Quantum Computing Just Got Real

green-chip

Quantum computing just took a big step forward, as engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Sydney, successfully fabricated a quantum logic gate in silicon for the first time. The achievement represents the last physical component needed to realize silicon quantum computers, which utilize the behavior of subatomic particles to solve problems beyond the capabilities of today’s supercomputers.

“What we have is a game changer,” said team leader Andrew Dzurak, Scientia Professor and Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW.

It looks like he may be right.

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Crowd-Sourcing Science

Twenty-nine gravitational lens candidates found through Space Warps (Space Warps, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey)

Twenty-nine gravitational lens candidates found through Space Warps
(Space Warps, Canada-France-Hawaii
Telescope Legacy Survey)

It’s called Space Warps and the program just helped an international science team to identify 29 new gravitational lense candidates with the help of interested amateurs. Around 37,000 interested amateurs examined 430,000 images to help professional astronomers focus their investigation. In the process, Space Warps illustrated a growing effort to involve citizen scientists in cutting-edge investigations.

Big searches, big data
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) employed an optical imaging camera in a wide field sky survey over a five-year period. The survey accumulated a huge number of images during more than 2300 hours of observation, and then made the data set available for investigators.

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Multi-jet Jellies May Point the Way to Better Underwater Propulsion

N. bijuga nectophore structure (uoregon.edu)

N. bijuga nectophore structure
(uoregon.edu)

Squids and octopuses can swim using jet propulsion by forcing water through a mantle.  It’s a fast and effective method, and the jet can be steered, but only works in one direction at a time. Engineers, always in search of better undersea vehicle designs, however, are interested in these natural methods of locomotion.

A team of biologists has now found a tiny jellyfish that can maneuver through the water by coordinating multiple jets. The discovery, published in the September 2 issue of Nature Communications, could lead to better, more agile undersea vehicle designs.

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Multipurpose Micro Machines – Robotic Fish from 3D Printing

3D-printed microfish containing functional nanoparticles are capable of sensing and removing toxins (J. Warner, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

3D-printed microfish containing functional nanoparticles are capable of sensing and removing toxins (J. Warner, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

Nanoengineers have used an innovative 3D printing technology to manufacture quantities of multipurpose, self-propelled, and controllable microrobotic “fish,” each smaller than the width of a human hair.

Some basic chemical tools, embedded in the microfish during the fabrication process, enable them to perform useful work.

The project team hopes that the work will inspire a new generation of smart microrobots with capabilities that can be applied to sensing, directed drug delivery, and environmental detoxification.

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Cave Camera – New Technology May Image Beneath the Moon’s Surface

(NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

(NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Almost all current lunar exploration relies on imaging by telescope and satellite.  Some of the moon’s most intriguing features, however, may be under its surface. How do you explore deeper when your only tool is remote imaging? You invent a technology that peeks around the edges of lunar craters to glimpse what lies underneath. That technology is coming to NASA.

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A (not so) Missing Link – Between the Brain and the Immune System

Newly-discovered lymphatic vessels, shown in red, were almost invisible behind larger blood vessels, shown in green (University of Virginia)

Newly-discovered lymphatic vessels, shown in red, were almost invisible behind larger blood vessels, shown in green (University of Virginia)

“They’ll have to change the textbooks.”

Scientists don’t hear this very often (if ever), but that’s the remark that came in response to a new discovery that the brain is connected to the immune system by vessels that no one knew existed.

The connection could change how neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis are understood and treated.

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