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Sep 16, 2020

An Experimental Drug Protects Covid-19 Patients, Eli Lilly Claims

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A single infusion of an experimental drug markedly reduced levels of the coronavirus in newly infected patients and lowered the chances that they would need hospitalization, the drug’s maker announced on Wednesday.

The drug is a monoclonal antibody, a manufactured copy of an antibody produced by a patient who recovered from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Many scientists hope that monoclonal antibodies will prove to be powerful treatments for Covid-19, but they are difficult and expensive to manufacture, and progress has been slow.

A so-called monoclonal antibody lowered levels of the coronavirus and prevented hospitalizations. The research has not yet been vetted by independent experts.

Sep 16, 2020

Carl Sagan predicted life on Venus in 1967. We may be close to proving him right

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, media & arts

Millions of space nerds reacted with joy Monday to a study showing the atmosphere of Venus contains phosphine, a chemical byproduct of biological life. But none would have been more thrilled or less surprised by the discovery than the late, great Carl Sagan — who said this day might come more than 50 years ago.

Now best remembered as the presenter of the most-viewed-ever PBS series Cosmos, the author of the book behind the movie Contact, and the guy who put gold disks of Earth music on NASA’s Voyager missions, Sagan actually got his start studying our closest two planets. He became an astronomer after being inspired as a kid by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ space fantasies, set on Mars and Venus.

‘Cosmos’ presenter Carl Sagan was one of the world’s top experts on Venus, and he saw first what scientists have just announced: possible life on Venus.

Sep 16, 2020

Reforestation Drones Drop Seeds Instead of Bombs, Planting 100,000 Trees a Day Each

Posted by in categories: drones, sustainability

We’ve had impressive efforts, such as India planting 66 million trees in a day, but that was a large-scale event, which required organizing millions of volunteers. It would be difficult to recreate something like that on a regular basis.

Luckily, a former NASA engineer has developed drones that can plant 100,000 trees per day each.

Multiply that by 165 drones, and we could easily fill the 6-billion-tree gap we face each year.

Sep 16, 2020

Alien Technology — Almost Useless!

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Returning to the theme of what might be dubbed “UFO Realism” I would like to address a topic that exercises the minds of a lot of UFO conspiracy theorists, namely, reverse engineered alien technologies.

First, is there any evidence at all that any technology we currently have has any extraterrestrial element? For example, one famous claim by Colonel Corso is that much modern technology was derived from the Roswell Incident. To quote the Wikipedia entry the list includes “…particle beam devices, fiber optics, lasers, integrated circuit chips and Kevlar material”, not to mention the transistor itself.

The initial problem with these claims is twofold.

Sep 16, 2020

Afghanistan Peace Talks Open in Qatar, Seeking End to Decades of War

Posted by in categories: government, treaties

The Afghan government and the Taliban are finally coming to the table, after repeated delays. But the violence continues, and the challenges are vast.

Sep 16, 2020

Walmart Now Piloting On-Demand Drone Delivery with Flytrex

Posted by in categories: business, drones, robotics/AI

Sept. 9, 2020 By Tom Ward, Senior Vice President, Customer Product, Walmart.

Years ago, our founder Sam Walton famously said, “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.” It remains a guiding principle at Walmart to this day. From being an early pioneer of universal bar codes and electronic scanning cash registers to our work on autonomous vehicle delivery, we’re working to understand how these technologies can impact the future of our business and help us better serve our customers.

Our latest initiative has us exploring how drones can deliver items in a way that’s convenient, safe, and – you guessed it – fast. Today, we’re taking the next step in our exploration of on-demand delivery by announcing a new pilot with Flytrex, an end-to-end drone delivery company.

Sep 16, 2020

Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics, tractor beam

Modern construction is a precision endeavor. Builders must use components manufactured to meet specific standards — such as beams of a desired composition or rivets of a specific size. The building industry relies on manufacturers to create these components reliably and reproducibly in order to construct secure bridges and sound skyscrapers.

Now imagine construction at a smaller scale — less than 1/100th the thickness of a piece of paper. This is the nanoscale. It is the scale at which scientists are working to develop potentially groundbreaking technologies in fields like quantum computing. It is also a scale where traditional fabrication methods simply will not work. Our standard tools, even miniaturized, are too bulky and too corrosive to reproducibly manufacture components at the nanoscale.

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

Sep 16, 2020

New glove-like device mimics sense of touch

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

What if you could touch a loved one during a video call—particularly in today’s social distancing era of COVID-19—or pick up and handle a virtual tool in a video game?

Pending user tests and funding to commercialize the new technology, these ideas could become reality in a couple of years after UNSW Sydney engineers developed a new haptic which recreates the .

Haptic technology mimics the experience of touch by stimulating localized areas of the skin in ways that are similar to what is felt in the real world, through force, vibration or motion.

Sep 16, 2020

Boundaries no barrier for thermoelectricity

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Though the Summer Olympics were postponed, there’s at least one place to see agile hurdlers go for the gold.

You just need a way to view these electron games.

Using a novel optical detection system, researchers at Rice University found that electricity generated by temperature differences doesn’t appear to be affected measurably by placed in its way in nanoscale gold wires, while strain and other defects in the material can change this “thermoelectric” response.

Sep 16, 2020

SpaceX is testing Starlink Ground Stations in several U.S. States

Posted by in categories: entertainment, internet, satellites

Featured Image Source: Merrillan, Wisconsin resident r/ darkpenguin22 via Reddit.

SpaceX is building its Starlink internet network in low Earth orbit. The aerospace company plans to fund its space program by offering affordable, low-latency, broadband internet globally. SpaceX initially plans to deploy 4,409 internet-beaming Starlink satellites, according to a recent letter the company sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These satellites will operate at altitudes between 550 to 570 kilometers above Earth. To date, there are approximately 708 Starlink satellites already in low Earth orbit.

Company employees are actively private beta testing the Starlink network via user terminals that look like a ‘UFO on a stick’ and Wi-Fi router. – “They show super-low latency and download speeds greater than 100 [megabits] per second [Mbps],” SpaceX Senior Engineer Kate Tice shared during the latest deployment broadcast, “That means our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games and our download speeds are fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once.”