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Jan 8, 2020

Virus Spread by Shrews Linked to Human Deaths from Mysterious Brain Infections

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The pathogen has been newly identified in eight cases of encephalitis in Germany over the past 20 years.

Jan 8, 2020

Remembering Stephen Hawking on his 78th birthday: A legacy of humanity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, space

Stephen Hawking passed away on 14 March 2018. His work changed literally everything we know about the cosmos and our place in it. But his greatest contribution to our species wasn’t his theories on black holes or how quickly the universe was expanding, it was his humanity.

Professor Hawking was born on 8 January 1942. He would have been 78 years old today – a bit older than ‘boomer’ age, his generation was called the “Silent” one. In his early twenties he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Eventually he became paralyzed and could only speak with the assistance a computer-generated audio device.

Jan 8, 2020

This Artificial Kidney Eliminates The Need For Kidney Dialysis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

If this works that would be awesome.


It is estimated by The National Kidney Foundation that over 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for kidney donors. A further 3,000 names are added to the list every year. An average patient has to wait for 3.6 years for a viable transplant. The patients are treated with dialysis while they are waiting for a transplant and only one in three patients survive for more than five years without a transplant. All that could change as scientists have developed the world’s first artificial kidney.

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Jan 8, 2020

Synopsis: Levitated Nanoparticle Goes Quantum

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

Optically levitated nanosphere shows definitive signature of its quantum ground state of motion.

Picture a marble rolling around inside a bowl. The motion of the marble represents its center-of-mass temperature, a quantity distinct from the object’s physical temperature. Now replace the marble with a levitated nanosphere and the bowl with an optical trap, and you have the experiment used by Felix Tebbenjohanns and colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, to reduce a levitated nanoparticle’s center-of-mass temperature to close to its quantum ground state. The experimental signature showing that the nanosphere had entered the quantum regime had, until now, been seen only in mechanically clamped systems coupled to optical cavities.

Jan 8, 2020

Building in Space: Using Maxar’s Robotics to Enable Sustainable Space Operations

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, sustainability

Combining Maxar’s capabilities in robotics, spacecraft and space systems operations creates the opportunity to deploy and maintain revolutionary new space architectures. Since the dawn of space exploration, pioneers in the field envisioned sustainable space stations enabled by in-space assembly, manufacturing and servicing. Wernher Von Braun conducted a detailed study in 1945 that defined the deployment and construction of the rotating wheel space station. The design included maintaining artificial gravity and oxygen levels. Today, NASA has led the construction and continuous operation of the International Space Station for over 20 years, demonstrating the technical feasibility of large-scale in-space assembly and servicing.

Recently, Maxar has been working with NASA on concepts for both human-tended and uncrewed sustainable space platforms. These in-space assembled structures provide basic functions and a modular interface for new and evolving payloads and missions. The lunar orbiting Gateway will be one such platform where the Maxar-developed Power and Propulsion Element will provide the foundation of power, maneuvering, communications systems and initial docking capabilities. Additional Gateway segments will plug-in to the Power and Propulsion Element to make use of these systems. The versatility of the Power and Propulsion Element also allows it to be refueled in orbit, and we are working with NASA to conceive the architecture that could resupply the Gateway with fuel and other essentials.

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Jan 8, 2020

Origin of Deep-Space Radio Flash Discovered, and It’s Unlike Anything Astronomers Have Ever Seen

Posted by in category: space

A new fast radio burst is traced to its home galaxy and leaves astronomers scratching their heads.

Jan 8, 2020

Deep learning vs. machine learning: Understand the differences

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Machine learning and deep learning are both forms of artificial intelligence. You can also say, correctly, that deep learning is a specific kind of machine learning. Both machine learning and deep learning start with training and test data and a model and go through an optimization process to find the weights that make the model best fit the data. Both can handle numeric (regression) and non-numeric (classification) problems, although there are several application areas, such as object recognition and language translation, where deep learning models tend to produce better fits than machine learning models.

Jan 8, 2020

DeepMind researchers introduce hybrid solution to robot control problems

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers at Alphabet’s DeepMInd describe in a new paper a machine learning hybrid approach to difficult robotics problems.

Jan 8, 2020

Ringing the Alarm on Killer Robots

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, robotics/AI, treaties

Major military powers are racing to embrace weapons that select and fire on targets without meaningful human control. This is raising the specter of immoral, unaccountable, largely uncontrollable weapon systems – killer robots. It is also driving fears of widespread proliferation and arms races leading to global and regional instability.

There is increasing recognition that it’s time to ring the alarm on these weapons systems. This month in Paris, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a new international treaty to ban killer robots, stating that “machines that have the power and discretion to kill without human intervention are politically unacceptable and morally despicable.”

Yet at last week’s meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the UN in Geneva, states made no progress towards launching negotiations on a treaty to ban or restrict such fully autonomous weapons. Instead, they agreed to spend the next two years developing a “normative and operational framework” to address concerns raised by such weapons systems.

Jan 8, 2020

Domestically-developed kamikaze drones to join Turkish army’s inventory as of 2020

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, military, robotics/AI

Coming soon to crowd suppression near you…


30 upgraded KARGU (Autonomous Tactical Multi-Rotor Attack UAV) kamikaze drones developed by Turkish defense contractor Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade Inc. (STM) will join the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory as of 2020 to take part in critical operations in the country’s east and along the Syrian border.

The KARGU battle drone, which was developed by the STM to support the tactical and field needs of Turkish security forces, eliminates targets more efficiently with new features such as enhanced ammo capacity and improved accuracy. The 30 drones will also have the capacity to destroy an entire brigade and warship.

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