Riddle solved: Why was Roman concrete so durable?

 

source: sciencedaily.com  |  image: pixabay.com

The ancient Romans were masters of engineering, constructing vast networks of roads, aqueducts, ports, and massive buildings, whose remains have survived for two millennia. Many of these structures were built with concrete: Rome’s famed Pantheon, which has the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome and was dedicated in A.D. 128, is still intact, and some ancient Roman aqueducts still deliver water to Rome today. Meanwhile, many modern concrete structures have crumbled after a few decades.

Researchers have spent decades trying to figure out the secret of this ultradurable ancient construction material, particularly in structures that endured especially harsh conditions, such as docks, sewers, and seawalls, or those constructed in seismically active locations.

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5 scientific breakthroughs in 2022 that should give you hope for the future

 

source: fastcompany.com  |  image: Pixabay.com

 

It’s been a challenging year on many fronts, but where science is concerned, the future is brighter than it is bleak.

While there was no shortage of upsetting news in 2022, researchers and science enthusiasts can point to a number of uplifting advancements and discoveries to revive hope in humanity. This year, the brightest minds in STEMs brought us steps closer to a revolutionary future, with breakthroughs in energy production, space exploration, and planet protection. Here are five scientific breakthroughs from 2022 to reflect on how far we’ve come. 

WE HIT A NUCLEAR-FUSION MILESTONE

It took 70 years, but physicists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) finally had more output than energy input. Although commercial production of fusion energy is still a pipe dream, researchers at NIF in California have done what a similar project in France has yet to do. The hope for the future is more energy gains from nuclear fusion, which can provide an infinite source of clean energy that’s carbon-free and doesn’t emit radioactive waste. 

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You’ll Soon Be Able To Run Holograms

On Your Smartphone

 

source: iflscience.com, contributed by FAN Steve Page  |  image: Pixabay.com

 

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the president of IBM, famously predicted the world market for computers would top out at “maybe five” of the machines. He was wrong – you likely have more than that in your own house, let’s face it – but at the time, it made sense. After all, if computers were still gigantic, vacuum-tube-powered addition machines, you probably wouldn’t want more than about five either.

It’s a similar story with holograms. Even back in the 1990s, more than 40 years after Dennis Gabor first came up with the idea of using wavefront interference to reconstruct images in three dimensions, science fiction was still assuming the need for entire decks and suites to power our holographic adventures.

In fact, they can run on a smartphone.

Almost two years ago, researchers at MIT made a breakthrough – a technology they dubbed “tensor holography”. Since then, the project has continued to improve, and today, the team are working with a system they say is “fully automatic, robust to rendered and misaligned real-world inputs, produces realistic depth boundaries, and corrects vision aberrations.”

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You have reached your destination: Google elegantly says goodbye to Waze

source: calcalistech.com |  contributed by Steve Page  |  image: pexels.com

The technology giant purchased the Israeli navigation app in 2013 to serve as an incubator for innovation and ideas. But Google never invested in the promotion of the app, preferring to attract users to Google Maps, and now, after being folded into the Geo group, it is living on borrowed time.

In some ways, Waze has always been something of a stepchild within Google. A separate unit among the services and applications of the technology giant, both structurally and in branding. Since Google completed its acquisition of the navigation app in 2013, in a deal worth $1.3 billion, Waze has maintained some independence from Google, particularly its Geo division, and has operated as a separate unit. The application itself also provided a different experience: it did not speak Google’s design language and did not highlight the connection to Google in any way – separate worlds.

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants us to ‘ignore’ Web3: ‘Web3 is not the web at all’

source: cnbc.com  |  image:  pexels.com

 

LISBON, Portugal — The creator of the web isn’t sold on crypto visionaries’ plan for its future and says we should “ignore” it.

Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web in 1989, said Friday that he doesn’t view blockchain as a viable solution for building the next iteration of the internet.

He has his own web decentralization project called Solid.

“It’s important to clarify in order to discuss the impacts of new technology,” said Berners-Lee, speaking onstage at the Web Summit event in Lisbon. “You have to understand what the terms mean that we’re discussing actually mean, beyond the buzzwords.”

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A new satellite brighter than any star could ruin the night sky

source: fastcompany.com  |  image:  pixabay.com

Another space internet provider is going to defile our skies with a satellite that looks to be brighter than everything but the moon.

How will the moon’s resources be managed?

source: fastcompany.com  | image: pixabay.com

The 2020s will be recognized as the decade humans transitioned into a truly space-faring species that utilizes space resources to survive and thrive both in space and on Earth.

It’s been 50 years since humans last visited the moon, and even robotic missions have been few and far between. But the Earth’s only natural satellite is about to get crowded.

At least six countries and a flurry of private companies have publicly announced more than 250 missions to the moon to occur within the next decade. Many of these missions include plans for permanent lunar bases and are motivated in large part by ambitions to assess and begin utilizing the moon’s natural resources. In the short term, resources would be used to support lunar missions; but in the long term, the moon and its resources will be a critical gateway for missions to the broader riches of the solar system.

But these lofty ambitions collide with a looming legal question. On Earth, possession and ownership of natural resources are based on territorial sovereignty. Conversely, Article II of the Outer Space Treaty—the 60-year-old agreement that guides human activity in space—forbids nations from claiming territory in space. This limitation includes the moon, planets, and asteroids. So how will space resources be managed?

I am a lawyer who focuses on the peaceful and sustainable use of space to benefit all humanity. I believe the 2020s will be recognized as the decade humans transitioned into a truly space-faring species that utilizes space resources to survive and thrive both in space and on Earth. To support this future, the international community is working through several channels to develop a framework for space resource management, starting with Earth’s closest neighbor, the moon. Continue reading “How will the moon’s resources be managed?”

Software engineers from big tech firms like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta are paying at least $75,000 to get 3 inches taller, a leg-lengthening surgeon says

source: businessinsider.com  |  image:  pixabay.com

  • Workers from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta are paying $75,000 to be taller, a surgeon told GQ.
  • The Las Vegas surgeon can lengthen patients’ legs via a painful months-long process.
  • He breaks the thigh bones and inserts nails that are extended every day for three months.

 

A Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon who specializes in leg-lengthening procedures that can extend people’s height by 3 to 6 inches told GQ magazine that many of his patients are tech workers.

Kevin Debiparshad founded LimbplastX Institute in 2016, and the clinic’s business has boomed during the pandemic, he told GQ. 

Here’s how it works: The doctor breaks the patients’ femurs, or thigh bones, and inserts metal nails into them that can be adjusted. The nails are extended a tiny bit every day for three months with a magnetic remote control, GQ reported.

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A new technology uses human teardrops to spot disease

 

 

 
 
 
 

source: sciencenews.org  |  image: pexels.com

 

A new method to rapidly analyze teardrops could help scientists detect molecular signatures of disease.

Human tears could carry a flood of useful information.

With just a few drops, a new technique can spot eye disease and even glimpse signs of diabetes, scientists report July 20 in ACS Nano.  

“We wanted to demonstrate the potential of using tears to detect disease,” says Fei Liu, a biomedical engineer at Wenzhou Medical University in China. It’s possible the droplets could open a window for scientists to peer into the entire body, he says, and one day even let people quickly test their tears at home.

Like saliva and urine, tears contain tiny sacs stuffed with cellular messages (SN: 9/3/13). If scientists could intercept these microscopic mailbags, they could offer new intel on what’s happening inside the body. But collecting enough of these sacs, called exosomes, is tricky. Unlike fluid from other body parts, just a trickle of liquid leaks from the eyes.

So Liu’s team devised a new way to capture the sacs from tiny volumes of tears. First, the researchers collected tears from study participants. Then, the team added a solution containing the tears to a device with two nanoporous membranes, vibrated the membranes and sucked the solution through. Within minutes, the technique lets small molecules escape, leaving the sacs behind for analysis.

The results gave scientists an eyeful. Different types of dry-eye disease shed their own molecular fingerprints in people’s tears, the team found. What’s more, tears could potentially help doctors monitor how a patient’s diabetes is progressing. 

Now, the scientists want to tap tears for evidence of other diseases as well as depression or emotional stress, says study coauthor Luke Lee, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School. “This is just the beginning,” he says. “Tears express something that we haven’t really explored.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listy is a simple, free way to catalog your favorite stuff

source: fastcompany.com  |  image: pexels.com

 

You can list your favorite albums, books, movies, TV shows, video games, sites, apps, wines, beers or social posts.

 

This article is republished with permission from Wonder Tools, a newsletter that helps you discover the most useful sites and appsSubscribe here.

Listy is a free and simple app for making lists of your favorite things. It automatically includes related images, like book or album covers, and you can create shareable visual lists with the free app on Mac, iOS, or Android. It’s a handy way to quickly share recommendations with friends.

You can list your favorite albums, books, movies, TV shows, video games, sites, apps, wines, beers, or social posts. Your list shows up with the appropriate cover art: Any book, album, TV show, or movie you list will be paired with its representative image, just as whatever wines or beers you list will include images of their bottles.

MAKING LISTS IS SIMPLE

  • To make a list you first pick a category—like books, movies, video games. Then you add items one by one. Unlike many other apps, you don’t have to register or log in to start using it.
  • When you start typing the name of something, Listy searches a database to find it. That item, along with its image and other basic info, is added to your list.
  • You can sort lists by title, genre, rating, data added, or other info, depending on the category.
  • For films, the app automatically adds the movie’s release date, description, and fan score, drawn from the Movie Database, a free, community-built platform that’s now used by 400,000 developers and companies. It also notes where the movie is available to watch online.

EDIT AND SHARE YOUR LISTS

  • Once you’ve added items, you can edit your list to change its order or to delete or update items. You can also mark items as watched, read, played, or tasted.
  • You can share any of your lists as an image, making it easy to post lists to your social network of choice. You can also text or email a list as an image.
  • You can make as many lists as you’d like, each with as many items on it as you want.
  • Lists can be backed up to iCloud so they stay in sync between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

LIMITATIONS

  • You can export lists as images or in Listy’s own proprietary file format, but you can’t open or edit the app’s lists in other text apps.
  • You can’t send someone a link to a list. You have to attach the list as an image.
  • You can’t yet collaborate on a list with others, though that feature is in the works. The company has been careful about privacy: Its site uses no cookies.
  • You can use Listy for to-do lists or lists of ideas, but it’s not designed primarily for that. Better to use other simple free alternatives like Apple’s Reminders or Google Tasks, or dedicated to-do apps like Things.
  • Listy has a limited number of categories. If you want to make a list of your favorite snacks, animals, cartoon characters, or other categories the app hasn’t added yet, you’re out of luck, though new categories are added monthly.

ALTERNATIVES