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Posts Tagged ‘iodine

“Arguably the greatest technological triumph of the century has been the public-health system”*…


The car seat: one of the objects that shaped public health

Public health impacts all of us, in every corner of the globe, every day of our lives — not only our health and safety, but also how we live, what we wear, what we eat, what happens to our environment and the stewardship of our planet. For better or worse, these 100 objects have made their mark on public health. Some, such as vaccines, have helped keep us healthy. Others, including cigarettes, have made us sick. Some are surprising (horseshoe crabs?) and others make perfect sense (bicycle helmet). Some are relics from the past (spittoon) and others are products of our digital age (smartphone)…

In celebration of its centennial, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has compiled a list of the “100 Objects That Shaped Public Health.”

* “Arguably the greatest technological triumph of the century has been the public-health system, which is sophisticated preventive and investigative medicine organized around mostly low- and medium-tech equipment; … fully half of us are alive today because of the improvements.”
― Richard Rhodes, Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate About Machines Systems and the Human World


As we buckle our seat belts, we might send thoughtfully-seasoned birthday greetings to David Marine; he was born on this date in 1888.  A pathologist, he is best remembered for his trial, from 1917 to 1922, during which he supplemented the diets of Ohio schoolgirls with iodine, which greatly reduced their development of goiter— and led to the iodization of table salt (one of Johns Hopkins’ 100 Objects).



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 20, 2016 at 1:01 am

Really small; really, REALLY fast…

Putting an iodine molecule to work

A team of Japanese researchers set out to test an approach to quantum computing, using a single iodine molecule– and discovered that a single molecule can perform a complex calculation thousands of times faster than a conventional computer.

As PopSci reports, the team used a discrete Fourier transform — a common calculation for performing signal analysis, among other things– for their proof-of principle demo…

Using quantum interference – the vibrations of the atoms themselves – the team was able to run the complete discrete Fourier transform extremely quickly by encoding the inputs into an optically tailored vibrational wave packet which is then run through an excited iodine molecule whose atomic elements are oscillating at known intervals and picked up by a receiver on the other side. The entire process takes just a few tens of femtoseconds (that’s a quadrillionth of a second).

To be clear: this isn’t just lots and lots faster than the fastest conventional computers, these are speeds that are physically impossible on any kind of conventional electronic device.

It’s not yet obvious just how this kind of capability can be engineered to address tasks in the way our current computers do– but this astonishing speed is bound to have equally astonishing impact when it is available.

More at PopSci and at Science Daily.

As we try to imagine the difference that broadband has made, magnified thousands of times over, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that the trademark for Velcro was registered.  Inspired by burdock burrs that stuck to his clothes and his dog’s fur after hikes, George de Mestral created the hook-and-loop closure system; he named it as a portmanteau of two French words “velours” (“velvet”)  and “crochet” (“hook”).


Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

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