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Jul 31, 2021

Dad builds robotic exoskeleton to help son walk — BBC News

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

Every dad should do this. 😃


French dad and robotics engineer Jean-Louis Constanza has built a robotic suit for his 16-year-old son Oscar that allows him to walk.

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Jul 31, 2021

Look: 14 stunning images show Mars in all its glory

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space

In the world of space exploration, all eyes are on the Red Planet.

Billionaires like Elon Musk still envision Mars as a future home for human civilizations.


All eyes are on the red planet. Here’s a look back at some of the best images ever taken, from rovers like Perseverance to orbiters like Mars Express.

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Jul 30, 2021

Zaha Hadid Architects creates unreinforced 3D-printed concrete bridge at Venice

Posted by in category: materials

Amazing.


Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich have built a 3D-printed concrete footbridge named Striatus in Venice that is freestanding and assembled without mortar.

Named Striatus, the 16-metre-long bridge was built by the computation and design team at Zaha Hadid Architects, known as ZHACODE, in collaboration with the Block Research Group (BRG) at Swiss university ETH Zurich, incremental3D and Holcim. It was constructed from 53 hollow blocks each printed from 500 layers of printed concrete.

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Jul 30, 2021

Japan Wants to Build Intercontinental Passenger Spaceships by the Early 2040s

Posted by in categories: military, space travel

What do you think?


The idea of using spaceships to travel from one point on the Earth’s surface to another has been around since at least the 1960s, but the cost and complexity of the idea have meant it’s been little more than a pipe dream.

In principle, the approach isn’t that different from the one used by intercontinental ballistic missiles. A rocket is used to blast the payload, be it a nuclear weapon or a passenger spaceship, on a big looping trajectory into space before re-entering the atmosphere on the other side of the planet.

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Jul 30, 2021

New particle discovered at CERN is a long-lived double charmer

Posted by in category: particle physics

Physicists at CERN have discovered an exotic new particle that’s quite charming. Known as Tcc+, the particle belongs to a rare class called tetraquarks, and its unusual composition makes it the longest-lived exotic hadron found so far.

Matter is made up of fundamental particles called quarks, which come in six “flavors”: up, down, strange, charm, top and bottom. These quarks group together in different ways to make up different types of matter – baryons like protons and neutrons are made up of several quarks, while mesons are formed from quarks paired with antiquarks, their antimatter equivalents.

Baryons are usually comprised of two or three quarks, but exotic baryons made up of four or five have been discovered in recent years, after being theorized for decades. Tcc+ is one of these unusual particles with four quarks, known as a tetraquark.

Jul 30, 2021

The insect apocalypse: ‘Our world will grind to a halt without them’

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Few people seem to realise how devastating this is, not only for human wellbeing – we need insects to pollinate our crops, recycle dung, leaves and corpses, keep the soil healthy, control pests, and much more – but for larger animals, such as birds, fish and frogs, which rely on insects for food. Wildflowers rely on them for pollination. As insects become more scarce, our world will slowly grind to a halt, for it cannot function without them.


A strong argument can be made that humans ought to farm more insects as an alternative to pigs, cows or chickens. Farming insects is more energy efficient and requires less space and water. They are a healthier source of protein, being high in essential amino acids and lower in saturated fats than beef, and we are much less likely to catch a disease from eating insects (think bird flu or Covid-19). So if we wish to feed the 10–12 billion people who are projected to be living on our planet by 2050, then we should be taking the farming of insects seriously as a healthier source of protein and a more sustainable option to conventional livestock.

While western societies may not eat insects, we do regularly consume them at one step removed in the food chain. Freshwater fish such as trout and salmon feed heavily on insects, as do game birds like partridge, pheasant and turkey.

Continue reading “The insect apocalypse: ‘Our world will grind to a halt without them’” »

Jul 30, 2021

Chinese giant CATL launches a commercial salt-based battery for EVs

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

The future of energy storage is getting better. Welcome salt batteries! cheaper & more abundant than lithium!

It is claimed to have an energy density of up to 160 Wh/kg, which is a far cry from the density offered by lithium batteries of up to 285 Wh/kg, but is nothing to sneeze at in the world of sodium batteries. It can also be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes at room temperature, and maintain 90 percent of its capacity in temperatures of-20 °C (−4 °F).


A cheap and abundant material like salt might have plenty to offer the world of science, and one field where it could have game-changing effects is battery chemistry. Leveraging salt could help us avoid much of the cost and difficulty in sourcing scarcer lithium, and Chinese giant CATL is looking to lead the charge by launching its first commercial sodium-ion battery.

Continue reading “Chinese giant CATL launches a commercial salt-based battery for EVs” »

Jul 30, 2021

Coming soon: The quick test that can detect cancer cells in urine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

A nanoparticle diagnostic tool developed by MIT can detect cancer in urine. It could also be used in scans to detect the disease anywhere in the body.

Jul 30, 2021

‘Weird’ fossil from 890 million years ago could be evidence of earliest animal life

Posted by in category: futurism

If confirmed, the finding would push back our earliest evidence of animal life by about 350 million years.

Jul 30, 2021

An endlessly changing playground teaches AIs how to multitask

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Virtual game worlds provide a non-stop stream of open-ended challenges that nudge AI towards general intelligence.

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