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Aug 13, 2019

The Desperate Race to Neutralize a Lethal Superbug Yeast

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Last September, an American traveling in Kenya suffered a serious stroke, and was hospitalized there for a month. The stay didn’t go well: The person suffered a bout of pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, and a brush with sepsis, a life-threatening immune reaction to infection.

Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and the author of Big Chicken.

Eventually the traveler’s condition stabilized enough to be brought home, to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Maryland. Because they had been in that foreign hospital for so long, the US institution decided to be extra careful. It put the patient (who hasn’t been named publicly, to respect medical privacy) into an isolation room and required that everyone on the treatment team wear a gown and gloves. After consulting the state health department, the hospital also decided to check the patient for any superbugs that might have been picked up overseas.

Aug 13, 2019

Study: All major Chinese cities capable of generating solar power more cheaply than grid

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, sustainability

A team of researchers with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Mälardalen University and Tsinghua University has found that all of China’s major cities are now in a position to produce electricity from solar power more cheaply than can be had from the grid. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the group describes how they estimated solar energy costs for all the major Chinese cities, and what they found when they compared them to costs associated with the grid.

In recent years, China has put a significant amount of effort into producing and installing solar technology to the extent that they are now the world’s biggest producer of , and also the world’s biggest installer of solar panels. Last year, installations in the country accounted for half of all installations worldwide. A lot of that growth has been stimulated by government subsidies, but the Chinese government has made it clear that it wants solar to fly on its own—subsidies are slowly being withdrawn. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to know if China was ready to fly on its own, at least in its major cities.

The researchers started by estimating solar energy system prices and in all of the major Chinese cities. They then compared what they found with prices from the grid. Next, they estimated solar electricity prices at the grid scale, and compared them to electricity generated strictly from coal. The calculations accounted for estimates of the lifetime of solar systems. They report that they found that all 344 of the major cities they studied were currently in a position to generate electricity at lower costs than the grid supply—without subsidies. They also found that 22 percent of those cities could also produce at a lesser cost than possible with coal.

Aug 13, 2019

Damaged hearts rewired with nanotube fibers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Thin, flexible fibers made of carbon nanotubes have now proven able to bridge damaged heart tissues and deliver the electrical signals needed to keep those hearts beating.

Scientists at Texas Heart Institute (THI) report they have used those biocompatible fibers in studies that showed sewing them directly into damaged tissue can restore electrical function to hearts.

“Instead of shocking and defibrillating, we are actually correcting diseased conduction of the largest major pumping chamber of the by creating a bridge to bypass and conduct over a scarred area of a damaged heart,” said Dr. Mehdi Razavi, a cardiologist and director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research and Innovations at THI, who co-led the study with Rice chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali.

Aug 13, 2019

Platform for lab-grown heart cells lets researchers examine functional effects of drugs

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

Animal models provide benefits for biomedical research, but translating such findings to human physiology can be difficult. The human heart’s energy needs and functions are difficult to reproduce in other animals, such as mice and rats. One new system looks to circumvent these issues and provide a functional view of how different treatments can help ailing cells in the heart following oxygen and nutrient deprivations.

Researchers have unveiled a new silicon chip that holds human lab-grown for assessing the effectiveness of new drugs. The system includes heart cells, called cardiomyocytes, patterned on the chip with electrodes that can both stimulate and measure within the cells. The researchers discuss their work in this week’s APL Bioengineering.

These capabilities provide a way for determining how the restriction of blood supply, a dangerous state known as ischemia, changes a heart’s conduction velocity, beat frequency and important electrical intervals associated with heart function.

Aug 13, 2019

Adam Ford Talks With Jim Mellon of Juvenescence

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Today, we want to highlight an interview with billionaire investor Jim Mellon that our friend, Adam Ford of Science, Technology, and the Future, has conducted. Like us, Adam was at the Undoing Aging conference in Berlin earlier this year, and, just as we were, he was busy conducting a number of interviews with the researchers and industry thought leaders there.

Jim Mellon is an interesting figure in the industry and the cofounder of Juvenescence, a company that has been investing in a number of promising companies that are developing rejuvenation biotechnology to treat age-related diseases.

Continue reading “Adam Ford Talks With Jim Mellon of Juvenescence” »

Aug 13, 2019

Scientists Agree on 5 Foods to Boost Brain Health and Longevity

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

With the rise of fad diets, “superfoods,” and a growing range of dietary supplement choices, it’s sometimes hard to know what to eat.

This can be particularly relevant as we grow older and are trying to make the best choices to minimize the risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart (cardiovascular) problems.

We now have evidence these health problems also all affect brain function: they increase nerve degeneration in the brain, leading to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain conditions including vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Aug 13, 2019

Russia’s space agency releases eerie footage of human-like android

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Putin’s robo-nauts prepare for lift-off: Fedor as he gets ready to board the International Space Station crew next week…

Icknamed Fedor, the anthropomorphous machine — which is remarkably agile — was seen undergoing a battery of stress-tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, last month.

Continue reading “Russia’s space agency releases eerie footage of human-like android” »

Aug 13, 2019

SpaceX Mars City: Here’s How Much Elon Musk’s Dream Would Cost

Posted by in categories: economics, Elon Musk, space travel

How much would it cost to build a city on Mars? According to Elon Musk over the weekend, it could be the most expensive construction project in human history — and cost up to an eighth of the value of the entire global economy.

The SpaceX CEO’s vision includes not only sending the first humans to Mars, but to use that mission as a starting point to build a permanent settlement. Assuming all goes to plan, Musk believes that a self-sustaining city could take shape as early as 2050.

What happens after that point is anyone’s guess. Inverse has spoken to experts from a number of fields, who have flagged a series of issues those first inhabitants will need to address. They could mutate and develop new physical attributes, they could find the city’s confines stifling and develop a national identity, and they could develop a new, ground-up economy.

Aug 13, 2019

Why AIoT Is Emerging As The Future Of Industry 4.0

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

Two trends that are dominating the technology industry are the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). But for industrial automation, these two technologies are much more than the buzzwords or trending topics. The convergence of AI and IoT will redefine the future of industrial automation. It is set to lead the Industry 4.0 revolution.

IoT and AI are two independent technologies that have a significant impact on multiple industry verticals. While IoT is the digital nervous system, AI becomes the brain that makes decisions which control the overall system. The lethal combination of AI and IoT brings us AIoT — Artificial Intelligence of Things — that delivers intelligent and connected systems that are capable of self-correcting and self-healing themselves.

To appreciate the promise of AIoT, we need to look at the evolution of connected systems.

Aug 13, 2019

SpaceX Now Has a 2nd Boat to Catch Rocket Payload Fairings Falling from Space

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

The company will soon start employing a second net-equipped boat during orbital launches, in an attempt to snag both halves of its rockets’ payload fairings before they splash down in the ocean, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter on Friday (Aug. 9).