Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Parameters: 3D Printed Human Hearts?

Source: BusinessInsider




One of the leading causes of death in the world today is cardiovascular disease.  The origination of the disease has been popularly attributed to the rise in obesity rates.  Yes, that is correct.  As Americans have gotten larger, obesity rates have soared and with them - a corresponding rise in cardiovascular disease has occurred.  Current treatments include being prescribed 'blood thinners' for the remainder of time.  What if there were another option?  Say, print a heart from existing blood cells. That is what was shown in the video below from 'USA Today':





Amazing. The technology offers to solve a huge issue.  Although, as noted in the video, there are several steps toward making the process happen.  Among the many challenges that lie between the laboratory and the human body, two dominant challenges stand out and which I would like to briefly address below.  Biocompatibility is probably going to be the most challenging of the steps.  Of course, the reprogramming of cells will be no easy challenge either.  Although, improvements through research have been made which I will briefly discuss below.



Biocompatibility




Biocompatibility is the ability of an artificial product (artificial -- heart, prosthetic piece, pace maker, etc.) to operate within the body (under physiological conditions) without being rejected.  I would be interested to see the process in further detail.  Nevertheless, the possibilities that 3D printing offers are emerging day by day and surely not restricted to the field of medicine.



To elaborate on the issue of 'biocompatibility' a bit more, I would like to add the introduction paragraph from Wikipedia shown below:



Biocompatibility is related to the behavior of biomaterials in various contexts. The term refers to the ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific situation.[1] The ambiguity of the term reflects the ongoing development of insights into how biomaterials interact with the human body and eventually how those interactions determine the clinical success of a medical device (such as pacemaker, hip replacement or stent). Modern medical devices and prostheses are often made of more than one material so it might not always be sufficient to talk about the biocompatibility of a specific material.[2]
Since the immune response and repair functions in the body are so complicated it is not adequate to describe the biocompatibility of a single material in relation to a single cell type or tissue. Sometimes one hears of biocompatibility testing that is a large battery of in vitro test[3] that is used in accordance with ISO 10993 (or other similar standards) to determine if a certain material (or rather biomedical product) is biocompatible. These tests do not determine the biocompatibility of a material,[4] but they constitute an important step towards the animal testing and finally clinical trials that will determine the biocompatibility of the material in a given application, and thus medical devices such as implants or drug delivery devices[5].


Testing biocompatibility is a challenge too in certain cases.  The first and immediate test is the visual test - does the patient seem stable -- with stable vital signs?  From there, the specific tests inherent to the organ harvested (or printed) (ex: heart, liver, skin, etc.) are performed to check for biocompatibility.



Programming Cells?




The second greatest challenge I mentioned above was the process of reprogramming cells to become heart cells.  Over the last few decades much attention has been focused on understanding how a cell is programmed to become a cell in a specified organ (heart, liver, stomach, skin, etc.).  A major part of that research involved cell signaling research.  Ironically, the realizations (through research and discovery) that make this technology possible were researched by Professor Gunter Blobel of Rockefeller University - who recently passed away.  In a recent obituary in 'The New York Times' - Prof. Gunter Blobel's work was centered around proteins distribution around the body based on 'zip codes':



In 1971, Dr. Blobel and a colleague, Dr. David D. Sabatini, who later headed cell biology studies at the New York University School of Medicine, proposed a bold idea known as the “signal hypothesis.” It suggested that each protein carries in its structure a sequence of signals comparable to address tags on airport luggage or ZIP codes on mail to ensure that it all arrives safely.
The signals, Dr. Blobel found, are chains of amino acids created by protein-making machines that read distinctive RNA codes and then fix them on each new batch.
Like transmitters, these signals order receptors in membranes to open up watery holes so that proteins can pass through. They then act as GPS devices to cross the crowded terrain of a cell or a human body and, like finding a mailbox across the universe, penetrate precisely the right worksite organelle for each protein’s assigned task.
Proteins have many tasks: rebuilding or replacing constantly dying cells, protecting against viruses and bacteria, regulating body chemistry, reading DNA to make new molecules, releasing hormones to signal and repair tissues and organs, carrying and binding atoms throughout the body, and many other functions.
Despite proteins’ variety and complexity, however, Dr. Blobel demonstrated that their signaling system for getting through barriers and finding their worksites is universal, operating similarly in all animals, plants and even common yeasts.
Moreover, he found, this signaling system has evidently been working quite smoothly for millions of years, since the evolution of the first cell. Mistakes can be catastrophic to an organism, but they are relatively rare.




As you can see, Professor Gunter Blobel's work in cell signaling is critical toward inventions like the the 3D printed heart being heralded above as the next wave of technology coming out of 3D printing.



Conclusions....




Exciting as the possibility may be to fabricate a human heart, the advances in understanding cell programming/signaling is equally as exciting toward curing an array of diseases in the foreseeable future.  Research and discovery is the avenue by which these advances start in their long and arduous process of becoming realized as technologies down the line.  An example is the length and cost of drug discovery research.  I have written (an introductory post) on the process (and cost) of drug discovery.



Advances such as a 3D heart are exciting and should be aimed at achieving.  I will be interested to report further on additional advances in technologies such as 'biocompatibility' of which harvesting an artificial heart (that works) is just one example.  Medicine is advancing quickly.  But the gap in understanding just how to treat an array of diseases with technology is still enormous in most situations.  Which is also motivating to toward moving forward in our search for the answer.  Stay tuned.



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Monday, February 19, 2018

Thoughts: Good News - Education Secretary Calls On Senate To Have Gun Debate

Last week, Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman High School with an AR-15 Assault Rifle and gunned down 17 casualties.  The first question which arises after "another" terrible situation is: How did another tragedy happen?  Furthermore, why are we (as a nation) not having a 'national debate'?  These questions come to mind again after receiving the following e-mail excerpt from 'Politico Education' shown below last Friday:



DEVOS CALLS FOR CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ON SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday said that Congress should hold hearings on school shootings, following the mass shooting at a Florida high school this week. "Congress needs to be holding hearings on these issues. And we've seen lots of discussion about this every time we've had another incident," DeVos said during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. "We've seen, you know, lots of finger pointing back and forth. But we need to have a conversation at the level where lawmakers can actually impact the future, because going back to and putting myself in the seat of one of those families impacted, you know, one of these shootings is one too many. And we have got to have an honest conversation, and Congress has to lead on this. It's their job."
- But there was no immediate sign on Thursday that lawmakers planned to take DeVos up on the request. Neither the House or Senate education committees has a hearing scheduled to address the issue. A spokesman for Republicans on the House education committee led by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said in a statement: "We agree with everyone that children must be safe in school, and this committee will remain actively engaged with its members to explore these issues. Per committee rules, hearings are announced seven days in advance and if there is to be committee action, an announcement will be made in due course."
-Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, said in a statement that she was "very glad that Secretary DeVos has requested Congressional hearings on this issue and I wholeheartedly agree. I look forward to working with Chairman Alexander and other members of our committee overseeing education to invite Secretary DeVos and other witnesses to a hearing in our committee to push this conversation forward and move toward action."
- DeVos elaborated on her thoughts about the shooting in an email to department staff on Thursday, saying she'd like to see an "earnest conversation" about why tragedies like the school shooting in Florida keep happening. DeVos said it's time to "focus on finding solutions that will truly work. We need to examine our approaches to mental health, to engage law enforcement and support students, educators and school building leaders." Her message to staff didn't mention gun safety. Read more.



Finally, the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is stepping up and participating constructively to the national education system.  The news is riddled with theories and stories which were at an all time high over Friday and the beginning of the weekend.  Although, unfortunately, if history serves us correctly (and terribly for this matter), the news cycle will move onto the next 'big story'.



What about the thousands of children (high school kids) who are left with varying degrees of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?  What we expect to see is that legislation will be enacted by certain states in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.  But why not all states?  Is the NRA (National Rifle Association) that influential to our elected members of Congress?  Are the votes (influence) of the NRA more important than the votes of the American citizens?  These are questions which we as a nation have struggled with for decades with no progress moving forward.  Why?



State Action?




Here is a video of a short interview with Senator ... from Colorado offering his opinion which seems to be the normal trajectory after such tragedies:




Why Not Federal Action?




Why?  That is the remaining question.  I think that the Education Secretary is onto a good path of logic by calling for a Senate hearing on the matter.  Why?  To answer this question, we have to understand what is entailed during a 'Senate Hearing'.  During such a hearing, committee members made up of bipartisan members are able to ask and answer questions while offering opinions - which are representative of their constituents.  Did you know that you can watch hearings on YouTube?  Here are a couple of links to hearings below:


U.S. House -- Energy and Commerce Committee - GOP

U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

U.S. House Armed Services Committee

U.S. House on Science, Space, and Technology

U.S. House Judiciary Committee - GOP

U.S. House Appropriations Committee

U.S. House Judiciary Committee

U.S. House -- Energy and Commerce Committee - Democrats

U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce



The committees listed above provide a good starting point for listening/watching our government in action.  Just take a moment and watch a few moments of any of the videos above.  I would be surprised if your view has not change -- even to a small extent.  Further, what surprises me is that the enormous amount of information that is provided to each politician.  After obtaining the large amount of information, each elected politician will vote to appease his/her constituents back home.



Now that you are aware of the possibility of watching hearings on YouTube, the obvious benefit of calling such a hearing regarding gun control should be apparent.  Hearing positions of our respective elected representatives gives us an idea as to how we can participate in democracy (by voting) in upcoming elections.  If you do not like what you hear -- your elected representative does not represent you well -- then it is time to 'vote them out' of office.  Simple as that.



Guns?




What to do about Guns?   Guns are a problem.  But guns are only part of the problem.  With respect to the Assault Rifle -- AR15 -- I would argue that only military members need high caliber weapons.  We should have centers (maybe on  military bases) for people (civilians) to go and shoot these weapons under supervision.  The major purpose of these weapons is to cause a large amount of destruction -- which is aligned with the military mission.



I will admit that my father did purchase an AR15 around 35 years ago.  He taught us how to shoot the weapon - correctly.  He also taught us the purpose for such a weapon.  Respect for weapons was instilled in us.  No messing around.  I took these lessons and qualified for "expert" in the military afterwards.  I have had no use to shoot that rifle in the last 25 years since I have left the military.



Ultimately, the solution to prevent such tragedies will entail a combination of events.  The military could teach us something about a possible solution.  In the military, soldiers are taught to 'say something if we see something.'  Even if that means turning in a fellow soldier.  The reason being is that if silent, the fall out of silence is usually a compromised mission - which means lives are lost.  No one wants to lose or fail at a mission.



Conclusion...




 Each of us should be mindful of those around us.  If you see something then say something. Participate in our democratic process. Vote.  Call your elected representative.  Ask for greater gun control.  At the very least, ask for a discussion to be started at the federal government level.  The time is right to start a discussion and let the nation heal.




More blog posts can be found here.









Friday, February 16, 2018

Parameters: South Korea Uses Renewable Energy For Olympic Games




I have said this time and time again on this site: The world is headed toward greater use of renewable energy.  Despite various narratives heard on popular news media, renewable energy is being explored and implemented in specific situations throughout the world.  These small occurrences amount to 'small victories' and should be recognized.  Here is yet another small victory below.



Olympics and Renewable Energy?



The website "Climate Action News" reports in a brief titled "First ‘zero-emissions’ Winter Olympics kicks off in South Korea" that the current olympics are 'zero emission' as follows:



The games, taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, has sustainable thinking at its heart with a goal of becoming the first zero-emissions event in its history.
Not only has it procured 190 megawatts of wind power to meet more than 100 per cent of its energy needs, but all six stadiums have been awarded with ‘green-building’ certifications. Organisers have ensured that a forest area twice the size of the event has been restored, and the Olympic Park has been built on the site of an old landfill, covering 86,696 square meters.


This is a celebration for the future of renewable energy.  Why?  Because as the future of events unfold, renewable energy should play a more dominant role.  In the past, as the planning occurred regarding the Olympic games, new technology was touted but when the actual events came around, the total investment was smaller than projected.



The Olympic games offers a chance to invest heavily in a region for the future.  If the region does a great job in investing in sustainable infrastructure for the event and surrounding events, then the payoff should be noticeable after the games comes to town (in the future).  Meaning that the investment pay-off was great for the future.  Whereas, horror stories of the past Olympic games include infrastructure investments which are stagnant in the aftermath of the games in the region -- which is extremely disappointing.



World events like the Olympics should be a celebration of the region along with the world class athletes who attend and participate in the games.  Funding and investment on part of the state or nation should be viewed as an opportunity to "update" old infrastructure and display the new sustainable technology a nation offers.  Lets hope that in the future, other nations follow South Korea and project 100% renewable energy use for their infrastructure too.  The future of renewable energy is exciting.



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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Parameters: You Are What You Aspire To Be

Source: Sales Force Blog




You are what you aspire to be!  It's really that simple.  What is not simple is the path toward success in anyone's endeavor down a given path of aspiration toward a goal.  When I tell people that I am a scientist, the usual response is one of two "I did terribly in chemistry" or "You must



Aspire?


Each of us aspire to be someone or complete a given goal at any point in time.  Wow.  That sounds vague does it not?  Anyways, at any given time, each of us have objectives in life. Which is to say that each of us aspire to: "Do Something!"  How that "something" is defined depends on how much importance each of us place on that "something".  Which brings us to the definition of "aspire" shown below (after typing in the word "aspire" into Google):



"direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something."



Seems rather simple.  Just direct your attention or focus toward a given task and you shall achieve it right?  That is a major component of the equation toward success in any given endeavor.  Another component toward achieving success in accomplishing a life goal is to understand that success is not achieved over night.  Success does come with 'persistence' -- long term management.



How does a person appear to "born to paint"?


You may be looking at the question above and asking yourself what the meaning of it is.  If so, that is fine.  Often people will remark on a person's 'born talent' as "...he/she has a born talent to be a painter...it is in her/his genes."   This statement came to mind when I received my daily post from "Seth Godin" (business guru) titled "Born To Pain?" shown below:



Born to paint?
More than a hundred billion people have ever lived. Perhaps 1,000 have been widely heralded as artistic geniuses who painted in oils.
And perhaps there were another thousand genius physicists and just one Nobel-Prize winning folksinger.
We sell ourselves short when we argue that there's something magical about creative work, something that can only happen if we're born to do it.
It's not that different from the thesis that there's something in the DNA of Spanish-speaking people that makes them good at soccer. I hope we can agree that people from countries that speak Spanish are more likely to be soccer stars because they grow up surrounded by soccer, with the expectation that they too can be good at it.
It's not too late for you to be a genius. It comes at a price, but it's not based on your DNA.


I agree with Seth that success is obtained with hard work.  Now, a person might disagree and suggest that some people just aren't made to be painters (or doctors, lawyers, baseball players, etc.).  To that I would say that each of us are in control of building the greatest barriers toward success.



Being a scientist is not something that I was 'born with'.  As Seth mentions above, environment certainly helps shape a persons understanding of a given goal.  If I aim to be a medical doctor, growing up in the environment with parents who are physicians will certainly affect my success -- to an extent.  Although, I would argue that the final decision to pursue a given goal is derived from inside each of us.  Take that and combine the decision with the realization of our individual "rates of success" and you have the path ahead in your future.  More about "rate of success" in a minute.



I did not become a scientist over night.  The process was long and has occurred over the course of my life.  From an educational standpoint, I would refer you to my courses taken in my educational journey.  From the standpoint of environmental factors, I have curious parents which has 'rubbed off' on me over the years.  Still, the journey is realized through myself and at my own pace -- which can differ from those around me.  That realization prevents me from getting depressed or resorting toward thoughts of failure.



In fact, I have said over and over again on this site that I have learned how to be a professional scientist.  I am a chemist by education.  I believe that each of us are the best "scientists" as children.  Over time, we construct barriers toward becoming professional scientists by constructing limitations in each of our minds.



Rate of success?



What sets us apart from those who we tend to believe have a 'natural talent' for painting (or any other skill set), is the path toward success.  Each of us have a different "rate" toward that success.  Society sets up an "average rate" for success which each of us tend to view and try to adhere to.  If the "average rate" is too demanding, then the idea is the following - usually but it does not have to be: "maybe I am not cut out to be a painter?"



When I hear this out of a student, I feel bad for the student.  That is a sign that the student has 'given up' on achieving their goal.   Each of us has the ability to achieve what we would like to achieve (within reason of course) in life.  How within reason is defined by each of us and an added component of society.  There are too many examples in history of success coupled to 'adverse situations' in life to support the idea that each of us are in charge of our own destiny (and success).



Conclusion...



Why are you not where you want to be in life?  Success has been shown in rare cases to be achievable during impossible (or near impossible) environments.  With that being said, realizing that each of us are in charge of our own 'destiny' is liberating to say the least.



Now, the sticking point is that each of us have different "rates" toward achieving success in any endeavor.  I might be faster at achieving a given task.  Which does not mean that another person will not be successful at the same task.  Furthermore, I will inevitably find another person on this planet who can do the same task at a faster speed than myself.



Each of have our own "rate of success" which is a critical part of the equation of success.  That is unique and dynamically defined by each of us.  The "rate of success" is complex and can change at any given time with our view of our success.  If you want to achieve a desired goal, then realize what success for yourself entails -- how long will it take to achieve that goal?  Sometimes the quantity of time toward achievement is unknown.  Therefore, the sooner that each of us get to work on achieving our goals, the closer each of us come toward achieving them.   It is that simple!




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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thoughts: Showing A Little Deference With Others Works Well

Source: Pinterest



How well do you interact with other people on a daily basis?  For instance, if you go to get your car repaired, how successful is that interaction with the employees at the service station?  How successful are you with a business transaction when done in person?  If the answer is "not very successful" then, showing a little amount of "deference" might help your interaction go along way toward success.  Let me explain briefly.


Deference?




Ever heard of the word?  I will admit that I had not heard of the word until I was listening to a podcast by Shane Parrish interviewing hostage negotiator Chris Voss the other day.  The major take home point of the interview among other points was that showing a small amount of 'deference' will go a long way with any person.



First, what is the meaning of the word 'deference'.  If I ask Google, the result is shown below:






Seems rather simple right? For most people, the thought seems rather too simple -- so simple -- that when asked would actually agree and state that they too show respect to others.  Really?  I recently attended the 'womens march' in downtown Los Angeles.  Granted there were around 500,000 other people there too - crowded in a few square city blocks downtown.  If you (the reader) were standing next to me near the stage of the beginning of the march, the observation that most people show respect toward others would not have been shown to be true.



People were pushing each other trying to get through a 'tight crowd' to get closer to the stage.  The crowd was so tight that I was getting smashed up against the woman in front of me.  People pushing through the crowd were told "there is no room to get through ... we have tried."  Still, the persistent (and rude) people would push through and get stuck then act surprised and angry.  I was absolutely amazed at the rudeness of people.  The only saving grace of the experience was that any outbreak of violence would have cancelled out any effort to silently protest -- which was the purpose of the march.



When people get anxiety, stressed, depressed, upset - the true nature of people start to emerge.  At that exact moment is the time to continue in your daily interactions to still SHOW RESPECT.  Here is another example.  Have you ever visited the 'do it yourself' hardware store 'Home Depot'?  Take the availability of 'YouTube' videos coupled with the lack of deference and you get the average interaction between a customer and an employee at Home Depot.  What do I mean by this?



I feel very sorry for the employees at stores such as 'Home Depot' who have to deal with very rude people.  I have often stood in stores and listened to various interactions that have absolutely blown my mind.  People almost tend to 'boss' the employees around at 'Home Depot' in order to minimize the hassle of having to navigate through such large spaces.  Whereas the employees are asking questions to clarify to help get the customer to the desired product as quickly as possible.  The usual outcome (what appears to be the case) is that the conversation is 'one sided' directed at the employee without the customer listening.  Which results in more than one trip to the same store.  Maybe the questions asked by the employees at 'Home Depot' are worth answering...having a dialogue might reduce the time spent (along with trips for a given home improvement project).  Again, I admit that each of us have bad days.  But that does not give anyone the right to disrespect others.



I remember a colleague who once told me that they were trying to do a home repair and needed a specific part.  Upon entering the hardware store and inquiring about the part, the store employee said that the part could only be purchased by a 'registered contractor'.  He was so upset since he removed the part successfully.  What I took away from that story was that certain parts and jobs are better done by contractors.  Regardless, each person should respect the process.



What the majority of people do not realize is that during any interaction, showing a little bit of 'humility' and respect can take you miles during an interaction.  You will get great service.  Or should I say, chances are if you start with a little humility and respect, you will get treated much better than acting like your time is worth more than theirs is.  Try it.



Conclusion...



Each person deserves respect.  Think about your last interaction with a person in retail...were you respectful to the store employee?  Or did you place your time and money above their time?  Meaning, did you treat them like you would love to be treated had the roles been reversed?  I try to remember to treat others better than I would like to be treated.  No one is perfect, but chances are that each of us could improve ourselves during daily interactions.



Why don't each of us try to improve ourselves in our daily interactions?  What obstacles are preventing us from showing respect toward one another during any given interaction?  What obstacles are preventing us from showing 'humility' toward one another?  What is wrong with showing humility toward one another during a given interaction?  Looking for answers to these questions is a daily struggle for each of us.  But trying to improve ourselves on a daily basis gets us closer toward answering them.




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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Parameters: Can Computers Think?




The question of whether a computer can 'think' came to mind the other day while reading a 'research brief' from the website 'Scientific Computing' titled "Quantum Algorithm Could Help AI Think Faster" with an introduction stated below:


One of the ways that computers 'think' is by analysing relationships within large sets of data. An international team has shown that quantum computers can do one such analysis faster than classical computers, for a wider array of data types than was previously expected.



You may be wondering at this moment what 'relationships' is the computer looking for.  The author gives a good example of using the fluctuation of stocks over a given period of time.  Of course, the description is using a 'linear quantum algorithm' rather than a classical one:


A linear system algorithm works on a large matrix of data. For example, a trader might be trying to predict the future price of goods. The matrix may capture historical data about price movements over time and data about features that could be influencing these prices, such as currency exchange rates. The algorithm calculates how strongly each feature is correlated with another by 'inverting' the matrix. This information can then be used to extrapolate into the future.



Finding relationships within data sets (or 'correlations') takes time - a large amount of time if the computation is carried out on a 'classical computer' in a normal fashion.  The slide below shows how computations are carried out with 'classical computers' -- parallel processing:







In the picture above, the left hand column is made up of 8 parallel processors analogous to 8 different computers.  On the right hand side, the same 8 parallel processes are represented by 3 qubit processors (hang on I will explain what a qubit is shortly).  The message that the reader should take from the picture above is that with quantum computation, the same computational process which would require 8 parallel processes (with classical computation) would only require 3 qubit's with a quantum computer.



What is a quantum computer?



Atomic nuclei make up "Qubit's".  Whereas in the picture at the beginning of the blog post, a typical transistor 'bit' with two states ("0" or "1") is now transformed into a 'quantum bit' or 'qubit' with the strange properties of existing with parts (percentages) of both states "0" and "1".  Your mind may well be spinning at this moment.  Do not worry, the world of quantum computation takes some time toward getting used to.  Here is a comparison below which describes states described in the picture in the beginning of the blog post:







The transistor used in computers today has two different states ("0" and "1"), whereas a nuclear spin (atomic nuclei) has a combination of spin states ("0" and "1") or energy levels as shown below:







The above diagram is an energy level diagram for an atomic nuclei in the presence of a strong magnetic field.  Such fields exist in both Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).  The second type of magnet is the same as that used in the hospitals to scan patients for health reviews after an injury.  Below are the basics of NMR and MRI:






Basically, molecules are made up of atoms and these atoms acts as magnets which can be excited in the presence of a magnetic field.  As the operator excites the molecules in a magnetic field, the result is a 'read out' or energy spectrum which can then be interpreted to give certain data to scientists.  Researchers have taken the measurement technique and have explored using this as a way to test the viability of creating a quantum computer -- using molecules.  Specifically by using atoms within molecules as a 'qubit' as shown below:






With a quantum mechanical description of 'spin states' as follows:





Where c1 and c2 can very as percentages of each spin state or binary state ("0" and "1").  When molecules are excited in the presence of a magnetic field, the atoms which make up each molecule can "exchange energy" while the energy is diffusing through the sample.  The exchange of energy (magnetization or information) is where the concept of "entanglement" exists.



The existence of binary states correlating with one another is referred to as "entanglement" in quantum mechanics.  Just yesterday, an article appeared on "Aeon" on 'entanglement' - which is worth reading.  The difficult aspect of using quantum mechanics to carry out computations is to 'read out' the computation which is 'entangled' in an efficient manner.  For now, the major goal toward using quantum mechanics is harnessed in a quantum computer by using the property of 'entanglement' rather than 'parallel processing' as introduced above.



The point is that a computational process which takes 8 parallel processors (as shown above) one single step can be accomplished with 3 qubits (scales 2 raised to the power of 'n' - processors).  That has the potential of speeding up the computational searching speed dramatically.  Which opens the doors to greater encryption, searching algorithms, and computational power which has not be realized up to this point.



Conclusion...



Of course, any new technology has new challenges.  Quantum computation is not without challenges.  There are many which have been discovered which remain to be overcome and there are many which remain to be known.  One obvious problem is with the idea of 'decoherence' of quantum states over time.  The ability to keep quantum states "aligned" or 'in sync' with one another over time and not lose information in the process is extremely challenging.  Although much progress has been made and can be found by entering "quantum computing" into an academic search engine.



The take home message is that in the future, computing will take on a new form and open doors to new information.  Even if the idea of a quantum computer is never fully realized, the search in the laboratory for a working system will inevitably solve other issues is a wide range of fields.  As I showed (briefly and not with justice), scientists can use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to interrogate (excite) atoms within molecules and perform quantum computations.  While exploring the use of molecules to perform quantum computations, researchers find new ways to improve NMR spectroscopy and in turn, MRI spectroscopy.  Therefore, the patient who seeks treatment and finds herself/himself inside the magnet in a hospital now could benefit more from such advances.  Until next time, have a great day.



More blog posts:



Thoughts: Senator Bernie Sanders Asks Public To Get Involved In The Public Process At Any Level


Thoughts: Arnold Schwarzenegger Gets A Fly (Insect) Named After Him


Thoughts: Trump Administration Realizes Renewable Energy Is Here To Stay?


Thoughts: How Does A Government Shutdown Indirectly Affect The American People? Two Examples


Parameters: Obesity Short Circuit Discovered Leads To Overeating


Thoughts: Florida Gets Offshore Oil Drilling Ban - Why Not Pacific Coast Too?


































 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thoughts: Senator Bernie Sanders Asks Public To Get Involved In The Public Process At Any Level

With the threat of our democracy at risk, powerful people are realizing that as individuals, they do not possess the power to save our country on the reckless course we are currently on.  Just this morning, I received in my e-mail in box a message from 'Politico Energy' regarding Bernie Sanders message after President Trump's State Of The Union Address on Tuesday:



THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE IS: In what was dubbed a Climate State of the Union, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined the climate activists at 350.org to kick off a campaign for states and cities to ban new fossil fuel projects and make a "fast and just" transition to 100 percent renewable power. Sanders quipped that Trump didn't mention climate change in his speech Tuesday, but "we should not be surprised because Donald Trump, one of the great scientists of our time has determined after years and years of exhaustive study that climate change is a hoax by China." Sanders said climate activists will have to take on the fossil fuel industry and money in politics. "My request of you is please get involved in the political process," Sanders said. "Start running for office. You can do it. You can run for school board, city council, state legislature, Congress or the Senate. Trust me. I work in the Senate. I know, and you can do it."



Senator Sanders raises many good points during his rebuttal speech which can be viewed by clicking here.  In the excerpt above, Senator Sanders touches on a very important point.  In his satirical description of "Donald Trump, one of the great scientists of our time has determined after years and years of exhaustive study that climate change is a hoax by China" -- raises an appropriate alarm regarding the Trump Administration and science in general.



One of the overarching questions I have for the President is this (plus a follow up question):



Why do you have such an issue with Science?  Why is your cabinet not have a 'scientist' on it? 



To see a cabinet without a science adviser is extremely troubling in my mind.  Science should be incorporated into policy decisions.  Seeing how in many instances in the past, history has shown that science is critical to success as a nation.  Science is broad reaching and touches on every aspect of our lives.  To leave out the voice of science is to leave out life.  The President in doing so is literally 'flying by the seat of his pants' -- which is dangerous for the health of the rest of us.



With the realization that certain groups are being left out of policy making decisions, the responsibility is up to the American people to step up and defend democracy.  Each of the elected members of congress are supposed to look out for the people -- which they represent.  Some are and some are not -- clearly.  Who is looking out for you?  If you are from a state like Kentucky and voted for Senator McConnell and are on medicaid, does he have your best interest in mind?  No.  Because he decided to incorporate into the new tax law the provision to let states repeal certain parts of the Affordable Care Act -- which provide for medicaid recipients.  What?  Yep, if you live in Kentucky, say goodbye to medicaid for certain people.  Amazing.


The time has come to retake our position in the world and in our nation.  Unfortunately, our elected officials are struggling to make this happen.  The voice of the American people needs to be heard.  Loudly -- very loudly.  Each of us should be involved in the political process at some level as suggested in the excerpt above.  I sit on a neighborhood council and vote on issues which in turn get translated to a 'letter of support' or a 'letter of opposition' from the neighborhood - regarding a development of law issue.



Ask yourself the following question:



What am I doing to help shape democracy?


If the answer is nothing, then ask yourself -- why?  Do you not care?  Lets change the reckless course on which we are headed.  Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of Americans who feel we are on a 'right course'.  If so, get out there and defend (by conversation - respectful conversation) your positions and concerns too.  Each of us deserve clean natural resources.  Each of us deserve to live in a civilized society protected by our mutually agreed upon first responder's (police, fire fighters, EMT, etc.).  Lets get behind them and do our part in supporting the decisions which affect our environment. Join us.



More blog posts below:


Thoughts: Arnold Schwarzenegger Gets A Fly (Insect) Named After Him


Thoughts: Trump Administration Realizes Renewable Energy Is Here To Stay?


Thoughts: How Does A Government Shutdown Indirectly Affect The American People? Two Examples


Parameters: Obesity Short Circuit Discovered Leads To Overeating


Thoughts: Florida Gets Offshore Oil Drilling Ban - Why Not Pacific Coast Too?