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74 Things That Blew Our Minds in 2017 - The Atlantic
the environmental and geological observations here are amazing. When I think of a "cyberpunk" (ugh) perspective of natural history, it's something like this
cs55 
december 2017 by abbenm
Scientists capture colliding organic nanoparticles on video for first time
The research team used liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy to directly image how polymer-based nanoparticles, or micelles, that Gianneschi's lab is developing for treating cancer and heart attacks change over time. The powerful new technique enabled the scientists to directly observe the particles' transformation and characterize their dynamics.
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Research reveals microbial threat to key nutrient
What we discovered … is the gut microbiome can actually deprive a host of this critical nutrient, and that has a lot of consequences for host biology," Balskus said. "I think that's why this is a significant finding—it turns our normal thinking of how gut microbes participate in nutrition on its head. We tend to think about the gut microbiome as playing a beneficial role in nutrition, and that's definitely a role for it, but this work shows that under certain conditions the microbiome can also consume nutrients the host needs, and that can be a problem."

What we discovered … is the gut microbiome can actually deprive a host of this critical nutrient, and that has a lot of consequences for host biology," Balskus said. "I think that's why this is a significant finding—it turns our normal thinking of how gut microbes participate in nutrition on its head. We tend to think about the gut microbiome as playing a beneficial role in nutrition, and that's definitely a role for it, but this work shows that under certain conditions the microbiome can also consume nutrients the host needs, and that can be a problem."
CS55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Using polymeric membranes to clean up industrial separations
There are scores of promising technologies under development that can reduce energy consumption or capture carbon in fields including biotech, computer science, nanotechnology, materials science, and more. Not all will prove feasible, but with a little funding and nurturing, many could help solve the planet's grand challenge.
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
World's smallest tape recorder is built from microbes
Yes! A perfect idea for what I'm interested in. Gene and microbe based technological applications (again, just for a cool story, nothing else. I don't know no science)
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Game theory harnessed for cybersecurity of large-scale nets
"Any large-scale system, like a power grid, an industrial control system or a consumer credit reporting agency, contains many parts, both cyber and physical, that you may have to secure," Bagchi said. "Human decision makers need to make pragmatic decisions about what to secure and to what extent. Our work seeks to put that kind of decision on a sound footing."
Complicating matters is that many large-scale systems involve "multiple owners" and subsidiary companies that are interdependent and may be vulnerable to attack, representing weak links in the network. However, budgetary constraints place limits on security measures. The project will tackle the complex workings of human decision making and the fact that various stakeholders could be acting in their own self-interest, Bagchi said.
"You could use cooperative models where everybody decides to do what's best for the system, but that may not be realistic in practice," he said. "People may not want to reveal their own commercial secrets. There may be scenarios where I may actually choose to under-invest in security because I'm relying on somebody else upstream securing their assets. So, if I know that all attacks have to tunnel through you to get to me and I see that you've already invested a lot in security, I can save a lot of money by not protecting my assets because you've done the job for me."

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"The basic premise is that the way most systems are set up is that they're sitting ducks. The attacker can try, try, and try again and only has to succeed once, whereas the defender has to succeed every time, every attack, 100 percent," Bagchi said. "Moving-target defense tries to change this dynamic and says that the system that I want to protect is not a sitting duck. It is going to reconfigure itself; it is going to change some aspect of itself from time to time so that if the attacker keeps trying the same thing, their chances of succeeding are not going to go up because the target that's being attacked changes somewhat."
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Village in China : BeAmazed
China as a plausible site of larger-than-life industrial design
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Researcher sketches a path toward quantum computing
You mention the concept of hybrid systems combining classical and quantum computing in the paper.
That's inevitable. You're not going to build quantum computer systems that are solely quantum. And people in the field know this, but it hasn't been well portrayed to the outside world. To make a quantum computer work, and to execute a set of quantum operations, you will still have a classical control sequencer that steps in through a set of physical manipulations. And so you will always have this classical control of quantum operations.
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
3-D microprinting—security for products, passports, and money
"Today, optical security features, such as holograms, are frequently based on two-dimensional microstructures," says Professor Martin Wegener, expert for 3-D printing of microstructures at the Institute of Nanotechnology of KIT. "By using 3-D-printed fluorescent microstructures, counterfeit protection can be increased." The new security features have a side length of about 100 µm and are barely visible with the eye or a conventional microscope. For their production and application, Wegener and his team have developed an innovative method that covers all processes from microstructure fabrication to the readout of information.
The microstructures consist of a 3-D cross-grid scaffold and dots that fluoresce in different colors and can be arranged variably in three dimensions within this grid. To produce and print such microstructures, the experts use a rapid and precise laser lithography device developed and commercialized by the Nanoscribe company, a spinoff of KIT. It enables highly precise manufacture of voluminous structures of a few millimeters edge length or of microstructured surfaces of several cm² in dimension.
The special 3-D printer produces the structures layer by layer from non-fluorescent and two fluorescent photoresists. A laser beam very precisely passes certain points of the liquid photoresist. The material is exposed and hardened at the focus point of the laser beam. The resulting filigree structure is then embedded in a transparent polymer in order to protect it against damage.
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
New software can pinpoint hate groups' radicalization sites
He was able to cull examples and distinguish word sequences, negative tones, and implications of a worsening situation, and train the software to identify these warning signs. It can review the content of a manuscript in minutes, a task that would take a person many days.
His software can autonomously "crawl" from site to site, enabling it to explore domains that don't have a formal web address, thereby investigating related propaganda on the dark web. Etudo says the program is accurate 87 percent of the time.
cs55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity | EurekAlert! Science News
(the potential of sending light signals through the eye, through the optic nerve, to send information to the brain)

While most biological systems in nature are accustomed to the continuous light from the sun, Boppart's team used a flurry of very short light pulses - less than 100 femtoseconds. This delivers a lot of energy in a short period of time, exciting the molecules to different energy states. Along with controlling the length of the light pulses, Boppart's team controls the order of wavelengths in each light pulse.
CS55 
november 2017 by abbenm
Mathematician's study of 'swarmalators' could direct future science | EurekAlert! Science News
Another thing potentially cool as moire structures

Specifically, they considered oscillators whose phase dynamics and spatial dynamics are coupled. In the instance of the male tree frogs, they attempt to croak in exact anti-phase (one croaks while the other is silent) while moving away from a rival so as to be heard by females.

This opens up "a new class of math problems," said Strogatz, a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. "The question is, what do we expect to see when people start building systems like this or observing them in biology?"

Their paper, "Oscillators That Sync and Swarm," was published Nov. 13 in Nature Communications.
CS55 
november 2017 by abbenm

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