Blockchain: A Public Ledger for a Global World

Marion Cromb interviews Arifa Khan, an advocate for Blockchain, a pioneering new way to bank, buy and transfer property.

Arifa Khan is the Managing Director of Genius Incubator, which raises investment funding for businesses, and is the founder of Fintech Storm, a monthly series of talks on innovations in the financial technology sector. She has 15 years’ experience in the financial and investment banking industry, and has an MBA and a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering.
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Plenty of Room at the Bottom?

Visionary or mere daydreamer? Siddarth Trivedi investigates Feynman’s contributions to nanoengineering.

Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist well-known for his work in quantum electrodynamics for which he won a Nobel Prize in 1965, at the age of 47. The famous pictorial representation schemes in quantum physics that he developed, were later named after him as Feynman diagrams. In contrast, his contributions in the nanoengineering field are relatively unknown – in particular, his lecture There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom given at Caltech in 1959. At the time, the atomic scale was mostly inaccessible, yet this lecture identified him as a visionary for the future of engineering. But was Feynman’s contribution actually important or was this simply the ramblings of a daydreaming physicist?
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Boeing announce ‘lightest metal ever’

On 6 October, Boeing announced its development of a new metal named Microlattice, a material composed of 99.99% air, making it over a hundred times lighter than Styrofoam. Microlattice is a 3D open-cellular polymer structure which, according to Boeing, was modelled on that of bones – lightweight yet able to withstand large forces without breaking. While the outer layer remains rigid, the inside is composed of interconnected hollow tubes, each with walls nearing 100 nm thick, around a thousand times thinner than a human hair.
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Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Anna Westland discusses how the media can provide the general public with a common misconception about a scientific issue by trying to create a ‘shock factor’, and how scientists and journals alike can alleviate the problem by becoming more understandable and accessible.

The science stories that attract the most attention are often the more controversial ones, but sometimes science is simply miscommunicated to the public. While most now realise that much of the research, like that linking MMR vaccines with autism, was fraudulent, people often still believe the views of the mainstream media. Topics such as genetically modified organisms and stem cell research are still painted in a negative light, as often the mainstream media prefers to concentrate on the more shocking aspects of research rather than actually asking scientists what the applications of their studies are. Scientists are infamous for not being able to communicate well, or simply not bothering to, but this is something that is now changing.
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The Future of Stem Cell Research

Hannah Richards dives into the depths of stem cell research and explores the latest developments both in the lab and in the clinic.

In the last few years, the explosion in stem cell research amongst scientific and medical groups has sparked interest within political, pharmaceutical and ethical communities. Stem cells offer great potential to treat diseases that cannot be cured with current medicines; however there is much debate surrounding this controversial research. The concern lies in the use of embryonic stem cells, as it involves the destruction of human embryos with the potential to develop into human life. Embryonic stem cell research has truly divided the European Union, with Germany, Italy and Austria keeping this research illegal.
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Printing the Earth

3D printing is fast becoming one of the most exciting technical advances for geological science. The ability to incorporate this into research and industry could have a vast effect on the future of Earth science. For students, 3D prints of types of fossils or topographic models could support understanding without risking valuable resources. The X3D Project hopes to make The Smithsonian Institution’s irreplaceable collections available to anyone and everyone around the world.
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Forget Keyboard and Mouse, What about Drones?

Chances are that today you’ve scrolled through Facebook on your phone or typed on your laptop. How we interact with computers isn’t something we really consider. However, it seems that the researchers at The Human Media Lab in Canada think a little differently. By using a small fleet of tiny flying drones, the researchers have forged a new way to interact with computers.
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Magic Material

Imagine being able to roll up your touchpad like a paper and, put it in your pocket.

Imagine an aircraft that is lighter than its passengers and fuel, but at the same time, stronger than aircraft today.

Imagine a material that is almost invisible but 200 times stronger than the strongest steel, and unbelievably this material promises to give you wings.

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Introducing the Thinnest Material in the World…

We are currently pushing the boundaries in the world of electronics. Products don’t seem to be able to get much thinner without compromising strength and durability. What if we had a new family of materials which were just one atom thick, whilst retaining their strength? Is this possible?

The short answer is Yes. With the emergence of a new “super material” called graphene, the rule books may just have to be rewritten.  Graphene was first discovered in 2004 by physicists; Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester, UK, for which the pair won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010. However only now that we understand it in more detail is it beginning to cause a stir.

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