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Jul 8, 2020

Stanley Kubrick: Playboy Interview

Posted by in category: entertainment

A candid conversation with the pioneering creator of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove and Lolita

Throughout his 17-year career as a moviemaker, Stanley Kubrick has committed himself to pushing the frontiers of film into new and often controversial regions—despite the box-office problems and censorship battles that such a commitment invariably entails. Never a follower of the safe, well-traveled road to Hollywood success, he has consistently struck out on his own, shattering movie conventions and shibboleths along the way. In many respects, his latest film, the epic 2001: A Space Odyssey, stands as a metaphor for Kubrick himself. A technically flawless production that took three years and $10,500,000 to create, 2001 could have been just a super-spectacle of exotic gadgetry and lavish special effects; but with the collaboration of Arthur C.

Jul 8, 2020

This Company Wants to Rewrite the Future of Genetic Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Tessera Therapeutics is developing a new class of gene editors capable of precisely plugging in long stretches of DNA—something that Crispr can’t do.

Jul 7, 2020

China and AI: What the World Can Learn and What It Should Be Wary of

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, surveillance

China announced in 2017 its ambition to become the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. While the US still leads in absolute terms, China appears to be making more rapid progress than either the US or the EU, and central and local government spending on AI in China is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

The move has led — at least in the West — to warnings of a global AI arms race and concerns about the growing reach of China’s authoritarian surveillance state. But treating China as a “villain” in this way is both overly simplistic and potentially costly. While there are undoubtedly aspects of the Chinese government’s approach to AI that are highly concerning and rightly should be condemned, it’s important that this does not cloud all analysis of China’s AI innovation.

The world needs to engage seriously with China’s AI development and take a closer look at what’s really going on. The story is complex and it’s important to highlight where China is making promising advances in useful AI applications and to challenge common misconceptions, as well as to caution against problematic uses.

Continue reading “China and AI: What the World Can Learn and What It Should Be Wary of” »

Jul 7, 2020

‘No code’ will define the next generation of software

Posted by in category: futurism

This fundamental shift provides an opening for a new cohort of no code companies to grow into the next generation of software powerhouses.

Jul 7, 2020

An intriguing—but far from proven—HIV cure in the ‘São Paulo Patient’

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A 36-year-old man in Brazil has seemingly cleared an HIV infection—making him the proof of principle in humans of a novel drug strategy designed to flush the AIDS virus out of all of its reservoirs in the body. But scientists caution that the success hasn’t been long or definitive enough to label it a cure…so granted it worked, not so fast.


Vitamin and antiviral drugs appear to clear AIDS virus, but it could still be hiding out in tissue reservoirs.

Jul 7, 2020

Scientists Generated Nuclear Fusion With a Tabletop Device

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Move aside, boy-sized submarines. Now we have boy-sized reactors.

Jul 7, 2020

Shock-dissipating fractal cubes could forge high-tech armor

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Tiny, 3D printed cubes of plastic, with intricate fractal voids built into them, have proven to be effective at dissipating shockwaves, potentially leading to new types of lightweight armor and structural materials effective against explosions and impacts.

“The goal of the work is to manipulate the wave interactions resulting from a ,” said Dana Dattelbaum, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author on a paper to appear in the journal AIP Advances. “The for how to do so have not been well defined, certainly less so compared to mechanical deformation of additively manufactured materials. We’re defining those principles, due to advanced, mesoscale manufacturing and design.”

Shockwave dispersing materials that take advantage of voids have been developed in the past, but they typically involved random distributions discovered through trial and error. Others have used layers to reverberate shock and release waves. Precisely controlling the location of holes in a material allows the researchers to design, model and test structures that perform as designed, in a reproducible way.

Jul 7, 2020

‘Light squeezer’ reduces quantum noise in lasers, could enhance quantum computing and gravitational-wave detection

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Physicists at MIT have designed a quantum “light squeezer” that reduces quantum noise in an incoming laser beam by 15 percent. It is the first system of its kind to work at room temperature, making it amenable to a compact, portable setup that may be added to high-precision experiments to improve laser measurements where quantum noise is a limiting factor.

The heart of the new squeezer is a marble-sized optical cavity, housed in a vacuum chamber and containing two mirrors, one of which is smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The larger mirror stands stationary while the other is movable, suspended by a spring-like cantilever.

The shape and makeup of this second “nanomechanical” mirror is the key to the system’s ability to work at room temperature. When a beam enters the cavity, it bounces between the two mirrors. The force imparted by the light makes the nanomechanical mirror swing back and forth in a way that allows the researchers to engineer the light exiting the cavity to have special quantum properties.

Jul 7, 2020

Team obtained high-level control of spin qubit lifetime based on silicon quantum dots

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

By tuning the direction of the external magnetic field with respect to the crystallographic axis of the silicon wafer, an improvement of spin lifetime (relaxation time) by over two orders of magnitude was reported in silicon quantum dots. This breakthrough was carried out by a team led by academician Guo Guangcan from CAS Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, USTC, in which Prof. Guo Guoping, Prof. Li Hai-Ou with their colleagues and Origin Quantum Computing Company Limited. This work was published in Physical Review Letters on June 23, 2020.

Spin qubits based on silicon quantum dots have been a core issue in the development of large scale quantum computation due to its long coherence time and the compatibility with modern semiconductor technology. Recently, the relaxation time and dephasing time of spin qubits developed in Si MOS (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) and Si/SiGe heterostructure have surpassed hundreds of milliseconds and hundreds of microseconds, respectively, resulting in a single-qubit control fidelity over 99.9% and a two-qubit gate fidelity over 98%. With the success in college, labs and companies from the industry are starting to be involved in this field, such as Intel, CEA-Leti, and IMEC. However, the existence of valley states (a state associated with the dip in a particular electronic band) in silicon quantum dots could reduce spin relaxation time and dephasing time seriously via spin-valley mixing and limit the control fidelity of qubits.

Jul 7, 2020

First studies from largest-ever human genome database released

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The Genome Aggregation Database has collected 15,708 genomes and 125,748 exomes (the protein-coding part of the genome) to help shed light on how genetic mutations can lead to disease. Dr Daniel MacArthur, scientific lead of the gnomAD Project, explains how the project started, how they collect the data and what they hope to achieve.

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