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Nov 23, 2015

Aubrey de Grey: Can We and Should We Give Ourselves Indefinite Youth? Oh Yes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The marginalization of anti-aging research is our most shameful humanitarian failure.

Aging is a hot topic among the chattering classes these days. What with biotech companies like Calico and Human Longevity Inc. being founded with the mission to defeat aging, and venerable institutions such as Prudential proclaiming the imminence of superlongevity on billboards, there’s no denying that this is a time of great interest in our oldest and deepest-held dream — to escape from the tyranny of inexorable and ultimately fatal physiological decline.

But hang on — is the buzz around aging really reflective of what’s being done to realize this goal? The briefest dispassionate analysis reveals a different story altogether. The proportion of government spending allocated in the industrialized world to diseases and disabilities of old age is appropriately high, but it is overwhelmingly dedicated to the transparently quixotic approach of attacking those ailments directly — as if they were infections — rather than attacking their lifelong accumulating causes.

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Nov 23, 2015

Earth might have hairy dark matter

Posted by in category: cosmology

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, or “hairs.”

Dark matter is an invisible, mysterious substance that makes up about 27 percent of all matter and energy in the universe. The regular matter, which makes up everything we can see around us, is only 5 percent of the universe. The rest is dark energy, a strange phenomenon associated with the acceleration of our expanding universe.

Neither dark matter nor dark energy has ever been directly detected, although many experiments are trying to unlock the mysteries of dark matter, whether from deep underground or in space.

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Nov 23, 2015

Black hole batteries could power mysterious radio bursts

Posted by in category: cosmology

Just before a black hole and a neutron star collide, they may form a circuit that lights up for a few milliseconds – confirming Einstein’s theory.

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Nov 23, 2015

Particle Accelerators Could Soon Fit In A Shoebox

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

As the challenges of particle physics have become more and more complex, we’ve had to plan and build larger and larger machines to explore the tiny subatomic world. But now, an international group of physicists has developed a technology to miniaturize particle accelerators, which could revolutionize physics and the life sciences.

The team has received a $13.5 million (£9 million) grant to develop a prototype particle accelerator that will fit in a shoebox. The technology being developed is called “accelerator-on-a-chip”. Electrons are made to travel through a channel within a silica chip. Shining a laser onto the chip produces an electric field, and the field is modified by the ridges within the channel. This set-up dramatically accelerates the electrons moving through the channel.

The prototype is based on independent experiments from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) in Germany. Both teams discovered that these chips are capable of accelerating electrons to relativistic speed no matter the speed at which the electron was travelling before entering the channel. Also, the technology is capable of producing a larger acceleration gradient than current labs, which could reduce the size of particle accelerators – 100 meters (330 feet) of accelerator-on-a-chip would produce an acceleration equivalent to the 3.2-kilometer (two miles) SLAC linear accelerator, which is the longest in the world.

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Nov 23, 2015

Get ready for CYBERPLANTS: Roses that can change colour

Posted by in category: cyborgs

Researchers in Sweden have developed fully functional cyberplants, living plants which are engineered to host analog and digital electronic circuits, and the leaves can change colors. Using the vascular system of living roses, which distributes water and nutrients, the researchers were able to build key components of electronic circuits inside of the plants.

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Nov 23, 2015

There’s a mission to this mysterious water world that could detect the first alien life

Posted by in category: alien life

In February, NASA announced that it was investing in a $2 billion mission to Europa — a tiny moon of Jupiter that is one of the most likely places for life beyond Earth.

Their spacecraft, called the Europa Multi-Flyby Mission, would orbit Jupiter, taking frequent passes by Europa for a close look at its surface.

But there is another important piece of the puzzle that NASA is exploring, and in a recent conversation with US Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Ars Technica’s senior space editor, Eric Berger, reported the details — it’s a lander and it could be the key to discovering the first extraterrestrial life.

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Nov 23, 2015

Audi claims 25% of its cars will be electric in 10 years

Posted by in category: transportation

It was an audacious statement, but there it was.

Audi expects that 25 percent of the cars it sells just 10 years hence will be either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid models.

And it came directly from Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, in front of a packed media audience at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Nov 23, 2015

The Biski

Posted by in category: transportation

Introducing the Biski a Jet ski and a Motorcycle in one.

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Nov 23, 2015

Robotic Wheelchair

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

New technology smile

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Nov 23, 2015

This is the first commercial for a mainstream virtual reality headset

Posted by in category: virtual reality

“Virtual reality just got real.”

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