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Jun 4, 2018

The Birth of Wetware

Posted by in categories: employment, neuroscience

I t’s an odd thing for someone to say about neurons: “Let’s see if anyone is awake.” And it’s an even odder thing to hear in a cavernous, half-furnished office suite where one whole room is occupied only by copy machines and a lonely foosball table.

Not far from that foosball table, Oshiorenoya Agabi and Benjamin Sadrian are sitting in a lab at their startup, Koniku, in Berkeley, California. Agabi founded the company, and Sadrian is a senior neuroscientist. They are toggling between a microscope and a screen full of blue graphs, looking for signs of activity in a cluster of neurons. Sadrian pauses as he scrolls through slightly fuzzy readouts on the screen, reminiscent of stock charts with buzz cuts. “I wish you’d come later, even tomorrow,” he sighs.

These readouts measure signals inside cells, and Agabi and Sadrian are looking for spikes that would show Koniku’s neurons reacting to a chemical Sadrian exposed them to moments ago. When we examined them under the microscope, they glowed a faint neon green, which indicates they’re starting to mature. A few tentative dendrites reached out into the void, the neurons just beginning to form connections with one another. But the telltale spikes don’t materialize on the screen. At just six days old, these neurons are still too young to do the jobs they’ve been engineered to do.

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Jun 4, 2018

Nonprofit Wants to Map Lunar Heritage Sites Using Blockchain

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, finance, law, space

Yellowstone National Park, The Dolomites, Auschwitz Birkenau, The Great Wall … Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base?

For All Moonkind and TODAQ Financial have teamed up to map heritage sites on the Moon—using blockchain.

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Jun 4, 2018

There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics

Scientists seek a single description of reality. But modern physics allows for many different descriptions, many equivalent to one another, connected through a vast landscape of mathematical possibility.

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Jun 4, 2018

Oldsmar’s Cryo-Cell buys Orlando cord blood bank for $14 million

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, finance

OLDSMAR — Cryo-Cell International, the local company that was the first private cord bank to separate and store stem cells, has acquired a public cord blood bank company based in Orlando for $14 million.

Cryo-Cell announced the acquisition of CORD: USE on Monday. The sale propels Cyro-Cell into the public cord blood banking business. Cryo-Cell co-CEO David Portnoy said the purchase will raise revenues by about 20 percent.

Cryo-Cell was founded in 1989 and now holds the stem cells of more than 500,000 families from 87 countries, according to the company. CORD: USE has agreements with hospital across the country to receive donations from mothers of babies’ chord blood while also storing families stem cells.

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Jun 4, 2018

Quantum computers are weirder and more powerful than we thought

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

A theoretical breakthrough has shown that quantum computers are not just faster versions of ordinary computers, but something much stranger.

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Jun 4, 2018

Stronger, deeper PH-SoKor ties sought

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, policy, robotics/AI, transportation

“This, of course, will deepen scientific and technological cooperation at the experts’ level in many areas, including but not limited to, advanced material sources. We are talking here of biotechnology, nanotechnology, data analysis, artificial intelligence, space technology, innovation policy,” Hernandez said.

By Genalyn Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Seoul, South Korea — The country’s vibrant relations with South Korea are expected to be strengthened with the planned cooperation accords on transportation safety, technological development, port expansion, and revitalized trade during President Duterte’s official visit.

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Jun 4, 2018

A New Way to Control High Blood Pressure

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have potentially found a new way to combat hypertension by discovering how blood pressure is controlled.

What is hypertension?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. However, if it is left untreated, your risk of serious problems, such as heart attack and stroke, is increased.

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Jun 4, 2018

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Makes Tracks on Magical Mystery Tour of Different Rocks

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI, space

Update from a space robot rolling around Mars!

Sols 5073–5102

Opportunity continued exploring the south trough of Perseverance in May, still looking for evidence that explains just how this one-of-a-kind valley meandering through Endeavour Crater’s rim formed, and, along the way, helped the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission chalk up yet another first, linking with three relay orbiters in one Martian day or sol to send a pipeline of data home.

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Jun 4, 2018

With a simple and cheap rocket, Virgin Orbit aims for the extraordinary

Posted by in category: futurism

Go for launch.

With a simple and cheap rocket, Virgin Orbit aims for the extraordinary.

With a first flight months away, we take a long look at the launch company.

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Jun 4, 2018

5 futuristic Westworld technologies and when they’ll be a reality

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Creators of science fiction and fantasy books, films, and TV shows present stories of possible or imaginary worlds – and their presentations can range from the realistic to the fantastical. When we watch Westworld (and viewership is growing, with the season one finale drawing 2.2 million viewers ), we look forward 30 years into a potential future envisioned by its writers. Returning to the notion of reality and fantasy (or fact and fiction), the extent to which a sci-fi film might be descriptive of the future seems to be anybody’s guess.

However, we can actually get a sense of how reasonable the picture of the future that is being presented to us is if we consider it in terms of its pieces – particularly the technologies it presents. To consider the feasibility of the fascinating tools and other inventions depicted in these currently fictitious scenarios is, in some manner, to look through a window into the future. In a more functional sense, considering the show’s technology allows us a way to understand it in a broader cultural and historical context (as well as to better understand the possible future developments of these technologies through a fictional example).

Here are five key technologies from Westworld that are not AI, along with a sense of how close we are to actually having these seemingly “space-age” technologies available.

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