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Jun 11, 2021

Freeze-dried sperm: The future of space colonies is being tested on the ISS

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

Life on Mars may be freeze-dried.

But there’s a solution: freeze-dry it.

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, a team of Japanese researchers freeze-dried samples of mice sperm and sent them aboard the ISS to see how well this crucial element of human life (and, well, a lot of life on Earth) will fair against the harsh radiation of space.

Continue reading “Freeze-dried sperm: The future of space colonies is being tested on the ISS” »

Jun 11, 2021

This Drone Bus Will Carry 40 Passengers Between Cities for the Price of a Train Ticket

Posted by in categories: drones, space

He’s got a point. There’s a lot more space in the sky than on the ground, obviously, but flight paths need to be carefully planned and contained within specific areas, particularly in and near big cities. If flying taxis became affordable enough for people to use them the way we use Uber and Lyft today, there would quickly be all sorts of issues with traffic and congestion, both in the sky and with takeoff and landing space on the ground. So why not take a scaled approach from the beginning?

Speaking of affordability, Kelekona says that’s a priority, too. It may play out differently, especially in the technology’s early stages, but the intention is for tickets on the drone bus to cost the same as a train ticket for an equivalent distance. The first route, from Manhattan to the Hamptons, will reportedly have a 30-minute flight time and an $85 ticket price.

Continue reading “This Drone Bus Will Carry 40 Passengers Between Cities for the Price of a Train Ticket” »

Jun 11, 2021

New research in protein sequencing poised to transform medicine

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

While DNA provides the genetic recipe book for biological form and function, it is the job of the body’s proteins to carry out the complex commands dictated by DNA’s genetic code.

Stuart Lindsay, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, has been at the forefront of efforts to improve rapid DNA sequencing and has more recently applied his talents to explore the much thornier problem of sequencing molecules, one molecule at a time.

In a new overview article, Lindsay’s efforts are described along with those of international colleagues, who are applying a variety of innovative strategies for protein sequencing at the single-cell, and even single-molecule level.

Jun 11, 2021

Physicists link quantum memories in early step toward quantum internet

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

Two novel demonstrations bring the backbone of the quantum internet, quantum repeaters, a little closer.

Jun 11, 2021

UK air taxi firm Vertical Aerospace to float on New York stock market

Posted by in categories: finance, transportation

The aircraft could be used to transfer passengers between home and airports, Virgin believes. It would be able, for example, to make the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to Heathrow in 22 minutes, compared with a 90-minute drive.

The announcement represents another step in the race to making mass electric flight and air taxis a reality. Some analysts have predicted the sector could be worth £150bn by 2040 but significant hurdles remain, including regulation and safety certification. The VA-X4 has yet to take its first test flight. Dómhnal Slattery, the chief executive of Avolon, said its order would “accelerate the inevitable commercial rollout of zero-emissions aircraft. Before the end of this decade, we expect zero-emission urban air mobility, enabled by eVTOLs, to play an increasingly important role in the global commercial aviation market.”

Jun 11, 2021

24,000-year-old Animal Found Alive, Well And Ready to Reproduce

Posted by in category: futurism

The first-of-its-kind discovery, described as “a dream of many fiction writers,” is a huge leap forward in understanding how specimens — perhaps even humans — can be preserved for generations.

Jun 11, 2021

Seraphim Capital unveils worlds first listed space technology fund

Posted by in categories: encryption, quantum physics, space

TAMPA, Fla. — Seraphim Capital plans to trade stakes it has amassed in space technology startups on the public market through an investment trust.

The Seraphim Space Investment Trust will eventually comprise bets in 19 international startups, including satellite data specialist Spire Global, quantum encryption firm Arqit and space-based cellular network operator AST Space Mobile.

Those three recently got valuations of more than $1 billion in mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), investment vehicles that offer another route to public markets.

Jun 11, 2021

AI outperforms humans in microchip designs

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Floorplanning is the process by which an integrated circuit is designed using a top-down view. Rather like the architectural plan of a home, garden, and walkways, each of the major functional blocks is placed in a schematic representation that provides a guide for where everything needs to be. This layout can include transistors, capacitors, resistors, wires and other components, all packed into extremely tiny spaces.

Determining the optimal configuration for processing speed and power efficiency is a detailed and lengthy task, involving many iterations. It can often take weeks or even months for expert human engineers. Attempts to fully automate the process have been unsuccessful.

However, researchers from Google have this week reported a new machine-learning approach to floorplanning. Not only does it reduce the design workload to a matter of hours, it also results in chips with superior designs.

Jun 11, 2021

New discovery shows human cells can write RNA sequences into DNA

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.

The work was published June 11th in the journal Science Advances.

Jun 11, 2021

Scientists evolve a fungus to battle deadly honey bee parasite

Posted by in category: futurism

Biopesticide might become safer alternative to existing treatments.

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