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news from around the web from people addicted to tech

Nanoscale Fabrication Continues to Scale Into Realms of Awesome

by Jason Patocka May 3, 2010

IBM published impressive news of their ability to create complicated geographical replica of the Earth with features as small as 15 nanometers in last week’s issue of Advanced Materials. When you wrap your head around just how small fabrication methods are these days, its easy to see why there is much excitement in Nanotechnology. Yes, you could fit thousands of these maps on a grain of sand but these feasts of chemical engineering have potential far beyond building microchips.

Biodegradable Plastics

by Jason Patocka March 12, 2010

Much to the demise of those who might enjoy the sadistic appeal that comes from a Mad Max future scenario where neo-savage gangs fight to the death over claims to mine garbage dumps for their petrochemicals, IBM and Stanford chemists are working towards developing biodegradable plastic that gives the rest of us reason to look forward to the future.

IBM’s Bluebrain

by Jason Patocka February 17, 2010

Supercomputing is awesome, and super-computed models of complex systems is something we ultratech geeks salivate over. This is especially true when discussing methods to solve the ever so elusive structural mysteries of one the most complicated thing in the cosmos – the human mind.

IBM’s Blue Brain project ambitiously seeks to re-create a model of the human brain, neuron per neuron, synapse per synapse entirely* in silico*. Recently they’ve managed to model a variety of interesting neural networks like cortical columns in mice, and recently published results of simulations that detailed aspects of networked cat neurophysiology. Filmaker Noah Hutton documents this ambitious project in this short film clip from his forthcoming documentary on the project.

Bluebrain | Year One from Couple 3 Films on Vimeo.

Ambitious as this project is, its not without controversy. IEEE Spectrum ran a piecea couple of months back that puts this research into context. Still, its hard not to basque in the radiance of something as profound as building a virtual neural architecture and its implications for medicine, AI, and the eternally sexy topic of data infrastructure.

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