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Purple Perfection January 4, 2021

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Octopus, Photography.
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Eye Repair December 30, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Science.
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There is a lovely article on Hackaday about restoring vision to blind persons which eye can see will be enlightening[0]. It will open your eyes to brilliant possibilities.[1]

[0]Sorry about the puns; I seem to be in a vitreous humor today.

[1]Not really sorry.

COVID Vaccine Info Dump December 30, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Science, Uncategorized.
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Berthub.eu has an excellent deconstruction of the Pfizer vaccine (“a character-by-character look at the source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine”).

You won’t be sorry.

Ju-u-u-ust About There December 30, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys, Video.
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I assume you have seen this but here it is, as a public service to my readers

Exciting update:

Following this thread to its logical conclusion

Ion-propelled Aircraft December 8, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorized, Video.
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Yanked from the scripts of Star Trek with embarrassing plagiarism, researchers from MIT have created a proof of concept aircraft propelled by ionic thrust. They have only tested it in a (pretty large) gymnasium, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

Simple in concept[0], a wire with 20Kv ionizes air in front of an airfoil while the oppositely-charged airfoil draws the air over itself:

The amount of thrust generated by this system is pretty small admittedly, so there are several airfoils stacked atop one another to provide enough lift for sustainable flight.

…well, it is just a prototype

An intriguing design, it is possibly a first step of a solution to the problem of noisy propeller-driven flight. If we imagine a future with drones filling our skies, I sure hope they are quiet[1]

[0] to be honest

[1] unlike my wife’s drone

Stabilizing Perovskites December 3, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science.
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Professor of Chemistry Biwu Ma and his team from Florida State University published a new study that shows if you add a layer of N,N‐bis(tert‐butyloxycarbonyl)‐quinacridone (TBOC‐QA) to a perovskite solar cell, it increases the stability and efficiency of the cell with an efficiency of 18.9% without the layer of pigment to 21.1%.  It also seems to have enhanced the durability of the cell (perovskites do poorly in humidity and air).

Better still, this is a pretty simple process from a manufacturing point of view: spray and heat (“surface passivation by annealing”). “We believe that surface passivation of these cells using low-cost pigments is a very promising approach to improving their stability and efficiency,” Ma said.

Homework: Qingquan He et al. Highly Efficient and Stable Perovskite Solar Cells Enabled by Low‐Cost Industrial Organic Pigment Coating, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2020). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202012095

Perfect match December 3, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Video.
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Once again, words fail.

Free Time November 22, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff.
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I used to write these posts here about Stuff I Like during my lunchtime before a number of Bad Things happened to me. The Bad Things got steadily worse for awhile, and I got out of the habit of writing frequently. I haven’t posted much in the last few years because of timing issues, moving twice, taking eighteen months off work (partly related to the aforementioned Bad Things) to travel and generally letting writing fall onto a back burner. Don’t forget, this blog started out as just an example for my sister to follow to monetize her medical experience without having to have an actual job; I just got a little carried away.

Well, every once in a while I get enthusiastic enough to rise from my pit of despair to write up more Stuff I Like…like this little gem:

This gent has taken the longest possible route to boot his PC. The writeup is fairly detailed, with GitHub sources and self-mocking humor. I would say more, but I’m only just a little bit out of my pit of despair and I’m not charming nor am I witty lately.

COVID-19 Cracked by A.I. November 7, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science, Star Trek Technology.
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The Summit computer at Oak Ridge has looked at scads and scads of data about Covid and pretty much figured out what Covid is and what to do about it therapeutically. There is an excellent writeup of it on Medium.com which I am not going to plagiarize, but tell you all to read right here.

Finally! November 2, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Video.
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It’s about damn time.

Mmmmm… September 20, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography, Toys.
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Best Movie Trailer Ever August 16, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Video.
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Novel and Effective HSV Treatment July 30, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science.
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Alex Evilevitch of Lund University has published a paper in PLOS Pathogens describing an effective treatment for HSV using chemical moieties to block replication. Not a cure, but a treatment that works by not allowing the injection of DNA into cells targeted by the virus. He, with the help of preclinical studies at the National Institutes of Health in the United States, has identified small molecules that are able to penetrate the virus and “turn off” the high pressure (20 atmospheres! No wonder injection is so easy) in the genome of the virus without damaging the cell. These molecules proved to have a strong antiviral effect that was several times higher than the standard treatment against certain herpes types with the drug Aciclovir, as well as against resistant herpesvirus strains where Aciclovir does not work. The approach prevented viral infection.

The University of Lund has a nice news announcement covering this.

Homework: Pressurized DNA state inside herpes capsids—A novel antiviral target, Alberto Brandariz-Nuñez, Scott J. Robinson, Alex Evilevitch 

A Great Truth July 29, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Webcomics.
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3D Printed Layer Strength Fixed! May 14, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Awesome, Star Trek Technology.
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One of the many problems with the gee-whiz near-Star Trek technology of 3D printing is the sometimes poor adhesion between layers of deposited plastic; sometimes they just don’t bond as strongly as desired, resulting in a weaker part than an equivalent injection-molded part. In a paper dropped in Nano Letters, scientists at Texas A & M have found that carbon nanotubes in the mix under a plasma stream heat just the surface layers of the plastic and insure a good weld, as it were, between them. Naturally, they said it in a much more flowery way: “a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma electrode mounted concentrically around the nozzle of an ME 3D printer for in situ welding of thermoplastic parts.” That’s just the abstract; I’m sure they managed to make it sound like they earned their pay in the full document.


Homework: C. B. Sweeney et al, Dielectric Barrier Discharge Applicator for Heating Carbon Nanotube-Loaded Interfaces and Enhancing 3D-Printed Bond Strength, Nano Letters (2020). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04718

H@ck Skool Security Training April 21, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Geek Stuff, Toys.
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For all aspiring script kiddies security researchers: the demo site for web vulnerabilities from OWASP, OWASP_Broken_Web_Apps_VM_1.2, is available on SourceForge. Set it up as a virtual machine using VMWare or VirtualBox (if your mom’s purse doesn’t have a few hundred bucks in it company doesn’t have a budget for VMWare), run it as a website inside your box, then set up Kali Linux as another virtual machine and attack it.

Fun for all.

Game-changing engineered PET enzyme to break down and recycle plastic bottles April 13, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science.
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Nature published a paper by researchers at Carbios and Université de Toulouse that describes an enzyme that breaks down PET plastics (the kind in those clear water bottles that everyone uses…and throws away–like 800 billion tons, which is only an estimate) really, really fast and efficiently. They made the protein which “achieves, over 10 hours, a minimum of 90 per cent PET depolymerization into monomers, with a productivity of 16.7 grams of terephthalate per liter per hour (200 grams per kilogram of PET suspension, with an enzyme concentration of 3 milligrams per gram of PET)” with good, old-fashioned genetic engineering to solve a recycling problem two generations in the making.

Carbios plans to begin testing its enzyme in 2021 in a demonstration plant near Lyon, France.

The paper is available at Nature (not just the abstract, if using the link below), and is fairly readable by a layman.

Homework:  An engineered PET depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles: V. Tournier, C. M. Topham, A. Gilles, B. David, C. Folgoas, E. Moya-Leclair, E. Kamionka, M.-L. Desrousseaux, H. Texier, S. Gavalda, M. Cot2, E. Guémard, M. Dalibey J. Nomme, G. Cioci, S. Barbe, M. Chateau, I. André , S. Duquesne & A. Marty

Concatenation March 31, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Uncategorizable, Video.
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Electric, Adjustable Waterproof Glue March 6, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Geek Stuff, Science.
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The title is quite a promise, isn’t it? Bruce Lee, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan Tech, is a part of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP) and showed how to use pH to make smart underwater adhesives (similar to mussels’ adhesives). He and Saleh Akram Bhuiyan developed a new method using an electrical current to turn off the adhesion of a catechol-containing material.

For extra coolness the adhesive turns red when it’s shut off.  For ultimate coolness, they can turn it back on.

Homework: Md. Saleh Akram Bhuiyan et al, In Situ Deactivation of Catechol-Containing Adhesive Using Electrochemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2020). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b11266

3D Printed Topological Map February 27, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Awesome, Publishing Tools.
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One of the more retentive members of Silicon Valley 3D Printing Meetup has printed a very complex and beautiful rendering of (some of) the Earth’s topological features in glorious PLA. Thirty-two tiles, ranging in print time for four hours to twenty-two(!) hours for the taller elevations, each “pixel” is 10 KM on a side.