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Dec 27, 2015

10 Robots That Are Gunning For Your Job

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

More Videos by Vocativ.

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Dec 26, 2015

Part 1: Entrepreneur & Researcher Robert Bradbury

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

This came up recently and it occurred I never posted this here. This is a lecture by Robert Bradbury, not not Ray Bradbury. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few emails with him. Unfortunately those emails are lost so I cannot share them. He was an advocate of life extension and he was a big thinker. I’ll post both vids and a link to the M-brain page. He is not with us anymore I regret to say. Ready?

Renown aging expert Robert Bradbury discusses whole genome engineering, evolution and aging and ways to defeat aging. His talk touches on many areas including nanotechnology, biology, and computer science. More information can be found at Follow updates at

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Dec 26, 2015

ESA Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Recontact Comet Lander

Posted by in category: space

Philae and Rosetta have already been spectacular successes, but ESA wants to tease some last minute new data from the comet lander on 67P/C-G if it can re-establish contact.

More than a year after the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Philae spacecraft made history with the first-ever successful touchdown on the surface of a comet — 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, its Rosetta spacecraft is still trying to re-establish contact with its now-silent lander.

“We’re trying to contact the lander once more before that area goes back into shadow,” Joel Parker, Deputy Principle Investigator on Rosetta’s ALICE ultraviolet spectrograph and a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in Boulder, told me. “We’re really trying to coordinate the spacecraft distance- and location-wise to optimize communication.”

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Dec 26, 2015

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

Posted by in category: space

Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But where does one end and another begin? And where are we in the picture?

This article was reproduced with permission and was first published on September 3, 2014. It is a Nature Video production.

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Dec 26, 2015

Water bears turn into glass when they dry out

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

Tardigrades — known affectionately as water bears or moss piglets — have pretty much got it all. These microscopic invertebrates are capable of surviving the most extreme conditions you could dream up, including prolonged desiccation and near-100 percent water loss, freezing and boiling temperatures, intense ionising radiation, and the vacuum of outer space.

Scientists have discovered that to survive extreme desiccation, tardigardes produce a special type of ‘bioglass’ to hold essential proteins and molecules together until they’re rehydrated back to life. Now they’re figuring out how to use this mechanism to develop drought-resistant crops and longer-lasting vaccines.

Back in September, researchers from the University of Chicago announced that they’d discovered a new type of glass — one produced internally by the tardigrade during desiccation. While they’re yet to figure out exactly how the glass is formed, they concluded that it’s produced as a protective mechanism to ensure that tardigrades can survive losing pretty much all of the water in their cells.

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Dec 26, 2015

The bionic pancreas: harbinger of a new era in organ replacement?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, materials, transhumanism

If you haven’t heard of the bionic pancreas, it’s likely you soon will. With diabetes on the rise and the demand for insulin therapies becoming a real pain point for the medical establishment, the need for innovative solutions has spiked. Back in April, we reported on the Do-It-Yourself Pancreas system, a closed-loop artificial pancreas scavenged from a Medtronic pump, Dexcom CGM, a Raspberry Pi, and CareLink USB. Now a fully bionic pancreas similar in design to the Do-It-Yourself model is being developed by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University, with the goal of winning FDA approval. If it succeeds, this will likely be the first bionic organ to see widespread adoption.

Let’s examine some of the previous attempts at bionic organs to see if we can catch a glimpse of where things are heading and some of the societal repercussions that lay in wait. The holy grail of bionic organs is without question the human heart. Coronary artery disease being one of the principal causes of the death worldwide, a fully functioning bionic heart could radically change life expectancy and alter the demographic landscape.

The first bionic hearts, designed over 70 years ago, were plagued by problems that often resulted in thromboembolism and hemorrhage, and made this even more of a gamble than donor transplants. Recent technological advances, however — specifically the advent of bio-prosthetic materials that fool the human immune system into believing the bionic heart is an organic part of the body — could indicate a new era of artificial organs is upon us.

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Dec 25, 2015

Scientists have invented a new glass coating for omnidirectional solar panels

Posted by in categories: materials, solar power, sustainability

Catching sunlight at every angle.

One of the limitations of current solar panel technology is the panels need to be facing in a certain direction to make the most of the Sun’s rays, otherwise the amount of energy they can absorb drops off dramatically. A newly invented material could make the direction of solar panels much less of a concern in the future.

The material has been produced by electrical engineers at the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and Taiwan’s National Central University. Not only does the glass coating they’ve come up with soak up sunlight from multiple angles more effectively, it’s also able to keep itself clean — the newly treated panels were able to maintain 98.8 percent of their efficiency after six weeks outdoors.

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Dec 25, 2015

Jack Horner wants to retro-engineer a pet dinosaur from a chicken. THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Posted by in category: evolution

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Dec 25, 2015

Think-tank dismisses leading AI researchers as luddites

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, transportation

‘In a surprisingly polemic report, ITIF think-tank president Robert Atkinson misinterprets this growing altruistic focus of AI researchers as innovation-stifling “Luddite-induced paranoia.”’

The report released by the ITIF think tank suffers from many problems. It accuses Elon Musk in risking research in the “cars that Google and TESLA are testing”, missing entirely the irony. IMHO, the nomination is not the product of research in what Nick Bostrom, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, & Elon Musk actually say.

Each year, the ITIF produces a list of 10 groups they think are holding back technological progress with their annual Luddite award. This year, they included researchers who support AI safety research and autonomous weapons bans, and they called out Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking by name. The ITIF doesn’t seem to see the irony of calling Elon Musk a luddite despite just landing a rocket, launching auto-piloted electric cars and investing in a $1Bn AI-startup. Read the response written by Stuart Russell and Max Tegmark:

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Dec 25, 2015

ArcaBoard: The first real hoverboard?

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

For decades now we’ve been teased with hoverboard concepts, either from science fiction or highly limited real-life versions, but now aerospace company Arca is taking orders for what it claims is the real deal. The ArcaBoard appears to be the closest thing to the technology from Back to the Future: Part II that we’ve seen so far.

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