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Nov 19, 2015

Dark matter dominates in nearby dwarf galaxy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Dark matter is called “dark” for a good reason. Although they outnumber particles of regular matter by more than a factor of 10, particles of dark matter are elusive. Their existence is inferred by their gravitational influence in galaxies, but no one has ever directly observed signals from dark matter. Now, by measuring the mass of a nearby dwarf galaxy called Triangulum II, Assistant Professor of Astronomy Evan Kirby may have found the highest concentration of dark matter in any known galaxy.

Triangulum II is a small, faint galaxy at the edge of the Milky Way, made up of only about 1,000 stars. Kirby measured the mass of Triangulum II by examining the velocity of six stars whipping around the galaxy’s center. “The galaxy is challenging to look at,” he says. “Only six of its stars were luminous enough to see with the Keck telescope.” By measuring these stars’ velocity, Kirby could infer the gravitational force exerted on the stars and thereby determine the mass of the galaxy.

“The total mass I measured was much, much greater than the mass of the total number of stars—implying that there’s a ton of densely packed dark matter contributing to the total mass,” Kirby says. “The ratio of dark matter to luminous matter is the highest of any galaxy we know. After I had made my measurements, I was just thinking—wow.”

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Nov 18, 2015

Nvidia unveils Pascal specifics — up to 16GB of VRAM, 1TB of bandwidth

Posted by in category: computing

Nvidia shared some more details on its upcoming Pascal architecture for 2016 — the new GPU will offer 1TB/s of memory bandwidth and up to 16GB of VRAM.

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Nov 18, 2015

Smallest-possible Diamonds Form Ultra-thin Nanothread

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A team has, for the first time, discovered how to produce ultra-thin “diamond nanothreads” that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today’s strongest nanotubes and polymer fibers. Such exceedingly strong, stiff, and light materials have an array of potential applications, everything from more-fuel efficient vehicles or even the science fictional-sounding proposal for a “space elevator.”

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Nov 18, 2015

Face transplant

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Here’s how doctors pulled off the most complicated face transplant ever.

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Nov 18, 2015

Fresh Voices: Researchers Grow New Vocal Cords From Cells

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

As many as 20 million Americans have impaired voices because of damage to the vocal cords — more precisely, vocal folds — the researchers report in the journal Science Translational Medicine. There’s no good solution for them now.

Organs for transplant are always in short supply and no one’s really tried transplanting vocal folds into a living patient, the team said. They decided to try growing new ones.

It’s not an easy thing to do. The tissue that makes up vocal folds is extremely specialized. Not just any old tissue will do the job.

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Nov 18, 2015

Apple to Introduce 100% Solar-Powered Retail Store

Posted by in categories: policy, solar power, sustainability

Tech behemoth Apple is set to become the first completely solar-powered company in Singapore.

As part of a long-term partnership with Sunseap Group, Apple will draw upon Sunseap’s vast network of more than 800 solar panel-equipped buildings, which will satisfy the energy requirements for the company’s forthcoming 2,500-person corporate campus and retail store operations in Singapore.

According to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, the company aims to completely kick its dependence on fossil fuels and rely instead on renewable energy sources for its facilities worldwide.

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Nov 18, 2015

Nick Bostrom: It would be a great tragedy if artificial superintelligence is never developed

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Bostrom tells IBTimes UK that advanced AI creation is on the path to the ‘best possible future’.

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Nov 18, 2015

Inexplicable Superconductor Fractals Hint at Higher Universal Laws

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

What seemed to be flaws in the structure of a mystery metal may have given physicists a glimpse into as-yet-undiscovered laws of the universe.

The qualities of a high-temperature superconductor — a compound in which electrons obey the spooky laws of quantum physics, and flow in perfect synchrony, without friction — appear linked to the fractal arrangements of seemingly random oxygen atoms.

Those atoms weren’t thought to matter, especially not in relation to the behavior of individual electrons, which exist at a scale thousands of times smaller. The findings, published Aug. 12 in Nature, are a physics equivalent of discovering a link between two utterly separate dimensions.

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Nov 18, 2015

Three Alternative Fusion Projects That Are Making Progress

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists pin their hopes on new magnets and fast lasers.

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Nov 18, 2015

Samsung is making a flip phone that looks like it’s from 2004

Posted by in category: mobile phones

With a glass and metal design reminiscent of the Galaxy S6, it could prove pretty popular.

It’s actually quite difficult to buy a phone these days that isn’t a buttonless smartphone — leaving people who prefer a physical keyboard (they still exist, as the Blackberry Priv shows) without many options.

The market for this phone might be fairly niche, but if it satisfies users’ nostalgia and actually works it could be a success.

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