Bio · Technology

Craig Venter’s ‘Biological Teleportation’ Device

The pioneering American scientist, who created the world’s first synthetic life, is building a gadget that could teletransport medicine and vaccines into our homes or to colonists in space. Craig Venter reclines in his chair, puts his feet up on his desk and – gently stroking his milk chocolate-colored miniature poodle, Darwin, asleep in his arms – shares his vision of the household appliance of the future. It is a box attached to a computer that would receive DNA sequences over the internet to synthesize proteins, viruses and even living cells.

It could, for example, fill a prescription for insulin, provide flu vaccine during a pandemic or even produce phage viruses targeted to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It could help future Martian colonists by giving them access to the vaccines, antibiotics or personalized drugs they needed on the red planet. And should DNA-based life ever be found there, a digital version could be transmitted back to Earth, where scientists could recreate the extraterrestrial organism using their own life-printing box.

“We call it a Digital Biological Converter. And we have the prototype,” says Venter. I am visiting the office and labs of Venter’s company Synthetic Genomics Incorporated (SGI) in La Jolla, a wealthy seaside enclave north of San Diego, California, where he also lives, because the pioneering American scientist dubbed biology’s “bad boy” wants to talk about his new book, released this week.

Text and Image via The Guardian. Continue THERE

Digital Media · Technology

Bits of the Future: First Universal Quantum Network Prototype Links 2 Separate Labs

Physicists demonstrate a scalable quantum network that ought to be adaptable for all manner of long-distance quantum communication.

Quantum technologies are the way of the future, but will that future ever arrive?

Maybe so. Physicists have cleared a bit more of the path to a plausible quantum future by constructing an elementary network for exchanging and storing quantum information. The network features two all-purpose nodes that can send, receive and store quantum information, linked by a fiber-optic cable that carries it from one node to another on a single photon.

The network is only a prototype, but if it can be refined and scaled up, it could form the basis of communication channels for relaying quantum information. A group from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (M.P.Q.) in Garching, Germany, described the advance in the April 12 issue of Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

Quantum bits, or qubits, are at the heart of quantum information technologies. An ordinary, classical bit in everyday electronics can store one of two values: a 0 or a 1. But thanks to the indeterminacy inherent to quantum mechanics, a qubit can be in a so-called superposition, hovering undecided between 0 and 1, which adds a layer of complexity to the information it carries. Quantum computers would boast capabilities beyond the reach of even the most powerful classical supercomputers, and cryptography protocols based on the exchange of qubits would be more secure than traditional encryption methods.

Excerpt from an article by John Matson at Scientific American. Continue HERE

Design · Fashion

Foldable Bike Helmets

‘Overade’ is a foldable urban bike helmet, designed by Patrick Jouffret of french design studio agency 360 in collaboration with engineer Philippe Arrouart. The device provides as much protection as a standard bicycle helmet but folds up to a compact, easily transportable size when not in use. Small enough to slip into a purse or backpack, the design aims to address the low percentage of urban bicyclists who utilize helmets. First prototyped in 2010, ‘Overade’ is expected to enter commercial production within 2012.

Via Designboom

Digital Media · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Games/Play · Sonic/Musical · Technology

OTERP: A Prototype for a Musical Geolocative Game

Oterp is a mobile phone game project using a GPS sensor to manipulate music in real time, depending on the player’s position on Earth. It generates new melodies when traveling. The objective of Oterp is to mix the reality of our everyday environment with a video game. This is a new way to imagine our movements in a society increasingly on the move and dependent on mobile interfaces.

Design · Technology

Google-Goggles: Google Glasses that put a screen of information over the world

Rob Waugh: Gossip about the goings-on inside Google’s secret ‘Google X’ lab – the ‘blue sky ideas’ department where the company’s engineers come up out-there products – included the idea of ‘wearable computing’.

Until this week, most had assumed that meant hi-tech watches running Google’s Android phone operating system.

Now it seems the search giant may be working on a much more exciting technology – computer glasses with transparent screens that superimpose information on the real world.

‘They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that normal people wear,’ reported Google specialist Seth Weintraub on 9to5Google, reporting information from an unnamed source at the search giant.

The technology is reported to be an ‘open secret’.’However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.’

Weintraub reported that Google had recently employed MIT wearable computing specialist Richard DuVal, whose PhD was entitled The Memory Glasses.

Various prototype transparent screens have been demonstrated by companies such as Samsung, so the idea is not as out-there as it sounds. Continue HERE