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Sep 22, 2021

The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money —and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, economics, security

What must the US do Eric Klien?

Read More: How China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge the Almighty Dollar

China has already largely moved away from coin and paper currency; Chinese consumers have racked up more than $41 trillion in mobile transactions, according to a recent research paper from the Brookings Institution, with the lion’s share (92%) going through digital payment processors WeChat Pay and Alipay.

Continue reading “The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money —and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar” »

Sep 22, 2021

Covid: Immune therapy from llamas shows promise

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

I remember posting about this a year ago in 2020 from UT Austin.

A Covid therapy derived from a llama named Fifi has shown “significant potential” in early trials.

It is a treatment made of nanobodies\.

Continue reading “Covid: Immune therapy from llamas shows promise” »

Sep 22, 2021

These Bacteria Digest Toxic Metals And Poop Out Tiny Gold Nuggets

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry

Circa 2018 Imagine waste turned into gold.

No other life form on our planet has infiltrated every environment as successfully as the minuscule single cells of bacteria. Amongst their many roles in life on Earth, it turns out some of these microbes are also experts at purifying precious metals.

An international team of researchers has figured out how one metal-gobbling bacterium, Cupriavidus metallidurans, manages to ingest toxic metallic compounds and still thrive, producing tiny gold nuggets as a side-effect.

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Sep 22, 2021

Glow-in-the-dark plants could act as passive lighting for public spaces

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, energy, health, nanotechnology, transhumanism

A decent chunk of energy usage goes towards lighting, so scientists at MIT are developing a new kind of passive lighting – glow-in-the-dark plants. In the latest experiment, the team has made them glow much brighter than the first generation plants, without harming their health.

The emerging field of “plant nanobionics” involves embedding nanoparticles into plants to give them new abilities. Past work by the MIT team has created plants that can send electrical signals when they need water, spinach that could be used to detect explosives, and watercress that glows in the dark.

As interesting as that last one was, the glow wasn’t particularly bright – about on par with those plastic glowing stars many of us stuck to our ceilings as kids. That’s a cool novelty but not much help for the ultimate use case of passive lighting.

Sep 22, 2021

Scientists Intrigued by Strange Blobs on Uranus

Posted by in category: space

Researchers believe that mushy blobs on Uranus are hiding lots of gas.

More specifically, scientists have discovered that “mushballs,” large slushy hailstones made of ammonia and water, might be causing an odd atmospheric phenomenon on Uranus, according to a press release about the research. The mushballs, which are also present on Neptune, might be carrying ammonia into the two planets’ atmosphere and hiding the gas from detection.

The balls might actually be the secret behind why scientists can’t detect ammonia in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune — which is odd because it’s abundant with other gasses like methane.

Sep 21, 2021

Asteroid that could be 3 times as tall as Statue of Liberty to pass Earth on Fall Equinox

Posted by in category: space

Earth will be visited by several asteroids over the Fall Equinox, including one traveling at 27 times the speed of sound.

Sep 21, 2021

After 36 years of testing, Indian-made leprosy vaccine finally set for large roll-out

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

India is home to 60% of the world’s leprosy patients, and the MIP vaccine is expected to be rolled out in the endemic areas by 2 October 2019.

Sep 21, 2021

Range-extended electric 4WD expedition vehicle claims 4,350-mile range

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

UK startup Fering is gearing up to build electric vehicles for cross-continental explorers. It’s starting out with the Pioneer, a go-anywhere brick outhouse of a thing designed for monster range figures under the most extreme circumstances on Earth.

Cybertrucks may be all well and good for your average camping trip, but they’re not designed for the kinds of extreme treatment the Pioneer wants to take on as a low-emissions alternative for explorers, adventurers and emergency services teams.

For starters, the lithium-ion batteries found in most EVs can’t handle extreme temperatures, so instead Fering has gone with a lithium-titanate-oxide (LTO) battery pack. These have advantages and drawbacks; they’re renowned for extremely long life cycles, they can charge quickly and they work from-40 to 60 °C (−40 °F to +160 °F), so they can handle just about anything shy of an Antarctic winter.

Sep 21, 2021

A 123,000 MPH Nuclear Rocket Could Reach Mars in Only One Month

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space travel

Four times faster than existing chemical rockets

In the seven months NASA estimates it would take to fly humans to Mars, any number of catastrophic failures could occur. That’s why Díaz said in a 2010 interview with Popular Science that “chemical rockets are not going to get us to Mars. It’s just too long a trip.” A conventional rocket must use its entire fuel supply in a single controlled explosion during launch before propelling itself towards Mars. There is no abort procedure, the ship will not be able to change course, and if any failure occurred, mission control would have a 10-minute communications delay, meaning they could find themselves helplessly watching on as the crew slowly dies.

Continue reading “A 123,000 MPH Nuclear Rocket Could Reach Mars in Only One Month” »

Sep 21, 2021

Mars Was Always Destined to Die

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry

Mars is the solar system’s near-miss world. Earth may have gotten everything right when it came to sustaining life—atmosphere, water, proximity to the sun. Mercury, Venus and the outer planets, with their extreme temperatures and inhospitable chemistry, may have gotten everything wrong. Mars, on the other hand, came so close, yet fell short.

Thanks to data from rovers and other spacecraft, we know that the Red Planet once fairly sloshed with water—with dry deltas, riverbeds, and sea basins stamped into its surface. But 4 billion years ago, the Martian core cooled, shutting down the dynamo that sustained its magnetic field. That left the planet vulnerable to the solar wind, which clawed away the atmosphere, and allowed the Martian water to sputter into space. Before long—in geological terms—the planet was a desert.

At least that’s long been the thinking. But a new paper published Sept. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests otherwise. According to the new research, Mars was doomed from the start. Its small size—about half the diameter of Earth and less than one-ninth the mass—simply never produced the gravitational muscle to allow the planet to hold onto either its air or its water. With or without a magnetic field, Mars was destined to die.

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