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Oct 25, 2019

Space – the next frontier – requires innovation in nuclear fuel design and testing

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

To go where no man has gone before (and to get back) will require quite a bit of oomph. All that energy must come from somewhere. Traditional chemical rocket fuels could work for some missions, but nuclear-based propulsion systems have several advantages.

Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) rockets use a nuclear reaction to heat liquid hydrogen. When the hydrogen is heated, it expands and is forced through a nozzle to produce thrust. This is similar to how air can stream out of the stem of a balloon and cause it to fly across the room. With rockets, this happens with much greater speed and force.

These hydrogen propelled rockets are designed for space exploration, not for use on Earth, and subsequently would not be turned on (i.e. brought critical) until after they left Earth. Although the specific type of fuel for these applications has not been formally selected, the fuel envisioned for use in an NTP environment is uranium fuel.

Oct 25, 2019

Physicists simulate critical ‘reheating’ period that kickstarted the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

As the Big Bang theory goes, somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago the universe exploded into being, as an infinitely small, compact fireball of matter that cooled as it expanded, triggering reactions that cooked up the first stars and galaxies, and all the forms of matter that we see (and are) today.

Just before the Big Bang launched the universe onto its ever-expanding course, physicists believe, there was another, more explosive phase of the early universe at play: cosmic inflation, which lasted less than a trillionth of a second. During this period, matter—a cold, homogeneous goop—inflated exponentially quickly before processes of the Big Bang took over to more slowly expand and diversify the infant universe.

Recent observations have independently supported theories for both the Big Bang and cosmic inflation. But the two processes are so radically different from each other that scientists have struggled to conceive of how one followed the other.

Oct 25, 2019

More than 100 homeless people now have jobs through Austin nonprofit

Posted by in category: employment

The employees get paid $15 an hour cleaning the green space in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — The homeless often face barriers when trying to find employment. This week, after reaching the one-year anniversary of their new program, a nonprofit said they are making a difference for those trying to get on their feet and find a job.

In October 2018, The Other Ones Foundation (Too Found) created its Workforce First program to provide the homeless with jobs cleaning the green space in Austin and reduce panhandling.

Continue reading “More than 100 homeless people now have jobs through Austin nonprofit” »

Oct 25, 2019

Researchers create blueprint for ‘quantum battery’ that doesn’t lose charge

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

Scientists from the universities of Alberta and Toronto developed a blueprint for a new quantum battery that doesn’t leak charge.

“A quantum is a tiny, nano-size battery meant to be used for applications on the nano scale,” explained U of A chemist Gabriel Hanna, who was principal investigator on the study.

He said the research provides a theoretical demonstration that creating a loss-free is possible—offering an advantage over previously proposed quantum batteries.

Oct 25, 2019

Intensive DNA search yields 10 genes tied directly to schizophrenia

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


Rare genetic variants could point to new treatments for severe psychiatric disorder.

Oct 25, 2019

Using Drones to Plant 20,000,000 Trees

Posted by in categories: drones, sustainability

Join #TeamTrees at
Create your own personal website at

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Oct 25, 2019

The Drones Are Coming! How Amazon, Alphabet and Uber Are Taking to the Skies

Posted by in categories: drones, government, robotics/AI

Flying robots that deliver packages to people’s doorsteps are no longer science fiction. Companies including Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Wing and Uber Technologies Inc. are starting the most advanced trials of drone delivery in U.S. history.

While commercial drone delivery faces many hurdles, government-approved tests by the tech giants will mark the first time consumers in parts of the country experience the technology. Wing this month started tests in Christiansburg, Va., while Uber says it will experiment in San Diego…

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Oct 25, 2019

Facebook trained AI to fool facial recognition systems, and it works on live video

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Facebook remains embroiled in a multibillion-dollar judgement lawsuit over its facial recognition practices, but that hasn’t stopped its artificial intelligence research division from developing technology to combat the very misdeeds of which the company is accused. According to VentureBeat, Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has developed a state-of-the-art “de-identification” system that works on video, including even live video. It works by altering key facial features of a video subject in real time using machine learning, to trick a facial recognition system into improperly identifying the subject.

This de-identification technology has existed in the past and there are entire companies, like Israeli AI and privacy firm D-ID, dedicated to providing it for still images. There’s also a whole category of facial recognition fooling imagery you can wear yourself, called adversarial examples, that work by exploiting weaknesses in how computer vision software has been trained to identify certain characteristics. Take for instance this pair of sunglasses with an adversarial pattern printed onto it that can make a facial recognition system think you’re actress Milla Jovovich.

Oct 25, 2019

Researchers Used Green Tea as a ‘Remote Control’ to Activate Cell Therapies for Diabetes

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists have developed a new approach to cell-based therapies that can be triggered by a compound found in green tea.

Oct 25, 2019

New gene editing tool is more powerful than CRISPR and could fix 89% of genetic defects

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

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