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Dec 23, 2019

Scientists Find the Universe’s First Molecule

Posted by in category: futurism

#29 in our top science stories of 2019.

Dec 23, 2019

Lizard-Like Fossil May Represent 306-Million-Year-Old Evidence of Animal Parenting

Posted by in category: futurism

Shortly after transitioning from sea to land, our egg-laying ancestors may have started parenting their young.

Dec 23, 2019

Scientists mapped Titan’s awe-inspiring terrain for the first time

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Navigating Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is a challenge. Just getting close is hard enough — it’s hundreds of millions of miles away, after all. But let’s suppose either a robot or a human lands on the surface of the only other body in the Solar System known to have liquid on its surface. They’d need a map — and fortunately, NASA has one ready to go should the occasion ever arise.

In November 2019, scientists made the first ever map detailing the moon’s complicated — and terrifying — terrain. It reveals a moon filled with weird and wonderful geography, including dunes, liquid methane lakes, plains, labyrinthine canyons, and craters.

This is #10 on Inverse’s 20 wildest space discoveries of 2019.

Dec 23, 2019

Scientists Gene-Edited Tomatoes to Make Them Grow Like Grapes

Posted by in categories: genetics, space

It’s 2050, and you’ve just arrived on Mars. Your first meal awaits: a plate of spaghetti marinara made from fresh vine-ripened tomatoes. Tough to imagine, right?

The idea that astronauts might enjoy the fresh, cherry-red fruits has seemed borderline absurd. Tomato plants, with their sprawling vines and bulbous fruits, take up space—valuable space. And they’re extremely finicky.

But now, scientists have developed a way to genetically modify cherry tomatoes so they grow in tighter bunches and take up less space. This could be a game changer as the push to grow vertical, rooftop gardens increases and as humanity stretches out past low-Earth orbit toward the moon, and eventually, Mars.

Dec 23, 2019

Massive star Betelgeuse is dimming and could soon go supernova

Posted by in category: cosmology

Dozens of astronomers from around the world including experts from the USA and Australia have taken to Twitter to discuss the phenomenon and whether it means an explosion is imminent.

Dec 23, 2019

Not a review of “The Artificial Intelligence Contagion”

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

“The Artificial Intelligence Contagion” is book and blog which compares A.I. and Robotics researchers to “the worst criminals the world has ever known”. This is my rebuttal to the author’s promotional material he circulated to 86 law professors and A.I. scientists.

A week ago I received an email from David Barnhizer, the author of a new book entitled “The Artificial intelligence contagion” addressed to 86 law professors, attorneys, and A.I. Researchers. I’ve began reading and found the book’s blog and a book review which says that “Those responsible for [artificial intelligence and robotics] are the worst criminals the world has ever known”. This sentiment is repeated throughout the writings, claiming to reflect growing animosity towards the artificial intelligence community.

For this reason, this piece is NOT a review of the book, which I did not read for reasons made obvious further below, for I do not wish to draw any attention to it. But I take exception to comparing me and my fellow scientists and researchers in artificial intelligence to genocidal dictators and war criminals. And Luddite Activism is a real danger.

Continue reading “Not a review of ‘The Artificial Intelligence Contagion’​” »

Dec 23, 2019

20+ Popular Heuristics And Cognitive Biases

Posted by in category: neuroscience

We believe that reality is exactly what we perceive but really, this is just an illusion of our own brain. This happens because our brain takes shortcuts to interpret information and adapt to our surroundings: heuristics on which the brain relies to understand the reality perceived, but… can we always trust our brain when it utilizes these resources?

Dec 22, 2019

Astrobiologist: Humans Are Going to Ruin Outer Space

Posted by in category: space

Cracks are emerging in the outer space honor system.

We’re already starting to treat the cosmos the way we treat the Earth.

Dec 22, 2019

New research uncovers potential trigger for Type 2 diabetes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health

Research led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has uncovered a new process that may help explain how Type 2 diabetes develops. In tests on live mice and human cells in the lab, the team found a new mechanism besides insulin resistance and high glucose levels that triggers pancreatic cells to begin overproducing insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is the form of the disease that’s usually a result of lifestyle choices, such as poor diet and not enough exercise. It involves a kind of vicious cycle of insulin – beta cells in the pancreas produce too much insulin, which causes the body to become resistant to it. That in turn means the beta cells could produce even more to compensate.

It was long thought that high glucose levels – most commonly caused by eating too much sugary and fatty foods – was the trigger for the beta cells to begin overproducing insulin. But it’s also been shown in the past that even beta cells isolated in a lab dish can over-secrete insulin, without glucose playing a part.

Dec 22, 2019

This ultracool smart glove for astronauts is like a remote control for robots on the Moon and Mars

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, drones, robotics/AI, space travel

What if astronauts could take a spacecraft to Mars or some other alien planet and, without ever flying through a toxic atmosphere or landing on an inhospitable surface, control drones and rovers to unearth things that would be otherwise impossible to get up close to?

This is the thinking behind the Ntention smart glove. Ntention is an ambitious futuretech startup that was the brainchild of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) students who wanted to push the limits of space exploration. They designed this glove, equipped with sensors, as a human-machine interface that lets you mind-control a robot with hand gestures. Now NASA’s Haughton Mars project (HMP) has field tested the glove and found it to be many levels of awesome.