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October 21, 2014

Factoring in underreporting there might be 12000 deaths from Ebola

The total number of confirmed , probable, and suspected cases) in the West African epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported up to the end of 5 October 2014 (epidemiological week 40) was 8033 with 3865 deaths.

The update for two weeks later is below but it has not provided an update on Liberia. Liberia has over half of the cases.

The World Health Organization and Center For disease control have estimated that only two out of every five cases are reported.

This means that a better estimate is around 12000 deaths and 23,000 cases.


For $10,000 you can get a real magnetic hoverboard to glide over conductive surfaces

Hendo has a kickstarter for a magnetic hoverboard that can glide over conductive surfaces and you can have one for $10,000.

While their hoverboard is primarily intended to be self-propelled, the actions which stabilize it can also be used to drive it forward by altering the projected force on the surface below.

Currently, this surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. Right now they use commonly available metals in a simple sheets, but they are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs.




Carnival of Nuclear Energy 231

1. Robert Rock [President, Environmentalists for Nuclear, Canada] at Linkedin - Is Germany's Green turning Brown ?

Robert Rock looks at the effect of Germany's Energiewende.

The Energiewende has cost German citizens more than € 100 billion euros. That cost continues to grow. The environment minister believes that it will cost over € 1 trillion euros over the next two decades. In the future, the cost gets even worse for Germany, as Siemens estimated in 2011 that the lifetime cost of the Energiewende through 2050 will be € 4.5 trillion euros.

In addition, to the issue of rising costs which are substantial, Germany is also displacing whole villages to be able to mine more coal. A recent example of this is Proschim in the east.

2. James Conca at Forbes - A Working Nuclear Fusion Reactor In Three Years? Really?

Lockheed Martin claimed a design breakthrough in nuclear fusion reactors that will revolutionize energy production on planet Earth and fit in my garage. I hope so.


Superconducting magnetic coils inside a compact fusion reactor. Source: Lockheed Martin

Braintree Founder has $100 million fund for quantum-leap discoveries to Rewrite Civilizations Foundations

Bryan Johnson, founder of Braintree Inc., has launched a $100 million venture fund to pursue groundbreaking ideas.

Mr. Johnson was getting his MBA at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business when he launched credit card software company Braintree, which sold last year to eBay Inc. for $800 million. Although he stepped down as CEO in 2011, Mr. Johnson still owned part of the company.

Today, Johnson wants to use OS-level thinking to redefine medical discovery and cure aging; recreate the biological toolset of our existence; become a multi-planetary species; reinvent global transportation infrastructure; enhance our minds; safely create advanced machine intelligence; and produce abundant clean energy.



The OS Fund invests in entrepreneurs working towards quantum-leap discoveries that promise to reinvent the operating systems of life.

October 20, 2014

World’s Thinnest Electric Generator

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology report today that they have made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), resulting in a unique electric generator and mechanosensation devices that are optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretcha

Piezoelectricity is a well-known effect in which stretching or compressing a material causes it to generate an electrical voltage (or the reverse, in which an applied voltage causes it to expand or contract). But for materials of only a few atomic thicknesses, no experimental observation of piezoelectricity has been made, until now. The observation reported today provides a new property for two-dimensional materials such as molybdenum disulfide, opening the potential for new types of mechanically controlled electronic devices.

Ultimately, Zhong Lin Wang notes, the research could lead to complete atomic-thick nanosystems that are self-powered by harvesting mechanical energy from the environment. This study also reveals the piezotronic effect in two-dimensional materials for the first time, which greatly expands the application of layered materials for human-machine interfacing, robotics, MEMS, and active flexible electronics.


An atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), shown, could be the basis for unique electric generator and mechanosensation devices that are optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretchable.—Image courtesy of Rob Felt/Georgia Tech

Nature - Piezoelectricity of single-atomic-layer MoS2 for energy conversion and piezotronics


Conference Board Forecasts China's annual GDP growth will be 5.5% for 5 years and then 3.9% for five. Other economists think this is overly pessimistic

The Wall Street Journal reports on a Conference Board forecast of China's GDP growth over the next ten years.

The Conference Board forecasts that China’s annual growth will slow to an average of 5.5% between 2015 and 2019, compared with last year’s 7.7%. It will downshift further to an average of 3.9% between 2020 and 2025, according to the report.

Tomorrow China will reports their third quarter GDP growth. China's economy is forecast to have grown 7.2 percent in the July-September period, according to a Reuters poll.


Lightbridge will test their metallic nuclear fuel in Canada

Lightbridge on Monday announced a pact with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to carry out a key test for the McLean-based company's nuclear fuel technology.

The initial agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) entails fabricating samples of the fuel and irradiating them in a research reactor. The work represents "the most critical phase of fuel testing and demonstration" prior to testing in a commercial reactor.

Work at AECL's Chalk River, Ontario, facility is slated to begin later this year.