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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, March 8, 9:49 PM

Think I will pass on this

Linda Liem's curator insight, March 9, 5:06 AM

Science fiction may be coming true.

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 10, 7:41 PM

Hundreds of challenges remain to be solved but as even NASA struggles to maintain an edge, the pay-off of a Space Elevator has never been clearer. The original idea of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky which Arthur C. Clarke turned into a novel could be the revolution space exploration needs.

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The Next Generation in Neural Prosthetics

The Next Generation in Neural Prosthetics | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Following up on the success of cochlear and retinal prostheses for people who have lost sensory function, neuroscientists see a limitless horizon for related devices that are able to read electrical and chemical signals from the nervous system to stimulate capability and restore quality of life in persons suffering injury and disease.

In the future, according to researchers, the devices – known as neural prosthetics – will help epileptics, persons with treatment-resistant depression and chronic pain, victims of Alzheimer’s disease, wounded war veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, persons with speech disabilities, and individuals who have sustained spinal cord injury and loss of limbs, among other applications in the research pipeline.

But before neural prosthetics can advance, engineers will be called on to make innovative use of materials to design and fabricate devices that allow sustained electronic functioning in the harsh environment of the human body, without causing tissue infection and other serious adverse conditions. Research efforts have focused on enhancing the performance of various types of materials used in neural prosthetics, in addition to developing interface technologies that enable the micro devices to be safely implanted in human tissue for long periods.

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aanve's curator insight, March 1, 7:05 PM

www.aanve.com

 

Richard Platt's curator insight, March 2, 8:46 AM

Very interesting wearable - on the inside of the body, - their big issue is having to solve the contradiction of stiff and flexible, turns out it is what is known as Physical Contradiction based on time.  Numerous inventive principles for solving that problem. 

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New form of quantum matter: Natural 3D counterpart to graphene discovered

New form of quantum matter: Natural 3D counterpart to graphene discovered | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The discovery of what is essentially a 3D version of graphene – the 2D sheets of carbon through which electrons race at many times the speed at which they move through silicon - promises exciting new things to come for the high-tech industry, including much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives.

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Michael Ravensbergen's curator insight, January 17, 12:58 AM

Counterpart graphene!!!

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Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features

Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Despite graphene's many impressive properties, its lack of a bandgap limits its use in electronic applications. In a new study, scientists have theoretically shown that a bandgap can be opened in graphene by folding 2D graphene sheets origami-style and exposing them to a magnetic field. In addition to opening up a bandgap, this method also produces spin-polarized current in the graphene sheets, making them attractive for spintronics applications.

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Titanium powder used to 3D print automotive parts

Titanium powder used to 3D print automotive parts | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

To date, the 3D printing revolution has focused on the use of plastics – cheap printers' feedstock and high throughput. Until now 3D printing with metal has been prohibitively expensive because of the cost of titanium powders which currently sell for $200-$400 per kilogram.
Rotherham based company Metalysis have developed a new way of producing low-lost titanium powder, which heralds a new era in additive layer manufacture, and will see greater use of titanium in components across the automotive, aerospace and defence industries.
The Renishaw 3D printer, which is based at the Mercury Centre within the Department of Materials at the University of Sheffield, made the parts, demonstrating the feasibility of producing titanium components using additive layer manufacturing.
The Metalysis process is radically cheaper and environmentally benign compared with existing titanium production methods, such as the energy-intensive and toxic Kroll process.

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Developing natural-looking, 3D-printed skin

Developing natural-looking, 3D-printed skin | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Liverpool are developing synthetic skin that can be produced on a 3D printer and matched to a person based on their age, gender and ethnic group.

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Could Tin be the Two-Dimensional Material of the Future?

Could Tin be the Two-Dimensional Material of the Future? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

For the better part of a decade, researchers have been theorizing and calculating about a mysterious new class of materials called topological insulators. In computer models, scientists have been able to reveal that these topological insulators possess the odd property of insulating on the inside and conducting on the outside. It was even demonstrated last year that topological insulators could be produced from heavy metals like uranium and plutonium that could work at room temperature.

Now researchers at U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have simulated what would happen if you whittled a topological insulator down to a single atomic layer—a two-dimensional material like graphene. The result is that the edges of the material become conductors and rest behaves as an insulator.

The researchers have dubbed their new material “Stanene”, which is the combining of the Latin word for tin (stannum) with the suffix used in graphene. They believe that it could be a “wonder material” every bit as fascinating as its carbon cousin, graphene. Initial calculations indicate that it could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate.

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ASU collaboration creates breakthroughs for solar cell efficiency

ASU collaboration creates breakthroughs for solar cell efficiency | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Research into making better crystals with high crystalline quality, light emission efficiency and luminosity is also at the heart of studies being done at Arizona State University by research scientist Alec Fischer and doctoral candidate Yong Wei in professor Fernando Ponce’s group in the Department of Physics.

In an article recently published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, the ASU group, in collaboration with a scientific team led by professor Alan Doolittle at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has just revealed the fundamental aspect of a new approach to growing InGaN crystals for diodes, which promises to move photovoltaic solar cell technology toward record-breaking efficiencies.

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Let's Make the Entire Chip from Graphene

Let's Make the Entire Chip from Graphene | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) predicts that by 2015, copper-based vias that connect the silicon surface to a chips' wiring and connect one layer of wiring to another simply will not be able to do the job anymore. That day is a little over a year away—practically tomorrow in technological innovation terms. As a result, there is a bit of a scramble to find alternatives—not just for vias but for all sorts of interconnects used in integrated circuits (ICs).

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have taken an initial step in offering one possible alternative: “an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects are monolithically patterned seamlessly on a sheet of graphene.”

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3D printing 'entering the metal age'

3D printing 'entering the metal age' | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The European Space Agency has unveiled plans to "take 3D printing into the metal age" by building parts for jets, spacecraft and fusion projects.

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World's First Quantum Metamaterial Unveiled

World's First Quantum Metamaterial Unveiled | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

German researchers have designed, built, and tested the first metamaterial made out of superconducting quantum resonators

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The future of consumer 3D printing: What's real, what's coming, and what's hype

The future of consumer 3D printing: What's real, what's coming, and what's hype | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

3D printers have been all over the news for their potential to change our lives. Here’s a look at where the technology is really heading.

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Charles Young's curator insight, October 2, 2013 4:31 PM

I love 3D Printing, I am not quite sure why mind you, I think it the idea of the Star Trek Replicator becoming a reality! A very good article about the practical pathway for this technology.

JanHenk Bouman's curator insight, October 3, 2013 2:26 AM

Een mooie update over de status van 3D Printing

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The First Carbon Nanotube Computer

The First Carbon Nanotube Computer | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

For the first time, researchers have built a computer whose central processor is based entirely on carbon nanotubes, a form of carbon with remarkable material and electronic properties. The computer is slow and simple, but its creators, a group of Stanford University engineers, say it shows that carbon nanotube electronics are a viable potential replacement for silicon when it reaches its limits in ever-smaller electronic circuits.

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Nanotechnology may be key to solar energy and energy storage

Nanotechnology may be key to solar energy and energy storage | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A new study from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI has found that nanotechnology will bring significant benefits to the energy sector, especially to energy storage and solar energy. Improved materials efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs are just two of the real economic benefits that nanotechnology already brings these fields and that’s only the beginning. Battery storage capacity could be extended, solar cells could be produced cheaper, and the lifetime of solar cells or batteries for electric cars could be increased, all thanks to continued development of nanotechnology.

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Michael Ravensbergen's curator insight, March 2, 4:59 AM

For sure it Will be a role in storage!!

aanve's curator insight, March 2, 6:36 PM

www.aanve.com

 

mariam tounkara's curator insight, March 3, 10:04 AM

Brèche radicale ! Nos autos seront-elles plus légères ? 

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Graphene nanoribbons could be the savior of Moore’s Law

Graphene nanoribbons could be the savior of Moore’s Law | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

With each new generation of microchips, transistors are being placed closer and closer together. This can only go on so long before there’s no more room to improve, or something revolutionary has to come along to change everything. One of the materials that might be the basis of that revolution is none other than graphene. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley are hot on the trail of a form of so-called nanoribbon graphene that could increase the density of transistors on a computer chip by as much as 10,000 times.

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Thierry Bodhuin's curator insight, February 18, 1:10 AM

Moore's law may continue ... 

 

Yaroslav Writtle's curator insight, February 18, 3:44 AM

Interesting stuff - wonder what could this mean for computing capacity 10 years down the line?

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Graphene can host exotic new quantum electronic states at its edges

Graphene can host exotic new quantum electronic states at its edges | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Graphene has become an all-purpose wonder material, spurring armies of researchers to explore new possibilities for this two-dimensional lattice of pure carbon. But new research at MIT has found additional potential for the material by uncovering unexpected features that show up under some extreme conditions — features that could render graphene suitable for exotic uses such as quantum computing.

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Michael Ravensbergen's curator insight, December 28, 2013 4:23 AM

The beauty of graphene and research!!

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Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices

Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Professor Loh Kian Ping, who heads the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science, has successfully developed an innovative one-step method to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates, opening up opportunities for graphene to be used in high-value applications that are currently not technologically feasible.
This breakthrough, inspired by how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, is the first published technique that accomplishes both the growth and transfer steps of graphene on a silicon wafer. This technique enables the technological application of graphene in photonics and electronics, for devices such as optoelectronic modulators, transistors, on-chip biosensors and tunneling barriers.

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Nanoscale coatings improve stability and efficiency of devices for renewable fuel generation

Nanoscale coatings improve stability and efficiency of devices for renewable fuel generation | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Splitting water into its components, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, is an important first step in achieving carbon-neutral fuels to power our transportation infrastructure – including automobiles and planes.

Now, North Carolina State University researchers and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that a specialized coating technique can make certain water-splitting devices more stable and more efficient. 
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Graphene - the new wonder material

Graphene - the new wonder material | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The molecule is priceless but it is not a matter of cost – a few hundred dollars per kilo. The value lies in its potential. The molecule in question is called graphene and the EU is prepared to devote €1bn ($1.3bn) to it between 2013 and 2023 to find out if it can transform a range of sectorssuch as electronics, energy, health and construction. According to Scopus, the bibliographic database, more than 8,000 papers have been written about graphene since 2005.

 
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Bad to the Bone – 3D Printed Replacement Skeletons

Bad to the Bone – 3D Printed Replacement Skeletons | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Dr. Rita Kandel is Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and along with a staff of over 200 medical professionals, Kandel and her team are attempting to use 3D printing technology to build new tissues to replace human joints damaged by injury or disease.
Dr. Kandel says those replacement parts will be built in her lab. And they'll be built within the next five years.
The Mount Sinai hospital researchers say they've developed their technique – which uses a patient's own tissues – to replace human bones and that those bones are created by a 3D printer.

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Laurent Brixius's curator insight, October 27, 2013 10:38 AM

Encore une application pour l'impression 3D dans le domaine de la santé : imprimer des os à partir des propres tissus des patients.

Kai Linder's curator insight, October 28, 2013 2:21 AM

Good news for all us action athletes! 

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Big nanotech: building a new world with atomic precision

Big nanotech: building a new world with atomic precision | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Eric Drexler: Atomically precise manufacturing has implications for everything from medicine to economic development to climate change

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How IBM is making computers more like your brain

How IBM is making computers more like your brain | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Big Blue is using the human brain as a template for breakthrough designs. Brace yourself for a supercomputer that's cooled and powered by electronic blood and small enough to fit in a backpack.

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Nanotechnology researchers make major leap towards graphene for solar cells

Nanotechnology researchers make major leap towards graphene for solar cells | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Graphene has extreme conductivity and is completely transparent while being inexpensive and nontoxic. This makes it a perfect candidate material for transparent contact layers for use in solar cells to conduct electricity without reducing the amount of incoming light - at least in theory. Whether or not this holds true in a real world setting is questionable as there is no such thing as "ideal" graphene - a free floating, flat honeycomb structure consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms: interactions with adjacent layers can change graphene's properties dramatically.
Now, Dr. Marc Gluba and Prof. Dr. Norbert Nickel of the HZB Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics have shown that graphene retains its impressive set of properties when it is coated with a thin silicon film. These findings have paved the way for entirely new possibilities to use in thin-film photovoltaics.

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Graphene: 'Miracle material' will be in your home sooner than you think

Graphene: 'Miracle material' will be in your home sooner than you think | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Just under ten years ago, the Dutch-British physicist Andre Geim stumbled across a substance that would revolutionize the way we understand matter and win him and his colleague Kostya Novoselow the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics. It was graphene -- a one atom thin substance. The Professor of Physics at Manchester University talks to CNN about discovering the first ever 2-dimensional material.

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Math matters: how big data is building the future of everything

Math matters: how big data is building the future of everything | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A huge number of atomic combinations and arrangements may have useful properties. However, most arrangements won't be useful, or even able to be synthesized. Trying to explore the vast world of potential materials in a lab would be both impractical and just plain impossible. So to map out that enormous number of possible materials, several research groups working on the Materials Genome Initiative are using computers to model known and unknown materials. They mine the resulting data to find areas that deserve a more careful examination.

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Gary Bamford's curator insight, September 30, 2013 11:36 AM

Quntum mechanics in action - Material DNA - Data Now Available? ;)