JR : Science & Tech
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JR : Science & Tech
Science & Technology: how it's influencing all spheres of life, and re-shaping set paradigms
Curated by Jayant Rana
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Scientists Succeed in Using DNA as New Form of Data Storage

Scientists Succeed in Using DNA as New Form of Data Storage | JR : Science & Tech | Scoop.it

Researchers working to store information in the form of DNA say they have developed a way to hold an MP3 file containing 26 seconds of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the text of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Watson and Crick’s seminal paper on the molecular structure of nucleic acids and an image file on a piece of the material the size of a tiny dust particle.

Jayant Rana's insight:

Scientists have developed a strategy to encode a record-breaking amount of data, including images, text and audio files, in long strands of synthetic DNA. They estimate the organic molecule has an information storage density of roughly 2.2 petabytes per gram. For comparison, the brain’s memory storage capacity is estimated to be about 2.5 petabytes. At least 100 million hours of high-definition video could be stored in about a cup of DNA.
The researchers estimate DNA information storage would currently cost $12,400 per megabyte and decoding it would cost $220 per megabyte. However, the price of synthesizing DNA is expected to drop about a hundred-fold or more in less than a decade, suggesting it could soon become a cost-effective means to archive data that isn’t accessed very often, such as old government and historical records.

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The Surprising Truth: Technology Is Aging in Reverse | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

The Surprising Truth: Technology Is Aging in Reverse | Wired Opinion | Wired.com | JR : Science & Tech | Scoop.it
We may be trained to think that the new is about to overcome the old, but that’s just an optical illusion. Because the failure rate of the new is much, much higher than the failure rate of the old.
Jayant Rana's insight:

The longer a technology lives, the longer it can be expected to live. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life! As a rule, this simply tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not “aging” like persons, but “aging” in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy.

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Incredibly Small: Best Microscope Photos of the Year | Wired Science | Wired.com

Incredibly Small: Best Microscope Photos of the Year | Wired Science | Wired.com | JR : Science & Tech | Scoop.it

Here are the top 20 photomicrographs from the 38th Nikon Small World competition, selected for their originality, informational content, and visual impact by a panel of scientists, journalists and optical imaging experts.

 

 

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Hypertension traced to source in brain, triggering new paradigm for hypertension treatment

A new study traces hypertension to a newfound cellular source in the brain and shows that treatments targeting this area can reverse the disease.
Jayant Rana's insight:

If something goes wrong in a cell, the ER activates processes to adapt to the stress. Long-term ER stress can cause chronic disease, and several stressors that ER responds to have been connected to hypertension. But not just any cell's ER can conduct this complex orchestra. Those that can trigger the signal cascade are clustered near the bottom of the brain in a gate-like structure called the subfornical organ (SFO). Unlike most of the brain, the SFO hangs outside a protective barrier that keeps most circulating particles from entering the brain. The SFO can interact with particles like AngII that are too big to cross through and can also communicate with the brain's inner chambers.

This is good news for developing therapies -- because the SFO sits outside the barrier, it can be reached through such normal treatment routes as pills or injections rather than riskier brain procedures. Davisson's lab showed that treatments that inhibit ER stress in the SFO can completely stop AngII-based hypertension and lower blood pressure to normal levels.

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Here Come the Hybrid 'Laplets.' Should You Care? | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Here Come the Hybrid 'Laplets.' Should You Care? | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | JR : Science & Tech | Scoop.it

Think about these devices as being on a spectrum between full-on tablet, like the iPad, and a straight laptop. Microsoft is entering closer to the tablet end of the spectrum — and in a big way — with Surface, which elegantly incorporates some laptop form and functionality with an attachable keyboard and fairly advanced PC operating system with Windows RT.

 

 

Jayant Rana's insight:

The question is whether these devices address a real need in the marketplace and will catch on with consumers, or they simply do two things poorly and will become this year’s netbooks.

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Big Data Doesn't Work if You Ignore the Small Things that Matter

Big Data Doesn't Work if You Ignore the Small Things that Matter | JR : Science & Tech | Scoop.it
Don't forget what it's like to be a data point: an individual customer dealing with your company.
Jayant Rana's insight:

Companies would do better at satisfying and retaining customers if they spent less time worrying about big data and more time making good use of "small data" — already-available information from simple technology solutions — to become more flexible, informative, and helpful

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