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Jun 28, 2020

Chris Webby — Our Planet (feat. Bria Lee) [Official Video]

Posted by in category: media & arts

This is a really cool message. Please spread it around.


Welcome to #WebbyWednesday!

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Jun 28, 2020

SpaceX Starship — Anywhere on Earth in under an hour(60 minutes)

Posted by in category: space travel

Click on photo to start video.

#MustWatch

#SpaceX

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Jun 27, 2020

Could Doomsday Bunkers Become the New Normal?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, existential risks

He stresses that these are not “luxury bunkers” for the top 1 percent, and only a small part of the calls are coming from Doomsday preppers or Cold War-era holdovers. Rather, about two-thirds of his business comes from consumers who pay approximately $25,000 for an underground livable dwelling. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Woodworth said he has been unable to keep up with the demand.


When we were told to stay inside our homes, a portion of the population quietly went below ground.

Jun 27, 2020

A focused approach to imaging neural activity in the brain

Posted by in categories: electronics, neuroscience

When neurons fire an electrical impulse, they also experience a surge of calcium ions. By measuring those surges, researchers can indirectly monitor neuron activity, helping them to study the role of individual neurons in many different brain functions.

One drawback to this technique is the crosstalk generated by the axons and dendrites that extend from neighboring neurons, which makes it harder to get a distinctive signal from the neuron being studied. MIT engineers have now developed a way to overcome that issue, by creating indicators, or sensors, that accumulate only in the body of a neuron.

“People are using calcium indicators for monitoring neural activity in many parts of the brain,” says Edward Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology and a professor of biological engineering and of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT. “Now they can get better results, obtaining more accurate neural recordings that are less contaminated by crosstalk.”

Jun 27, 2020

Genome of Ancient Arctic Sled Dog Analyzed

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

ATW Greenland LARGE(Wikimedia Commons)

Jun 27, 2020

AI gatekeepers are taking baby steps toward raising ethical standards

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI, surveillance

For years, Brent Hecht, an associate professor at Northwestern University who studies AI ethics, felt like a voice crying in the wilderness. When he entered the field in 2008, “I recall just agonizing about how to get people to understand and be interested and get a sense of how powerful some of the risks [of AI research] could be,” he says.

To be sure, Hecht wasn’t—and isn’t—the only academic studying the societal impacts of AI. But the group is small. “In terms of responsible AI, it is a sideshow for most institutions,” Hecht says. But in the past few years, that has begun to change. The urgency of AI’s ethical reckoning has only increased since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, shining a light on AI’s role in discriminatory police surveillance.

This year, for the first time, major AI conferences—the gatekeepers for publishing research—are forcing computer scientists to think about those consequences.

Jun 27, 2020

Foam ‘spider webs’ from tiny satellites could help clean up space junk

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

The Russian startup StartRocket is developing a “Foam Debris Catcher,” a small, autonomous satellite that would snag and de-orbit space debris using sticky polymer foam.

Jun 27, 2020

Watch — Live

Posted by in category: futurism

Click on photo to start video.

Guest: Gennady Stolyarov, USA

Jun 27, 2020

Mystery anomaly weakens Earth’s magnetic field, report scientists

Posted by in category: futurism

A strange weakness in the Earth’s protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.

Jun 27, 2020

Mapping the Early Universe with NASA’s Webb Telescope

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, mapping

Although many other observatories, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, have previously created “deep fields” by staring at small areas of the sky for significant chunks of time, the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey, led by Steven L. Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin, will be one of the first for Webb. He and his research team will spend just over 60 hours pointing the telescope at a slice of the sky known as the Extended Groth Strip, which was observed as part of Hubble’s Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey or CANDELS.

“With Webb, we want to do the first reconnaissance for galaxies even closer to the big bang,” Finkelstein said. “It is absolutely not possible to do this research with any other telescope. Webb is able to do remarkable things at wavelengths that have been difficult to observe in the past, on the ground or in space.”

Mark Dickinson of the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory in Arizona, and one of the CEERS Survey co-investigators, gives a nod to Hubble while also looking forward to Webb’s observations. “Surveys like the Hubble Deep Field have allowed us to map the history of cosmic star formation in galaxies within a half a billion years of the big bang all the way to the present in surprising detail,” he said. “With CEERS, Webb will look even farther to add new data to those surveys.”