Tech News Review week 3-10 August 2020, by Stelios Iordanis

Little Wheeled Robot Puts on New Shoes to Go Offroad – IEEE Spectrum

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/little-wheeled-robot-puts-on-new-shoes-to-go-offroad

This new robot system has a huge potential in military applications and it could definitely replace humans in terrains unsuitable for robots till now.

 

Hormones control paternal interest in offspring

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-hormones-paternal-offspring.html

Research on rats and mice has unveiled a system in the brain that controls paternal behavior towards offspring. A key component in this behavior is the hormone prolactin, which prepares females for motherhood and has now been shown to control paternal behavior as well.

In the near future, we could further regulate basic instincts via hormones and manipulating electronically brain regions; free will seems to be non-existent, unfortunately: the most pessimistic philosophical views become verified, as science progresses.

 

Zapping the Brain Improved Language Learning Abilities by 13%

https://futurism.com/zappling-brain-language-learning

Small amounts of electrical stimulation through specially designed earpieces boosted the adult participants’ abilities to recognize foreign language tones — an effect that lasted after the stimulation was halted.

There is a large room for improvement of brain performance, i.e. cerebral doping,  via so-called ‘biohacking’ interventions and solutions, analogous to this, and especially employees and students, despite the negative views of a significant percentage of them, will have to adapt to the most competitive subgroups within them who will early adopters.

 

Road test: Chinese ‘robotaxis’ take riders for a spin

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-08-road-chinese-robotaxis-riders.html

Autonomous driving will become perfected and reach superhuman performance in 20 years maximum, however, the unemployment repercussions will be most notable and have domino effect in the entire transportation sector, that provides a modest income to a significant percentage of the population worldwide and this will have an impact on aggregate consumption. Such developments in this industry require a universal basic income to compensate for their side effects.

 

Machine Detects COVID-19 in 90 Minutes

https://futurism.com/neoscope/machine-covid-90-minutes

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-06/how-a-dna-test-machine-mutated-to-find-covid-in-90-minutes

The article didn’t address the accuracy of the machine, which DnaNudge says could prove helpful in triaging potential COVID patients; however this is a very promising development and it could pave the way for diagnosing similarly other diseases, too.

 

SFU chemist’s new process fast-tracks drug treatments for viral infections and cancer | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/sfu-scn080720.php

Discovering antiviral and anticancer drugs will soon be faster and cheaper due to new nucleoside analogs months earlier than with the previous method, paving the way for quicker drug discoveries. This could accelerate certain steps in biotech research from several months to just a week and eliminate diseases such as hepatitis, herpes simplex, HIV, and cancer.

 

Bentley’s New Electric Automobile Motor Designed Without Rare-Earth Magnets

https://interestingengineering.com/bentleys-new-electric-automobile-motor-designed-without-rare-earth-magnets

Getting rid of the rare-earth magnets will make electric motors more scalable, as material shortages will limit electric car adoption, if dependence on rare-earth metals continues.

 

Skoltech supercomputer helps scientists reveal the most influential parameters for crop | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/sios-ssh080720.php

Supercomputing and machine learning could contribute tremendously to crop yield increases in all sectors.

 

Sustainable chemistry at the quantum level | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uop-sca080520.php

Catalyst research could be revolutionized thanks to these new breakthroughs in computational quantum chemistry, that accelerate chemical reactions even thousands of times faster than standard approaches, and similarly have the potential to boost yields, per chemical process, as well.

 

Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uoa-msr080720.php

The research results from this breakthrough can improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs; This could be an important boost for modern CPUs, where progress has decelerated in single-thread benchmarks during the last 10 years.

 

Culling cancer before it stems: A novel, rapid carcinogen detection method | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/ou-ccb080520.php

A simple and quick method involving stem cells to test chemicals for their carcinogenicity gives results in just seven days; partial or complete ignorance regarding the carcinogenicity of chemical substances has tormented humankind, but this seems to end soon.

 

New science behind algae-based flip-flops | EurekAlert! Science News

https://sciencesources.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uoc–nsb080620.php

Algae-based material and pharmaceutical research will continue to provide new ecological and medical solutions for many decades ahead.

 

Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

https://cleantechnica.com/2020/08/08/argonne-national-lab-breakthrough-turns-carbon-dioxide-into-ethanol/

Ethanol and the other chemicals that could result from this and similar processes are essential building blocks for the plastics industry. It also contributes to the creation of new recyclable and biodegradable plastics, essential for a circular economy.

 

Scientists build ultra-high-speed terahertz wireless chip

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-scientists-ultra-high-speed-terahertz-wireless-chip.html

Unfortunately, CPUs operating at terahertz frequency regions are still a distant dream, however, this invention could pave the way for further upgrades in interconnect technology ( 6G mobile networks).