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Jun 10, 2019

Epigenetic ‘Memories’ That Could Pass On A Father’s Life Experiences Seen In Worm Sperm

Posted by in categories: food, genetics, health

We may like to think that what we do in our daily lives only affects ourselves and perhaps a few people around us, but the increasingly active field of scientific inquiry called epigenetics suggests that life experiences like what we eat and the environments we expose ourselves to can influence the health and development of our kids and the generations beyond them.

Studies of both humans and animals have suggested that a father’s experiences can be transmitted across generations, but the mechanism for this epigentic inheritance hasn’t quite been clear.

New research published Wednesday in Nature Communications details how Susan Strome’s lab at UC Santa Cruz observed the transmission of epigenetic markers in the sperm of the small roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Jun 10, 2019

You Don’t Need That Bulky CRT Oscilloscope Anymore

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

While it might be nice to use a $4,000 oscilloscope in a lab at a university or well-funded corporate environment, a good portion of us won’t have access to that kind of equipment in our own home shops. There are a few ways of getting a working oscilloscope without breaking the bank, though. One option is to find old CRT-based unit for maybe $50 on craigslist which might still have 60% of its original 1970s-era equipment still operational. A more reliable, and similarly-priced, way of getting an oscilloscope is to just convert a device you already have.

The EspoTek Labrador is an open-source way of converting a Raspberry Pi, Android device, or even a regular run-of-the-mill computer into a working oscilloscope. It’s a small USB device with about a two square inch PCB footprint that includes some other features as well like a signal generator and logic analyzer. It’s based on an ATxmega which is your standard Arduino-style AVR microcontroller but geared for low power usage. It looks as though it is pretty simple to use as well, and the only requirements are that you can install the software needed for the device on whatever computing platform you decide to use.

While the Labrador is available for sale at their website, it is definitely a bonus when companies offer products like this but also release the hardware and software as open source. That’s certainly a good way to get our attention, at least. You can build your own if you’d like, but if you’d rather save the time you have pre-built options. And it doesn’t hurt that most of the reviews of this product seem to be very favorable (although we haven’t tried one out ourselves). If you’d prefer an option without a company backing it, though, we have you covered there too.

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Jun 10, 2019

Wired / Harley Davidson

Posted by in category: futurism

The inside line to the future.

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Jun 10, 2019

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Features

Posted by in category: futurism

Explore the many features that the Toyota Prius Prime has to offer. Let’s go places.

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Jun 10, 2019

Volkswagen obliterates Nürburgring electric record

Posted by in category: transportation

Volkswagen built its ID.R with the intention of showing what the heads in its electric drive division are capable of, and it only took a few months after its unveiling for the zero-emission race car to claim a record at the iconic Pikes Peak. The twin-motor electric racer has now built on this with yet another momentous showing, this time at Nürburgring-Nordschleife, where it has broken the lap record for electric vehicles by a whopping 40.564 seconds.

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Jun 10, 2019

A Thousand Times Better Instrument Will Investigate Emdrive and Mach Propulsion

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

Martin Tajmar has a SpaceDrive project and plans to create an instrument so sensitive and immune to interference that it would put an end to the debate once and for all. Tajmar believes that studying the EmDrive and similar propellantless propulsion systems will requir nano-newton instrument resolution.

He is making a new to torsion balance. It is a pendulum-type balance that measures the amount of torque applied to the axis of the pendulum. Tajmar’s team used a laser interferometer to measure the physical displacement of the balance scales. The new torsion scale has a nano-newton resolution and supports thrusters weighing several pounds, making it the most sensitive thrust balance in existence.

The SpaceDrive Project-Thrust Balance Development and New Measurements of the Mach-Effect and EMDrive Thrusters.

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Jun 10, 2019

Electric Conversions Can Save Classic Cars and Make Them Quicker

Posted by in category: transportation

The new breed of electric hot rodders.

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Jun 10, 2019

Light bends itself round corners

Posted by in category: futurism

Beams travel along parabolic and elliptical paths.

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Jun 10, 2019

KickSat: Our goal is to dramatically lower the cost of spaceflight, making it easy enough and affordable enough for anyone to explore space

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, solar power, space travel, sustainability

We can do this by shrinking the size and mass of the spacecraft, allowing many to be launched together.

Sprite

The Sprite is a tiny (3.5 by 3.5 centimeter) single-board spacecraft. It has a microcontroller, radio, and solar cells and is capable of carrying single-chip sensors, such as thermometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers. To lower costs, Sprites are designed to be deployed hundreds at a time in low Earth orbit and to simultaneously communicate with a ground station receiver.

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Jun 10, 2019

Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Law: A Distributed Disruption

Posted by in category: bitcoin

The future of the legal industry is being reshaped by a number of rapidly advancing technologies and the disruptive ideas they enable. Today’s lawyers are being advised to learn to code, develop an artificial intelligence (AI) application, and outsource discovery to machines. Of the many new technological drivers impacting law firms is the secure information exchange platform known as blockchain. Some see it as a the basis for the reinvention of economies while others simply see it as means of secure and incorruptible information exchange between counterparties. This cloud-based distributed ledger technology provides a source of irrefutable record of every transaction. In legal it is enabling fully automated self-executing smart contracts, and has the potential to help attorneys provide new services and create new value for clients and law firms. Blockchain is known as the structure underlying Bitcoin and other digital currencies, but its applications in the legal sector are still evolving. This article provides an overview of the technology, highlights example applications and case studies, and presents a possible timeline of future developments over the next decade or so.

Overview: Blockchain and Bitcoin

Blockchain and Bitcoin have gained notoriety lately as a potential solution to an outdated and burdensome system for managing financial transactions between counterparties. Today most financial transactions between counterparties are settled via financial intermediaries which adds time and cost to the settlement process. Blockchain offers a distributed ledger model whereby the parties settle directly with each other, the transactions are recorded, secure, and immutable, and the counterparty identities remain anonymous. The goal is to enable a simplified and trustworthy financial ecosystem- but these digital peer-to-peer networks, also challenge the authority of institutions (banks, regulators, and governments) and are thus creating disruption.

According to its advocates, the decentralized nature of blockchain and Bitcoin will cause much-needed disruption, with reverberations far beyond the financial realm. There is an element of social revolution in blockchain, thus it is often portrayed as a conduit for challenging the status quo. Though Bitcoin, a digital currency, is an explicitly financial innovation (i.e., for payments, transfer of funds) blockchain is far less specific. Blockchain serves a critical role in the administration of Bitcoin, and that of other digital currencies, but it can actually be used to complete other objectives and track the movement, transfer, and ownership of all sorts of things besides money (examples include luxury goods, education credits, property titles, and patents, to name a few). Though blockchain is structured like a traditional accounting tool—it’s fundamentally a ledger that tracks deposits in and payments out, and maintains a running balance—its uses go far beyond counting coins.

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