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Jan 19, 2022

Do Electric Trains Dream Of Autonomous Mobility? Yes, They Do

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

Parallel Systems bursts out of stealth mode with a SpaceX pedigree and a plan for launching the nation’s railways into the space age with autonomous electric railcars.


Electric trains have been much in the news lately. Adding to all the hoopla today is the US startup Parallel Systems, which has just busted out of stealth mode with a recipe for replacing thousands of trucks on the highways with zero emission short-haul autonomous electric railcars. The company sports a leading lineup of three former SpaceX electronics and battery experts, so let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Autonomous Electric Railcars

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Jan 19, 2022

Ranked: Nuclear Power Production

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Nuclear power accounted for 10% of global electricity generated in 2020. Here’s a look at the largest nuclear power producers.

Jan 19, 2022

Ethereum Is No Longer a One-Chain Ecosystem

Posted by in category: cryptocurrencies

Some highlights from The Year in Ethereum 2021 report by Evan Van Ness and Josh Stark.

Jan 19, 2022

On rumors of impending doom

Posted by in categories: governance, government, human trajectories, internet, journalism, philosophy, science
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” — Dr Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park

Throughout most of human history, the goal was to establish a better life for people. Whether proponents of change admit to it or not, they hope to make everything perfect. However, this very impulse to improve security against everything bad and eliminate all physical ills could precipitate just another kind of doom.

To borrow the words of a Jeff Goldblum character, those of us who did the most to uplift humanity may have been “so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

In Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World, he pointed out that the modern world is complicated. Everything we don’t understand is something to fear (unless you are a specialist in it), and it is a thing that can be ignorantly speculated about in a vacuum, as vaccines are by many on social media.

Rather than give up on humanity’s ability to come to correct judgments, Sagan offers the tools of critical thinking, taking the form of the famous Baloney Detection Kit. The rules are things you can always try to offer someone if they believe nonsensical conspiracy theories.

Continue reading “On rumors of impending doom” »

Jan 19, 2022

3D printing’s next act: big metal objects

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, transportation

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Jan 19, 2022

Scientists accidentally made Pac-man ghosts out of DNA Origami

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Boing Boing.


I don’t entirely understand what this means, but here’s how they explained it in an upcoming scientific paper from the journal of Biology:

Using a library of ~2000 strands [of DNA origami] that can be combinatorially assembled to yield any of ~1e48 distinct DNA origami slats, we realize five-gigadalton structures composed of 1,000 uniquely addressable slats, and periodic structures incorporating 10,000 slats. Thus crisscross growth provides a generalizable route for prototyping and scalable production of devices integrating thousands of unique components that each are sophisticated and molecularly precise.

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Jan 19, 2022

Tiny New Sensor — That Could Fit in a Smartphone — Makes the Invisible Visible

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, mobile phones

Miniaturized near-infrared sensor that could fit in a smartphone can analyze the chemical content of milk and plastics.

A TU/e research group has developed a new near-infrared sensor that is easy to make, comparable in size to sensors in smartphones, and ready for immediate use in industrial process monitoring and agriculture. This breakthrough has just been published in Nature Communications.

The human eye is a marvelous sensor. Using three different types of photoreceptor cone cells that convert visible light into signals for different colors, the eye gives essential information about the world around us.

Continue reading “Tiny New Sensor — That Could Fit in a Smartphone — Makes the Invisible Visible” »

Jan 19, 2022

SpaceX Melts New Rocket Engine During Test Shows Fiery Video

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX is busy testing its rocket engines in Texas, and a ew test resulted in green flames that re a sign of failure.

Jan 19, 2022

Cellular support network boosts the regeneration of injured nerves

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐀𝐭𝐥𝐚𝐬:

The Neuro-Network.

𝐂𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐬

Continue reading “Cellular support network boosts the regeneration of injured nerves” »

Jan 19, 2022

Thread robot is designed to remove blood clots in brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, nuclear energy, robotics/AI

MIT team develops steerable soft thread-like robot capable of navigating tiny blood vessels

Snake robots are among the most familiar type of mechanical device for working in confined spaces. Flexible, tubular robots have been used for applications such as working in the interior of nuclear reactors, water distribution systems and inside the human body to aid surgery. The MIT team, mechanical engineers affiliated to the institution’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, have downsized the snake paradigm to the scale of a thread half a millimetre in diameter, which can be remotely controlled by magnetic fields to worm its way through the convoluted blood vessels of the brain to deliver clot-busting drugs or devices to break up and remove the blockage. Such robots have the potential to quickly treat a stroke and prevent damage to the brain, the team claims.

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