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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

May 12, 2017

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, life extension, neuroscience

The Buck institute is in the spotlight today.


Located in Novato, California, not too far from Mount Burdell Preserve and Olompali State Historic Park, is one of the world’s leading research centres for ageing and age-related diseases—the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Opened in 1999 thanks to the substantial bequest of American philanthropist Beryl Hamilton Buck, the Buck Institute set to fulfill her wishes that her patrimony be spent to “extend help towards the problems of the aged, not only the indigent but those whose resources cannot begin to provide adequate care.” Over the years, the Institute has certainly honoured its commitment: The Buck can boast some of the most eminent experts on ageing among its research staff, and a number of laboratories that push forward our understanding of age-related pathologies every day—such as the Campisi Lab and the Kennedy Lab, just to name a few.

The Buck’s approach to investigating ageing is a multifaceted one. The institute rightfully acknowledges the necessity to bring together experts from disparate fields of science—from physics to engineering, from mathematics to anthropology—in order to properly understand the complex networks of biochemical processes underlying ageing and ultimately leading to pathology. Biochemistry, molecular endocrinology, proteomics, genomic stability, and cell biology are only some of the areas of investigation of the Buck, and the medical conditions researched by their teams range from Huntington’s disease to ischemia, to Parkinson’s, to cancer and Alzheimer’s. The three main questions the Buck set to answer are why do ageing tissues lose their regeneration capacity, why do stem cells fail to function with ageing, and how do tissues change during ageing so that they no longer support normal regenerative processes.

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May 11, 2017

Hands-free farming: Autonomous tractors and drones grow cereal crops

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, food, robotics/AI

Future of farming? Driverless tractors and drones attempt to grow crops without humans setting foot on the land in a world first…


Drones are also being used to monitor the crops so agronomists don’t have to enter the field to carry out their observations.

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May 9, 2017

The Four Technologies That Are Turning Our World Into the Future

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, space travel

Each year, the world’s greatest innovators and inventors gather for the Edison Awards to celebrate “game-changing” developments in technology, engineering, marketing, and design. Here are just some of the innovations that are already transforming our world.

Each year, innovators from across the globe trade in their lab coats and laptops for ties and gowns to honor the nominees at the Edison Awards ceremony in New York City. Over the past three decades, the awards have highlighted the most innovative products and people in science. Last year’s honorees featured Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.

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May 5, 2017

Watch an easy guide to everything AI on ‘Explanimators,’ a new video series from Microsoft Story Labs

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

Who says that cartoons are for kids?

Artificial intelligence (AI) kicks off the Microsoft Story Labs animated “Explanimators” series about big, important, cutting-edge areas of technology that remain mysterious (if not just plain confusing) to people who don’t have an engineering or computer science degree.

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May 2, 2017

Lockheed compact fusion reactor design about 100 times larger than first plans

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, transportation

There is updated technical information on the Lockheed compact fusion reactor project. It was originally believed that the compact reactor would fit on a large truck. It looked like it might weigh 20 tons. After more engineering and scientific research, the new design requires about 2000 ton reactor that is 7 meters in diameter and 18 meters long. This would be about one third the length of a Dolphin diesel submarine and it would be slightly wider and taller. It would be similar in size to a A5W submarine nuclear fission reactor. We would not know for sure because the A5W size is classified but based on the size and likely configuration of a nuclear submarine this size estimate is likely.

They have performed simulations. In simulations, plasma confinement is achieved in magnetic wells with self – produced sharp magnetic field boundaries. • Design closes for 200 MW th reactor, 18 meters long by 7 meters diameter device assuming hybrid gyro – radii sheath and cusp widths and good coil support magnetic shielding. • Neutral beam heats plasma to ignited state. • The dominant losses are ion losses through the ring cusps into stalks and axially through the mirror confined sheath. • Good global curvature gives interchange stability.

Lockheed believes they can get better confinement at the cusps than the EMC2 polywell reactor.

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Apr 20, 2017

What if you could type directly from your brain at 100 words per minute?

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, neuroscience

(credit: Facebook)

Regina Dugan, PhD, Facebook VP of Engineering, Building8, revealed today (April 19, 2017) at Facebook F8 conference 2017 a plan to develop a non-invasive brain-computer interface that will let you type at 100 wpm — by decoding neural activity devoted to speech.

Dugan previously headed Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group, and before that, was Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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Apr 18, 2017

‘Space Fabric’ Links Fashion and Engineering

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, engineering, space

3D printing is inspiring new materials at JPL.

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Apr 14, 2017

Entrance to Mars: How this fascinating Dome-Space-Elevator grows in all directions

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space, sustainability

Architecture has evolved and has become much more than just a design realized in concrete and modern building material. It has been transformed to help humanity in achieving all kinds of sustainability.

The eVolo Magazine for Architecture has been organizing another round of Skyscraper Competition in 2017 to honor those visionaries that try to realize a future that benefits humanity and the one Earth we all need to cherish and sustain.

A team from Spain with aspiring architects Arturo Emilio Garrido Ontiveros, Andrés Pastrana Bonillo, Judit Pinach Martí and Alex Tintea is thinking of a hybrid solution, that ensures Humanity’s survival in the early days of Mars’ colonization. The skyscraper design is both clever and beautiful, combining existing technologies with many practical ideas to open up and terraform more red soil as we understand the planet. It’s a genesis of Mars and a revival of form following function.

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Apr 10, 2017

Audio engineering is making call center robots more ‘human’ and less annoying

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, information science, media & arts, robotics/AI

Audio engineering can make computerized customer support lines seem friendlier and more helpful.

Say you’re on the phone with a company and the automated virtual assistant needs a few seconds to “look up” your information. And then you hear it. The sound is unmistakable. It’s familiar. It’s the clickity-clack of a keyboard. You know it’s just a sound effect, but unlike hold music or a stream of company information, it’s not annoying. In fact, it’s kind of comforting.

Michael Norton and Ryan Buell of the Harvard Business School studied this idea —that customers appreciate knowing that work is being done on their behalf, even when the only “person” “working” is an algorithm. They call it the labor illusion.

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Apr 7, 2017

Disaster Assistance Handbook | Third Edition, March 2017 | The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Posted by in categories: architecture, engineering, environmental, governance

“This handbook will:

  • help architects better understand their role and how to prepare for and respond to disasters
  • prepare AIA Component staff to engage and coordinate their architect members and provide community discourse and assistance
  • explain how built environment professionals can work with architects and the community on disaster response and preparedness efforts
  • inform municipal governments of the unique ways architects assist the public and their clients in mitigating, responding to and recovering from disasters”

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