Synthetic Biology and Gene synthesis

From the synthetic biology FAQ: Current synthesis costs are about $1 per base pair. Current synthesis times for a 1,500 bp gene are of order 4 weeks. We need a ~3-fold reduction in cost ($0.33 for 3 base pairs) and a ~10-fold reduction in turn-around time (3 days), from where we are today for commercial …

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Electric Vehicle news roundup

For $500 you can now reserve your Aptera electric or super-hybrid vehicle. Deliveries should start October, 2008 The first Aptera prototype, the Mk-0, was a parallel hybrid Diesel and achieved an average of 230 MPG at a steady state of 55 MPH. This was pure Diesel/mechanical drive with no electric assist. The All Electric Aptera …

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Dwave’s Quantum computer Presentation from SC07

Dwave systems CTO Geordie Rose has published his slides from the SC07 conference, where he demonstrated there latest 28 qubit system. Dwave system is a web services QUBO solver Dwave to a computer scientist. QUBO is NP-hard. the decision version is NP complete Real physical systems dwave device schematic: nobium cjj rs-squid flux qubit Dwave …

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Printing electronics with inkjets

MIt Technology Review provides more information on the work of Kovio of Sunnyvale. Current contactless smart cards of the type used by frequent travelers on major transit systems can cost as much as $5 a piece to produce. But Kovio’s technology could soon lead to nonmagnetic smart cards that cost a nickel. Eventually, the technology …

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Economist magazine wants more spent to verify safety of nanoparticles

The Economist has a lengthy article that suggests that more money and effort should be sent to verify the safety of nanoparticles. America already spends the most on EHS (environmental health and safety) research into nanotechnology. Depending on who does the counting, it ranges from $11m to $60m. Safety legislation cannot be expected to work …

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Der Spiegel indicates radiation deaths are exaggerated

About 4,000 children were afflicted with cancer after Chernobyl. Less well-known, however, is the fact that only nine of those 4,000 died — thyroid cancers are often easy to operate on. Officially 47 people — members of the emergency rescue crews — died in Chernobyl from exposure to lethal doses of radiation. This is serious …

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Help hookup.com, an army of volunteers

The inspiration of Help Hookup is actually a comic book called Global Frequency by Warren Ellis. My brother, Alvin Wang, took the idea to startup weekend and they launched the idea this past weekend for hooking up volunteers. It is similar to the concepts of David Brin’s “empowered citizens” and Glenn Reynolds “an army of …

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China taking leadership in renewable power deployment

Worldwatch indicates that China will likely achieve—and may even exceed—its target to obtain 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. If China’s commitment to diversifying its energy supply and becoming a global leader in renewables manufacturing persists, renewable energy could provide over 30 percent of the nation’s energy by 2050. China’s carbon dioxide …

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