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JUST ANNOUNCED! We're thrilled to announce our first UK tour in over a year. And we're just as excited to welcome very special guest Four Tet who will join us at Alexandra Palace in London. Exclusive ticket pre-sale this Wednesday at 9am from: http://po.st/ChvrchesST

Tickets on sale to the general public this Friday.
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The Triple Fitbit Giveaway - 3 Winners Will Get More Than a Bit Fit with 3 Brand New Fitbit Surges
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The Google Gadget Giveaway - Watch Netflix Like a Boss with a Nexus 9, Chromecast & $100 Google Play Card
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Komodo dragon, I'll take that. 
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This image isn't photoshopped, and shows what can be achieved when communities come together. However, one household couldn't quite see the 'big picture'. 
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 32/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/08/drone-insect-eyes-graphene-edge.html

Drone insect eyes, Graphene edge transport, Fast optical PCR, Better brain prostheses, Magnets from non-magnets, Chronic inflammation & cancer, Laser-induced sound, Dextrous robot hands, Computational materials, Nuclear waste MOFs.

1. Insect Eyes for Tiny Drones
A new image sensor measuring two cubic millimeters and weighing only two milligrams promises to provide effective insect-like collision avoidance vision to tiny drones weighing less than 50 grams http://www.technologyreview.com/news/539751/tiny-drones-that-navigate-with-insect-eyes/. The design of the image sensors was inspired by insect eyes and comprise a very simple lens plus three photodiode assembly that is able to sense the speed and direction of motion in its view; algorithms to utilise the new sensors have already been developed and the group are working to incorporate the device into tiny drones to enable practical collision avoidance and other abilities. 

2. Graphene Edge Transport Confirmed in Device
In a nice reduction of theory to practice, a type of electron edge transport has been experimentally confirmed in graphene antidot devices http://phys.org/news/2015-08-parity-effect-graphene.html. This edge transport is a quantum hall effect and the electrons behave as if they were massless, meaning the device might be used in electron interferometer applications. In other graphene news a new solution-based fabrication process produces bulk tuned graphene http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/solutionbased-process-could-produce-tuned-graphene-in-bulk

3. Ultrafast Optical PCR
A new rapid thermal cycling polymerase chain reaction technique has been developed for amplifying up large quantities of DNA very quickly http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/07/31/light-speeds-up-pcr-test/. The main components are gold thin film and LEDs: the LEDs shine light on the gold and this excites electrons on the surface in a form of plasmonic photothermal heating, and allowing very rapid heating and cooling and facilitates sufficient DNA amplification for further analysis in minutes as opposed to an hour or more. This should facilitate for cheaper, portable tools in this space, for example the LEDs used have a peak wavelength very similar to the LEDs used in mobile phone camera flashes. 

4. Better Brain Controlled Prostheses
A technique has been developed that helps to make brain controlled prostheses far more accurate and precise by making many corrective adjustments to estimate the activity of far more neurons than what most devices can currently sample from http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/july/brain-control-prosthesis-073115.html. The models were built up from analysing the brain activity from hundreds of monkey experiments and in tests showed that the new technique allowed thought-controlled finger taps 90% as quickly as conventional finger taps. The group next plans to test these improvements in human clinical trials. 

5. Making Magnets Out of Non-Magnetic Materials
A recent discovery shows how two non-magnetic metals can be made into magnets by combining thin films of the metals with layers of organic molecules http://www.nature.com/news/non-magnetic-metals-turned-into-magnets-1.18129?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews. The two metals tested were copper and manganese and the layers of organic molecules were comprised of buckyballs; while the resulting magnetic field retained by the materials is weak and fades after days, immediate applications that might benefit from this could include more biocompatible contrast imaging agents for MRI scans. 

6. How Chronic Inflammation Leads to Cancer
The mechanism linking chronic inflammation to cancer has been discovered http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/how-chronic-inflammation-can-lead-to-cancer-0807. When the immune system is active and fighting a (perceived) infection and generates an inflammatory response, immune cells generate hypochlorous acid at the site (one of many tools used to fight infectious agents) and this damages cytosine bases in the DNA of cells surrounding the site, which leads to a 5% mutation frequency at these locations; as these mutations build up the chance of cancer developing increases significantly. 

7. Laser-Induced Remote Acoustics
The US military has a Laser-Induced Plasma Effect weapon that work by firing nanosecond bursts of laser light at a target or point in space, causing electrons to be stripped from their atoms and forming a plasma that can be manipulated by different laser pulses to make a noise that seems to come from nowhere http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/us-military-months-from-testing-non.html. It currently works at short ranges and generates sounds up to 100 db, and the group hope to achieve up to 100m range and 130 db in future tests. The main innovation here is advanced focusing and laser beam control. I can imagine that such a weapon would be incredibly distracting and disorienting. 

8. More Dexterous Robotic Grippers
A new model allows robotic grippers to determine the force it needs to apply to environmental structures against the object it has grasped in order to quickly adjust its grasp on the object, for example wanting to grab an object at mid point but missing and grabbing the end, for which it can push the object against a nearby wall to achieve the correct positioning http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/giving-robots-more-nimble-grasp-0804. This is called extrinsic dexterity, and is a viable way to provide improved dexterity to simpler, cheaper robotic grippers, especially those that might already installed and costly to upgrade otherwise. 

9. New Computational Materials
A couple of advances this week pushed the limits of new computational materials. First, silicon nanowires have been shown to conduct electricity in a different direction depending on the polarisation (clockwise vs anti-clockwise) of light hitting them http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/optoelectronics/silicons-new-spin, part of an unexpected discovery that should make it easier than other methods to achieve in bulk chip production. Second, the combination of graphene with boron nitride nanotubes creates an effective digital switch with a large and potentially useful bandgap http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2015/july/better-together-graphene-nanotube-hybrid-switches.html

10. Metal-Organic Frameworks for Cleaning Nuclear Waste
A new metal-organic framework material made of nickel and organic molecules is effective at removing radioactive noble gases - Xenon and Krypton - from nuclear wastes http://phys.org/news/2015-08-metal-organic-frameworks-clean-up-agents-nuclear.html. The material works at room temperature (and hotter) and is far cheaper and simpler than existing methods for isolating these radioactive elements. The group hope that this proof-of-concept will help them design other, modified forms of the material, that are able to selectively remove other radioactive elements from nuclear waste in future. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/08/drone-insect-eyes-graphene-edge.html
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I've never felt more like singin the blues.... SWFC
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I need to know how this is done!
 
Missed the #OnePlus2 launch in VR? Check out the #HYPE in 360 on YouTube:
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Geoff Wheatley's profile photoNeil Wheatley's profile photo
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makes sense! will try it in a bit
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Welcome to:
EMOJENCY UPDATE.
EMOJENCY UPDATE?
EMOJENCY UPDATE!
There are no cricket related emoji's, 😥
My current favourite emoji is 😮
Join me, Geoff Wheatley, for more Emojicon news and reviews next week, until then....
Leave innocent until proven guilty, double gold medal winning, quorn gobbling British hero, Mo Farah alone. 
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Today in Geek History: The original #Nintendo Game Boy released in Japan in 1989. Happy 26th Birthday, Game Boy!
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