August 29, 2015

China has the money and Russia has some needed experience and know how so they may jointly develop aircraft carriers

Russia is struggling to develop advanced military hardware thanks to economic challenges. Russia has touted what it calls a strategic alliance with China, which may develop into plans to build a joint aircraft carrier.

A defense industry official, however, said China is raising its demands, and wants a controlling stake in the project.

‘We both tout the benefits of our friendship,’ the official said. ‘But the truth is, the Chinese are playing hardball.’

Age of aircraft carrier over for any real war but they remain useful for gunboat diplomacy in non-world war situations

Even if aircraft carriers would be highly vulnerable in a full scale major nations war, they are useful for bullying the lower tier military powers.

* a joint China-Russia development would enable both to get better aircraft carriers sooner
* Russia can ill afford tens of billions for the development of carriers
* China could accelerate carrier technology and learning deep open operations with a Russian partnership

As China's military development partner Russia will stay relavant for another 2-3 decades.
Russia needs to restore its large navy ship building capability that they have essentially lost still the fall of the USSR.

China could try to work out an extended agreement for jet engines and military alloys with Russia.

Small, low power flatter metamaterial satellite receivers from Kymeta and possibilities for next generation stealth planes

Intelsat the world’s leading provider of satellite services, and Kymeta Corporation, the leading developer of metamaterials-based antenna technology, announced an agreement to design and produce innovative, flat, electronically steerable, Ku-band mTenna™ satellite antenna solutions that are optimized for the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellite (HTS) platform. The first Intelsat EpicNG satellite is expected to launch in late 2015.

Intelsat EpicNG satellite platform which will deliver increased throughput and cost efficiency. Just as important is our investment in this new, metamaterials-based ground technology which will simplify access to our satellites and open attractive new markets for our solutions.

Kymeta’s flat, thin, light and low-cost satellite tracking antennas will be designed to work seamlessly with Intelsat’s satellite fleet, providing complete flexibility to establish connectivity in sectors for which traditional antennas are not currently practical or feasible. The Intelsat-Kymeta development agreement is expected to lead to a range of antenna and terminal products across our core application verticals such as maritime and aero mobility, content delivery and wireless backhaul applications. In addition, it will provide the opportunity to expand our reach into new verticals such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and ground transportation which are expected to experience significant demand over the next 10 years. Kymeta has agreed to work exclusively with Intelsat on Ku-band technology development in certain application verticals.

“We are excited to partner with Intelsat to bring Kymeta’s patented mTenna™ technology to existing and newly enabled high-volume markets for mobile satellite communications,” stated Dr. Nathan Kundtz, President and Chief Technology Officer of Kymeta.

Metamaterial unit cells based on the complimentary ELC resonator structure, the orientation of the liquid crystal itself can be modulated through the application of a bias voltage to the central island of a unit cell. This bias is entirely capacitive, resulting in no continuous current draw and minimal total power requirements. In practice, less than 2 W of power are required for even large antenna panels. In principal, it is possible the power draw could be limited to several milliwatts.

One of the particularly intriguing aspects of liquid crystal for space applications is that LC is naturally radiation hardened. Studies have shown no observable systematic effects from even very high levels of radiation from Cobalt 60 and neutron sources. Regardless of architecture, this makes the use of LC attractive for these applications

Researchers Use DNA ‘Clews’ to Shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 Gene-Editing Tool into Cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have for the first time created and used a nanoscale vehicle made of DNA to deliver a CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells in both cell culture and an animal model.

The CRISPR-Cas system, which is found in bacteria and archaea, protects bacteria from invaders such as viruses. It does this by creating small strands of RNA called CRISPR RNAs, which match DNA sequences specific to a given invader. When those CRISPR RNAs find a match, they unleash Cas9 proteins that cut the DNA. In recent years, the CRISPR-Cas system has garnered a great deal of attention in the research community for its potential use as a gene editing tool – with the CRISPR RNA identifying the targeted portion of the relevant DNA, and the Cas protein cleaving it.

But for Cas9 to do its work, it must first find its way into the cell. This work focused on demonstrating the potential of a new vehicle for directly introducing the CRISPR-Cas9 complex – the entire gene-editing tool – into a cell.

“Traditionally, researchers deliver DNA into a targeted cell to make the CRISPR RNA and Cas9 inside the cell itself – but that limits control over its dosage,” says Chase Beisel, co-senior author of the paper and an assistant professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State. “By directly delivering the Cas9 protein itself, instead of turning the cell into a Cas9 factory, we can ensure that the cell receives the active editing system and can reduce problems with unintended editing.”

Angewandte Chemie - Self-Assembled DNA Nanoclews for the Efficient Delivery of CRISPR–Cas9 for Genome Editing

3D printed 120 micron long microfish with microject engines could be efficient bloodstream robots

California, San Diego used an innovative 3D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots — called microfish — that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of “smart” microrobots that have diverse capabilities such as detoxification, sensing and directed drug delivery, researchers said.

The technique used to fabricate the microfish provides numerous improvements over other methods traditionally employed to create microrobots with various locomotion mechanisms, such as microjet engines, microdrillers and microrockets. Most of these microrobots are incapable of performing more sophisticated tasks because they feature simple designs — such as spherical or cylindrical structures — and are made of homogeneous inorganic materials. In this new study, researchers demonstrated a simple way to create more complex microrobots.

Red blood cells are 6 to 8 microns in diameter. These microfish are about three times thicker and 20 times longer. They are jet propelled robots that can travel in the bloodstream. The microfish are around the sie of a fat cell or skin cell.

White blood cells are 12 to 15 microns in diameter.

3D-printed microfish contain functional nanoparticles that enable them to be self-propelled, chemically powered and magnetically steered. The microfish are also capable of removing and sensing toxins. Image credit: J. Warner, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Advanced Materials - 3D-Printed Artificial Microfish


Hydrogel microfish featuring biomimetic structures, locomotive capabilities, and functionalized nanoparticles are engineered using a rapid 3D printing platform: microscale continuous ­optical printing (μCOP). The 3D-printed ­microfish exhibit chemically powered and magnetically guided propulsion, as well as highly efficient detoxification capabilities that highlight the technical versatility of this platform for engineering advanced functional microswimmers for diverse biomedical applications.

IBM collaborates with GENCI on exascale computing

IBM and GENCI, the high performance computing agency in France, today announced a collaboration aimed at speeding up the path to exascale computing – the ability of a computing system to perform at least one exaflop, or a billion billion calculations, in one second.

Currently the fastest systems in the world perform between ten and 33 petaflops, or ten to 33 million billion calculations per second – roughly one to three percent the speed of exascale. Put into context, if exascale computing is the equivalent of an automobile reaching 1000 miles per hour, today’s fastest systems are running within a range between ten and 33 miles per hour.

The collaboration, planned to run for at least 18 months, focuses on readying complex scientific applications for systems under development expected to achieve more than 100 petaflops, a solid step forward on the path to exascale. Working closely with supercomputing experts from IBM, GENCI will have access to some of the most advanced high performance computing technologies stemming from the rapidly expanding OpenPOWER ecosystem. Supported by more than 140 OpenPOWER Foundation members and thousands of developers worldwide, the OpenPOWER ecosystem includes a wide variety of computing solutions that use IBM’s licensable and open POWER processor technology.

Accelerating Future e-book covers introduction to Singularity, AGI, Superintelligence and Nanotechnology

Michael Anissimov (who used to blog Accelerating Future) has written an e-book.

Michael's brand new book Our Accelerating Future: How Superintelligence, Nanotechnology, and Transhumanism Will Transform the Planet is now released! Get the epub/mobi/pdf package for $3.99.

In this collection of short articles, Singularity Summit co-founder and former Singularity Institute futurist Michael Anissimov describes the most important ideas in futurism and transhumanism: the Singularity, Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology, and cybernetic enhancement. Within the next century, our world will be turned upside-down by the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence in a technological medium. This concise and clear book serves to introduce the concept to new audiences who are interested in the Singularity and want to know more about this important event which will impact every life on the planet. This book is meant for adults but is suitable for bright teens as well.

AI motivations: how will advanced Artificial Intelligences feel and act? Will they be a threat? How will they gain physical power in the real world? Explore the issues which have captivated great minds from Elon Musk to Stephen Hawking. Anissimov goes through reasoning behind why he went to work for the Singularity Institute (now the Machine Intelligence Research Institute) on their quest for AI safety.

Superintelligence: what does this concept mean? What does it mean to be "superintelligent"? What technological routes could make this possible? How is cognitive enhancement different than physical enhancement? How is this concept related to the Singularity? This book answers all these questions.

Nanotechnology: how is it important? What is a nanofactory? When will nanotech manufacturing be developed? What will the first products be? How will nanotech be used to enhance the human body? This book examines these issues in depth in a clear and easy-to-understand style.

Michael Anissimov is a futurist living in San Francisco, California. He has worked for the Singularity Institute, where he co-founded and co-organized the Singularity Summit conference series before it was acquired by Singularity University for an undisclosed sum in 2012. He has also worked for Kurzweil Technologies and cutting-edge startups in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

August 28, 2015

LPP Fusion closes last of $2 million stock offering and slogs away on Tungsten electrode work

LPP Fusion again worked on the details of getting inpurities from the firing of the Tungsten electrode for their dense plasma focus nuclear fusion project.

They have cleaned the Tungsten. There was a lot of non-trivial engineering needed.

LPP fusion is working out theoretically ways to transfer more of the energy from the electron beam to the heating of plasmoid, leaving less available to damage the anode. This work involves mixing in heavier gases and is still under way. We’ll report more on it next month. Reassembly of the cleaned electrodes is now almost complete. LPP Fusion expects new experiments in early September.

In late August, LPPFusion sold the last shares from its fourth stock offering, completing the raising of $2 million in capital. The share offering was initiated in June, 2011 when 20,000 shares were offered at $100 a share. During the four years of this offering, LPPFusion also sold out a fifth special offering for $250,000, and raised $180,000 through its Indiegogo crowdfunding effort. Over these years, the rate of funding has increased, with total funds raised per year doubling for the period since January 2014 as compared with the prior period.

The LPPFusion Board of Advisors will soon decide on the terms of a new stock offering to fund the company on an expanded scale in the coming years. In accordance with US SEC regulations, shares will only be available to US citizens and to those living in the US who qualify as “accredited investors”, and will be available to all others in accordance with regulations in their countries.

Pakistan reported to be building 20 nuclear missiles each year, which will likely trigger nuclear arms race with India and China

A new report by two American think tanks asserts that Pakistan may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually and could have the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile within a decade. Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years, the report concludes. Pakistan then would probably possess more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and Russia, which each have thousands of the bombs. Analysts currently estimate that Pakistan has about 120 nuclear warheads, while India has about 100. France has about 300 warheads and the United Kingdom has about 215, according to the Federation of American Scientists. China has approximately 250.

H/T Instapundit

India and Pakistan are rivals. China and India are rivals. Any buildup of nuclear weapons by Pakistan will be matched by India. China will match any move by India. If Pakistan gets 350 nuclear weapons then India will have the same or more and China will have as much as both combined.

The report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center concludes that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capabilities because of fear of its archrival, India, also a nuclear power. The report, which will be released Thursday, says Pakistan is far outpacing India in the development of nuclear warheads.

In the coming years, the report states, Pakistan’s advantage could grow dramatically because it has a large stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices.

India has far larger stockpiles of plutonium, which is needed to produce high-yield warheads, than Pakistan does.

US B-3 stealth bomber planned for 2025 will try to get through pickets of large anti-stealth radar drones

A new US bomber, likely called the B-3 (aka Long Range Strike Bomber - LRS-B), will replace all or most of the current fleets of B-52 and B-1 bombers, while complementing the B-2 bombers built by Northrop that have been flying since the 1990s. These will be stealthy, adaptable aircraft that will initially incorporate existing technologies. and as the name implies, be able to bomb targets from a distant range. The contract will be for 80 to 100 aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force misstated the 10-year cost for research, procurement and support of its new long-range bomber in annual reports to Congress. The correct costs estimates $41.7 billion for each of two periods out to 2026. The 10-year cost is the first installment in what could be a 30-year program.

Research-and-Development costs alone are estimated to be around $25 billion, although the bomber is supposed to mainly be built from existing technologies, saving the R and D expenditures associated with new hardware and software.

Specific details on the B-3 program are scant and remain classified. Only three things appear to be mostly locked in: a 2025 in-service-date, a $550-$810 million unit cost (excluding development), and an 80-to-100 aircraft fleet

One analyst called 100 new bombers a “wild fantasy” and expects per unit cost to rise to $3 billion.

The B-3 could also carry bunker-busting, rocket-boosted munitions, high-powered lasers for self-defense and datalinks, and consoles for controlling radar-evading drones.

With a combat radius between 2,000 and 2,500 nautical miles, the US Air Force's new stealth bomber, known as the Long-Range Strike Bomber or B-3, is capable of flying in Chinese airspace for one hour, reports China Aviation News.

The new bomber has been developed to reach targets located deep in the interior of Russia and China.

China saving Terminator movie Sequels

Terminator Genisys had a disappointing box office ($89 million) in North America, but the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi sequel opened with a whopping $27.4 million on its first day in China. That is the fourth-biggest opening day in that territory ever, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction ($30m), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($33m), and Furious 7 ($63m). It’s higher than the $17m single-day debut for Jurassic World. This indicates that Terminator Genisys is on track to make $200-270 million in China.

Terminator Genisys has made about $330 million outside of China. The worldwide total will now likely be $540-610 million.

This will be enough to green light the planned sequels to Terminator Genisys.

Terminator Genisys was planned to be the first film in a new stand-alone trilogy, with two sequels scheduled for release on May 19, 2017 and June 29, 2018.

The rights to the Terminator franchise will go back to Director James Cameron in 2019. It is not believed that Cameron would make his own new Terminator movies. However, he would likely have a larger advisory role.

Robot movies have large movie box office in China. China had big box office for the Transformer movies and Pacific Rim.

August 27, 2015

Quantum Cognition: The possibility of processing with nuclear spins in the brain

The possibility that quantum processing with nuclear spins might be operative in the brain is proposed and then explored. Phosphorus is identified as the unique biological element with a nuclear spin that can serve as a qubit for such putative quantum processing - a neural qubit - while the phosphate ion is the only possible qubit-transporter. We identify the ``Posner molecule", Ca9(PO4)6, as the unique molecule that can protect the neural qubits on very long times and thereby serve as a (working) quantum-memory. A central requirement for quantum-processing is quantum entanglement. It is argued that the enzyme catalyzed chemical reaction which breaks a pyrophosphate ion into two phosphate ions can quantum entangle pairs of qubits. Posner molecules, formed by binding such phosphate pairs with extracellular calcium ions, will inherit the nuclear spin entanglement. A mechanism for transporting Posner molecules into presynaptic neurons during a ``kiss and run" exocytosis, which releases neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft, is proposed. Quantum measurements can occur when a pair of Posner molecules chemically bind and subsequently melt, releasing a shower of intra-cellular calcium ions that can trigger further neurotransmitter release and enhance the probability of post-synaptic neuron firing. Multiple entangled Posner molecules, triggering non-local quantum correlations of neuron firing rates, would provide the key mechanism for neural quantum processing. Implications, both in vitro and in vivo, are briefly mentioned.

Researcher Matthew Fisher's interest in neural nuclear spin processing was stimulated by a paper that explored the effects of different isotopes of lithium on rats. Li naturally occurs in the ratio 92.6% Li-7 and 7.4% Li-6. Somewhat quizzically, mothers given the Li-7 isotope were less stimulated and ignored their pups while the Li-6 moms were maternalistic and nursed more. The interesting part for us here, is that while Li-7 has spin 3/2 and a short Tcoh of just a few seconds, Li-6 has an "honorary" spin 1/2 due to its electric dipole moment and a nice 5 minute long Tcoh

Fisher intends to re-explore the older Li isotope work and further refine the mechanisms and any potential shortfalls of the Posner conception. As alluded to above, electron spin itself is still a relatively obscure concept in biology save for a few niche revelations on things like chemical compasses or other radical pair-pair inspired biologics. Yet free radicals (unpaired electron spins) have a magnetic moment 1,000 or so times larger than that of a proton. Their presence alone could be a significant factor in things like phosphorus nuclear spin decoherence

pair of entangled Posner molecules in (a). The purple dashed lines represent singlet entangled phosphorus nuclear spins. Acomplex of highly entangled Posner molecules in (b). With two pairs of entangled Posner molecules, labelled(a; a0) and(b; b0) as in panel (c),a chemical binding between one member in each pair - the black box connecting(a; b)- can change the probability of a subsequent bindingof the other members of the pair,(a0; b0). If the Posner molecules chemically bind after being transported into two presynaptic neurons asdepicted in (d), they will be susceptible to melting, releasing their calcium into the cytoplasm enhancing neurotransmitter release, therebystimulating (quantum) entangled postsynaptic neuron firingrelease, thereby stimulating (quantum) entangled postsynaptic neuron firing

A stable narrow band atomic x-ray laser is near

An atomic laser operating at the shortest wavelength yet achieved has been created by bombarding a copper foil with two X-ray pulses tuned to slightly different energies. The results may lead to ultrastable X-ray laser.

The technology is not yet ready for primetime, Young, notes, the laser did not achieve saturation and some tests, such as angular divergence were not performed. Still, she notes, the work done by the team and others suggests that researchers will very soon be able to make use of very-short wavelength based lasers, offering perhaps, unprecedented resolution and atomic measurement capabilities.

Since the invention of the first lasers in the visible-light region, research has aimed to produce short-wavelength lasers that generate coherent X-rays; the shorter the wavelength, the better the imaging resolution of the laser and the shorter the pulse duration, leading to better temporal resolution in probe measurements. Recently, free-electron lasers based on self-amplified spontaneous emission have made it possible to generate a hard-X-ray laser (that is, the photon energy is of the order of ten kiloelectronvolts) in an ångström-wavelength regime, enabling advances in fields from ultrafast X-ray spectrosopy to X-ray quantum optics. An atomic laser based on neon atoms and pumped by a soft-X-ray (that is, a photon energy of less than one kiloelectronvolt) free-electron laser has been achieved at a wavelength of 14 nanometers. Here, we use a copper target and report a hard-X-ray inner-shell atomic laser operating at a wavelength of 1.5 ångströms. X-ray free-electron laser pulses with an intensity of about 10^19 watts per square centimeter tuned to the copper K-absorption edge produced sufficient population inversion to generate strong amplified spontaneous emission on the copper Kα lines. Furthermore, we operated the X-ray free-electron laser source in a two-colour mode9, with one colour tuned for pumping and the other for the seed (starting) light for the laser.

XFEL pulses are generated with undulators in single-color mode (the ASE experiment) (a) or two-color mode (the seeding experiment) (b). The two-stage focusing system generates, on average, a 120-nm focusing spot

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