more accurate cancer diagnosis

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has a net worth of about $12 billion.

Soon-Shiong’s grand new project promises the closest thing that Earth has ever had to Star Trek’s fabled tricorder. In theory it will work like this: A cancer patient will arrive at the hospital for diagnosis. Everything from her DNA to the proteins in her blood will get instantly analyzed via a proprietary and superfast network, with the data collected automatically in real time–no pens, paper or clipboards. Within minutes computers will recommend which drugs to try. Once the patient is sent home, the same technology will travel with her, allowing doctors to continue to monitor her in real time, as hospital administrators evaluate the efficacy and costs of various procedures and medicines and compare notes with hospitals across the country.

This vision came during the approval process for Abraxane in 2005. Doctors were making bad decisions. One study found that two-thirds of pancreatic cancer patients received the wrong treatment.

He started buying companies to build his new machine. He grabbed Eviti, based in Philadelphia, which sold its services to insurers as a way to ensure that cancer doctors weren’t prescribing medicines improperly (and billing for their errors). Thirty oncologists and nurses pore over the latest medical journals to make sure the information is up to date.

Gigapixel and multi-gigapixel cameras for better skin cancer screening

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer type in the United States, and it's also the deadliest form of skin cancer, causing more than 75 percent of skin-cancer deaths.

If caught early enough though, it is almost always curable. Now a camera, capable of taking snapshots of the entire human body and rendering high-resolution images of a patient’s skin may help doctors spot cancer early and save lives.

Developed by a team of researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, the “gigapixel whole-body photographic camera” is essentially three dozen cameras in one, allowing the researchers to image the entire body down to a freckle.

"The camera is designed to find lesions potentially indicating skin cancers on patients at an earlier stage than current skin examination techniques,” said Daniel Marks, one of the co-authors on the paper. “Normally a dermatologist examines either a small region of the skin at high resolution or a large region at low resolution, but a gigapixel image doesn’t require a compromise between the two.”

Example of the detail of part of a 250 megapixel skin cancer screening image for the entire body

October 05, 2014

Power of Quantum Algorithms and Open Questions

Quantum algorithms - what we can do and what could we do

Mathematical Challenges in Quantum Algorithms (51 pages)

There are many things we can do with our quantum computers. For example:
Factorise large integers and hence break RSA;
Efficiently simulate quantum-mechanical systems;
Solve certain search and optimisation problems faster than possible classically;
. . .

See the Quantum Algorithm Zoo
(http://math.nist.gov/quantum/zoo/) for 214 219
papers on quantum algorithms




Advance Results on the 1152 Qubit DWave Quantum Systems up to 933 Qubits and application to cryptology

Colin Williams recently presented some new results in the UK of next generation of DWave chips. The next generation of chips are the 1152 qubit versions and are called the Washington generation. Here you can see some advance looks at the first results on up to 933 qubits. These are very early days for the Washington generation. Things will get a lot better on this one before it’s released (Rainier and Vesuvius both took 7 generations of iteration before they stabilized). But some good results on the first few prototypes.

State-of-the-Art Quantum Annealing and its Application to Cryptology




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