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Aug 20, 2015

NASA: No, There Isn’t a Deadly Asteroid Heading Right For Us

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

EXCLUSIVE: Could this asteroid destroy Earth in just SIX weeks? According to NASA, the answer is “absolutely not, you imbeciles.”

NASA issued an official statement about the conspiracy-web theory that an asteroid is heading for the Atlantic with an impact on September 23rd. “That’s the rumor that has gone viral–now here are the facts,” the agency writes. “There is no scientific basis–not one shred of evidence–that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates,” says the manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object office, Paul Chodas.

Who could be perpetrating such rumors? The theory has actually been around for years, but it’s picked up steam over the past month or two. Unsurprisingly, a major role has been played by InfoWars, which has built a business out of circulating conspiracy theories about the government, impending apocalypse, and the shadowy machinations of world powers. “We are simply taking a look at what has being said,” says InfoWars’ John Bowne in a video about the forthcoming asteroid strike. Just a simple look! So what’s being said?

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Aug 20, 2015

SpaceLiner: Europe-Australia, 90 minutes, Europe-US, one hour

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

In aviation circles, the talk of the future involves phrases like “space planes” and “hypersonic atmospheric flight vehicles.” A group presently in the spotlight is from Germany; they are carrying a roadmap for low-cost space access which involves calling upon the air passenger market for fast-travel flights.

Welcome to the world of SpaceLiner, which, when fully developed, could have dramatic impact in global aerospace. The DLR Institute of Space Systems said this suborbital, hypersonic, winged passenger transport idea is under investigation at DLR-SART. (DLR is a German aerospace research agency and it evaluates complex systems of space flight. SART is Space Launcher Systems Analysis.)

SpaceLiner is a rocket-propelled intercontinental passenger transport, described by the institute as a two-stage vehicle powered by rocket propulsion.

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Aug 20, 2015

Wormhole Created in Lab Makes Invisible Magnetic Field

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists have created a so-called magnetic wormhole that transports a magnetic field from one point to the other without being detected.

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Aug 20, 2015

Tech’s Biggest Ideas and How They Take Hold — With Marc Andreessen and Dan Siroker | Andreessen Horowitz

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, cryptocurrencies, encryption, internet, mobile phones, polls, robotics/AI, transparency, virtual reality

Aug 20, 2015

Peto’s Paradox: Why Don’t Larger Animals Get Cancer More Often?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, life extension

If cancer is predominantly a random process, then why don’t organisms with thousands of times more cells suffer more from cancer? Large species like whales and elephants generally live longer, not shorter lives, so how are they protected against the threat of cancer?

While we have a great deal more to learn when it comes to cancer biology, the general belief is that it arises first from mutation. It’s becoming clear it’s actually an incredibly complicated process, requiring a range of variable factors such as mutation, epigenetic alteration and local environment change (like inflammation). While some students may have spent sleepless nights wondering how many mutated cells they contain after learning the fallibility of our replication mechanisms, the reality is that with such an error rate we should all be ridden with cancer in childhood — but we’re not. Our canine companions sadly often succumb around their 1st decade, but humans are actually comparatively good at dealing with cancer. We live a relatively long time in the mammal kingdom for our size and even in a modern environment, it’s predominantly an age-related disease.

While evolution may have honed replication accuracy, life itself requires ‘imperfection’ to evolve. We needed those occasional errors in germ cells to allow evolution. If keeping the odd error is either preferable or essentially not worth the energy tackling when you’re dealing with tens of trillions of cells, then clearly there is more to the story than mutation. In order to maintain a multi-cellular organism for a long enough period, considering that errors are essentially inevitable, other mechanisms must be in place to remove or quarantine problematic cells.

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Aug 20, 2015

How young blood might help reverse aging. Yes, really

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

Tony Wyss-Coray studies the impact of aging on the human body and brain. In this eye-opening talk, he shares new research from his Stanford lab and other teams which shows that a solution for some of the less great aspects of old age might actually lie within us all.

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Aug 20, 2015

A Vacant Lot In Wyoming Will Become One Of The World’s First Vertical Farms

Posted by in categories: employment, food, sustainability

A unique conveyer belt design allows the three-story greenhouse to be efficient and sustainable, providing jobs and fresh produce to the Jackson community.

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Aug 20, 2015

Here’s A Book That Adds a Fascinating New Dimension to Posthuman Space Opera

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, entertainment, space

By now, the stories of humans transcending their limitations in space have become pretty much ubiquitous. We’ve had space cyborgs, space immortals, and tons of other posthumans in space. But the new novel Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper still represents a fascinating new approach. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00?tag=lifeboatfound-20

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Aug 19, 2015

This Is the Curiosity Rover’s Newest Selfie—and There’s Something Unusual About It

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

The Curiosity rover has snapped a brand new self-portrait and, like any good newbie selfie-taker, it’s figuring out its best angles—not only to show itself off, but also to show us something new about the Martian landscape it lives on.

This newest selfie was made, like the others, by stitching together panoramic shots from the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager. But by dropping to a low-camera angle and not an overhand shot like before, we’re suddenly able to see the full surrounding horizon. Essentially, we’re seeing not just Curiosity in this selfie; we’re also seeing what Curiosity sees. That view becomes even more pronounced in this second version of the selfie, this one with the horizon wrapped entirely around the robot:

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Aug 19, 2015

This cool Christmas tale features love, spaceships, and scary meteors

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space

Anomaly is an unusual Christmas tale, set in the late 60’s, which tells the story of a group of people connected by the same astrological event: A frightening meteor that will enter and exit the atmosphere. It is weird and sad and hopeful and just really interesting to watch.

Anomaly is an independent short film directed by Dan DiFelice & Salomon Lightelm. The film rose up to $60,000 in its Kikstarter campaign but it looks as gorgeous as if they had spent two million. Great post production houses like The Mill and Framestore also collaborated in the project. We featured Anomaly here the same day it was released on the Internet and we are very happy to have it on the Sploid Short Film Festival.

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