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Nov 11, 2019

There’s Growing Evidence That the Universe Is Connected by Giant Structures

Posted by in category: space

Scientists are finding that galaxies can move with each other across huge distances, and against the predictions of basic cosmological models. The reason why could change everything we think we know about the universe.

Nov 11, 2019

Something Very Strange Seems to Be Synchronizing Distant Galaxies

Posted by in category: space

Galaxies millions of light years away seem to be connected by an unseen network of massive intergalactic structures, which force them to synchronize in ways that can’t be explained by existing astrophysics, Vice reports. The discoveries could force us to rethink our fundamental understanding of the universe.

“The observed coherence must have some relationship with large-scale structures, because it is impossible that the galaxies separated by six megaparsecs [roughly 20 million light years] directly interact with each other,” Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute astronomer Hyeop Lee told the site.

Nov 11, 2019

SpaceX launches 60 more mini satellites for global internet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage.

The Falcon blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX. The compact flat-panel satellites—just 575 pounds (260 kilograms) each—will join 60 launched in May.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern U.S. and Canada, with global coverage for populated areas after 24 launches.

Nov 11, 2019

The Space-Time Fabric of Brain Networks – Neuroscientists Decode Neuronal Activity

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Neuroscientists at the Bernstein Center Freiburg (BCF) of the University of Freiburg and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have decoded a significant process in the brain that in part contributes to the behavior of living beings. “One of the basic requirements for meaningful behavior is that networks in the brain produce precisely defined sequences of neuronal activity,” says Prof. Dr. Ad Aertsen of the University of Freiburg. The researchers have published the results of the cooperation with Professor Dr. Arvind Kumar of the KTH and Sebastian Spreizer, a doctoral candidate at the BCF, in the scientific journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Experiments in recent years have shown that the behavior of animals is accompanied by sequential activity of neurons in different areas of the brain. In the context of that finding, researchers world-wide have developed several models of possible mechanisms to explain how these ordered sequences come into existence. They are based primarily upon methods of supervised learning, in which the desired sequential activity is generated by means of a learning rule. Within this process, it turned out that neuronal networks can be trained to produce sequences of activity. “At the same time, we know that not every behavior is learned. Innate behavior suggests that the brain generates certain sequences without learning or training,” says Arvind Kumar, who directed the study.

Based on that, the researchers addressed the question of how an untrained brain can generate well-ordered sequences of activity. They found this requires two conditions to be met: First, a small portion of the neurons’ projected output – their connections to downstream neurons – have to prefer a specific direction. Second, neighboring neurons need to share that preferred direction. “That means that the connections of nerve cells depend on directional preferences and are spatially linked to each other. This is the key to the generation of sequential activity in neuronal networks,” explains Sebastian Spreizer. If the network is wired according to these rules, it creates a type of activity landscape similar to geographic hills and valleys. In the context of this metaphor, the sequences of neuronal activity are like the rivers in a landscape. Small changes in the spatial fabric of the nerve cells generate certain temporal and spatial sequences of neuronal activity.

Nov 11, 2019

Lamborghini & MIT Announce new Patent for Supercapacitors

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

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Batteries are nice to have in hybrid cars. They offer consistent voltage and energy storage to assist the gasoline engines. But electricity can be stored in other ways. A capacitor also stores electrons, but it releases them all at once. Power of this magnitude has never been harnessed by a car, so that’s why Lamborghini and MIT have announced a new patent for supercapacitors.

Nov 11, 2019

Solid-State Lithium Ion Batteries — The Challenges

Posted by in category: futurism

Nov 11, 2019

We May Finally Understand the Moments Before the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

There’s a hole in the story of how our universe came to be. First, the universe inflated rapidly, like a balloon. Then, everything went boom.

But how those two periods are connected has eluded physicists. Now, a new study suggests a way to link the two epochs.

Nov 11, 2019

Free Internet access should be a basic human right, study says

Posted by in category: internet

Free internet access must be considered as a human right, as people unable to get online—particularly in developing countries—lack meaningful ways to influence the global players shaping their everyday lives, according to a new study.

As increasingly takes place online, basic freedoms that many take for granted including free expression, freedom of information and freedom of assembly are undermined if some citizens have access to the internet and others do not.

New research reveals that the internet could be a key way of protecting other basic human rights such as life, liberty, and freedom from torture—a means of enabling billions of people to lead ‘minimally decent lives’.

Nov 11, 2019

New Potential Treatment for Atherosclerosis Identified

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A team of researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK has identified a protein that plays a key role in the development of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death worldwide.

The trouble with Tribbles 1

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the protein known as Tribbles 1 (TRIB1) is expressed by macrophage that is linked to the formation of the plaques that clog our arteries and eventually kill us. Macrophages are responsible for removing cellular garbage and other waste from our bodies to keep us healthy, and that includes the insides of our arteries.

Nov 11, 2019

Why Designing Our Own Biology Will Be the Next Big Thing in Medicine

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

While the public is still imagining the future to be very much like the past, the researchers at the forefront of genetics are planning to redesign human bodies, to make us more long-lived, more resilient to disease, more strong and (I hope) more intelligent.


In a talk at Exponential Medicine, Jane Metcalfe said that tools like gene editing and synthetic biology could make design the next big thing in medicine.