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Sep 29, 2016

FDA clears first-ever artificial pancreas for automated insulin delivery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Monitoring blood-glucose levels and injecting insulin to keep them in a safe range is a never-ending headache for sufferers of type 1 diabetes. A number of research projects have made promising steps recently to promise easier ways of doing things, and now this type of convenience is set to move out of the lab and into the real-world. For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a so-called artificial pancreas designed to both monitor and inject insulin automatically, requiring minimal input from the user.

In a healthy person, beta cells in the pancreas secrete vital insulin, which in turn regulates blood-sugar levels. But for sufferers of type 1 diabetes, this process breaks down along the way, requiring them to administer finger-prick blood tests to keep tabs on their insulin levels and inject the hormone as required.

For years, scientists have been exploring better ways to keep the condition in check. These have included implanting beta cells, tracking glucose levels through contact lenses and ways insulin can be delivered via a capsule rather than a needle. But perhaps the most attractive solution is what is known as a closed-loop system, which seeks to automate both monitoring and administration of insulin to dramatically reduce the burden on the user.

Sep 29, 2016

Making rocket fuel from water could drive a power revolution on Earth

Posted by in category: space travel

Researchers led by NASA’s former chief technologist are hoping to launch a satellite carrying water as the source of its fuel.

The team from Cornell University, guided by Mason Peck, want their device to become the first shoebox-sized ‘CubeSat’ to orbit the Moon, while demonstrating the potential of water as a source of spacecraft fuel.

It’s a safe, stable substance that’s relatively common even in space, but could also find greater use here on Earth as we search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Continue reading “Making rocket fuel from water could drive a power revolution on Earth” »

Sep 29, 2016

Physicists believe they can create antimatter and matter via lasers… per their calculations

Posted by in category: particle physics

Dramatic advances in laser technologies are enabling novel studies to explore laser-matter interactions at ultrahigh intensity. By focusing high-power laser pulses, electric fields (of orders of magnitude greater than found within atoms) are routinely produced and soon may be sufficiently intense to create matter from light.

Now, intriguing calculations from a research team at the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS), and reported this week in Physics of Plasmas, explain the production and dynamics of electrons and positrons from ultrahigh-intensity laser-matter interactions.

READ MORE ON AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS | AIP PUBLISHING

Continue reading “Physicists believe they can create antimatter and matter via lasers… per their calculations” »

Sep 29, 2016

Our Robot Overlords Are Now Delivering Pizza, And Cooking It On The Go

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

A Silicon Valley start-up wants to use technology to solve the pizza paradox. It’s a food that’s meant to be delivered, but never tastes quite as good upon arrival.

Sep 29, 2016

The Biggest Companies in AI Partner to Keep AI Safe

Posted by in categories: ethics, policy, robotics/AI

Industry leaders in the world of artificial intelligence just announced the Partnership on AI. This exciting new partnership was “established to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.”

The partnership is currently co-chaired by Mustafa Suleyman with DeepMind and Eric Horvitz with Microsoft. Other leaders of the partnership include: FLI’s Science Advisory Board Member Francesca Rossi, who is also a research scientist at IBM; Ralf Herbrich with Amazon; Greg Corrado with Google; and Yann LeCun with Facebook.

Though the initial group members were announced yesterday, the collaboration anticipates increased participation, announcing in their press release that “academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization.”

Continue reading “The Biggest Companies in AI Partner to Keep AI Safe” »

Sep 29, 2016

What It’s Like to Fight Online Hate — By Anna North | The New York Times

Posted by in categories: big data, business, governance, innovation, internet, journalism, law

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“Brittan Heller has a hard job. The Anti-Defamation League’s first director of technology and society, she’ll be working with tech companies to combat online harassment.”

Read more

Sep 29, 2016

Genetics Breakthrough Could One Day Help Slow the Aging Process

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, life extension

In Brief.

  • Researchers underwent a massive study to estimate a person’s lifespan based on their biological age.
  • The results could explain why, even if you lead a healthy life, you might still die before you turn 100.

Sep 29, 2016

Fund Medical Research to End Age-Related Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, life extension, transportation

Please sign this petition to the NIH to help get more funding for aging research.


Every year about two million Americans die of illnesses doctors cannot cure. Cancer afflicts 50% of men and 30% of women. Five hundred and ninety five thousand Americans will die of cancer this year. Millions get heart diseases, strokes, etc. Every year 1,612,552 Americans die of the top 8 illnesses that doctors are unable to cure. Over a 30-year period, 48,376,560 United States citizens will die of the top 8 illnesses. Let us not forget other disabling and potentially curable illnesses. How much is it worth to save them? We have the resources and opportunity to cure age-related disease.

History has shown that medical research actually saves money. We now spend three trillion two hundred billion dollars yearly for health care. The health care expenditures will increase as our population grows with more senior citizens.

Continue reading “Fund Medical Research to End Age-Related Disease” »

Sep 29, 2016

Elon Musk unveils plan to colonise Mars (2016.9.27)

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, space travel, transportation

Elon Musk unveils SpaceX’s future Mars vehicle and discusses the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The presentation focuses on potential architectures for sustaining humans on the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead.

Overview:
00:00. Why Mars and become a multi-planetary civilisation.

Continue reading “Elon Musk unveils plan to colonise Mars (2016.9.27)” »

Sep 29, 2016

Volkswagen just unveiled its ‘revolutionary’ electric concept car — and it’s hitting roads in 2020

Posted by in category: transportation

Volkswagen finally unveiled the electric concept car it’s been teasing ahead of the Paris Motor Show, and the automaker is promising a mean range.

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