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Incredible Science Discoveries



August 19, 2011 – Comments (11)

Awesome stuff! Some of these are really worth checking out!


Incredible Science Discoveries
from The Big Picture by Washingtons Blog

It has been an amazing month for science.

MIT researchers have succeeded in printing solar panels onto any piece of paper.

Dutch company PlantLab has figured out how to triple the yield of plants using only 10% of the water typically needed:

When  grown outdoors plant photosynthesis is only about 9% efficient.  With  the correct balance of colored LED light, PlantLab has increased  that  efficiency to 12 or 15%, aiming for 18%. Double the efficiency  means  increased yield (or more likely equal yield with less energy). By   keeping the plants in a contained system, PlantLab can also recycle   evaporated water, which helps them grow crops using just one tenth the   water as with traditional greenhouses. Because PlantLab’s harvest is   indoors, they don’t have pests (and could quickly isolate rooms that   somehow got contaminated) and they don’t need pesticides. Finally,   PlantLab’s production facilities can be built almost anywhere: from the   Sahara to the Artic, it’s all going to look the same indoors. So   everyone’s food can be grown as local as possible. That means fresher   food with less costs of transportation.

PlantLab’s Gertjan Meeuws recently discussed some of the other  benefits  and results of their work on Southern California public radio  (KPCC). He  claims they’re able to increase crop yield by a factor of  three so far!

Scientists at MIT have designed a drug that can cure virtually any viral infection.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvannia have found a way of “turning the patients’ own blood cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their [leukemia] cancer cells.”

Physicists at Niels Bohr Institute maintained quantum entanglement for an hour.

Quantum entanglement means that two objects should be too far apart to effect one another but – due to quantum mechanics – change to one instantly induces changes the other.

Quantum entanglement will one day allow much better computer cryptography, form the backbone of quantum computing, and may allow for interstellar communication systems between spacefaring humans traveling among the stars, make it possible to store information in black holes, or even allow information to instantly pass from past to future.

And for the first time ever, scientists filmed (from a spacecraft) a coronal mass ejection from the sun washing over the Earth. Watch the video (40 megs, takes a while to download; the Earth is the blue ball on the left).

Click here for more amazing science discoveries.

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM, Frankydontfailme (29.38) wrote:

Cool cool

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#2) On August 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM, XMFCrocoStimpy (97.67) wrote:

Way cool stuff binve.  Some of it is still in the "beta" phase, shall we say, like the anti-viral drug that kills any cell with a virus in it.  Great as long as you aren't already fully infected!

In a totally unrelated comment, I'm going to pimp on of my blogs here since I'd love to hear any comments you have on the technicals of scoring.

Fool On!


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#3) On August 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the links. I look forward to reading each one. :)


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#4) On August 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:


Indeed :)

TMFCrocoStimpy ,

Thanks man. Writing you a response now on your blog.


No problem. I have to say I enjoyed each story.

Printable cells is the most 'investment related' (at least in the near term few years)

Quantum entaglement will revolutionize information transfer

And that coronal map from STEREO (which I saw launch when I was down at Canaveral a few years ago) is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time.

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#5) On August 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM, TMFBlacknGold (91.23) wrote:

binve great links! You should check out NewScientist daily. You would enjoy the amazing wonders of science they write about (pretty unbiased as well).

As for PlantLab, I've always wondered why cities don't grow food in skyscrapers. One day I think it will happen.


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#6) On August 19, 2011 at 4:26 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:


Thanks! I have not checked that website out before, I will do so!

>>As for PlantLab, I've always wondered why cities don't grow food in skyscrapers. One day I think it will happen.

Completely agreed. I have seen similar concepts a few years ago, and I really like this incarnation of it...

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#7) On August 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM, Lynken (24.07) wrote:


The best two sites for finding the latest science news!

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#8) On August 19, 2011 at 5:12 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:


Thanks! I check out sciencedaily fairly regularly. But I will start reading phyorg. ..

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#9) On August 19, 2011 at 6:11 PM, kirkydu (90.50) wrote:

this is the sexiset post I've looked at in a long time.


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#10) On August 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:


Well, alrighty then :).

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#11) On August 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM, mhy729 (30.42) wrote:

I love this stuff...physics is so cool and so weird, particularly quantum mechanics.  Re: sending information forward in time, isn't this equivalent to time travel (to the future only), which is achievable by traveling at relativistic speeds?  I believe certain cosmic EM signals actively observed by physicists are just this thing (i.e. light from distant galaxies, etc. that are from many many years ago).

Entanglement is certainly extremely weird, but I was under the impression that this couldn't be used for information transfer.  Even though a particle and its entangled partner would simultaneously assume their complementary quantum states (no matter how separated in space they are), because there is no way to "choose" the quantum state of a particle on observing it, this phenomenon cannot be used for sending instantaneous messages across space.  The physics major (back at univ) who was explaining this to me added that although entanglement does seem to break the lightspeed barrier, "information transfer" is still restricted to the speed of light in this way.

Of course, even if FTL communications were possible in this way, interstellar travel for a spacefaring humanity seems to be unfathomable.  Who knows, maybe the "technological singularity" and the development of self-enhancing AI will lead to really crazy stuff currently completely unimaginable.

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