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Sep 8, 2016

NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Posted by in category: space travel

LIVE NOW: We’re launching to an asteroid! Watch live coverage of our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft lift off at 7:05 p.m. EDT aboard an Atlas V rocket on a mission to explore asteroid Bennu and return a sample to Earth.

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Sep 8, 2016

DARPA developing security tools for gene editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, military, security

DARPA’s answer in defending the US from Gene Editing Warfare.

DARPA has announced a new program to develop security procedures and remedial protocols to protect against the misuse of gene editing technologies.

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Sep 8, 2016

Bacteria supply their allies with munitions

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Many bacteria possess molecular spear guns, which they fire at enemies and rivals, thus putting them out of action. The tips of these nano-spear guns, known as Type VI secretion system (T6SS), are loaded with toxic molecules that lead to death of their adversaries. However, sometimes close related bacteria come under fire. The team of Prof. Marek Basler, infection biologist at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, has shown for the first time, that in contrast to their enemies the harpooned sister cells actually profit from the attack: After a T6SS injection, they are able to reuse specific proteins to produce their own spear guns. Thus the related bacterial strains help each other to enlarge their arsenal of weapons and to fight their competitors.

Bacteria harpoon their opponents — and their allies.

The T6SS is firmly attached to the bacterial cell envelop. The tiny spear with a sharp tip is surrounded by a flexible sheath. “When bacteria fire their spear guns, the sheath rapidly contracts in just a few milliseconds and ejects the spear out of the cell into by-standing bacteria,” says Basler describing the mechanism. “The attackers then recycle the harpoon proteins remaining in the cell.” In this maneuver, the bacteria also hit related bacterial strains that do the same as the attackers: They disassemble the harpoon into their protein components and reuse these for new T6SS assembly.

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Sep 8, 2016

Measuring forces in the DNA molecule

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

DNA, our genetic material, normally has the structure of a twisted rope ladder. Experts call this structure a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded at measuring these forces for the very first time on the level of single base pairs. This new knowledge could help to construct precise molecular machines out of DNA. The researchers published their findings in the journal Science.

Over 60 years ago, the researchers Crick and Watson identified the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, which is more commonly known as DNA. They compared the double helix to a rope ladder that had been twisted into a spiral. The rungs of this ladder consisted of guanine/cytosine and thymine/adenine . But what keeps the DNA strands in that spiral structure?

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Sep 8, 2016

Carbon Nanotube Transistors Twice As Efficient As Silicon, Study Shows

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have shown for the first time that transistors fashioned out of carbon nanotubes are actually twice as efficient as regular silicon varieties. This comes after decades of research regarding how carbon nanotubes can be used to design the next generation of computers. Speaking about the breakthrough, recently published in the Science Advances journal, Michael Arnold, a member of the team, said:

Making carbon nanotube transistors that are better than silicon transistors is a big milestone. This achievement has been a dream of nanotechnology for the last 20 years.

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Sep 8, 2016

An AI upgrade for your brain, Elon Musk teases the Neural Lace

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, nanotechnology, neuroscience, robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

Worried that AI’s one day could make us their pets Elon Musk is teasing a new brain-hacking tech

There’s no doubting that Elon Musk is one busy guy. Whether he’s trying to land on Mars with SpaceX, running Tesla, buying SolarCity, investing in the future of AI, building Giga factories or throwing out Hyperloop concepts for fun but it’s increasingly apparent that he’s giving a huge amount of thought to the day when advanced AI’s become the most intelligent form of “life” on the planet.

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Sep 8, 2016

It’s time we empower everybody with biotechnology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education

BioBuilder promises a way forward for biology education.

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Sep 8, 2016

Neuroscience: Linking perception to action

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Not surprised by these findings.

A UC Santa Barbara researcher studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action has a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement.

“Mapping perception to a future action seems simple,” UCSB neuroscientist Michael Goard. “We do it all the time when we see a traffic light and use that information to guide our later motor action. However, how these associations are mapped across time in the brain is not well understood.”

In a new paper, published in the journal eLife, Goard and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology make progress in mapping brain activity in mice during simple but fundamental cognitive tasks. Although a mouse’s brain is much smaller than a human’s, remarkable structural similarities exist. The mouse brain is composed of about 75 million nerve cells or neurons, which are wired together in complex networks that unerlie sophisticated behaviors.

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Sep 8, 2016

Build Your Own Starfleet With These Customized 3D-Printed Star Trek Ships

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, space travel

Ever wanted your own Starship Fleet designed by you? Well, now you can have it.

In Star Trek Online, aspiring captains can take the helm of one of more than 400 different ships that can be further personalized with custom color schemes, materials, shields, and capabilities. And now thanks to Eucl3D, a 3D printing company, those ships can be brought into the real world.

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Sep 8, 2016

There’s a New Xerox Machine in Town, And It Can 3D Print on Any Object

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, futurism


Xerox has just demoed its latest printer—the Direct to Object Inkjet Printer—that is capable of printing on any 3D object there is.

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