Chinese Physicists Build "Ghost" Cloaking Device Illusion cloaks that make one object look like another are a fascinating type of invisibility device. The general idea is that such a device would make an apple look like a banana or a fighter plane look like an airliner. Clearly this would have important applications. But while materials scientists have made great strides in building ordinary invisibility cloaks that work in the microwave, infrared and optical parts of the spectrum, making illusion cloaks is much harder. That’s because the bespoke materials they rely on require manufacturing techniques that seem like a distant dream. Today, Tie Jun Cui and buddies at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, say they’ve designed and built a practical alternative to illusion cloaks, which they call a “ghost cloak”. Conventional illusion cloaks rely on a two stage process. But materials that can perform this two-stage process are too demanding to make with current techniques. That’s an interesting advance.
Hot springs microbe yields record-breaking, heat-tolerant enzyme Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that happily eats plant material – cellulose – at temperatures near the boiling point of water. In fact, the microbe’s cellulose-digesting enzyme, called a cellulase, is most active at a record 109 degrees Celsius (228 degrees Fahrenheit), significantly above the 100℃ (212℉) boiling point of water. A 94°C geothermal pool, with a level-maintaining siphon, near Gerlach, Nevada. This so-called hyperthermophilic microbe, discovered in a 95℃ (203℉) geothermal pool, is only the second member of the ancient group Archaea known to grow by digesting cellulose above 80℃. “These are the most thermophilic Archaea discovered that will grow on cellulose and the most thermophilic cellulase in any organism,” said coauthor Douglas S. Clark and coworkers at UC Berkeley are teaming with colleagues, led by Frank T. For more information:
Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element? One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal — a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon, reports New Scientist. Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving. "I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said. The high-functioning "cells" that Cronin has built are constructed from large polyoxometalates derived from a range of metal atoms, like tungsten. The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? The early results have been encouraging.
A New Kind of Invisibility Cloak Demonstrates Better Cloaking Efficiency Top: Color online) Snap-shots of Hz distributions for fwork=8 GHz at TM wave incidence on: (a) bare metallic cylinder with the radius 0.75 λwork; (b) the same target cloaked by the shell with material parameters prescribed by Eq. (7); (c) the same target cloaked by the multi-layer dielectric shell; (d) zoomed-in view of (c).Bottom: (Color online) The TSCW spectra obtained by integrating the simulated far-fields for the cloaked and bare targets of two different sizes. Dimensional parameters of the multi-layer dielectric cloaks in both cases were fixed for the wavelength corresponding to fwork=8 GHz. Using a new kind of cloak that uses a very thin multilayer dielectric coating made of natural material, not metamaterial, researchers at Michigan Technological University demonstrated better cloaking efficiency than a similarly sized metamaterial cloak designed by using the transformation optics relations. Michigan Technological University’s invisibility cloak researchers have done it again.
Stem Cell Basics: Introduction Laboratory studies of stem cells enable scientists to learn about the cells’ essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects. Animal invisibility cloak makes cat and fish vanish Scientists have shown off their latest "invisibility cloak" by making a pet goldfish and a small cat vanish from plain sight. The device is crude and unlikely to pass muster with the pupils of Hogwarts, but researchers said it marked a significant step forward in the science of the unseen. In video footage of the device in action, a goldfish suddenly appears as it swims out of a cloak submerged in its tank. In another clip, the lower half of a cat disappears as it steps inside a cloak placed on a table. Scientists led by Baile Zhang at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore created the cloaks from thin panels of glass that make objects invisible by bending light around them. Though rudimentary - the devices only hide objects from certain angles, and in both cases the cloaks themselves were partially visible – they are better than earlier versions that worked only with polarised light, or with microwaves instead of the visible wavelengths that humans see in.
Principles behind the Agile Manifesto We follow these principles: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Build projects around motivated individuals. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. Return to Manifesto
Korea OKs 'invisible' skyscraper plan From cloaked alien tanks and jets in the computer game “Starcraft” to a transparent flying fortress in the movie Avengers, invisible structures have always been considered a product of imaginary science, whose rightful place is within the boundaries of fiction. That is until South Korea recently authorised the construction of “Tower Infinity”, a 450-metre-high skyscraper which is to use high-tech projectors to make it appear as if the building is not really there. The glass tower, backed by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation, is to be erected in South Korea’s main gateway city of Incheon, on the outskirts of Incheon International Airport. The project is still in the very early stages of development, according to a KLHC official. “The contractor (for the project) has not been decided yet,” the official said, adding that only the basic concept design of Tower Infinity had been confirmed. The images will be altered to create panoramic visuals to elude the eyes of beholders.
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