Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system from PhysOrg.com
In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.
Discussion of the Essence# programming language, and related issues and technologies.
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New technique to compress light could open doors for optical communications from PhysOrg.com
(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have devised a way to squeeze light into tighter spaces than ever thought possible, potentially opening doors to new technology in the fields of optical communications, miniature lasers and optical computers.
Posted by Alan Lovejoy at 7/30/2008 07:00:00 PM
Obesity predisposition traced to the brain's reward system from PhysOrg.com
The tendency toward obesity is directly related to the brain system that is involved in food reward and addictive behaviors, according to a new study. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and colleagues have demonstrated a link between a predisposition to obesity and defective dopamine signaling in the mesolimbic system in rats. Their report appears in the August 2008 issue of The FASEB Journal.
My comment: I grew up thin, but gained significant weight in college. I've spent most of my adult life anywhere from 60 to 150 lbs overweight--usually by 80 lbs or more.
I've tried numerous times to lose weight, using various "diets": Powdered protein, Atkins, rabbit-food, etc. Most "diets" just didn't work for me at all—and the few that did didn't stick (which fact was inspiration for a one-liner I would tell people who informed me they were on a diet: "Don't worry about losing weight, you'll find it again!")
Interestingly, it was always the case that any "diet" I tried that "worked" the first time, wouldn't work so well (or at all) on any subsequent attempt. The first time that happened to me (using powdered protein drinks,) I thought it was just because I had gotten older. Now I know better.
I used to think that being overweight was something my body was doing to me (i.e., a "slow metabolism.") Now I know better.
Since mid-November 2007, I've lost more than 80 lbs. I've done it by eating three weighed and measured meals every day, while eating nothing in between other than water and tea. And by not eating anything that contains flour or sugar. I've not had to do any exercise. I'm not taking any "diet pills." I've not had to starve myself. I've not had to eat any strange foods: I eat normal, everyday foods, every day: meats, vegetables and fruits.
But I follow the rules of my program precisely every day—no exceptions allowed. That's the key: I let my program, my food scale and my self-honesty govern what I eat, instead of my emotions and past conditioning. I've learned that that's the only way to keep any addiction under control: Deny your rationalization engine any precedents it can use against you; use (or develop) the self-honesty necessary to follow the rules, and don't injure it by allowing any exceptions.
Posted by Alan Lovejoy at 7/29/2008 08:21:00 AM
Sewing DNA thread with lasers, hooks and microbobbins from PhysOrg.com
(PhysOrg.com) -- Japanese scientists have made a micro-sized sewing machine to sew long threads of DNA into shape. The work published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Lab on a Chip demonstrates a unique way to manipulate delicate DNA chains without breaking them.
Posted by Alan Lovejoy at 7/10/2008 05:25:00 PM
Researchers report finer lines for microchips: Advance could lead to next-generation computer chips, solar cells
Researchers report finer lines for microchips: Advance could lead to next-generation computer chips, solar cells from PhysOrg.com
MIT researchers have achieved a significant advance in nanoscale lithographic technology, used in the manufacture of computer chips and other electronic devices, to make finer patterns of lines over larger areas than have been possible with other methods.
Quote: "The new method could make possible the commercialization of many new nanotechnology inventions that have languished in laboratories due to the lack of a viable manufacturing method."
Posted by Alan Lovejoy at 7/09/2008 09:30:00 AM
Qubits and Branes Share Surprising Features from PhysOrg.com
What do black holes and entangled particles have in common? Until about a year ago, physicists thought that the two entities existed in completely separate worlds. Then, in 2007, physicist Michael Duff from Imperial College London demonstrated a correlation between the entanglement of three qubits and the entropy of a black hole. In the past year, several studies have demonstrated even more connections.
Posted by Alan Lovejoy at 7/03/2008 05:10:00 PM