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May 19, 2024

DNA-empowered synthetic cells as minimalistic life forms

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Structural and dynamic DNA nanosciences offer unique tools for engineering bottom–up synthetic cells. This Review provides a holistic overview for using DNA as a structural material, for designing functional entities, and for information-processing circuits for adaptive and interactive behaviour.

May 19, 2024

Black hole singularities defy physics. New research could finally do away with them

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Black hole singularities defy the laws of physics. New research presents a bold solution to this puzzle: Black holes may actually be a theoretical type of star called a ‘gravastar,’ filled with universe-expanding dark energy.

May 19, 2024

Breaking Light Speed: The Quantum Tunneling Enigma

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

In an amazing phenomenon of quantum physics known as tunneling, particles appear to move faster than the speed of light. However, physicists from Darmstadt believe that the time it takes for particles to tunnel has been measured incorrectly until now. They propose a new method to stop the speed of quantum particles.

In classical physics, there are strict laws that cannot be circumvented. For instance, if a rolling ball lacks sufficient energy, it will not get over a hill; instead, it will roll back down before reaching the peak. In quantum physics, this principle is not quite so strict. Here, a particle may pass a barrier, even if it does not have enough energy to go over it. It acts as if it is slipping through a tunnel, which is why the phenomenon is also known as “quantum tunneling.” Far from mere theoretical magic, this phenomenon has practical applications, such as in the operation of flash memory drives.

Quantum Tunneling and Relativity.

May 19, 2024

Why a giant ‘cold spot’ in the cosmic microwave background has long perplexed astronomers

Posted by in category: cosmology

Leftover light from the young universe has a major flaw, and we don’t know how to fix it. It’s the cold spot. It’s just way too big and way too cold. Astronomers aren’t sure what it is, but they mostly agree that it’s worth investigating.

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) was generated when our universe was only 380,000 years old. At the time, our cosmos was about a million times smaller than it is today and had a temperature of over 10,000 kelvins (17,500 degrees Fahrenheit, or 9,700 degrees Celsius), meaning all of the gas was plasma. As the universe expanded, it cooled, and the plasma became neutral. In the process, it released a flood of white-hot light. Over the billions of years since, that light has cooled and stretched to a temperature of around 3 kelvins (minus 454 F, or minus 270 C), putting that radiation firmly in the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

May 19, 2024

Evolutionary Emergence: From Primordial Atoms to Living Algorithms of Artificial Superintelligence

Posted by in categories: biological, cosmology, information science, particle physics, quantum physics, robotics/AI

To be clear, humans are not the pinnacle of evolution. We are confronted with difficult choices and cannot sustain our current trajectory. No rational person can expect the human population to continue its parabolic growth of the last 200 years, along with an ever-increasing rate of natural resource extraction. This is socio-economically unsustainable. While space colonization might offer temporary relief, it won’t resolve the underlying issues. If we are to preserve our blue planet and ensure the survival and flourishing of our human-machine civilization, humans must merge with synthetic intelligence, transcend our biological limitations, and eventually evolve into superintelligent beings, independent of material substrates—advanced informational beings, or ‘infomorphs.’ In time, we will shed the human condition and upload humanity into a meticulously engineered inner cosmos of our own creation.

Much like the origin of the Universe, the nature of consciousness may appear to be a philosophical enigma that remains perpetually elusive within the current scientific paradigm. However, I emphasize the term “current.” These issues are not beyond the reach of alternative investigative methods, ones that the next scientific paradigm will inevitably incorporate with the arrival of Artificial Superintelligence.

The era of traditional, human-centric theoretical modeling and problem-solving—developing hypotheses, uncovering principles, and validating them through deduction, logic, and repeatable experimentation—may be nearing the end. A confluence of factors—Big Data, algorithms, and computational resources—are steering us towards a new type of discovery, one that transcends the limitations of human-like logic and decision-making— the one driven solely by AI superintelligence, nestled in quantum neo-empiricism and a fluidity of solutions. These novel scientific methodologies may encompass, but are not limited to, computing supercomplex abstractions, creating simulated realities, and manipulating matter-energy and the space-time continuum itself.

May 19, 2024

The Complex Social Lives of Viruses

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

This simplicity was what attracted many scientists to viruses in the first place, said Marco Vignuzzi, a virologist at the Singapore Agency for Science, Research and Technology Infectious Diseases Labs. “We were trying to be reductionist.”

That reductionism paid off. Studies on viruses were crucial to the birth of modern biology. Lacking the complexity of cells, they revealed fundamental rules about how genes work. But viral reductionism came at a cost, Vignuzzi said: By assuming viruses are simple, you blind yourself to the possibility that they might be complicated in ways you don’t know about yet.

For example, if you think of viruses as isolated packages of genes, it would be absurd to imagine them having a social life. But Vignuzzi and a new school of like-minded virologists don’t think it’s absurd at all. In recent decades, they have discovered some strange features of viruses that don’t make sense if viruses are lonely particles. They instead are uncovering a marvelously complex social world of viruses. These sociovirologists, as the researchers sometimes call themselves, believe that viruses make sense only as members of a community.

May 19, 2024

SpaceX stacks Starship megarocket ahead of 4th test flight (video, photos)

Posted by in category: space travel

Starship could fly again as soon as next month.

May 19, 2024

OpenAI will use Reddit posts to train ChatGPT under new deal

Posted by in categories: business, internet, law, policy, robotics/AI

Earlier this month, Reddit published a Public Content Policy stating: Unfortunately, we see more and more commercial entities using unauthorized access or misusing authorized access to collect public data in bulk, including Reddit public content. Worse, these entities perceive they have no limitation on their usage of that data, and they do so with no regard for user rights or privacy, ignoring reasonable legal, safety, and user removal requests.

In its blog post on Thursday, Reddit said that deals like OpenAI’s are part of an open Internet. It added that part of being open means Reddit content needs to be accessible to those fostering human learning and researching ways to build community, belonging, and empowerment online.

Reddit has been vocal about its interest in pursuing data licensing deals as a core part of its business. Its building of AI partnerships sparks discourse around the use of user-generated content to fuel AI models without users being compensated and some potentially not considering that their social media posts would be used this way. OpenAI and Stack Overflow faced pushback earlier this month when integrating Stack Overflow content with ChatGPT. Some of Stack Overflow’s user community responded by sabotaging their own posts.

May 19, 2024

AI Tool Predicts Whether Online Health Misinformation Will Cause Real-World Harm

Posted by in categories: health, robotics/AI

A new AI-based analytical technique reveals that specific language phrasing in Reddit misinformation posts foretold people rejecting COVID vaccinations.

By Joanna Thompson

May 19, 2024

LLMs can be easily manipulated for malicious purposes, research finds

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers at AWS AI Labs, found that most publicly available LLMs can be easily manipulated into revealing harmful or unethical info.

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