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Nov 15, 2015

Maybe the Whole Universe Won’t Suddenly Collapse Into an Uninhabitable Void

Posted by in category: quantum physics

A new study offers some reassurance.

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Nov 15, 2015

Leading Harvard physicist has a radical new theory for why humans exist

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, physics

Where do we come from? There are many right answers to this question, and the one you get often depends on who you ask.

For example, an astrophysicist might say that the chemical components of our bodies were first forged in the nuclear fires of stars.

On the other hand, an evolutionary biologist might look at the similarities between our DNA and that of other primates’ and conclude we evolved from apes.

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Nov 15, 2015

Artificial Intelligence: Scientists Create Cognitive System to Help Solve Our Problems

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Scientists are using artificial intelligence tech developed by IBM to help researchers and students get reliable answers to their questions.

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Nov 15, 2015

Tesla Now Faces a Billionaire-Backed Competitor Staffed by Its Former Engineers

Posted by in category: transportation

Many people thought this might be the Apple Car.

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Nov 15, 2015

Vivek Wadhwa: Get Ready for The Next Wave of Tech Disruptions

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, robotics/AI

Futurist Vivek Wadhwa predicts change “at a scale which is unimaginable before,” thanks to advances in technologies like robotics and 3D printing. “New trillion dollar industries will wipe out out existing trillion dollar industries,” he says. “This is the future we’re headed into, for better or for worse.”

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Nov 15, 2015

Lost And Found: Can We Restore Forgotten Memories?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Memories are priceless, and the plight of dementia patients highlights how important they are to forming what makes us, well us. Now a new study has provided hope we may one day be able to restore lost memories.

Clearing the mist

A paper from researchers at MIT has demonstrated the reactivation of memories in amnesia patients with optogenetics — in which cell activity is controlled by bursts of light.

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Nov 15, 2015

Asteroid Resources Could Create Space Habs For Trillions; Land Area Of A Thousand Earths

Posted by in category: space

Planet dwellers like us naturally look first to other moons and planets for colonization. Yet, asteroids have enough resources to build space habs for trillions, with the same living space per person as for Earth.

The idea is to use the materials from the asteroids and NEOs to make new habitats. This gives far more living space than the amount you get if you hollow asteroids out, and live inside them.

The Moon and Mars are our only choices for surface colonization in the near future. Neither is a second Earth; both have many issues at present, especially, the almost total lack of atmosphere. Technically, Mars does have an atmosphere, true, enough for winds and dust storms, but it is so thin it would count as a laboratory vacuum on Earth.

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Nov 14, 2015

Reports of Robots Stealing 50% of Jobs in the US and UK Are Totally Alarmist

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

It’s being reported that a Bank of England official forecasts that in the next 10 to 20 years, smart robots will steal 80 million jobs from Americans and 15 million jobs from Britons—over half the workforce of each nation. I smell BS.

In a speech delivered yesterday by Bank economist Andy Haldane at the Trades Union Congress in London, he predicted that robots could quickly “hollow out” the middle class, shrinking the need for human-only skills, especially in clerical, production, and administrative jobs.

It’s true—I think robots will appear more in those sectors. But for every “robot overload” doom-and-gloom claim, there is a calming rebuttal of reason.

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Nov 14, 2015

Single Artificial Neuron Taught to Recognize Hundreds of Patterns

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI

Biologists have long puzzled over why neurons have thousands of synapses. Now neuroscientists have shown they are crucial not just for recognizing patterns but for learning the sequence in which they appear.

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Nov 14, 2015

Blood-brain barrier opened non-invasively for the first time in humans, using focused ultrasound

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

Opening up the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs (credit: Focused Ultrasound Foundation)

The blood-brain barrier has been non-invasively opened in a human patient for the first time. A team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto used focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier (BBB), allowing for effective delivery of chemotherapy into a patient’s malignant brain tumor.

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