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The Ocean's Living Carbon Pumps October 23, 2014 Satellite image showing a patch of bright waters associated with a bloom of phytoplankton in the Barents Sea off Norway. Image courtesy of Norman Kuring, Ocean Color Group at Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA. "When we talk about global carbon fixation -"pumping" carbon out of the atmosphere and fixing it into organic molecules by photosynthesis - proper measurement is key to understanding this process. By some estimates, almost half of the world's organic carbon is fixed by marine organisms called phytoplankton - single-celled photosynthetic organisms that account for less than one percent of the total photosynthetic biomass on Earth. Dr. Assaf Vardi, a marine microbiologist in the Weizmann Institute's Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, and Prof. Ilan Koren, a cloud physicist, and Dr. Yoav Lehahn, an oceanographer, both from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, realized that by combining their interests, they might be able to start uncovering the role that these minuscule organisms play in regulating the carbon content of the atmosphere. Tiny as they are, phytoplankton can be seen from space: They multiply in blooms that can reach thousands of kilometers in area, coloring patches of the ocean that can be tracked and measured by satellites." snip http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Oceans_Living_Carbon_Pumps_999.html
breezy posted a topic in SCIENCE FUTURESThe first computer built entirely with carbon nanotubes has been unveiled, opening the door to a new generation of digital devices. James Morgan Max Shulaker with Cedric, the first carbon computer: "There is no limit to the tasks it can perform". "Cedric" is only a basic prototype but could be developed into a machine which is smaller, faster and more efficient than today's silicon models. Nanotubes have long been touted as the heir to silicon's throne, but building a working computer has proven awkward. The breakthrough by Stanford University engineers is published in Nature. Cedric is the most complex carbon-based electronic system yet realised. So is it fast? Not at all. It might have been in 1955 The computer operates on just one bit of information, and can only count to 32. "In human terms, Cedric can count on his hands and sort the alphabet. But he is, in the full sense of the word, a computer," says co-author Max Shulaker. "There is no limit to the tasks it can perform, given enough memory". In computing parlance, Cedric is "Turing complete". In principle, it could be used to solve any computational problem. It runs a basic operating system which allows it to swap back and forth between two tasks - for instance, counting and sorting numbers. And unlike previous carbon-based computers, Cedric gets the answer right every time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24232896