One Decision Separates The Wealthy From The Non-Wealthy


Courage can be developed. But it cannot be nurtured in an environment that eliminates all risks, all difficulty, all dangers. It takes considerable courage to work in an environment in which one is compensated according to one’s performance. Most affluent people have courage. What evidence supports this statement?

Most affluent people in America are either business owners or employees who are paid on an incentive basis.”— Dr. Thomas Stanley

The problem with most people’s lives is that they are being shielded from the consequences of their behavior. There’s little to no accountability.

The fastest way to make success inevitable in your life is to only do work that is incentive-based. Only do that which you are rewarded and punished for the quality of your work. Everything you do needs to matter to the outcomes, consequences, and results you get in life.

So what is the decision?

The decision is to take complete ownership of every decision in your life. And how you do that is by only doing things in which you are compensated based on performance.

This goes completely against the norms in society. It goes against public education — which shields people from progressing at their own rates. It goes against most job structures, wherein a person is paid an hourly rate or salary.

If you want to make dramatic strides forward, you must only work in environments where the consequences of your actions are immediate and REAL. You need to be demanded by your situation to come up with a result.

This article will show you how:

Are You A Part Of The “Results Economy”?

Founder of the exclusive entrepreneurial coaching platform, Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan distinguishes between those who are in the “Time-and-Effort Economy” with those who are in the “Results Economy.”

If you’re in the time and effort economy, you are focused on being busy. You actually believe the amount of time and energy you put into something merits praise. Those who are focused on being “busy” are protected in some way from the consequences of their actions. They’re not being forced by necessity to come up with a solution. Chances are, they are an employee. They are part of a bureaucracy. And they’re striving to follow rules rather than break them.

Conversely, when you are in the results economy, you are only focused on achieving a specific result. You are focused on results because if you don’t get the result, there will be consequences to pay — for you and others. You’re not worried about your reputation. You’re not worried about following the rules of ridiculous systems which are seeking to make you their slave anyways.

Dr. Thomas Stanley found in his research that those who are paid based on RESULTS are most courageous and also the most wealthy.

You actually have to take risks.

You can’t be sheltered from the consequences of your behavior.

And you certainly can’t be a part of a system which supports “busyness” to maintain the status quo. Hence, Dan Sullivan says:

Entrepreneurs have crossed “the risk line” from the “Time-and-Effort Economy” to the “Results Economy.” For them, there’s no guaranteed income, no one writing them a paycheck every two weeks. They live by their ability to generate opportunity by creating value for their clientele.

Sometimes, they — and you — will put in a lot of time and effort and get no result. Other times, they don’t put in much time and effort and get a big result.

The focus for entrepreneurs always has to be on results or there’s no revenue coming in.

If you work for an entrepreneur, guess what! This is true for you, too. Though you probably have a guaranteed income, it’s important to understand that the business you work in exists inside The Results Economy, even if you’re sheltered somewhat from seeing that.

I say this not to make you feel insecure, but to show you how to succeed in this environment: by maximizing your results while minimizing the time and effort it takes to get them.

Flow Triggers And “Forcing Functions”

Flow is a mental state where you’re completely absorbed in what you’re doing. You’re totally engaged. No distractions. In such a state, time slows down and you begin operating at higher and more subconscious levels.

One of the primary “flow triggers” is immediate feedback. Hence, in extreme sports where the possibility of injury is high, flow is a regular experience. If you don’t land that trick, you could be in the hospital.

Immediate feedback.

If you want more flow in your life, you need to get faster and harder feedback for your behavior. You need to feel the consequences of your performance. You need to be in the Results Economy — not the Time and Effort Economy.

In fact, one of the ways to produce more flow in your life is by creating much, much shorter timelines. Give yourself only 60 minutes to write the article and then, once the timer goes off, push publish regardless of what you came up with. Tell your partner or adviser that you’ll have your work to them far sooner than they expect. Make your goals public, with public deadlines.

You can create immediate feedback for your behavior in the form of “forcing functions.” According to entrepreneur, Dan Martell, “A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result.”

A forcing function is exactly how it sounds — something external that’s been put in place to FORCE YOU TO FUNCTION how you desire to function.

An example Dan Martell uses is a story between him and his younger brother, Moe. Dan asked Moe about his business goal for the next 3 months, to which Moe told him the goal.

Then Dan asked, “Based on today’s understanding of the work involved, etc. how likely would you be to hit your goal in 3 months?”

“Hmmmm, probably 60–70% I would guess,” Moe answered.

Then Dan asked, “Whose the most important person in your life?”

“My wife,” Moe replied.

“I then asked him to visualize a person with a gun to the head of his wife, and he knew — 100,000% that if he didn’t hit his goal within 3 months that the guy would pull the trigger. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that the trigger would be pulled…. How likely are you to hit your goal?” Dan asked.

“100%, there isn’t a doubt I could do it” Moe said.

So what changed?

MOTIVATION

That’s the power of a forcing function. It’s something that’s embedded within the situation that forces you to succeed. It forces motivation to happen. Because if you don’t produce a RESULT, there will be immediate feedback.

To quote historian Will Durant, “I think the ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded, if the situation demanded.”

Motivation and environment are two inextricably connected things. Motivation ISN’T INTERNAL — but situational.

If you want more motivation, you need a more demanding situation. Your behavior needs to be consequential — and the more immediate the feedback the better. The more consequential your behavior, the more flow you’ll have in your life. The more you’ll be forced to adapt and grow.

Do You Have Skin In The Game?

“Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In the recent book, SKIN IN THE GAME, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains that if your behavior doesn’t bear immediate consequence, your performance will be low. Even more than that though —if your performance isn’t consequential, then you don’t really care about what you’re doing.

As Taleb explains:

“If you do not take risks for your opinion, you are nothing.”

“How much you truly “believe” in something can be manifested only through what you are willing to risk for it.”

From a psychological perspective, you are either “approaching” something or trying to “avoid” something from happening.

Offense or defense.

Unfortunately, if you’re in the Time and Energy Economy, you’re probably also “avoidance”-oriented. In other words, your only concern is about avoiding getting in trouble, or avoiding getting caught, or avoiding doing much work at all.

Only those in the Results Economy, whose behavior is consequential — the more immediate the better — are on offense. They are the one’s taking risks. They’re less concerned about the ground they’ve made and more concerned about advancing their position. They’re fine taking more risks. They’re fine putting important things on the line, because they are convicted about what they’re doing.

Hence, Telab explains, “What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.” If you’re afraid of losing what you’ve currently got, you probably won’t risk it. You’ll probably do everything you can to AVOID losing it. And therefore, you’ll have given up your WHY. You’ll have stunted your progression.

The more you have to lose, the more fragile you become. The more you become a slave to your current position and thus stop seeking to take risks for what you believe in.

The Only Types Of Relationships That Become “Exponential”

There are two types of relationships: transaction-based or transformation-based.

Most relationships are transactional — where one party makes the rules and the other party submits. Once one of the members of the group is unsatisfied by the terms of the relationship, it ends. People in these relationships are usually “takers,” not genuine givers.

In transformational relationships — both people are “givers” who contribute to the ongoing evolution of the relationship. The whole becomes different from the sum of the parts. There is high expectations in these relationships, but also openness.

Both parties are completely invested in the relationship. Yet, unlike transaction-based relationships, both parties are also completely free. They give because they WANT TO, not because they feel obligated to.

That is perhaps the definition of successful relationships — to get other people to help you BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, not because they’ve been manipulated to.

According to Pearson’s Law: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

Transformational relationships have embedded accountability. Performance matters — because both parties are invested in the relationship and both parties deal with the consequences/outcomes of performance. Complete honesty is essential.

Does your behavior matter to those around you?

What about the people around you? Are these relationships transactional or transformational?

If transactional — then one person is a slave to the other. They are walking on egg-shells. They’re doing everything they can to avoid a negative outcome. They aren’t really contributing. No one in these types of relationships can truly be happy.

Conclusion

If you are paid based on performance, your pay will go up.

If you get immediate feedback with natural consequences of your behavior — you’ll be in a flow state more. Your performance will increase. Your pay will increase. Your happiness will increase.

It’s not great power that creates great responsibility. It’s great responsibility that creates power.

It’s not confidence that creates success. It’s successful behavior that creates confidence.

It’s not personality that creates behavior. It’s behavior that creates personality.

If you want to true freedom in your life, you need to take responsibility. Freedom can only exist with consequence — not from the absence of consequence. You are only free when your behavior matters.

The only way to increase the freedom in your life is by making your behavior matter more — and by experiencing the REAL consequences of your behavior.

The only way to have freedom in your relationships is when both parties have skin in the game. When both parties in invested. When the consequences of each person’s performance impacts the whole — and everyone involved embraces this reality because there is mutual love, respect, and responsibility.

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I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.

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MIT Uses Nanotech to Miniaturize Electronics Into Spray Form


The ‘aerosolized electronics’ are so small they can be sprayed through the air. MIT researchers say the tiny devices could be used to in oil and gas pipelines or even in the human digestive system to detect problems.

Researchers at MIT have built electronics so small they can be sprayed out like a mist.

The electronics are about the size of a human egg cell, and can act as tiny manmade indicators with the ability to sense their surroundings and store data.

On Monday, the team of MIT researchers published their findings, which involve grafting microscopic circuits on “colloidal particles.” These particles are so tiny —from 1 to 1000 nanometers in diameter— that they can suspend themselves indefinitely in a liquid or air.

To create the tiny machines, the MIT researchers used graphene and other compounds to form circuits that can chemically detect when certain particles, say some poisonous ammonia, are nearby and conductive. The circuits were then grafted on colloidal particles made out of a polymer called SU-8. For power, the machines rely on a photodiode that converts light into electrical current.

“What we created is a state machine that can be in two states. We start with OFF and if both light AND a chemical is detected, the particle changes its state to ON,” said Volodymyr Koman, one of the researchers, in an email. “So, there are two inputs, one output (1-bit memory) and one logical statement.”

In their experiments, the researchers successfully used the tiny electronics to identify whether toxic ammonia was present in a pipeline by spraying the machines in aerosolized form. In another experiment, the electronics were able to detect the presence of soot. As a result, the researchers say the technology could be handy in factories or gas pipelines to detect potential problems.

Another use case is for medical care. The tiny machines could be sent through someone’s digestive system to scan for evidence of diseases.

However, one big limitation with the “aerosolized electronics” is they can’t communicate wirelessly. All data is stored on the tiny machines, which can be scooped out from a liquid or caught in air, and then scanned to access the results.

To make them easy to spot (at least under a microscope), the electronics are fitted with tiny reflectors. But in the future, the MIT researchers hope to add some communication capabilities to the machines, so that all data can be fetched remotely.

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“We are excited about this, because on-board electronics has modular nature, i.e. we will be able to extend number of components in the future, increasing complexity,” Koman said.

The researchers published their findings in Nature Nanotechnology on Monday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from one of the researchers.

Self-heating, fast-charging batteries could speed up EV adoption


Image above] Researchers at Penn State have developed a fast-charging battery for all outside temperatures that rapidly heats up internally prior to charging battery materials. Credit: Chao-Yang Wang, Penn State University

A barrier to universal adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has to do with charging the battery. It can take anywhere from a half hour up to 12 hours, depending on the charging point used and the EV’s battery capacity.

And of course, there needs to be a massive charging infrastructure in place so that drivers will feel confident driving long distances on a single charge.

One factor that significantly impacts EV driving range is the outside temperature. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, cold weather can affect the driving range of plug-in EVs by more than 25%. In a project at Idaho National Laboratory, researchers found that plug-in hybrid electric Chevy Volts driven in winter in Chicago had 29% less range than those driven in spring in Chicago.

It’s common knowledge that batteries, in general, don’t do well in freezing temperatures. But if we’re ever to move beyond gas-powered vehicles, we need a battery that can charge quickly, hold its charge in cold weather, and not cost an arm and a leg.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have been thinking about this for a while. A little over two years ago, William E. Diefenderfer Chair of mechanical engineering, professor of chemical engineering, and professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Electrochemical Engine Center,  Chao-Yang Wang and his team developed a self-heating lithium battery that uses thin nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other end extending outside the battery, creating a third terminal.

The foil serves as a heater of sorts. A temperature sensor sets off electron flow through the foil—heating it up and warming the battery. The sensor switches off after the battery reaches 32oF, allowing electric current to continue flowing normally.

Now, Wang and his team have taken their technology a step further by enabling the battery to charge itself in 15 minutes at temperatures as low as –45oF.

When the battery’s internal temperature reaches room temperature and above, the switch opens to allow electric current to flow in and quickly charge the battery.

“One unique feature of our cell is that it will do the heating and then switch to charging automatically,” Wang explains in a Penn State news release.

He says their battery would not affect the current charging infrastructure. “Also, the stations already out there do not have to be changed,” he adds. “Control of heating and charging is within the battery, not the chargers.”

According to the researchers, charging a lithium-ion battery quickly at temperatures under 50 degrees contributes to its degradation and lithium plating—which can make a battery unsafe. Long, slow charging at 50oF, they say, can avoid lithium plating.

And Wang says their technology can work for other batteries as well.

“The self-heating battery structure is also essential for all solid-state ceramic batteries because it thermally stimulates uniform lithium deposition at the lithium metal anode and compensates for insufficient ionic conductivity of ceramic or glass electrolytes,” he explains in an email. “Plus, solid-state batteries are inherently safe and more efficient to operate at high temperatures. Indeed, a solid state battery would be much inferior without the self-heating battery structure.”

He also says their technology is “pretty mature and readily commercialized by auto OEMs and battery manufacturers.”

That’s good news for those of us who have been hesitant to trade in our gas-powered vehicles for electric ones.

The paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, is “Fast charging of lithium-ion batteries at all temperatures” (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807115115).

 

Predictions for the Evolution of the Battery Markets for EV’s and More … Looking Back … To See What is Ahead


Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

businessman-standing-boat-looking-to-horizon-business-concept-107638369The Following articles, one from the Brookings Institute and the other from Green Technology we take a look back to some of the predictions, to get a better understanding of  how far we have come in seeking better performing (and safe) batteries and more importantly where we might be by 2030 – Team GNT

In This Post:

Five emerging battery technologies for electric vehicles

New Lithium Battery Technology Startups

Mobility Disruption | by Tony Seba, Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and Lecturer at Stanford University

Five emerging Battery downloadFive Emerging Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles

September 15, 2015

As the 2016 suite of new car models makes evident, electric vehicles are finally gaining real traction in the market. At the turn of the 20th century, more than one quarter of all cars in the United States were electric, yet the electric car had all but vanished by the 1920s. This disappearance was…

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We’re Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Here’s Where We’re At: YouTube Video


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Quantum computers are just on the horizon as both tech giants and startups are working to kickstart the next computing revolution.

 

Watch More:

U.S. Nuclear Missiles Are Still Controlled By Floppy Disks – https://youtu.be/Y8OOp5_G-R4

Read More: Quantum Computing and the New Space Race http://nationalinterest.org/feature/q… “In January 2017, Chinese scientists officially began experiments using the world’s first quantum-enabled satellite, which will carry out a series of tests aimed at investigating space-based quantum communications over the course of the next two years.”

Quantum Leap in Computer Simulation https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articl… “Ultimately it will help us understand and test the sorts of problems an eventually scaled-up quantum computer will be used for, as the quantum hardware is developed over the next decade or so.”

How Quantum Computing Will Change Your Life https://www.seeker.com/quantum-comput… “The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics kicked off a new season of live-

Identifying the ‘Culprit’ (molecule) for the Cause of Alzheimer’s: A ‘Big Bang’ Research Breakthrough at UT Southwestern O’Donnell Brain Institute + Video


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It’s being called the “big bang” breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research. Doctors at UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute have detected what they believe are changes in a single molecule that could act as the starting point for the deadly, memory-stealing disease.

Scientists are fairly certain that a molecule called “tau” is the culprit.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by clumps of tangled protein in the brain. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors will die of the disease — and that’s more than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Ultimately, researchers hope that warning signals for the disease can be effectively detected and therefore prevented with something as simple as a vaccine or pill.

“I anticipate a day when we will think about these diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as problems that only people who don’t get medical care develop,” said Dr. Diamond.

Researchers know that there is much work ahead. It could be several years before the discovery is ready for human clinical trials. Until then, supporters say it’s critical for lawmakers to fund research at all levels.UTSW II luo-chen

Patients can also get involved in local studies so doctors can learn as much as they can from seniors as they age. And while the advances won’t happen overnight, doctors say the overriding message for the community in the discovery is that there is hope.

“There’s tremendous hope!” said Dr. Diamond. “We are actually super excited in our field. When I look at the future, I see many, many opportunities for good shots on goal.”

And if he’s right, the discovery could be a life-changing win for the world.

Watch the Video

 

Exploring Nanotechnology to Enhance Treatment, Diagnosis & Drug Discovery


What can you do with a liberal arts degree? Native New Yorker Daniel Heller, PhD, majored in history, added in some basic science courses, and started his working life as a middle school science teacher. After taking some additional chemistry coursework during non-teaching hours, Heller parlayed it all into a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois.

Today he is a biomedical engineer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York City, where his Cancer Nanomedicine Laboratory team invents new technologies that can assist health care in helping human kind.

Heller chuckled when mentioning his circuitous life path and some of the stops along the way: performing as a wizard at a Renaissance Fair (“…liquid nitrogen turns into a pretty impressive potion…”), trying to master the Argentine tango, appreciating his brother’s equally non-traditional path as a drummer in heavy metal bands, and happily settling into married life with his wife who is a primary care physician.

In recent years, he has also managed to garner solid industry credentials in the form of awards, including the NSF CAREER Award (2018), Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Innovators in Cancer Research (2017), and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (2012), among others.

“I like inventing,” Heller stated simply. “In my lab, we often think of ourselves as biomedical engineers whose primary goal is invent new technologies to improve cancer research, diagnosis, and therapy.

Only when I arrived at MSKCC did I realize how far that is from the way biologists think. I was trained that our goal is to invent, and to learn new science along the way, while a biologist’s goal is to understand nature and develop tools mainly as a means to an end. I didn’t have a huge biomedical background coming in, but by talking to the people around me at Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medicine [where he is an Assistant Professor], I have learned a great deal.”

As detailed on his laboratory website (www.mskcc.org/research-areas/labs/daniel-heller), Heller and team are “… developing nanomedicines to target precision agents to disease sites, including to metastatic cancers. We are also addressing the problem of the early detection of cancer and other diseases by building implantable nanosensors.

To enable the discovery of new medicines, we also are inventing new nanosensors and imaging tools to accelerate drug development and biomedical research.”

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Nanoparticles in Treatment

Heller told Oncology Times that it all begins with interaction and collaboration. “We are lucky because we get to dig deep with the clinicians, clinician/scientists, and biologists to understand exactly what might be wrong with a particular mode of therapy,” said Heller of his development process. “An oncologist might talk to us about a drug or class of therapies that have particular problems and specific side effects, such as dose-limiting toxicity that prevents people from getting enough of a therapy to adequately inhibit the target in the tumor.”

He added that problems often stem from the fact that a drug negatively affects tissue that is not part of the tumor. “Can we avoid that one vulnerable tissue that will really mess up the use of this drug for treating the tumor? Can we prevent the drug from getting into that tissue?” asked Heller rhetorically. Clearly, he believes it is possible with the help of nanoparticles.

He noted that people erroneously think of nanoparticles as being “the smallest of the small.” But small molecule drugs, and even protein drugs, are much smaller than nanoparticles. Most drugs can diffuse all over the body. “But if we put the drug into a larger nanoparticle, we can keep it from spraying out over all the tissues,” detailed Heller.

His team also must consider how to deliver the nanoparticle containing the drug to a precise location in the tumor site, and whether there is a target that can lead it to that tumor site. “Most of the targets we are looking for are not on the tumor cells themselves, but on the blood vessels that are feeding the tumor,” said Heller. “Our targets are not drug targets, but rather gateways to the tumor, molecules on blood vessels in tumors sites, or sites of inflammation. Then we make sure that the nanoparticle has a molecule on the outside of it that can stick to those targets.”

The research takes the engineering team into the realms of vascular biology, vascular transport, and an understanding of how materials can get across the blood, across the blood/brain barrier, across the tumor barrier. “We are also exploring signaling pathways,” said Heller. “When trying to deliver a kinase inhibitor, for example, we must consider the target we are hitting, where else that target is in the body, and if there any other off-target proteins elsewhere in the body that the drug will hit. We also have to think about resistance mechanisms and compensatory pathways. So as a team we have been learning a lot of physiology.”

Heller says his 5-year-old laboratory contains requisite benches, a tissue culture room, and a studio equipped with lasers and optics for work on sensors. In the basement reside the all-important mice, critical to preclinical development and testing. Looking at target proteins in the body of a mouse, the team is able to determine if a drug encased in a nanoparticle hits the target, if it works better in a nanoparticle, and if it has the same side effects.

The eventual goal is to translate this understanding and these emerging technologies to clinical use and human patients. But it is a long row to hoe. “Once a technology is developed, it must go through the full ‘investigational new drug’ FDA process,” Heller lamented. “Even if a known compound is inside the particle, the whole particle is treated as a new drug.

That means we can’t just give it to clinicians to trial in patients; first the FDA must allow us to start a clinical trial.” Though regulatory delays are a frustration, the researcher said enthusiasm remains high because the potential of the new technologies is so powerful.

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Nanoparticles in Detection

The Cancer Nanomedicine Laboratory also maintains an interest in developing innovative approaches to cancer detection that is “… easier and more predictive. We found that we can detect some cancers earlier by measuring certain biomarkers in a person without having to take blood or biofluids to do it,” said Heller.

Instead, a tiny sensor made of carbon nanotubes is inserted inside a person. The nanotubes give off infrared light that can pass through tissues. “We can implant nanomaterial in a body, shoot light into it from outside the body, and then get a reading externally,” detailed Heller. “These nanomaterials are very sensitive to certain stimuli. We can put an antibody onto the surface of the nanotube and when it binds to an antigen we can see a signal change—a shift in the wavelength of the nanotube fluorescence—through the tissue.” (The team successfully detected ovarian cancer signaling changes in a mouse model. This work was detailed in a paper, Non-Invasive Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Detection via an Optical Nanosensor Implant, coauthored by Heller in Science Advances [2018;4(4):eaaq1090]).

Implications for future use of this technology in humans are significant. Heller said the first possible application could be in people with risk factors for certain diseases. “We could implant a biomarker or panel of biomarkers in people to detect early stage cancer, to measure cancer recurrence, or to monitor treatment and have earlier warning when therapy stops working.”

Asked how early the signaling changes would become apparent, Heller said it depends on the level of a given marker in the tissue. “With ovarian cancer, we would look at the technology as an intrauterine device, placed near the source of the cancer. If we were to wait for biomarkers to reach a high enough level to be detected in the blood, we likely would be dealing with late-stage cancer. If we can measure that biomarker right next to the ovaries or fallopian tube, we would see signal changes at an even earlier point in the life cycle of the cancer.”

Looking downstream of this work, Heller said the team is already questioning if it might be possible to insert a small sensor under the skin, in the blood, or even in a tattoo to measure all kinds of biomarkers, then report a whole panel in real time, at early stages, back to a wearable Fitbit-like device. “The long-term hope is to find super easy ways to measure lots of biomarkers in real time,” said Heller.

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Nanoparticles in Discovery

A third aspect of the work underway in Heller’s lab focuses on making research tools, specifically using carbon nanotubes as sensors in drug discovery assays. Heller believes the sensors will be able to measure things that have not been measurable before, or measured in ways that could not be accomplished before, such as in living cells and living tissue. “By measuring an analyte inside living cells or living tissue in mice, we gain the ability to do studies that cannot be done otherwise. This will allow us to address new hypotheses, and it will be helpful for drug development and for basic researchers at institutions such as MSKCC.”

Heller stressed that it is exactly institutions like MSKCC that can lead the way in helping biomedical engineers interact more fully with biomedical researchers. “Even though both of these concepts have the word ‘biomedical’ in them, ‘biomedical engineering’ departments come from engineering schools, while ‘biomedical research’ comes from places that often do not have engineering schools.

So there is a disconnect,” said Heller. “I realize how valuable it is to me as an engineering researcher to be in a biomedical institution and come in contact with the people who study biomedical questions and understand the medical problems. Biomedical institutions would benefit greatly from organized efforts to bring in engineering researchers whose goal it is to understand and make new technologies to address their problems.”

Heller laughed at the suggestion that some of the things he makes sound like cinematic props from the vintage sci-fi flick, The Incredible Voyage. “Sometimes people think we are the science fiction lab of Memorial Sloan Kettering,” he admitted with humor. And when asked if the younger history student/middle school teacher/or physical scientist in him ever thinks, “I can’t believe I am doing this kind of stuff,” he answered without hesitation, “Yeah, all the time. I think I have gotten to where I am by not defining myself. It’s important to be flexible. Where does it stop? It doesn’t. If you keep changing you can aspire to do anything you want.”

Valerie Neff Newitt is a contributing writer.

Quantum dots could aid in fight against Parkinson’s


A large team of researchers with members from several institutions in the U.S., Korea and Japan has found that injecting quantum dots into the bloodstreams of mice led to a reduction in fibrils associated with Parkinson’s disease. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the group describes their studies of the impact of quantum dots made of graphene on synuclein and what they found.

Quantum dots are particles that exist at the nanoscale and are made of semiconducting materials. Because they exhibit quantum properties, scientists have been conducting experiments to learn more about changes they cause to organisms when embedded in their cells. In this new effort, the researchers became interested in the idea of embedding quantum dots in synuclein cells.

Synucleins make up a group or family of proteins and are typically found in neural tissue.

One type, an alpha-synuclein, has been found to be associated with the formation of fibrils as part of the development of Parkinson’s disease. To see how such a protein might react when exposed to quantum dots, the researchers combined the two in a petri dish and watched what happened. They found that the quantum dots became bound to the protein, and in so doing, prevented it from clumping into fibrils. They also found that doing so after fibrils had already formed caused them to come apart. Impressed with their findings, the team pushed their research further.

Noting that quantum dots are small enough to pass through the blood/brain barrier, they injected quantum dots into mice with induced Parkinson’s disease and monitored them for several months. They report that after six months, the mice showed improvements in symptoms.

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Quantum dots in brain could treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases

The researchers suggest that quantum dots might have a similar impact on multiple ailments where fibrilization occurs, noting that another team had found that injecting them into Alzheimer’s mouse models produced similar results.

It is still not known if injecting similar or different types of quantum dots into human patients might have the same effect, they note. Nor is it known if doing so would have any undesirable side effects. Still, the researchers are optimistic about the idea of using quantum dots for treatment of such diseases and because of that, have initiated plans for testing with other animals—and down the road they are looking at the possibility of conducting clinical trials in humans.

Source

A Failed Car Company Gave Rise to a Revolutionary New Battery – “Fisker’s Folly” Or “Henrik’s Home-Run”?


Fisker’s solid-state battery powers electric vehicles–and drones and flying taxis.

Since Alessandro Volta created the first true battery in 1800, improvements have been relatively incremental.

When it comes to phones and especially electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries have resisted a slew of efforts to increase their power and decrease the time it takes to charge them.

Henrik Fisker, known for his high-end sports-car design, says his Los Angeles-based company, Fisker Inc., is on the verge of a breakthrough solid-state battery that will give EVs like his sleek new EMotion an extended range and a relatively short charging period.

Fisker Inc. founder Henrik Fisker and his new EMotion electric vehicle CREDIT: Courtesy Company

“With the size of battery pack we have made room for, we could get as much as a 750-kilometer [466-mile] range,” he says. The same battery could reduce charging time to what it currently takes to fill your car with gas.

Traditional lithium-ion batteries, like all others, use a “wet” chemistry– involving liquid or polymer electrolytes–to generate power.

But they also generate resistance when working hard, such as when they are charging or quickly discharging, which creates heat. When not controlled, that heat can become destructive, which is one reason EVs have to charge slowly.

Solid-state batteries, as the name implies, contain no liquid. Because of this, they have very low resistance, so they don’t overheat, which is one of the keys to fast recharging, says Fisker.

But their limited surface area means they have a low electrode-current density, which limits power. Practically speaking, existing solid-state batteries can’t generate enough juice to push a car. Nor do they work well in low temperatures. And they can’t be manufactured at scale.

CREDIT: Courtesy Company

Fisker’s head battery scientist, Fabio Albano, solved these problems by essentially turning a one-story solid-state battery into a multistory one.

“What our scientists have created is the three-dimensional solid-state battery, which we also call a bolt battery,” says Fisker. “They’re thicker, and have over 25 times the surface that a thin-film battery has.

That has allowed us to create enough power to move a vehicle.” The upside of 3-D is that Fisker’s solid-state battery can produce 2.5 times the energy density that lithium-ion batteries can, at perhaps a third of the cost.

Fisker was originally aiming at 2023 production, but its scientists are making such rapid advances that the company is now targeting 2020.

“We’re actually ahead of where we expected to be,” Fisker says. “We have built batteries with better results quicker than we thought.” The company is setting up a pilot plant near its headquarters.

Solid state, however, isn’t problem free. Lower resistance aids in much faster charging, up to a point. “We can create a one-minute charge up to 80 percent,” Fisker says. “It all depends on what we decide the specific performance and chemistry of the battery should be.”

If a one- or two- or five-minute charge gives a driver 250 miles and handles the daily commute, that can solve the range-anxiety issue that has held back EV sales.

Solid-state-battery technology can go well beyond cars. Think about people having a solid-state battery in their garage that could charge from the grid when demand is low, so they don’t pay for peak energy, and then transfer that energy to their car battery. It could also act as an emergency generator if their power goes down. “This is nonflammable and very light,” says Fisker. “It’s more than twice as light as existing lithium-ion batteries. It goes into drones and electric flying taxis.”

Like many designers, Fisker is a bit of dreamer. But he’s also a guy with a track record of putting dreams into motion.

Joy ride.

Henrik Fisker’s car company crashed in the Great Recession, but one of the industry’s flashiest designers quickly got in gear again. His latest piece of automotive art: the EMotion.

Fisker has never created an automobile that didn’t evoke a response. He’s one of the best-known designers in the industry, with mobile masterpieces such as the Fisker Karma, the Aston Martin DB9, and the BMW Z8. It’s only appropriate his latest vehicle has been christened the EMotion.

The curvy, carbon fiber and aluminum all-wheel-drive EV, with its too-cool butterfly doors and cat’s-eye headlights, debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. It will be the first passenger-vehicle offering of the new Fisker Inc.–the previous Fisker Automotive shuttered in 2013, in the aftermath of the Great Recession. (Reborn as Karma Automotive, that company makes the Revero, based on a Fisker design.)

Fisker ran out of funding but not ideas. He quickly got the new company going and has described the EMotion as having “edgy, dramatic, and emotionally charged design/ proportions–complemented with technological innovation that moves us into the future.” The car will come equipped with a Level 4 autonomous driving system, meaning it’s one step away from being completely autonomous.

You might want to drive this one yourself, though. The EMotion sports a 575-kw/780-hp- equivalent power plant that delivers a 160-mph top speed, and goes from 0 to 60 in three seconds. The sticker price is $129,000; the company is currently taking refundable $2,000 deposits.

Though designed to hold the new solid-state battery, the EMotion that will hit the road in mid-2020 has a proprietary battery module from LG Chem that promises a range of 400 miles — Tesla Model S boasts 335. About his comeback car, Fisker says he felt free to be “radically innovative.” For a niche car maker, it might be the only way to remain competitive.

OSTP Forms New Subcommittee to Focus on Quantum Technologies


A close-up of a superconducting qubit chip, about 6mm square. (Michael T. Fang, Martinis Group, UC Santa Barbara / image via National Science Foundation)

The White House honed its focus on quantum information science Friday, forming a new subcommittee tasked with coordinating a national agenda on the role of the emerging technology.

Officials said the Office of Science and Technology Policy will charter a QIS subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council to help dovetail quantum technology initiatives across the federal government.

“Quantum information science has the potential to revolutionize all manner of industries, open up new fields of discovery and accelerate scientific breakthroughs,” said Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, in a statement. “Now is the time to build upon and expand that leadership if we are going to realize the true potential of this technology, which will be critical to our future economic growth and national security.”

The move is similar to an anticipated bill from House Science, Space and Technology Committee chair Lamar Smith, R-Texas, that he said would coordinate disparate public and private sector research on quantum technologies.

The White House subcommittee will be chaired by experts from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and Jacob Taylor, OSTP’s assistant director for QIS.

The departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior and State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, NASA and the National Security Agency also would reportedly have representation on the subcommittee.

Officials said the new panel’s goal will be to create a national agenda on QIS, address U.S. economic and national security implications from the technology and coordinate federal policy.

The incipient potential of the quantum computing has drawn a lot of attention recently, mostly because its processors work with quantum bits, or qubits, that exist as both a one and a zero at the same time, providing significantly more computing power than current technology and posing a threat to modern cryptography systems.

Congressional leaders have also turned their focus to quantum tech’s potential, especially as nations like China and Russia have invested heavily in it, signaling a potential new global arms race.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., recently introduced legislation directing the Department of Defense to form a Quantum Computing Research Consortium to address the development of quantum communication and quantum computing technology.

The QIS subcommittee will next meet on June 28, officials said in a statement.