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May 24, 2016

Top international award for UNSW Australia quantum computing chief

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Love this; Congrats to Michelle Simmons and her work on QC — Superstar females in STEM.


For her world-leading research in the fabrication of atomic-scale devices for quantum computing, UNSW Australia’s Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons has been awarded a prestigious Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology.

Two international Feynman prizes, named in honour of the late Nobel Prize winning American physicist Richard Feynman, are awarded each year in the categories of theory and experiment to researchers whose work has most advanced Feynman’s nanotechnology goal of molecular manufacturing.

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May 24, 2016

Gene helps prevent heart attack, stroke; may also block effects of aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

May turn out to be the “fountain-of-youth gene,” say researchers.


An atherosclerotic lesion. Such lesions can rupture and cause heart attacks and strokes. (credit: UVA School of Medicine)

University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that a gene called Oct4 — which scientific dogma insists is inactive in adults — actually plays a vital role in preventing ruptured atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels, the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes.

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May 24, 2016

Researchers identify genes linked to the effects of mood and stress on longevity

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

The visible impacts of depression and stress that can be seen in a person’s face—and contribute to shorter lives—can also be found in alterations in genetic activity, according to newly published research.

In a series of studies involving both C. elegans worms and human cohorts, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Scripps Research Institute have identified a series of genes that may modulate the effects of good or bad mood and response to stress on lifespan. In particular, the research pointed to a gene known as ANK3 as playing a key role in affecting . The research was published May 24, 2016 in the Nature Publishing Group journal Molecular Psychiatry, the top ranked journal in the field of psychiatry.

“We were looking for genes that might be at the interface between mood, stress and longevity”, said Alexander B. Niculescu III, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at the IU School of Medicine. “We have found a series of genes involved in mood disorders and stress disorders which also seem to be involved in longevity.

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May 24, 2016

Aging Research Internships Available

Posted by in category: life extension

Are you an avid supporter of aging research and a keen longevity activist?
The Biogerontology Research Foundation is offering select summer internships for talented individuals. You’d join a passionate and supportive team in researching diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies; advising a panel of investors in developing a roadmap to promote longevity science and related technologies across the globe.

The advertised positions are 3 month internships, with the possibility of continuing afterwards. Free accommodation will be provided for in London, alongside a negotiable salary.

The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK based think tank dedicated to aging research and accelerating its application worldwide.

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May 24, 2016

A Virtual Reality Manifesto: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Posted by in category: virtual reality

Make your own universe or mouse in a box?


“I can’t wait to see the art that people make with this.”

Those were the first words from my friend Ryan after spending ten minutes in virtual reality. He’d just tried Tilt Brush, an incredible experience which allows the user to paint in three dimensions. Tilt Brush is a deeply meditative and powerful experience, allowing us to turn the space around us into glowing and shimmering works of art.

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May 24, 2016

Europe races to meet Orion deadline — By Jonathan Amos | BBC News

Posted by in categories: business, government, space

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“European industry has begun assembling the “back end” of the Orion crewship that is due to make an important 2018 demonstration flight around the Moon.”

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May 24, 2016

Scientist suggests possible link between primordial black holes and dark matter

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Dark matter is a mysterious substance composing most of the material universe, now widely thought to be some form of massive exotic particle. An intriguing alternative view is that dark matter is made of black holes formed during the first second of our universe’s existence, known as primordial black holes. Now a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, suggests that this interpretation aligns with our knowledge of cosmic infrared and X-ray background glows and may explain the unexpectedly high masses of merging black holes detected last year.

“This study is an effort to bring together a broad set of ideas and observations to test how well they fit, and the fit is surprisingly good,” said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard. “If this is correct, then all galaxies, including our own, are embedded within a vast sphere of black holes each about 30 times the sun’s mass.”

In 2005, Kashlinsky led a team of astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to explore the background glow of infrared light in one part of the sky. The researchers reported excessive patchiness in the glow and concluded it was likely caused by the aggregate light of the first sources to illuminate the universe more than 13 billion years ago. Follow-up studies confirmed that this cosmic infrared background (CIB) showed similar unexpected structure in other parts of the sky.

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May 24, 2016

New evidence could break the standard view of quantum mechanics

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum mechanics is difficult to understand at the best of times, but new evidence suggests that the current standard view of how particles behave on the quantum scale could be very, very wrong.

In fact, the experiment hints that an alternative view predicted almost a century ago might have been right this whole time. And before you get too bummed about that, the good news is that, if confirmed, it would actually make quantum mechanics a whole lot simpler to understand.

So let’s step back for a second here and break this down. First thing’s first, this is just one study, and A LOT more replication and verification would be needed before the standard view comes crumbling down. So don’t go burning any text books just yet, okay? Good.

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May 24, 2016

We can begin an interstellar mission today – and we should

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

Fifty-five years ago, Yuri Gagarin rocketed into orbit and began to break our bonds to our planet. To mark the occasion, the nonprofit Breakthrough Institute just announced plans to free us from an even more formidable set of bonds and send a fleet of small spacecraft beyond our solar system, off to the stars. News of the ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ plan was met with great enthusiasm, but also with more than a little skepticism. The distance between stars is vast. Our closest neighbour, the Alpha Centauri system, is 4.4 light years away – roughly 25 trillion miles. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, the fastest object ever created by humans, would take 70,000 years to travel that far. Many reporters greeted the Breakthrough Starshot as an idea grounded more in fantasy than in reality.

The reaction was understandable. All previous plans for interstellar flight relied on non-existent or impractical technologies such as antimatter, wormholes and warp drives. But now we have a concrete path forward, which I have published in detail. It is possible to begin the journey to the stars today.

Drawing on recent advances in photonics and electronics, we could use arrays of lasers to accelerate miniature probes (the size and mass of a semiconductor wafer, weighing less than one ounce) to unprecedented velocities. Particles of light, or photons, have no rest mass but they carry energy and momentum. Just as a sailboat can be propelled by the wind, light sails can ride the momentum of photons by reflecting a wind of intense laser light. We call such focused beams of light ‘directed energy’.

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May 24, 2016

Swallow This Robot: Foldable Droid Could Mend Stomachs

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The new robot can unfold from an ingestible capsule and operate inside the stomach.

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