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Oct 26, 2018

The Main Suspect Behind an Ominous Spike in a Polio-Like Illness

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A common virus seems to be behind a puzzling condition that’s paralyzing children, but uncertainties remain.

A s the summer of 2014 gave way to fall, Kevin Messacar, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado, started seeing a wave of children with inexplicable paralysis. All of them shared the same story. One day, they had a cold. The next, they couldn’t move an arm or a leg. In some children, the paralysis was relatively mild, but others had to be supported with ventilators and feeding tubes after they stopped being able to breathe or swallow on their own.

The condition looked remarkably like polio—the viral disease that is on the verge of being eradicated worldwide. But none of the kids tested positive for poliovirus. Instead, their condition was given a new name: acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. That year, 120 people, mostly young children, developed the condition across 34 states. The cases peaked in September and then rapidly tailed off.

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Oct 26, 2018

More solar panels mean more waste and there’s no easy solution

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Solar panels might be the energy source of the future, but they also create a problem without an easy solution: what do we do with millions of panels when they stop working?

In November 2016, the Environment Ministry of Japan warned that the country will produce 800,000 tons of solar waste by 2040, and it can’t yet handle those volumes. That same year, the International Renewable Energy Agency estimated that there were already 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste worldwide and that this number would grow to 78 million by 2050. “That’s an amazing amount of growth,” says Mary Hutzler, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research. “It’s going to be a major problem.”

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Oct 26, 2018

India’s Rickshaw Revolution Leaves China in the Dust

Posted by in categories: finance, transportation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration now is pivoting toward promoting EVs in public transportation and fleet operations – primarily, two- and three-wheelers, taxis and buses. The Ministry of Finance is finalizing a plan to spend about 40 billion rupees ($600 million) in the next five years to improve the nation’s charging infrastructure and subsidize e-buses.

An electric-vehicle revolution is gaining ground in India, and it has nothing to do with cars.

The South Asian nation is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws – a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011. But while the world’s largest auto market dangled significant subsidies to encourage purchases of battery-powered cars, India’s e-movement hardly got a hand from the state.

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Oct 26, 2018

Fake Moon Over Chengdu Shows Why China Is Billionaire Powerhouse

Posted by in category: space

Rocket scientists are planning to suspend a man-made moon bright enough to reduce the need for streetlamps.

In the Sichuan city of Chengdu, Chinese rocket scientists are planning to suspend a man-made moon bright enough to reduce the need for streetlamps.

It’s exactly that kind of ingenuity that has helped the world’s most populous nation churn out new billionaires at a prodigious clip, according to John Mathews, head of ultra-high net worth in the Americas for UBS Group AG.

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Oct 26, 2018

Witness Orion’s Nebula Birthing Stars

Posted by in category: futurism

Take a ride through Orion’s Nebula.

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Oct 25, 2018

Researchers build an artificial fly brain that can tell who’s who

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, robotics/AI

Despite the simplicity of their visual system, fruit flies are able to reliably distinguish between individuals based on sight alone. This is a task that even humans who spend their whole lives studying Drosophila melanogaster struggle with. Researchers have now built a neural network that mimics the fruit fly’s visual system and can distinguish and re-identify flies. This may allow the thousands of labs worldwide that use fruit flies as a model organism to do more longitudinal work, looking at how individual flies change over time. It also provides evidence that the humble fruit fly’s vision is clearer than previously thought.

In an interdisciplinary project, researchers at Guelph University and the University of Toronto, Mississauga combined expertise in fruit fly biology with machine learning to build a biologically-based algorithm that churns through low-resolution videos of in order to test whether it is physically possible for a system with such constraints to accomplish such a difficult task.

Fruit flies have small compound eyes that take in a limited amount of visual information, an estimated 29 units squared (Fig. 1A). The traditional view has been that once the image is processed by a fruit fly, it is only able to distinguish very broad features (Fig. 1B). But a recent discovery that can boost their effective resolution with subtle biological tricks (Fig. 1C) has led researchers to believe that vision could contribute significantly to the social lives of flies. This, combined with the discovery that the structure of their visual system looks a lot like a Deep Convolutional Network (DCN), led the team to ask: “can we model a fly brain that can identify individuals?”

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Oct 25, 2018

Microgravity May Be The Best Place To Grow Human Organs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space

Human organs may one day be grown in space.

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Oct 25, 2018

Diwata-2 ready for take off

Posted by in category: futurism

In 2016, the University of the Philippines and the nation made history with the release of Diwata-1, the first ever microsatellite designed and built by Filipinos. On October 29, 2018, the PHL-Microsat team will make history once more with the release of Diwata-2—its more technically advanced sibling—from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

To reserve your slots for the live viewing of this historic launch at the GT Toyota Auditorium, UP Diliman, visit: Program starts at 11:00 AM. The event is free and open to the public.

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Oct 25, 2018

China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist

Posted by in categories: government, privacy, robotics/AI, security, surveillance, transportation

Whether it’s left there or right here… the tactics and destination look pretty much the same to me…

China is the world leader in facial recognition technology. Discover how the country is using it to develop a vast hyper-surveillance system able to monitor and target its ethnic minorities, including the Muslim Uighur population.

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Oct 25, 2018

Scientists Worldwide Are Getting Serious About Quantum Internet

Posted by in categories: internet, particle physics, quantum physics

It takes little more than logging on to see the flaws in today’s internet—mainly, how easy it is to steal or intercept data. One future solution for these problems could be an upgrade that relies on the latest advances in the science of subatomic particles: a quantum internet.

Just last week, three scientists from the renowned QuTech center at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) revealed a roadmap for how this quantum internet should develop. They also plan to connect four cities with a quantum link by 2020, reports MIT Tech Review. And today, University of Chicago scientists announced that they plan to set up a quantum link across a 30-mile distance. Scientists are really getting serious about this quantum internet idea.

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