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Sep 25, 2020

Bezos’ Blue Origin to break record with 7th reusable New Shepard rocket

Posted by in categories: ethics, space

According to Blue Origin, the launch is now set for Friday, Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. central time. You can watch the launch live here.

Boeing to Face Independent Ethics Probe Over Lunar Lander Bid

According to a press release, the New Shepard will fly 12 commercial payloads to space and back, including a demonstration of a lunar landing sensor that will test technologies for future missions to the Moon in support of NASA’s Artemis program.

Sep 25, 2020

Researchers develop ‘Trojan horse’ approach to destroy cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers took a silica nanoparticle designated as ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ by the US Food and Drug Administration and coated it with L-phenylalanine, and found that in lab tests with mice it killed cancer cells effectively and very specifically, by causing them to self-destruct.


Cancer cells are killed in lab experiments and tumor growth reduced in mice, using a new approach that turns a nanoparticle into a ‘Trojan horse’ that causes cancer cells to self-destruct, a research team at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found.

The researchers created their ‘Trojan horse’ nanoparticle by coating it with a specific amino acid — L-phenylalanine — that cancer cells rely on, along with other similar amino acids, to survive and grow. L-phenylalanine is known as an ‘essential’ amino acid as it cannot be made by the body and must be absorbed from food, typically from meat and dairy products.

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Sep 25, 2020

These weird, unsettling photos show that AI is getting smarter

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Of all the AI models in the world, OpenAI’s GPT-3 has most captured the public’s imagination. It can spew poems, short stories, and songs with little prompting, and has been demonstrated to fool people into thinking its outputs were written by a human. But its eloquence is more of a parlor trick, not to be confused with realintelligence.

Nonetheless, researchers believe that the techniques used to create GPT-3 could contain the secret to more advanced AI. GPT-3 trained on an enormous amount of text data. What if the same methods were trained on both text and images?

Now new research from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, AI2, has taken this idea to the next level. The researchers have developed a new text-and-image model, otherwise known as a visual-language model, that can generate images given a caption. The images look unsettling and freakish—nothing like the hyperrealistic deepfakes generated by GANs —but they might demonstrate a promising new direction for achieving more generalizable intelligence, and perhaps smarter robots as well.

Sep 25, 2020

Some severe COVID-19 cases linked to genetic mutations or antibodies that attack the body

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Very interesting!

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“The plan was to scan patients’ genomes—in particular, a set of 13 genes involved in interferon immunity against influenza. In healthy people, interferon molecules act as the body’s security system. They detect invading viruses and bacteria and sound the alarm, which brings other immune defenders to the scene.

Continue reading “Some severe COVID-19 cases linked to genetic mutations or antibodies that attack the body” »

Sep 25, 2020

Scientists Built the Best Solar Laser Ever

Posted by in category: innovation

They’re not just for supervillains anymore.


Scientists in Japan and Germany have made a breakthrough in the field of solar lasers—and they’ve changed the game completely.

🤯 You like badass science. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

Sep 25, 2020

A Real-Life Gundam Mecha Just Took Its First Steps

Posted by in category: futurism

A Gundam doesn’t take baby steps.

Sep 25, 2020

Daimler unveils electric bus with 441 kWh solid-state battery pack

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

The Navy has fielded a 650-round ammo backpack nicknamed ‘Avenger’ to troops at some point in the last two years.


Daimler has unveiled an electric bus equipped with a solid-state battery pack — probably becoming the first planned production EV with a solid-state battery.

The German automaker has been aggressively electrifying its deep lineup of big vehicles from buses to commercial trucks.

Continue reading “Daimler unveils electric bus with 441 kWh solid-state battery pack” »

Sep 25, 2020

The Navy has a 650-round ammo backpack that looks like it’s straight out of ‘Predator’

Posted by in category: military

The Navy has fielded a 650-round ammo backpack nicknamed ‘Avenger’ to troops at some point in the last several years, the service confirmed to Task & Purpose, although officials declined to elaborate on the scope or details of the system’s employment.

“Unfortunately we cannot disclose this type of information as it pertains to troop location, movements, and tactics,” Lisa Oswald, a spokeswoman for Naval Supply Systems Command, told Task & Purpose.

Sep 25, 2020

Earth Is Getting a New Mini-Moon That Might Be a Piece of Human-Made Junk

Posted by in category: space

No, like, it literally might be garbage.


A strange object is hurtling toward Earth and, according to estimations of its trajectory, it will briefly become a mini-moon.

🌌You like badass space stuff. So do we. Let’s nerd out over the universe together.

Continue reading “Earth Is Getting a New Mini-Moon That Might Be a Piece of Human-Made Junk” »

Sep 25, 2020

Newfound brain structure explains why some birds are so smart—and maybe even self-aware

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Circuitry of the pallium mirrors the mammalian neocortex.