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Aug 14, 2015

Researchers Are Getting Closer to 3D Printing Brains

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, neuroscience

The complex structure of the brain can be replicated with a simple handheld printer.

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Aug 14, 2015

Living forever is more than just a dream — it’s the reality of the future

Posted by in categories: futurism, life extension

At Inman Connect San Francisco, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer at SENS Research Foundation, talked about disrupting death.

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Aug 14, 2015

Universal plaque-busting drug could treat various brain diseases — New Scientist

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

A universal therapy that targets mis-folded proteins is a very significant step forward if clinical trials in humans translate from animals. Obviously there is more work to be done but it this is the kind of technology we need in order to intervene against biological aging.

It is not hard to see that a therapy like this followed up by another that regenerates the brain eg, the Conboy Lab work by promoting neurogenesis could be a way to repair and restore the brain to healthy function.


A drug that breaks up different types of brain plaque shows promising results in animals and could prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

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Aug 14, 2015

New optical chip lights up the race for quantum computer

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, quantum physics

The microprocessor inside a computer is a single multipurpose chip that has revolutionised people’s life, allowing them to use one machine to surf the web, check emails and keep track of finances.

Now, researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in Japan, have pulled off the same feat for light in the quantum world by developing an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways.

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Aug 13, 2015

The Test-Tube Chef — By Bianca Bosker | The Atlantic

Posted by in category: food

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“Hervé This, the father of molecular gastronomy, thinks the meals of the future should be constructed from chemical compounds.”

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Aug 13, 2015

Bitcoin needs a quantum theory of money

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, theory

Is Bitcoin money? To its users the answer is probably yes, but to many people the answer is less clear. Alan Greenspan, for example, said in December 2013: “I do not understand where the backing of Bitcoin is coming from. There is no fundamental issue of capabilities of repaying it in anything which is universally acceptable, which is either intrinsic value of the currency or the credit or trust of the individual who is issuing the money, whether it’s a government or an individual.” Indeed, one of the things holding back the adoption of cybercurrencies such as Bitcoin is that they do not fit well with traditional ideas about money.

Answers to the question “what is money” have typically fallen into one of three camps. The first, known as metallism or bullionism, holds that money needs to be backed by precious metal. The second camp is chartalism (from the Latin charta for a record) which holds that coins and other money objects are just tokens, that the state agrees to accept as payment of things like taxes. Finally, there is the dominant, hands-off school of thought, which most mainstream economists would agree with, which says that money has no unique or special qualities, but instead is defined by its roles, e.g. a medium of exchange.

Bullionists and chartalists therefore emphasise a different aspect of money – the inherent value or the authorising stamp – while most economists treat it as an inert chip. But none of them seem to apply well to emerging cybercurrencies, which are not backed by precious metal or the state, and (at least at first) are not much use as a medium of exchange. So how do they become money? The answer to this question is that money has quantum properties which allow it to be booted up from the ether.

Quantum money

Continue reading “Bitcoin needs a quantum theory of money” »

Aug 13, 2015

Wow, Samsung’s New 16 Terabyte SSD Is the World’s Largest Hard Drive

Posted by in category: electronics

Gone are the days when you have to sacrifice size for speed with an SSD drive in your laptop. At the Flash Memory Summit in California, Samsung just revealed a new 2.5-inch SSD drive with an incredible 16 terabytes of storage. It’s not only the world’s largest SSD—it’s actually now the world’s largest hard drive, period.

So how on Earth did Samsung pull off a such an incredible feat? Inside the PM1633a SSD you’ll find stacks and stacks of the company’s latest and greatest 256Gbit NAND flash dies, which are twice the capacity of the 128Gbit NAND flash dies currently in use. According to Ars Technica’s calculations, there should be somewhere around 480 to 500 of the dies inside Samsung’s new SSD. Which is even more impressive given it still fits inside a 2.5-inch housing, although it’s probably a lot taller than most.

The answer to the million dollar question about the new 16TB SSD—how much does it cost?—is thankfully not a million dollars. However, the first units will probably sell in the range of $5,000 to $7,000 and will be targeted for use in servers and other enterprise applications. But over time, as with all technology, the massive SSDs will certainly drop in price and trickle down to consumers—just in time for our storage demands spiking thanks to 4K movie downloads.

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Aug 13, 2015

Our Aging Immune System: Can Antioxidants Combat The Decline?

Posted by in category: life extension

The decline of the thymus, responsible for the upkeep of our adaptive immune system, might be due to oxidative damage and insufficient antioxidant mechanisms to combat it.

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Aug 13, 2015

Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

For any computer, being able to manipulate information is essential, but for quantum computing, singling out one data location without influencing any of the surrounding locations is difficult. Now, a team of Penn State physicists has a method for addressing individual neutral atoms without changing surrounding atoms.

“There are a set of things that we have to have to do quantum computing,” said David S. Weiss, professor of physics. “We are trying to step down that list and meet the various criteria. Addressability is one step.”

Quantum computers are constructed and operate in completely different ways from the conventional digital computers used today. While conventional computers store information in bits, 1‘s and 0’s, quantum computers store information in qubits. Because of a strange aspect of quantum mechanics called superposition, a qubit can be in both its 0 and 1 state at the same time. The methods of encoding information onto , ions or Josephson junctions—electronic devices used in precise measurement, to create quantum computers—are currently the subject of much research. Along with superposition, quantum computers will also take advantage of the quantum mechanical phenomena of entanglement, which can create a mutually dependent group of qubits that must be considered as a whole rather than individually.

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Aug 13, 2015

Microsoft’s new AI is capable of spotting a good joke

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

As great as computers are at crunching their way through millions of numbers in just a few seconds, they’re not well known for having deep emotions or a sense of humour — until now. A new artificial intelligence system developed by Microsoft has been trained to spot the funniest submissions to the ongoing New Yorker cartoon caption competition. Indeed, the software has been developed partly out of necessity, with so many entries flooding in that the human editors can’t cope.

“The process of looking at 5,000 caption entries a week usually destroys [my editorial assistant’s] mind in about two years, and then I get a new one,” the New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff explained to Bloomberg. “It’s a little bit daunting. It’s like going snow blind; you go humour blind.”

That’s why Mankoff has been working alongside Microsoft researchers Dafna Shahaf and Eric Horvitz in developing the new humour-sensitive AI software. Of course, the program needs to be trained in what’s funny and what isn’t, because it doesn’t have an innate sense of what makes something witty: by feeding in thousands of previous submissions, the AI gets a large database of previous responses to work from.

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