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Dario Borghino

Materials

Liquid-like graphene could be the key to understanding black holes

Researchers at Harvard University and Raytheon BBN Technology have discovered that the charged particles inside high-purity graphene behave as a fluid with relativistic properties. This find could lead to devices that efficiently convert heat into electricity, as well as graphene-based chips that can accurately model the behavior of faraway celestial objects like supernovas and black holes.Read More

Materials

Laser pulses keep superconductors working at higher temperatures

An international team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, Germany, has found a new mechanism allowing superconducting materials to maintain their properties at much higher temperatures than was previously possible. The advance brings the dream of mainstream maglev trains and highly energy-efficient electronics a little closer to reality.Read More

Computers

"Social AI" lets Mario and Luigi learn how to save the princess on their own

Old-school gamers will fondly remember the effort it took them to master a new Super Mario level, but thanks to a new development in artificial intelligence the pixelated Italian plumber and his friends are now teaming up to do the job themselves. Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany have developed an algorithm that allows videogame characters to learn from each other in human-like ways through observation and imitation, letting agents collaborate to reach a common goal. Future applications could include intelligent social support systems and swarms of modular robots that learn to perform complex actions on little human instruction.Read More

Environment

Cheaper, longer-lasting perovskite solar cells could be on the way

Perovskite solar cells are one of the most exciting green energy technologies to emerge in recent years, combining low cost with high energy conversion rates. Now, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to cut their cost even further by developing a charge-carrying material that is much cheaper, highly efficient, and could even help address the technology's current major weakness by significantly lengthening the lifespan of the panels.Read More

Computers

New algorithm helps machines learn as quickly as humans

An artificial intelligence breakthrough from the universities of New York, Toronto and MIT is showcasing the impressive ability of artificial intelligence to learn visual concepts in a single shot and manipulate them in human-like ways. The advance could lead to smarter phones, much-improved speech recognition, and computers that better understand the world around them.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Juvo sleep monitor makes your bed "smart"

A Singapore-based startup is turning to Indiegogo to fund the development of Juvo, a sleep tracker that will fit under your mattress and track each breath and heartbeat without relying on uncomfortable wrist-worn bands. Through a comprehensive array of sensors, the tracker will offer helpful insights, lull you to sleep with a white noise machine, and wake you up at the right time through smart lights and thermostat integration.Read More

Physics

First liquid-cooling laser could advance biological research

In a world where lasers are sci-fi's weapon of choice for melting away an enemy spaceship (sometimes even translating to the real world), researchers at the University of Washington have swum against the current and produced the first laser capable of cooling liquids. The technology could be especially useful for slowing down single cells and allow scientists to study biological processes as they happen.Read More

Quantum Computing

Quantum computers inch closer to reality thanks to entangled qubits in silicon

Practical quantum computers are still years away, but lately the pace of research seems to have picked up. After building the basic blocks of a quantum computer in silicon and storing quantum information for up to 30 seconds, scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have now violated a principle of classical physics to demo for the first time a pair of entangled, high-fidelity quantum bits (qubits) in silicon. The advance could help unleash the power of a new kind of computation that would affect everything from data cryptography to drug design, overnight deliveries and subatomic particle experiments.Read More

Materials

World's first "porous liquid" could be used for CO2 sequestration

The Italians have a colorful expression – to make a hole in water – to describe an effort with no hope of succeeding. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), however, have seemingly managed the impossible, creating a class of liquids that feature permanent holes at the molecular level. The properties of the new materials are still largely unknown, but what has been gleaned so far suggests they could be used for more convenient carbon capturing or as a molecular sieve to quickly separate different gases.Read More

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