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Upstream is for future thinkers

It provides news of emerging technologies, scientific discoveries and predictions of our future

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Biomedical

Biomedical

Transhumanism is a biomedical goal to fundamentally transform the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

This is achieved though Cybernetics, Genetic Engineering, Life Extension, Medicine and Stem Cell Treatments.

Computing

Computing

The effect computers have had on the world is unquestionably great, however with their capabilities increasing exponentially we are living in a time where, with the development of quantum computing, their effects on us has barely scratched the surface of what is to come.

Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality, Holography, Quantum Computing and Virtual Reality are all around the corner.

Energy

Energy

As the planet’s resources are rapidly depleting, perhaps the area of most intense global interest at the moment is finding alternate methods of producing energy and efficiently feeding our populations.

Some of these methods include Artificial Photosynthesis, Biofuels, Fusion Power, Genetically Modified Food, Solar Power, Vertical Farming and Wireless Energy Transfer.

Leisure

Leisure

Consumer goods, with the help of emerging technologies, are changing our day to day lives at an increasingly rapid pace. From the internet to mobile phones and 3D printing, the past 30 years has changed the way we live.

The next 30 years includes Holographic Displays, Immersive Gaming, Smart Clothing, Virtual Reality and Wearable Computing.

Military

Military

Although military may not seem the most constructive of tech focuses, it often has the budget to pioneer new technologies which are refined and used commercially later; for example electronic computers, satellite technology or the internet.

Current military interest includes Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Hypersonic Aircraft, Particle Beam Weapons & Stealth Technology.

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology

One of the most exciting progressions of the 21st century so far is our ability to create on a nano scale – allowing us to produce new materials that have never been seen before, and build machines so small that they can even carry out tasks within our blood stream.

Nanotechnology has created new fields of interest within Biotechnology, Computing, Energy and Medicine.

Physics

Physics

Although some people may find physics to be the dull cousin of technology, it is only through the understanding of physics that many of our technologies and understandings of the universe are possible – it is the language to describe and therefore can create our reality, and is incredibly exciting for people who take the time to understand it, as it is the key which can open new doors for our future.

Robotics

Robotics

A very tangible physical embodiment of technology for humans is robotics; we can relate and interact physically with robots and in the future develop relationships with them.

Also as artificial intelligence evolves alongside human intelligence, there will be a time where this technology will increasingly find the need to embody itself in the physical world through robotics.

Space

Space

The final frontier.

The exploration of space holds endless possible discoveries – however one which we may be on the brink of observing which will change the world and the way we think about ourselves as human beings, is the discovery of life on other planets (or moons, such as Jupiter’s Europa or Saturn’s Enceladus, as it may turn out.)

Transport

Transport

Driverless Cars, Jetpacks, Magnetic Levitation, Space Elevators, Fusion Rockets and Teleportation – all areas of intense interest and each offering huge potential for the development of civilisation.

Transport is a practical constraint which touches people daily, which is why future developments could change our lives and the world’s economies on the whole.

Predictions

Predictions

Technology futurists make extrapolations on scientific progress – for example it is predicted that quantum computing will become commercially viable around 2020, based on current advances in technology and projected milestones. This is turn will facilitate breakthroughs in medicine by enabling an accurate virtual model of chemical reactions – thus building an ever-growing web of forecasts.

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About Upstream

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Upstream is an aggregation of news websites curated by Oliver Rozynski, a Sydney based freelance digital designer by trade, technologist by hobby and entrepreneur by aspiration.

It includes the absolute latest on emerging technologies, projections on future trends and scientific breakthroughs as they happen from over 60 universities worldwide.

The aim of Upstream is to create awareness of the explosion of scientific and technological developments which is currently unfolding behind the curtain of mainstream media. With a better understanding of the possibilities for our future, we can open our imaginations to create a new outlook.

We have a lot to look forward to!

See my personal website.

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Breakthrough In Quantum Computing Using Silicon Material

Quantum computing certainly sounds like something from the future, not the present. Quantum mechanics itself is a topic of science that baffles even the most sharp-minded physicists. Nevertheless, a group of researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, have clearly understood it enough to achieve something incredible: For the first time, they have demonstrated that basic quantum computation using silicon is viable, paving the way for ultra-fast computer systems. The study is published in Nature.

Let’s take a step back here. Our world thrives on computing power, and each year our thirst for more computational power increases exponentially. The famous Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors – roughly analogous to computing power – on a microchip doubles every 18-24 months. Of course, you cannot just keep adding transistors to microchips; eventually, you will run out of space. Unless you shrink the microchips each time, that is.

These days, microchips and transistors are measured in extremely small units: millionths of a millimeter, or nanometers (in one inch, there are 25 million nanometers). As reported in The Economist, even in 2002, a single U.S. dollar would buy you 2.6 million transistors with features only 180 nanometers (approximately a millionth of an inch) in size. Today, for the same price, you could net 19 million transistors with features no larger than 16 nanometers in size.

Microchips cannot keep shrinking in size in this way, though. Using standard materials, and following the same pattern of increasingly powerful processing power and increasingly smaller dimensions over time, eventually these microchips will reach the size of an atom… and we can’t make a microchip smaller than an atom, right?

Wrong. This is where quantum computing comes in. Ordinary digital computers communicate and store information in bits using binary language: The smallest pieces of information are represented by either 1 or 0. Extremely long strings of 1s and 0s form data streams that computers are able to use. In quantum computing, bits are replaced by qubits.

Qubits take advantage of the quirky fact that a particle can exist in two physical states simultaneously, also known as superpositioning. The two possible states of the particle are combined (superimposed) to result in a separate state that can be detected by an instrument. In the same way, a qubit can exist in the standard binary states of 1 and 0, or it can exist as a superposition of the two: It will be both 0 and 1 simultaneously.

So, instead of a standard computer, which can only store information in two separate states, a quantum computer can store information across multiple states at the same time, allowing it to perform millions more calculations per second than any other computer.

Although quantum computing has been demonstrated to be viable before using cooled superconductors, as reported in a separate study in Science, this is a vastly expensive process to maintain compared to this newer setup, which uses more easily accessible silicon materials.

If a fully operational quantum computer develops from this recent study, it is not an understatement to say that it will revolutionize the world. Medical research, complex physics simulations, monitoring and processing crime, weather and financial patterns, and data encryption techniques will all be dramatically enhanced the day digital computing is replaced by quantum computing.

Thanks IFL Science

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