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May 5, 2021

Adidas announces new shoe made from mushroom leather

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

The new Stan Smith Mylo is made from materials derived from mushroom and aims to add to Adidas’ sustainability efforts.

May 5, 2021

Follow live as SpaceX scrubs pivotal test of Mars-bound Starship rocket

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX has once again scrubbed the latest major flight test of its Starship rocket. The next-generation spacecraft was set to launch from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Tuesday, but cancelled it for reasons unknown.

Starship SN15’s high-altitude flight test follows four previous attempts that all ended in massive explosions. SpaceX boss Elon Musk said previous issues with the rocket’s Raptor engines have been fixed “six ways to Sunday”, though if it fails to land cleanly there are more Starship prototypes currently under development.

Airspace clearance had been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), road closures were in place with Cameron County, and marine hazard notices had been issued. The test was expected to take place between 12pm and 8pm local time (6pm — 2am BST) on Tuesday, however a backup launch window is also in place for Wednesday.

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May 5, 2021

Startup sets out to tackle the gene therapy manufacturing crisis

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

Genetic treatments are difficult to produce without facilities.

Af­ter Kel­li Lug­in­buhl fin­ished her PhD, her ad­vi­sor, Duke bio­engi­neer and Phase­Bio co-founder Ashutosh Chilkoti, sat her down and asked if she want­ed to launch and then run a com­pa­ny. Chilkoti had a once-ob­scure tech­nol­o­gy he and the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Joe McMa­hon thought could form the ba­sis of his sec­ond com­pa­ny and fi­nal­ly pay huge div­i­dends. Lug­in­buhl knew the tech from years in his lab and was al­ready look­ing for biotech jobs. It all added up.

Three years, some strate­giz­ing, and 10 or so pitch meet­ings lat­er, the trio is launch­ing Isol­ere Bio, with $7 mil­lion in seed fund­ing led by North­pond Ven­tures and tech­nol­o­gy they be­lieve can al­low gene ther­a­py com­pa­nies to vast­ly in­crease the num­ber of dos­es they can pro­duce. It’s one po­ten­tial so­lu­tion to a slow-boil­ing cri­sis that has be­come in­creas­ing­ly acute, as new com­pa­nies strug­gle to get the ma­te­ri­als they need for tri­als and some com­mon dis­eases re­main the­o­ret­i­cal­ly un­fix­able by gene ther­a­py, be­cause com­pa­nies would nev­er be able to make enough dos­es for that many patients.

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May 5, 2021

The enzyme that could help 700 million people worldwide

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

In diabetic nephropathy—a common cause of kidney disease—levels of NEDD4-2 are severely reduced. This is the case even when salt is not a factor.

University of South Australia researchers have identified an enzyme that may help to curb chronic kidney disease, which affects approximately 700 million people worldwide.

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May 5, 2021

Astronomers chart an invisible ocean of dark matter swirling outside the Milky Way

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers are hoping to use the wake of stars to test the existing theories of dark matter.

May 5, 2021

Uganda: Filters turn dirty lake water into drinking water | Global Ideas

Posted by in categories: innovation, sustainability

Innovation in Uganda.

Access to clean water may be a right, but it’s often hard to come by. Contaminated water kills. Henry Othieno and Saudah Birungi have developed eco-friendly filters for use in schools and homes. They turn dirty lake water into drinking water.

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May 4, 2021

MIT’s “Programmable Matter” Technique: A Zap of Light Switches Objects’ Colors and Patterns

Posted by in category: transportation

“Programmable matter” technique could enable product designers to churn out prototypes with ease.

When was the last time you repainted your car? Redesigned your coffee mug collection? Gave your shoes a colorful facelift?

You likely answered: never, never, and never. You might consider these arduous tasks not worth the effort. But a new color-shifting “programmable matter” system could change that with a zap of light.

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May 4, 2021

LUMILOR — Electric Paint That Lights Up at The Flip of a Switch

Posted by in category: energy

LumiLor is an electroluminescent coating system which allows anything coated with it to function as a light. Electroluminescence simply means that an object is capable of emitting light when an electrical current passes through it.

The lifespan of LumiLor is dependent on how much power is applied and the native LumiLor color used. More power equals brighter light but a shorter half life.

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May 4, 2021

Spectre Strikes Back: New Hacking Vulnerability Affecting Billions of Computers Worldwide

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

Computing experts thought they had developed adequate security patches after the major worldwide Spectre flaw of 2018, but UVA’s discovery shows processors are open to hackers again.

In 2018, industry and academic researchers revealed a potentially devastating hardware flaw that made computers and other devices worldwide vulnerable to attack.

Researchers named the vulnerability Spectre because the flaw was built into modern computer processors that get their speed from a technique called “speculative execution,” in which the processor predicts instructions it might end up executing and preps by following the predicted path to pull the instructions from memory. A Spectre attack tricks the processor into executing instructions along the wrong path. Even though the processor recovers and correctly completes its task, hackers can access confidential data while the processor is heading the wrong way.

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May 4, 2021

Quantum Computing and Reinforcement Learning Are Joining Forces to Make Faster AI

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Recently, scientists designed an AI agent that learns 60% faster than its peers by combining quantum and classical computing. 📈

This week, an international collaboration led by Dr. Philip Walther at the University of Vienna took the “classic” concept of reinforcement learning and gave it a quantum spin. They designed a hybrid AI that relies on both quantum and run-of-the-mill classic computing, and showed that—thanks to quantum quirkiness—it could simultaneously screen a handful of different ways to solve a problem.

The result is a reinforcement learning AI that learned over 60 percent faster than its non-quantum-enabled peers. This is one of the first tests that shows adding quantum computing can speed up the actual learning process of an AI agent, the authors explained.

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