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Jun 7, 2019

NASA chief warns that people need to take the threat of a meteor crashing into Earth much more seriously

Posted by in category: entertainment

NASA’s administrator warned that the threat of a meteor crashing into Earth is bigger than we might think.

Jim Bridenstine told the International Academy of Astronautics’ Planetary Defense Conference on Monday that “the reason it’s important for NASA to take this seriously is something you call the ‘giggle factor,’” or scientific theories that seem too ridiculous to be likely.

“We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood. It’s not about movies. This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life, and that is the planet Earth,” he added.

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Jun 7, 2019

The Next Big Phones Could Bring a Billion People Online

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones, neuroscience

Nowhere is that clearer than in Africa, which has the world’s lowest share of people using the internet, under 25%. The cohort of 800 million offline people spread across the continent’s 54 countries is younger and growing faster than most, but incomes are lower and a larger share of residents live in rural areas that are tough to wire for internet access—or, for that matter, electricity. Now, however, a handful of phone purveyors are trying in greater earnest to nudge internet-ready upgrades into African markets, with models designed with an eye toward rural priorities (first those of rural India, where they’re already hits), rather than battered thirdhand flip phones from the heyday of the Spice Girls.


About half of humanity don’t have internet access, and a lot of those people are in Africa. Enter a $20 device with smartphone brains and a five-day battery.

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Jun 6, 2019

Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

Posted by in categories: physics, space

A recent challenge to Stephen Hawking’s biggest idea — about how the universe might have come from nothing — has cosmologists choosing sides.

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Jun 6, 2019

Black Hole Computers

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, physics

In keeping with the spirit of the age, researchers can think of the laws of physics as computer programs and the universe as a computer.

  • By Seth Lloyd, Y. Jack Ng on April 1, 2007

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Jun 6, 2019

Spacetime Geometry near Rotating Black Holes Acts Like Quantum Computer, Physicist Says

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, quantum physics

According to a theoretical paper published in the Annals of Physics, by Dr. Ovidiu Racorean from the General Direction of Information Technology in Bucharest, Romania, the geometry of spacetime around a rapidly spinning black hole (Kerr black hole) behaves like a quantum computer, and it can encode photons with quantum messages.

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Jun 6, 2019

Single-spin system breaks quantum symmetry

Posted by in category: quantum physics

“Dilation” technique could allow researchers to study exotic physics in non-classical Hamiltonians.

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Jun 6, 2019

How Two Paralyzed Patients Walked Again Without Surgery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, space

The protocol, dubbed Walk Again Neuro-Rehabilitation (WA-NR), first uses EEG to record and control virtual avatars and robotic exoskeleton walkers while the patient wears a “tactile shirt” that offers them sensory feedback. This stimulation theoretically teaches damaged nerves to reroute their motor functions to healthy ones. Following the program for just three years, the patients—some paralyzed for decades—dramatically regained sensation in their lower limbs. They could feel where their legs were in space and better control their lower limbs. Some even reported feelings of normal, welcomed pain after a sharp jab.

The current study, published in Scientific Reports, takes neurorehab a step further. In two patients from the original cohort, the team further trained and examined their neuro-recovery in detail. Patient P1 was a middle-aged man paralyzed for 4.5 years at the onset of the study; P2, a 32-year-old, had been paralyzed for a decade. Although trained with WA-NR, both patients scored on the low end of overall movement, with the ability to extend their knees at most.

For each training session, the patients wore an EEG cap to measure movement intent and had eight electrodes placed on the skin of each leg to stimulate muscles. Simultaneously they wore a haptic shirt, which gave them a sense of their body in space by stimulating their forearms.

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Jun 6, 2019

The Crucial Role of Brain Simulation in Future Neuroscience

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

“Do we have a chance of ever understanding brain function without brain simulations?” So asked the Human Brain Project (HBP), the brainchild of Henry Markram, in a new paper in the prestigious journal Neuron.

The key, the team argued, is to consider brain simulators in the vein of calculus for Newton’s laws—not as specific ideas of how the brain works, but rather as a programming language that can execute many candidate neural models, or programs, now and in the future. When viewed not as a vanity project, but rather as the way forward to understand—and eventually imitate—higher brain functions, the response to brain simulation is a resounding yes.

Because of the brain’s complexity and chaotic nature, the authors argue, rather than reining in simulation efforts, we need to ramp up and develop multiple “brain-simulation engines” with varying levels of detail.

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Jun 6, 2019

A Squeezable “Glass” Water Bottle That Won’t Collect Tastes or Smells

Posted by in category: materials

A plastic water bottle can survive the rigors of an active lifestyle, but over time it will collect odd smells and flavors that eventually can’t be scrubbed out. A glass bottle is a better option, naturally eschewing mold and odors, but one wrong move and suddenly it’s a pile of shards. These Squeezable Glass bottles claim to offer the best of both worlds—but have a bit of a misleading claim to fame.

The bottles aren’t actually made from some indestructible self-repairing glass material discovered in a secret lab a decade ago; they’re plastic, which is why they can be squeezed without shattering. However, the insides of the bottles are coated with an incredibly thin layer of silicon dioxide—which is what glass is made from—that’s just 20 nanometers thick. It acts as barrier preventing smells, flavors, mold, and other bad stuff from sticking to the plastic, but it remains completely flexible.

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Jun 6, 2019

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

Posted by in category: space

Explore the next Destiny 2 chapter to earn new gear and slay the Nightmares that walk the surface of our moon.

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