A MICROBE that thrives in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth might just help engineers to build the first quantum computers.
The highly organised building skills of a protein manufactured by the microbe, which lives in scalding, sulphurous geothermal springs, has allowed NASA scientists to create regular arrays of "quantum dots".
A quantum dot is a speck of gold or semiconductor material just a few nanometres across that can confine an electron in a space so small that its quantum behaviour wins out over its classical behaviour. Quantum dots like these could form the basis of minute chemical sensors, because the electrons ' quantum states change when molecules bind to the dots. But there are potentially more exotic applications over the horizon : quantum computers.
Physicists believe that the quantum states of the electrons can be used as quantum bits - or qubits - for encoding data in a superfast quantum computer. Because the electron trapped in a quantum dot can be in several quantum states at once, a group of them could be harnessed to carry out many calculations simultaneously.
Hypercomplex.org offers a variety of amazing 2d and 3d fractal images, as well as videos. Absolutely beautiful.
When strong emotion makes
them sleepless, they swallow, they say, one of these worms dried, without the head
but with the intestinal tube; and then they fall into a kind of ecstatic sleep, which often
lasts more than a day, and similar to that experienced by the Orientals when they take
opium in excess. They tell, on awakening, of marvellous dreams; they saw splendid
forests, they ate delicious fruits, they killed without difficulty the most choice game;
but these Malalis add that they take care to indulge only rarely in this debilitating
kind of pleasure.
"It’s 3003 and the biotech tweaked plants and animals are quite wonderful — but there are only a few dozen of the old species left. Nature has been denatured by the profiteers of NuBioCom. It’s up to Frek Huggins, a lad from dull, sleepy Middleville, to venture out into the galaxy to fetch an elixir to restore Earth’s lost species. At least that’s what a friendly alien cuttlefish tells him the elixir will do. But can you really trust aliens?"
Sounds good to me. He's also got the full notes for the story available online here.
Police in Jacksonville, Fla., arrested a man who believed he was a 'vampire slayer' after he allegedly shot his Domino's Pizza co-worker twice in the face because he thought he was a vampire, according to Local 6 News.
Timothy White, 35, who was described by friends as a born-again Christian with an unusual preoccupation with zombies and vampires, was arrested outside of a church after Friday's shooting.
Witnesses said he walked into the pizza shop on Normandy Boulevard and allegedly said David Harrison looked like a vampire. He then allegedly shot Harrison in the face and stomach.
This Globe and Mail article discusses the strange, Mad-Max style autonomous community that is Slab City. Located on an abandoned military base in the middle of the Mojave desert, Slab City is home to a wide range of typically older, haggard residents, mostly men, who live there in the complete absence of any sort of modern infrastructure. Oddly enough, the site seems to be a favorite among certain elderly, Canadian RV-tourists...
Genetically-modified vaginal bacteria may be able to serve as a "living condom", secreting proteins that protect women against HIV, suggests a new report.
The bacteria have already been used to cripple the virus in test tube experiments. Now the researchers are verifying whether the unmodified parental strain - a natural component of the vaginal microbial flora - can successfully colonise the vaginal tissues of rhesus macaque monkeys. And the researchers have launched a company to study the potential of the approach....
"... These jumbo flying squid – Dosidicus gigas is their Latin name – are some of the largest known squids on the planet: the ones here measure between 70 to 150 centimetres in length, although specimens have been known to reach more than three metres. Making their home in the open ocean, they rise to the surface at night to aggressively feed on small fish using barbed suckers..."
Apparently scientists, due to the needs of local fisherman (who see the squid as competition), have been using advanced satellite technology to track the movements of these wierd, beautiful animals. What I want to know is why so many of them have been hanging around land in the first place...