Five must-read stories from the past week include a Sun-watching satellite’s capture of a solar eclipse; re-encoding memories to bypass brain damage; prediction of useful futuristic alloys 3X stronger than steel; D-Wave’s new agreement to provide technology to Google, NASA and USRA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab; and a supermassive black hole that is 30X expected size.
Supermassive Black Hole is 30X Expected Size
The central supermassive black hole of a recently discovered galaxy is far larger than should be possible, according to current theories of galactic evolution. New work, carried out by astronomers at Keele University and the University of Central Lancashire, shows that the black hole is much more massive than it should be, compared to the mass of the galaxy around it.
D-Wave to Provide Technology to Google, NASA, USRA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab
D-Wave Systems has entered into a new agreement covering installation of a succession of D-Wave systems at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. This agreement supports collaboration among Google, NASA and USRA (Universities Space Research Association) dedicated to studying how quantum computing can advance artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as the solution of difficult optimization problems.
New Model predicts Useful Futuristic Alloys 3X Stronger than Steel
Scientists have created an ‘instruction manual’ for developing metallic glass — an ultra-tough yet flexible alloy described as the most significant materials science innovation since plastic. Just like something from science fiction — think of the liquid-metal robot assassin in the Terminator films — these materials behave more like glass or plastic than metal. While still being metals, they become as malleable as chewing gum when heated.
Scientists Re-encode Memories to Bypass Brain Damage
Researchers have developed a brain prosthesis, designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain. It is currently being evaluated in human patients. The device builds relies on a new algorithm and builds on more than a decade of collaboration with Sam Deadwyler and Robert Hampson, who have collected the neural data used to construct the models and algorithms.
Sun-watching Satellite Captures Solar Eclipse
ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 satellite experienced three partial solar eclipses on September 13, 2015. On Earth, a single partial eclipse occurred over South Africa, the southern Indian Ocean and Antarctica. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon moves in front of the Sun as seen from Earth, their alignment and separation such that the Moon, situated much closer to Earth, appears large enough to block out light from the more distant Sun.