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May 23, 2019

Space 2.0: Something’s Going to Happen, Something Wonderful

Posted by in categories: economics, engineering, space

A review of Rod Pyle’s new book, Space 2.0, a tour de force of the “new space” phenomena packed with photos and details of the amazing people behind it. The book goes beyond Musk, Branson and Bezos and explains the origins of the science and engineering required to build an economy beyond Earth.

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May 23, 2019

Study shows how diet can prevent a mid-life microbiome crisis and improve brain health

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience

A number of physiological and psychological changes occur as we age, and many studies have shown that our gut microbiome also changes as we grow older. A fascinating new study is suggesting that a shift in gut bacteria in our middle-age could trigger a process that plays a role in cognitive decline in our later years. And diet may be the key to encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria that benefit healthy brain aging.

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May 23, 2019

DARPA Funds Ambitious Brain-Machine Interface Program

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, wearables

The N3 program aims to develop wearable devices that let soldiers to communicate directly with machines.

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May 23, 2019

Robots activated by water may be the next frontier

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

New research from the laboratory of Ozgur Sahin, associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University, shows that materials can be fabricated to create soft actuators—devices that convert energy into physical motion—that are strong and flexible, and, most important, resistant to water damage.

“There’s a growing trend of making anything we interact with and touch from materials that are dynamic and responsive to the environment,” Sahin says. “We found a way to develop a material that is water-resistant yet, at the same time, equipped to harness water to deliver the force and motion needed to actuate .”

The research was published online May 21 in Advanced Materials Technologies.

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May 23, 2019

Lunacy: how science fiction is powering the new moon rush

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

Science fiction is often seen as an anticipation – a fiction peculiarly expected to graduate into fact. But if technologies once found only in SF do sometimes become real they do not, in so doing, always cease to be science fictional. SF is not, after all, simply a literature about the future; it is a literature about the shock of new capacities and new perspectives, about transcendence, estrangement and resistance in the face of the inhuman. Its ideas shape and constrain the ways in which technological possibilities are seen, understood and experienced long after those possibilities are first tentatively realised. It illuminates the dreams of Musk, Bezos and all the other new moon-rushers.


Fifty years after the first moon landings, a new generation of space travellers, from Xi Jinping’s taikonauts to Jeff Bezos, are racing to colonise our nearest neighbour. Is reality catching up with sci-fi?

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May 23, 2019

Hemp Derived Carbon Nanosheets Better Than Graphene

Posted by in category: materials

Researchers have created carbon nanosheets for use as supercapacitors with waste hemp fibres, and can do this at 1/1000th of the cost of graphene!

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May 23, 2019

China unveils 600 km/h maglev train prototype in Qingdao

Posted by in category: transportation

http://xhne.ws/wvqF1

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May 22, 2019

The Genetically Engineered Astronaut

Posted by in categories: genetics, space travel

Can we create people who are optimized for ultra-long space travel?

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May 22, 2019

Survival in Space Unprotected Is Possible–Briefly

Posted by in category: space travel

But don’t linger in the interstellar vacuum, or hold your breath.

  • By Anna Gosline on February 14, 2008

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May 22, 2019

This Bulletproof Skin is Made of Goat Milk Spider Silk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Jalila Essaïdi is a Dutch artist and entrepreneur focused on biotech applications of spider silk, which she makes using the milk of genetically engineered goats.

Spider silk is one of the strongest materials in nature. Jalila Essaïdi had her curiosity piqued when she read about the work of Randolph Lewis, a Professor at Utah State University, who had developed a method to create synthetic spider silk from goat milk.

“We genetically engineered the goats so that they produced a spider protein in their milk. We then purify that protein from the milk and spin it into fibers,” Lewis told CNN in an interview.

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