Tag Archives: invisibility

Futurology ~ 83 Black Holes, space superbugs, invisibility, blue wake-up, animal magnetism, Irish dirt

Bacteria in some Irish dirt killed four of the top six organisms that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA

Loads of ‘new’ super-massive Black Holes — A team of international astronomers has been hunting for ancient, supermassive black holes and discovered 83 previously unknown quasars.
~ OK, just try not to upset them.

New tools against superbugs in space — For years, scientists have sounded the alarm about a potential nightmare for astronauts on the International Space Station: antibiotic-resistant superbugs that could be even more dangerous in space than they are on Earth. This week, research say they’ve found a way to better prevent such hardy bacteria from growing on surfaces of the ISS.
The magical property is called AGXX, a mix of silver and ruthenium. Its developers claim AGXX can more effectively kill off bacteria and other microbes like fungi than conventional silver, while having a lower risk of depositing silver in the environment. The chemical makeup of AGXX even allows the coating to self-regenerate, ensuring that its effects last longer.
~ Did you think the secret was Janola? Or magical Irish dirt? (See below.)

Kevlar invisibility cloak — Chinese researchers fabricated an aerogel film made of DuPont Kevlar fibres. By itself, the aerogel turned out to be a good thermal insulator, but the researchers enhanced its capabilities by coating its fibres with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and a protective waterproof layer.
~ It’s actually invisible to heat detectors rather than eye sight.

Wake-up blue — A team of scientists in South Korea has demonstrated that blue-enriched light can effectively help people overcome morning drowsiness.
~ Seems obvious to me: if you shouldn’t have blue light at night coz it keeps you awake, then …

Humans feel the magnetic field — A new study from researchers at the California Institute of Technology suggests that humans can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, although the strength of the response varied hugely among participants.
~ ItAnimal magnetism, indeed. 

Magical Irish dirt kills bacteria — Old timers insisted that the dirt in the vicinity of a nearly 1500-year-old church in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, an area once occupied by the Druids, had almost miraculous curative powers. So microbiologist Gerry Quinn and his team decided to focus on the Irish soil, they narrowed their search to a specific type of bacteria, called Streptomyces, because other strains of this bacteria have led to the development of 75% of existing antibiotics.
~ This is important as in the United States at least 23,000 people die every year from an antibiotic resistant infection.

Futurology ~ sharper radar, alien-hunting ’scope, 3D printing food, baby-brained computer, third arm, bio-powered chips, morphing tank, invisibility

Researchers have invented a third arm for drummers … as if they’re not noisy enough already.

Chip will make satellite radars way sharper — A new silicon chip is the centrepiece of a new 94GHz radar system being developed by the European Space Agency, that will transform radar systems in space missions. Being developed in Ireland by a company called Arrakis, its high resolution will, according to the Agency, make planetary landings far safer, as it will allow craft to image smaller obstacles on landing zones than current systems allow.
~ More accurate landings should result. 

The biggest alien-hunting radio telescope on Earth comes at a human cost — China is displacing over 9000 people to do it. The 500-metre-wide telescope is called FAST (Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope), and it’s almost double the size as the next biggest radio telescope, a similarly shaped contraption in Puerto Rico. Its 460,000 reflective mirrors will reflect radio signals emitted by the universe onto a 30-ton antenna, which could help us unlock all kinds of galactic secrets. (China displaced 300,000 residents to clear the way for the Three Gorges Dam.)
~ But it won’t solve Chinese pollution or traffic. 

NASA gets kids 3-D printing food — In collaboration with the American Society for Mechanical Engineers Foundation and Star Trek, NASA launched the Star Trek Replicator Challenge this week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. The initiative calls on students to design 3-D printable hardware needed to grow food and eat well in space. The space agency is working hard to figure out how astronauts can use technology to produce their own food and eat a more diversified, less shrink-wrapped diet overall.
~ Now, what shape and colour shall we make this nutritious space slop?

Baby-brained computing — Can artificial intelligence evolve as human baby does, learning about the world by seeing and interacting with its surroundings? That’s one of the questions driving a huge cognitive psychology experiment that has revealed crucial differences in how humans and computers see images.
~ Hopefully the results won’t then just learn what a-holes humans are. 

Paper replicates skin — A Saudi Arabian research team has used cheap household items to make a ‘paper skin‘ that mimics many sensory functions of human skin.
The artificial skin may represent the first single sensing platform capable of simultaneously measuring pressure, touch, proximity, temperature, humidity, flow, and pH levels.
~ Then cover it with a hijab?

Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a wearable robotic limb that transforms drummers into three-armed cyborgs — The most remarkable thing about this wearable arm, developed at GT’s Center for Music Technology, is that it’s doing a lot more than just mirroring the movements of the drummer. It’s a ‘smart arm’ that’s actually responding to the music, and performing in a way that compliments what the human player is doing.
~ That’s all very well, but I just want to be able to read the newspaper while eating a sandwich. 

Bio-powered chips to fit inside cells — For the first time, researchers have developed a microchip powered by the same energy-rich molecules that fuel living cells. This advance could one day lead to devices that are implanted within cells while harvesting biological energy to operate.
~ The idea is making me hungry.

MorphTnkMorphin’ tank — Estonian defence company Milrem has developed a seriously cool military robot that is totally modular, so it can easily morph from an unmanned combat unit, to a humanless firefighter, to a makeshift medi-vac. The robot is called THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System). It’s 2m wide, nearly 90cm tall, and it can do over 32km per hour.
~ Can it morph into an ice-cream truck? No!

Mesh cloak invisible to radio — A team of US and Chinese researchers has created the first practical ‘invisible’ material that allows certain electromagnetic signals to pass unimpeded as they would through air. It represents a huge leap for real science. Previously, researchers could only make a single tiny sphere or cylinder invisible to certain electromagnetic wavelengths by taking advantage of a phenomenon called ‘dark state.’
~ It allows Justin Bieber songs pass right through you without making any impression.
Wait, they already do that!