NSF looking for Grand Challenges for Engineering

We can submit our challenges for friendly AI, molecular nanotechnology, large scale quantum computers, and mass producible thorium liquid fluoride reactors to the NSF. The NSF is looking for the greatest technological challenges of the next century — a nine-month process that could give birth to new research initiatives. The project, called the “Grand Challenges …

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EU’s energy plan

EU’s energy and climate plan has a 20% carbon reduction target by 2020. The plan has three main areas a truly free internal energy market, where users have their choice of suppliers among all European suppliers; an accelerated shift to low-carbon energy, by increasing the share of renewable sources in the energy mix to 20% …

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Fabbers

New Scientist has an article about a new fab@Home system for $2400 The fab@home This system is in the fabber category which has different systems of different capabilities. The MIT Fab lab is described in many places The MIT fablab is more expensive at $20,000-40000 There is also the inexpensive Reprap system which is about …

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Bussards fusion paper

PDF paper that describes Robert Bussards electrodynamic confinement fusion system. Bussards fusion work was previously mentioned on this site in November, but without the actual link to this paper. Brian WangBrian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science …

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A rack-and-pinion device at the molecular scale

Christian Joachim, has lead a research team that has made a molecular rack-and-pinion device for which an STM tip drives a single pinion molecule at low temperature. The pinion is a 1.8-nm-diameter molecule functioning as a six-toothed wheel interlocked at the edge of a self-assembled molecular island acting as a rack. They monitor the rotation …

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Space articles roundup

An article discussing evidence for and against ice on the moon I agree that we should continue with sending the robotic probes necessary to be absolutely certain about what ice is or is not there and what can be used. An article that discusses getting energy from space or deflecting sunlight to counter global warming. …

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Futurehype is an interesting book

Futurehype by Bob Seidensticker is an interesting book and there are excerpts at his website He does point out some problems that make technology and societal predictions hard. However, I believe it is possible to be quite accurate. I agree with him that understanding the past and the past of technology matters.I agree with him …

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Superscale pyrosequencer for 2009/2010 full genome sequencing

Mostafa Ronaghi, one of the inventors of this sequencing chemistry, group at Stanford is working on an inexpensive superscaler pyrosequencer. It would use $10 CMOS imaging instead of $100,000 CCDs. The objective is to run 400 million sequencing reactions in parallel that can produce between 60 and 100 gigabases of data per run with 200-base …

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World Future Society predictions are wrong

The World Future Society makes forecasts which show that the forecasters do not seem to really understand some of the technology that they are forecasting. Forecast #2: The era of the Cyborg is at hand. Researchers in Israel have fashioned a “bio-computer” using the DNA of living cells instead of silicon chips. This development may …

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