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Jan 28, 2016

How to Build a Starship — and Why We Should Start Thinking About It Now

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, engineering, nanotechnology, space travel

With a growing number of Earth-like exoplanets discovered in recent years, it is becoming increasingly frustrating that we can’t visit them. After all, our knowledge of the planets in our own solar system would be pretty limited if it weren’t for the space probes we’d sent to explore them.

The problem is that even the nearest stars are a very long way away, and enormous engineering efforts will be required to reach them on timescales that are relevant to us. But with research in areas such as nuclear fusion and nanotechnology advancing rapidly, we may not be as far away from constructing small, fast interstellar space probes as we think.

There’s a lot at stake. If we ever found evidence suggesting that life might exist on a planet orbiting a nearby star, we would most likely need to go there to get definitive proof and learn more about its underlying biochemistry and evolutionary history. This would require transporting sophisticated scientific instruments across interstellar space.

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Jan 28, 2016

AI Benchmark Will ask Computers to Make Sense of the World

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

At this rate of making machines to behave and interact like humans; we may end up with a world with some really messed up robots.

A new database will gauge progress in artificial intelligence, as computers try to grasp what’s going on in scenes shown in photographs.

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Jan 28, 2016

Elon Musk to unveil Mars plans this year, wants to go to space by 2020 — By Eric Berger | Ars Technica

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space, space travel


“Musk hopes to discuss the Mars plans in September at an international space meeting.”

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Jan 28, 2016

Politicians are so predictable, a robot can literally write their speeches

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

On a mire humerous note:
AI and particularly robots; can easily pick up on people’s patterns/ styles to the point where they can write your speeches and possibly develop your PowerPoint presentations. Procrastinators will no longer have to stress about pulling their slides together, interns will have more availability to work on projects, and politicians will sound like a pro with this robot.

BTW — the robot in this articile was so good at mimicking the politician; that the robot (just the politician) in the speech kept thanking everyone in the chamber after it yielded time back to the speaker. Maybe our politicians will start sending their robots to vote for them in the future.

Computer researchers have created programs that can do the job quite nicely, explains Brian Fung.

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Jan 28, 2016

When man’s best friend is a robot!

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Man’s best friend could eventually be a robot — could it happen?

Scientists at Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems Research, University of Lincoln, UK, have developed robots that can be companions for people.

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Jan 28, 2016

Palestinian university students design robot controlled by glove

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

A robot manipulated by a glove & it only cost them $150 USD.

Computer engineering students Mohammad Zyoud, Mohammad Atiyyeh and Suhaib Tawafsheh spent eight months working on the self-funded project which cost them around 150 USD.”

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Jan 28, 2016

This Robot Changes How It Looks at You to Match Your Personality

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Interesting article in how folks are trying to do more work on personalizing robots to people’s moods; etc.

How you look at a robot and how it looks at you can make you more comfortable.

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Jan 28, 2016

Post-transcriptional control of gene expression: mRNA decay

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Could we actually start seeing some standards around CRISPR being proposed & implemented around CRISPR?

Bethesda, MD –This SRC will present the very latest developments in this field, with talks by leading international experts working with both prokaryotic and eukaryotic models. This unique blend from the two communities is always much appreciated by attendees of this meeting and one of its main highlights. The topics covered will include events occurring at both the 5’ and 3’ ends of mRNA related to decay, the links between translation, quality control and mRNA stability, and the relationship between RNA degradation and disease. Two full sessions will be devoted to mechanisms of sRNA, CRISPR RNA and miRNA regulation and how they pertain to mRNA stability. The meeting is traditionally of a very manageable size (typically about 120 attendees), providing unrestricted access to students and post-docs for dynamic discussions with more established scientists and potential future employers. Informal Meet the Expert sessions will be held over lunch, with assigned tables to selected speakers.

There will be a total of 9 very broad-ranging sessions over the 4 days, with 36 invited speakers at the top of their fields and two internationally renowned keynote speakers, Chris Lima and Jörg Vogel. Speakers are encouraged to present their most recent and unpublished data. There will be two poster sessions and 2–3 additional speakers per session will be chosen to give oral presentations, based on the submitted abstracts. This promises to be a very interesting and lively meeting in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. We hope to see you there!

Continue reading “Post-transcriptional control of gene expression: mRNA decay” »

Jan 28, 2016

Phospholipid signaling in cancer, neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease

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

Now, this is intriguing — pathways are a critical part of our system that monitors and manages how our bodies respond and interact to changes in our bodies. This recent SRC report focuses on the researchers efforts in monitoring pathways and how defects in pathways contribute to the biology and pathophysiology of cancer.

Bethesda, MD — This SRC focuses on new developments in the biology of lipid signaling with an emphasis on cancer, neuronal and cardiovascular diseases. The emphasis will be on molecular, cellular, structure/function and enzymatic mechanisms of physiological signaling pathways and how defects in these pathways contribute to the biology and pathophysiology of cancer, neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease. The focus will be on how diacylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, lysophospholipids, sphingolipids and phosphoinositide lipids modulate specific pathways and processes in the contexts of physiological growth-regulatory signals, intracellular and extracellular vesicular trafficking, regulation of cell polarization, migration, motility and invasion, autophagy and epithelial extrusion, and as nuclear regulators of mRNA processing and gene expression. These sessions will include discussions on how signaling becomes dysfunctional in diseases. There will be presentations on new translational approaches and therapeutic targets. There will be significant representation from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in order to facilitate networking between industry and academia. The topic areas have been chosen to maximize discussion of provocative and important developments.

We particularly wish to encourage the participation of new and junior researchers in the field and are securing additional support to provide PhD/postdoctoral fellow travel awards. Organizers have kept multiple short session speaking slots open. These will be selected from novel advances during 2015–2016 and from submitted abstracts. There will be multiple opportunities for new investigators and postdoctoral fellows to present and discuss their work including at poster sessions, short talks and short 5–10 minute oral ‘research snapshots’ to highlight their submitted abstracts. There will be multiple poster sessions during the conference. Time will also be allocated to at least two “meet the expert sessions” wherein established research leaders will dedicate time to interact with trainees and new investigators, specifically to give advice concerning the science and possible prospects for postdoctoral training, research funding, publishing or employment tracks.

Continue reading “Phospholipid signaling in cancer, neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease” »

Jan 28, 2016

Musician receives brain surgery while playing guitar

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience


A patient playing guitar looks odd in a surgery but actually helps doctors detect his brain signals.

A 57-year-old guitar musician received a brain operation in Shenzhen on Jan 25 as he played his guitar through the whole session.

The patient suffered a rare neurological disease called musician’s dystonia.

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