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Jan 20, 2016

Bionic advances to defeat death

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, finance, life extension, transhumanism

Life extension story in Financial Times:

People have long dreamt of extending the human lifespan from the biblical “three score years and 10” (70) to reach Methuselah’s 969 and beyond.

Demographic statistics show remarkable progress in fending off death, at least in the developed world. In reality, average life expectancy in biblical times was not 70 but about 35 years. In Britain this rose to about 50 in 1900, 76 in 1990 and 82 today.

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Jan 20, 2016

New player Masten eyes Space Coast for launches, research

Posted by in categories: business, space

A scrappy but successful startup in the space industry, Masten Space Systems, is making new moves toward opening an office at Cape Canaveral.

Masten recently hired former NASA engineer Jason Hopkins as a business-development scout at Kennedy Space Center.

“I’m basically paving the way to get us set up here and have an office here,” Hopkins said. “Masten is a very small, efficient company, with about 30 people total at the Mojave (Calif.) Air and Space Port. We are considering another office here with the same capabilities.”

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Jan 20, 2016

These New Nanoscale Robots Make “Molecular Assembly Lines”

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, robotics/AI

UK researchers have developed nanoscale robots that can potentially replicate the traditional factory assembly line, except on a tiny, tiny scale.

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Jan 20, 2016

Monkey ‘has successful head transplant’

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

WARNING: Graphic picture. Dr Sergio Canavero says he carried out the surgery on the monkey “without any neurological injury of whatever kind”

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Jan 20, 2016

Water Repellent Metal

Posted by in category: futurism

Meet the metal that repels water…

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Jan 20, 2016

Netflix CEO Provides Update on China; AI to Play Bigger Role

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Very interesting; the key to Netflix expansion into China is “AI”.

Netflix, Inc. NFLX CEO yesterday provided some updates regarding the company’s expansion into China and his vision of using artificial intelligence technologies for growth at the ongoing DLD Conference in Munich.

CEO Reed Hastings stated that “It may be soon that we have a license in China, or it may take a couple years, but we’re going to be very patient.” Netflix recently expanded to over 190 countries across the globe but it has not been able to enter China. It has been in talks with the Chinese government and other partners like Wasu Media Holding Co. to enter the online video market over there.

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Jan 19, 2016

A self-assembling molecular nanoswitch

Posted by in categories: electronics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, supercomputing

Interesting article about nanoswitches and how this technology enables the self-assembly of molecules. This actually does help progress many efforts such as molecular memory devices, photovoltaics, gas sensors, light emission, etc. However, I see the potential use in nanobot technology as it relates to future alignment mappings with the brain.

Molecular nanoswitch: calculated adsorption geometry of porphine adsorbed at copper bridge site (credit: Moritz Müller et al./J. Chem. Phys.)

Technical University of Munich (TUM) researchers have simulated a self-assembling molecular nanoswitch in a supercomputer study.

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Jan 19, 2016

Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt away

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

Another interesting find from KurzweilAI.

Artist’s rendering of bioresorbable implanted brain sensor (top left) connected via biodegradable wires to external wireless transmitter (ring, top right) for monitoring a rat’s brain (red) (credit: Graphic by Julie McMahon)

Researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a new class of small, thin electronic sensors that can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull — crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery — then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage.

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Jan 19, 2016

The US Military Wants a Chip to Translate Your Brain Activity Into Binary Code

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering, military, neuroscience, supercomputing

It’s been a weird day for weird science. Not long after researchers claimed victory in performing a head transplant on a monkey, the US military’s blue-sky R&D agency announced a completely insane plan to build a chip that would enable the human brain to communicate directly with computers. What is this weird, surreal future?

It’s all real, believe it or not. Or at least DARPA desperately wants it to be. The first wireless brain-to-computer interface actually popped up a few years ago, and DARPA’s worked on various brain chip projects over the years. But there are shortcomings to existing technology: According to today’s announcement, current brain-computer interfaces are akin to “two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem.” They just aren’t fast enough for truly transformative neurological applications, like restoring vision to a blind person. This would ostensibly involve connect a camera that can transmit visual information directly to the brain, and the implant would translate the data into neural language.

To accomplish this magnificent feat, DARPA is launching a new program called Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) that stands to squeeze some characteristically bonkers innovation out of the science community. In a press release, the agency describes what’s undoubtedly the closest thing to a Johnny Mneumonic plot-line you’ve ever seen in real life. It reads:

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Jan 19, 2016

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

Posted by in categories: electronics, engineering, neuroscience, supercomputing

A new DARPA program aims to develop an implantable neural interface able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world. The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology. The goal is to achieve this communications link in a biocompatible device no larger than one cubic centimeter in size, roughly the volume of two nickels stacked back to back.

The program, Neural Engineering System Design (NESD), stands to dramatically enhance research capabilities in neurotechnology and provide a foundation for new therapies.

“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

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