Blog Posts

quinta-feira, 8 de julho de 2010


Progressos no Avião Solar...

Solar plane takes pioneering step of flying into the night
by Peter Capella Peter Capella – Wed Jul 7, 4:57 pm ET

PAYERNE, Switzerland (AFP) – An experimental solar-powered aircraft took the pioneering step Wednesday of flying into the night, pressing on with an historic round-the-clock flight fuelled only by the sun's energy.

"For us all, the adventure starts," said Solar Impulse chief Bertrand Piccard as the team's mission control announced at sunset that they had decided to keep pilot Andre Borschberg flying in the darkness.

Sudden, strong winds at dusk disrupted the team's planning by pushing the plane to speeds up to 140 kilometres per hour (80 mph), eating into its time in the sun, he said at Payerne airbase in western Switzerland.

But, "The rest of the parameters are good," he said. "Which means that the team mission (control) can take the decision to go through the night."

The winds sped Borschberg towards the Alps and into potential turbulence, wiping out about an hour of extra sun-bathing to charge the plane's batteries at high altitude.


... E o Armazenamento de Dados, em 3D!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Step Closer to Perfect 3-D Data Storage
Using new classes of engineered fluorescent proteins, scientists get closer to storing data at unprecedented densities.
By Christopher Mims 

In the introduction to a paper in press in the Journal of Biotechnology, Virgile Adam of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, along with a long list of collaborators from other institutions, describe the ultimate in holographic (three-dimensional) data storage: a chemically pure crystal composed solely of proteins that can be read and reversibly switched between at least two different states using nothing but light.

Embedded within the proper array of lasers (it would take at least two), such a crystal would represent something approaching the theoretical limit of data density in a storage medium: each bit would be represented by a single molecule.

With their latest work, Adam et al. take us a step closer to this dream, at least in the laboratory. Not only did they manage to encode and read data on chemically pure crystals of mutant descendants of fluorescent proteins originally derived from corals, but they also demonstrated that at least one of these proteins, known as IrisFP, actually has the ability to store data in four different states, versus the two different states (on and off) encoded by a traditional bit. In other words, this protein could store data in base 4 instead of base 2.

In order to understand what's going on here, it helps to understand the substrate on which these researchers propose to store data: in a traditional optical disc like a DVD or CD, bits are stored as microscopic, physical pits or bumps, each representing either a 0 or a 1.

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