July 25, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties

The old rules don’t necessarily apply when building electronic components out of two-dimensional materials, according to scientists at Rice University.

The Rice lab of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson analyzed hybrids that put 2-D materials like graphene and boron nitride side by side to see what happens at the border. They found that the electronic characteristics of such “co-planar” hybrids differ from bulkier components.

Their results appear this month in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

Shrinking electronics means shrinking their components. Academic labs and industries are studying how materials like graphene may enable the ultimate in thin devices by building all the necessary circuits into an atom-thick layer.

“Our work is important because semiconductor junctions are a big field,” Yakobson said. “There are books with iconic models of electronic behavior that are extremely well-developed and have become the established pillars of industry.



Nano Letters - Carrier Delocalization in Two-Dimensional Coplanar p–n Junctions of Graphene and Metal Dichalcogenides

Three Dwave 2X quantum computing machines installed outside of Dwave and each has over 1000 qubits

The USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC) based at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI) has been upgraded — to 1,098 qubits from 512. The D-Wave 2X™ processor is enabling QCC researchers to continue their efforts to close the gap between academic research in quantum computation and real-world critical problems.

“Our QCC researchers have been studying and elucidating the capabilities of the D-Wave quantum annealing processors since 2011, starting with the first commercially released model, and we are fortunate to be able to continue this cutting-edge work with this new, third-generation model,” said Daniel Lidar, the scientific director of the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center.

The QCC is hosted at the USC Information Sciences Institute of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The QCC hosts one of two D-Wave systems that currently operate outside of D-Wave’s headquarters; the other, owned by Google, is hosted at NASA’s Ames Research Center. A third is being installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The new processor will be used to study how and whether quantum effects can speed up the solution of tough optimization, machine learning and sampling problems. Machine-learning algorithms are widely used in artificial intelligence tasks.



“Quantum computing has the potential to solve complex engineering problems that classical computers cannot efficiently solve,” said Greg Tallant, Lockheed Martin fellow and lead for the USC-Lockheed Martin QCC. “This emerging technology is expected to achieve things like rapidly debugging millions of lines of software code and solving hard computational problems in the aerospace industry. At its fullest capability, quantum computing could advance the way we solve critical issues and plan for future generations.”

The QCC researchers expect that with continued development, the D-Wave 2X system will enable breakthrough results in quantum optimization.

Stem cell injections reduce scarring during bypass surgery and possibly increase survival of patients with surgery

11 patients were injected with stem cells during bypass surgery. The stem cells injected into their hearts caused a 40% reduction in the size of scarred tissue. Such scarring occurs during a cardiac event such as a heart attack, and can increase the chances of further heart failure. The scarring was previously thought to be permanent and irreversible.

At the time of treatment, the patients were suffering heart failure and had a very high (70%) annual mortality rate. But 36 months after receiving the stem cell treatment all are still alive, and none have suffered a further cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke, or had any readmissions for cardiac-related reasons.

Twenty-four months after participants were injected with the stem cell treatment there was a 30% improvement in heart function, 40% reduction in scar size, and 70% improvement in quality of life, as judged by the Minnesota living with heart failure (MLHF) score.

Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research - Implantation of a Novel Allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cell Type in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: an Open Label Phase IIa Trial

Heart failure is a life-limiting condition affecting over 40 million patients worldwide. Ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) is the most common cause. This study investigates in situ cardiac regeneration utilizing precision delivery of a novel mesenchymal precursor cell type (iMP) during coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (LVEF less than 40 %). The phase IIa safety study was designed to enroll 11 patients. Preoperative scintigraphy imaging (SPECT) was used to identify hibernating myocardium not suitable for conventional myocardial revascularization for iMP implantation. iMP cells were implanted intramyocardially in predefined viable peri-infarct areas that showed poor perfusion, which could not be grafted due to poor target vessel quality. Postoperatively, SPECT was then used to identify changes in scar area. Intramyocardial implantation of iMP cells with CABG was safe with preliminary evidence of efficacy of improved myocardial contractility and perfusion of nonrevascularized territories resulting in a significant reduction in left ventricular scar area at 12 months after treatment. Clinical improvement was associated with a significant improvement in quality of life at 6 months posttreatment in all patients. The results suggest the potential for in situ myocardial regeneration in ischemic heart failure by delivery of iMP cells.


New technique can reveal subcellular details and long-range connections in the brain

MIT researchers have developed a new technique for imaging brain tissue at multiple scales, allowing them to peer at molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons.

This technique, known as magnified analysis of proteome (MAP), should help scientists in their ongoing efforts to chart the connectivity and functions of neurons in the human brain, says Kwanghun Chung, the Samuel A. Goldblith Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and a member of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

“We use a chemical process to make the whole brain size-adjustable, while preserving pretty much everything. We preserve the proteome (the collection of proteins found in a biological sample), we preserve nanoscopic details, and we also preserve brain-wide connectivity,” says Chung, the senior author of a paper describing the method in the July 25 issue of Nature Biotechnology.

The researchers also showed that the technique is applicable to other organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.


A new technique called magnified analysis of proteome (MAP), developed at MIT, allows researchers to peer at molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons Courtesy of the researchers.

Nature Biotechnology - Multiplexed and scalable super-resolution imaging of three-dimensional protein localization in size-adjustable tissues

New chemistry could overcome key drawbacks of lithium-air batteries

Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output in proportion to their weight. But such batteries have some pretty serious drawbacks: They waste much of the injected energy as heat and degrade relatively quickly. They also require expensive extra components to pump oxygen gas in and out, in an open-cell configuration that is very different from conventional sealed batteries.

But a new variation of the battery chemistry, which could be used in a conventional, fully sealed battery, promises similar theoretical performance as lithium-air batteries, while overcoming all of these drawbacks.

The new battery concept is called a nanolithia cathode battery

Pairing lithium and oxygen (from air) can theoretically lead to electrochemical cells with the highest specific energy possible. Indeed, the theoretical specific energy of a non-aqueous Li-air battery (in the charged state with Li2O2 product and excluding the oxygen mass) is ~12 kWh/kg. This is comparable with the theoretical specific energy of gasoline (~13 kWh/kg). In practice, the Li-air batteries with a specific energy of ~1.7 kWh/kg at the cell level have been developed, which is about 5 times greater than that of commercial lithium-ion batteries, and which is sufficient to run a Fully Electric Vehicle (FEV) for 500 km (311 miles) on a single charge.

Nature Energy - Anion-redox nanolithia cathodes for Li-ion batteries

NASA to Map the Surface of an Asteroid

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch September 2016 and travel to a near-Earth asteroid known as Bennu to harvest a sample of surface material and return it to Earth for study. The science team will be looking for something special. Ideally, the sample will come from a region in which the building blocks of life may be found.

To identify these regions on Bennu, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) team equipped the spacecraft with an instrument that will measure the spectral signatures of Bennu’s mineralogical and molecular components.


Known as OVIRS (short for the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer), the instrument will measure visible and near-infrared light reflected and emitted from the asteroid and split the light into its component wavelengths, much like a prism that splits sunlight into a rainbow.

“OVIRS is key to our search for organics on Bennu,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “In particular, we will rely on it to find the areas of Bennu rich in organic molecules to identify possible sample sites of high science value, as well as the asteroid’s general composition.”

OVIRS will work in tandem with another OSIRIS-REx instrument — the Thermal Emission Spectrometer, or OTES. While OVIRS maps the asteroid in the visible and near infrared, OTES picks up in the thermal infrared. This allows the science team to map the entire asteroid over a range of wavelengths that are most interesting to scientists searching for organics and water, and help them to select the best site for retrieving a sample.

In the visible and infrared spectrum, minerals and other materials have unique signatures like fingerprints. These fingerprints allow scientists to identify various organic materials, as well as carbonates, silicates and absorbed water, on the surface of the asteroid. The data returned by OVIRS and OTES will actually allow scientists to make a map of the relative abundance of various materials across Bennu’s surface.

“I can’t think of a spectral payload that has been quite this comprehensive before,” said Dennis Reuter, OVIRS instrument scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

OVIRS will be active during key phases throughout the mission. As the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft approaches Bennu, OVIRS will view one entire hemisphere at a time to measure how the spectrum changes as the asteroid rotates, allowing scientists to compare ground-based observations to those from the spacecraft. Once at the asteroid, OVIRS will gather spectral data and create detailed maps of the surface and help in the selection of a sample site.

Using information gathered by OVIRS and OTES from the visible to the thermal infrared, the science team will also study the Yarkovsky Effect, or how Bennu's orbit is affected by surface heating and cooling throughout its day. The asteroid is warmed by sunlight and re-emits thermal radiation in different directions as it rotates. This asymmetric thermal emission gives Bennu a small but steady push, thus changing its orbit over time. Understanding this effect will help scientists study Bennu’s orbital path, improve our understanding of the Yarkovsky effect, and improve our predictions of its influence on the orbits of other asteroids.

But despite its capabilities to perform complex science, OVIRS is surprisingly inexpensive and compact in its design. The entire spectrometer operates at 10 watts, requiring less power than a standard household light bulb.

“When you put it into that perspective, you can see just how efficient this instrument is, even though it is taking extremely complicated science measurements,” said Amy Simon, deputy instrument scientist for OVIRS at Goddard. “We’ve put a big job in a compact instrument.”

Unlike most spectrometers, OVIRS has no moving parts, reducing the risk of a malfunction.

“We designed OVIRS to be robust and capable of lasting a long time in space,” Reuter said. “Think of how many times you turn on your computer and something doesn’t work right or it just won’t start up. We can’t have that type of thing happen during the mission.”

Drastic temperature changes in space will put the instrument’s robust design to the test. OVIRS is a cryogenic instrument, meaning that it must be at very low temperatures to produce the best data. Generally, it doesn’t take much for something to stay cool in space. That is, until it comes in contact with direct sunlight.

Heat inside OVIRS would increase the amount of thermal radiation and scattered light, interfering with the infrared data. To avoid this risk, the scientists anodized the spectrometer’s interior coating. Anodizing increases a metal’s resistance to corrosion and wear. Anodized coatings can also help reduce scattered light, lowering the risk of compromising OVIRS’ observations.

The team also had to plan for another major threat: water. The scientists will search for traces of water when they scout the surface for a sample site. Because the team will be searching for tiny water levels on Bennu’s surface, any water inside OVIRS would skew the results. And while the scientists don’t have to worry about a torrential downpour in space, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft may accumulate moisture while resting on its launch pad in Florida’s humid environment.

Immediately after launch, the team will turn on heaters on the instrument to bake off any water. The heat will not be intense enough to cause any damage to OVIRS, and the team will turn the heaters off once all of the water has evaporated.

“There are always challenges that we don’t know about until we get there, but we try to plan for the ones that we know about ahead of time,” said Simon.

OVIRS will be essential for helping the team choose the best sample site. Its data and maps will give the scientists a picture of what is present on Bennu’s surface.

In addition to OVIRS, Goddard will provide overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is the mission’s principal investigator at the University of Arizona. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The new US aircraft carrier and its planned F-35 fighter will both not be truly combat ready until after 2020

The F-35 fighter plane will not truly be combat ready until 2022 and the aircraft carrier where the navy's F-35 would launch from will also not be combat ready until a redesigned launching and recovery system is built and installed. The current recovery system will likely break after 25 consecutive landings. High likelihood of failure for landing within 1 day and for launching within 4 days.

An independent watchdog group is saying that the long list of unresolved problems means that the F-35 won’t be ready for combat until 2022. The watchdog group, the well-respected Project on Government Oversight, is basing its analysis on a recent Department of Defense report that found numerous serious problems with the fifth-generation fighter.

The watchdog analysis comes after one of the three F-35 variants has already been declared combat ready. The F-35B, designed for the Marines, was declared ready to go in July 2015. However, the jet has not been used by the Marines in combat, despite plentiful opportunities in Syria and Iraq. And the Project on Government Oversight maintains that the declaration was premature, and that official testing proves that the jet is not ready for active duty. Some analysts have speculated that the Pentagon is trying to buy hundreds of planes before testing has been completed.



Aircraft carrier failing at key tasks of launching and recovering planes and reloading weapons

According to a June 28 memo, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, ;said the most expensive warship in history [the new Gerald Ford aircraft carrier] continues to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and with ship self-defense.

"These four systems affect major areas of flight operations," Gilmore wrote in his report to Pentagon and Navy weapons buyers Frank Kendall and Sean Stackley. "Unless these issues are resolved ... they will significantly limit CVN-78's ability to conduct combat operations.

Fixing these problems would likely require redesigning the carrier's aircraft launch and recovery systems, according to Gilmore, a process that could result in another delay for a ship that was expected to join the fleet in September 2014.

The F-35 has cost taxpayers over $400 billion to date

Arresting Gear

The Navy estimates the arresting gear could be operated for approximately 25 consecutive landings, or cycles, between critical failures. That means it has a “negligible probability of completing” a 4-day surge “without an operational mission failure,” Gilmore wrote.

The electro-magnetic launch system’s reliability is higher but “nonetheless I have concerns,” Gilmore wrote. Recent Navy data indicates the carrier can conduct only 400 launches between critical failures, “well below the requirement” of 4,166 takeoffs, Gilmore wrote.

Gilmore said the system would have to increase its reliability to 1,600 launches between critical failures “to have a 90 percent chance of completing a day of sustained operations.” The Navy program office’s determined that the carrier “has less than a 7 percent chance of completing the four-day combat surge” plan, Gilmore wrote.

The Ford carrier has cost taxpayers over $20 billion so far ($5 for research, almost $15 billion for the first one and $4 billion or so for start of construction on the second.)



The current MK 7 hydraulic arresting system outfitted on the ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers will be replaced on the Gerald Ford-class carriers by the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) unit for recovery operations. The AAG is designed for a broader range of aircraft, including UAVs, while reducing manpower and maintenance. Rotary engines which use simple energy-absorbing water turbines (or twisters) coupled to a large induction motor provide finer control of the arresting forces.

New super aircraft cannot land or recover aircraft for four days without failing and fixing this would require a redesign

According to a June 28 memo, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, ;said the most expensive warship in history [the new Gerald Ford aircraft carrier] continues to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and with ship self-defense.

"These four systems affect major areas of flight operations," Gilmore wrote in his report to Pentagon and Navy weapons buyers Frank Kendall and Sean Stackley. "Unless these issues are resolved ... they will significantly limit CVN-78's ability to conduct combat operations.

Fixing these problems would likely require redesigning the carrier's aircraft launch and recovery systems, according to Gilmore, a process that could result in another delay for a ship that was expected to join the fleet in September 2014.

Commanders said delays to the USS Gerald R. Ford have resulted in extended deployments for the operational carriers in order for the Navy to meet its commitments around the world, placing additional stress on sailors and crew members.

The report comes just days after the Navy announced the Ford will not be delivered before November 2016 due to unspecified testing issues, walking back testimony from April in which Stackley told Congress the Ford would be ready by September.

Now that delivery date could be pushed to 2017, according to the Navy.

To date, construction on the Ford is 98 percent complete with 88 percent of the test program finished.

Despite delays to the USS Gerald R. Ford's delivery, the Navy says that the Ford-class carriers will yield a $4 billion reduction per ship cost as compared to its predecessor, the Nimitz Class.




The next carrier in the Ford class, the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is scheduled to launch in 2020. That ship was 18% percent complete as of March.

Arresting Gear

The Navy estimates the arresting gear could be operated for approximately 25 consecutive landings, or cycles, between critical failures. That means it has a “negligible probability of completing” a 4-day surge “without an operational mission failure,” Gilmore wrote.

The electro-magnetic launch system’s reliability is higher but “nonetheless I have concerns,” Gilmore wrote. Recent Navy data indicates the carrier can conduct only 400 launches between critical failures, “well below the requirement” of 4,166 takeoffs, Gilmore wrote.

Gilmore said the system would have to increase its reliability to 1,600 launches between critical failures “to have a 90 percent chance of completing a day of sustained operations.” The Navy program office’s determined that the carrier “has less than a 7 percent chance of completing the four-day combat surge” plan, Gilmore wrote.


The current MK 7 hydraulic arresting system outfitted on the ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers will be replaced on the Gerald Ford-class carriers by the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) unit for recovery operations. The AAG is designed for a broader range of aircraft, including UAVs, while reducing manpower and maintenance. Rotary engines which use simple energy-absorbing water turbines (or twisters) coupled to a large induction motor provide finer control of the arresting forces.

Existing water twister systems are fixed in their capacity to absorb energy. For AAG there is a variable energy dissipation by the water twister. There is an actual moving plate inside the water twister that adjusts how much resistance to the water is generated. Initially there was an underestimation of the forces involved inside the water twister because it is a three-dimensional flow field. Internal plates that take the force of the water weren't strong enough and finding a solution has taken some time

In 2016 the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense found that the AAG remained unproven.



July 24, 2016

Navy studies Enders Game and Holodecks when looking to make new Navy Battle Lab

General Robert Neller, Marine Commandant, thinks the Navy and Marine training systems we have as far as simulators and simulation are pretty good for individual task/condition/standard, for air crew, for drivers, for even firing individual weapons, gunnery, things like that, but he think the thing that we are looking for is, where’s the equivalent of our Holodeck, where a fleet commander or division commander or air wing commander can go in and get a rep. Right now that almost requires an actual provision of the real stuff, which is really expensive . . . . Where’s our Enders Game battle lab kind of thing where we can not just give our leadership reps, but we can actually find out who the really good leaders are.

Description of Enders Battle Lab by Navy

Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Simulation and Training I Learned from Ender’s Game

Using virtual training environments, the children go head-to-head on an individual level against computers that simulate Formic battle tactics to gain the knowledge and abilities required to defeat the enemy. The children can then compete against one another in the virtual environments to further develop their strategies. The next phase involves live collective training. Divided into armies, the soldiers must learn to function as a single unit to accomplish a mission objective in the battleroom. With enough skill, soldiers can become commanders of their armies and must learn to lead them effectively. By merging these individual and collective training components, the soldiers’ knowledge, skills, and abilities can translate into operational readiness.

While the concept of an Ender’s Game battle lab may seem like pure fantasy to some, the technology to build it may be right around the corner. In order to turn Neller’s vision into reality, several organizational changes must occur.

* The Navy needs to not pay to reinvent what exists. As the current Pokémon Go craze clearly demonstrates, working augmented reality is now widely available to the public at virtually no cost.

* Senior leaders and acquisition professionals need to consider open source software (OSS) services, such as GitHub, as the new norm for software procurement. OSS services allow users to take available code and modify it for a specific use at potentially a much lower cost than developing their own version from scratch or purchasing a commercial software license.

* Another form of technological advancement needing consideration is the rise of machine learning and “bot” technology. Sophisticated software algorithms show great utility in modern computer networks, with their ability to monitor computer systems, offer data access, and to check network activity, while adapting themselves to varying conditions without human direction.

* traditional wargaming is a competition among participants based on a scenario that is conducted in a turn-based manner. They make people think and solve problems. This same process is easily replicated, repeated and expanded by using a virtual environment. Virtual wargaming offers many advantages over traditional simulations

Enders Game Battle School

Enders Game Zero G Training Combat

Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

A charge density wave (CDW) is a state of matter where electrons bunch together in a repeating pattern, like a standing wave of surface of water. Superconductivity and charge density waves share a common origin, often co-exist, and can compete for dominance in certain materials.

Conventional CDWs and superconductivity both arise from electron-phonon interactions, the interaction of electrons with the vibrations of the crystal lattice. Electron-electron interactions are the likely origin of unconventional, high-temperature superconductivity such as found in copper- and iron-based compounds.

Unconventional, electron-electron driven CDW are extremely rare and its discovery here is important, because the material showed an ‘extraordinary’ increase of CDW transition temperature from 130K (-143°C) to 220K (-53 °C) and a huge increase of energy gap at the surface.


Bulk and surface CDW transition. (a) High-energy x-ray diffraction patterns of the reciprocal lattice plane ( H K 0 ). The CDW superstructure peaks are marked by blue arrows (logarithmic color scale). (b) High-resolution diffraction patterns of the ( 92 0 0) CDW peak (linear color scale). (c) Plot of the temperature dependence of the CDW peak (linear color scale). The intensity is obtained by summing up the high-resolution diffraction patterns of the ( 92 0 0) peak along the transverse direction in (b), and is plotted along the longitudinal direction. (d) LEED images. Red arrows point to CDW superstructure peaks.


Summary of the temperature-dependent CDW gap and band structure evolvement. (a) Temperature dependence of the surface (red solid circles) and bulk (blue solid circles) CDW gap. The surface gap is extracted from the back bending point of the surface band and the bulk gap is extracted from the leading edge shift of kF EDCs [Fig. 1]. The gray solid line is a BCS-like temperature dependence with Δ0=12  meV . The integrated intensity of the CDW peak measured by x-ray diffraction [Fig. 2] is shown with yellow solid circles. Black data points represent the intensity of CDW peaks measured by LEED. Dashed line is a guide to the eye. (b) Illustration of the surface (blue line) and bulk (red line) band dispersion. (c) Illustration of surface (red) and bulk (blue) CDW formation in real space. Dashed lines represent a density distribution of conducting electrons.


Bulk and surface CDW gaps: (a) Measured FS at 130 K. Intensity is integrated within EF±10  meV and data are symmetrized with sixfold symmetry. Dashed arrows indicate three nesting vectors, each connecting two quasi-1D FS sheets [51]. The red rectangle is expanded in the left-bottom inset to demonstrate the FS hybridization. (b)–(d) ARPES intensity measured along the cut (red line) shown in (a). (e) Extracted band dispersion from (d). (f) EDCs along the same cut. (g)–(i) ARPES intensity divided by Fermi function close to EF at 130, 75, and 45 K. (j) Temperature dependence of the EDCs at kF showing opening of bulk CDW gap. (k) Same as in (j), but symmetrized about EF .

Physics Review Letters - Discovery of an Unconventional Charge Density Wave at the Surface of K0.9Mo6O17

Russia making new type of universal quantum computer with multilevel quantum qudits instead of qubits

Physicists from MIPT and the Russian Quantum Center have developed a method which is going to make it easier to create a universal quantum computer -- they have discovered a way of using multilevel quantum systems (qudits), each one of which is able to work with multiple "conventional" quantum elements -- qubits.

Professor Vladimir Man'ko, Scientific Supervisor of MIPT's Laboratory of Quantum Information Theory and member of staff at the Lebedev Physical Institute, Aleksey Fedorov, a member of staff at the Russian Quantum Center, and his colleague Evgeny Kiktenko published the results of their studies of multilevel quantum systems in a series of papers in Physical Review A, Physics Letters A, and also Quantum Measurements and Quantum Metrology.


A multi-level quantum system - ququart. CREDIT Image courtesy of the authors of study

Arxiv - Multilevel superconducting circuits as two-qubit systems: Operations, state preparation, and entropic inequalities

Arxiv - Single qudit realization of the Deutsch algorithm using superconducting many-level quantum circuits

Arxiv - Teleportation in an indivisible quantum system

Self-Assembling Protein Nanostructures Created from subunits up to around a total assembled mass of 200,000 carbon atoms and the size of some human cells

A research team at the University of Washington has harnessed complex computational methods to design customized proteins that can self-assemble into 120-subunit “icosahedral” structures inside living cells—the biggest, self-booting, intracellular protein nanocages ever made. The breakthrough offers a potential solution to a pressing scientific challenge: how to safely and efficiently deliver to cells new and emerging biomedical treatments such as DNA vaccines and therapeutic interfering particles.

The work, funded by DARPA in a lead-up to the new INTERfering and Co-Evolving Prevention and Therapy (INTERCEPT) program, “opens the door to a new generation of genetically programmable protein-based molecular machines,” the researchers report in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

The unified atomic mass unit or dalton is the standard unit that is used for indicating mass on an atomic or molecular scale (atomic mass). One unified atomic mass unit is approximately the mass of one nucleon (either a single proton or neutron) and is numerically equivalent to 1 g/mol. It is defined as one twelfth of the mass of an unbound neutral atom of carbon-12 in its nuclear and electronic ground state.

Characterization of the designed protein cages using electron microscopy. All of the raw micrographs are shown to scale relative to the 30-nanometer scale bar in panel H. (Image: University of Washington via Science)

Science - Accurate design of megadalton-scale two-component icosahedral protein complexes

Canada has bionic knee brace that stores and returns energy to help soldiers lift over 100 pounds and is like the Dark Knight Rises Knee Brace made real

Spring Loaded Technology announces that it has completed its initial delivery of 60 UpShot™ bionic knee braces to the Department of National Defence as part of its $1M (CAD) contract awarded under the Build in Canada Innovation Program with the Canadian Army as the testing department. Powerful enough to help lift more than 100 pounds of body weight when worn on both knees, the military-grade braces use a liquid spring technology that absorbs shock and reduces impact on soldiers’ knees. Upon full completion of its contract, Spring Loaded Technology will have provided a total of 190 knee braces to the Canadian military for field testing.

Field testing of the UpShot™ Knee Braces will be supervised by Major Edward Jun from the Directorate of Land Requirement. Major Jun and his team will put the knee braces through rigorous testing to demonstrate UpShot’s™ integration with soldiers’ gear.

“Spring Loaded Technology’s UpShot™ promises to reduce muscle fatigue, enhance strength and performance, and protect against knee injuries—all of which are of great benefit to soldiers required to handle heavy lifting and rugged terrain. Modern militaries around the world are facing similar human factors challenges, in that we’re asking soldiers to carry more equipment in order to achieve greater capabilities during missions. At the same time, technological advances with respect to material sciences has plateaued in reducing the weight of soldier equipment such as helmets, body armour and small arms. Trialing a state-of-the art knee brace technology will help us close the gap between the soldiers’ effectiveness on the battlefield and their ability to bear heavy loads with their own strength,” said Major Jun. “We’re looking forward to testing how it performs in field conditions, and training areas across the country.”

Spring Loaded Technology has also created a commercial version of the military-grade UpShot™, the Levitation™ Knee Brace. Unlike other braces on the market, the Levitation™ Knee Brace improves strength, mobility and endurance by storing energy as the leg bends and returning that energy as the leg straightens. Currently available for pre-order on the Spring Loaded Technology website ($2,380 CAD), shipping to consumers will begin in September 2016.

“While UpShot™ is built to withstand extreme military impact and expedite rehabilitation for injured soldiers, the Levitation™ knee brace will help consumers utilize similar technology in their own day-to-day lives,” said Chris Cowper-Smith, CEO of Spring Loaded Technology. “With power-output similar to that found in $100,000 powered exoskeletons, it’s the first knee brace of its kind that can help average people crouch, walk or jump free from pain.”

Levitation is lightweight (about two pounds or less than the weight of a pair of boots), fits under your clothing, and has quick release strapping so you can easily put your brace on and take it off.

Levitation’s unique bionic hinge stores energy as you bend your leg and returns that energy as you straighten your leg. The result is a product that is carefully designed to augment leg muscle strength, reduce fatigue, prevent injury, and restore mobility








Bruce Wayne Knee Brace from Dark Knight Rises




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