March 2011

Fukushima — best video, possible recriticallity [*?]

March 27, 2011

Here’s current video showing the steam, smoke, and wreckage at Units 1, 2, 3 & 4, seen with good optics from a helicopter at a safe standoff distance. It gives tantalizing glimpses of what’s going on, but what would be visible around the corners inside? The mobilization of technology here is pitiful. An off-the-shelf Parrot.AR […]

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Fukushima — where are the Parrots?

March 24, 2011

Here are two Monirobo robotic machines — radiation-hard, 2.4 km/hr, 600 kg robots, recently arrived on site: These probably aren’t very good at exploring wrecked buildings, viewing fuel storage pools obscured explosion debris, sampling smoke plumes rising from (?), etc. Here’s a Parrot AR.Drone — iPhone controlled, resistant to multiply-lethal radiation doses [update: > 10 […]

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Across the blood-brain barrier with exosomes

March 22, 2011

New work with exosomes promises wide-ranging advances in medicine, courtesy of an emerging biomolecular nanotechnology. As pharmaceutical chemists know, the blood-brain barrier blocks delivery of many molecules that do wonderful things if injected directly into the brain, but injecting the brain isn’t quite as convenient as injecting a vein. Exosomes are lipid vesicles manufactured by […]

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Tsunami disasters
and the cost of making things

March 11, 2011

When I wake up to news of a coast smashed by a tsunami, I see yet another sign of our relative material poverty, a sign that our civilization hasn’t yet mastered the art of making things. Japan, by modern standards, is rich, yet costs deterred the construction of deployable barriers able to resist fast-rising sea*. […]

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