Here are few exciting and interesting technologies which were researched and emerged in the past few years.

Probability chips:

A probabilistic chip is the concept of building a microchip circuits that brings closer results rather than bringing the accurate result that saves heat and power generation.  This concept will help the battery of mobile devices to live longer. This concept has been developed by Krishna Palem, who is a Professor in computing in Rice University. In the field of microchips the accuracy and perfection are very important. However, Professor Krishna Palem believes in the fact that small deviation in the final result is alright.

He has also developed a method in which chips do not use huge power and most importantly less loss in the accuracy as well. The concept is based on PCMOS (probabilistic complementary metal-oxide semi­conductor) technology. His belief is that the final result of any audio and video processing is not a number so the maximum precession does not matter much. Palem has started working on this concept in the year 2002.

In the near future, the chips develop using this design could be able to increase the life of battery which is used in various mobile devices such as cell phones, music players, and others.

The consumption of battery power is huge in laptops, cell phones, and many modern mobile devices. And the PCMOS chips technology is expected to increase the battery life of these appliances to as high as ten times without affecting user’s comfort and experience.

The team has built a cryptography engine and has done some testing also. The graphics engines as well as chips have been designed such that the consumption of power and efficiency of various mobile devices also are increased. PCMOS chips have to be commercialized and the products made available in the market in few more years.

Modeling Surprise

Life is full of surprises. Surprises can be of anything, related to weather, Share market, Reality Estate market prices rise and fall. We are becoming dependent on the forecasts. Forecasts, most of the time gives accurate result still there can be surprises because it is difficult to predict each and every thing. However according to Eric Horvitz, it can be minimizes to some extent by the technique called “surprise modeling”. Eric Horvitz is head of Adaptive Systems and Interaction group in the Research department of Microsoft.

Surprise modeling is not about a crystal ball which will predict the future or the market condition of tomorrow. But they are working on the designs or techniques where they relate the surprises that have happened in the past and then create something which will also surprise in the near future as well. This will be fruitful for the person in health care, politicians or the financial analysts, and many others. The research has started in the year 2003 and still continues.

They are developing a machine which could analyze the events like traffic condition and see which events surprise the people most. The team under Eric’s supervision has started on the data they have collected on dynamics and the traffic status of Seattle.  They also studied from other information provided like weather affecting traffic, accidents, holidays, events, and others. The team is using this data to plot a probability distribution for the different situations provided.

Invisibility Shield:

In Duke University, David R. Smith and his colleagues have created an “invisibility shield”. It was a surprise for everyone when he made this announcement. The researchers have used some rings of printed circuit boards by which they achieve a kind of hole in a space by diverting the microwaves. At this time the metal cylinder was placed in the center even though the microwaves react in the way as if there is nothing in there.

This is one of the most astonishing thing and demonstration in the field of metamaterials. As per their findings the structures can able to change or move the electromagnetic radiation which also includes light. The movement or the changes in the pattern is not usually seen in the nature. When the arrays of similar blocks which cannot be seen by our naked eye kept in a distance and separated by a void also called as “photonic crystals” some wavelength of light able to reflect back. Even the assemblies of some small circuits of wire which was used by Smith during his demonstration of the invisibility shield are able to bend the light rays in a very unique way.

So when asked that whether an object which is placed inside the shield is actually invisible, his answer was “more or less”. He said that it is not that we make something to go vanish in front of our eyes but it can be hidden because of the microwaves.

Analysis of a Single Cell:

For any serious diseases like cancer or diabetes, if we have the better knowledge of the dissimilarities between each cells; it will help a lot towards the treatment of such diseases at the initial stages.

Scientists have developed a method recently in last few decades which shows a very detailed structure of a single cell. It is being found that those single cells are able to produce hundreds and thousands of different type of proteins, lipids, metabolites, and hormones. However, most of them have utter drawbacks that they have to believe on the affinity reagents like antibodies which are again connected with some particular proteins. Therefore, the researchers could only make use of it to study what already exists. But as per Norman Dovichi who is an analytical chemist in the University of Washington, Seattle the unexpected is still invisible. According to Dovichi each and every cell must have some mysterious components in it. Dovichi is pioneer in isolating cells by the use of ultra sensitive techniques to separate the cells and study the molecules present in it.

In Dovichi’s lab, they researched and got success in finding the dissimilarities between various different types of proteins which is produce by a single cell of cancer. Dovichi also thinks that when cancer advances, the similar types of cells bend or branches more quickly to their protein content. If his thinking proved true in lab, then it is clear that if there are huge differences between the cells, the disease will most probably will spread. It would be a new beginning towards more effective treatment of various dreadful disease especially the cancer.

Cellulose Biofuels

Because of the huge amounts of the green house gas emission in the environment today by the cars, there is an idea to use the fuel made from renewable sources and which emits no or less green house gases. One such idea is the use of cellulosic biofuels which has various benefits over gasoline as well as corn ethanol. It can reduce the greenhouse gases emission from cars by about 87 percent as compared to the gasoline whereas the corn ethanol can reduce only by 18-28 per cent. Most important fact is that we have cellulosic material in huge amount on the earth surface.

Single enzyme is required to convert the cornstarch to sugar but cellulosic conversion is complicated as it requires many enzymes known as cellulases. In the older days, cellulases from fungi were used but it is found that the process is too slow and newer ways have been researched and developed. However to compete in the market, the cost of the fuel made from cellulose must be low compared to that of corn ethanol

Arnold has spent around twenty years in the designing process of enzymes and have developed many drugs and stain removers etc. Now she is studying and researching to find the way to make cheaper and more efficient way to make the cellulytic biofuels. She even researching and designing so that cellulases should produce by the microorganisms which are also responsible to ferment the sugars into biofuels.

Arnold is working together with James Liao who is a chemical engineering professor in the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Liao has developed a process in which E.coli successfully and very effectively able to convert butanol from sugar. As per Arnold, she is hoping that her new enzymes would also be able to fuse into the microbes which produce butanol.  A start up company called Gevo which is also cofounded by Arnold in Denver has received license of Liao’s technology. Now they can use that technology for a large scale production of biofuels which also includes butanol.

Comment (1)

  1. Power saving is really an upper edge.Longer battery life is required for sure for music players and cellphones.Probability chips will be a boon I think.

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