Science link roundup

A cross-section of a mammalian retina detailing rod,   cone, bipolar and ganglion cells.

  • China is getting into superconductors in a big way. Next month they intend to conduct an experiment in controlled fusion and soon they plan to build a maglev train line in Dalian.
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have estimated the bandwidth of human retina, 10 million bits per second. That’s roughly equal to an common ethernet cable.
  • At University of New South Wales, Australia a team has built a spintronic wire that uses quantum holes, not electrons, to transmit currrent. The wire could lead to faster transistors and possibly devices for quantum computers.
  • A company has recently built a display that projects images into dense, slightly occluded air. There must be something tricky about this airscreen because it costs 20,000 dollars even though the idea itself is fairly elementary, vaguely akin to laser displays in clubs and concerts.
  • Researchers at Akishima Laboratories, Japan have built a device that uses waves to display letters and pictures on the surface of water–a waterscreen if you will.
  • A plea is made for building solar thermal power plants in Africa.
  • In 1959, in the Soviet Union, research was started into the genetics of domestication. Over the next four decades, a unique collection of selectively bred animals was created. Now research is being made on these animals to find genetic evidence if humans “self-domisticated.”
  • Biohackery: a webzine about synthetic biology and bioengineering for amateurs. Think of it like the personal computer revolution for biology.
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