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Feb 14, 2017

Nuclear Reactors to Power Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, space travel, sustainability

For the past five decades—from the Apollo-era lunar science experiments to the Mars Curiosity and the New Horizons missions—Pu-238 Radioisotope Thermal Generators (RTG) have served as a power source. While some of the NASA’s forays will continue to rely on these RTGs, others will require larger power sources to enable human space and planetary exploration and establish reliable high bandwidth deep-space communications. Solar power cannot handle this goal. A larger nuclear-based power source is required.

In a recent Washington Post article, Jeff Bezos, founder of and creator of Blue Origin space project said, “I think NASA should work on a space-rated nuclear reactor. If you had a nuclear reactor in space—especially if you want to go anywhere beyond Mars­—you really need nuclear power. Solar power just gets progressively difficult as you get further way from the sun. And that’s a completely doable thing to have a safe, space-qualified nuclear reactor.”

Calls for space nuclear power are not new. In fact, numerous reactor concepts have been proposed in the past. Their development is often dampened by the perception that nuclear is too hard, takes too long and costs too much.

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Feb 14, 2017

Again on ageing as a disease: A rectification

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Ageing as a disease, take 2: Things I got wrong.

My previous post was somewhat confusing even to myself. To be completely frank, I think it was a little bit of a fuck-up. Several people have commented about it, for example on Reddit or Facebook, pointing out among the rest that whether or not ageing is a disease isn’t just semantics and it isn’t pointless. (To the people commenting on Facebook, I’d like to say that I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your comments, but for some reason I was stuck as ‘Rejuvenaction’ on those posts, and Pages don’t seem to be allowed to comment on group posts. I tried to switch to my personal account to no avail. I figured out a workaround, but at this point it’s a bit too late.)

What I meant to say is that arguing whether or not ageing is a medical condition is far less important than treating its root causes, and as long as we focused on this task, we could postpone the debate to a later time. The finer points of establishing if ageing fits the definition of ‘disease’ to the letter would waste precious time we could spend saving lives instead; we should definitely not wait until the issue has been settled before we start developing rejuvenation biotechnologies. (And we are not waiting at all, luckily.) However, classifying ageing as a disease is very important and not at all pointless, as Reason of FA! explained in this post. In a nutshell, if the ageing processes that lead to age-related diseases were considered pathological, research on how to interfere with them would likely receive more funding, and drugs that target ageing itself could be approved by the FDA.

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Feb 14, 2017

88 New Satellites Will Watch Earth, All the Time, All the Places

Posted by in categories: satellites, surveillance

With the acquisition of Google’s satellite company and 88 new satellites, Planet is poised to become the world’s most powerful space surveillance company.

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Feb 14, 2017

Dubai aims to launch hover-taxi

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Dubai has tested a Chinese prototype of a self-driving hover-taxi, its transport authority said on Monday, with the aim of introducing the aerial vehicle in the emirate by July.

The test of the one-man electric vehicle comes as the city state in the United Arab Emirates seeks to ensure a quarter of its means of transport are self-driving by 2030.

The EHang 184 can travel on a programmed course at 100 kilometres an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet), the authority said in a statement.

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Feb 14, 2017

Less is more: potential breakthrough for treating hypertension with ultra low-dose combinations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Synergy is very important in medicine and sometimes old drugs have unexpected results when combined with others. Here we have a quad therapy that has had great results with hypertension.

A small but clinically important trial of a new ultra-low dose four-in-one pill to treat high blood pressure has produced remarkable results.

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Feb 14, 2017

EmDrive: UK scientist claims ‘new physics’ explains galaxy rotation and theoretical space propulsion

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics, space travel

Dr Mike McCulloch says his theory explains why galaxies are not ripped apart, without needing dark matter.

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Feb 14, 2017

Scientists Have Created a Long-Fabled Triangle-Shaped Molecule in the Lab

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

For the first time, researchers have synthesised a strange and unstable triangle-shaped molecule called triangulene, which physicists have been chasing for nearly 70 years.

Triangulene is similar to the ‘wonder material’ graphene in that it’s only one-atom-thick. But instead of sheet of carbon atoms, triangulene is made up of six hexagonal carbon molecules joined along their edges to form a triangle — an unusual arrangement that leaves two unpaired electrons unable form a stable bond. No one has ever been able to synthesise the molecule until now.

The elusive molecule was created by a team of researchers from IBM, using a needle-like microscope tip to manipulate individual atoms into the desired format.

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Feb 13, 2017

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

“This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go,” said professor Jonathan Albright.”

“Albright, an assistant professor and data scientist at Elon University, started digging into fake news sites after Donald Trump was elected president. Through extensive research and interviews with Albright and other key experts in the field, including Samuel Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, and Martin Moore, Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at Kings College, it became clear to Scout that this phenomenon was about much more than just a few fake news stories. It was a piece of a much bigger and darker puzzle — a Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine being used to manipulate our opinions and behavior to advance specific political agendas.”

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Feb 13, 2017

New drive for nanorobots in biological fluids

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology


Nanorobots and other mini-vehicles might be able to perform important services in medicine one day – for example, by conducting remotely-controlled operations or transporting pharmaceutical agents to a desired location in the body. However, to date it has been hard to steer such micro- and nanoswimmers accurately through biological fluids such as blood, synovial fluid or the inside of the eyeball.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are now presenting two new approaches for constructing propulsion systems for tiny floating bodies. In the case of one motor, the propulsion is generated by bubbles which are caused to oscillate by ultrasound (Applied Physics Letters, “Wireless actuation with functional acoustic surfaces”). With the other, a current caused by the product of an enzymatic reaction propels a nanoswimmer (JACS, “Bubble-Free Propulsion of Ultrasmall Tubular Nanojets Biocatalytic Reactions”).

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Feb 13, 2017

DARPA to brief industry on RadioBio program to communicate biologically using radio waves

Posted by in categories: employment, military, quantum physics, robotics/AI

While everyone is worried over Robots and other AI systems taking our jobs and do we need universal income; I want to use my energy to change the world and the people in it to be better, stronger, and smarter.

Definitely Quantum (Quantum Bio) at work here due to the experiment program write up for the RFP targeted cell to cell communications and leveraging electromagnetisms to do so. And, that is Quantum Mechanics at work.

ARLINGTON, Va. – ARLINGTON, Va. U.S. military researchers will use an online Webcast to brief industry later this month on a new initiative to determine if humans and other living things can communicate with one another biologically with radio waves without the use of conventional antennas or RF transmitting equipment.

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