Google and NASA see it fitting to join forces and launch the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, which will be home to a quantum computer from D-Wave Systems. Researchers will work to, in Google’s own words, “study how quantum computing might advance machine learning”.
In reality, what Google wants to do with quantum computing is refine and perhaps completely revamp how search and voice recognition technology interact and work, so that an artificial intelligence (AI) more advanced than Apple’s Siri or Google own Now engine could exist. The same could be said for predicting and addressing climates and diseases. Don’t get excited yet, since this is in its very early stages, but still, if there is a time to use “cutting edge”, this is it.
Interestingly enough, we wouldn’t go into an instant ice age. In fact, as Vsauce walks us through an excellent dictation of how earth’s natural systems would slowly fail, but over the course of weeks and even years, not merely seconds. The cold would eventually ruin humanity, but extremophiles that live in deep sea volcanoes and thermal vents could survive for billions of years thereafter. The more you know, right?
It’s not the complete package, but it’s one variable of the equation: Stanford University’s recent announcement that scientists have successfully created the first truly biological transistor made entirely out of genetic material. Transistors are the bringers of nearly all of modern technology.
What the scientists actually researched and tested pertains to DNA and RNA, which make up the newly dubbed “transcriptor.” First, embedding a microscopic portion of a DNA molecule inside of a living cell, Standford researchers were able to control the flow of RNA, which translates DNA’s instructions to the living cell, much like the digital transistor which regulates electrical currents, the researcher-controlled “transcriptor” can essentially direct an entire living cell.
Practical uses of this technology almost have no limits: the commanding of cancerous cells to stop multiplying, monitoring general health levels, or perhaps even (malicious or otherwise) control of the living cell. This is awesome stuff, to say the least.
Scientists at CERN have a small update that they thought you (and the rest of the world that’s interested) should know: that their purported finding of the Higgs boson “god particle” seems to be getting closer and closer to specific characteristics and formula that would classify it as the particle they’re looking for; as they said simply, the particle they’ve been working with is ”more and more like a Higgs boson.” The researchers weren’t very specific after that, which makes us sad/mad, but I’ll leave it at that.
A memory glitch forced the Mars Curiosity Rover to halt its expedition of Mars and enter safe mode on a backup computer, causing gasps and “oh nos” everywhere. Don’t worry, NASA is reporting that they’ve successfully brought the Curiosity rover out of safe mode and filling out the needed tests to make sure the system can withstand all the perils that come form traveling on Mars. Once that’s over with, the Curiosity rover will continue its adventure in the next few days.
Just a few days after meteorites and asteroids thought to would be cool the come around Earth, scientists have been busy figuring out what exactly happened in Russia, where on meteorite exploded and caused structural damage to some buildings. Peter Brown, from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, has been using low frequency sound waves detected during the incident to calculate the intensity of the explosion. As it turns out, as the ESA explains:
The object is estimated to have been about 17 m across with a mass of 7,000–10,000 tonnes when it hit atmosphere. It exploded with a force of nearly 500 kilotons of TNT –- some 30 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb — around 15 to 20 km above the ground.
The always creative Minutephysics has uploaded another video discussing a new subject related to match, science, or life. In this case, “what is the universe, what will it be, is it unique?” and more. Plus, does mathematics exist outside of the universe? All this and more will give you a headache — unless you’re up for it, of course.
The Mars Curiosity rover on Mars has just accomplished another feat: a hole on Mars on Gale Crater, a supposed area where water used to exist on Mars. The hole was drilled by the rover’s drill attached to its seven-foot robotic arm and measures 0.63 inches across and 2.5 inches deep. What’s even better about the experiment for science is that a sample from the drilling operation has been collected, and now scientists back on Earth can verify if it houses evidence of water that used to be on Mars, or if the rover has been contaminated with more Earth material.
Researchers have been working on injection-free vaccinations for months now, a new method to inject a vaccine into the human bloodstream to trigger and immune response. The purpose is not only to make your immunization shots easier, but in third-world countries where the use of hypodermic needles is somewhat scarce and the refrigeration of the vaccine is needed in order to keep everything in check, a major roadblock in trying to help people in these regions.
The way it works: dried sugar, which was laced with a proposed HIV vaccine (also in development), which dissolves when inserted in to the skin, effectively triggering an immune response like any other annoying needle. Better yet, Dr Linda Klavinskis of Kings College says the work “could potentially reduce the cost of manufacturing and transportation”.
Standing ovation for science? I think so. Video of it in action is after the break. Via: MedGadget, Verge
As Randall Monroe from xkcd so accurately describes and explains using his drawings and tests inside of X-Plane (a flight simulator used by pilots with 20 years of engineering behind it) it’s rather difficult to fly a plane in on a planet with no environment. Not to mention temperature and pressure changes, along with gravitational pull. But the intriguing thing is that on Titan, a moon of Saturn, is better to fly in than on Earth: you could technically use a human glider, except that it’s really cold, at about 72 degrees Kelvin (-330.07 Fahrenheit). That’s really cold.