TECH NEWS REVIEW Week 26-1 June 2020, by Stelios Iordanis

Space

ESA – Tiny crown at heart of miniature space thruster

https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Engineering_Technology/

Scientists at the European Space Agency have created a miniaturized ion thruster that’s capable of keeping a satellite steady while in Earth’s orbit.

Barriers to entry for small satellites will fall even further and allow more participants in this sector, which however may bring chaos in space orbits around earth.

 

Biotech

COVID-19 Mouse CRISPR Engineered to Recapitulate Human COVID-19

COVID-19 Mouse CRISPR Engineered to Recapitulate Human COVID-19

“A small animal model that reproduces the clinical course and pathology observed in COVID-19 patients is highly needed. The animal model described here provides a useful tool for studying SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission.”

Having animal models for covid-19 are essential in the endeavour to solve the mysteries of this disease.

 

Biosensors May Hold the Key to Mass Coronavirus Testing – IEEE Spectrum

https://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/biomedical/diagnostics/biosensors-key-mass-coronavirus-testing

The biosensors under development by Cardea and Hememics rely on graphene and carbon nanotubes, respectively, that in both cases are used as semiconductors. Unlike silicon, these materials do not degrade when they come in contact with a biological fluid. And they have a speed advantage, a good thing in a situation where the signal changes that occur are very small. The company’s biosensor for the new coronavirus could be ready for mass production by the fourth quarter of 2020,

This could be the future in diagnostics and even be available cheaply in every household.

 

Cocaine Cravings Curbed Dramatically in Mice Treated Using New Small Molecule

Modern drug design breakthroughs like this have the potential to permanently end abuse for almost all addictive substances in 10 years from now.

 

Covid Is Accelerating the Rise of Faux Meat | WIRED

https://www.wired.com/story/covid-faux-meat/

Synthetic meat is heavily pushed by many organizations and in economic crises like this, people are more willing to seek economical solutions as food sources.

 

Protein Modulation Helps Drug Design Get a Grip

Protein Modulation Helps Drug Design Get a Grip

“Our goal,” he says, “is to obtain well-validated pharmacological tools to use as stepping stones for continued drug development via biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.” Starting with weakly interacting initial agents, Pellecchia and colleagues use biophysics-based screening techniques (such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, and thermal shift analysis) for enhanced drug discovery at a reasonable cost.

 

Computing

OpenAI’s supercomputer collaboration with Microsoft marks its biggest bet yet on AGI | VentureBeat

OpenAI’s supercomputer collaboration with Microsoft marks its biggest bet yet on AGI

Supercomputers in deep learning will accelerate progress and make competition even harder for research groups with scarce resources.

Little-known Japanese CPU threatens to make Nvidia, Intel and AMD obsolete in HPC market | TechRadar

https://www.techradar.com/news/little-known-japanese-cpu-threatens-to-make-nvidia-intel-and-amd-obsolete-in-hpc-market

Sandia National Laboratories has announced it will be the first Department of Energy labs in the US to deploy the Fujitsu A64FX, the only ARM-based processor designed from ground up for HPC projects and supercomputers.

Its replacement – the Fugaku – is expected to be 100 times faster when it launches later this year, will run on a Linux distribution called McKernel and will reach a staggering 400 petaflops. The aim is for it to be the first supercomputer to hit one exaflop when fully deployed with half a million processors buzzing.

The arms race in supercomputer is definitely benefiting science and computer progress and it is relentless. It’s impressive how the processor architecture providing CPUs for mobile phones since the iphone will now be adopted for supercomputer clusters.

 

Researchers claim new internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps – The Verge

https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/22/21267321/broadband-internet-speed-record-australia-researchers-micro-comb-fiber

The current internet infrastructure upgrades could become much faster obsolete than the previous copper based wiring network.

 

Audio Deepfakes Will Turn the Recording Industry on Its Head | Digital Trends

https://www.digitaltrends.com/features/audio-deepfakes-recording-industry/

“In the U.S., this legal framework is rapidly changing due to deepfakes created for misleading political purposes and for revenge porn, but also due to the advent of social media influencers, as states move to give student-athletes in college sports ability to legally profit off their name image and likeness for the first time, and to better monetize personality rights for living and dead celebrities in today’s entertainment industry.”

Audio Deepfakes also highlights one of the complex legal questions that could only arise from the age of deepfakes: “Does a person own their own voice?”

 

Lasers Write Data Into Glass – IEEE Spectrum

https://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/lasers-write-data-into-glass

 

This method is using an extremely fast laser to write data into a 2-millimeter-thick piece of glass, roughly the size of a Post-it note, where that information can remain essentially forever.

With this method, researchers could theoretically store up to 360 terabytes of data on a disc the size of a DVD. For comparison, Panasonic aims to someday fit 1 TB on conventional optical discs, while Seagate and Western Digital are shooting for 50- to 60-TB hard disk drives by 2026.

However, reading data is rather difficult, regardless, this method seems to not be facing problems with the problem of data corruption, thereforere it could be quite useful and economical.

 

Engineers Develop Energy-Efficient “Early Bird” Method to Train Deep Neural Networks | Unite.AI

Engineers Develop Energy-Efficient “Early Bird” Method to Train Deep Neural Networks

Improved algorithms like this can make existing hardware for AI 10x more efficient within a day and make it more affordable for everyone.