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Technology Tuesday: February 2


This week: A huge breakthrough in Quantum Computing, British scientists given the okay to edit the genome of a human embryo, Australian scientists to begin trialing fully implantable bionic eye, new finding may explain mysterious heat loss in fusion reactions, and Apple is working on long distance wireless charging for future generations of iPhones.


Heat Transference Breakthrough Could Mean Giant Leap Forward For Quantum Computing


Scientists at Aalto University, Finland, have made a breakthrough in physics. They succeeded in transporting heat maximally effectively ten thousand times further than ever before. The discovery may lead to a giant leap in the development of quantum computers.

Quantum technology is still a developing research field, but its most promising application is the super-efficient quantum computer. In the future, it can solve problems that a normal computer can never crack. The efficient operation of a quantum computer requires that it can be cooled down efficiently.



British Regulatory Committee Gives Scientists Okay to Genetically Modify Human Embryo


UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos.

It is the first time a country has considered the DNA-altering technique in embryos and approved it.

The research will take place at the Francis Crick Institute in London and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the earliest moments of human life.



Fully Implantable Bionic Eye About To Be Trialed


Scientists in Australia are set to begin trials of a new bionic eye system that’s expected to give patients vision several times better than current vision restoration technologies.

The Phoenix99 bionic eye, developed by engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), is a fully implantable system that represents a number of world-firsts in neural stimulation technology. The device, which has been successfully demonstrated in pre-clinical work by a team of elite surgical experts around Sydney, recently received a funding boost to help the scientists move toward the next stage of research, human implantation.



MIT Research Finally Explains Mysterious Heat Loss in Fusion Experiments


One of the biggest obstacles to making fusion power practical — and realizing its promise of virtually limitless and relatively clean energy — has been that computer models have been unable to predict how the hot, electrically charged gas inside a fusion reactor behaves under the intense heat and pressure required to make atoms stick together.

The key to making fusion work — that is, getting atoms of a heavy form of hydrogen called deuterium to stick together to form helium, releasing a huge amount of energy in the process — is to maintain a sufficiently high temperature and pressure to enable the atoms overcome their resistance to each other. But various kinds of turbulence can stir up this hot soup of particles and dissipate some of the intense heat, and a major problem has been to understand and predict exactly how this turbulence works, and thus how to overcome it.



Apple Researching Long Distance Wireless Charging For Future iPhones


Apple is actively working on a wireless charging method for future iPhones, according to “people familiar with the plans” speaking to Bloomberg Business. Apple is hoping that the technology, which could be ready for public consumption by 2017, will be more efficient than current wireless charging methods. Today, Apple uses wireless inductive charging for the Apple Watch, but the watch still needs to sit directly on top of its magnetic cradle to charge.


Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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