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Oct 22, 2020

Supercrystal: A hidden phase of matter created by a burst of light

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2019

“Frustration” plus a pulse of laser light resulted in a stable “supercrystal” created by a team of researchers led by Penn State and Argonne National Laboratory, together with University of California, Berkeley, and two other national laboratories.

This is one of the first examples of a new state of matter with long-term stability transfigured by the energy from a sub-pico-second laser pulse. The team’s goal, supported by the Department of Energy, is to discover interesting states of matter with unusual properties that do not exist in equilibrium in nature.

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Oct 22, 2020

As Japan’s Population Ages, a Rare Brain-Eating Disease Is Becoming More Common

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

CJD happens when proteins called prions, which form incorrectly, find their way into the brain. Prions have the unfortunate, destructive ability to deform the proteins around them as well. As the prions gradually eat away at neurons, they create sponge-like holes in the brain. This leads to dementia, loss of bodily function, and eventually coma and death.

A new study — published last month in the journal Scientific Reports — looked at national data on people 50 years and older from Japan between the years 2005 and 2014 and found a gradual rise in the country’s CJD cases and deaths. The increase in both was most prominent among those older 70, but the Okayama University scientists behind the research saw a rise of CJD even after the data had been corrected for age.

“Given this trend in aging of population, the disease burden of CJD will continue to increase in severity,” the scientists wrote in their paper. “Our findings thus recommend that policymakers be aware of the importance of CJD and focus on preparing to address the increasing prevalence of dementia.”

Oct 22, 2020

A Closer Look at Elon Musk’s Starlink Project

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet

How Elon Musk’s Starlink will deliver internet across the globe.

Oct 22, 2020

Artemis Accords: why many countries are refusing to sign moon exploration agreement

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, space travel, treaties

Eight countries have signed the Artemis Accords, a set of guidelines surrounding the Artemis Program for crewed exploration of the moon. The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the US are now all participants in the project, which aims to return humans to the moon by 2024 and establish a crewed lunar base by 2030.

This may sound like progress. Nations have for a number of years struggled with the issue of how to govern a human settlement on the moon and deal with the management of any resources. But a number of key countries have serious concerns about the accords and have so far refused to sign them.

Previous attempts to govern space have been through painstakingly negotiated international treaties. The Outer Space Treaty 1967 laid down the foundational principles for human space exploration – it should be peaceful and benefit all mankind, not just one country. But the treaty has little in the way of detail. The moon Agreement of 1979 attempted to prevent commercial exploitation of outer-space resources, but only a small number of states have ratified it – the US, China and Russia haven’t.

Oct 22, 2020

Tech Creates Precise Ceramics With Handmade Touches

Posted by in category: futurism

This machine makes unique ceramics from liquid clay.

Oct 22, 2020

Artificial intelligence skills shortages re-emerge from hiatus

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Two in five companies see lack of technical expertise as a roadblock to AI. It couldn’t come at a worse time.

Oct 22, 2020

Human trials for genetic jab that lets blind mice see again

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

A gene therapy that could restore the fading sight of the elderly is being tested on humans for the first time after positive results in blind mice.

It could be used to treat age-related macular degeneration, a common condition that usually first affects people in their 50s and 60s, scientists said.

It involves a one-time injection of a modified virus into the eye. This viral vector is altered to contain a synthetic gene that produces a protein that plays a critical role in the perception of light.

Oct 22, 2020

How Synthetic Biology Can Help the Environment

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, sustainability

Artificial and modified organisms could become essential tools to fight climate change, clean up pollution, protect biodiversity, and more.

Oct 22, 2020

India’s richest state invites Tesla after Musk hints entry into country

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

(Reuters) — India’s richest state Maharashtra has invited U.S. electric-car maker Tesla Inc, weeks after its Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk suggested entering the country next year.

In a tweet here on Thursday, state tourism and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said he and industries minister Subhash Desai held a video call with Tesla executives earlier in the day to invite them to the state.

Earlier this month, Musk said “Next year for sure” on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

Oct 22, 2020

Morgan Stanley expects SpaceX will be a $100 billion company thanks to Starlink and Starship

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, space travel

Morgan Stanley doubled its long-term valuation estimate for Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Thursday and is now expecting the company to be worth at least $100 billion due to its position in the growing space industry.