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Shark

New Approach For Laser Weapons 188

An anonymous reader writes "Laser guns and other 'directed energy weapons' have remained in sci-fi lore because of their inefficiency, bulkiness, and poor beam quality. Now an MIT Lincoln Lab spinoff called TeraDiode is developing a diode laser that uses 'wavelength beam combining' to create what it calls the brightest and most powerful laser of its kind. The two-year-old company, backed by $3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense and $4 million from venture capitalists, is working on a compact airborne laser system for planes to shoot down heat-seeking missiles. Eventually, the lasers could be mounted on a tank or ship to destroy enemy UAVs or even incoming artillery shells. That's still at least three to five years away, but with advances in semiconductor lasers there seems to be quite a renewed interest in weaponry."
Shark

New Approach For Laser Weapons 188

An anonymous reader writes "Laser guns and other 'directed energy weapons' have remained in sci-fi lore because of their inefficiency, bulkiness, and poor beam quality. Now an MIT Lincoln Lab spinoff called TeraDiode is developing a diode laser that uses 'wavelength beam combining' to create what it calls the brightest and most powerful laser of its kind. The two-year-old company, backed by $3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense and $4 million from venture capitalists, is working on a compact airborne laser system for planes to shoot down heat-seeking missiles. Eventually, the lasers could be mounted on a tank or ship to destroy enemy UAVs or even incoming artillery shells. That's still at least three to five years away, but with advances in semiconductor lasers there seems to be quite a renewed interest in weaponry."
Biotech

Drug Deletes Fearful Memories 247

Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a common drug that seems to 'delete' painful memories related to a fearful experience. Experiments carried out by neuro-scientists at Emory University show that propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can suppress the emotional part of a fearful memory. The results, published in Nature Neuroscience, suggest a new way to treat anxiety disorders. In recent years, scientists have discovered that the simple act of remembering a past experience requires that the memory be consolidated once again. And both animal research and some human studies have shown that during re consolidation, long-term memories — once thought to be fairly stable — can be more easily meddled with."

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