Saturday, 1 August 2009

More on Hyperinnovation.

Click on title to review a paper on Hyperinnovation's impact on the speed, cost and prototyping of global products.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


MIT continue to impress.

I'm both heart and hard felt that hardly any breakthroughs in theripies for serious psychiatric illness have emerged in the past half century.
My mentor and friend Edward Scolnick lays blame for this dismal situation on barriers to understanding the genetic basis behind such illnesses.

However, the research drought may be over, as the current revolution in human genetics opens wide a door into the molecular biology and brain physiology behind diseases like Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.

These common, chronic and disabling mental illnesses are complex, involving abnormal behaviors that vary in expression. They have also lacked the kind of quantitative tests that enable precise diagnosis.

While science has demonstrated that the single biggest risk factor for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is genetic, it has not been able to design tools for exploring how the genetics relates to the evolution/development of the disease in people. But the instant in the last two years, with the sequencing of the human genome and maps of human genetic variation, ignorance has given way to major findings.

In bipolar disease, researchers have discovered that gene deletions and duplications (called copy number variants) cause significant brain circuit mischief. They’ve also learned there are gene variants common to both diseases, as well as clusters of genes that malfunction. Scolnick describes diverse research at MIT, proceeding at a “breakneck pace,” that uses this genetic information “to delve into the malfunctioning of brain circuits.”

Scientists have applied functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brains of ordinary people and schizophrenia patients, and discovered that the schizophrenic’s brain in a resting state is hyperactive. Other researchers found that schizophrenics generate the gamma brainwaves involved with higher mental activities in a different manner than control subjects.

Another MIT lab has begun to manipulate specific brain circuits using optical technology -- shining different wavelengths of light at special interneurons that regulate the firing of other neurons, and which are postulated to have a critical role in the malfunctioning of schizophrenics’ brains.

Two other MIT labs are examining the biochemical disruptions due to altered genes, and developing “safe, specific chemical inhibitors” that might yield potential treatments for schizophrenia and bipolar illnesses. In Japan, researchers are growing stem cells into brain cells, which may lead to precise experiments that relate genetic problems to malfunctions in brain wiring. Indeed, adding up this research, a central biochemical pathway central to the pathogenesis of psychogenic illness seems to be emerging, knowledge that “can be exploited to understand illness and to find drug treatments.”

Click on title to view lecture.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Making Power Light Work.

How much energy does it take to turn on a lightbulb?

Way too much! Where 22% of all electricity gets channeled into illuminating homes, businesses and thoroughfares. My old friend Vladimir Bulovic wants to end the exorbitant use of power for lighting, and simultaneously brighten our lives more pleasantly, with the application of nanostructure materials called quantum dots.

Click on UKW?

MIT's Up Date on Nano Fabrication.

In a lecture that dips into both the anatomy and history of the semiconductor, Grant Willson offers some provocative thoughts on whether industry can continue improving on this most useful of inventions.

Click on above title to see vid. He's missed a big point though. See if you can spot it?
Some body just asked me where I live.


Base-one (B-1) London.

(B-2) Brighton.

(B-3) NY NY.

(B-4) Perth.

(B-5) Most hub Airports.

I don't understand why I was asked the question, as the person who asked has only left B-2 a few dozen times in her life.

Live - these days - means where does one eat, sleep, work, etc.

However my 'Home' will always be with the ones I love.

And that's Saltdean.

Looks as though I'm gonna be spending a lot more time in NY! Was a bit perturbed. As journy time from my B-2 home is realy frustrating.


Word on the street is that New York City may be getting a new addition: The Manhattan Airport. And what better place to develop it than on the largest piece of undeveloped land in New York City -- Central Park?

New York City is THE cultural and financial capital of the world. Not London. Not Tokyo. Not Rio.

Yet surprisingly, New York City has no viable airport.

JFK, La Guardia and Newark work for people who live in certain outer boroughs. But they are not an acceptable option for people like me and New Yorkers, requiring travel through some of the most congested traffic arteries in the nation.

A journey which by train takes nearly two hours and by automobile can take up to three sweating hours. For a place which purports itself to be the greatest city in the world, this is not a workable model.

What I’m drawn to is the Central Park turned-airport concept.

Quote of the Week:

An economist is someone who, on being shown something that works in practice, wonders if it would work in theory.

Erm! Well. Where'd I get this from?

3000 of the leading economists gathered last week. Spent a collective 30,000 hours talking/thinking about how to get the economy going.

Not one of them spoke of new ideas for product or service that people desperately want now or in the future. Fucking egg-heads haven't a clue about what you and I face everyday in our business and personal lives.

Here's 3 ideas from me (a bloke that spent 20 years in the Design Lab):

1.For consumers, anything practical and useful will go down well in more austere times, while anything that speaks their language (and thus ultimately shows that a brand cares about its customers' interests) will be reciprocated with appreciation and goodwill. Which in today's harsh business climate is like, well, gold dust.

2.For businesses, adhoc-attributes can often be imagined and introduced at very low costs (which doesn’t hurt when budgets are tight); the only resources needed are creativity and a good feel for the consumer trends that matter most over the next 12 months.

3.Most important of all: ultimately this is not about gimmicky fingerless gloves: it’s about integrating the 'now' into your activities this year, achieving relevance for and goodwill from your customers, in an environment that has never been more about the 'now' than, well, now