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Oct 8, 2015

Our Aging World: The Striking Statistics About Dementia

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

Today, dementia affects over 46 million people worldwide, by 2050 it will affect more than 131 million people.

Global costs of dementia are estimated at $818 billion. As a result, if dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy.


Dementias are one of the most expensive diseases for the healthcare system as patients require long-term care with daily activities like washing, getting dressed and eating. It has been estimated that the US health care would save an astonishing 40 billion dollars annually if the age of onset for Alzheimer’s disease was delayed by just 5 years. The estimated annual cost of dementia worldwide is 818 billion dollars, more than the current US defence budget. By 2018 the cost may reach a trillion dollars. Remarkably, if dementia were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy on earth.

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Oct 8, 2015

The Dark Side of Antioxidants

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The story of the dark side of antioxidant research isn’t well known outside of medical circles. It’s an unseemly story, profoundly unsettling; it doesn’t fit the “antioxidants are good for you” mantra that sells billions of dollars per year of blueberry- and pomegranate-fortified granola bars.


Not all vitamins are good for all people, all the time. In fact, some can kill you. And guess what? We know where the bodies are buried.

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Oct 8, 2015

The Transhumanist Party Turns 1-Year-Old

Posted by in categories: business, geopolitics, health, transhumanism

https://youtube.com/watch?v=QvDmMWXHeDo

The Transhumanist Party is 1-year-old today:


On October 7th, 2015, the Transhumanist Party will reach its first birthday. Started as way to introduce forward thinking and futurist politics into government, the party has caught on around the world and now has over a dozen national parties. The motto of the Transhumanist Party in America is: Putting Science, Health, and Technology at the Forefront of US Politics.

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Oct 8, 2015

Entanglement: Gravity’s long-distance connection

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, quantum physics

Many researchers find these ideas irresistible. Within the last few years, physicists in seemingly unrelated specialties have converged on this confluence of entanglement, space and wormholes. Scientists who once focused on building error-resistant quantum computers are now pondering whether the universe itself is a vast quantum computer that safely encodes spacetime in an elaborate web of entanglement. “It’s amazing how things have been progressing,” says Van Raamsdonk, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Physicists have high hopes for where this entanglement-spacetime connection will lead them. General relativity brilliantly describes how spacetime works; this new research may reveal where spacetime comes from and what it looks like at the small scales governed by quantum mechanics. Entanglement could be the secret ingredient that unifies these supposedly incompatible views into a theory of quantum gravity, enabling physicists to understand conditions inside black holes and in the very first moments after the Big Bang.

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Oct 7, 2015

Scientist: We’ve grown a nearly full human ‘mini brain’ — CNN.com

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

A Harvard medical pioneer calls it “astounding” — an “incredible achievement” and a “quantum leap forward” in the battle against cancer, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

What’s going on? Scientists at Ohio State University say they’ve figured out a way to grow the genetic equivalent of a nearly complete embryonic human brain.

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Oct 7, 2015

The drone scouts ahead and provides map data to the four-legged robot. (via Vocativ)

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The drone scouts ahead and provides map data to the four-legged robot. (via Vocativ)

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Oct 7, 2015

Google Lunar X Prize team signs contract to send spacecraft to moon

Posted by in category: space

A team of Israeli engineers is the first to advance in an international competition sponsored by Google to send a privately-funded spacecraft to the moon, contest organizers announced Wednesday.

The Israeli nonprofit group SpaceIL has signed a contract with American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX to launch an unmanned spacecraft into lunar orbit — the first step a team must take toward landing on the moon and winning the $20 million grand prize. The launch is expected to take place in the second half of 2017.

Google’s contest is meant to encourage private industry to create new technologies to reach the moon at lower costs than what governments have spent in past lunar expeditions.

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Oct 7, 2015

China now spends more on science than the EU, will soon overtake the US

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, science, space

Maybe we can convince the Chinese to start funding our space program.


On Monday, Chinese scientist Youyou Tu was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of a new malaria therapy. It was remarkable research in its own right, but equally significant is the fact that Tu is the first scientist to ever be awarded a Nobel Prize for work done at a Chinese institution — despite the fact that the country trains more scientists and engineers than any other nation on Earth.

In fact, China now spends more money on research and development than Europe, and by 2020, it’s predicted to outspend the US, as Nature editor Ed Gerstner wrote last month in Research Information. But despite that investment, there’s a big reason for why Chinese science has lagged behind other parts of the world — it has a long history of pumping out dodgy research.

Continue reading “China now spends more on science than the EU, will soon overtake the US” »

Oct 7, 2015

Stem cells from human skin turned into kidney tissue

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

https://youtube.com/watch?v=075Vit5108w

“The result could be a major step towards animal replacement and improved safety screening for drugs, as well as towards transplantable kidneys”


Scientists in Australia succeed in growing ‘organoids’ comparable to early stage of a baby’s kidneys that have collecting ducts and filtering units called nephons.

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Oct 7, 2015

AI Machine Has Same IQ As Four-Year-Old Child

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines can already do several remarkable things: they are far better than humans at performing complex calculations, and they’re pretty good at playing chess. Researchers have once again tested the limits of AI by putting one of the world’s most intelligent AI machines through its paces with an IQ test, and the results are in: it has the same IQ as an average four-year-old child, as reported by MIT Technology Review.

Measuring intelligence through an IQ test is thought to be the best way to determine the intellectual capacity of people from a huge range of human cultures. A team of researchers, led by Stellan Ohlsson at the University of Illinois, decided to apply this concept to an intelligence outside of any normal human culture: an AI machine developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The intelligent machine, dubbed ConceptNet 4, was given a verbal reasoning examination calibrated for four-year-old children. Known as the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, it calculates a child’s IQ by asking a selection of questions from five categories.

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