New discoveries of the way plants transport important substances across their biological membranes to resist toxic metals and pests, increase salt and drought tolerance, control water loss and store sugar can have profound implications for...
Dorai Thodla's insight:
The conclusion of 12 leading plant biologists from around the world whose laboratories recently discovered important properties of plant transport proteins that, collectively, could have a profound impact on global agriculture. They report in the May 2nd issue of the journal Nature that the application of their findings could help the world meet its increasing demand for food and fuel as the global population grows from seven billion people to an estimated nine billion by 2050.
Planet Hunters, the latest project from the Zooniverse, is a citizen science project. Participants help us sieve through data taken by the NASA Kepler space mission. These data consist of brightness measurements, or "light curves," taken every thirty minutes for more than 150,000 stars. Users search for possible transit events - a brief dip in brightness that occurs when a planet passes in front of the star - with the goal of discovering a planet (hence the name "Planet Hunters"). The most difficult detections for Planet Hunters and for computer-based searches will be those from planets that orbit far from their star and therefore cross the star infrequently. It may also be difficult for computer algorithms to detect planets in data that has artificial offsets (which can occur with telescope pointing errors or space craft rolls). Planet Hunter participants may be better than computers at finding signals in this type of data. Because of the outstanding pattern recognition of the human brain, we hope that participants will also establish new "families" or classifications for the light curves. We will be standing by to obtain more data at telescopes to better understand the underlying physical reason for the different classifications.
“If at first an idea is not absurd,” Albert Einstein famously said, “then there is no hope for it.” Sometimes, however, absurd is just absurd — yet, even so, it’s a fascinating slice of history’s collective direction of curiosity and experimental innovation. After those vintage versions of modern social media and yesteryear’s visions for the future of technology, here come some of history’s most weird and wonderful inventions, from wooden swimwear to spectacles for reading in bed, captured in archival public domain images by Holland’s Nationaal Archief.
Vivek Wadhwa - Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water.
What if the car you drove to work every day got 100 mpg? Joe Justice and his Wikispeed team have developed a functional prototype. Using Agile radical management methods, their prototype was developed in just three months, instead of the multi-year process that traditional manufacturing requires.
I believe in the decade ahead that the style of thinking that will have the maximum impact is thisability to assimilate ideas from across domains and disciplines and apply them to innovation andentrepreneurship, instincts already deeply woven into the technology industry’s fabric.
There's a theory that human intelligence stems from a single algorithm. The idea arises from experiments suggesting that the portion of your brain dedicated to processing sound from your ears could also handle sight for your eyes.
Science as a Service - Transcriptic is building a laboratory virtualization platform: Amazon Web Services for the life sciences. A machine-readable protocol and robotics technology for carrying out experiments quickly, cheaply, and highly repeatably.
“Durathon batteries help solve key challenges for customers in emerging markets, where power outages and cycle disruption are prevalent, and in developed markets where batteries currently take up large spaces in cramped urban centers. The technology is unique because it can function in a variety of extreme conditions and store as much energy as lead-acid batteries twice its size while lasting up to 10 times as long.”