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Sep 4, 2015

The Longevity Dividend

Posted by in category: life extension

Investments in Longevity Could Really Pay Off


With a ‘silver tsunami’ ahead, tackling aging makes all kinds of sense — and could reap rich rewards.

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Sep 4, 2015

This Presidential Candidate Is Promising Immortality

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension, transhumanism

AOL running an energetic 2-min video on transhumanism and longevity on their morning show:


Zoltan Istvan of the Transhumanist Party is running for President on one platform: longevity.

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Sep 4, 2015

The Genomics Revolution: Building An App Store For Genomes

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Your DNA contains a huge amount of information, and it’s getting cheaper and easier to sequence it every day. The problem now is not the sequencing, but what you can actually learn from the information — if you can at all. We’re pretty good at reading off the code nowadays, but the vast majority of it is still a mystery. While there are many companies that will sequence your DNA for a relatively cheap fee, there’s no unified platform directing you to companies who can actually make sense of the code for you; after all there’s not much use having information if you have no idea what it means. Starting with a $100 million investment and partners including Illumina (a world leader in sequencing), new company Helix aims to change this by building a sort of genome ‘App store’ — putting you in touch with your DNA.

Helix wants to act like a hub, connecting you with the right companies and enabling you to find out information you want on your very own genome. As sequencing expands, buoyed by the precision medicine drive, we’re learning more and more about our DNA. This platform hopes to bring all these developments together so that discoveries can trickle through to individuals at home trying to decipher their own genomes.

”Genomics is reaching an inflection point in cost, volumes, and knowledge, creating a significant opportunity to unlock information that is currently not widely accessible to individuals”

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Sep 4, 2015

New General Relativity Area law theory suggests time runs backward inside a blackhole

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Black holes are known to have many strange properties, such as that they allow nothing—not even light—to escape after falling in. A lesser known but equally bizarre property is that black holes appear to “know” what happens in the future in order to form in the first place. However, this strange property arises from the way in which black holes are defined, which has motivated some physicists to explore alternative definitions.

They reported a new area law in general relativity that is based on an interpretation of black holes as curved geometric objects called “holographic screens.”

“The so-called teleology of the black hole event horizon is an artifact of the way in which physicists define an event horizon: the event horizon is defined with respect to infinite future elapsed time, so by definition it ‘knows’ about the entire fate of the universe,” Engelhardt told Phys.org. “In general relativity, the black hole event horizon cannot be observed by any physical observer in finite time, and there isn’t a sense in which the black hole as an entity knows about future infinity. It is simply a convenient way of describing black holes.”

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Sep 4, 2015

VASIMR: Here’s How we Might Reach Mars in 39 Days

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The first VASIMR experiment was conducted at MIT in 1983 on their magnetic mirror device plasma device, and in 1998 ASPL created the first VASIMR rocket, the VX-10. By 2005 the ASPL had created the VX-50, which was capable of up to 50kW of plasma discharge. So, what’s so significant about this design?

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Sep 3, 2015

Bitcoin Network Stress Test Could Occur Next Week

Posted by in category: bitcoin

The controversial group behind several bitcoin ‘stress tests’ has confirmed it will push ahead with its biggest experiment to date.

Speaking to CoinDesk, CoinWallet COO James Wilson said the test – which could reportedly cause a 30-day backlog of transactions – would be executed at 10am Thursday (GMT) next week.

The mysterious group, which sees its work as a drastic but necessary demonstration of Bitcoin XT’s need, has been criticised by some users for “bullying” a live network worth several billion dollars.

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Sep 3, 2015

Lyfe

Posted by in category: media & arts

With the standard of a gamified social media, two young adults meet for a date with the expectation of personal fulfillment.

Alex Stanton’s Thesis Project for Full Sail University’s Digital Cinematography Bachelor’s of Science program.

Directed by: Alex Stanton vimeo.com/alexstanton, Brent Howard.
Story by: Pride. St. Clair.
Cinematography by: Josh Russell vimeo.com/joshrussell
Original Music Composed by: Josh Wilson.
Title Design: Chris Koelsch vimeo.com/thisnthat
Starring: Justin Stanton.
Lissy Smith vimeo.com/user9221474
Dylan Stretchbery vimeo.com/user27301393
Daniel Lee Robertson III

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Sep 3, 2015

Live: AMA with a scientist who is working on a way to “laser print” neurons

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Reddit AMAs are such a great feature. They’re one of the (admittedly few) redeeming features that keep the community interesting enough to follow, despite all the crap that the site otherwise plays host to.

In this Ask Me Anything, a series in which a notable person stays with a Reddit topic to answer Redditors’ questions, Matt Thomson from the UC San Francisco explains how he and the team he works with are able to use coloured light to get stem cells to develop in such a way as to form otherwise rare neurons, and similar cells that have until recently been beyond cellular biologists’ grasp. Here’s a video to get you started:

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Sep 3, 2015

Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

A few lines in a seemingly routine RAND Corp. report on the future of technology and law enforcement last week raised a provocative question: Should police have the power to take control of a self-driving car?

Human drivers are required to pull over when a police officer gestures for them to do so. It’s reasonable to expect that self-driving cars would do the same. To look at it another way: Self-driving cars are programmed to stop at red lights and stop signs. Surely they should also be programmed to stop when a police officer flags them down. It is, after all, the law.

It’s clear, then, that police officers should have some power over the movements of self-driving cars. What’s less clear is where to draw the line. If a police officer can command a self-driving car to pull over for his own safety and that of others on the road, can he do the same if he suspects the passenger of a crime? And what if the passenger doesn’t want the car to stop—can she override the command, or does the police officer have ultimate control? – Slate, Aug. 24, 2015

Continue reading “Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?” »

Sep 3, 2015

Startup claims a breakthrough in brain-like computing on chips

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI, transportation

A small, Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company called Knowm claims it will soon begin commercializing a state-of-the-art technique for building computing chips that learn. Other companies, including HP HPQ and IBM IBM, have already invested in developing these so-called brain-based chips, but Knowm says it has just achieved a major technological breakthrough that it should be able to push into production hopefully within a few years.

The basis for Knowm’s work is a piece of hardware called a memristor, which functions (warning: oversimplification coming) by mimicking synapses in the brain. Rather than committing certain information to a software program and traditional computing memory, memristors are able to “learn” by strengthening the electrical charge between two resistors (the “ristor” part of memristor) much like synapses strengthen connections between commonly used neurons in the brain.

Done correctly—and this is the result that HP and IBM are after—memristors can make computer chips much smarter, but also very energy efficient. That could mean data centers that don’t use as much energy as small towns, as well as more viable robotics, driverless cars, and other autonomous devices. Alex Nugent, Knowm’s founder and CEO, says memristors—especially the ones his company is working on—offer “a massive leap in efficiency” over traditional CPUs, GPUs, and other hardware now used to power artificial intelligence workloads.

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