April 25, 2009

Concern that Swine Flu Could Become Pandemic

CNN reports that 8 people have died from swine flu, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. [April 25, 2009]

The presence of swine flu in Mexico and the United States is "a serious situation" that could develop into a pandemic, the World Health Organization's director-general said Saturday. "This is an animal strain of the H1N1 virus and it has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," Dr. Margaret Chan said Saturday speaking to reporters by phone.

Mexico City has closed all of its schools and universities until further notice because of the virus, and on Saturday, the country's National Health Council said all soccer games would be played Saturday without public audiences

Asked whether the committee would address raising the agency's alert concerning the virus to 6, a pandemic alert and the highest level on WHO's scale, Chan said, "Yes, indeed."

The alert stands at 3, meaning "No or very limited human-to-human transmission."

Chan said Saturday that WHO does not have indications of similar outbreaks elsewhere.

However, she said, "The situation is evolving quickly. A new disease is by definition poorly understood."

White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Saturday that the White House was taking the situation "seriously and monitoring for any developments."

Health officials in Texas announced Saturday the temporary closure of Byron Steel High School in Cibolo, Texas, where swine flu was confirmed in two students earlier this month.

The United States had not issued any travel alerts or advisories [consider not traveling to Mexico] by late Friday, but some private companies issued their own warnings.

The CDC says two flu drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, seem effective against the new strain. Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the company is prepared to immediately deploy a stockpile of the drug if requested. Both drugs must be taken early, within a few days of the onset of symptoms, to be most effective.

Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the country has enough Tamiflu to treat 1 million people — only one in 20 people in greater Mexico City alone — and that the medicine will be strictly controlled and handed out only by doctors.

Center for Disease Control information on the Swine Flu.

There are many things you can to do preventing getting and spreading influenza:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

As of April 24, 2009, there are 8 cases of swine flu in the United States.

The World Health Organization is tracking international cases in the United States and Mexico.

The United States Government has reported seven confirmed human cases of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 in the USA (five in California and two in Texas) and nine suspect cases. All seven confirmed cases had mild Influenza-Like Illness (ILI), with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

The Government of Mexico has reported three separate events. In the Federal District of Mexico, surveillance began picking up cases of ILI starting 18 March. The number of cases has risen steadily through April and as of 23 April there are now more than 854 cases of pneumonia from the capital. Of those, 59 have died. In San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico, 24 cases of ILI, with three deaths, have been reported. And from Mexicali, near the border with the United States, four cases of ILI, with no deaths, have been reported.

Of the Mexican cases, 18 have been laboratory confirmed in Canada as Swine Influenza A/H1N1, while 12 of those are genetically identical to the Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses from California.

The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults. Influenza normally affects the very young and the very old, but these age groups have not been heavily affected in Mexico.

Because there are human cases associated with an animal influenza virus, and because of the geographical spread of multiple community outbreaks, plus the somewhat unusual age groups affected, these events are of high concern.

The Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses characterized in this outbreak have not been previously detected in pigs or humans. The viruses so far characterized have been sensitive to oseltamivir, but resistant to both amantadine and rimantadine.

World Health Organization Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR)

Bird Flu survival kit

April 24, 2009

Mass 3D Fabrication Possibilities

Chris Phoenix has considered RepRap and cheap 3D desktop manufacturing devices and iterative improvements there as a path evolves into molecular manufacturing. The Reprap can produce its own circuit boards and desktop manufacturing can produce prototypes.

I believe that in the near to mid-term the financial and societal impact will be with things like the Optomec Aerosol Jet which is starting to print superior electronics and solar cells or large scale self assembly can create superior products that are pushing beyond existing lithography.

These machines and capabilities are in the million dollar per machine to many millions of dollar for a facility range. However, the value in being to push the frontier and make superior electronics and computers is where more value and impact is being created. The Optomec is able to turn carbon nanotubes into 5Ghz electronics or make solar cells with 20% efficiency. They are still working out volume production.

Also, more useful than a $5000 desktop manufacturing device is a membership to something like Techshop for $120-150/month.

TechShop provides you with access to a wide variety of machinery and tools, including milling machines and lathes, welding stations and a CNC plasma cutter, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic and wood working equipment including a 4' x 8' ShopBot CNC router, electronics design and fabrication facilities, Epilog laser cutters, tubing and metal bending machines, a Dimension SST 3-D printer, electrical supplies and tools, and pretty much everything you'd ever need to make just about anything.

The small 3D desktop machines can make crude electronics but there is a limited need for crude electronics and there is competition for electronics that are mass produced but configurable (FPGA, EProm etc...) or customizable. As the capabilities of the cheap desktop machines grows then they will have more of a role but there cannot be too much sacrifice of quality by going cheaper.

The analogy is less like desktop PCs versus Mainframes to hand weights versus a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness. Building things now for most people and companies it is better to get professional range of equipment and have trainers guiding and teaching to get a top quality result.

There will need to be a killer app to make the small 3D desktop manufacturing machines take-off. The PCs had the Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel spreadsheets and word processors that provided value and a reason to have Personal Computers. When making physical products, they have to compete with mass produced products. How much does personal customization make a difference and is better than a service bureau that provides customization ?

The 3D personal manufacturing capability becomes liberating and game changing when
1. It is able to use raw materials from the environment or the operating costs become so low that it beats buying from stores.
2. The convenience and responsiveness of using it makes it better and any trade-off in quality or function is not a problem.

Possible Killer Apps for 3D Personal Manufacturing
1. Able to make car parts or replacements for other home or business products that are worth $1000+/year
2. Able to make things to fix or improve real estate. Something that goes beyond what is currently at Home Depot and Lowes.
3. Able to make products to improve health and lower health costs. Medical test devices and personal aid products and devices.
4. Make energy generation devices that are lower cost than what can be bought. Make and deploy solar cells and the wiring or have wireless energy transmission.

A well stocked Techshop facility or fabrication service bureau should enable the applications first, because larger and more capable fabrication devices should be enable the individual or small company to make more things first.

There are many other killer apps and pathways but it either has to be valuable new capability, money/business generation or reducing a substantial current cost. Making cheaper cups and bowls or cheap electronics is not a substantial cost or value in most cases. Those are niches, but not something that would generate a mass market.

US Army has Anti-Aging Projects

Army is taking submissions for anti-aging research.

Wired blogged about the army's anti-aging projects.

If the military can combine the potential of resveratrol with the power of the mole rat. In February, biochemists at the University of Texas Science Center expanded the mitochondrial theory, based on a study of the unbreakable proteins in mole rats, who outlive lab mice by around 20 years. Their work suggests that efficient mitochondria and resilient proteins may work in tandem to promote longevity. Scientists are now trying to determine the "protein protectant" that keeps the rats so darn frisky.

A09-059 TITLE: The Energetics of Cognitive Performance: Regulation of Neuronal Adenosine Triphosphate Production

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Biomedical, Human Systems

OBJECTIVE: To optimize neuronal adenosine triphosphate production capacity.

DESCRIPTION: The modern Army is constrained by mitochondria. Mitochondria are the batteries of eukaryotic cells, and mitochondrially produced ATP is the energy that enables cognitive and physical performance in multicellular organisms. Mitochondrial insufficiency due to aging is directly correlated with reduced ATP production which in turn reduces physical and cognitive performance capabilities in humans. Highly qualified and very experienced soldiers regularly leave the Army because their physical and/or cognitive performance capabilities are significantly less than that of a 20 year old. Although people older than 42 are not eligible to join the Army, little has been done to reduce the effect of old mitochondria on DoD capabilities. At present, individuals attempt to counter their mitochondrial decline with frequent exercise and antioxidants, both of which are crude methods with limited effectiveness. A more precise methodology to stimulate mitochondrial energy production when needed would improve soldier cognitive and performance capabilities, and extend the time that soldiers remain fit for duty.

The past twenty years have seen a revolutionary breakthrough in understanding how mitochondria function. Human mitochondria are a network of approximately 2,000 proteins, exquisitely integrated into a larger network of approximately 100,000 cellular proteins, and again functionally integrated into a larger network of 3 billion cells. Sequence data is available for both the human nuclear and the mitochondrial genome. The biochemical basis of oxidative phosphorylation is well understood and genetic polymorphisms leading to altered energetics and performance capabilities are well documented. The scientific understanding and the technology to develop high throughput screening to identify and characterize compounds that improve neuronal adenosine triphosphate production is now feasible.

PHASE I: Design, construct, develop, and demonstrate the feasibility a high throughput system to identify compounds that increase adenosine triphosphate production in neurons.

PHASE II: Identify compounds that have stimulatory effects on neuronal adenosine triphosphate production and are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Identify and characterize the mechanism of action for lead compounds using genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and/or biochemical approaches. Select one prototype compound for pharmaceutical production and FDA approval.

PHASE III: The "vision" is a warfighter force with improved energetic capabilities; this is analogous to replacing zinc carbon batteries with silver oxide batteries – more energy production capacity will enable the warfighter to sustain demanding cognitive or physical activities longer. The expectation is that the product coming out of this phase II research would transition directly to a small or large biotechnology or pharmaceutical company that would sell the product to warfighters. As vast numbers of civilians are old, substantial civilian interest is also anticipated.


1. Balaban, R.S. Nemoto, S., and Finkel, T. 2005. Mitochondria, oxidants, and aging. Cell 120(4):483-95.

2. Beal, M.F. 2005. Mitochondria take center stage in aging and neurodegeneration. Ann Neurol 58(4):495-505.

3. Boveris, A., and Navarro, A. 2008. Brain mitochondrial dysfunction in aging. IUBMB Life; 60(5):308-14.

4. Clancy, D.J. 2008. Variation in mitochondrial genotype has substantial lifespan effects which may be modulated by nuclear background. Aging Cell [Epub ahead of print]

5. Huang, H. and Manton, K.G. 2004. The role of oxidative damage in mitochondria during aging. Front Biosci 9:1100-17.

6. Lenaz, G., Bovina, C., D’Aurelio, M., Fato, R., Formiggini, G., Genova, M.L., Giuliano, G., Merlopich, M., Paolucci, U., Castelli, G., and Ventura B. 2002. Role of mitochondria in oxidative stress and aging. Ann N Y Acad Sci 959:199-213.

7. Linford, N.J., Schriner, S.E., and Robinovitch, P.S. 2006. Oxidative damage and aging: spotlight on mitochondria. Cancer Res 1:66(5):2497-9.

8. Lopez-Lluch, G. Irusta, P.M., Navas, P., and de Cabo, R. 2008. Mitochondrial biogenesis and healthy aging. Exp Gerontol 43(9):813-9.

9. Navarro, A., and Boveris, A. 2004. Rat brain and liver mitochondria develop oxidative stress and lose enzymatic activities on aging. Am J. Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 287(5):1244-9. Keywords: mitochondria, oxidative phosphorylation, adenosine triphosphate, neurons, ATP.

KEYWORDS: mitochondria, oxidative phosphorylation, adenosine triphosphate, neurons, ATP, HTS

April 23, 2009

Hondas Future Hybrid Cars, Plug-in Hybrids, Diesels and Electric Cars

Kenji Nakano, Senior Chief Engineer, Honda, outlined a potential product portfolio running from internal combustion engined vehicles; mild hybrids; strong hybrids; plug-in hybrids; range extended electric vehicles; and full battery electric vehicles. The best choice, he said, will differ depending upon the vehicle type and use.

We think simple lightweight hybrid systems such as IMA are now suitable, especially for compact cars. We’ll do our best to promote hybrid technology which leads to electric drive [such as plug-in hybrids].

Separately, Honda issued a statement confirming its commitment to the development and production of cleaner diesel engines for Europe.

Honda has just completed the construction of a new engine plant to supply cylinder blocks and casting parts for its 2.2-liter diesel engines in European models. The manufacturing facility, at Ogawa in Japan, will start production in autumn this year, following the installation and testing of machines and equipment.

The 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress site

How Much Has Technology Mitigated Poverty and Enabled More Personal Freedom?

Michael Anissimov discusses the idea that self-replicating factories, fed perhaps by acetylene, water, and the Sun (nanofactories) can lift most restrictions on freedom that come from finite resources.

Michael refers to a piece by Peter Thiel that technology can enable Libertarianism.

I remain committed to the faith of my teenage years: to authentic human freedom as a precondition for the highest good. I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual. For all these reasons, I still call myself “libertarian.”

The ICT Development index for 2009 captures the level of advancement of ICTs in more than 150 countries worldwide and compares progress made between 2002 and 2007. It also measures the global digital divide and examines how it has developed in recent years.

The two charts show that countries that have only 25-50% of the per capita income of a wealthier country are only 5 years or so behind in telecommmunication deployment. However, a digital divide still exists and the poorest countries are not doing great.

India has some of the lowest cost cellular and internet access. India has leveraged telecommunications to create industries that increase the wealth of its people and to lift people out of poverty.

Since 2007, about 1 billion cellphones have been added and mainly in the developing world. There are now 4.1 billion mobile phones in the world.

There is a book that considers the impact of the mobile phone. "Blurring Livelihoods and Lives: The Social Uses of Mobile Phones and Socioeconomic Development"

Various articles indicate how mobile phones are creating opportunities for people in poor places to earn a living and improve the quality of their lives.

Recently cellphones have been used to spread medical information and provide remote diagnosis.

A cellphone microscope will enable disease diagnosis and has uses for improving agriculture.

Technology is enabling super cheap paper based medical tests.

It seems clear that technology can and is making a significant impact on lives, quality of life and mitigation of poverty.

Here is a case study of mobile phone effect on poverty in Uganda from 2008

There is a major willingness to pay now and see an improvement of their lives later. The perception of long-term improvement pushes both the landless and homeowners to invest in mobile phones.

One explanation for this is that mobile phones give people a sense of opportunity.
No other expenditure in a household budget offers such potential for dramatic immediate change like this communication device. While improved access to food and sanitation would improve their livelihoods, if there is no mechanism to sustain or pay for these amenities, the poor remain in the same dire circumstances. Houses take a long time to build and large capital investments are not readily available to the poor. Improved food access and sanitation and new housing do not immediately help to improve job prospects nor move households to the next knowledge economy. All across Africa many developing countries are finding their citizens investing in mobile phone technology before meeting the needs of improved sanitation, water, health, housing and education. Citizens are creating a new form of development by improving the access to markets and jobs and are willing to make small short-term, unpleasant sacrifices if an economic improvement in their livelihoods can be seen with the mobile phone.

Mobile phone can also assist households when faced with unpredictable shocks
which drive poverty. The probability of the family incurring drastic loss due to an
unpredictable shock are mitigated and lowered when families are able to respond to the shock in more timely manners. The mobile phone can have the greatest effects on
poverty reduction during vulnerable shock experiences through driving down costs
associated to the shock. The families thus better financially manage and cope with the situation, incurring lower travel costs, more efficient action, improved access to information and less trauma. Immediate outcomes of income savings and cost mitigation are found particularly during vulnerable situations like death or illness in the family. Security increases for all families through reduced loss of property. A family’s ability to lower the number of overnight hospital days or ability to avoid transport cost during desperate situations are major cost saving strategies implemented with the quick dial of the mobile phone to their family. The mobile phone helped mitigate the depth of poverty experienced and reduces many costs which used to burden the poor. In the case before mobile phones, families would spend tremendous cost on travel and time in contacting family members about a funeral or sickness.

Using technology to combat poverty

Can Technology eliminate poverty How technology can be used for ramping up microfinance.

Top 8 poverty busting technologies

1. Solar panels
2. Vacutug (clean public toilet)
3. Condoms
4. Two wheels (bicycle)
5. Smarter crops
6. Mobile phones and the internet
7. Pepsee (disposable plastic tubes used for irrigation)
8. Television

EUV makes 22 Nanometer Transistors

22 nanometer lithography has been performed with EUV (extreme Ultra Violet Light). (H/T Sander Olson)

Fully functional 22nm CMOS SRAM cells of 0.099µm² density have been fabricated at IMEC using ASML’s EUV Alpha Demo Tool (ADT). The new cells are 47% smaller than IMEC’s 0.186µm² cell produced at the 32nm node last year. The results were presented during IMEC’s partner review week.

“This SRAM cell integration shows that EUV photo process technology is making excellent progress as a cost-effective single patterning approach. We believe that EUV remains a candidate for use in the later stages of the 22nm technology.”

The FinFET layers were printed using ASML’s 1900i immersion lithography tool. The metallization of the contact holes was realized using Applied Materials most advanced contact processing modules for inter-layer barrier Ti and TiN before tungsten fill and chemical mechanical polishing.

Safer Pluripotent Stem Cells using Recombinant Protein Bath to Convert Cells

In Vitro and In Vivo Pluripotency of piPSCs
(A) piPSCs can effectively differentiate invitro into cells in the three germ layers, including neural progenitor cells (Pax6+), characteristic neurons (TUJ1+), mature cardiomyocytes (CT3+), definitive endoderm cells (Sox17+), pancreatic cells (Pdx1+), and hepatic cells (ALB+). Images were merged with DAPI (blue) staining.
(B) RT-PCR analysis of invitro differentiation of piPSCs.
(C) piPSCs incorporate into the ICM of the blastocytes after aggregation with eight-cell embryos (left). Chimeric fetuses (13.5 dpc, middle) were obtained after transfer of the piPSC aggregated embryos into pseudopregnant mice. piPSCs contributed to the germline cells (Oct4-GFP positive) in isolated genital ridge tissue from chimeric fetuses (found in 3 out of 17 fetuses, right).
(D) GFP genotyping confirmed piPSC contribution to multiple three germ layer tissues in chimeric fetuses, including heart, liver, brain, tail, and gonad tissues. A representative genomic PCR of GFP was shown for embryo 9 that also contains piPSC germline contribution.

A group of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions have achieved a breakthrough in converting adult cells all the way back to the most primitive embryonic-like cells without using the dangerous genetic manipulations associated with previous methods.

The team of scientists accomplished this extraordinarily challenging feat by engineering and using recombinant proteins, that is proteins made from the recombination of fragments of DNA from different organisms. Many different recombinant proteins have been therapeutically and routinely used to treat human diseases. Instead of inserting the four genes into the cells they wanted to reprogram, the scientists added the purified engineered proteins and experimented with the chemically defined conditions without any genetic materials involved until they found the exact mix that allowed them to gradually reprogram the cells.

The scientists found that those reprogrammed embryonic-like cells (dubbed "protein-induced pluripotent stem cells" or "piPS cells") from fibroblasts behave indistinguishably from classic embryonic stem cells in their molecular and functional features, including differentiation into various cell types, such as beating cardiac muscle cells, neurons, and pancreatic cells.

The first author of the article, "Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Recombinant Proteins" was Hongyan Zhou of Scripps Research.

8 pages of supplemental data on the experiments

New Scientist also has coverage.

EEstor has third party certification on Relative Permittivity for Supercapacitors

-- EEStor, Inc. announces third party certification tests by Texas Research International's Dr. Edward G. Golla, PhD., Laboratory Director. They certified that EEStor's patented and patent pending Composition Modified Barium-Titanate Powders have met and/or exceeded a relative permittivity of 22,500. This is a high relative permittivity which is good for EEStor's supercapacitors. EEStor's supercapacitors could hold more charge than a battery but have the quick discharge and recharge performance of capacitors.

Relative permittivity effects capacitance is explained at allaboutcircuits.

DIELECTRIC MATERIAL: All other factors being equal, greater permittivity of the dielectric gives greater capacitance; less permittivity of the dielectric gives less capacitance.

Material Relative permittivity (dielectric constant)
Vacuum ------------------------- 1.0000
Air ---------------------------- 1.0006
PTFE, FEP ("Teflon") ----------- 2.0
Polypropylene ------------------ 2.20 to 2.28
ABS resin ---------------------- 2.4 to 3.2
Polystyrene -------------------- 2.45 to 4.0
Waxed paper -------------------- 2.5
Transformer oil ---------------- 2.5 to 4
Hard Rubber -------------------- 2.5 to 4.80
Wood (Oak) --------------------- 3.3
Silicones ---------------------- 3.4 to 4.3
Bakelite ----------------------- 3.5 to 6.0
Quartz, fused ------------------ 3.8
Wood (Maple) ------------------- 4.4
Glass -------------------------- 4.9 to 7.5
Castor oil --------------------- 5.0
Wood (Birch) ------------------- 5.2
Mica, muscovite ---------------- 5.0 to 8.7
Glass-bonded mica -------------- 6.3 to 9.3
Porcelain, Steatite ------------ 6.5
Alumina ------------------------ 8.0 to 10.0
Distilled water ---------------- 80.0
Barium-strontium-titanite ------ 7500

Here is a previous article on competing new batteries and ultracapacitors.

China to be World's Largest Economy in about a Decade, says Deutsche Bank

China will overtake the U.S. in terms of economic output within a decade, according to estimates by Deutsche Bank's Chief Economist for Greater China, Jun Ma, who said he had to accelerate his forecast of the mainland's leadership in the global economy in view of favorable growth dynamics in emerging markets.

Goldman is raising China's GDP forecast to 8.3% for 2009 and Morgan Stanley and others are raising estimates to 7-8% GDP growth for China as well.

China will "massively invest" in these emerging economies using its nearly $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, extend its leverage by extending loans to the International Monetary Fund, and allow the yuan to appreciate in preparation for the currency's potential reserve status.

By the early 2020s, China will over the U.S. in terms of GDP, Ma said, noting the forecast is dramatically stepped-up from his views two years earlier.

"China's nominal GDP growth could surpass that of the United States within ten years, a period which will likely be accompanied by a gradual appreciation of the yuan," Ma said.

This site made a rough projection that China would pass the USA on a nominal GDP basis in 2021-2027 back in 2006.

Starting in 2007 this site has made more detailed projections that indicate that China would pass the USA on a nominal GDP basis in 2020 or earlier. The more recent projections of this site are for China to pass the USA in 2016-2017.

Year GDP(yuan) GDP growth USD/CNY China GDP China+HK US GDP US Growth
2007 25.8 13 7.3 3.5 3.7 13.8 1.1 Past Germany
2008 30.1 9 6.85 4.4 4.6 14.3 -3.1
2009 32.8 8 6.8 4.8 5.0 13.9 0.7 Passing Japan
2010 35.4 10.9 6.2 5.7 5.9 14.0 1.5 Past Japan
2011 39.3 9 5.6 7.0 7.2 14.2 1.9
2012 42.8 9 5.1 8.4 8.6 14.4 2.1
2013 46.7 9 4.7 9.9 10.1 14.7 3
2014 50.9 9 4.2 12.1 12.4 15.2 3
2015 55.5 9 3.8 14.6 14.8 15.6 3
2016 60.5 9 3.5 17.3 17.5 16.1 3 Past USA
2017 65.9 8 3.2 20.6 20.8 16.6 3
2018 71.2 8 3 23.7 23.9 17.1 3
2019 76.9 8 3 25.6 25.8 17.6 3
2020 83.0 8 3 27.7 27.9 18.1 3
2021 89.7 8 3 29.9 30.1 18.7 3
2022 96.8 8 3 32.3 32.5 19.2 3
2023 104.6 8 3 34.9 35.2 19.8 3
2024 112.9 8 3 37.6 37.9 20.4 3
2025 122.0 8 3 40.7 41.0 21.0 3
2026 131.7 7 3 43.9 44.2 21.6 3
2027 141.0 7 3 47.0 47.3 22.3 3
2028 150.8 7 3 50.3 50.6 23.0 3
2029 161.4 7 3 53.8 54.1 23.6 3
2030 172.7 7 3 57.6 57.9 24.4 3

China is starting to allow some trade settlement to be done in Yuan in smaller cities.

Seeking Alpha reviews signs that the Chinese economy is reviving.

The historical relationship between China’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and real GDP growth is shown in the chart. (The Hong Kong PMI is used as a proxy for the Chinese PMI prior to 2004.)

I have just updated the chart for the PMI that rebounded to 52.4% in March 2009 (up from 49.0% the previous month) and the decline in annual GDP growth to 6.1% in the first quarter, down from 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Although the GDP data release was disappointing, China’s improving PMI seems to indicate that the country might have seen the worst of the growth statistics.

IMF has lowered the forecast for Japan's economy to -6.2% GDP instead of -5.8% GDP in 2009.

The faster shrinking in Japan and higher growth in China is reducing the exchange rate that will be needed for China to pass Japan to be the second largest economy.

April 22, 2009

Extending Qubit Life and Improved Quantum Computing Error Suppression

Under certain conditions, trapped beryllium ions form a hexagonal single-plane crystal. This crystal consists of about 300 ions that are spaced about 10 micrometers apart and are fluorescing (scattering laser light). An array of ions such as this might be used as a memory device in a quantum computer.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which has demonstrated an error suppression technique that it says makes multistep quantum calculations commercially feasible.

The new error-suppression method, described in the April 23 issue of Nature,* was demonstrated using an array of about 1,000 ultracold beryllium ions (electrically charged atoms) trapped by electric and magnetic fields. Each ion can act as a quantum bit (qubit) for storing information in a quantum computer. These ions form neatly ordered crystals, similar to arrays of qubits being fabricated by other researchers using semiconducting and superconducting circuitry. Arrays like this potentially could be used as multi-bit quantum memories.

"Quantum computers are inherently prone to errors caused by stray electric or magnetic fields, but theorists have shown that if their error rate is low enough—about one in 10,000—fault-tolerant error correction schemes could enable quantum computations of virtually any length," said John Bollinger, NIST's lead scientist on the project. "We have taken an idea that other people have developed and have experimentally demonstrated that we can use it to suppress the errors in quantum computers enough to meet that one-in-10,000 requirement."

NIST's dynamic decoupling technique, called spin-echo error suppression, uses the echo from error-suppression pulses to realign the "spins" inside the qubits that simultaneously encode the superimposed ones and zeroes. By regularly applying the error-suppressing pulses, spins that are precessing into error are realigned before they get out of phase enough to cause a hard error.

NIST applied its error suppressing pulses using a microwave photon at 124 GHz. The qubits were stored in an array of 1,000 supercooled beryllium ions, each representing a single qubit trapped by an electric and magnetic field. Solid-state versions of such arrays could act as the memory banks in future quantum computers. NIST's demonstration showed that the echoes from appropriately timed error suppression pulses can keep the spins of all 1,000 qubits sufficiently aligned to prevent excessive errors.

"Error correction is vitally important for a gate-level approach to quantum computers; they won't work at all without it," said Geordie Rose, founder and CEO of D-Wave Systems Inc. (Vancouver, B.C.), a pioneering quantum computer company.

Because of the error-prone nature of general-purpose, gate-level quantum computer architectures, D-Wave instead chose an adiabatic model, which sacrifices generality for robustness. D-Wave's quantum computer can only solve discrete optimization of multivariable problems. If NIST's spin-echo error suppression method works as advertised, however, D-Wave claims it may switch back to the general-purpose, gate-level approach.

"Our business model takes an agnostic approach to quantum computing technologies," said Rose. "We are very much interested in any technique that advances that work, and NIST has certainly proven itself to be one of the leaders."

MIT Technology review also has coverage of this work.

NIST researchers showed that by applying specially timed magnetic pulses to qubits, made of beryllium ions, they could prolong the life of the quantum bits from about one millisecond to hundreds of milliseconds.

University of California at Davis has a 167-processor Chip Is Super-fast, Ultra Energy-efficient

The UC Davis chip, dubbed AsAP, is ultra-small, fully reprogrammable and highly configurable, so it can be widely adapted to a number of applications.

Maximum clock speed for the 167-processor AsAP is 1.2 gigahertz (GHz), but at slower speeds its energy efficiency soars. Twelve chips working together could perform more than half-a-trillion operations per second (.52 Tera-ops/sec) while using less power than a 7-watt light bulb.

The chip is designed for digital signal processing which are used for cell phones, MP3 music players, video equipment, anti-lock brakes and ultrasound and MRI medical imaging machines.

“A battery powering this chip will typically last from several times to 75 times longer than it would under the same workload when powering some of the common commercially available digital signal processing chips,” said Bevan Baas, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and leader of the design team. “At the same time, with our targeted applications, we’re getting several times to 10 times better speed than what is currently available — all with a much smaller chip. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest clock-rate processor chip designed at any university.”

Built with industry-standard fabrication technology and design tools, the chip embodies a number of novel architectural and circuit features, Baas explained. Throughout the design process, his group took energy efficiency and high speed into consideration. “These were two of our main objectives, which we never gave up on during the planning stages. And all those choices added up,” he said.

Baas’ group has written a number of software applications for the chip, which has been fabricated by the international electronics company STMicrotronics. It took one student just three months to write “a fully compliant Wi-Fi transmitter,” Baas said. They have also written a Wi-Fi receiver and several complex components of an H.264 video encoder. After testing the chip extensively, it has worked without a glitch, Baas added.

Carnival of Space 99

Carnival of Space #99 is up at Alice Astro Info.

This site provided information on microscale solar sails and the article with details on PGE (Pacific Gas and Electric) signing an agreement with startup Solaren for Space based solar power by 2016.

Innumerable Worlds looks at the tiny movement of our sun caused by Earth and the other planets and the detection capabilities need to notice the planets from the Sun's wobble from 30 light years away.

The numbers along the side and the bottom indicate the angular scale on the sky; this box is 2 milliarcseconds on a side. That’s 2 millionth’s of an arcsecond or half a billionth of a degree! That is incredibly small. It’s roughly equivalent to the thickness of a dime seen from 140,000 km away - nearly a third of the distance to the Moon!

The weak economy is slowing the rocket racing league.

Check out the Carnival of Space #99 is up at Alice Astro Info for many more entries.

Projecting 250 years to a Star Trek Timeframe

Star Trek will soon be relaunched in a new movie. The new movie is primarily a refresh to new actors and writing a more fast paced show. The basic technology of the show and story has not changed but the special effects have been updated, which shows progress in the visual displays and computer graphics of technology in reality.

The timeframe of the movie is the same as the TV show and is about 2259 (James T Kirk is supposed to have been born in 2233). 250 years into the future.
It has been 43 years since the show was started in 1966.

A consistent 1% per year error in a projection would be off by about a factor of 400% over 250 years.

A projection to Star Trek like future can discard all disaster and extinction scenarios and focus on relatively optimistic views of technological development. An assumption is also that space development will be chosen by society.

Note: This projection forward is not an inevitable outcome. The assumption is that the majority of people continue to work for a better future. There is a constant race and competition between advancing technology and those looking to stop or roll back technology or to bog it down with useless bureaucracy.

A starting framework is to look at some rough estimates in terms of population, economic development, energy production, computer technology and broad technological and scientific developments.

Energy Production, technological productivity and economic size and growth are all tighly interconnected. Economic growth in the developed countries over the last few decades was 90% dependent upon technology like new information technology (effective computer usage in business).

90% of economic growth is determined by productivity gains from technology.


Population growth can be projected fairly accurately out to 2050. If there is large scale colonization of the solar system and the development of mature nanofactory nanotechnology then both the population carrying capacity of the Earth and open up the capacity of the solar system. One assumption could be that population would then not need to slow from what is projected from 2009 to 2050.

Human Population in Billions

2009 6.8
2050 10.5
2090 16
2130 24
2170 36
2210 54
2250 81
2260 89

As noted a 1% lower annual population growth rate every year would lower the population projection to 22 billion and a 1% higher annual population growth rate would mean a population target of 360 billion in 2260.


As noted energy Production, technological productivity and economic size and growth are all tighly interconnected. What happens in these areas over the next 250 years will greatly determine the level of development that would exist in a Star Trek timeframe. Mexico experienced 1-2% lower annual economic growth than the USA for most of 100 years. This resulted in Mexico having a per capita income that is 4 times lower than the United States. Some African nations have 100 times lower per capita GDP than the United States. Having 2% lower economic growth every year for 200 years would produce that level of difference. The lowest income countries are in Africa and in Asia. Many of the Asian countries are now making progress out of poverty.

This site has considered a mundane singularity where existing technology and technology in today's labs are developed a mature state to boost economic size and development by 100 to 1000 times. This did not include artificial intelligence or mature nanofactory scale nanotechnology or nuclear fusion. By projecting anything beyond 100 years into the future then artificial intelligence, mature nanofactory scale nanotechnology and complete mastery of nuclear fusion should be reasonably assumed to have been fully developed.

Singularity Lite boosting of one to two levels of faster growth was detailed on this site in this article.

Mode Doubling Date Began Doubles Doubles
Grows Time (DT) To Dominate of DT of WP
---------- --------- ----------- ------ -------
Brain size 34M yrs 550M B.C. ? "~16"
Hunters 230K yrs 2000K B.C. 7.2 8.7
Farmers 860 yrs 4700 B.C. 8.1 7.5
?? 58 yrs 1730 3.9 3.2
Industry 15 yrs 1903 1.9 >6.3

Robin Hanson describes how unlimited automation would remove the limitations of human population from the growth equations.

The roadmaps to full human brain emulation would definitely be achieved within 70 years assuming something like Moore's Law increase in computer power.

Massive scale DNA nanotechnology seems to be certain within two decades.

A couple of scenarios for economic growth would then be

1. 3% annual world economic growth after the current recession with no increase at any point for 250 years. This is basically the equivalent of Star Trek Africa. No next levels of development is achieved.

2. 4% annual world economic growth after the current recession and then a shift up to 10% growth with Singularity Lite in 20 years and then 20% economic growth after a AGI, nuclear fusion and mature nanofactory nanotechnology is available in say 50 years

3. 5% annual world economic growth after the current recession and then a shift up to 20% growth with Singularity Lite in 15 years and then 50% economic growth after a AGI, nuclear fusion and mature nanofactory nanotechnology is available in 30 years.

100 Years of growth at the Above Mentioned Growth Rates

3% 18.7 times larger
4% 48 times larger
5% 125 times larger
10% 12528 times larger (China level growth rates of the last 35 years)
20% 69 million times larger (Fast growing company or mutual fund)
30% 191 billion times larger
50% 271,000 trillion times larger

At the sustained levels of 20%, 30% and 50% annual growth the civilization would progress to and exceed Kardashev Level 2, capturing and using all of the energy (or the equivalent) energy of the Sun.

As we have seen even with high growth for many years recessions and depressions can still happen. However, countries like China that are consistently growing at 10% per year seem able to bounce back faster than countries like Japan that are at low levels of growth. Also, any delay in technological progress would be delays for increasingly technologically sophisticated and economically powerful civilizations. Say in 15 years we have zettaflop supercomputers and petaflop portable devices and some fairly advanced nanotechnology, then how long would it take to find some ways to re-architect and continue technological advancement ?

Assuming no faster than light travel, expansion through the Oort comet cloud and then continuing to other solar systems at near light speed (50+% of light speed)would be a simple task for a civilization with that level of economy and energy control. So in 250 years the civilization would have a 100-200 light year in radius sphere of influence and development.

Energy and Computation

In terms of computing development, this site has considered the limits of reversible computing that are currently in development and has looked at the current development of quantum computing. All three scenarios would see a fully mature level of reversible computing and quantum computing.

A likely minimum reversible computing capability for an advanced civilization is 10**29 operations per watt. Plus that civilization definitely could have figured out more tricks to go a lot higher.

If 10**19 operations per second is a likely upper bound to simulate a human mind, then one watt could be used to simulate 10 billion human mind equivalents. This would be simulating all the minds on earth for one watt using reasonably advanced reversible computing.

A watt is one joule of energy per second.

3*10**47 joules per year for the galaxy
31, 556 ,926 seconds per year.

10*40 joules per second for the galaxy. (Note: Wikipedia has this at 10**37 watts which is also joule per second. The Wikipedia estimates are before the adjustments to the size of the Milky Way.)

The number of stars within the 100 to 200 light year radius is about 1 to 10 billion times less than the whole Milky Way Galaxy.

So 10*30 to 10*31 joules per second for the 250 year civilization. 10**59 reversible operations per second for the lower level. The 250 year civilization would have a lower end of 10**40 simulated human mind equivalents.

Without stagnation or decline the development of powerful technologies such as AGI, molecular nanotechnology and nuclear fusion and even mundane technologies of reversible computing and mass produced deep burn nuclear fission results in a very powerful and rich transhuman/posthuman civilization. Commander Data level robotics and AGI and holodecks equivalents would be trivial. Teleportation could be mimicked with high g force acceleration.

Super Telescopes Easily Within 100 Years

World imagers, Hyper telescopes and Magnetically inflated cable structures could be built over the next 20-30 years. Even without molecular nanotechnology we could have telescopes in space that are 1km-10km in size and then arrayed together. We would be able look in detail out hundreds of light years. By in detail, I mean directly imaging continents on earth like planets.

A hypertelescope would have telescopes in formation in space creating interfemetry baselines that are hundreds to millions of kilometers long. The resolution and light gathering capability of space based telescopes for a civilization with mature space capabilities even within our own solar system would be massive.

World Imager proposals discuss formation flying and the use of starshades so that planets can be observed without interference from the star that is near them.

Molecular nanotechnology enhances the above systems and we could have really big telescope arrays 5 years after the first molecular assembler. We would be able to look in detail out tens of thousands of light years. The systems would have advanced metamaterials to provide more precise focusing of light.

Telescope arrays could be placed at several dozen AU (An Astronomical Unit is the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun) and use the Sun as a gravitational lens.

The Sun's minimum focal length is computed to a refined accuracy of 23.5 ± 0.1 AU, just beyond the orbit of Uranus and other lensing points go out to 550 AU

Galaxies like Toilet Flushes Spin Left or Right

Polar plot of net asymmetries A in 30° sectors in right ascension and slices in z. Segments with positive A are indicated in red and negative A in blue. [blue are left hand spinning and red are right hand spinning] The A for segments with <10 galaxies are not shown. The larger numbers near the periphery give the overall asymmetry for that sector; the black numbers in parentheses are the total number of spiral galaxies in the sector. The NGP is the north pole of our Galaxy, so that the left half of the plot corresponds roughly to the northern Galactic hemisphere. The black arrow shows the most probable dipole axis. Declinations between -19° and +60° were used.

11 page survey of galaxies and how many spin counter-clockwise (left handed) and how many spin clockwise (right handed)

Table I. Number counts and net asymmetries A =(NR– NL)/NTot for the right ascension ranges indicated. The last two columns give the number of standard deviations for the A and the probability.

α Range NR NL NTot A ± σ A / σ Prob.
-15° to 45° 495 490 985 0.005 ±0.032 +0.16 0.87
165° to 225° 2890 3322 6212 –0.0695±0.0127 –5.48 2.1x10-8
Overall 7197 -0.0607±0.0118 –5.15 2.5x10-7

A positive A value means more right hand galaxies. A negative A value means more left handed galaxies.

The evidence seems to indicate that left handed spirals are more common in the northern hemisphere, above the northern galactic pole. And although the signal is less strong, right-handed spirals appear more frequently in the south.

Quote from the Princess Bride
Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.
Man in Black: Thank you; I've worked hard to become so.
Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don't know.
Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo Montoya: I... am not left-handed.
[Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage]
Man in Black: You are amazing.
Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Man in Black: Oh, there's something I ought to tell you.
Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
Man in Black: I'm not left-handed either.
[Moves his sword to his right hand and regains his advantage]

The handedness preference was previously seen in an analysis of over 2600 nearby spiral galaxies and now in an analysis of 15,000 more.

April 21, 2009

Algae Fuel Project Costs and Returns

The lines on the graph depict what are called “zero net present value (NPV)” curves. These lines represent what a project would need to achieve in total installed and O&M costs to be economically viable from a commercial market perspective. Based on the economic assumptions shown in the lower right box, projects that can achieve costs on or below these NPV lines will be capable of providing the required returns to the equity and debt providers— which will ultimately be the financing mechanism for funding such projects.

If your project falls on the line, you will be able to return 30% (average) per annum to equity providers and 12% (average) per annum to debt providers over the 20-year project life. If you are above the line, the project will fail to meet these required returns, while if you are below the line there will be excess profit for the owners of the project. For example, the bottom line (in orange) shows that if your total installed costs are $20k/acre, then your annual O&M costs must be roughly $4k/acre or lower. On the other hand, if your total installed costs drop to $10k/acre, your annual O&M costs can now be as high as $6k/acre and still be economically viable.

Total installed costs and O&M costs will be a major hurdle to future commercialization. Technologies must be developed to reduce costs and increase yields. This can be accomplished only through a focused, comprehensive, and well-funded R&D program. In parallel, the industry should consider business models that not only look at the bioenergy potential of algae through the transportation fuels market, but also consider other higher-value products in order to make the economics achievable.

Technology Roundup : True atomic scale Microscopy, Training cells, Algorithms Boost Flash Density

Immune cells attracted to nooks in this porous, biodegradable polymer implant are stimulated to attack cancer. Credit: Omar Ali

1. A polymer implant signals cells to combat cancer. This was already covered at Nextbigfuture in Jan 2009 but we now have a photo and some more information and it is an important development to track.

Infection-mimicking materials to program dendritic cells in situ. Nature Materials.

A new implant attracts immune cells and exposes them to molecules that stimulate them to attack cancerous tumors. When tested in mice that normally die of cancer within 25 days, the implants allowed 90 percent of the mice to survive. Similar experimental therapies based on transplanting immune cells are only about 60 percent effective.

Why it matters: The implants could eventually be used to treat human cancers that don't respond to other therapies, and they could also be used to treat immune disorders such as type 1 diabetes and arthritis. Other approaches that involve stimulating immune cells haven't proved successful in clinical trials. Those techniques require the cells to be removed from the body and then reimplanted; many are damaged in the process and die, while survivors often fail to trigger attacks on cancerous tumors. The new implant stimulates cells inside the body, without subjecting them to stressful procedures.

2. Microscopists have given aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy the power to reveal atomic structures with unprecedented precision. It is now up to materials scientists to use this power for extracting physical properties from microscopic atomic arrangements.

Why are the images that appeared in the literature for so long not necessarily atomically resolved? Resolving a structure with atomic resolution means that the information must be entirely local on the atomic level. Any change in the position or occupancy of an atomic site in the sample must show up in the image as an individual signal localized only at the corresponding atomic position. In this stringent sense, apart from a few favourable cases, only the images obtainable in modern aberration-corrected instruments match these standards. The concept is illustrated below.

a–c, Images corresponding to different widths of aperture in the back focal plane (f) of the microscope's objective lens selecting the beams that contribute to image formation. In the sequence a to c, the sample contains a microhole consisting of an empty atom column. With the smallest aperture (the full circle in f), only the transmitted and four diffracted beams are used to form the image. This situation corresponds to classical uncorrected electron microscopy where wider apertures cannot be tolerated because of the effect of lens aberrations. Superficially, a appears to show an atomic lattice, but this bears little resemblance to the real lattice imaged in c with the widest aperture setting (dashed line in f). Atomic resolution is only provided in c. Note the artefacts in b taken with the intermediate aperture size (dash-dotted line in f). Two 'atomic maxima' appear on both sides of the hole. In a the hole appears, unrealistically, to be a more intense maximum. Images d and e, corresponding to the smallest and the largest aperture size, respectively, show simulations for a 30% reduction in occupancy of the atomic position marked with an arrow in e. To reveal this reduction in occupancy, the large aperture used in an aberration-corrected instrument is essential.

An investigation using Gaussian regression analyses revealed that such position measurements can be carried out at a precision of better than 5 picometer (pm) (at a 95% confidence level). Such a precision is far superior to that of any other microscopic technique, including the scanning transmission electron microscope or even the scanning tunnelling microscope. The standard objection to such extremely high precision is that it cannot be allowed by a microscope with a 70-pm Rayleigh or point resolution. However, resolution and precision are two separate physical terms. Although resolution is defined by the minimum separation of two optically broadened intensity peaks at which these can just be separated in the image, the distance between two well-isolated peaks, fitted for example by two-dimensional Gaussians, can be measured at a precision more than an order of magnitude higher. It would be a real pity to turn down the extraordinary opportunities offered by aberration-corrected electron microscopy because of an unfortunately common misunderstanding.

3. New algorithms double flash capacity without shrinking transistor size.

Researchers at Toshiba and SanDisk, a maker of flash memory devices in Milpitas, CA, have built a 64-gigabit chip that holds four bits of data per memory cell, twice as much as the cells in conventional chips. The company expects its chips to go into production within the first half of 2009.

Why it matters: To increase the amount of data that can be stored in memory chips, engineers typically shrink the transistors that make up the individual memory cells. However, as transistors get smaller, their reliability tends to decrease because they generate more heat and leak more electrical current. While SanDisk researchers are still exploring ways to make transistors smaller without compromising reliability, the new approach makes it possible to store more data without shrinking transistors.

4. Thomas Edison famously said, is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. This ratio is being radically shifted with advanced automation and machine learning.

Tools such as 3-D modeling and digital prototyping have already taken much of the grunt work out of invention. With the advent of genetic programming and other machine learning techniques, however, software stands poised to take over higher-level aspects of invention as well; these "genies" could conjure up products on the basis of nothing more than general human "wishes." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has already granted patents to products designed largely by software; in his book, Plotkin cites the Oral-B CrossAction Toothbrush as an example.

April 20, 2009

Embryonic stem cells used to regenerate hair on mice

A university lecturer has succeeded in regenerating hair on mice using embryonic stem cells, an achievement that could pave the way for the development of treatments for conditions including hair loss, it has been learned.

This could lead to a baldness cures for humans and eventually to improved regeneration and healing of other organs in humans.

Details of the breakthrough, by Mariko Yamaki of Matsumoto Dental University, will be published in the May edition of The Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine magazine.

The work involved taking skin cells and combining them with mesenchymal stem cells--multipotent stem cells that develop into various organs of the body--to regenerate hair. Yamaki said it would be difficult to regenerate hair using only embryonic stem cells.

Yamaki extracted mesenchymal stem cells taken from the teeth of mice embryos and mixed them with mice embryonic stem cells, which form the basis of skin cells. The clumps resulting from the mix were then nurtured.

It was later found that about 40 percent of the 48 clumps had one or two hairs growing from them. When protein, which quickens growth, is added, the hair growth rate increased to about 60 percent, Yamaki said.

Hair growth was observed on all 12 mice that had the clumps implanted on their back muscles.

Hair papilaries, which supply nourishment to the hair, also were found to have formed on the back muscle.

"If embryonic stem cells are combined with mesenchymal stem cells, which perform a number of other functions, a different organ can probably be created," Yamaki said. "The first thing I want to try to do is regenerate hair using human embryonic stem cells."

Journal of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, articles from 2005

Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine

April 19, 2009

60 Minutes on Cold Fusion

The Cold Fusion segment on 60 Minutes.

Michael McKubre is an electro-chemist who imagines, in 20 years, the creation of a clean nuclear battery. "For example, a laptop would come pre-charged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. You're now decoupled from your charger and the wall socket," he explained. (first third)

Richard Garwin worked on the hydrogen bomb and is prominent critic. He wants 100% reliability and producibility. (second third. reviewing the past and the criticism)

Rob Duncan, vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri and an expert in measuring energy independently reviewed the work. It appears he went to the Energetics Technology lab in Israel. He doubted Cold Fusion when he was invited to review but came away believing that the effect is real but not understood in detail.

"If you ask me, is this going to have any impact on our energy policy, it’s impossible to say, because we don't fundamentally understand the process yet. But to say, because we don't fundamentally understand the process and that's why we're not going to study it, is like saying, 'I'm too sick to go to the doctor,'" Duncan argued.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Martin Fleischmann, one of the original scientists who discovered cold fusion twenty years ago, was interviewed to close the piece.


This site had videos of the American Chemical Society press conferences on Cold Fusion/Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR).

So what has changed over the last twenty years ?

There are more detections of various nuclear reaction products like neutrons.
There is more reliability in the tests. 70-80% consistency of getting some results.
Nanoparticles and thin films begin reactions without delays for loading to critical levels.
There is more understanding of the elements of the tests that can lead to failed tests. The quality of the palladium at the nano-scale.

Some say it does not look like regular nuclear fusion in a tokomak. Why should it look like nuclear reactions in a diffuse plasma when they are new reactions in a condensed solid ?

Pamela Mosier-Boss and colleagues at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego, California, are claiming to have made a "significant" discovery – clear evidence of the products of cold fusion. Tracks of energetic Neutrons are being detected.

One of the most important new research was done in Japan by Arata where heat was produced without adding electricity but just loading deuterium into metal powder.

This site had a preview of the 60 Minutes piece and had videos made by Energetics Technologies, who lab was visited by the 60 Minutes hired independent investigator and is indicating that they are close to commercialization.