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Sep 19, 2023

The Fermi Paradox & Panspermia

Posted by in categories: evolution, existential risks

Our current theory of evolution holds that all life on Earth originated from a single, simple life form billions of years ago. But what if that life did not originate on Earth? In this episode we’ll explore the theory of Panspermia, that origin of life might be extraterrestrial in origin, and that the abiogenesis of that origin life form we descend from might have descended from the sky in a comet or some other alien source. We will explore the impact this concept would have on the Fermi Paradox if true.
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Sep 19, 2023

Quantum computing offers new insight into photochemical processes

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, environmental, quantum physics

Quantum computing has provided new insights into a fundamental aspect of photochemical reactions that has previously proven difficult to study. The findings could improve scientists’ understanding of light-driven processes such as photosynthesis, smog formation and ozone destruction.

Photochemical processes occur when atomic nuclei and their electrons take on different configurations after absorbing a photon. Some of these reactions are guided by a quantum phenomenon called a conical intersection, where the potential energy surfaces that describe a molecule in its ground state and in its excited state converge. In these situations, quantum mechanical interference can prevent certain molecular transformations from taking place – a constraint known as a geometric phase. This limits the path that the reaction can take and affects the reaction outcome. The geometric phase has been known about since the 1950s, but due to the femtosecond timescales involved, it has never been directly observed in a molecular system.

Sep 19, 2023

Drug delivery systems for CRISPR-based genome editors

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

CRISPR-based genome editing has the potential to treat many human genetic diseases, but achieving stable, efficient and safe in vivo delivery remains a challenge. This Review assesses current delivery systems for genome editors—focusing on adeno-associated viruses and lipid nanoparticles—and highlights data from recent clinical trials. Emerging delivery systems and ongoing challenges in the field are discussed.

Sep 19, 2023

Scaled-Up Version Of Solar System Discovered Around Star That Will Go Supernova

Posted by in category: cosmology

Most exoplanets that have been discovered over the last few decades happened to go around stars that are roughly the same size as the Sun. Some are a bit bigger and many a lot smaller. Planets have been discovered around pulsars, the extreme end product of supernovae, so astronomers expect that planets are to be found around the massive star that will one day explode as a supernova. Two such planets have recently been discovered and the whole setup looks like a blown-up version of our own Solar System.

The star in question is called μ2 Sco which is part of the Scorpius-Centaurus association. This is a group of young stars, no older than 20 million years. Among them, μ2 Sco (pronounced Mew two, yes like the legendary Pokemon) is a massive, blue, hot star that weighs about nine times our Sun. The observations conducted in this study suggest the presence of two candidate companions.

These are called CC0 and μ2 Sco b. The first has not been confirmed completely yet. It appears to have a mass of about 18.5 times that of Jupiter. The team is confident in the detection of the second one, which has a mass of about 14.4 Jupiters, so it gets the proper planet name. The team uses the term planet.

Sep 19, 2023

Retentive Network: A Successor to Transformer for Large Language Models (Paper Explained)

Posted by in category: computing

Retention is an alternative to Attention in Transformers that can both be written in a parallel and in a recurrent fashion. This means the architecture achieves training parallelism while maintaining low-cost inference. Experiments in the paper look very promising.

0:00 — Intro.
2:40 — The impossible triangle.
6:55 — Parallel vs sequential.
15:35 — Retention mechanism.
21:00 — Chunkwise and multi-scale retention.
24:10 — Comparison to other architectures.
26:30 — Experimental evaluation.

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Sep 19, 2023

Quantum Gauge Networks: A New Kind of Tensor Network

Posted by in categories: energy, information science, quantum physics

Kevin Slagle, Quantum 7, 1113 (2023). Although tensor networks are powerful tools for simulating low-dimensional quantum physics, tensor network algorithms are very computationally costly in higher spatial dimensions. We introduce $\textit{quantum gauge networks}$: a different kind of tensor network ansatz for which the computation cost of simulations does not explicitly increase for larger spatial dimensions. We take inspiration from the gauge picture of quantum dynamics, which consists of a local wavefunction for each patch of space, with neighboring patches related by unitary connections. A quantum gauge network (QGN) has a similar structure, except the Hilbert space dimensions of the local wavefunctions and connections are truncated. We describe how a QGN can be obtained from a generic wavefunction or matrix product state (MPS). All $2k$-point correlation functions of any wavefunction for $M$ many operators can be encoded exactly by a QGN with bond dimension $O(M^k)$. In comparison, for just $k=1$, an exponentially larger bond dimension of $2^{M/6}$ is generically required for an MPS of qubits. We provide a simple QGN algorithm for approximate simulations of quantum dynamics in any spatial dimension. The approximate dynamics can achieve exact energy conservation for time-independent Hamiltonians, and spatial symmetries can also be maintained exactly. We benchmark the algorithm by simulating the quantum quench of fermionic Hamiltonians in up to three spatial dimensions.

Sep 19, 2023

A new human species? Mystery surrounds 300,000-year-old fossil

Posted by in category: futurism

A chinless jawbone from eastern China that displays both modern and archaic features could represent a new branch of the human family tree.

Sep 19, 2023

The Alzheimer’s Treatment Landscape: Leqembi vs. Donanemab

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

With the demise of Roche’s gantenerumab in November 2022, the Alzheimer’s disease space became a two-horse race between Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi (lecanemab) and Eli Lilly’s donanemab. One, Leqembi, received full FDA approval in July; the other, donanemab, is widely expected to secure the agency’s approval before the end of 2023.

With a potential combined market value of $30 billion, BioSpace takes a deep dive into the Phase III data supporting Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi and Eli Lilly’s investigational donanemab.

Sep 19, 2023

Super-Sensitive PAM Ensures Image Quality with Low-Power Light Source

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

A multispectral, super-low-dose photoacoustic microscopy (SLD-PAM) system developed by City University of Hong Kong (CUHK) achieves significantly higher sensitivity than traditional optical resolution photoacoustic imaging.

By providing an exceptionally high level of sensitivity, SLD-PAM could help broaden the use of photoacoustic microscopy in biomedical applications. In the future, it could translate to clinical settings; for example, it could be used for ophthalmic exams where a low-power laser is preferred for the patient’s safety and comfort. Long-term monitoring of pharmacokinetics or blood flow also requires low-dose imaging to alleviate perturbation to tissue function.

Sep 18, 2023

This is Apptronik’s humanoid robot, Apollo

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mobile phones, robotics/AI, space

General-purpose automation could radically improve society by vastly accelerating construction, manufacturing, and R&D. Just as the scale and complexity of today’s cities would have been unimaginable 200 years ago, we may see a similar factor of value growth over the next 50 years. Quality of life may dramatically increase as well. I envision that billions could be lifted out of poverty and the average person may live like today’s wealthiest top 1%. Space colonization might be made feasible. Keep in mind these projections are highly speculative. Nonetheless, it is worth considering the remarkable possibilities! #automation #tech #robotics #futurism

The rise of humanoid robots didn’t happen overnight, but a kind of perfect storm has accelerated the phenomenon over the past year and change. The foundation, of course, is decades of research.

Toiling away in research facilities and R&D departments laid the ground work for a new generation of technology. The necessary software and components have come a long way, driven by innovations in industrial robotics, autonomous driving and even the smartphone industry.

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