Lifeboat News: The Blog Safeguarding Humanity Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:25:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘Leonardo DiCaprio’ snake with bright orange eyes discovered in Panama jungle Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:25:36 +0000

Five species of previously unknown snakes with stunning eyes were discovered in jungle trees, and one was named after Leonardo DiCaprio. But mining threatens them all.

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The Power Source of The Universe — Can Nuclear Fusion Help us Reach Type 1 Civilization? Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:24:58 +0000

Human civilization has achieved some incredible things during its short reign on this planet. Technological development over the past 5,000 years of human civilization has led our species to dominance of life on Earth and placed us on a pathway to achieving a Type I civilization.

To reach even the basic level of a “Kardashev Type 1 civilization” we must do two things:
Develop more advanced technology and share it with all responsible nations.
Make renewable energy accessible to all parts of the world.

Five hundred years ago, the Aztec civilization believed that the sun and all its power was sustained by blood from human sacrifice.
Today, we know that the sun, along with all other stars, is powered by a reaction called nuclear fusion.
Scientists and engineers have studied the Sun’s fusion process in hopes of developing a way to harness energy from fusion in machines on Earth.

What exactly is nuclear fusion, and how does it work in terms of producing electricity?

#nuclearfusion #sciencetime #kardashev.

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Brian Greene: Quantum Gravity, The Big Bang, Aliens, Death, and Meaning | Lex Fridman Podcast #232 Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:24:40 +0000

Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors:
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0:00 — Introduction.
0:27 — Entropy.
8:35 — Consciousness.
24:54 — Quantum gravity.
28:14 — String theory.
41:41 — Time.
54:13 — Free will.
58:36 — Emergence and complexity.
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1:29:09 — Space exploration.
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Oldest brain in a backboned animal found in fish fossil Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:22:47 +0000

Very old brain, some ancient philosophy maybe…

A fossilised fish originally dug up more than a century ago in an English coal mine has been shown to hold the world’s oldest brain in a vertebrate animal.

CT scans revealed the new internal features including a brain and cranial nerves about 2 centimetres long.

Soft tissue such as internal organs decay very quickly and very rarely fossilise.

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Clap if you believe in robot fairies Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:22:36 +0000


“I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we go,” Peter Pan says to Wendy.

In J.M. Barrie’s book, fairies can be brought back to life if enough people believe in them.

Researchers at the Light Robots group at Tampere University in Finland have gone a step further, creating a tiny robot sprite which flies by the wind and is controlled by light.

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Echolocation could give small robots the ability to find lost people Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:22:25 +0000

Scientists and roboticists have long looked at nature for inspiration to develop new features for machines. In this case, researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland were inspired by bats and other animals that rely on echolocation to design a method that would give small robots that ability to navigate themselves — one that doesn’t need expensive hardware or components too large or too heavy for tiny machines. In fact, according to PopSci, the team only used the integrated audio hardware of an interactive puck robot and built an audio extension deck using cheap mic and speakers for a tiny flying drone that can fit in the palm of your hand.

The system works just like bat echolocation. It was designed to emit sounds across frequencies, which a robot’s microphone then picks up as they bounce off walls. An algorithm the team created then goes to work to analyze sound waves and create a map with the room’s dimensions.

In a paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the researchers said existing “algorithms for active echolocation are less developed and often rely on hardware requirements that are out of reach for small robots.” They also said their “method is model-based, runs in real time and requires no prior calibration or training.” Their solution could give small machines the capability to be sent on search-and-rescue missions or to previously uncharted locations that bigger robots wouldn’t be able to reach. And since the system only needs onboard audio equipment or cheap additional hardware, it has a wide range of potential applications.

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Super-resolution microscopy ditches fluorescent tags for gentler imaging of live cells Tue, 07 Feb 2023 13:23:06 +0000

Infrared laser technique could deliver benefits for study of cells’ biochemistry.

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Google to release ChatGPT rival named Bard Tue, 07 Feb 2023 13:22:40 +0000

Google said Monday it will release a conversational chatbot named Bard, setting up an artificial intelligence showdown with Microsoft which has invested billions in the creators of ChatGPT, the hugely popular language app that convincingly mimics human writing.

ChatGPT, created by San Francisco company OpenAI, has caused a sensation for its ability to write essays, poems or programming code on demand within seconds, sparking widespread fears of cheating or of entire professions becoming obsolete.

Microsoft announced last month that it was backing OpenAI and has begun to integrate ChatGPT features into its Teams platform, with expectations that it will adapt the app to its Office suite and Bing search engine.

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AI can predict the effectiveness of breast cancer chemotherapy Tue, 07 Feb 2023 11:29:22 +0000

Engineers at the University of Waterloo have developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict if women with breast cancer would benefit from chemotherapy prior to surgery.

The new AI algorithm, part of the open-source Cancer-Net initiative led by Dr. Alexander Wong, could help unsuitable candidates avoid the serious side effects of chemotherapy and pave the way for better surgical outcomes for those who are suitable.

“Determining the right treatment for a given breast cancer patient is very difficult right now, and it is crucial to avoid unnecessary side effects from using treatments that are unlikely to have real benefit for that patient,” said Wong, a professor of systems design engineering.

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Dr Nir Barzilai, MD — Advancing Geroscience & Gerotherapeutics — Albert Einstein College of Medicine Tue, 07 Feb 2023 11:29:02 +0000

Advancing Geroscience & Gerotherapeutics — Dr. Nir Barzilai, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Nir Barzilai, MD ( is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research and of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. He is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Diabetes Research Center and of the Divisions of Endocrinology & Diabetes and Geriatrics.

Dr. Barzilai’s research interests are in the biology and genetics of aging, with one focus of his team on the genetics of exceptional longevity, where they hypothesize and demonstrate that centenarians (those aged 100 and above) may have novel protective genes, which allow the delay of aging or for the protection against age-related diseases. The second focus of his work, for which Dr. Barzilai holds an NIH Merit award, is on the metabolic decline that occurs during aging, and his team hypothesizes that the brain leads this decline with some very interesting neuro-endocrine connections.

Dr. Barzilai is currently leading an international effort to approve drugs that can target aging (Gerotherapeutics). Targeting Aging with METformin (TAME) is a specific study designed to prove the concept that a basket of diseases (multi-morbidities) of aging can be delayed simultaneously, in this protocol by the drug metformin, working with the FDA to approve this approach which will serve as a template for future efforts to delay aging and its diseases in humans.

Dr. Barzilai has received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), American Federation for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation and The Glenn Medical foundation. He has published over 280 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and textbook chapters. He is an advisor to the NIH on several projects and serves on several editorial boards and is a reviewer for numerous other journals.

Dr. Barzilai is on the board of the American Federation for Aging Research, is it’s co-scientific director, and has served on several NIA study sections. He is also a founder of CohBar Inc., a biotech company that develops mitochondrial derived peptides as therapy for aging and it’s diseases, and a medical Advisor to Life Biosciences.

Dr. Barzilai has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award, the Paul F. Glenn Foundation Award, the NIA Nathan Shock Award, the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research and the IPSEN Longevity Prize (2016).

Born in Israel, Dr. Barzilai served as chief medic and physician in the Israel Defense Forces. He graduated from The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and completed his residency in internal medicine at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. He served in a refugee camp during the war in Cambodia (1979–1980) and built a nutritional village in the homeland of the Zulu (1983 – Kwazulu). He has completed 2 fellowships at Yale (Metabolism) and Cornell (Endocrinoology and Molecular Medicine). He was an invited speaker to the 4th Israeli President Conference (2012) and a Vatican conference on efforts to enhance cures (2013, 2016). He has also taken part in Global initiatives and spoke at The Milken Global Institute, Asian Megatrends and is an advisor for the Prime Minister of Singapore on Aging.

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