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Jul 27, 2021

Scientists Discover the First Room-Temperature Superconductor

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

A novel metallic compound of hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur exhibited superconductivity at a balmy 59 degrees Fahrenheit—when pressurized between a pair of diamond anvils.

Via Quanta Magazine9 months ago.

Physicists finally achieved the long-sought goal, but there’s a catch: Their compound requires crushing pressures to keep from falling apart.

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Jul 27, 2021

Biomarker Could Help Diagnosis Schizophrenia at an Early Age

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Study reveals an abundance of the CRMP2 protein in people with schizophrenia. The findings could lead to a blood-based biomarker test for the mental health disorder.

Source: SBPMDI

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have discovered how levels of a protein could be used in the future as a blood-based diagnostic aid for schizophrenia. The activity of the protein, which is found in both the brain and blood, affects neural connections in human brains and is uniquely imbalanced in people diagnosed with the condition. The research also provides guidance for future analyses into the molecular basis of this serious, disabling mental disorder.

Jul 27, 2021

Large study finds COVID-19 is linked to a substantial deficit in intelligence

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience, sex

After controlling for factors such as age, sex, handedness, first language, education level, and other variables, the researchers found that those who had contracted COVID-19 tended to underperform on the intelligence test compared to those who had not contracted the virus. The greatest deficits were observed on tasks requiring reasoning, planning and problem solving, which is in line “with reports of long-COVID, where ‘brain fog,’ trouble concentrating and difficulty finding the correct words are common,” the researchers said.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 tend to score significantly lower on an intelligence test compared to those who have not contracted the virus, according to new research published in The Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine. The findings suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 can produce substantial reductions in cognitive ability, especially among those with more severe illness.

“By coincidence, the pandemic escalated in the United Kingdom in the middle of when I was collecting cognitive and mental health data at very large scale as part of the BBC2 Horizon collaboration the Great British Intelligence Test,” said lead researcher Adam Hampshire (@HampshireHub), an associate professor in the Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory at Imperial College London.

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Jul 27, 2021

Nuclear power’s reliability is dropping as extreme weather increases

Posted by in category: climatology

With extreme weather causing power failures in California and Texas, it’s increasingly clear that the existing power infrastructure isn’t designed for these new conditions. Past research has shown that nuclear power plants are no exception, with rising temperatures creating cooling problems for them. Now, a comprehensive analysis looking at a broader range of climate events shows that it’s not just hot weather that puts these plants at risk—it’s the full range of climate disturbances.

Heat has been one of the most direct threats, as higher temperatures mean that the natural cooling sources (rivers, oceans, lakes) are becoming less efficient heat sinks. However, this new analysis shows that hurricanes and typhoons have become the leading causes of nuclear outages, at least in North America and South and East Asia. Precautionary shutdowns for storms are routine, and so this finding is perhaps not so surprising. But other factors—like the clogging of cooling intake pipes by unusually abundant jellyfish populations—are a bit less obvious.

Overall, this latest analysis calculates that the frequency of climate-related nuclear plant outages is almost eight times higher than it was in the 1990s. The analysis also estimates that the global nuclear fleet will lose up to 1.4 percent—about 36 TWh—of its energy production in the next 40 years and up to 2.4 percent, or 61 TWh, by 2081–2100.

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Jul 27, 2021

Humanoid robot plays basketball at Olympics

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A robot has wowed the audience at a basketball match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The machine, which goes by the name of CUE, showed off its throwing skills during half-time of the Men’s Preliminary Round Group B game between France and the United States (which France won 83–76).

In development by Japanese company Toyota since May 2018, CUE stands 208 cm (6’ 10) tall and weighs 90 kg (200 lbs). It uses sensors on its torso to calculate the angle and distance to the basket, before using its motorised arms and knees to shoot. The whole process from lifting the ball to making the shot takes less than 15 seconds.

Jul 27, 2021

Quantifying Biological Age: Blood Test #3 in 2021

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

Links to biological age calculators:
Levine’s PhenoAge calculator is embedded as an Excel file:

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Jul 27, 2021

Bezos’ $2bn offer to get back in race to the Moon

Posted by in category: space travel

The billionaire offers to cover $2bn in NASA costs to be reconsidered for a Moon lander contract.

Jul 27, 2021

Form Energy announces Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery

Posted by in category: energy

Officials with battery maker Form Energy have announced the development of the Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery—a battery meant to store electricity created from renewable sources such as solar and wind. As part of their announcement, they note that their new battery is based on iron, not lithium, and thus is much less expensive to produce.

The team at Form Energy describe their as a multi-day storage system—one that can feed electricity to the grid for approximately 100 hours at a cost that is significantly lower than .

The basic idea behind the -air is that it takes in oxygen and then uses it to convert iron inside the battery to rust, later converting it back to iron again. Converting back and forth between iron and rust allows the energy that is stored in the battery to be stored longer than conventional batteries.

Jul 27, 2021

World’s First Flying Jet Motorcycle Just Completed Prototype Test Flight

Posted by in categories: electronics, transportation

Ever since Star Wars brought podracing and flying motorcycles to the forefront of TV, it’s fair to say most people have wanted to fly one. Luckily, we truly are entering an era of flying vehicles – after all, flying cars will be raced around a track by the end of the year – and flying motorcycles are next on that list.

Jetpack Aviation’s “The Speeder” is the answer to all our sci-fi prayers. A jet turbine-powered motorcycle that looks more like a flying jet ski, this new vehicle prototype has just completed the first test flight that will enable it to go into the next stage of production.

While it isn’t necessarily the completed vehicle that took flight, the company was testing its VTOL self-stabilizing jet platform that will make the basis for their Speeder vehicle. The tests showed it could hover, turn, move in various directions, and right itself after being knocked – all incredibly difficult feats when working with four jet engines.

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Jul 27, 2021

With post-pandemic AI, we’ve now stepped into the Age of Acceleration

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, robotics/AI

AI is entering take-off mode just as we exit an economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Get ready for a productivity boom.

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