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Little Shop of Horrors: A Moving Plot of an other-world's unmanned land...
more vine?

Quote:If a plant can be a bio-electric hybrid...what else can it be hacked with?
Power stations driven by light
January 16, 2019, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

[Image: sunlight.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Green plants, algae and some bacteria use sunlight to convert energy. The pigments in chlorophyll absorb electromagnetic radiation, which induces chemical reactions in electrons. These reactions take place in the nucleus of complex protein structures, referred to by experts as photosystems I and II. The processes that take place in these photosystems are induced by catalysts in a certain order. In the first step, oxygen is released from water. A subsequent reaction prepares the production of carbohydrates for which no further source of energy is needed.

The reaction centres of the photosystems are encircled by light-absorbing pigments grouped into consolidated complexes. These antennae increase the area available for light rays to hit and extend the spectrum of usable wavelengths, both prerequisites for a favourable energy balance. Each reactor core is surrounded by approximately 30 antennae. Experiments conducted by scientists are still far from replicating this natural complexity. In general, a ratio of 1:1 is the best that can be achieved: one light-absorbing molecule in combination with one catalyst for oxidising water. A group of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Guldi and his former employee Dr. Konstantin Dirian hope to revolutionise solar technology by synthesising modules based on the correlation between structure and function in photosystem II, and the latest results have been published in Nature Chemistry.

In the newly developed systems, light-absorbing crystals, such as those already used in LEDs, transistors and solar cells, are layered into a network of hexagonal honeycombs around a water-oxidising catalyst with four ruthenium metal atoms in the centre. When shown in a simplified manner, these compact, stable units, which are made up of two components with a common long axis, are reminiscent of cylindrical batteries. In the self-assembling chemical process, such 'miniature power stations' create two-dimensional slats. Like layers in a gateau, they form a common block that collects the energy won from the sun's rays.

This is not an entirely accurate reproduction of the ideal arrangement found in the natural photosystem, but the principle is the same. Five macromolecules in the shape of a honeycomb with the ability to capture light create a sheath around each reactor core, and it has been shown that these small power stations are efficient and successful at harvesting solar energy. They have an efficiency of over 40 percent, and losses are minimal. Wavelengths from the green portion of the colour spectrum, which plants reflect, can also be used. These research results foster the hope that solar technology can one day make use of the sun's energy as efficiently as nature.

 Explore further: Discovery adapts natural membrane to make hydrogen fuel from water

More information: Marcella Bonchio et al, Hierarchical organization of perylene bisimides and polyoxometalates for photo-assisted water oxidation, Nature Chemistry (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0172-y 

Journal reference: Nature Chemistry    
Provided by: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

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Quote:If a plant can be a bio-electric hybrid...what else can it be hacked with?

[Image: e96eec5641e022ca7a27eb55db6f1118.jpg]

Report: Pentagon Seeking Proposals on Using Insect Brains to Build Robots
[Image: 44981134194_6df61171b1_k-640x480.jpg]USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Matt Cardy/Getty

16 Jan 2019222
An advertisement for employment on the Federal Business Opportunities website lists a job at the
Department of Defense for scientists with ideas on how to use insect brains to develop “conscious robots.”
The ad, posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, says the Department for Defense seeks concepts exploring “new computational frameworks and strategies drawn from the impressive computational capabilities of very small flying insects for whom evolutionary pressures have forced scale/size/energy reduction without loss of performance.”
According to a document explaining the opportunity in more detail to interested companies, the proposal seeks to help engineer robots that are quicker, more energy-efficient, and easier to train.

[size=undefined]“Nature has forced on these small insects drastic miniaturization and energy efficiency, some having only a few hundred neurons in a compact form-factor while maintaining basic functionality,” the document reads. “Studying miniaturized insects may reveal fundamental innovations in architecture and computation analogous to their simultaneous simplicity, efficiency, and complex functionality.”
“Furthermore, these organisms are possibly able to display increased subjectivity of experience, which extends simple look-up table responses to potentially AI-relevant problem-solving,” it continues. “This research could lead to capability of inference, prediction, generalization and abstraction of problems in systematic or entirely news [sic] ways in order to find solutions to compelling problems.”
Proposals for the program, known as the Microscale Biomimetic Robust Artificial Intelligence Networks, or MicroBRAIN, must be submitted by February 4 while the program is scheduled to launch April 4. The winning company will receive $1 million.
The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is known to be at the cutting age of futuristic technology and helped fund projects that led to the rise of the Internet. Some technologies reportedly in development include bullets that never miss their targets, bodysuits that give their users extreme strength, and prosthetic limbs so effective they would allow soldiers to return to frontline combat.
The U.S.’s ability to lead the world in military technology is key to the future of its status as the preeminent superpower, a status challenged increasingly by China’s plans for its own military technology. On Tuesday, an assessment released by the Pentagon concluded that in recent years Beijing has made massive technological strides in every aspect of military strength, which will eventually “enable China to impose its will in the region.”


A comprehensive metabolic map for production of bio-based chemicals

January 16, 2019, The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

[Image: 5c3f1c4af3d22.jpg]
Bio-based chemicals production through biological and chemical routes. This metabolic map describes representative chemicals that can be produced either by biological and/or chemical means. Red arrows represent chemical routes and blue …more
A KAIST research team completed a metabolic map that charts all available strategies and pathways of chemical reactions that lead to the production of various industrial bio-based chemicals.

The team was led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee, who has produced high-quality metabolic engineering and systems engineering research for decades, and made the hallmark chemicals map after seven years of studies.

The team presented a very detailed analysis on metabolic engineering for the production of a wide range of industrial chemicals, fuels, and materials. Surveying the current trends in the bio-based production of chemicals in industrial biotechnology, the team thoroughly examined the current status of industrial chemicals produced using biological and/or chemical reactions.

This comprehensive map is expected to serve as a blueprint for the visual and intuitive inspection of biological and/or chemical reactions for the production of interest from renewable resources. The team also compiled an accompanying poster to visually present the synthetic pathways of chemicals in the context of their microbial metabolism.

As metabolic engineering has become increasing powerful in addressing limited fossil resources, climate change, and other environmental issues, the number of microbially produced chemicals using biomass as a carbon source has increased substantially. The sustainable production of industrial chemicals and materials has been explored with micro-organisms as cell factories and renewable nonfood biomass as raw materials for alternative petroleum. The engineering of these micro-organism has increasingly become more efficient and effective with the help of metabolic engineering – a practice of engineering using the metabolism of living organisms to produce a desired metabolite.

With the establishment of systems metabolic engineering – the integration of metabolic engineering with tools and strategies from systems biology, synthetic biology and evolutionary engineering – the speed at which micro-organisms are being engineered has reached an unparalleled pace.

In order to evaluate the current state at which metabolically engineered micro-organisms can produce a large portfolio of industrial chemicals, the team conducted an extensive review of the literature and mapped them out on a poster. This resulting poster, termed the bio-based chemicals map, presents synthetic pathways for industrial chemicals, which consist of biological and/or chemical reactions.

Industrial chemicals and their production routes are presented in the context of central carbon metabolic pathways as these key metabolites serve as precursors for the chemicals to be produced. The resulting biochemical map allows the detection and analysis of optimal synthetic pathways for a given industrial chemical. In addition to the poster, the authors have compiled a list of chemicals that have successfully been produced using micro-organisms and a list of the corresponding companies producing them commercially. This thorough review of the literature and the accompanying analytical summary will be an important resource for researchers interested in the production of chemicals from renewable biomass sources.

Metabolically engineered micro-organisms have already made a huge contribution toward the sustainable production of chemicals using renewable resources. Professor Lee said he wanted a detailed survey of the current state and capacity of bio-based chemicals production.

"We are so excited that this review and poster will expand further discussion on the production of important chemicals through engineered micro-organisms and also combined biological and chemical means in a more sustainable manner," he explained.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Strategies for producing natural and non-natural chemicals by microorganisms

More information: Sang Yup Lee et al. A comprehensive metabolic map for production of bio-based chemicals, Nature Catalysis (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41929-018-0212-4 

Journal reference: Nature Catalysis [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Little Shop of Horrors - by EA - 12-07-2018, 10:35 PM
RE: Little Shop of Horrors - by EA - 12-22-2018, 10:00 PM
RE: Little Shop of Horrors: A Moving Plot of an other-world's unmanned land... - by EA - 01-17-2019, 08:46 AM

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