Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

+ - Gravitational anomalies beneath mountains point to isostasy of Earth's crust

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: Imagine you wanted to know what your acceleration was anywhere on Earth; imagine that simply saying “9.81 m/s^2" wasn’t good enough. What would you need to account for? Sure, there are the obvious things: the Earth’s rotation and its various altitudes and different points. Surely, the farther away you are from Earth’s center, the less your acceleration’s going to be. But what might come as a surprise is that if you went up to the peak of the highest mountains, not only would the acceleration due to gravity be its lowest, but there’d also be less mass beneath your feet than at any other location.

+ - Are We Entering A "Golden Age Of Quantum Computing Research"?->

Submitted by Lashdots
Lashdots writes: Last month, an elite team at IBM Research team announced an advance in quantum computing: it had built a four-qubit square lattice of superconducting qubits, roughly one-quarter-inch square, that was capable of detecting and measuring the two types of quantum computing errors (bit-flip and phase-flip). Previously, it was only possible to address one type of quantum error or the other. The next step is to correct quantum errors.

In a blog post, Mark Ritter, who oversees scientists and engineers at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Laboratory, wrote: "I believe we’re entering what will come to be seen as the golden age of quantum computing research." His team, he said, is "on the forefront of efforts to create the first true quantum computer." But what would that mean, and what other big next steps are there?

Link to Original Source

+ - Octopus-inspired robot arm to revolutionise surgery->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A robotic arm, designed to bend and contract like an octopus’ tentacle, has been created by scientists at an Italian university to support surgical procedures in compact areas of the body. The remote-controlled machine can extend and become soft or rigid depending on the surgical environment to enable a minimally-invasive operation. The prototype arm can squeeze between soft tissue and organs, holding them apart gently if necessary. A miniature surgical tool-kit is installed at the tip of the arm which carries out the surgery. The machine has been tested using water-filled balloons at different weights to represent abdominal organs, one of the most cramped environments in the body.Research departments in the U.S. including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are also exploring ‘soft robotics’ which replicate the movement of octopus tentacles, elephant trunks and snakes. Scientists hope that the technology will be able to provide assistance in complicated or delicate cases – such as rescuing bodies from crushed cars or from beneath rubble.
Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists have paper on gender bias rejected because they're both women->

Submitted by ferrisoxide.com
ferrisoxide.com writes: A paper co-authored by researcher fellow Dr. Fiona Ingleby and evolutionary biologist Dr. Megan Head — on how gender differences affect the experiences that PhD students have when moving into post-doctoral work — was rejected by peer-reviewed PLoS One journal because they didn’t ask a man for help.

A (male) peer reviewer for the journal suggested that the scientists find male co-authors, to prevent “ideologically biased assumptions.” The same reviewer also provided his own ironically biased advice, when explaining that women may have fewer articles published because men's papers "are indeed of a better quality, on average", "just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile race a bit faster".

Link to Original Source

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford