Supercomputer model of galaxy formation

The Illustris project¬†at MIT has used supercomputers to model the universe in unprecedented detail. Their model shows the universe from 12¬†million years old to present day. It shows how regular matter and dark matter created early stars and galaxies. There are some places where the model doesn’t match what we observe, and this is where some interesting science will be done in the future.

Large scale projection through the Illustris volume at z=0, centered on the most massive cluster, 15 Mpc/h deep. Shows dark matter density (left) transitioning to gas density (right).

8 bit computers floating around inside living things?

Scientists have made DNA based robotsnanobots – to carry medicine to diseases and release drugs when the diseases are reached. By using DNA folding, drugs can be stored inside cages of DNA molecules. The DNA will unfold when it touches the right protein. They have made the DNA unfold when it touches certain disease molecules. These have been injected into cockroaches. These robots can behave like nanocomputers, and while we will soon be making them about as powerful as a Commodore 64 from the 1980s, how long until we have 64 bit computers traveling our bloodstreams, repairing damaged cells, transmitting information on our health at a cellular level?

Book Administration

Book Administration? How could books need administration? Are you becoming a librarian?

Well, no. We use online textbooks, and the students need access to them. Someone has to create the accounts, etc. After my first year with online books, I needed to get rid of the old students and enter in new ones. I suddenly needed an administrator to do this for me. I knew that getting someone else to do it was the slow way, so I managed to get my principal to sign off on my becoming the administrator.

This required putting all the students in a spreadsheet. Everything had to be just so or the online system would reject it. It took a bit of fiddling, but I got it all in.

That was back in 2008.

Enter 2013. Other classes have started to use online textbooks, and I’ve been the one to get all the students in. This year I put in the 5th grade for the first time. But, now the elementary schools are using online textbooks. I can’t create their student IDs because it’s a different school. I only have permission to add Valley View students. So I’m now trying to get approval to be the district administrator (OK, it’s a small district of only 2 schools). Hopefully this can happen quickly.