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KurzweilAI | Accelerating Intelligence. Newsletter
 Friday September 2, 2011
Weekly edition  
News and Blog Headlines

UCSB physicists demonstrate ‘quantum von Neumann’ architecture
Digital quantum simulator realized
HPC startup backs into cloud
How Microsoft researchers might invent a holodeck
Cracking cellulose: a step into the biofuels future
Faster diagnostics with cheap, ultra-portable blood testing
The hunt for blood substances that slow brain aging
Study matches brain scans with topics of thoughts
A step toward a saliva test for cancer
Ultrasensitive particles offer new way to find cancer
New survival mechanism for neurons found
Intel forms new supercomputing subsidiary
Researchers report new understanding of role of telomeres in tumor growth
Nanowire solar cells reduce cost
NIST achieves record low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit
Hubble movies provide unprecedented view of supersonic jets from young stars
New laser microscope sees beneath skin to diagnose melanoma
Language localized in the brain
Alloy and catalyst allow for low-cost generation of hydrogen from water and air-stable, reusable storage
Two chatbots chat to each other — hilarious and weird
Tiny bugs are controlling your mind!
Uncovering the spread of deadly cancer
Controlling cells’ environments: a step toward building much-needed tissues and organs
Astrophysicists report first simulation to create a Milky Way-like galaxy
Unexpected adhesion properties of graphene may lead to new nanotechnology devices
Building crowds of humans into software
A planet made of diamond
A low-cost, low-power DIY cellular data network

Latest News


UCSB physicists demonstrate ‘quantum von Neumann’ architecture
September 2, 2011

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) physicists have demonstrated a new paradigm in quantum information processing with a quantum integrated circuit that implements a “quantum von Neumann” architecture. In this architecture, a long-lived quantum random access memory can be programmed using a quantum central processing unit, all constructed on a single chip, providing the key components for … more…


Digital quantum simulator realized
September 2, 2011

Quantum Simulation  University of Innsbruck physicists have created a digital quantum simulator that can potentially be programmed to simulate any physical system efficiently. They used a digital approach to quantum simulation in a system of trapped ions. They encoded the desired initial state of the system in qubits and then implemented the operation sets by laser pulses. … more…


HPC startup backs into cloud
September 2, 2011  Source Link: HPCwire

Startup Black Sky claims it can provide everything needed to simplify system management of high performance computing (HPC) and allow bursting into the cloud easily, meeting time-sensitive demands without incurring vast IT headaches. Target markets: rendering artists, bioinformatics professionals, and those in a wide range of other HPC verticals. First, the company set about building … more…


How Microsoft researchers might invent a holodeck
September 2, 2011

Microsoft has an innovative side dedicated to pure research and cutting-edge engineering in areas of computer science that may not have relevance to Microsoft’s bottom line for years, if ever. Wired recently toured Microsoft’s research facilities to see some of the work Microsoft scientists and engineers are doing to invent the computer interfaces of the … more…


Cracking cellulose: a step into the biofuels future
September 2, 2011

University of York scientists have found a method to convert cellulose efficiently into bioethanol. The researchers identified the molecular mechanism behind an enzyme found in fungi that can degrade the cellulose chains of plant cell walls to release shorter sugars for biofuels, using the copper-dependent TaGH61 enzyme to overcome the chemical inertness of cellulose. Current global … more…


Faster diagnostics with cheap, ultra-portable blood testing
September 2, 2011

blood protein sensing  University of Toledo researchers have developed a low-cost, portable technique that can quickly and reliably detect specific proteins in a sample of human blood. The researchers chose thrombin and thrombin-binding aptamers (short strands of nucleic acid that mimic antibodies) to latch onto free-floating proteins in the blood. Thrombin is a naturally occurring protein in humans that plays a … more…


The hunt for blood substances that slow brain aging
September 2, 2011

Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have found substances in the blood of old mice that make young brains act older. The researchers connected the circulatory systems of pairs of old and young mice via a surgical procedure, which produced brain changes in  areas critical to memory and learning (like the hippocampus) in both type … more…


Study matches brain scans with topics of thoughts
September 1, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)  Princeton researchers have for the first time matched images of brain activity with categories of words related to the concepts a person is thinking about. The research may lead to a better understanding of how people consider meaning and context when reading or thinking. The researchers worked from fMRI images of brain activity. For those scans, … more…


A step toward a saliva test for cancer
September 1, 2011

A new saliva test developed by researchers at National Chung Cheng University (NCCU) in Taiwan that can measure the amount of potential carcinogens stuck to a person’s DNA was reported during the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver. “The test measures the amount of damaged DNA [DNA adducts] … more…


Ultrasensitive particles offer new way to find cancer
September 1, 2011

MIT chemical engineers have designed particles that can detect microRNA inside living cells (Image source: Stephen Clifford Chapin)  MIT researchers have engineered a way to detect abnormal microRNA levels in the blood of cancer patients, raising the possibility of developing a simple blood test to diagnose or monitor the disease. The technology consists of an array of tiny particles, each designed to latch onto a specific type of microRNA. By exposing blood samples to … more…


New survival mechanism for neurons found
September 1, 2011

Johns Hopkins researchers have clarified the workings of the microtubule network inside of axons and the mechanisms of retrograde transport of key neuronal survival signals. Using mouse neurons from ganglia that line the spinal column, the scientists figured out the signal known as nerve growth factor (NGF) travels along the axon to the command center of … more…


Intel forms new supercomputing subsidiary
September 1, 2011

Intel Corporation has announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Intel Federal LLC, to provide strategic focus to better address new opportunities in working with the U.S. government. “Reaching supercomputer performance levels of a hundred times more powerful than today by 2018 will require the combined efforts of both industry and government,” said Kirk … more…


Researchers report new understanding of role of telomeres in tumor growth
September 1, 2011

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have reported the first observation of the presence of “alternative lengthening of telomeres” (ALT) in cancers arising from the bladder, cervix, endometrium, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, and lung. The presence of ALT in carcinomas can be used as a diagnostic marker and has implications for the development of … more…


Nanowire solar cells reduce cost
September 1, 2011

Schematic shows how to make core/shell nanowire solar cell starting from left with a CdS nanowire (green) that is dipped in CuCl where cation exchange reaction creates a Cu2S shell coating (brown). Metal contacts are then deposited on the CdS core and Cu2S shell (credit: Image courtesy of Yang, et. al)  A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has demonstrated that solar cells can be made from inexpensive elements using low-cost, less-energy-intensive processing chemistry — increasing the possibility of efficiently and cost-competitively converting sunlight into electricity. The researchers developed a technique for fabricating core/shell nanowire solar cells using … more…


NIST achieves record low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit
September 1, 2011

Micrograph of NIST ion trap with red dot indicating where a beryllium ion hovers above the chip. The horizontal and vertical lines separate gold electrodes, which are tuned to hold the ion and generate microwave pulses to manipulate it. The chip was used in experiments demonstrating record-low error rates in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (credit: NIST)  Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have achieved a record low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit): 1 per 50,000 logic operations. This is the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers. The NIST experiment with … more…


Hubble movies provide unprecedented view of supersonic jets from young stars
August 31, 2011

The glowing, clumpy streams of material shown in these NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images are the signposts of star birth. Ejected episodically by young stars like cannon salvos, the blobby material zips along at more than 700 000 kilometres per hour. The speedy jets are confined to narrow beams by the powerful stellar magnetic field. Called Herbig-Haro or HH objects, these outflows have a bumpy ride through space. When fast-moving blobs collide with slower-moving gas, bow shocks arise as the material heats up. Bow shocks are glowing waves of material similar to waves produced by the bow of a ship ploughing through water. In HH 2, at lower right, several bow shocks can be seen where several fast-moving clumps have bunched up like cars in a traffic jam. In HH 34, at lower left, a grouping of merged bow shocks reveals regions that brighten and fade over time as the heated material cools where the shocks intersect. In HH 47, at top, the blobs of material look like a string of cars on a crowded motorway, which ends in a chain-reaction accident. The smash up creates the bow shock, left. These images are part of a series of time-lapse movies astronomers have made showing the outflows’ motion over time. The movies were stitched together from images taken over a 14-year period by Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Hubble followed the jets over three epochs: HH 2 from 1994, 1997, and 2007; HH 34 from 1994, 1998, and 2007; and HH 47 from 1994, 1999, and 2008. The outflows are roughly 1350 light-years from Earth. HH 34 and HH 2 reside near the Orion Nebula, in the northern sky. HH 47 is located in the southern constellation of Vela (credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Hartigan (Rice University))  An international team of scientists led by Rice University has combined two decades of Hubble observations to make unprecedented high-resolution, time-lapse movies revealing never-before-seen details of young jets, the birth pangs of new stars. The movies reveal the motion of the speedy outflows as they tear through the interstellar environments. Never-before-seen details in the jets’ … more…


New laser microscope sees beneath skin to diagnose melanoma
August 31, 2011

Laser microscope (credit: CNR)  Physicists from Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Rome have developed a new type of laser-scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) that holds the promise of diagnosing skin cancer. The new device is able to gather spectrographic information at a wide range of wavelengths of reflected light, from 500nm (blue) to about 2.4um (infrared), for every point … more…


Language localized in the brain
August 31, 2011

language_task_mri  MIT researchers have found that there are parts of our brain dedicated only to language, a finding that marks a major advance in the search for brain regions specialized for sophisticated mental functions. Functional specificity refers to the idea that discrete parts of the brain handle distinct tasks. Scientists have long known that functional specificity … more…

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