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The design team was inspired by the orange gantry cranes at the freight terminal.

It’s no surprise that we love architecture and engineering marvels. In the past, we have brought you lists of architectural marvels that seem to defy the laws of science and the most interesting engineering designs around the world.

Now, we are bringing you an incredible creation from MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, in collaboration with the China Academy of Building Research (CASR). Together these organizations have won an international competition for the design of the Cuntan International Cruise Centre in Chongqing, China and its execution is a sight to behold.

What is this marvel of architecture? It’s a 66,000 216,535 square feet (square meter) cargo terminal located in Chongqing’s Liangjiang New Area within the Cuntan Port area that allows access to the Yangtze River.

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The architecture looks like a city that seems to arrive from elsewhere and that could perhaps head somewhere else once again someday.

It’s rare that faster can also equate to greener in the aerospace industry, but that’s the goal of Australian startup Hypersonix has in sight.

The company has developed a new hypersonic satellite launch system that will make launches more accessible and also more sustainable. The technology could one day also help develop hypersonic airliners capable of crossing the Atlantic in a little over an hour.

“At Mach 5 and above, friction caused by molecules flowing over the hypersonic aircraft can generate temperatures in excess of 2,000˚C (3,632˚F),” the company says in a press statement. “Suffice to say that Brisbane-based aerospace engineering start-up, Hypersonix Launch Systems, is choosing its materials to cope with these extremes.”

For quantum computers to surpass their classical counterparts in speed and capacity, their qubits—which are superconducting circuits that can exist in an infinite combination of binary states—need to be on the same wavelength. Achieving this, however, has come at the cost of size. Whereas the transistors used in classical computers have been shrunk down to nanometer scales, superconducting qubits these days are still measured in millimeters—one millimeter is one million nanometers.

Combine qubits together into larger and larger circuit chips, and you end up with, relatively speaking, a big physical footprint, which means quantum computers take up a lot of physical space. These are not yet devices we can carry in our backpacks or wear on our wrists.

To shrink qubits down while maintaining their performance, the field needs a new way to build the capacitors that store the energy that “powers” the qubits. In collaboration with Raytheon BBN Technologies, Wang Fong-Jen Professor James Hone’s lab at Columbia Engineering recently demonstrated a superconducting qubit built with 2D materials that’s a fraction of previous sizes.

The center will unite researchers exploring quantum systems and their potential uses.

In the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Center for Quantum Precision Measurement, Caltech researchers will develop tools and concepts with the potential to influence all areas of science and technology through unprecedented sensing, measurement, and engineering capabilities.

The fulcrum of a major initiative in quantum science and technology, the center will unite a diverse community of theorists and experimentalists devoted to understanding quantum systems and their potential uses (see a video about the new center). It will bring together researchers in three fields that progress hand in hand: quantum sensing, quantum information, and gravitational-wave detection—the direct observation of ripples in spacetime.

The center will be housed in a six-story building to be constructed thanks in part to a generous donation by Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg to name the facility. The new building, fully funded by philanthropy, will bring architectural innovation to a historic campus entrance on California Boulevard.

When he’s not busy with his day job as professor of computer and automotive engineering at Weber State University, [John Kelly] is a prolific producer of educational videos. We found his video tracing out the 22+ meters of high voltage cabling in a Tesla Model S (below the break) quite interesting. [John] does warn that his videos are highly detailed and may not be for everyone:

This is not the Disney Channel. If you are looking to be entertained, this is not the channel for you.

We ignored the warning and jumped right in. The “high” voltages in the case of an electric vehicle (EV) like the Model S is approximately 400 volts. Briefly, external input via the charge connector can be single or three phase, 120 or 250 VAC, depending on your region and charging station. This get boosted to a nominal 400 VDC bus that is distributed around the various vehicle systems, including the motors and the battery pack.

Russia’s first newly manufactured Tupolev Tu-160M strategic missile carrier made its first flight on 12 January. The flight – performed at the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Plant – took place at an altitude of 600 meters and lasted about 30 minutes. The crew of test pilots of Tupolev PJSC performed maneuvers to check the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air. It comes under the umbrella of the United Aircraft Corporation, UAC, part of the state-owned Rostec entity.

The program for the reproduction of Tu-160 aircraft in the modernized form of the Tu-160M is a part of a state contract between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and Tupolev. As a part of the program, the design documentation for the Tu-160M aircraft was completely digitized in a short time, the technology for vacuum welding of titanium products was restored, the production of aircraft airframe units was resumed. Also, new cooperation was formed from advanced industrial enterprises in the field of metallurgy, aircraft manufacturing, mechanical engineering, and instrument making.

The team has restored the full production cycle of the Tu-160, but in the M modification, using modernized engines, modernized aircraft control systems, navigation systems, weapons control systems. The modernization of the Kazan Aviation Plant played an important role in restoring the production of unique aircraft. The aircraft retains its appearance but is created on a completely new technological base using digital technologies.

A new biologically inspired battery membrane has enabled a battery with five times the capacity of the industry-standard lithium ion design to run for the thousand-plus cycles needed to power an electric car.

A network of aramid nanofibers, recycled from Kevlar, can enable to overcome their Achilles heel of cycle life—the number of times it can be charged and discharged—a University of Michigan team has shown.

“There are a number of reports claiming several hundred cycles for lithium-sulfur batteries, but it is achieved at the expense of other parameters—capacity, charging rate, resilience and safety. The challenge nowadays is to make a battery that increases the cycling rate from the former 10 cycles to hundreds of cycles and satisfies multiple other requirements including cost,” said Nicholas Kotov, the Irving Langmuir Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, who led the research.

In the particle world, sometimes two is better than one. Take, for instance, electron pairs. When two electrons are bound together, they can glide through a material without friction, giving the material special superconducting properties. Such paired electrons, or Cooper pairs, are a kind of hybrid particle — a composite of two particles that behaves as one, with properties that are greater than the sum of its parts.


MIT is an acronym for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a prestigious private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was founded in 1861. It is organized into five Schools: architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts, and social sciences; management; and science. MIT’s impact includes many scientific breakthroughs and technological advances.

A study published by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago describes a new method for analyzing pyroptosis–the process of cell death that is usually caused by infections and results in excess inflammation in the body–and shows that process, long thought to be irreversible once initiated, can in fact be halted and controlled.

The discovery, which is reported in Nature Communications, means that scientists have a new way to study diseases that are related to malfunctioning cell death processes, like some cancers, and infections that can be complicated by out-of-control inflammation caused by the process. These infections include sepsis, for example, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is among the major complications of COVID-19 illness.

Pyroptosis is a series of biochemical reactions that uses gasdermin, a protein, to open large pores in the cell membrane and destabilize the cell. To understand more about this process, the UIC researchers designed an “optogenetic” gasdermin by genetically engineering the protein to respond to light.

“The cell death process plays an important role in the body, in both healthy states and unhealthy ones, but studying pyroptosis–which is a major type of cell death–has been challenging,” said Gary Mo, UIC assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and regenerative medicine and the department of biomedical engineering at the College of Medicine.

Mo said that methods to examine the pyroptosis mechanisms at play in live cells are difficult to control because they are initiated by unpredictable pathogens, which in turn have disparate effects in different cells and people.

“Our optogenetic gasdermin allowed us to skip over the unpredictable pathogen behavior and the variable cellular response because it mimics at the molecular level what happens in the cell once pyroptosis is initiated,” Mo said.

The researchers applied this tool and used florescent imaging technology to precisely activate gasdermin in cell experiments and observe the pores under various circumstances. They discovered that certain conditions, like specific concentrations of calcium ions, for example, triggered the pores to close within only tens of seconds.

This automatic response to external circumstances provides evidence that pyroptosis dynamically self-regulates.

“This showed us that this form of cell death is not a one-way ticket. The process is actually programmed with a cancel button, an off-switch,” Mo said. “Understanding how to control this process unlocks new avenues for drug discovery, and now we can find drugs that work for both sides–it allows us to think about tuning, either boosting or limiting, this type of cell death in diseases, where we could previously only remove this important process.”

Co-authors of the Nature Communications paper, “Gasdermin D Pores Are Dynamically Regulated by Local Phosphoinositide Circuitry,” are Ana Santa Cruz Garcia, Kevin Schnur and Asrar Malik, all of UIC.

😮 circa 2021.

The fundamental forces of physics govern the matter comprising the Universe, yet exactly how these forces work together is still not fully understood. The existence of Hawking radiation — the particle emission from near black holes — indicates that general relativity and quantum mechanics must cooperate. But directly observing Hawking radiation from a black hole is nearly impossible due to the background noise of the Universe, so how can researchers study it to better understand how the forces interact and how they integrate into a “Theory of Everything”?

According to Haruna Katayama, a doctoral student in Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, since researchers cannot go to the Hawking radiation, Hawking radiation must be brought to the researchers. She has proposed a quantum circuit that acts as a black hole laser, providing a lab-bench black hole equivalent with advantages over previously proposed versions. The proposal was published on Sept. 27 Scientific Reports.

“In this study, we devised a quantum-circuit laser theory using an analogue black hole and a white hole as a resonator,” Katayama said.