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Nov 17, 2020

Tiny version of USS Voyager sheds light on physics of microswimmers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI


Work could lead to tiny swimming robots for autonomous drug delivery in human body.

Nov 17, 2020

Blind man sets record climbing 450ft cliff above sheer drop into sea

Posted by in category: futurism

Circa 2019

‘I did it. I led all 6 pitches placing my own gear, feeling my way up… It was truly epic’

Nov 17, 2020

Ancient zircon minerals from Mars reveal the elusive internal structure of the red planet

Posted by in category: space

Analysis of an ancient meteorite from Mars suggests that the mineral zircon may be abundant on the surface of the red planet.

By determining the age and hafnium isotope composition of zircon, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown that a population of these crystals were sourced from the deep interior of Mars. If the researchers are correct, it means that the young zircons contain information about the deep, inaccessible interior of Mars, providing insights into the internal structure of the planet.

The uranium-bearing is an abundant constituent of Earth’s , providing information about the age and origin of the continents and large geological features such as mountain chains and giant volcanoes. But unlike Earth, Mars’s crust is not evolved and is compositionally similar to the crust found under the Earth’s oceans, where is rare. Therefore, zircon is not expected to be a common mineral on Mars.

Nov 17, 2020

Alternative tech makes gains in quantum computer race

Posted by in categories: business, computing, health, quantum physics

A technology for building quantum computers that has long been sidelined by major companies is gaining momentum. As quantum computing has transformed from academic exercise to big business over the past decade, the spotlight has mostly been on one approach — the tiny superconducting loops embraced by technology giants such as IBM and Intel. Superconductors enabled Google last year to claim it had achieved ‘quantum advantage’ with a quantum machine that for the first time performed a particular calculation that is beyond the practical capabilities of the best classical computer. But a separate approach, using ions trapped in electric fields, is gaining traction in the quest to make a commercial quantum computer.

Nov 17, 2020

Making Sense of the AI Landscape

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A survey of more than 800 AI systems identified four distinct types of tools.

Nov 17, 2020

Mini-satellite maker

Posted by in category: satellites

Caption :

MIT aerospace engineer Kerri Cahoy designs mini satellites for weather monitoring and space exploration.

Nov 17, 2020

Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced.

Nov 17, 2020

Amazon jumps into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment, free delivery for Prime members

Posted by in categories: business, habitats, health

Amazon is entering the pharmacy business with a new offering called Amazon Pharmacy, allowing customers in the United States to order prescription medications for home delivery, including free delivery for Amazon Prime members.

Amazon has been quietly building out its pharmacy offering for several years after ramping up internal discussions in 2017 and acquiring PillPack in 2018. The pharmacy space is notoriously complex and competitive in the U.S., and Amazon Pharmacy is built in part on PillPack’s infrastructure, including its pharmacy software, fulfillment centers and relationships with health plans.

Amazon Pharmacy, announced Tuesday, is the company’s biggest push yet into $300 billion market, and threatens the dominance of traditional pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, as well as other large retailers that offer pharmacy services, including Walmart.

Nov 17, 2020

Genetic Adam and Eve did not live too far apart in time

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Circa 2013

The Book of Genesis puts Adam and Eve together in the Garden of Eden, but geneticists’ version of the duo — the ancestors to whom the Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA of today’s humans can be traced — were thought to have lived tens of thousands of years apart. Now, two major studies of modern humans’ Y chromosomes suggest that ‘Y-chromosome Adam’ and ‘mitochondrial Eve’ may have lived around the same time after all1, 2.

When the overall population size does not change (as is likely to have happened for long periods of human history), men have, on average, just one son. In this case, evolutionary theory predicts that for any given man there is a high probability that his paternal line will eventually come to an end. All of his male descendants will then have inherited Y chromosomes from other men. In fact, it is highly probable that at some point in the past, all men except one possessed Y chromosomes that by now are extinct. All men living now, then, would have a Y chromosome descended from that one man — identified as Y-chromosome Adam. (The biblical reference is a bit of a misnomer because this Adam was by no means the only man alive at his time.)

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Nov 17, 2020

Solar system formed in less than 200,000 years

Posted by in category: space

A long time ago — roughly 4.5 billion years — our sun and solar system formed over the short time span of 200,000 years. That is the conclusion of a group of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists after looking at isotopes of the element molybdenum found on meteorites.