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Dec 8, 2017

How refugee scientists can change the world

Posted by in category: education

Although it is hard to get exact numbers, thousands of science students and professionals are thought to be among those seeking refuge. Now they are the focus of a documentary by Italian artist and film-maker Nicole Leghissa. Her Science in Exile recently premiered at the World Science Forum in Jordan, and will be shown globally in 2018.


What becomes of the scientists among those fleeing war and conflict in Africa and the Middle East, asks a documentary, Science in Exile.

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Dec 8, 2017

Insurance Companies Are Now Offering Discounts if Your Let Your Tesla Drive Itself

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI, transportation

While accidents have happened, one of the most appealing things about autonomous vehicles is their capacity to make our roads a safer place. Now, insurance companies are starting to offer financial incentives to promote adoption.

Britain’s largest automobile insurance company, Direct Line, has announced a 5 percent discount for customers who activate Autopilot functionality in their Tesla. It follows in the footsteps of Root, a startup that offers a similar promotion across nine states in the US.

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Dec 8, 2017

Scientists Just Took a Giant Leap Forward in the Quest to Create Artificial Life

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new study reveals that semi-synthetic organisms — in this case, E.coli bacteria containing two artificial DNA bases — can produce proteins.

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Dec 8, 2017

Netflix’s Beautiful New Sci-Fi Series Will Make You Rethink Death

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience

What is a body other than the vessel for your consciousness? Does the one you’re using right now really matter all that much? Why not, when your current body gets all old and run down, don’t you just get a new, young, beautiful, and healthy one? That’s the pitch in the first trailer for Netflix’s new dystopian sci-fi series Altered Carbon, which takes the form of an advertisement for Psychasec.

“Centuries ago, mankind discovered a way to transfer consciousness into a new body making death a mere inconvenience,” says the commercial. “Since then we’ve been providing an unparalleled pedigree of human sleeves to only the most discerning clientele. Psychasec: Live forever in the body you deserve.”

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Dec 7, 2017

Tesla just received its largest preorder of Semi trucks yet

Posted by in category: transportation

Anheuser-Busch says it reserved 40 electric big rigs.

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Dec 7, 2017

DeepMind’s AI became a superhuman chess player in a few hours, just for fun

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The descendant of DeepMind’s world champion Go program stretches its muscles in a new domain.

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Dec 7, 2017

A Modified CRISPR Could Treat Common Diseases Without Editing DNA

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

It worked. Working with mice, they were able to reverse the disease symptoms of kidney disease, type 1 diabetes, and a form of muscular dystrophy. In the mouse with kidney disease, for example, they turned on two genes associated with kidney function and saw the kidney function improved.


The unassumingly named CRISPR/Cas9 is a technology that stands to remake the world as we know it. By allowing scientists to more easily than ever cut and paste all those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that encode all the world’s living things, for one thing, it could one day cure many devastating diseases.

All that power, though, comes with one pretty sizable caveat: Sometimes CRISPR doesn’t work quite like we expect it to. While the scientific establishment is still embroiled in a debate over just how serious the problem is, CRISPR sometimes causes off-target effects. And for scientists doing gene editing on human patients, those mutations could wind up inadvertently causing problems like tumors or genetic disease. Yikes.

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Dec 7, 2017

This is Aubrey — I’m starting the AMA now and I should be here for the next two hours. : Futurology

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

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Dec 7, 2017

Google’s AI mastered chess in 4 hours

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

The robots are coming for your … chess game.

Google’s AI, AlphaZero, developed a “superhuman performance” in chess in just four hours.

Essentially, the AI absorbed humanity’s entire history of chess in one-sixth of a day — and then figured out how to beat anyone or anything.

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Dec 7, 2017

Oldest Monster Black Hole Ever Found Is 800 Million Times More Massive Than the Sun

Posted by in category: cosmology

Scientists have found the oldest, farthest monster black hole yet, one that grew to gargantuan proportions just 690 billion years after the Big Bang.

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