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Aug 7, 2017

An artificial eclipse for imaging extrasolar planets

Posted by in category: alien life

In our hunt for Earth-like planets and extraterrestrial life, we’ve found thousands of exoplanets orbiting stars other than our sun. The caveat is that most of these planets have been detected using indirect methods. Similar to how a person can’t look at anything too close to the sun, current telescopes can’t observe potential Earth-like planets because they are too close to the stars they orbit, which are about 10 billion times brighter than the planets that surround them.

A possible solution might be to create an artificial solar eclipse with two precisely positioned spacecraft, according to Simone D’Amico, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford and director of the Space Rendezvous Laboratory. One craft – known as a starshade – would position itself like the moon in a , blocking out the light of a distant star, so a second spacecraft with a telescope could view the nearby exoplanets from within the shadow cast by the starshade.

“With indirect measurements, you can detect objects near a star and figure out their orbit period and distance from the star,” said D’Amico, whose lab is working on this eclipsing system. “This is all important information, but with direct observation you could characterize the chemical composition of the planet and potentially observe signs of biological activity – life.”

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Aug 7, 2017

Russia’s Banks Get Serious About Digital Currencies

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance

With Russia looking to cure its economy of a hydrocarbon addiction, a consortium of the country’s biggest banks is proposing that it explores a different kind of gas for the answer.

The lenders, including Sberbank PJSC and VTB Group, aren’t developing gas of the natural variety. It’s also the name of a virtual unit based on the blockchain of ethereum, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency after bitcoin. The banks are hoping that by adopting the technology they will make payments safer and faster, while thrusting Russia to the forefront of a trend that’s transforming the financial industry.

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Aug 6, 2017

Project RAMA: Reconstructing Asteroids Into Mechanical Automata

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

Many interesting ideas have been conceived for building space-based infrastructure in cislunar space. From O’Neill’s space colonies, to solar power satellite farms, and even prospecting retrieved near earth asteroids. In all the scenarios, one thing remained fixed — the need for space resources at the outpost. To satisfy this need, O’Neill suggested an electromagnetic railgun to deliver resources from the lunar surface, while NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission called for a solar electric tug to deliver asteroid materials from interplanetary space. At Made In Space, we propose an entirely new concept. One which is scalable, cost effective, and ensures that the abundant material wealth of the inner solar system becomes readily available to humankind in a nearly automated fashion. We propose the RAMA architecture, which turns asteroids into self-contained spacecraft capable of moving themselves back to cislunar space.

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Aug 6, 2017

With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage

Posted by in category: genetics

It’s killing wildlife in African rainforests and may wipe out some chimp populations.

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Aug 6, 2017

The Israeli Military is Buying Copter Drones With Machine Guns

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

A breakthrough in drone design gives a glimpse into the future of urban warfare.

The Israeli military is buying small multi–rotor drones modified to carry a machine gun, a grenade launcher and variety of other weapons to fight tomorrow’s urban warfare battles. Their maker, Florida startup Duke Robotics, is pitching the TIKAD drone to the U.S military as well.

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Aug 6, 2017

Many people ask us why the government does not seem to fund longevity research

Posted by in categories: government, life extension

Aubrey gives his opinion, and explains how audience members can help support research at SENS.

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Aug 6, 2017

Alexandra Elbakyan – Science Should be Open to all Not Behind Paywalls

Posted by in category: science

A few days ago, at the international exhibition Geek Picnic 2017 in Moscow, LEAF director Elena Milova had the opportunity to talk with the founder of Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan. The Sci-Hub website is devoted to providing scientists, students, and researchers with free access to scientific publications which would otherwise be locked behind paywalls.

In this exclusive interview, Alexandra talks about the history of the project and shares her vision on how to stimulate the transition to an open access system globally.

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Aug 6, 2017

The Self Drive Act, Bit Coin Clone, NASA Hiring Someone To Protect The Earth From Aliens & The Hive Mind

Posted by in categories: alien life, government, robotics/AI, transportation

Last week, a U.S. House Committee gave its approval for the SELF DRIVE Act, a bill that introduces breakthrough legislation in favor of autonomous vehicles. The bill could pass Congress before the end of 2017, ushering in a new era in self-driving tech.

In a report published in 2016, the White House estimated that nearly 3.1 million drivers working today could have their jobs automated by autonomous vehicles.

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Aug 6, 2017

A Powerful Energy Beam in Space Seems to Exceed the Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Strange beams of plasma that have been observed that seem to defy the laws of physics by moving faster than the speed of light.

In the Galaxy M87 (which was created when two other galaxies merged), a jet of hot plasma — caused by gas being sucked into a central black hole, being heated, and then shot out by magnetic fields — has been helping us gain insight into the weird origins of our galaxy. It is shaped like a thin beam and is emitted from the center of a black hole.

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Aug 6, 2017

4 Ways Tech Is Going To Improve And Enhance Humans

Posted by in categories: entertainment, futurism

Human beings have always wanted to improve themselves, it’s an intrinsic human drive. We’ve come to a point in time where technology allows us to do just that and in the very near future we’re going to see dramatic changes in what it means to be a human being. So, let’s take a look at the likely advancements we all soon maybe upgrading to.


1984 was the year that introduced The Terminator to the world as a cold, ruthless killing machine, but only part-machine. The cybernetic organism was described in the movie as “living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.” It was a fictional concept back then, but in the 2020’s, it might not be fiction, but reality.

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