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Science Technology

Graphene Can Be Made With Table Sugar 142

Zothecula writes with this snippet from Gizmag: "There's no doubt that the discovery of graphene is one sweet breakthrough. The remarkable material offers everything from faster, cooler electronics and cheaper lithium-ion batteries to faster DNA sequencing and single-atom transistors. Researchers at Rice University have made graphene even sweeter by developing a way to make pristine sheets of the one-atom-thick form of carbon from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances. In another plus, the one-step process takes place at temperatures low enough to make the wonder material easy to manufacture."
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Graphene Can Be Made With Table Sugar

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  • Who'll profit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @04:10AM (#34252178) Homepage

    The graphene story is an excellent case study for innovation policy []

    Inventing graphene gets you nothing, but inventing applications for it will make you rich.

    Really a prizes system seems to be worth trying as a replacement for the patent system in some fields. How many millions does the patent system cost our governments? What if there were multi-million dollar prizes up for grabs, and freedom to operate for everyone, instead of monopolies?

    (Yeh, the lawyers won't help us lobby for this change...)

  • Re:Who'll profit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:44AM (#34252430)

    Nobody invented graphene. It was discovered, rendering it basically unpatentable, so I'm not sure why not sure what that has to do with small patent holders. However with regards to your second point, inventing a clever way of creating it was worth the Nobel Prize [].

  • Re:Who'll profit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:00AM (#34252478)

    Against Intellectual Property by Boldrin and Leving is a good book: []

    However, you say how much money Patents cost the Government? It costs them nothing (well something but it's recuperated in taxes, fees, and corporate income tax) -- the real cost is societal.

    However, corps are still under the dream that China will play nice and all that, and they'll get into that huge market. The truth is, countries don't follow IP laws until it is in their interest to do so (America did the same in her early history) and that means when China is ready to follow IP laws, it's only because they'll be so invested and huge that they'll crush us in our own game.

  • Re:Dude. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:49AM (#34252588) Journal
    It depends on where you bought it. If it's in the USA, then high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Re:Sweet (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:24AM (#34252714)

    So you have to have an energy source which is capable of replacing fossil fuels first.

    Done. It's not a source, it's a solution. You can only get out of the system what you put into it.

    I think that what it actually needed is for us geeks to stop lining up to work in the big labs, and start our own businesses. We have the intellect and the drive to succeed, and most developed nations have engineered conveyor belts of investor capital that start rolling at the sight of a good idea and a capable leader. A lesson that cost 700 billion USD can be retold by the recently moribund and destitute homeless, that if you intend to just gamble with other people's money there might not be enough socialism left to let you rebound when you're found out.
    Strangest thing though; it turns out that when you share there's more to go around for everyone. It's game theory versus the second law of thermodynamics.

    When you run your own business it imposes on you the data structure needed to be aware of your surroundings. Money is the unit by which economy is measured and the important thing isn't that you have a lot of it, but rather that it is accurate. It boils down to networking, which is why people think the Masons are rich conspirators bent on world domination, but ideally they're just like-minded people who know they can cooperate to reach a common goal.

    The only question is, do you want to grind in WoW and network with people who waste their time, or do you want to grind with the people who carefully invest their time into a brighter future?

  • Re:Who'll profit? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) <> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @08:18AM (#34252912)
    Well, actually, the present system only rewards marketable advances. What about people who do pure science? If you create a system that only rewards greedy people who can only look ahead for the short time until their patent runs out, then those people will have all the power. Maybe we should re-gear the system to reward people for innovating, not for coming up with a new, clever way to overcharge people.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury