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Jul 15, 2015

One day soon, amputees will be able to control their prosthetic limbs with their minds.

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

One day soon, amputees will be able to control their prosthetic limbs with their minds.

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Jul 15, 2015

A jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions?

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, transportation

Lasers vaporize radioactive material and cause a fusion reaction — in effect, a small thermonuclear explosion (credit: Patent Yogi/YouTube)

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Jul 15, 2015

Declare Your Independence…from Evolution! Here Comes The Singularity and Transhumanism — Nick Gillespie

Posted by in categories: singularity, transhumanism

Independence Day weekend seems like a good time to push the envelope on what is possible for human beings to achieve. Hell, if a rag-tag band of colonists could kick the mighty Brits’ butts so long ago, how hard can it be for today’s people to live to 150, use 3D printers to create new organs, and develop superpowers? Read more

Jul 14, 2015

How to plan the ultimate long-term project, from the team who got us to Pluto — By Daniel Terdiman | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: space, space travel


One thing you don’t expect when planning a nine-year mission to the most distant planet in our solar system is the eventuality that Pluto might not be a planet once you got there.

Yet that’s exactly what went down in 2006. That January, NASA launched its unmanned New Horizons probe, a baby grand piano-sized, 1,054-pound spacecraft, on the first-ever route to Pluto. Then, in August 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the diminutive status of “dwarf planet.”

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Jul 14, 2015

The World’s First 3D Printed Building To Be Built In Dubai — Ana Alves WTVOX

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, architecture, engineering, materials


Fast-growing Dubai, where something new is always being added to the skyline, may have found a way to make construction move even faster.

In a bid to become a global hub of innovation, Dubai announced plans to build an office that will be “the most advanced 3-D printed structure ever built at this scale” and the first to be put into actual use.

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Jul 14, 2015

The ‘Indispensable Soma’ theory of ageing

Posted by in categories: evolution, health, life extension, science, transhumanism

OK. In scientific terms, it is only a ‘hypothesis’ — the reverse of the ‘Disposable Soma’ theory of ageing. Here how it goes.

For the past several decades, the Disposable Soma theory of ageing has been enjoying good publicity and a lively interest from both academics and the public alike. It stands up to scientific scrutiny, makes conceptual sense and fits well within an evolutionary framework of ageing. The theory basically suggests that, due to energy resource constraints, there is a trade-off between somatic cell and germ cell repair. As a result, germ cells are being repaired effectively and so the survival of the species is assured, at a cost of individual somatic (bodily) ageing and death. To put it very simply, we are disposable, we age and die because all the effective repair mechanisms have been diverted to our germ cell DNA in order to guarantee the survival of our species.

The theory accounts for many repair pathways and mechanisms converging upon the germ cell, and also for many of those mechanisms being driven away from somatic cell repair just to ensure germ cell survival. In the past two or three years however, it is increasingly being realised that this process is not unidirectional (from soma to germ), but it is bi-directional: under certain circumstances, somatic cells may initiate damage that affects germ cells, and also that germ cells may initiate repairs that benefit somatic cells!

I can’t even begin to describe how important this bi-directionality is. Taking this in a wider and more speculative sense, it is, in fact, the basis for the cure of ageing. The discovery that germ cells can (or are forced to) relinquish their repair priorities, and that resources can then be re-allocated for somatic repairs instead, means that we may be able to avoid age-related damage (because this would be repaired with greater fidelity) and, at the same time, avoid overpopulation (as our now damaged genetic material would be unsuitable for reproduction).

Continue reading “The ‘Indispensable Soma’ theory of ageing” »

Jul 13, 2015

The Millennium Project’s 2015–16 State of the Future Report | E-version available now

Posted by in category: futurism


The 2015–16 State of the Future is a compelling overview of humanity’s present situation, challenges and opportunities, potentials for the future, and actions and policies that could improve humanity’s outlook — in clear, precise, and readable text with unparalleled breadth and depth. “It is time for intolerance of irrelevant speeches and non-actions by leaders. The stakes are too high to tolerate business as usual”, warns the Executive Summary of the report.

A lucid, thought-provoking, strategically oriented exploration of the transforming world order.
Mihaly Simai, former Chairman, United Nations University

The State of the Future can make a difference in the world. Well done.
Wendell Bell, Professor Emeritus, Yale University

Continue reading “The Millennium Project's 2015-16 State of the Future Report | E-version available now” »

Jul 13, 2015

Winter is Coming: Scientist Says Sun Will Nod Off in 15 Years

Posted by in category: climatology

Might want to start stockpiling those down jackets: The sun could nod off by 2030, triggering what scientists are describing as a “mini ice age.”

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Jul 13, 2015

IBM, Nvidia, Energy Department form a supercomputer super team

Posted by in category: supercomputing

This is definitely something worth keeping an eye on!

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Jul 13, 2015

Google and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, robotics/AI

A peek at the early days of the Quantum AI Lab: a partnership between NASA, Google, USRA, and a 512-qubit D-Wave Two quantum computer. Learn more at

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