Blog Archives

Downloadable skillz…sci fi dream or ???

(hat tip to Anne Johnson) This medical article describes experiments that indicate the possibility of manipulating neuo-pathways using magnetic resonance techniques to improve specific features of visual performance.

While just scratching the surface, the technique could open an ethical Pandora’s box as the subject was not aware of the specific behavior that they were being taught (programmed??) to do. After the “training” the subjects showed a discernible improvement in performance of the targeted task. Might be able to improve the ability of a sonar tech to differentiate false targets from real? help surgeons realte diagnostic imagery to what they see in the patient, etc, etc.

On the upside, the decoded neuro-feedback method has tremendous implications in memory, motor and rehabilitation. On the downside it acts on the subject as a kind of hypnotic suggestion that the subject is not aware of, with untold potentially nefarious applications…

Confirmed quantum effect at macro scale – photosynthesis

This ars technica piece provides another of the growing list of quantum mechnical effects manifesting at the macro scale. There has been issues with the apparent hyper-effficency of photosynthesis’ energy transport. inocming photons seemd to “know” the most efficient chlorophyl route to take somehow. SOme thoerized that a biocehmical quantum computer of sorts was at work clearing the most efficient path for the photon to take. This was poo-pooed by many as such effects were typically observed only in supercooled conditions, under very controlled conditions.

This research confirms that quantum effects are indeed at work in photsynthesis and at room tempurature. The implications to solar power, farming, quantum computing, etc. will likely be far-reaching and openthe door to other phenomena where macro-scale quantm effects are suspected, but not proven.

Nano-magnets offer possibilities to cleanse the blood

This article in the MIT Technology review discusses antibodies (or potentially chelating substances?) coating nano-magnets that would then collect harmful substances from the blood and then magnetically removed themselves by a dialysis machine.

If they can make it remove fat molecules, they will have a billion dollar winner here!

Transparent crabshells – new high tech material?

This ars technica article discusses the use of transparent chitinous protein as a heat stable, light and durable material for next generation trasparent substrates for things like flexible display screens, and “smart skins” on irregularly shaped objects.