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Nov 15, 2017

Warning: N. Korea mapping specific plan for ‘devastating’ EMP

Posted by in categories: existential risks, government, mapping

Only a few weeks after a team of experts warned Congress that the nation faces an “existential threat” from North Korea from a possible electromagnetic pulse attack, a new report says the rogue nation is mapping a specific plan.

Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner wrote in his “Washington Secrets” column that the White House “is being warned that North Korea is mapping plans for a ‘devastating’ attack on the United States with an atmospheric nuclear explosion that would disable the nation’s electric grid, potentially leading to the deaths of virtually all impacted.”

He said President Trump “is being urged to create a special commission to tackle the potential for an electromagnetic pulse attack, one similar to the iconic Manhattan Project.”

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Nov 15, 2017

NASA ‘nuclear engines’ could provide power to the first humans on Mars

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space, transportation

NASA is set to begin testing a radical ‘nuclear engine’ that could provide power for astronauts on the Martian surface.

Dubbed the ‘Kilopower’ it would use a uranium rector the size of a toilet roll to create heat.

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Nov 15, 2017

Artificially Cooling Earth With Volcano Eruptions Is Dangerous—the Lack of Regulation Is ‘Deeply Disconcerting’

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability

A controversial plan to cool down the planet by artificially simulating volcanic eruptions could have disastrous consequences for Earth—yet there are no laws or regulations to stop any country or private company from deploying such technology.

Solar geoengineering is one of the proposed ways to artificially reduce global temperatures. It is often seen as one of the most extreme options—but also potentially one of the most effective. It involves injecting aerosols into the atmosphere. When the gas combines with oxygen, droplets of sulfuric acid form. These droplets reflect sunlight away, cooling the planet in the process. All good in theory, but the consequences of solar geoengineering are largely unknown.

In a study published in Nature Communications, scientists led by Anthony Jones, from the University of Exeter, U.K., have now examined what would happen if solar geoengineering was used in the Northern Hemisphere to try to prevent global warming and the extreme weather that goes with it—in this case tropical cyclones.

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Nov 15, 2017

AP Exclusive: US scientists try 1st gene editing in the body

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

For the first time ever, scientists have attempted to cure a person’s disease by editing a gene inside the body.

Scientists used an IV to inject a patient with billions of copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to cut his DNA in a specific spot. “We cut your DNA, open it up, insert a gene, stitch it back up.”

Scientists have edited people’s genes in the past, but that work involved altering cells inside a lab and then returning them to the body, whereas the latest experiment was performed inside a person’s body.

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Nov 15, 2017

Doctors are gene editing inside the body of a living human for the first time

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

He is the first patient to receive an experimental gene therapy as part of a clinical trial. Earlier this week, Sangamo Therapeutics injected Madeux with viruses containing a package of gene-editing material, according to the AP. The hope is that these viruses will enter Madeux’s cells, specifically liver cells, inject the missing gene at the right place in his DNA. Only about 1% of the liver’s cells need to be fixed, and give his liver the ability to produce the enzyme he has been missing all his life.


Brian Madeux’s life hasn’t been easy. So far, he’s had 26 operations to fix problems in everything from hernias to eyes. He has a rare disease called Hunter syndrome, which is caused by the lack of a gene that’s used to produce an enzyme that breaks down certain carbohydrates. As a result, the carbohydrates build up in his body’s cells causing all sorts of problems.

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Nov 15, 2017

Breaking the System – Rejuvenation and Social Change

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

There is no doubt that the arrival of rejuvenation biotechnology will not only change how we age but also how society works. Eradicating age-related diseases will lead to challenges for our society but we should be positive about change and a healthier future.


A very useful skill you get from the study of mathematics is the ability to skim details off a special case of a concept and get to the general case, which is the essence common to all special cases. This skill, far from being useful only in maths and science, can be applied to a variety of situations, including—perhaps surprisingly—rejuvenation advocacy.

Think about common objections to rejuvenation: won’t it cause overpopulation? Won’t it make it impossible to pay the pensions? Won’t it make it harder for the young to find a job? Won’t it change our perception of older people and our idea of family?

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Nov 15, 2017

Synthetic T Cells Seek and Destroy Cancer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

T Cells are a major component of the formidable immune system that the body keeps at the ready to respond to the first sign of infection or disease. T cells detect if cells have been infected with a virus; upon detection, they trigger these cells’ ablation and destroy the virus.

Unfortunately, the T cells do not detect cancer cells, as these cells use various tricks to fool the immune system into believing that they are normal healthy cells. Thus, they hide in plain sight, and the T cells cannot seek and destroy them. A new study has found a possible solution to this problem.

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Nov 15, 2017

Astronomers Complete First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise

Posted by in categories: health, space

More: http://asteroid.lu/asteroidexercise via NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Nov 15, 2017

In my 2nd talk of the World Economic Forum Global Future Councils event in Dubai, I was on a panel formally discussing #transhumanism as part of the panel agenda, which I believe may serve as the first official introduction of the “transhuman” term for the Arab world (since various UAE Cabinet ministers were in the audience and mainstream #Arabic and some international press broadly covered the event)

Posted by in category: transhumanism

When the discussion turned toward life exension, as a #libertarian Gubernatorial candidate, I suggested less regulation for science is the best way forward. Here’s in image of the panel and some links that discuss it: http://www.alkhaleej.ae/economics/page/cdaacb52-16f6&#45…1725b0869b & http://www.albayan.ae/economy/local-market/2017-11-13-1.3098274 & https://hamrinnews.

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Nov 15, 2017

Gene Therapy for Blindness May Soon Be Reality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The success of a novel gene therapy for blindness caused by a genetic mutation paves the way for gene therapies which treat other forms of blindness as well as genetic therapies which treat other diseases.


After being treated with a novel gene therapy for blindness, patients who had lost their sight due to a genetic retinal disease could see well enough to navigate a maze, according to research presented today at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO 2017).

Novel Gene Therapy for Blindness

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