The 1st Question - 1 Jul 2012 - Questions

1) We are now in the throes of biomimicry – enthralled with the idea of creating insect like drones and robot fish, let’s face it why should animals have all those mad skills? We want what they got, including their very advanced sense of smell. This project proposes a new bioelectronic nose based on olfactory receptors. Micro/Nano, bio and IT get together to push technical smell-ability. A multidisciplinary consortium at the European Union have worked together before on the SPOT-NOSED project. The sniffer robot was a creature of science fiction, courtesy of Michael Creighton. What is this new project called?

2) You have friends coming over and you might want to record what goes on even if their name isn’t Kardashian. – maybe it’s an excellent poker game or a series of pranks you wish to replay later as you laugh at your guests in private. Maybe you want to have a video of the babysitter. You need innovation in covert surveillance. This company has announced new plastic which looks black to the naked eye but is transparent to the camera, which you can now place around the home. What is the name of the company that invented this transparent material that can really let you see through black.

3) If it was biological it might have been called the Stingularity. The intellectual frontier of superior thinking and the hypothetical future that embraces superior AI has been called The Singularity – when greater-than-human intelligence arrives which we can’t even comprehend Ray Kurzweil is credited with close ties to this term– However he did not invent it – this HUGO award-wining writer did whose futuristic visions of AI, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces shed light into what this might mean. He was a professor of mathematics, born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He might be alive to see his prophecy come true. Who is he?

4) Pooky speaks of the day that hydroponic organ farms grow an endless variety of hothouse livers, kidneys, eyes and skin and not just for those newfangled robots running around! For people. In a step towards this, researchers have grown a tiny human liver from pluripotent stem cells. If successful it would be the first time anyone has managed to grow a functional human organ from stem and reprogrammed skin cells. A giant leap forward for human regenerative medicine. A tiny human liver only 5 millimeters long has been grown in the head of a mouse in which country?

5) Lego is a favorite of the show and we do predict one day Lego public housing made of these colorful and happy bricks which have fueled our imaginations for years. The Danish toy company began with wood and expanded into plastics in 1947. The name comes from Leg godt – or play well. And we do, from replicas of Trafalgar Square to programmable bricks from MIT Media labs and Mindstorms, To celebrate this Google has announced the release of Build with Chrome a simple online builder which works right from your Chrome Browser. Completed models are located on a Google Map. ON which country can you work with the "largest LEGO set you’ve ever seen," even if limited to one patch.? There is a choice of ten colors.

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6) You need a scan but you are allergic to small places. An alternate to the massive multimillion-dollar magnetic resonance imaging machines is being developed –a handheld device that can diagnose cancer in an hour with improved accuracy. The DMR technique only needs material from a fine needle aspiration biopsy, much less painful than the usual surgical ones. The huge superconducting magnet is replaced by a permanent magnet a bit over 3 x 2 inches. The strength of the magnetic field is small compared to most MRI machines, but still 10,000 times the strength of the Earth's. At what school is this amazing breakthrough in diagnostics happening?

7) The first solid state photovoltaic cell built 130 years ago was only 1% efficient. Today we witness an amazing accomplishment of solar proportion! Flying at 29 mph, powered by four electric motors and nearly 12,000 solar cells embedded in its wings, this single-seat airplane made the first intercontinental flight on 100% solar power. The pilot Bertrand Piccard departed Madrid- and touched down in Morocco as part of a celebration of one of the world's largest solar power farms. What is his plane called?

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