Lifeboat News: The Blog https://lifeboat.com/blog Safeguarding Humanity Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:48:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Study pinpoints what makes human neurons unique https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/study-pinpoints-what-makes-human-neurons-unique https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/study-pinpoints-what-makes-human-neurons-unique#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:48:54 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/study-pinpoints-what-makes-human-neurons-unique

Human neurons are much larger than those of model organisms mice and rats, so it’s been unclear whether it’s size that makes a difference in our brain’s computational power. Now, in a study appearing October 18 in the journal Cell, researchers show that unlike those of other animals, human neurons employ highly compartmentalized signaling. Human dendrites—the tree-like branching structures that function as neurons’ antennas—process electrical signals differently than dendrites in rodents, the most common model systems for studying neuronal properties.

“The human neuron is basically like a rat neuron, but because it’s so much longer, signals have much farther to travel. The human dendrites thus have a different input-output function” from rats, says senior author Mark Harnett, the Fred and Carole Middleton Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Dendrites farther away from the cell body have fewer ion channels, which control signal processing. That was something we absolutely did not expect.”

Harnett, who studies how the biophysical features of neurons shape information processing in the brain, believes our longer, bigger dendritic arbors endow human neurons and their respective circuits with enhanced computational abilities.

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Joe Betts Lacroix – Entrepreneurial Focuses on Aging https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/joe-betts-lacroix-entrepreneurial-focuses-on-aging https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/joe-betts-lacroix-entrepreneurial-focuses-on-aging#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:48:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/joe-betts-lacroix-entrepreneurial-focuses-on-aging

Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union, New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.

Joe Betts Lacroix of Y Combinator and Vium discusses the different ways in which entrepreneurs can focus on overcoming the diseases of aging, namely direct, indirect, and money-first approaches, and the strengths and weakness of each.

Joe was the primary technical founder of hardware/software startup OQO, which entered the Guinness Book of World Records for building the smallest fully featured PC. His experience spans from biotech research to electronics design. Very experienced in invention, prosecution and monetization of intellectual property, he has over 80 patents granted and pending in fields ranging from biophysics and safety systems to antennas, thermal systems, user interfaces, and analog electronics. He has written numerous peer-reviewed publications in fields such as biophysics, genetics, electronics, and robotics. Joe holds a Harvard A.B., an MIT S.M. and a Caltech research fellowship.

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42 Percent of New Cancer Patients Lose Their Life Savings https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/42-percent-of-new-cancer-patients-lose-their-life-savings https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/42-percent-of-new-cancer-patients-lose-their-life-savings#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:48:15 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/42-percent-of-new-cancer-patients-lose-their-life-savings

A single PET scan is over 3k.


A new study delivers the dark financial reality of cancer.

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First suspected ‘exomoon’ discovered 8,000 light-years away https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-suspected-exomoon-discovered-8000-light-years-away https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-suspected-exomoon-discovered-8000-light-years-away#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:45:26 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-suspected-exomoon-discovered-8000-light-years-away

For the first time, astronomers have discovered what could be an exomoon, a moon outside our solar system. The exomoon was found around the gas giant exoplanet Kepler-1625b, which orbits a star 8,000 light-years from Earth.

Although moons are common in our solar system, which has nearly 200 natural satellites, the long search for interstellar moons has been an empty one. Astronomers have had success locating exoplanets around stars outside our solar system, but exomoons are harder to pinpoint because of their smaller size.

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Construction using concrete reinforced with renewable materials https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/construction-using-concrete-reinforced-with-renewable-materials https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/construction-using-concrete-reinforced-with-renewable-materials#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:03:58 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/construction-using-concrete-reinforced-with-renewable-materials

A new tool using data and AI is hoping to better predict famine and help millions experiencing food insecurity.

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A new cermet that could provide a better heat exchange for solar power plants https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-cermet-that-could-provide-a-better-heat-exchange-for-solar-power-plants https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-cermet-that-could-provide-a-better-heat-exchange-for-solar-power-plants#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:03:43 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-cermet-that-could-provide-a-better-heat-exchange-for-solar-power-plants

Six-hundred million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. To meet these power needs, a mix of large public-run utility grids and standalone systems will be necessary for universal access in the region. Governments, aid organizations, and scientists are working to understand which electricity grid solution would be most cost-effective and reliable across urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.

Standalone, or “decentralized” electricity systems—most often solar power with battery storage—are usually thought to be too expensive compared to large state-run grids in all but the most remote locations. However, declining costs of solar and new battery technologies are changing the best pathways to deliver reliable power to people that currently lack access to electricity. New UC Berkeley research published today in Nature Energy finds that decentralized electricity systems in sub-saharan Africa can be designed for extremely high reliability, and that this may come at remarkably low costs in the future.

Jonathan Lee, a Ph.D. candidate in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) and Associate Professor Duncan Callaway worked with more than 10 years of solar data from NASA and developed an optimization that determines the lowest cost way to build a standalone system given component costs and a target reliability. At current costs, their model indicates that most regions in Sub-Saharan Africa can get 95% reliable power—meaning customers can use electricity from some combination of solar panels and batteries 95% of the time—for roughly USD$0.40 per kWh. Though that cost is high relative to current costs, their model indicates that with aggressive but plausible future cost declines in decentralized system costs, largely in batteries, these costs would drop to levels competitive with the grid in many parts of the continent in less than a decade.

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The debate over how working memory works https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-debate-over-how-working-memory-works https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-debate-over-how-working-memory-works#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:42:52 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-debate-over-how-working-memory-works

Neuroscientists are debating the nature and meaning of neural activity during the critical moment of working memory when people must hold information in mind.


Scientists present dueling theories in the high-stakes quest to understand how we hold and juggle multiple pieces of information in mind.

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Humans beings on the brink of IMMORTALITY, top scientist claims https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/humans-beings-on-the-brink-of-immortality-top-scientist-claims https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/humans-beings-on-the-brink-of-immortality-top-scientist-claims#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:42:29 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/humans-beings-on-the-brink-of-immortality-top-scientist-claims

Two of the methods he said humans might use were “body part renewal” and linking bodies with machines so that people are living their lives through an android.

But after Dr Pearson’s predictions, immortality may now be a step nearer following the launch of a new start-up.

Human is hoping to make the immortality dream a reality with an ambitious plan.

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The World of A.I. https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-world-of-a-i https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-world-of-a-i#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:02:11 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-world-of-a-i

Judging by the breathless coverage, it can seem as if the only countries developing A.I. are the United States and China. But while companies in those two countries are leading the way in cutting-edge research and products, it’s still early for the industry and other nations are working hard to become major A.I. players. Here are six that could challenge the two juggernauts.


From Singapore to Israel, countries besides the United States and China are striving to play a role in the field of artificial intelligence.

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Please wait… https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/please-wait https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/please-wait#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:44:30 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/please-wait

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Disruptive technology and organized religion https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/disruptive-technology-and-organized-religion https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/disruptive-technology-and-organized-religion#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:42:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/disruptive-technology-and-organized-religion

Even in the era of AI and gene splicing, religious leaders have much to contribute in terms of moral compass and meaning.


At a recent Vatican-sponsored conference, I learned that disruptive technology and organized religion have more in common than not.

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Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/valentina-tereshkova-first-woman-in-space https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/valentina-tereshkova-first-woman-in-space#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 06:42:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/valentina-tereshkova-first-woman-in-space

Valentina Tereshkova was the world’s first woman to go into space. She was also the first to fly without a toothbrush. This is her story.

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CRISPR heals genetic liver disorder in mice https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crispr-heals-genetic-liver-disorder-in-mice https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crispr-heals-genetic-liver-disorder-in-mice#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:43:04 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crispr-heals-genetic-liver-disorder-in-mice

Researchers healed mice with a genetic metabolic disorder that also affects humans by using a new editing tool to target and correct genetic mutations.

Some babies are born with the metabolic disorder phenylketonuria and need a special diet so that the amino acid phenylalanine doesn’t accumulate in the body. Excess phenylalanine delays mental and motor development. If left untreated, the children may develop mental disabilities.

The cause of this metabolic disorder is a mutation in a gene that provides the blueprint for the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (Pah). The enzyme, which is produced by the cells of the liver, metabolizes phenylalanine.

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Crypto Quantique claims launch of first quantum-driven secure chip on silicon to strengthen IoT security https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crypto-quantique-claims-launch-of-first-quantum-driven-secure-chip-on-silicon-to-strengthen-iot-security https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crypto-quantique-claims-launch-of-first-quantum-driven-secure-chip-on-silicon-to-strengthen-iot-security#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:42:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/crypto-quantique-claims-launch-of-first-quantum-driven-secure-chip-on-silicon-to-strengthen-iot-security

UK-based Crypto Quantique has announced the launch of what is being claimed as the world’s most advanced security product for IoT devices – with a quantum edge.

The technology behind this solution includes world’s first quantum driven secure chip (QDSC) on silicon which, when combined with cryptographic APIs, provides highly scalable, easy-to-implement and seamless end-to-end security for any connected device.

Quantum computing differs from classical computing in that it has the potential to find patterns and insights based on data which does not exist, rather than finding patterns in vast amounts of existing data. Its potential applications include improving security through quantum physics and enhancements to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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Rare state of matter is created in space for the first time https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/rare-state-of-matter-is-created-in-space-for-the-first-time https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/rare-state-of-matter-is-created-in-space-for-the-first-time#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:42:32 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/rare-state-of-matter-is-created-in-space-for-the-first-time

The German space agency DLR carried out the tests in January last year on the MAIUS 1 rocket, beating NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory who have also since produced a BEC in space.

The findings have been published this week in the journal Nature.

Scientists at 11 German research facilities miniaturised the technology for the production of Bose-Einstein condensates which normally fills a whole lab room.

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Fermi Constellations https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/fermi-constellations https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/fermi-constellations#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:23:11 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/fermi-constellations

The engines of the most famous vessel in the “Star Trek” universe, the USS Enterprise, are powered by the annihilation of matter and antimatter, a process that produces energy in the form of gamma rays. More than half the gamma-ray sources cataloged by the Fermi mission come from a different type of engine — supermassive black holes in the cores of distant galaxies.

Most large galaxies harbor monster black holes millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. When matter falls toward a supermassive black hole, the center of the host galaxy emits far more light than normal and may flare up unpredictably. Astronomers say such galaxies possess active galactic nuclei, or AGN for short.

Fermi sees the universe in gamma rays, the most energetic form of light. In its first four years, Fermi found more than 1,500 gamma-ray AGN, and it continues to find more.

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Ice shelf’s eerie song could be early warning system for collapse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ice-shelfs-eerie-song-could-be-early-warning-system-for-collapse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ice-shelfs-eerie-song-could-be-early-warning-system-for-collapse#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:22:57 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ice-shelfs-eerie-song-could-be-early-warning-system-for-collapse

Ice shelves perform a vital function in slowing down the rate of glacier melt in Antarctica, so scientists keep an eye on them for signs of collapse. And as the continent’s largest, the Ross Ice Shelf is particularly important. After monitoring seismic activity over a few years, researchers noticed that the Ross Ice Shelf is “singing” – and listening out for changes in that song could be an early warning system for potential problems.

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Vincent Lafforgue Wins The 2019 Breakthrough Prize In Mathematics https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/vincent-lafforgue-wins-the-2019-breakthrough-prize-in-mathematics https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/vincent-lafforgue-wins-the-2019-breakthrough-prize-in-mathematics#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:22:41 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/vincent-lafforgue-wins-the-2019-breakthrough-prize-in-mathematics

The 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics recipient is  https://breakthroughprize.org/Laureates/3/L3838” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://breakthroughprize.org/Laureates/3/L3838”>Vincent Lafforgue of the CNRS and Institut Fourier, Université Grenoble Alpes in France. Lafforgue was awarded the prize “f or ground breaking contributions to several areas of mathematics, in particular to the Langlands program in the function field case,” the Breakthrough Prize https://breakthroughprize.org/Laureates/3/L3838” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://breakthroughprize.org/Laureates/3/L3838”>website notes. (Watch the short video “Vincent Lafforgue: 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics” Click on photo to start video.

target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADLbv6nREyM”>here.) 

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Scientists grow functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/scientists-grow-functioning-human-neural-networks-in-3d-from-stem-cells https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/scientists-grow-functioning-human-neural-networks-in-3d-from-stem-cells#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 01:02:20 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/scientists-grow-functioning-human-neural-networks-in-3d-from-stem-cells

A team of Tufts University-led researchers has developed three-dimensional (3D) human tissue culture models for the central nervous system that mimic structural and functional features of the brain and demonstrate neural activity sustained over a period of many months. With the ability to populate a 3D matrix of silk protein and collagen with cells from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions, the tissue models allow for the exploration of cell interactions, disease progression and response to treatment. The development and characterization of the models are reported today in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

The new 3D brain tissue models overcome a key challenge of previous models –the availability of human source neurons. This is due to the fact that neurological tissues are rarely removed from healthy patients and are usually only available post-mortem from diseased patients. The 3D tissue models are instead populated with human induced (iPSCs) that can be derived from many sources, including patient skin. The iPSCs are generated by turning back the clock on cell development to their embryonic-like precursors. They can then be dialed forward again to any cell type, including neurons.

The 3D brain tissue models were the result of a collaborative effort between engineering and the medical sciences and included researchers from Tufts University School of Engineering, Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and the Jackson Laboratory.

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Sapphire gem-based ‘transparent’ armor protects soldiers from snipers https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sapphire-gem-based-transparent-armor-protects-soldiers-from-snipers https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sapphire-gem-based-transparent-armor-protects-soldiers-from-snipers#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:02:38 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sapphire-gem-based-transparent-armor-protects-soldiers-from-snipers

Made from a synthetic version of the highly-prized sapphire gemstone, new transparent armor is lighter, thinner and pulverizes bullets on impact.

Currently used by the military on powerful missile launchers and state-of-the-art fighter jets, the unusual transparent armor also has wide-ranging potential to protect troops on the battlefield.

Sapphire gems have long been sought after for their stunning blue beauty, but synthetic sapphires are prized for combat applications. The sapphire is harvested synthetically, producing pure sapphires that are transparent like glass — instead of the iconic blue.

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Physicists discovered a new form of flight thanks to dandelion seeds https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicists-discovered-a-new-form-of-flight-thanks-to-dandelion-seeds https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicists-discovered-a-new-form-of-flight-thanks-to-dandelion-seeds#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:02:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicists-discovered-a-new-form-of-flight-thanks-to-dandelion-seeds

The dandelion is to gardeners a common, pesky weed. But its seeds have a unique approach to flight that physicists have never seen before and could inform design.

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A new form of cryptocurrency promises to defy financial gravity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-form-of-cryptocurrency-promises-to-defy-financial-gravity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-form-of-cryptocurrency-promises-to-defy-financial-gravity#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:22:30 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/a-new-form-of-cryptocurrency-promises-to-defy-financial-gravity

Can stablecoins live up to their name?

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The Biotech Innovation That Will Transform Society Has Arrived (Hint: It’s Not CRISPR) https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-biotech-innovation-that-will-transform-society-has-arrived-hint-its-not-crispr https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-biotech-innovation-that-will-transform-society-has-arrived-hint-its-not-crispr#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:22:13 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-biotech-innovation-that-will-transform-society-has-arrived-hint-its-not-crispr

Michael Schein: How did you end up working at the forefront of biology and technology?

Andrew Hessel: I have the strangest career ever. I originally got into the life sciences simply because all the other areas of technology just weren’t that interesting to me. Most technology falls apart and ends up in the junkyard. Cars rust. Even buildings can burn down. But biotech is different because even though organisms die, DNA gets passes on. Unfortunately, as I quickly learned, most scientists make really crappy money. So I thought: Let me find a way to pursue what I’m interested in but in a way that lets me make a good living. With that in mind, I’ve detoured into a medley of different technology companies. Eventually I made my way to work that’s at the intersection of biological research and computers. That’s how I ended up doing what I do now.

Schein: Tell us about the specific kind of biotech that takes up most of your headspace these days.

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IBM finally proves that quantum systems are faster than classicals https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ibm-finally-proves-that-quantum-systems-are-faster-than-classicals https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ibm-finally-proves-that-quantum-systems-are-faster-than-classicals#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:02:28 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ibm-finally-proves-that-quantum-systems-are-faster-than-classicals

IBM researchers provide mathematical proof to Shor’s Algorithm.

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Doctors Can Finally 3D Print Human Tissue, Ligaments and Tendons https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/doctors-can-finally-3d-print-human-tissue-ligaments-and-tendons https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/doctors-can-finally-3d-print-human-tissue-ligaments-and-tendons#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:42:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/doctors-can-finally-3d-print-human-tissue-ligaments-and-tendons

Biomedical engineers have successfully 3D printed human ligaments and tendons, giving hope to patients suffering from tears and ruptures.


After two years of intensive research, biomedical engineers have successfully 3D printed the complex structures of human ligaments and tendons.

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First proof of quantum computer advantage https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-proof-of-quantum-computer-advantage https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-proof-of-quantum-computer-advantage#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 18:42:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/first-proof-of-quantum-computer-advantage

For many years, quantum computers were not much more than an idea. Today, companies, governments and intelligence agencies are investing in the development of quantum technology. Robert König, professor for the theory of complex quantum systems at the TUM, in collaboration with David Gosset from the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and Sergey Bravyi from IBM, has now placed a cornerstone in this promising field.

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The End of Moore’s Law? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-end-of-moores-law https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-end-of-moores-law#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:42:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-end-of-moores-law

This video is the second in a multi-part series discussing computing. In this video, we’ll be discussing computing – more specifically, Moore’s Law with the exponential growth of technology due to our ability to pack more and more transistors into integrated circuits and the potential death of Moore’s Law!

[0:30–3:50] Starting off we’ll look at, how the integrated circuit has shaped the world due to our ability to pack more and more transistors into them, more specifically, in their usage in computing in the form of microprocessors (CPUs) and other computation related hardware.

[3:50–7:11] Following that we’ll discuss, how the transistor will continue to shrink onwards from this year, 2017 and the latest innovations that can shrink them even further, such as FinFETs.

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Dr. James Peyer – A Portfolio Approach To Longevity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/dr-james-peyer-a-portfolio-approach-to-longevity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/dr-james-peyer-a-portfolio-approach-to-longevity#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:22:22 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/dr-james-peyer-a-portfolio-approach-to-longevity

Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union in New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.

Dr. James Peyer is the founder and Managing Partner of Apollo Ventures, an early-stage life science investor and company builder that focuses on breakthrough technologies for treating age-related diseases.

He discusses the strategic paths to bringing longevity-promoting therapeutics to market as quickly as possible, with a particular focus on engaging pharmaceutical companies via disease-focused, proof-of-concept trials.

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Cosmologist Martin Rees gives humanity a 50–50 chance of surviving the 21st century https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/cosmologist-martin-rees-gives-humanity-a-50-50-chance-of-surviving-the-21st-century https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/cosmologist-martin-rees-gives-humanity-a-50-50-chance-of-surviving-the-21st-century#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:22:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/cosmologist-martin-rees-gives-humanity-a-50-50-chance-of-surviving-the-21st-century

‘’In the medieval period, life was miserable and there wasn’t anything people could do to improve it. Today, the gap between the way the world is and the way it could be is enormous.


But he’s still an optimist.

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Elon Musk says ‘Teslaquila’ is ‘coming soon’ as Tesla files trademark https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/elon-musk-says-teslaquila-is-coming-soon-as-tesla-files-trademark https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/elon-musk-says-teslaquila-is-coming-soon-as-tesla-files-trademark#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:42:22 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/elon-musk-says-teslaquila-is-coming-soon-as-tesla-files-trademark

Billionaire tweets ‘visual approximation’ of bottle as company applies to use the name for tequila branded after the electric cars.

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The data revolution: privacy, politics and predictive policing | The Economist https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-data-revolution-privacy-politics-and-predictive-policing-the-economist https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-data-revolution-privacy-politics-and-predictive-policing-the-economist#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:26:01 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-data-revolution-privacy-politics-and-predictive-policing-the-economist

Ms. Powell does not have any easy or obvious ideas for how to address tech’s monoculture. She thinks of her book as starting a conversation. But any solution, she said, will involve “a fundamental, bottoms-up cultural change” — and one that we should not expect to see overnight.


In a satirical new novel, a former Google executive identifies the technology industry’s chief issue: its narrow engineering-focused bubble.

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American tech giants are making life tough for startups https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/american-tech-giants-are-making-life-tough-for-startups https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/american-tech-giants-are-making-life-tough-for-startups#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:22:39 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/american-tech-giants-are-making-life-tough-for-startups

The behemoths’ annual conferences, held to announce new tools, features, and acquisitions, always “send shock waves of fear through entrepreneurs”, says Mike Driscoll, a partner at Data Collective, an investment firm. “Venture capitalists attend to see which of their companies are going to get killed next.” But anxiety about the tech giants on the part of startups and their investors goes much deeper than such events. Venture capitalists, such as Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, who was an early investor in Twitter, now talk of a “kill-zone” around the giants. Once a young firm enters, it can be extremely difficult to survive. Tech giants try to squash startups by copying them, or they pay to scoop them up early to eliminate a threat.


Big, rich and paranoid, they have reams of data to help them spot and buy young firms that might challenge them.

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Sailesh Prasad added a new photo https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sailesh-prasad-added-a-new-photo https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sailesh-prasad-added-a-new-photo#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:42:31 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/sailesh-prasad-added-a-new-photo

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Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring tears to https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawkings-words-from-beyond-the-grave-bring-tears-to https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawkings-words-from-beyond-the-grave-bring-tears-to#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:28:40 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawkings-words-from-beyond-the-grave-bring-tears-to

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, had his final public thoughts broadcast at a special event to launch his last book, Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

Prof Hawking’s words of advice and defiance, echoing from an Imax screen at London’s Science Museum, brought tears to the eyes of his daughter Lucy.

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Stephen Hawking left us bold predictions on AI, superhumans, and aliens https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawking-left-us-bold-predictions-on-ai-superhumans-and-aliens https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawking-left-us-bold-predictions-on-ai-superhumans-and-aliens#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:23:14 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/stephen-hawking-left-us-bold-predictions-on-ai-superhumans-and-aliens

The good news: Humanity will survive climate change. The bad news: The only ones who do will be genetically modified superhumans.

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Weird state of matter produced in space for first time https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/weird-state-of-matter-produced-in-space-for-first-time https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/weird-state-of-matter-produced-in-space-for-first-time#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:22:59 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/weird-state-of-matter-produced-in-space-for-first-time

Atoms cooled to make a Bose-Einstein condensate during on brief rocket flight.

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What is the speed of gravity? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/what-is-the-speed-of-gravity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/what-is-the-speed-of-gravity#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:22:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/what-is-the-speed-of-gravity

According to Einstein’s General Relativity, gravity travels at the speed of light. Proving it is far from simple, though: unlike light, gravity can’t simply be switched on and off, and is also extremely weak.

Over the years, various attempts have been made to measure the speed using studies of astronomical phenomena, such as the time delay of light as it passes through the huge gravitational field of Jupiter. While the results have been broadly in line with Einstein’s prediction, they’ve lacked the precision needed for compelling evidence. That’s now been provided by the celebrated detection of gravitational waves. Analysis of the signals picked up by the two giant LIGO instruments in the US has confirmed that gravity does indeed travel through space at the speed of light.

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We can now customize cancer treatments, tumor https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/we-can-now-customize-cancer-treatments-tumor https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/we-can-now-customize-cancer-treatments-tumor#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:22:29 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/we-can-now-customize-cancer-treatments-tumor

But can any company afford to manufacture one-off medical care?

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Organs are not just bystanders, may be active participants in fighting autoimmune disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/organs-are-not-just-bystanders-may-be-active-participants-in-fighting-autoimmune-disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/organs-are-not-just-bystanders-may-be-active-participants-in-fighting-autoimmune-disease#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 04:39:30 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/organs-are-not-just-bystanders-may-be-active-participants-in-fighting-autoimmune-disease

Findings from mouse study suggest organs affected by autoimmune disease suppress immune cells using methods similar to those used by cancer cells to evade detection.

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West Coast earthquake warning system becomes operational https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/west-coast-earthquake-warning-system-becomes-operational https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/west-coast-earthquake-warning-system-becomes-operational#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 04:22:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/west-coast-earthquake-warning-system-becomes-operational

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Developers testing an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast say its automated alerts are ready to be used more broadly, but not for mass public notification.

U.S. Geological Survey official Doug Given told reporters Wednesday at California Institute of Technology that the ShakeAlert system has transitioned from a production prototype to operational mode.

The system built for California, Oregon and Washington detects an earthquake is occurring and send out alerts that may give warnings of few seconds to perhaps a minute before shaking arrives at locations away from the epicenter.

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Could this venture-backed zero energy house revolutionize the home building industry? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/could-this-venture-backed-zero-energy-house-revolutionize-the-home-building-industry https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/could-this-venture-backed-zero-energy-house-revolutionize-the-home-building-industry#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 04:05:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/could-this-venture-backed-zero-energy-house-revolutionize-the-home-building-industry

Backed by startup incubator Y Combinator, Acre Designs is poised to transform the house building industry with prefabricated, net zero energy homes that are affordable and sustainable.

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AI will impact 100% of jobs, professions, and industries, says IBM’s Ginni Rometty https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ai-will-impact-100-of-jobs-professions-and-industries-says-ibms-ginni-rometty https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ai-will-impact-100-of-jobs-professions-and-industries-says-ibms-ginni-rometty#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 01:04:02 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/ai-will-impact-100-of-jobs-professions-and-industries-says-ibms-ginni-rometty

Give me my data and no one gets hurt (I’ll lease it back to you, no problem:-)


At the Gartner Symposium/ITExpo, Rometty laid out three principles for companies working ethically with AI.

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Extraterrestrials Might Look Like Us, Says Astrobiologist https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/extraterrestrials-might-look-like-us-says-astrobiologist https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/extraterrestrials-might-look-like-us-says-astrobiologist#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:24:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/extraterrestrials-might-look-like-us-says-astrobiologist

Maybe they’re not alien doppelgangers — mirror images of us.

But extraterrestrial life—should it exist—might look “eerily similar to the life we see on Earth,” says Charles Cockell, professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Indeed, Cockell’s new book (The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution, Basic Books, 352 pages) suggests a “universal biology.” Alien adaptations, significantly resembling terrestrial life—from humanoids to hummingbirds—may have emerged on billions of worlds.

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The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study: Howard S. Friedman, Leslie R. Martin: 9780452297708: Amazon.com: Books https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-longevity-project-surprising-discoveries-for-health-and-long-life-from-the-landmark-eight-decade-study-howard-s-friedman-leslie-r-martin-9780452297708-amazon-com-books https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-longevity-project-surprising-discoveries-for-health-and-long-life-from-the-landmark-eight-decade-study-howard-s-friedman-leslie-r-martin-9780452297708-amazon-com-books#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 21:23:32 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-longevity-project-surprising-discoveries-for-health-and-long-life-from-the-landmark-eight-decade-study-howard-s-friedman-leslie-r-martin-9780452297708-amazon-com-books “An extraordinary eighty-year study has led to some unexpected discoveries about long life.”

-O, The Oprah Magazine

For years we have been told to obsessively monitor when we’re angry, what we eat, how much we worry, and how often we go to the gym. So why isn’t everyone healthy? Drawing from the most extensive study of long life ever conducted, The Longevity Project busts many long- held myths, revealing how:

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Plans for a Modular Martian Base on that Would Provide its own Radiation Shielding https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/plans-for-a-modular-martian-base-on-that-would-provide-its-own-radiation-shielding https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/plans-for-a-modular-martian-base-on-that-would-provide-its-own-radiation-shielding#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 18:22:58 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/plans-for-a-modular-martian-base-on-that-would-provide-its-own-radiation-shielding

At this year’s AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, engineer Marco Peroni presented his proposal for a modular Martian base that would provide its own radiation shielding.

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Swedish firm buys Falcon Heavy launch https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/swedish-firm-buys-falcon-heavy-launch https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/swedish-firm-buys-falcon-heavy-launch#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 16:45:03 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/swedish-firm-buys-falcon-heavy-launch

WASHINGTON — A Swedish company with plans for a geostationary communications satellite announced Oct. 16 a contract with SpaceX for a Falcon Heavy launch no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2020.

Ovzon of Solna, Sweden, has not yet purchased the satellite, but paid Eutelsat $1.6 million earlier this year to move one of its satellites to an unspecified Ovzon orbital slot to preserve spectrum rights at that location.

In a statement, Ovzon CEO Per Wahlberg said procurement of the company’s first satellite is “in the final stage,” and that production of an advanced onboard processor started earlier this month.

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Physicist describes the shape of a wormhole https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicist-describes-the-shape-of-a-wormhole https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicist-describes-the-shape-of-a-wormhole#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 16:44:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/physicist-describes-the-shape-of-a-wormhole

A RUDN physicist demonstrated how to describe the shape of any symmetrical wormhole—a black hole that theoretically can be a kind of a portal between any two points in space and time—based on its wave spectrum. The research would help understand the physics of wormholes and better identify their physical characteristics. The article was published in the Physics Letters B journal.

Modern concepts of the universe provide for the existence of wormholes—unusual curvatures in space and time. Physicists imagine a as a black hole through which one can see a distant point of the universe in four dimensions. Astrophysicists are still unable to determine the shape and sizes of precisely, let alone theoretical wormholes. A RUDN physicist has now demonstrated that the shape of a wormhole can be calculated based on observable .

In practice, physicists can observe only indirect properties of wormholes, such as red shift—a downward shift in the frequency of gravitational waves in the course of moving away from an object. Roman Konoplya, a research assistant from the RUDN Institute of Gravitation and Cosmology, the author of the work, used quantum mechanical and geometrical assumptions and showed that the shape and mass of a wormhole can be calculated based on the red shift value and the range of gravitational waves in high frequencies.

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The 69th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, in Bremen, celebrated NewSpace, without Musk, Bezos, and Branson https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-69th-congress-of-the-international-astronautical-federation-in-bremen-celebrated-newspace-without-musk-bezos-and-branson https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-69th-congress-of-the-international-astronautical-federation-in-bremen-celebrated-newspace-without-musk-bezos-and-branson#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:42:44 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/the-69th-congress-of-the-international-astronautical-federation-in-bremen-celebrated-newspace-without-musk-bezos-and-branson

SRI Newsletter #06 2018 Great success both for the public and for the speakers, despite the enrollment fees definitely out of budget for many: more than 6300 registered participants, of which almost 50% very young, more than 2000 papers presented in the various symposia. The title of the Congress was very interesting: “Involving everyone”. This gave the impression that there was plenty of space at the Congress for the themes of civil development in space. The attention to the impetuous development of the NewSpace sector is now felt everywhere, and the most important global space congress could not avoid being impacted. After all, it is thanks to the growth of the NewSpace sector if the IAF Congress has recorded this remarkable success. But which were the predominant themes of the Congress? Has the promise announced in the title been kept? In part, yes, but a lot of work remains to be done. And the main NewSpace entrepreneurs didn’t come to Bremen. Read the whole article.


The 69th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation took place in the halls of the Bremen exhibition center from 1 to 5 October.

Great success both for the public and for the speakers, despite the enrollment fees definitely out of budget for many: more than 6300 registered participants, of which almost 50% very young, more than 2000 papers presented in the various symposia. The title of the Congress was very interesting: “Involving everyone”. This gave the impression that there was plenty of space at the Congress for the themes of civil development in space. The attention to the impetuous development of the NewSpace sector is now felt everywhere, and the most important global space congress could not avoid being impacted. After all, it is thanks to the growth of the NewSpace sector if the IAF Congress has recorded this remarkable success. But which were the predominant themes of the Congress? Has the promise announced in the title been kept? In part, yes, but a lot of work remains to be done.

One aim was to “include everyone”, for example, in the exploration of the Moon. And we have seen some concrete cases of inclusion. The company Part Time Scientists, earlier in the context of the Lunar X-Prize, and then with the development of subsequent innovative projects, has put in place a lunar exploration project, in which some industries not belonging to the aerospace sector are involved as technological partners, as well as sponsors, such as Audi, Nokia, Vodafone. Of course, so far we are talking about exploration, mainly robotics, and not about industrial settlements on the Moon. The Moon Village Association thinks about that and presented their initiatives in a context that is becoming more and more receptive and interesting for many.

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How meditation and psychedelic drugs could fix tribalism https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/how-meditation-and-psychedelic-drugs-could-fix-tribalism https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/how-meditation-and-psychedelic-drugs-could-fix-tribalism#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:24:45 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/how-meditation-and-psychedelic-drugs-could-fix-tribalism

🤔👀😂


Yes, seriously.

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Startups in the Aging Sector — Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/startups-in-the-aging-sector-ending-age-related-diseases-2018 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/startups-in-the-aging-sector-ending-age-related-diseases-2018#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:23:16 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/10/startups-in-the-aging-sector-ending-age-related-diseases-2018

Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union in New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.

Dr. Oliver Medvedik, LEAF vice president and Director of the Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Cooper Union, chaired a panel with a focus on starting up biotech companies and dealing with the challenges inherent to launching a company in this industry.

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