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Everything regarding Science, Technology, Robotics and why not Mathematics while we are at it...

  1. What's new in this club
  2. I had to google what "supercooling" is: Supercooling is the process of chilling a liquid below its freezing point, without it becoming solid. A liquid below its freezing point will crystallize in the presence of a seed crystal or nucleus around which a crystal structure can form. However, lacking any such nucleus, the liquid phase can be maintained all the way down to the temperature at which crystal homogeneous nucleation occurs. The homogeneous nucleation can occur above the glass transition where the system is an amorphous - that is, non-crystalline-solid.
  3. On January 9, the World Health Organization notified the public of a flu-like outbreak in China: a cluster of pneumonia cases had been reported in Wuhan, possibly from vendors’ exposure to live animals at the Huanan Seafood Market. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had gotten the word out a few days earlier, on January 6. But a Canadian health monitoring platform had beaten them both to the punch, sending word of the outbreak to its customers on December 31. BlueDot uses an AI-driven algorithm that scours foreign-language news reports, animal and plant disease networks, and official proclamations to give its clients advance warning to avoid danger zones like Wuhan. Speed matters during an outbreak, and tight-lipped Chinese officials do not have a good track record of sharing information about diseases, air pollution, or natural disasters. But public health officials at WHO and the CDC have to rely on these very same health officials for their own disease monitoring. So maybe an AI can get there faster. “We know that governments may not be relied upon to provide information in a timely fashion,” says Kamran Khan, BlueDot’s founder and CEO. “We can pick up news of possible outbreaks, little murmurs or forums or blogs of indications of some kind of unusual events going on.”
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  4. A molecule made of two rhenium atoms (dark spots) travels around two carbon nanotubes (lighter lattice of spots), settling into the gap between the nanotubes. When the atoms separate by a larger distance, the bond between the atoms is broken, and then later reforms.
  5. That's me today, I don't find my eyeglasses, and I see blurry ocasionally while using contact lenses 🤦‍♀️😅
  6. Blink twice to select an object? How do you cut and paste? 😉 Reboot = cross-eyed?
  7. A Future with Less Screens Mojo Vision is all about "invisible computing." The company, whose founders include industry veterans from the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, wants to reduce our reliance on screens. Instead of pulling out your phone to check why it buzzed in the middle of a conversation, look to the corner of your eye to activate an interface that will tell you in a split second. "We want to create a technology that lets you be you, lets you look like you; doesn't change your appearance; it doesn't make you act weird walking down the street," said Mike Wiemer, cofounder and chief technology officer at Mojo Vision. "It's very discreet and frankly, substantially, most of the time it doesn't show you anything." Making smart contact lenses is no simple task, though—even Alphabet's Verily subsidiary had to refocus its Smart Lens program after hitting a few snags. You need to have the right sensors at the right sizes, the power to make it all work, and a display and image sensor, too. These sensors range from custom wireless radios to motion sensors for eye tracking and image stabilization.
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  8. As it turns out, the ubiquitous wireless technology’s name has nothing to do with being blue or tooth-like in appearance and has everything to do with medieval Scandinavia. Harald Bluetooth was the Viking king of Denmark between 958 and 970. King Harald was famous for uniting parts of Denmark and Norway into one nation and converting the Danes to Christianity. So, what does a turn-of-the-last-millennium Viking king have to do with wireless communication? He was a uniter! So his name was given to the wireless link that unites and connects so many devices together. The Bluetooth logo is also a combination of “H” and “B” , the initials of Harald Bluetooth written in the ancient letters (runes) used by vikings (picture below)
  9. Soon they will be scanning our eyes before entering workplaces for information security. Another reason to prefer robot workers with no eyes over humans?
  10. Imagine a sugar that has only 38 percent of the calories of traditional table sugar, is safe for diabetics, and will not cause cavities. Now add that this dream sweetener is not an artificial substitute but a real sugar found in nature and it tastes like, well, sugar. You’d probably want to use that in your next cup of coffee, right? This sugar is called tagatose. The FDA has approved it as a food additive, and there have been no reports to date of the problems that many sugar substitutes have—such as a metallic taste, or worse, links to cancer—according to researchers and the FAO/WHO, which certified the sugar as “generally regarded as safe.” So why isn’t it in all your favorite desserts? The answer lies in the expense of producing it. While derived from fruits and dairy products, tagatose is not abundant and is difficult to extract from those sources. The manufacturing process involves a conversion from more easily obtained galactose to tagatose and is highly inefficient, with yields that may reach only 30 percent. Nikhil Nair, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Tufts, helped develop a way to produce tagatose using bacteria as tiny bioreactors. Photo: Alonso NicholsBut researchers at Tufts University have developed a process that may unlock the commercial potential of this low-calorie, low-glycemic sugar. In a recent publication in Nature Communications, Assistant Professor Nikhil Nair and postdoctoral fellow Josef Bober, both from the School of Engineering, came up with an innovative way to produce the sugar using bacteria as tiny bioreactors that encapsulate the enzymes and reactants. Using this approach, they achieved yields up to 85 percent. Although there are many steps from the lab to commercial production, yields this high could lead to large-scale manufacturing and getting tagatose on every supermarket shelf. The enzyme of choice to make tagatose from galactose is called L-arabinose isomerase (LAI). However, galactose is not the main target for the enzyme, so the rates and yields of the reaction with galactose are less than optimal. In a solution, the enzyme itself is not very stable, and the reaction can only push forward until about 39 percent of the sugar is converted to tagatose at 37 degrees Celsius (about 99 degrees Fahrenheit), and only up to 16 percent at 50 degrees Celsius (about 122 degrees Fahrenheit), before the enzyme degrades. Nair and Bober looked to overcome each of those hurdles through biomanufacturing, using Lactobacillus plantarum—a food-safe bacterium—to make large quantities of the LAI enzyme and keep it safe and stable within the confines of the bacterial cell wall. They found that when expressed in L. plantarum, the enzyme kept converting galactose to tagatose and pushed the yield to 47 percent at 37 degrees Celsius. But now that the LAI enzyme was stabilized within the cell, it could increase yield to 83 percent at the higher temperature of 50 degrees Celsius without degrading significantly, and it was producing tagatose at a much faster rate. To determine if they could push the reaction even faster, Nair and Bober examined what might still be limiting it. They found evidence that the transport of the starting material, galactose, into the cell was a limiting factor. To resolve that issue, they treated the bacteria with very low concentrations of detergents—just enough to make their cell walls leaky, according to the researchers. The galactose was able to get in and tagatose released from the cells, allowing the enzyme to convert galactose to tagatose at a faster rate, shaving a couple hours off the time needed to get to 85 percent yield at 50 degrees Celsius. “You can’t beat thermodynamics. But while that’s true, you can circumvent its limitations by engineering solutions,” said Nair, who is corresponding author of the study. “This is like the fact that water will not naturally flow from lower elevation to higher elevation because thermodynamics won’t allow it. However, you can beat the system by, for example, using a siphon, which pulls the water up first before letting it out the other end.” Encapsulating the enzyme for stability, running the reaction at higher temperature, and feeding it more starting material through leaky cell membranes are all “siphons” used to pull the reaction forward. Although more work is needed to determine if the process can be scaled up to commercial applications, biomanufacturing has the potential to improve yields and have an impact on the sweetener substitute market, which was estimated to be worth $7.2 billion in 2018, according to the market research firm Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. Nair and Bober also note that there are many other enzymes that can benefit from using bacteria as tiny chemical reactors that increase enzyme stability for high temperature reactions and improve rates and yields of conversion and synthesis. As they look ahead to exploring other applications, from the manufacture of food ingredients to plastics, there will be a lot on their plate. Mike Silver can be reached at mike.silver@tufts.edu.
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    How do we get in the business of producing and selling this stuff? Sounds like a real money-maker once Coca-Cola wants to order it for Coca-Cola Zero + good taste. ;-)
  11. Because you are spinning with it at the exact same speed, angle and vector.
  12. The HoloLens 2 started shipping yesterday. Microsoft's new-and-improved AR headset costs the equivalent of five iPhone 11s ($3,500) and is catered to corporate customers. What's new: The "mixed reality" device has more digital perception and interaction capabilities. Compared to the original HoloLens, it tracks more hand gestures, has 2x the field of view, and boasts "single-digit" lag time. How it works: The headset's visor superimposes 3D digital objects on the real world, and lets you drag, drop, and resize those objects. You summon a menu by holding an arm palm-up and touching your wrist like Iron Man. Let's just say I tried sneaking a headset out of the demo in my pocket (it didn't work). Also at the demo was the startup Spatial, which makes "shared augmented workplaces," aka Slack on steroids. Using a HoloLens 2 and Spatial's product, I met the avatar of someone who wasn't there, moved content around in 3D, and put a digital rover on Mars. Takeaway: HoloLens 2 truly feels like the future—but one that's far out for non-Fortune 1,000 employees. If you work at a company that does remote assistance, virtual training, or visual 3D collaboration, you may be in luck.
  13. @James Thomas Rook Jr. until all of them learn to shoot bullets.... probably faster than you and they already outnumber you. Resistance is futile.
  14. So ... what you are saying is that there is a Symmetry to numbers and math? :-)
  15. My guess is a metal jacketed bullet from a 9mm handgun would incapacitate any one of the little robots. One bullet per mechanism.
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