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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 16/14.
SCNT embryonic stem cells, universe from nothing, microrobots, nanowire photonics, biological glue, flexible wearables, programmable cells, gecko adhesives.

1. First Embryonic Stem Cells from Adult Human Cells.
Human embryonic stem cells have finally been created with the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique using adult human cells whose nucleus is inserted into an egg cell the nucleus of which has been removed https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/somatic-cell-nuclear-transfer-achieved-in-adult-human-cells.php. This is how Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1997, and should allow the creation of patient-specific stem cells for use in a range of therapeutic cell therapies. While this is a great advance there exist a number of different methods for achieving the same result such as cellular reprogramming to create induced pluripotent stem cells, and even last week we saw that just two factors were required to induce an adult stem cell to develop into an embryo. 

2. A Universe from Nothing: A Mathematical Foundation.
An interesting result from theoretical physics constitutes the first mathematical proof that the Big Bang could have occured spontaneously from nothing due to quantum fluctuations https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/ed7ed0f304a3. The work is based on exploring new solutions to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, which was originally proposed to combine quantum mechanics with relativity, and also building off Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The interesting twist here is (i) that the spontaneous and sustainable emergence of new Universes from nothing is dependent on the cosmological constant, which (ii) has to be replaced with a quantity known as the quantum potential, a quantity that (iii) comes from pilot wave theory (hidden variables interpretation developed by David Bohm), and (iv) implying that the Universe and quantum mechanics are at heart entirely deterministic. This result also reminds me of the “time emerges from entanglement” work https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/d5d3dc850933

3. Salt Water Flowing Over Graphene Generates Electricity.
Electricity has been generated from graphene simply by dragging a droplet of salt water over it http://gizmodo.com/pouring-saltwater-over-graphene-generates-electricity-1563379860. When moving along the graphene the electrons in the salt water droplet desorb on one end of the graphene and absorb on the other, generating a tiny voltage that is proportional to the speed of the water; 30mV in the proof-of-concept. This is a tiny voltage and further work remains to be done, but what about powering low-power implanted devices with the flow of salty blood, or building large arrays of the devices for deployment in the ocean to harness wave and current power, or self-powered buoys, etc? 

4. Manufacturing with Microrobots.
An innovative new approach to manufacturing electronics and small structures involves the use of swarms of independently controlled microrobots comprised of magnetic platforms with different manipulator arms or tools on top http://www.technologyreview.com/news/526601/microrobots-working-together-build-with-metal-glass-and-electronics/. This video has a good overview Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots for Advanced Manipulation Applications. The bots move over a surface with embedded electronic coils, the control of which coordinates the movement and placement of up to 1,000 microrobots to date; different microrobots with different arms/tools are combined together in order to build and assemble more complex structures. Lots of possibilities and it’ll be interesting to see where they take this platform in future - even an automatic Lego builder would be a great demonstration. Work is progressing on controlled movement of nanomachines over surfaces too http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35196.php

5. Detecting and Emitting Light with a Single Nanowire.
By straining gallium arsenide nanowires IBM can tune the devices to both absorb and emit light, efficiently functioning as single light emitting diodes or photodetectors http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/optoelectronics/ibm-combines-light-emission-and-detection-in-single-nanowire and opening the possibility to reduce the complexity of nanophotonic chips. Materials strain engineering is a fascinating space where applying different forces to materials alters the atomic bond lengths and spacing, changing symmetries, and opening up novel and sometimes unintuitive electronic and photonic phenomena and applications. 

6. The Benefits of Materials with Precisely Aligned Atoms.
We had a couple examples of such materials this week. First, the demonstration of compound semiconductor materials that comprised semimetal nanowires and nanoparticles made of erbium and antimony embedded into the semiconducting matrix of gallium antimonide http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/optoelectronics/nanostructures-could-bridge-gap-between-optics-and-electronics. This results in the formation of a perfect and uninterrupted crystal lattice due to the fact that the atoms in the semimetal nanostructures match the pattern of those in the semiconductor, and allows a range of novel optoelectronic phenomena to be harnessed. Second, a new chemical vapour deposition process creates precisely layered van der Waals solids comprised of atomically thin two dimensional materials such as graphene, molybdenum disulfide, boron nitride, and tungsten diselenide that can result in optical and electrical performance improvements two orders of magnitude greater than bulk or single layered materials http://phys.org/news/2014-04-chemical-vapor-deposition-atomic-layer.html

7. Biological Glue and Wound Healing.
Polymer adhesive solutions containing silica and iron oxide nanoparticles have been shown to be extremely effective as “biological glue” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-strategy.html. Proof-of-concept demonstrations included (i) quickly gluing deep wounds on skin within seconds to stop bleeding and create minimal scarring, (ii) repair living organs such as the liver that are difficult to suture, even after resection, and (iii) attach medical devices to living, beating hearts for quicker, more intimate, and less invasive monitoring and diagnosis. The nanoparticles can themselves be metabolised by the animal and these materials offer applications across a broad spectrum of clinical scenarios. 

8. Flexible Adhesive Wearable Devices.
A new wearable electronic patch is flexible, stretchable, adhesive to skin, and incorporates standard silicon chips, microcontrollers, microfluidics, flexible wire designs, and sensors http://singularityhub.com/2014/04/18/new-method-points-to-cheaper-more-flexible-wearable-computers/. The new design pursues a compartmentalised, or modular, design strategy in order to facilitate rapid development and compatibility with a broad range of off-the-shelf components and relevant standards. Stuck to the skin such devices can measure biometric data much more clearly than devices that merely sit (and can jostle) on top of the skin. The group hopes that future versions will be even more user-friendly and allow continuous health monitoring of a large range of different measurements. This could also be a very interesting biohacking platform. 

9. Gecko Skin Adhesives Getting Better.
An improved version of “Geckskin”, a reusable adhesive material that mimics gecko’s ability to stick to surfaces has been developed that can adhere even heavy loads onto vertical surface materials ranging from wood to glass http://phys.org/news/2014-04-versatile-version-geckskin-gecko-like-adhesives.html. A video demonstration can be found here Geckskin on Everything. The fabrication process allows tuning of the material components in order to optimise for different applications, although it’s yet to be seen whether that will be for robotics, spider-man suits, home appliances, etc. 

10. Modular Extracellular Sensor Architecture.
Human cells have been engineered to produce a protein biosensor that sits on the cell surface, which is programmed to sense specific molecules and trigger a corresponding gene expression program in the cell’s nucleus http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2014/04/building-smart-cell-based-therapies.html. The idea of course is to use such systems to create programmable therapeutics able to travel through the patient's body to selectively target metabolites, cells, or diseased tissues of interest. The current platform is modular, allowing additional biosensor + gene expression circuits to be added to the same cell and so enabling increasingly sophisticated programs to be built. For example cells could be programmed to turn on a gene when one protein is sensed and not another, allowing cells to specifically kill certain tumour cells.  

SciTech Digest just debuted on Medium too: https://medium.com/@SciTechDigest 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Robby Bowles, +Allison Sekuler, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco!

+STEM on Google+ Community 
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Nice selection ☺ I'm looking forward to see how (8) held the Quantified Self movement.
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Very Sexy Curve on a Graph.

The main article here http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/16/solars-dramatic-cost-fall-may-herald-energy-price-deflation/ discusses this graph and the massive drop in cost of solar power. The slope of that curve makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and provides further fuel for optimism in the future. 

The article points out that solar is already eating away at the tiny margins of oil and gas demand, but as that curve continues on its inexorable path over the next decade along with the plunge in battery storage costs, we will get to the point where solar triggers energy price deflation in conventional fossil fuels. This point will be a tipping point beyond which everything will change and our planet begins its path to recovery from our primitive, but necessary, technological depredations. The point at which the fossil fuels industry recognises and believes this, is the point at which this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

As pointed out in the article the key here is home-based economical battery storage solutions, which will provide an immense "secondary" market for batteries developed for the automotive EV sector. Batteries that are not yet suitable for a vehicle due to excessive weight for example, would nonetheless be applicable and economical to the home storage sector. 

At this point I'd like to point out that: 
This paints +Elon Musk's recent plans (http://www.technologyreview.com/news/526126/does-musks-gigafactory-make-sense/) for a giant battery factory in a very different light. And that the critics quote risks (http://qz.com/182440/elon-musks-massive-bet-on-batteries-is-riding-on-two-big-ifs/) that are irrelevant and inapplicable. 

Other sexy solar curves should be checked out here http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-solars-99-cost-plunge-to-grid-parity-48733 and here http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/citigroup-how-solar-module-prices-could-fall-to-25cwatt-41384

At this point betting against solar is like betting against Moore's Law: you're on the wrong side of history and walking towards a valley (minima) in our technium's fitness landscape. I think our hero Elon is marching up one of our technium's mountains and wish him every success in attaining such an important local maxima. 

#solarpower   #technium   #battery  
 
Solar’s Insane Cost Drop That line dropping almost straight down, is the price of solar energy. Forecast it out 10 years and realize fossil fuels are pretty much doomed.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/16/solars-dramatic-cost-fall-may-herald-energy-price-deflation/
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Thnx +Bill DeWitt  And speaking of indiegogo, (disclaimer I did but don't anymore, make money off this.)
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mirror-concentrated-solar-is-here#home
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The Act of Killing

There are few times when a movie or documentary induced such a wide range of frequently varying emotions in me as the recent and critically acclaimed masterpiece that is The Act of Killing. I had never even heard of the film until +Koen De Paus listed it in his Top Movies of 2013 list and I decided to add it to my own "to-see" list. Months later and I finally get around to watching it.

The basic premise is a documentary-style interview with some of the militia thugs involved in the mass murders and overthrow of the Indonesian government in the mid 1960s, who are invited to recreate some of their exploits and attrocities in B-Grade movie style (these segments are separate to the main documentary and serve only as a backdrop and reenactment device). Anwar serves as the lead and focus of the piece, a man who personally murdered with his own hands over 1,000 people, and who has not and will not ever be prosecuted for his crimes. 

I can't help but wonder why we aren't suitably educated about these events via a robust history class in school? Why did I only learn about this now?

This documentary has so many different historical, political, emotional, and philosophical threads and the deeper you dig into it the more complex the whole becomes. I felt sadness, anger, rage, disgust, horror, disbelief, bemusement, and pity . . . all at multiple times and varying intensities. Also shock - shock at how easily seemingly normal people could conceal sadistic monsters lurking within. 

Get a hold of this if you can, and give it a watch. 

#documentary   #theactofkilling   #history  
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Good to hear that you liked it! It really is a unique film that can't really be compared to any other documentary. Throughout it straddles the line between the absurd and the surreal. I constantly had to remind myself that this was somehow real and not someone's disturbing fever dream. The director's idea to give the murderers some artistic freedom as they reenact their crimes was a touch of brilliance as it really allowed you a glimpse into their psyche.

What bothered me the most was the contrast between Anwar's two selves which somehow could not be separated. It's not like the Anwar of the past was the bad guy and the Anwar of today is the good guy. He might have mellowed a bit but at no point could you separate the man from the demon and that is positively infuriating. We expect documentaries that detail mass-murder to paint an exclusively dark picture. We want to find out how the people that killed 1000s are monsters and not really human beings like the rest of us. This documentary doesn't do that and remains neutral by letting Anwar and the people around him do most of the talking. Instead of flipping the coin and it coming down on one side. We get to see both. Through the reenactments we get to see Anwar the demon but by documenting his life as it is today, it humanizes the criminal and normalizes the act of killing.

That's what makes this so shocking, almost everyone we meet knows that Anwar has the blood of thousands on his hands yet still he is respected and befriended by many. What's even more worrisome is that to this day, he makes the round with his fellow gangsters, shaking down store owners. He's not afraid to do this on camera because it's "normal". They are even proud to call themselves gangsters because the word has taken on a somewhat different meaning and carries other connotations. Gangsters have political influence and even the president likes to be seen with them because it will win him votes with certain demographics. All signs of a country that still has not yet come to terms with its past.

A scene that really stuck with me, which is also featured in the trailer, is the one where he plays with his grandchildren and teaches them to treat their little ducklings with love and respect. This is the same man who only moments earlier seemed somewhat proud that at one point he had created an artificial stream from killing so many people a day that their blood had started carving a path from their base of operations to a nearby river. At that point my mind started to come apart because the cognitive dissonance was so overwhelming. I can't understand how he can live with himself. He sounds like a walking contradiction. You can read a lot into his emotions near the end but the man remains an enigma. If there is one film that shows you the world is not black, white or gray but sometimes one, then the other, sometimes all separately then together, it's this one.

+Denise Case, you are very much right. This film truly is very hard to watch. Imagine Schindler's list interspersed with footage of Hitler nursing abandoned baby kittens back to health. It just doesn't fit the picture you want to have of someone responsible for killing 6 million people. To answer your question, yes, Anwar can still be happy. In fact, at the start he's even having fun reenacting hist past... As I said, it's not easy to watch. 
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Super Planet Crash.

A fun web-based solar system simulator to pass a few moments; my latest attempt is below, on track for a total score of 26 million - I've no idea how the high score is 8 times this. But there is no way such a system could be stable, could it? In fact this one broke shortly after capturing this screenshot at 26 years, ejecting one of the inner Super Earths at high speed out of the system. 

http://www.stefanom.org/spc/#
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Yeah, that small one is a PITA.
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 14/14.
Brain mapping, microfluidics, molecular isotope storage, DNA origami boxes, artificial muscles, neuromorphic computing, CRISPR disease cure, metamaterials, manufacturing graphene. 

1. Latest Brain Advances by the Allen Institute.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced two big developments this week. First, there was the publication of the first comprehensive large-scale dataset on the wiring of a mammalian brain, created using engineered viruses to trace and illuminate individual neurons in 1,700 mouse brains, the sections of which were scanned at sub-micro resolution to produce a collective average brain connectome map comprising some 1.8 petabytes of data http://www.alleninstitute.org/news-events/press/press-release/publication-nature-showcases-most-comprehensive-wiring-diagram-mammalian-brain-date. Secondly, the publication of the first major report from the BrainSpan Atlas of the developing human brain, a map of the transcriptome (expression of specific genes in different regions of the brain) across the course of human brain development http://www.alleninstitute.org/news-events/press/press-release/critical-window-developing-human-brain-profiled-nature

2. Simple & Effective Microfluidics with Valves.
I’m really impressed with these deceptively simple microfluidic chip devices made out of double-sided tape cut with channels, a PDMS membrane, and plastic film that include air-controlled valves for the first time
http://phys.org/news/2014-04-nist-simple-microfluidic-devices-valves.html. This technology allows cheap, functional microfluidic devices to be built in hours rather than days, and can even be used to create chips that fold together into complex three dimensional shapes. Great DIY Bio applications here.

3. Safe Molecular Storage of Radioactive Isotopes.
Small peptides have been made to self-assemble into tiny double-layer spheres containing a hollow cavity that can hold and contain desired radioactive isotopes http://phys.org/news/2014-04-nontoxic-molecule.html. The radioisotopes of particular interest are those that emit alpha-particles for use in medical research and treatments, and which can breakdown into radioactive daughter ions that end up in undesirable places in the body. These capsules are much more stable compared to those currently used; they don’t break down and were shown to hold onto / contain daughter ions while allowing the release of alpha particles. 

4. Smallest DNA Origami Container with Lockable Door.
The smallest ever DNA origami container has been constructed and contains a door linked to a molecular actuator that controllably, and programmably, pulls the door open and closed http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35045.php. The container measures 14nm x 14nm x 48nm and can fit inside the capsid of viruses that could be used for delivery; the door 9nm x 5nm and linked to a programmable segment (lock) of single stranded DNA that coils and contracts when a complementary strand (key) binds. The group seeks other methods of control for the device, the opening of which can release or expose drugs, enzymes, or other molecules at particular sites and times. 

5. Strong, Functional, Implantable Engineered Muscles.
Living artificial muscles have been engineered that closely resemble real muscles, and which contracts powerfully and rapidly, quickly integrates into mice when implanted and even heals itself when in a lab or a mouse http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/self-healing-engineered-muscle-grown-laboratory. The success of this technique depends on well-developed contractile muscle fibers, muscle satellite stem cells and, crucially, creating supportive microenvironment niches for the satellite cells. The result was natural muscle fibers ten times stronger than any previously created, which were imaged and observed via windows implanted into the backs of mice. Great work for repairing & enhancing muscles, and also for lab-grown meat-as-food applications. Related muscle tissue engineering news involved the creation of “mini-hearts” around blood vessels to help pump blood http://smhs.gwu.edu/news/gw-researcher-invents-%E2%80%98mini-heart%E2%80%99-help-return-venous-blood

6. Chip Processing Architectures that Mimic the Human Brain.
This article http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35084.php is a nice overview of the many projects underway that are developing computational systems, chips, and programming languages that mimic or simulate the processing of the human brain - promising future computer systems capable of out-performing human cognition across a range of areas. Such systems are different to the conventional transistor arrays processing 1s and 0s that power our current systems and is worth a read for anyone interested in the space. A new approach not mentioned was this recent prototype neuromorphic photonics chip that carries out basic brain-like computing with light http://www.ugent.be/en/news/bulletin/optical-information-processing-on-chips-inspired-by-human-brain and realises extremely fast information processing and extremely low energy requirements. 

7. A Directional Filter for Light.
A stack of alternative layers of glass and titanium oxide of precise thickness produces a selective light filter that reflects all light except that incident at a particular angle, which is allowed to pass through http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/a-new-angle-on-controlling-light. 80 layers were used in the demonstration device, but by adding more layers the angular selectivity can be made even more precise and narrow. Possible applications include selective filters for telescopes to help view faint objects that are close to bright objects, solar power especially in solar thermophotovoltaics, and possibly even in optical communications. What other applications can you think of for such a directional light filter? 

8. CRISPR Cures Genetic Disease in Living Animals.
For the first time a genetic disease has been cured in living animals via the CRISPR gene-targeting system http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/erasing-genetic-mutation. The liver disease, affecting about 1 / 10,000 people results from a mutation in a single gene that prevents the breakdown of tyrosine. In mouse models a high-pressure injection introduced the CRISPR construct and a correct version of the gene sequence into cells; although only 1 in 250 cells was successfully repaired this way these cells proliferated over the next month at the expense of diseased cells and eventually comprised one third of the liver, enough to functionally cure the disease. The group are investigating improved delivery methods but this is incredibly promising for human genetic disease treatments in the near future. 

9. Cracking Large Scale Visible Spectrum Metamaterial Cloaks.
New nano-transfer printing techniques allow the creation of large area multilayer 3D metamaterials that operate in the visible spectrum http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/04/could-us-military-soon-have-invisibility-cloaks/81772/. Previous techniques were limited to micro-scale areas for such visible metamaterials, but this new printing technique allows for the relatively cheap production of arbitrarily large area metamaterials with negative refractive indices able to bend and cloak visible light. Even the prototype created to demonstrate the technique, at 4” by 4”, shows incredible promise at that scale for producing advanced lenses for cameras, microscopes, and telescopes, better fibers for optics communications, etc. Real invisibility cloaks just took another big step towards realisation. 

10. Samsung’s Graphene Manufacturing Breakthrough.
A new technique developed by Samsung to grow high-quality single-crystal graphene on silicon wafers appears to be a major breakthrough in enabling the mass-production of commercial scale graphene http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/179874-samsungs-graphene-breakthrough-could-finally-put-the-wonder-material-into-real-world-devices. According to Samsung This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history. The process basically uses a standard chemical vapour deposition process to grow a uniform layer of graphene on a germanium-coated silicon substrate; further masking and photolithography processes allowed the creation of graphene field effect transistors (GFETs) and the re-use of the underlying substrate. The realisation of consumer graphene-powered devices just got much closer. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco 

+STEM on Google+ Community 
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You'd hope all of those little distributed hearts were synchronous though!
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Have him in circles
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Computational Photography Starts to Mature.

Computational photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_photography), the use of advanced algorithms and software to simulate powerful (and expensive) cameras such as DSLRs, starts to make an impact in the latest update to the Google Camera application on current Android (4.4+) phones. The default Google Camera for Android already shipped with an impressive second-generation HDR mode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging), but the latest update includes a Lens Blur mode that allows tiny phone camera sensors and lenses to simulate a big lens and big aperture in order to reproduce shallow depths of field or "bokeh" effects. This is another great example of software eating the world.

The image below demonstrates the new camera application using the crappy front-facing 1.3MP camera on my Nexus 5 and delivers a believable depth of field. Look closely and you can see some artifacts on the edges of the foreground subjects; a good DSLR with a good lens is obviously going to still produce superior images. But those algorithms will get better with time; results will improve and image artifacts will be taken care of. While DSLRs will always have superior light capture capabilities the best camera is always the one you have on you. More details can be found here http://googleresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/lens-blur-in-new-google-camera-app.html and I'm particularly interested in the ability of this app and its algorithms to produce depth maps of an image like the Lytro camera and adjust the point of focus as needed after the image is taken.

Further advances might allow these depth maps to be used in 3D scanning applications for 3D modeling and printing, 3D imaging for 3D TVs and Oculus Rift devices, and might even tie in with Project Tango to help more accurately model our world.

If you have a recent phone running the latest version of Android and don't have a Nexus device then head over to the Play Store to grab the app and have a play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.GoogleCamera. This is also the first time that non-Nexus devices get access to the amazing PhotoSphere capability that I've been enjoying and wowing people with for the last 18 months now.

#googlecameraapp   #computationalphotography   #lensblur  
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interesting info, thanks. another reason to sell my aging dslr ) Cause it was almost the only reason to keep - ability to get shots with short DOF
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Videos to Add to Watch Later.

1. Connections I-The Trigger Effect (High Quality), with James Burke.
Originally found after listening to James interview on a You Are Not So Smart podcast I was pleasantly surprised that I watched the whole 50 minutes of the show and look forward to watching others in the series. This episode concerns our complete and utter dependence on society and the risks that entails; also the phenomenon of how thoroughly we take the our nurturing envelope of technology for granted. The conclusions are interesting but unsurprisingly I think more technology, not less is the answer. Really interesting insights into historical developments of technology and how they reach down through time to influence us now. Dated but somehow still relevant. 

2. How do psychedelic drugs work on the brain? with Robin Carhart-Harris.
Really interesting scientific-style presentation on psychedelic drugs, their history, and their effects on the brain; discussion of psilocybin and DMT among others. Studies with fMRI and effects on consciousness, receptor targets, the concept of self, oneness, and other neural networks that are affected by such substances and the benefits of such. Makes me want to try some psilocybin in order to explore altered states of consciousness. 

3. TEDxBoulder - Thad Roberts - Visualizing Eleven Dimensions via TEDx.
I've watched this one a couple of times now; proposing a unified model of the Universe based on 11 dimensions, quantised spacetime, gravity via concentration gradients (always how I've imagined it) rather than "curved spacetime", and the possibility to solve many existing mysteries and weave together many different observations and phenomena. 

#technology   #consciousness   #physics  
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Ooo... Just realized that my concept might explain early rapid expansion. When all particles were photons, there was no mass to absorb the space being produced. Once photons started condensing into atoms, space started getting absorbed at about the current rate.
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Very awesome, ,,, 
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This Week's Learning Curve: Extreme.

Gearing up for my next project I've encountered a rather extreme learning curve this last week or two, either re-learning, learning anew, learning from scratch, or revisiting the following topics:

- CRISPR
- Homologous Recombination
- Plasmid & vector design principles
- Competence and related protocols
- Transformation and related protocols
- Restriction sites and enzymes
- Databases of metabolic pathways
- gBlocks
- Gibson Assembly
- Cloning
- Ligation Independent Cloning
- NCBI complete bacterial genomes
- Bacterial genome insertion sites
- Gram staining & protocols
- Spectrophotometry, principles & equipment
- Optics & optical density, turbidity measurements
- Microscopy & magnification requirements
- PCR & qPCR
- Taq, Pfu, Phusion pros / cons
- Primer design
- Autoclaving
- Freeze drying
- Broth & plate media
- Custom centrifuges
- Incubators
- Thermal cycling
- Reporter assays
- DIYBio hacks
- The tyranny of journal paywalls

The complexity is more than I initially imagined. But manageable. The overall plan is coming together and now just need to fill in the finer details and costing. Cost is the only thing that may break this project right now but I suspect that too will be manageable. 

#autodidactic   #challengeaccepted  
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That ruined the effect didn't it? My mind said, "I thought her profile pic had Mark in it, she must have updated it". Did not confirm that she wasn't the only Elise Bruce. 
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Some Personal Data-Logging.

I tried some different exercise from my usual routine this evening, going on my first proper run in over a year and deciding to run the My Tracks[1] app while my phone was strapped to my arm. The map data was mostly accurate, except for the stretch along the river bank where it missed large sections of positional data. The rest of the data produced by the app, such as it is, is shown in the two images below:

1. Elevation & Speed.
Elevation isn't too bad; the route did indeed take in a reasonable hill. But I'm pretty sure I didn't jump off of any 25 or 40 meter cliffs and keep on running - although the timing of these errors also correlate with the stretches of positional errors on the map data. Speed is bizarrely patchy; I didn't stop running once and yet speed data continuously plunges to zero without maintaining a consistent curve of variable speed. At about 3.4km you can see my speed declining as my elevation climbs sharply - but given the other errors I'm not sure how accurate that is. 

2. Main Summary.
I called the route "Main Loop". Lots of errors here. The total distance is more like 5.6 - 5.7km. Total time sounds reasonable but I can't know if the app suspended time counting while it encountered positional errors or not. Moving time is about 1/3 of total time, weird given I didn't stop running at all - my guess is that this proportion seems to correlate with the total amount of speed data from the first image. Finally, max speed is same as average moving speed at 33.5 km/h - not bad given Usain Bolt sprints 100m at an average speed of 37.58 km/h :-P

Conclusion: Probably need to get a better app!

Still, first proper run in over a year, didn't push too hard, aiming to complete the ~5.5 km route without stopping, which I did reasonably easily. Minor muscle fatigue afterwards and happy to do something different to the usual cardio + resistance interval training I typically do. 

[1] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks&hl=en-GB 
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The last time I was running and tracking, I just held my phone, and used the volume buttons for lap cycling via something like ultratimer.  Haven't tried a more dedicated app yet.
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