This super-energy-dense battery could nearly double the range of electric vehicles

James Temple

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QuantumScape’s single-layer, solid-state lithium-metal battery cell.COURTESY: QUANTUMSCAPE

But some observers aren’t convinced that QuantumScape’s lithium-metal batteries will power cars and trucks on the road as soon as the company claims.

Scientists have long seen lithium-metal batteries as an ideal technology for energy storage, leveraging the lightest metal on the periodic table to deliver cells jam-packed with energy.

But researchers and companies have tried and failed for decades to produce affordable, rechargeable versions that didn’t have a nasty habit of catching on fire.

Then earlier this year Jagdeep Singh, the chief executive of QuantumScape, claimed in an interview with The Mobilist that the heavily funded, stealth Silicon Valley company had cracked the key technical challenges. He added that VW expects to have the batteries in its cars and trucks by 2025, promising to slash the cost and boost the range of its electric vehicles.

Continue reading… “This super-energy-dense battery could nearly double the range of electric vehicles”

AI Go Debuts Hybrid Autonomous Shopping in Shanghai C-Store

By Jessie Dowd

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The AI-powered autonomous shopping experience just got bigger, in the form of a 4,000-square-foot hybrid convenience market called AI Go in Shanghai. The store combines a manned checkout with the use of computer vision as part of checkout-free shopping powered by AiFiSolutions.

Stocking 2,000 SKUs ranging from fresh meats to snacks, this store represents the largest deployment to date of the AiFiAutonomous Store Platform OASIS. Consumers shopping autonomously check in using an AiFi app, or they can continue to shop as usual with a cashier at checkout.

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Smart traffic signs that warn drivers about hazards and accidents on the road ahead using RADAR are created by Polish scientists

By Jonathan Chadwick

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Poland is pioneering new road signs that combine an array of sensors to monitor road traffic and conditions to warn drivers of hazards on the road ahead.  
  • Polish project is creating smart road signs for adaptive control of vehicle traffic
  • The signs combine video cameras, weather sensors and acoustic vector sensors
  • And they feature built-in Doppler radar – a technique based on the Doppler effect

Researchers are building ‘intelligent’ motorway signs to track traffic volume and alert drivers in real time to potential dangers as part of a national project called INZNAK. 

AVS reads reflected sound waves and calculates traffic on a particular stretch of motorway, which can then be relayed to drivers to warn of congestion.

Continue reading… “Smart traffic signs that warn drivers about hazards and accidents on the road ahead using RADAR are created by Polish scientists”

Scientists Develop New CRISPR-Based Test That Uses Smartphone Camera to Detect COVID-19

By Jeevan Biswas

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THE RESEARCH WHICH IS ONGOING, HAS SHOWN ENCOURAGING RESULTS AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE APPLIED TO A WIDE VARIETY OF VIRUSES OTHER THAN THE SAR-COV-2 CORONAVIRUS

There is not much that a smartphone cannot do these days. However, can it help detect the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus? According to a new study, yes, it can. Scientists have designed a new assay that can identify the presence of the COVID-19-causing virus in a nasal swab through a device attached to a regular smartphone.

According to researchers from Gladstone Institutes, University of California in Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, the research which is still ongoing, has shown encouraging results and has the potential to be applied to a wide variety of viruses.

“Our study shows that we can do the detection part of this assay very quickly, making the measurement with mass-produced consumer electronics. We don’t need fancy laboratory equipment,” said Dr. Daniel Fletcher, co-senior author on the study, in a statement.

Continue reading… “Scientists Develop New CRISPR-Based Test That Uses Smartphone Camera to Detect COVID-19”

Japan Set To Abolish Gas Powered Cars By Mid 2030s

Tyler Durden's PhotoBY TYLER DURDEN

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As if the speculative EV mania needed any more fuel thrown on its fireJapan is joining numerous other countries – and California – in setting a date to make all new cars electric and “eco friendly” by the mid 2030’s.

The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has said they are considering abolishing conventional cars and shifting purely to hybrids and electrics within the next 10 to 20 years, according to Nikkei

The move is part of a broader plan for the entire country to go “zero emissions” by 2050. Vehicles made up 16% of the country’s total emissions in 2018, according to the report. An official announcement is expected later this month at a conference attended by experts and car industry executives. This will be followed by more concrete plans and timelines. 

Continue reading… “Japan Set To Abolish Gas Powered Cars By Mid 2030s”

This $330,000 Kitchen robot will make you a tasty meal and even do the dishes

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A lot of people will think a robot won’t be able to manage its way around a kitchen. But not only is this feat achieved, by the looks of it, but the kitchen robot by a London-based robotics company will also outshine even those who like to call themselves an established cook.

You can’t beat a robot that promises to whip up a choice of up to 5,000 recipes at the press of a button? The Moley kitchen robot even cooks from scratch and even cleans up afterward without complaint.

Russian mathematician and computer scientist Mark Oleynik have together created this novel robot developed with the assistance of Tim Anderson, a culinary innovator and winner of the 2011 series of BBC MasterChef. The idea behind creating this not-so-cheap contraption is to get restaurant standard meals without its owner having to lift a finger or order a takeaway.

Still, this comfort and luxury will come for nothing less than nearly $3,31,800. People who find cooking fun and therapeutic will laugh at the sum that brings home the Moley kitchen robot and opt to buy a home, a supercar, or maybe even a yacht for that amount instead! Nicole Pisani and Andrew Clarke to create 30 dishes to show what the Moley Kitchen robot is capable of, with more recipes to be added each month. Kicking back and relaxing comes for a considerable price, and surprisingly, the Moley Kitchen robot has already received 1,205 qualified sales inquiries.

Continue reading… “This $330,000 Kitchen robot will make you a tasty meal and even do the dishes”

The world’s first DNA ‘tricorder’ in your pocket

by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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Aspyn Palatnick holding the world’s first mobile genetics laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s 125th anniversary Open House. The combination of the new iPhone app, iGenomics, a DNA analyzer, and Oxford Nanopore’s USB-sized MinION, a DNA sequencer, make genome analysis portable and accessible. Credit: CSHL

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists developed the world’s first mobile genome sequence analyzer, a new iPhone app called iGenomics. By pairing an iPhone with a handheld DNA sequencer, users can create a mobile genetics laboratory, reminiscent of the “tricorder” featured in Star Trek. The iGenomics app runs entirely on the iOS device, reducing the need for laptops or large equipment in the field, which is useful for pandemic and ecology workers. Aspyn Palatnick programmed iGenomics in CSHL Adjunct Associate Professor Michael Schatz’s laboratory, over a period of eight years, starting when he was a 14-year-old high school intern.

The iPhone app was developed to complement the tiny DNA sequencing devices being made by Oxford Nanopore. Palatnick, now a software engineer at Facebook, was already experienced at building iPhone apps when joining the Schatz laboratory. He and Schatz realized that:

“As the sequencers continued to get even smaller, there were no technologies available to let you study that DNA on a mobile device. Most of the studying of DNA: aligning, analyzing, is done on large server clusters or high-end laptops.”

Schatz recognized that scientists studying pandemics were “flying in suitcases full of Nanopores and laptops and other servers to do that analysis in the remote fields.” iGenomics helps by making genome studies more portable, accessible, and affordable.

Continue reading… “The world’s first DNA ‘tricorder’ in your pocket”

The 10 Biggest Business Trends For 2021 Everyone Must Be Ready For

Bernard Marr

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While there are many who can’t wait to bid adieu to 2020, there’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic and the ways businesses had to adjust to ensure their survival changed the trajectory of what 2021 will look like and what businesses should do to get ready for the upcoming year. As a futurist, I help companies understand the latest trends and technologies and offer guidance on how to prepare their businesses for them. Here are the top 10 trends that will drive every business in 2021. I believe every business around the world needs to be ready for these trends.

Continue reading… “The 10 Biggest Business Trends For 2021 Everyone Must Be Ready For”

Factory-farmed salmon: does it make sense to grow fish in indoor tanks?

Mark Kurlansky

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US inland farms offer an alternative to diminishing wild Atlantic stocks, but the price tag is bigger carbon emissions

The state of Maine once had one of North America’s great wild Atlantic salmon runs, now destroyed by polluting paper, textile, and saw mills and the construction of hundreds of dams. 

It was replaced with open-pen salmon farming, but that created new problems. Now a new kind of salmon farming – inland rather than offshore – is supposed to solve all those problems and more, providing jobs and putting an end to escaped fish polluting the remaining wild stocks.

One of these land-based salmon farms is planned for Bucksport, a down-on-its-luck industrial town of 5,000 people on the estuary of the Penobscot, a struggling wild salmon river. Another is intended for Belfast, population 6,700, further south on scenic Penobscot Bay. As in much of coastal Maine, in the north-eastern corner of the US, this historic town has become a haven for affluent incomers, who buy summer homes and attract shops and boutiques.

Until 2014, Bucksport was home to the Verso paper mill. When it closed about 500 people lost their jobs, and the town was left with an ugly, smoke-stacked industrial site. Like most paper mills, it was extremely polluting. The fish farm, part of a Maine company called Whole Oceans, has been welcomed, the local view being that it would be less polluting than a paper mill and might also replace some of the lost jobs. “I’m not sure we could do any better than what we’re doing. If there was [something], I don’t know what it would be,” says town manager Sue Lessard.

Continue reading… “Factory-farmed salmon: does it make sense to grow fish in indoor tanks?”

One in three motorists cannot afford even the cheapest electric car, warn experts in blow to Government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030

By Tom Payne

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A third of motorists are unable to afford even the cheapest electric car, experts warn
  • Figure equivalent to ten million households, shows ordinary family will struggle
  • Middle-earning households may not be able to afford cheapest electric cars
  • Analysis shows drivers need to be spending at least £2,100 on their current car  

The figure – equivalent to ten million households – highlights how many ordinary families will struggle to finance the switch from petrol and diesel cars being pushed by ministers.

Continue reading… “One in three motorists cannot afford even the cheapest electric car, warn experts in blow to Government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030”

Chinese quantum computer completes 2.5-billion-year task in minutes

By Michael Irving

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A diagram of an optical circuit, where photons (red) are sent through a maze of beam splitters and mirrors and a quantum computer like Jiuzhang calculates the output

Researchers in China claim to have achieved quantum supremacy, the point where a quantum computer completes a task that would be virtually impossible for a classical computer to perform. The device, named Jiuzhang, reportedly conducted a calculation in 200 seconds that would take a regular supercomputer a staggering 2.5 billion years to complete.

Traditional computers process data as binary bits – either a zero or a one. Quantum computers, on the other hand, have a distinct advantage in that their bits can also be both a one and a zero at the same time. That raises the potential processing power exponentially, as two quantum bits (qubits) can be in four possible states, three qubits can be in eight states, and so on.

That means quantum computers can explore many possibilities simultaneously, while a classical computer would have to run through each option one after the other. Progress so far has seen quantum computers perform calculations much faster than traditional ones, but their ultimate test would be when they can do things that classical computers simply can’t. And that milestone has been dubbed “quantum supremacy.”

Continue reading… “Chinese quantum computer completes 2.5-billion-year task in minutes”

City announces 3 winners in outdoor dining design challenge for winter

By Diane PathieuLeah Hope and ABC 7 Chicago Digital TeamThursday

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THE CITY HAS PICKED THREE WINNERS FROM OVER 600 SUBMISSIONS TO THEIR WINTER DINING CHALLENGE.CHICAGO (WLS) — THE CITY HAS PICKED THREE WINNERS FROM OVER 600 SUBMISSIONS TO THEIR WINTER DINING CHALLENGE.

THE TEAM OF JUDGES CHOSE THREE DESIGNS THAT “CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF CHICAGO WHILE PROVIDING FEASIBLE AND SAFE OPTIONS FOR CHICAGOANS TO ENJOY DINING OUT AS TEMPERATURES DROP,” ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM THE CITY.

EACH WINNER WILL RECEIVE A $5,000 CASH PRIZE AND OPPORTUNITIES TO PILOT THEIR IDEA AT RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN THE CITY.

Continue reading… “City announces 3 winners in outdoor dining design challenge for winter”