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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Apr 27, 2017

The changing space race | The Economist

Posted by in categories: business, government, space, space travel

“The space race has changed since the Soviet Union sent Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, into space in 1957. The fight for domination is now between private companies rather than governments.”

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Apr 17, 2017

We Must Prepare for CRISPR Bioterror Threats

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, government

  • An advisory council has urged the U.S. to establish a new body that creates plans for national biodefense and to set aside a $2 billion standby fund to address emerging bioterror threats.
  • As gene editing technology advances, the potential for its use as a weapon increases, and preparing for such threats before they happen is of the utmost importance.

Though the technology promises seemingly innumerable ways to positively impact human life, gene editing is truly a double-edged sword, with nearly as many potentially negative consequences as benefits. Now, an advisory council to President Obama is urging the government to start creating countermeasures for the negative use of emerging biotechnologies.

This month, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) wrote a letter to President Obama recommending measures to address this potential for harm using new technologies. It advocates funding new research into antibiotic and antiviral drugs to combat resistance and having a $250 million fund for the stockpiling of vaccines.

Continue reading “We Must Prepare for CRISPR Bioterror Threats” »

Apr 17, 2017

Good Fellow: Chieko Asakawa

Posted by in categories: entertainment, government

Good Fellows is a series of short films that focus on the unique and human stories of IBM Fellows. To be named a Fellow is to achieve the highest honor bestowed by IBM to its most outstanding technical employees.

Chieko Asakawa has been blind since the age of fourteen and for the past three decades has worked to further accessibility research and development. She was named IBM Fellow in 2009 and in 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to Chieko for outstanding contributions to accessibility research.

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Apr 15, 2017

Affordable deep space missions using asteroids

Posted by in categories: government, mathematics, physics, space

Phase 1 work demonstrated Optical Mining in the laboratory and performed mission and systems analysis of the application of Optical Mining to human exploration missions. Their mission analysis showed that the most accessible Near Earth Objects (NEOs) can be used to provide NASA with mission consumables for human exploration in deep space with the potential of saving up to $10 billion per year or $150 billion over the 15 year operational life cycle of a human exploration program. This savings alone would be enough to transform NASA’s vision of human exploration from being unaffordable to being affordable within budgets that Congress can approve. Phase 1 technical work included a full scale (8 kW) Optical Mining demonstration using a high fidelity CI-type asteroid simulant in vacuum using sunlight from a 10 meter diameter solar concentrator without mechanical contact or downforce. This work confirmed our physics based mathematical model of the excavation and volatile extraction process and scalability of results from 36 prior, small scale (≈ 1 cm diameter) demonstrations and tests.

Phase 2 work will complete mission and system analysis of the application of Optical Mining to an exciting program of human exploration and we will mature the technology of Optical Mining to the point at which NASA can baseline this approach for an affordable program of human exploration. Our mission studies will address the production via Optical Mining missions to extract and retrieve resources, consumable processing, storage, and application of consumables to human exploration mission in cislunar, NEO and Martian space. The mission studies will be tightly coupled with our laboratory work. Laboratory work will include the development and integration of a 30 kW Optical Mining test apparatus in our laboratory and integration with our high quality vacuum chamber for a test program involving Optical Mining.

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Apr 13, 2017

Climate change, other concerns fuel scientists’ in-your-face activism

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, sustainability

While many scientists have shied away from explicitly political actions in recent decades, the community throughout history has spoken publicly on a wide variety of social, technological and ideological issues.

That has included everything from opposing fascism, nuclear proliferation and the Vietnam War to sitting on government panels that advise elected leaders on stem-cell research involving human embryos.


In U.S. history, scientists have been vocal about fascism, nuclear proliferation, the Vietnam War, stem cells and more.

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Apr 11, 2017

Technology|Canada Tries to Turn Its A.I. Ideas Into Dollars

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

In its new budget, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $93 million ($125 million Canadian) to support A.I. research centers in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton, which will be public-private collaborations.


Today’s striking advances in artificial intelligence owe a lot to research in Canada over the years. But the country has so far failed to cash in.

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Apr 10, 2017

Is monetizing federal land the way to pay for basic income?

Posted by in categories: economics, government, robotics/AI

Here’s a very important article to me—and a part of my platform moving forward. Automation is coming, but we don’t need to raise taxes to pay for a Basic Income. There are other ways to deal with our jobless future and poverty in America.


Like the Titanic, capitalism is sinking, but few passengers are wondering yet if there are enough lifeboats.

I recently declared my run as a Libertarian for California governor in 2018, and I gently support the idea of a state-funded basic income to offset the effects of ubiquitous automation. A basic income would give every Californian some money — and it makes sense to start such a dramatic program here in the Golden State, since this is where much of the human-job-replacing-tech is created.

Continue reading “Is monetizing federal land the way to pay for basic income?” »

Apr 6, 2017

Continued claims that the EMDrive is being tested on the X-37B

Posted by in categories: government, quantum physics, space travel

In November 2016 the International Business Times claimed the U.S. government was testing a version of the EmDrive on the Boeing X-37B and that the Chinese government has made plans to incorporate the EmDrive on its orbital space laboratory Tiangong-2. In 2009 an EmDrive technology transfer contract with Boeing was undertaken via a State Department TAA and a UK export licence, approved by the UK MOD. The appropriate US government agencies including DARPA, USAF and NSSO were aware of the contract. However, prior to flight, the propulsion experiment aboard the X-37B was officially announced as a test of a Hall-effect thruster built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

China Topix repeated the claim that the X-37B was testing an EMDrive.

Continue reading “Continued claims that the EMDrive is being tested on the X-37B” »

Apr 3, 2017

Climate of Hope — By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

Posted by in categories: business, environmental, finance, governance, government

“Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions.”

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Apr 1, 2017

Killing Science and Culture Doesn’t Make the Nation Stronger

Posted by in categories: government, physics, science

Scientists throughout the country across a wide spectrum of fields, from biochemists to physicists, are bemoaning the potentially devastating impact on science and technology in the United States of President Trump’s proposed budget request to Congress.


Massive funding cuts in the president’s proposed budget could be more devastating than any threat posed by illegal immigrants.

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