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Sep 21, 2017

‘I was just doing my job’: Soviet officer who averted nuclear war dies at age 77

Posted by in category: existential risks

A Soviet officer who prevented a nuclear crisis between the US and the USSR and possible World War III in the 1980s has quietly passed away. He was 77. In 2010 RT spoke to Stanislav Petrov, who never considered himself a hero. We look at the life of the man who saved the world.

A decision that Soviet lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov once took went down in history as one that stopped the Cold War from turning into nuclear Armageddon, largely thanks to Karl Schumacher, a political activist from Germany who helped the news of his heroism first reach a western audience nearly two decades ago.

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Sep 21, 2017

Nanotechnology to treat cancer?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

The therapy has been approved by the FDA for phase one clinical trials at three U.S. institutions: the Greenebaum Cancer Center of the University of Maryland, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia Cancer Center.

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Sep 21, 2017

Discovery helps engineer more accurate Cas9s for CRISPR editing

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Detailed study of how Cas9 protein domains move when they bind DNA leads to re-engineered Cas9 with fewer off-target effects.

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Sep 20, 2017

Scientists create world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Credit: Image credit: Stuart Jantzen, www.biocinematics.com]

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Sep 20, 2017

Fathers pass on four times as many new genetic mutations as mothers – study

Posted by in category: genetics

Researchers studied 14,000 Icelanders and found that men passed on one new mutation for every eight months of age, compared with women who passed on a new mutation for every three years of age.

The figures mean that a child born to 30-year-old parents would, on average, inherit 11 new mutations from the mother, but 45 from the father.

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Sep 20, 2017

The Way We Get Power Is About to Change Forever

Posted by in categories: energy, mathematics

Solar and wind power are all about the batteries.


The age of batteries is just getting started. In the latest episode of our animated series, Sooner Than You Think, Bloomberg’s Tom Randall does the math on when solar plus batteries might start wiping fossil fuels off the grid.

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Sep 20, 2017

China Upgrading Milky Way 2 Supercomputer to 95 Petaflops

Posted by in category: supercomputing

We have some breaking news from the IHPC Forum in Guangzhou today. Researchers in China are busy upgrading the MilkyWay 2 (Tianhe-2) system to nearly 95 Petaflops (peak). This should nearly double the performance of the system, which is currently ranked at #2 on TOP500 with 33.86 Petaflops on the Linpack benchmark. The upgraded system, dubbed Tianhe −2A, should be completed in the coming months.

Details about the system upgrade were presented at the conference opening session. While the current system derives much of its performance from Intel Knights Corner co-processors, the new system swaps these PCI devices out for custom-made 4-way MATRIX-200o boards, with each chip providing 2.46 Teraflops of peak performance.

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Sep 20, 2017

How AI can Help Reduce the Cost of Drug Discovery

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

The cost of drug discovery and subsequent development is a massive challenge in the pharmaceutical industry. A typical drug can cost upwards of $2.5 billion and a decade or more to identify and test a new drug candidate[1].

These costs have been increasing steadily over the years, and pharmaceutical manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to improve efficiency to save time and money and speed up research progress.

Automation in the lab is one example; tasks that were traditionally carried out by technicians can now be done by machines. Increasingly sophisticated assays to detect new drug candidates have also helped to slash development time. Now a new ally has arrived to aid drug development – artificial intelligence – and a powerful ally it is.

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Sep 20, 2017

How do you grow bone in a lab? Good vibrations

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, engineering

A team from the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, the West of Scotland and Galway have created a device that sends nano vibrations across mesenchymal stem cells suspended in a collagen gel.

The authors of the paper, published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering journal, found that these tiny vibrations turn the cells into a 3D model of mineralised bone ‘putty’. This putty isn’t quite as hard as bone at this stage. That’s where the body comes in.

“We add the bone putty to an anatomically correct, rigid living scaffold, that we made by 3D printing collagen,” says Matthew Dalby, professor of cell engineering at the University of Glasgow, and one of the lead authors of the paper. “We put lots of cells in the body so it has a chance to integrate this new bone. We tell the cells what to do in the lab, then the body can act as a bioreactor to do the rest.”

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Sep 20, 2017

Are We Killing Ourselves With Antioxidants?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Summary: The mitochondrial free radical theory of aging says that if we consume antioxidant supplements, we can repair the damage caused by free radicals. However, this recommendation is contradicted by a large body of evidence which shows that antioxidant supplements are often harmful. Researchers are discovering more effective ways to improve health by clearing our mitochondrial damage caused by free radicals.

Are you killing yourself in a bid to live a longer healthier life?

A growing body of evidence shows that if you take antioxidant supplements, and you are otherwise healthy, then you are wasting your money, and damaging your liver and nervous system.

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