‘Superradiant’ discovery opens new path to superfast quantum computinghttps://news.wsu.edu/2014/06/04/discovery-opens-new-path-to-superfast-quantum-computing/
>Washington State University researchers have used a super-cold cloud of atoms that behaves like a single atom, opening a new experimental path to potentially powerful quantum computing.>Physicist Peter Engels and his colleagues cooled about one million atoms of rubidium to 100 billionths of a degree above absolute zero.>There was no colder place in the universe, said Engels, unless someone was doing a similar experiment elsewhere on Earth or on another planet.>This provides a new avenue for the study of further Dicke model-related phenomena, including quantum entanglement and quantum squeezed states, with possible applications for a next generation of atomtronic devices, quantum information storage/transmission, quantum computations and quantum precision measurements.
Self-repairing mechanism helps to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseaseshttp://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=142880&CultureCode=en
>Neurogenesis, the self-repairing mechanism of the adult brain by creating new neurons, can help to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Prion, and Parkinson’s, new research led by scientists at the University of Southampton has found.>The progressive degeneration and death of the brain, occurring in many neurodegenerative diseases, is often seen as an unstoppable and irrevocable process.>But now, a research team, led by Diego Gomez-Nicola, DPhil, from the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, has detected increased neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (part of the brain system controlling learning and memory, the hippocampus) that partially counteracts neuronal loss.
Musk announces plans to build ‘one of the single largest solar panel production plants in the world’ and send people to Mars in ten yearshttp://www.kurzweilai.net/musk-announces-plans-to-build-one-of-the-single-largest-solar-panel-production-plants-in-the-world
>Elon Musk, chairman of SolarCity, America’s largest solar power provider, announced Tuesday with other SolarCity executives that the company plans to acquire Silevo, a solar panel technology and manufacturing company whose modules have “demonstrated a unique combination of high energy output and low cost.”>“Our intent is to combine what we believe is fundamentally the best photovoltaic technology with massive economies of scale to achieve a breakthrough in the cost of solar power.”>“Even if the solar industry were only to generate 40 percent of the world’s electricity with photovoltaics by 2040, that would mean installing more than 400 GW of solar capacity per year for the next 25 years.>Meanwhile, in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Musk said that he thinks “the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years … but the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multiplanetary.”
Targeting tumors using silver nanoparticleshttp://www.news.ucsb.edu/2014/014216/targeting-tumors-using-silver-nanoparticles
>Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have designed a silver spherical nanoparticle encased in a shell coated with a peptide that enables it to target tumor cells.>The shell is etchable so those nanoparticles that don’t hit their target can be broken down and eliminated. The research findings appear in the journal Nature Materials.>The core of the nanoparticle employs a phenomenon called plasmonics. In plasmonics, nanostructured metals such as gold and silver resonate in light and concentrate the electromagnetic field near the surface.>Because the nanoparticle has a core shell structure, the researchers can vary its exterior coating and compare the efficiency of tumor targeting and internalization. Switching out the surface agent enables the targeting of different diseases — or organisms in the case of bacteria — through the use of different target receptors. According to Braun, this should turn into a way to optimize drug delivery where the core is a drug-containing vehicle.
Algae can switch quantum coherence on and offhttp://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science/algae-able-switch-quantum-coherence-and
>Algae that survive in very low levels of light and are able to switch quantum coherence on and off have been discovered by a UNSW-led team of researchers.>The function for this effect, which occurs during photosynthesis, remains a mystery. But working out its role in a living organism could lead to technological advances, such as better organic solar cells and quantum-based electronic devices.>The research is part of an emerging field called quantum biology, in which evidence is growing that quantum phenomena are operating in nature, not just the laboratory, and may even account for how birds can navigate using the earth’s magnetic field.>“This is a very exciting find. It means we will be able to uncover the role of quantum coherence in photosynthesis by comparing organisms with the two different types of proteins.”>“Quantum coherence would allow the energy to test every possible pathway simultaneously before traveling via the quickest route.”
Single dose of sleeping-sickness drug reverses autism-like symptoms in micehttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/uoc--sdr061114.php
>An almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report.>The mice were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old human wizard.>The drug, Suramin, was first synthesized in 1916 and is used to treat trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease.>This is a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication.>“Twenty percent of the known factors associated with autism are genetic, but most are not. It’s wrong to think of genes and the environment as separate and independent factors. Genes and environmental factors interact. The net result of this interaction is metabolism.”>“Obviously correcting abnormalities in a mouse is a long way from a cure in humans, but we think this approach — antipurinergic therapy — is a new and fresh way to think about and address the challenge of autism.
How background electrical brain noise drives our decisionshttp://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10953
>Our ability to make choices — and sometimes mistakes — might arise from random fluctuations in the brain’s background electrical noise, according to a recent study from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis.>The brain has a normal level of “background noise,” Bengson said, as electrical activity patterns fluctuate across the brain. In the new study, decisions could be predicted based on the pattern of brain activity immediately before a decision was made.>The brain has a normal level of “background noise,” Bengson said, as electrical activity patterns fluctuate across the brain. The researchers found that the pattern of activity in the second or so before the cue symbol appeared — before the volunteers could know they were going to make a decision — could predict the likely outcome of the decision.>The new results build on Libet’s finding, because they provide a model for how brain activity could precede decision, Bengson said. Additionally, Libet had to rely on when volunteers said they made their decision. In the new experiment, the random timing means that “we know people aren’t making the decision in advance,” Bengson said.>“It inserts a random effect that allows us to be freed from simple cause and effect,” he said.
Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learninghttp://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/synchronized-brain-waves-enable-rapid-learning-0612
>MIT neuroscientists have found that as monkeys learn to categorize different patterns of dots, two brain areas involved in learning — the prefrontal cortex and the striatum — synchronize their brain waves to form new communication circuits.>“We’re seeing direct evidence for the interactions between these two systems during learning, which hasn’t been seen before,” >There are millions of neurons in the brain, each producing its own electrical signals. These combined signals generate oscillations known as brain waves, which can be measured by electroencephalography The research team focused on EEG patterns from the prefrontal cortex — the seat of the brain’s executive control system — and the striatum, which controls habit formation.>The phenomenon of brain-wave synchronization likely precedes the changes in synapses, or connections between neurons, believed to underlie learning and long-term memory formation, Miller says. That process, known as synaptic plasticity, is too time-consuming to account for the human mind’s flexibility, he believes.>“The prefrontal cortex learning the categories isn’t the end of the game. The cortex is learning these new categories and then forming circuits that can send the categories down to the striatum as if it’s just brand-new material for the brain to elaborate on.”
Leukemia drug found to stimulate immunity against many cancer typeshttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/ucl-ldf061114.php
>A class of drug called p110δ inhibitors, currently being used to treat leukemia, has the unexpected side-effect of boosting immune responses against many different cancers, reports a new study led by scientists at UCL and the Babraham Institute, Cambridge.>The drugs have shown such remarkable efficacy against certain leukemias in recent clinical trials that patients on the placebo were switched to the real drug. Until now, however, they have not been tested in other types of cancer.>The new study, published in Nature, provides the first evidence that such drugs can significantly restrict tumor growth and spread and reduce the chances of relapse for a broad range of cancers. The researchers, together with scientists from Genentech, showed that inhibition of the p110δ enzyme helps to boost the body’s immune system to kill tumor cells.>“If the findings hold true in cancer patients this could make a big difference to many of them. The good news is that because the drugs used in this study are already being used in the clinic, we could see rapid translation of this research into patient benefit.”
A gene that stimulates growth of new brain cells in adultshttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/coh-coh060614.php
>Over-expressing a specific gene could prompt growth in adults of new neurons in the hippocampus, where learning and memory are regulated, City of Hope researchers have found.>The study, which used an animal model, found that over-expression of the TLX gene resulted in smart, faster learners that retained information better and longer.>Understanding the link between this gene and the growth of new neurons — or neurogenesis — is an important step in developing therapies to address impaired learning and memory associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging.>The discovery creates a new potential strategy for improving cognitive performance in elderly patients and those who have a neurological disease or brain injury.
Charging portable electronics will be super-fast, widely accessiblehttp://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/23176
>Two innovations for on-the-go mobile-device users seeking a quick charge are in the works: Starbucks plans to install wireless charging devices in all of its stores; and a new battery design could enable rapid charging of lithium-ion batteries in ten minutes.>Starbucks stores will have “Powermat Spots” — designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge them wirelessly. The system uses inductive coupling, which can charge nearby devices.>Meanwhile, researchers at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a new battery anode design for rechargeable lithium ion batteries that could allow charging in 10 minutes instead of hours.>It uses silicon, whose total charge capacity is 10 times higher than commercial graphite-based lithium ion battery anodes. That could result in a 63 percent increase of total cell capacity and a battery that is 40 percent lighter and smaller, the US Riverside researchers say. They’re developed a novel structure consisting of cone-shaped carbon nanotube clusters decorated with 3D silicon.>But batteries may eventually disappear when electricity is generated from an individual’s physical movements, using energy-harvesting textiles, The Conversation reports.
Graphene quantum dot flash memories look promising for data storagehttp://phys.org/news/2014-06-graphene-quantum-dot-memories-storage.html#jCp
>Today\'s commercial flash memories usually store data as electric charge in polysilicon layers. Because polysilicon is a single continuous material, defects in the material can interfere with the desired charge movement, which can limit data retention and density.>To overcome this problem, researchers have recently been working on storing charge in discrete charge traps, such as nanocrystals, instead of polysilicon layers. Since discrete charge trap materials have the advantage of preventing unwanted charge movement as a result of their lower sensitivity to local defects, they offer the potential for high-density flash memories.>Now in a new study, scientists have used graphene quantum dots instead of nanocrystals as the discrete charge trap material. The researchers, Soong Sin Joo, et al., at Kyung Hee University and Samsung Electronics, both in Yongin, South Korea, have published their paper on graphene quantum dot flash memories in a recent issue of Nanotechnology.>"Actually, this is first successful application of graphene quantum dots in practical devices, including electronic and optical devices, as far as I know, even though there are many reports on physical and chemical characterizations of graphene quantum dots."
Success! Cassini flies by Titan, collects intel on mysterious lakeshttp://phys.org/news/2014-06-success-cassini-flies-titan-intel.html
>NASA\'s Cassini mission flew past Titan early Wednesday morning, successfully completing a complex maneuver that will help scientists better understand one of the solar system\'s most intriguing moons.>Beginning around midnight, a team of scientists and engineers guided the spacecraft into an orbit that allowed them to bounce a radio signal off the surface of Titan toward Earth, where it was received by a land-based telescope array 1 billion miles away.>"We are essentially using Titan as a mirror," said Essam Marouf of San Jose State University, who\'s a member of the Cassini radio science team. "And the nature of the echo can tell us about the nature of Titan\'s surface, whether it is liquid or solid, and the physical properties of the material.">"We are essentially using Titan as a mirror," said Essam Marouf of San Jose State University, who\'s a member of the Cassini radio science team. "And the nature of the echo can tell us about the nature of Titan\'s surface, whether it is liquid or solid, and the physical properties of the material."