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Dec 1, 2017

Tesla big battery officially switched on in South Australia

Posted by in categories: energy, government, sustainability

The Tesla big battery – the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery storage installation to date – was officially switched on in South Australia on Friday, a day after it had already demonstrated its value by injecting energy into the grid during the previous day’s afternoon peak.

South Australia premier Jay Weatherill, whose government has provided the subsidy for the battery to be built on the grid with the largest penetration of wind and solar anywhere in the world, described it as a “landmark moment”.

“This means that, for the first time, clean and affordable wind energy can be dispatched to the grid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether the wind is blowing or not, improving system reliability,” Weatherill said.

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Dec 1, 2017

The Colorado School of Mines Wants to Launch the First-Ever Space Mining Program

Posted by in category: space

The first-ever graduate program for space miners-in-training is set to launch next year. And the inaugural class is already taking lessons.

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Dec 1, 2017

Canada tests ‘basic income’ effect on poverty amid lost jobs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, employment, finance, food, government, security

Ontario intends to provide a basic income to 4,000 people in three different communities as part of an experiment that seeks to evaluate whether providing more money to people on public assistance or low incomes will make a significant material difference in their lives. How people like Button respond over the next three years is being closely watched by social scientists, economists and policymakers in Canada and around the world.


Former security guard Tim Button considers how a sudden increase in his income from an unusual social experiment has changed his life in this Canadian industrial city along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Sipping coffee in a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop, Button says he has been unable to work because of a fall from a roof, and the financial boost from Ontario Province’s new “basic income” program has enabled him to make plans to visit distant family for Christmas for the first time in years. It has also prompted him to eat healthier, schedule a long-postponed trip to the dentist and mull taking a course to help him get back to work.

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Dec 1, 2017

This Anti-Aging Protein Could Be Targeted to Rejuvenate Our Immune Cells

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

Summary: Scientists discover that the anti-aging protein SIRT1 could be targeted to rejuvenate T cells in our aging immune systems. [Author: Brady Hartman] This article first appeared on LongevityFacts.com. Follow us on Reddit | Google+ | Facebook.

Anti-aging proteins in the sirtuin family have long been shown to protect against age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration. A new research study by scientists at the Gladstone Institutes now reveals that the protein called SIRT1 could also be targeted to rejuvenate aging immune system cells. SIRT1 is commonly known for being activated by naturally occurring substances found in red wine.

In the new study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers found that SIRT1 is also involved in how immune system cells develop with age. The Gladstone scientists wanted to find out how the anti-aging protein SIRT1 affects the immune cells known as cytotoxic T cells. Also called killer T cells, these cells are highly specialized guardians of the immune system, and their role is to kill cancer cells, damaged cells, or those cells infected by a virus. More specifically, a cytotoxic T cell is a type of white blood cell and also a type of lymphocyte. To treat tumors, these can be separated from other blood cells, grown in a laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. Melanie Ott, a senior author of the new study, and a Gladstone Senior Investigator said.

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Dec 1, 2017

Cryptography and radar won WW2 and today Quantum military technologies are similarly critical

Posted by in categories: encryption, military, policy, quantum physics

Cryptography and radar were technologies that won World War 2. Broken codes let the allies know where major forces were being moved. So the US fleet could choose where to intercept the Japanese Navy for the Battle of Midway. Radar and sonar then provided realtime tracking of the Japanese forces during the battle.

This is a summary of information from a Foreign Policy article by Thomas E. Ricks.

Quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, and quantum tunneling can be applied in new forms of computation, sensing, and cryptography.

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Nov 30, 2017

Stretchsense Behind “Disappearable” Zozosuit Smart Garment

Posted by in categories: electronics, wearables

New Zealand-built technology enabling an entirely new type of wearable

AUCKLAND, NOVEMBER 22, 2017 — StretchSense Ltd., New Zealand-based manufacturer of wearable sensing systems, today is proud to see the release of ZozoSuit by its client and investor Start Today Co., Ltd., owner of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer. The first consumer-ready wearable product built with StretchSense’s unique sensor technology, the ZozoSuit was developed in close collaboration between the two companies and provides precise measurement of body shape to solve the problem of fit when buying clothes online.

StretchSense’s mission is to go beyond wearables and towards “disappearables” — truly smart garments with unobtrusive sensors and electronics that feel invisible to the wearer. The ZozoSuit is a realization of that vision, blurring the line between clothing and technology with lightweight sensing elements, flexible cabling and miniaturized electronics all fully integrated into a skin-tight garment.

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Nov 30, 2017

New 3D printer is ten times faster than commercial counterparts

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

MIT engineers have developed a new desktop 3D printer that performs up to 10 times faster than existing commercial counterparts. Whereas the most common printers may fabricate a few Lego-sized bricks in one hour, the new design can print similarly sized objects in just a few minutes.

The key to the team’s nimble design lies in the printer’s compact printhead, which incorporates two new, speed-enhancing components: a screw mechanism that feeds polymer material through a nozzle at high force; and a laser, built into the printhead, that rapidly heats and melts the material, enabling it to flow faster through the nozzle.

The team demonstrated its new design by printing various detailed, handheld 3D objects, including small eyeglasses frames, a bevel gear, and a miniature replica of the MIT dome—each, from start to finish, within several minutes.

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Nov 30, 2017

This surgeon wants to connect you to the Internet with a brain implant

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, internet, neuroscience

Just need to prevent brain hacking.


Eric Leuthardt believes that in the near future we will allow doctors to insert electrodes into our brains so we can communicate directly with computers and each other.

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Nov 30, 2017

Snake Oil and Continued Ill Health – Faustian Bargains

Posted by in category: life extension

We wanted to draw attention to an interesting paper that we saw today; this one argues that there are two broad Faustian bargains that people make while attempting to live longer. The first involves questionable products, and the second involves treating the symptoms of aging rather than the cause.

The First Faustian Bargain – Anti-aging

The first bargain is the promise made by the “anti-aging” industry, the supplement sellers who do not state outright but strongly imply that their elixirs could add years to your life. We have all seen the supplement blends with fancy names that often contain a mixture of compounds that we could obtain separately at far lower cost. These supplements are marketed as miracles, while their ingredients are only supported by mouse studies or sometimes not even that.

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Nov 30, 2017

Why human race is 20 years away from guaranteeing its immortality – physicist Brian Cox on space colonies and mining asteroids

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

“We’re at a stage now where the next 10 or 20 years are the time we become a spacefaring civilisation,” he says. “From then on, our future is guaranteed as a civilisation. The moment we get to the moon and Mars and start to exploit the resources in the solar system is the moment we become essentially immortal as a civilisation. Because we won’t just be confined to one planet that we can damage any more. Now is the time we do that.”


Professor believes we will become a spacefaring civilisation in the next 10 or 20 years, and thereby guarantee our future forever, as long as we don’t do anything stupid like ‘having a war in the Pacific’.

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