To search means, first, I need Being, Truth;
second, I do not know where to find it;
and third, an action takes place that is not based on fantasies of certainty -
while at the same time a waiting takes place that is rooted not in wishful thinking
but in a deep sense of urgency.
~ Jacob Needleman
James Devitt : Phys.org :06 Mar 2015
A developing form of computer memory has the potential to store information more quickly and more cheaply, while using less energy, than what’s used today by the semiconductor industry, NYU Physics Professor Andrew Kent concludes in an analysis that appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
A developing form of computer memory has the potential to store information more quickly and more cheaply, while using less energy, than what's used today by the semiconductor industry, NYU Physics Professor Andrew Kent concludes.
In an analysis that appears in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, Kent and his colleague Daniel Worledge of the IBM Watson Research Center discuss a new type of memory, spin-transfer-torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM). STT-MRAM relies on magnetism to store information, like that used in existing hard drives. However, in contrast to hard drives, STT-MRAM is written and read electrically—that is, by applying only electric currents. It does not have moving parts like a magnetic hard drive and therefore can operate much faster than a hard drive. More significantly, STT-MRAM can operate as fast as the fastest semiconductor based random access memories, and thus be used as a computer and portable device's (e.g. smartphone) working memory—a memory that is accessed frequently. As a result, these magnetic devices can be used to improve the performance of such devices, adding speed while, at the same time, greatly reducing the amount of energy needed.
Kent and Worledge caution that several "technological challenges must be met before STT-MRAM can be widely adopted in the most advanced applications"—perhaps most importantly, advances that increase their information storage capacity. However, they note that the progress made over the past decade, thanks to rapid advances made in academic and industrial research, offers great hope that this pioneering memory technology will find its way into our computers and portable devices in the future.
More information: "A new spin on magnetic memories." Nature Nanotechnology 10, 187 - 191 (2015) DOI
Journal reference: Nature Nanotechnology
Provided by New York University
Jacopo Prisco : CNN : 02 Mar 2015
From electrons to ions
This can pave the way for computers that will instantly turn on and off like a light bulb and never lose data: the RAM, or memory, will no longer be erased when the machine is turned off, without the need to save anything to hard drives as with current technology. But memristors have another fundamental difference compared with transistors: they can escape the boundaries of binary code.
Like a brain
Initially, the technology will be mostly used to create super-fast memory chips that contain more data and consume less energy. This alone would make regular computers much more powerful, but down the line, the memristor could also take on the processing.
Jennifer Rupp is a Professor of electrochemical materials at ETH Zurich, and she's working with IBM to build a memristor- based machine. Memristors, she points out, function in a way that is similar to a human brain: "Unlike a transistor, which is based on binary codes, a memristor can have multi-levels. You could have several states, let's say zero, one half, one quarter, one third, and so on, and that gives us a very powerful new perspective on how our computers may develop in the future," she told CNN's Nick Glass. Such a shift in computing methodology would allow us to create "smart" computers that operate in a way reminiscent of the synapses in our brains. Free from the limitations of the 0s and 1s, these more powerful computers would be able to learn and make decisions, ultimately getting us one step closer to creating human-like artificial intelligence.
You can read the rest of this story at : http://www.sott.net/article/293283-So-long-transistor-hello-memristor-How-this-could-revolutionize-electronics
Turning science on its head: Harvard researchers offer new views of Myelin - the body's insulating material
B. D. Colen : Harvard Gazette
Myelin, the electrical insulating material in the body long known to be essential for the fast transmission of impulses along the axons of nerve cells, is not as ubiquitous as thought, according to new work led by Professor Paola Arlotta of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and the University's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, in collaboration with Professor Jeff Lichtman of Harvard's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
"Myelin is a relatively recent invention during evolution," says Arlotta. "It's thought that myelin allowed the brain to communicate really fast to the far reaches of the body, and that it has endowed the brain with the capacity to compute higher-level functions."
In fact, loss of myelin is a feature in a number of devastating diseases, including multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.
But the new research shows that despite myelin's essential roles in the brain, "some of the most evolved, most complex neurons of the nervous system have less myelin than older, more ancestral ones," said Arlotta, co-director of the HSCI neuroscience program. What this means, she said, is that the higher one looks in the cerebral cortex - closer to the top of the brain, which is its most evolved part - the less myelin one finds. Not only that, but "neurons in this part of the brain display a brand-new way of positioning myelin along their axons that has not been previously seen. They have 'intermittent myelin' with long axon tracts that lack myelin interspersed among myelin-rich segments."
"Contrary to the common assumptions that neurons use a universal profile of myelin distribution on their axons, the work indicates that different neurons choose to myelinate their axons differently." Arlotta said. "In classic neurobiology textbooks, myelin is represented on axons as a sequence of myelinated segments separated by very short nodes that lack myelin. This distribution of myelin was tacitly assumed to be always the same, on every neuron, from the beginning to the end of the axon. This new work finds this not to be the case."
The results of the research by Arlotta and postdoctoral fellow Giulio Srubek Tomassy, the first author on the report, are published in the latest edition of the journal Science. The paper is accompanied by a "perspective" by R. Douglas Fields of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, who said that Arlotta and Tomassy's findings raise important questions about the purpose of myelin, and "are likely to spark new concepts about how information is transmitted and integrated in the brain."
Arlotta and Tomassy collaborated closely on the new work with postdoctoral fellow Daniel Berger of the Lichtman lab, which generated one of the two massive electron microscopy databases that made the work possible. "The fact that it is the most evolved neurons, the ones that have expanded dramatically in humans, suggest that what we're seeing might be the 'future'. As neuronal diversity increases and the brain needs to process more and more complex information, neurons change the way they use myelin to achieve more." said Arlotta.
Tomassy said it is possible that these profiles of myelination "may be giving neurons an opportunity to branch out and 'talk' to neighboring neurons". For example, because axons cannot make synaptic contacts when they are myelinated, one possibility is that these long myelin gaps may be needed to increase neuronal communication and synchronize responses across different neurons. He and Arlotta postulate that the intermittent myelin may be intended to fine-tune the electrical impulses traveling along the axons, in order to allow the emergence of highly complex neuronal behaviors.
ScienceDaily : 05 Nov 2014
© University of Washington
In this photo, UW students Darby Losey, left, and Jose Ceballos are positioned in two different buildings on campus as they would be during a brain-to-brain interface demonstration. The sender, left, thinks about firing a cannon at various points throughout a computer game. That signal is sent over the Web directly to the brain of the receiver, right, whose hand hits a touchpad to fire the cannon. Mary Levin, U of Wash.
Sometimes, words just complicate things. What if our brains could communicate directly with each other, bypassing the need for language?
University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team's initial demonstration a year ago. In the newly published study, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal.
At the time of the first experiment in August 2013, the UW team was the first to demonstrate two human brains communicating in this way. The researchers then tested their brain-to-brain interface in a more comprehensive study, published Nov. 5 in the journal PLOS ONE.
"The new study brings our brain-to-brain interfacing paradigm from an initial demonstration to something that is closer to a deliverable technology," said co-author Andrea Stocco, a research assistant professor of psychology and a researcher at UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. "Now we have replicated our methods and know that they can work reliably with walk-in participants."
Collaborator Rajesh Rao, a UW associate professor of computer science and engineering, is the lead author on this work.
Read the entire article here : http://www.sott.net/article/288548-Direct-brain-interface-between-humans
Michael Kozlowski : Good E Reader : 23 Oct 2014
© Vatican Apostolic Library
The Vatican Apostolic Library is now digitizing its valuable ancient religious manuscripts and putting them online via its website. All of the content is available for free.
The Library was originally founded in 1451 AD and holds over 80,000 manuscripts, prints, drawings, plates and books printed prior to 1500 AD. The titles are all written throughout history by people who had different faiths or religions, from all over the world. Not only are paintings, religious iconography and books being published online, but also letters by / from important historical figures, drawings and notes by artists and scientists such as Michelangelo and Galileo, as well as treaties from all eras in history.
Finding all of the new digitized material is not easy; the library has a few samples online, but honestly it's tedious right now to view the rest. Users have to search the database manually by clicking on each title and scanning through all the pages in each book. By the end of the year, a new rendering engine is going to be implemented with a more robust site-wide searching system.
In order to properly digitize the rest of the library, the Vatican is estimating that it will cost €50 million and take fifteen years. They are looking for corporate sponsors and normal people who want to see this work. One of the ways they are attracting corporate sponsors is to hold exclusive fundraising events. In June 2014 they had one and gave attending guests an exclusive guided tour of areas generally closed to the public, including the Library halls, laboratories and the caveau where the manuscripts are safeguarded, with dinner in the Sistine Hall. They also seeking donations of €5 to save a single page in a manuscript, while donations of at least €1,000 will see the backer included on the official supporters list.
All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed,
second it is violently opposed,
and third, it is accepted as self-evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer,
Once a profound truth has been seen, it cannot be 'unseen'.
There's no 'going back' to the person you were.
Even if such a possibility did exist...why would you want to?
- Dave Sim
George Dvorsky ; io9 ; 13 May 2014
Over a third of the global population is now overweight, and the percentages are increasing. Some neuroscientists have suggested that the rise of so-called "hyperpalatable foods" may partially explain the unprecedented rates of obesity.
Our food environment has changed dramatically over the years, most notably through the introduction of so-called "hyperpalatable" foods. These foods are deliberately engineered in such a way that they surpass the reward properties of traditional foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Food chemists achieve this by suffusing products with increased levels of fat, sugar, flavors, and food additives.
David A. Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite and former head of the FDA, claims that the food industry has combined and created foods in a way that taps into our brain circuitry, thus stimulating our desire for more. On their own, these ingredients aren't particularly potent, but when combined in specific ways, they tap into the brain's reward system, creating a feedback loop that stimulates our desire to eat and leaves us wanting more - even when we're full.
Eventually, the experience of eating impossibly delicious foods results in what Kessler describes as "conditioned hypereating." When we consume enjoyable sugary and fatty foods, it stimulates endorphins in our brains - chemicals that signal a pleasurable experience. In turn, and in Pavlovian fashion, these chemicals stimulate us to eat more of that type of food, while also calming us down and making us feel good.
Read more at : http://www.sott.net/article/279101-How-hyperpalatable-non-foods-could-turn-you-into-a-food-addict-and-make-you-obese
Pleiadian Message to the Lightworkers - New Earth Rising
Published on 19 Mar 2013
New message from the Pleiadians to the lightworkers; 'New Earth Rising'. Important message for the Family of Light and the members of the Bringers of the Dawn. Music: Sascha Ende, www.ende.tv
Outstanding video explaining that consciousness is what drives and shapes everything. Ultimately everything in the universe is consciousness in the most subtle and dense form.
This video features Grant Morrisson, David Lynch, David Icke, Gregg Braden, Michael Talbot, David Wilcock, Wayne Dyer, Neil Kramer and Bill Hicks.
See also articles on 'Consciousness'.
Almost 600 years after Pope Nicholas V founded the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Holy See is now turning to 50 experts, five scanners and a Japanese IT firm to digitize millions of pages from its priceless manuscripts, opening them to the broader public for the first time. When the project is finished, one of the richest and most important collections of historical texts in the world will be available with a click of the mouse - and free.
The plan marks a revolution for an institution known as the Popes' Library, which houses more than 82,000 manuscripts, some dating back to the second century. Scholars must now submit a detailed request to gain access to the library, which sits within the Vatican walls. The most precious works of art, such as a 1,600-year old manuscript displaying Virgil's poems once studied by Raphael, have been mostly off-limits. "This restriction was wise to protect such valuable manuscripts from hordes of visitors," said Alberto Melloni, a church historian who has used the Vatican library several times. "If anybody could visit, it would be like putting a child with a paintbrush in front of the Mona Lisa."
By digitizing its archives, the Vatican library, established in 1451, joins the ranks of illustrious institutions such as the British Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Cambridge University Library. The Vatican is offering "a service that we provide all mankind," said Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the library, at a recent presentation of the project.
For the past year, Vatican officials have worked closely with experts at Japanese IT firm NTT DATA Corp. 9613.TO -2.39% to test special scanners designed to handle particularly delicate documents. With the test phase finished, about 50 Italian and Japanese operators will soon begin the process of digitizing the first batch of 3,000 manuscripts under the watchful eye of Vatican librarians. That process, which will take place entirely inside the library, is expected to take four years.
After each document is scanned, it will be formatted for long-term storage and then released onto the library's website. The first digital images are expected to be put online in the second half of this year. All of the manuscripts, including the most delicate ones, will eventually be scanned, and viewers will be able to examine them from a variety of angles.
Digitalizing the library will be a mammoth task, involving 43 quadrillion bytes. (A byte is a unit that is used to represent an alphanumeric character.) In the end, about 40 million pages will be available for all to see. The Vatican won't say how long the whole project will take.
Disaster recovery mechanisms will be put in place so that images of the manuscripts will be conserved should anything happen to the originals."If something horrible happens - and I pray to God it doesn't - at least all this won't be lost," said James R. Ginther, professor of medieval theology and director of the Center of Digital Humanities at St. Louis University in Missouri.
The opening of the library might be a letdown for Vatican conspiracy theorists. The alleged secrets housed in the Vatican's archives have sometimes featured in mystery novels, such as those penned by Dan Brown.
Read the entire article at: http://www.sott.net/article/277305-The-Vaticans-ancient-texts-go-online
This section is for interesting items which are brought to my attention but which do not merit a separate article.
I welcome your comments, questions or suggestions on any topics you wish to contribute to this section.