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Nov 16, 2018

Startup Unveils Plan for Autonomous Bots to Build Products in Space

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

It’ll be ready for launch by the mid-2020s.

On-Earth manufacturing isn’t the only kind being automated.

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Nov 16, 2018

News: On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 15, NASA’s Kepler space telescope received its final set of commands to disconnect communications with Earth

Posted by in category: space travel

The “goodnight” commands finalize the spacecraft’s transition into retirement, which began on Oct. 30 with NASA’s announcement that Kepler had run out of fuel and could no longer conduct science.

Coincidentally, Kepler’s “goodnight” falls on the same date as the 388-year anniversary of the death of its namesake, German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion and passed away on Nov. 15, 1630.

Continue reading “News: On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 15, NASA’s Kepler space telescope received its final set of commands to disconnect communications with Earth” »

Nov 16, 2018

Amateur Mathematician Finds Smallest Universal Cover

Posted by in category: futurism

Through exacting geometric calculations, Philip Gibbs has found the smallest known cover for any possible shape.

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Nov 16, 2018

Spacecraft Witness Explosion in Earth’s Magnetic Field

Posted by in categories: particle physics, satellites

Magnetic fields around the Earth release strong bursts of energy, accelerating particles and feeding the auroras that glow in the polar skies. On July 11, 2017, four NASA spacecrafts were there to watch one of these explosions happen.

The process that produces these bursts is called magnetic reconnection, in which different plasmas and their associated magnetic fields interact, releasing energy. The Magnetospehric Multiscale Mission (MMS) satellites launched in 2015 to study the places where this reconnection process occurs. This newly released research shows for the first time that the mission encountered one of these reconnection sites in the night side of the Earth’s magnetic field, which extends behind the planet as a long “magnetotail.”

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Nov 16, 2018

New discovery shows glass made from exploding stars

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

The next time you’re gazing out of the window in search of inspiration, keep in mind the material you’re looking through was forged inside the heart of an exploding ancient star.

An international team of scientists said Friday they had detected —the main component of glass—in the remnants of two distant supernovae billions of from Earth.

Researchers used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to analyse the light emitted by the collapsing mega-cluster and obtain silica’s “fingerprint” based on the specific wavelength of light the material is known to emit.

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Nov 16, 2018

For eco-conscious city dwellers, urban agriculture is one road to real impact

Posted by in categories: climatology, habitats, sustainability

Eco-consciousness is a hot trend. It’s become common occurrence to see shoppers with reusable grocery totes at the supermarket. Bamboo straws are flying off shelves as people opt for eco-friendly products. Urban gardening and composting, too, has taken root as consumers try to minimize their carbon footprints.

These small actions are encouraging first steps, but they’re not enough when it comes to tackling agricultural contributions to climate change. Strong-worded warnings from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail the potential for climate disasters to worsen if modern consumption patterns don’t change — and soon.

There’s evidence that reimagining urban environments’ food systems might help reduce carbon emissions. With more than 60% of the global population expected to live in cities by 2030, urban agriculture might be one piece of the puzzle for reducing strain on city resources. The practice typically involves growing food in smaller, city environments such as on rooftops, apartment balconies, or even walls.

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Nov 16, 2018

Startup Offers To Sequence Your Genome Free Of Charge, Then Let You Profit From It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Nebula Genomics Aims To Speed Research And Lower Cost Of Genome Sequencing : Shots — Health News A full genome sequence costs about $1,000. But Nebula Genomics expects that companies and researchers would defray the cost in exchange for key medical information about the person involved.

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Nov 16, 2018

How Many Fundamental Constants Does It Take To Explain The Universe?

Posted by in category: space

And, even with all we know, what still remains unexplained?

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Nov 16, 2018

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

Posted by in categories: climatology, internet, nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

If not for long-term radioactive waste, then nuclear power would be the ultimate “green” energy. The alternative to uranium is thorium, a radioactive ore whose natural decay is responsible for half of our geothermal energy, which we think of as “green energy.” More than 20 years of research at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), the birthplace of the internet and where Higgs boson was discovered, demonstrate that thorium could become a radically disruptive source of clean energy providing bountiful electricity any place and at any time.

Coal and gas remain by far the largest sources of electricity worldwide, threatening our climate equilibrium. Non-fossil alternatives, such as solar power, use up a forbidding amount of land, even in sunny California, plus the decommissioning will pose a serious recycling challenge within 20 years. Solar is best used on an individual household basis, rather than centralized plants. Wind requires an even larger surface area than solar.

As Michael Shellenberger, a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment”, recently wrote: “Had California and Germany invested $680 billion into nuclear power plants instead of renewables like solar and wind farms, the two would already be generating 100% or more of their electricity from clean energy sources.” Correct, but the disturbing issue of long-term nuclear waste produced by conventional, uranium based, nuclear plants still remains.

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Nov 16, 2018

By solving a mystery of gene repair, scientists uncover an exception to biology’s rules

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


About 15 years ago, UNC Lineberger’s Dale Ramsden, Ph.D., was looking through a textbook with one of his students when they stumbled upon a scientific mystery.

A small line in the book indicated that a protein that helps major breaks in our did so by adding DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, as expected. However, there were hints that it could also add RNA, or ribonucleic acid, at least in a test tube. It seemed unlikely that this would occur during repair of DNA in living , since RNA is normally used only as a messenger to carry information from the genetic code to make proteins.

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