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May 9, 2018

Uber teams up with U.S. Army, NASA to develop flying taxis

Posted by in category: drones

UberAir will fly electric passenger drones on short trips, the U.S. Army is researching Uber’s tech, and NASA has forged an agreement with the flying taxis.

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May 9, 2018

Uber shows off its vision for future ‘flying taxi’

Posted by in categories: drones, futurism

It’s not a bird, nor a plane. But Uber’s new prototype vehicle unveiled Tuesday shows off its vision of the future of transportation—a “flying taxi” that aims to alleviate urban congestion.

A model of Uber’s electric vertical take-off and landing concept (eVTOL)—a cross between a helicopter and a drone—was displayed at the second annual Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles.

“Our goal is to radically improve global mobility,” said Uber Aviation product chief Nikhil Goel.

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May 9, 2018

A stealthy Harvard startup wants to reverse aging in dogs, and humans could be next

Posted by in category: life extension

Biologist George Church says the idea is to live to 130 in the body of a 22-year-old.

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May 9, 2018

Life Extension Technology in Science Fiction

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, robotics/AI

Today we take an amusing look at how science fiction is often portrayed in a jarring way especially when dealing with the topic of life extension.

Those of us who fancy science fiction stories are used to all sorts of technological miracles taking place in them; some are plausible and might become reality at some point in the future, while others are mere fantasies, artistic liberties that are taken to tell a better story and will likely never translate into real-life technologies—or, if they will, they will do so at the cost of rethinking fundamental principles that we’ve thus far considered to be fully established.

In science fiction, we’ve seen faster-than-light travel, teleportation, portals, energy weapons, strong AI, telepathic powers, and radiation-induced superpowers of all kinds; unfortunately, the only “superpower” known to be actually induced by radiation thus far is cancer. Entire imaginary worlds have revolved around the existence of one or more of these marvels, and series and shows have assumed that they’re possible and imagined what our society would be like with them, but one particular possibility has been neglected or relegated to one or two episodes and then forgotten, as if it was of no importance whatsoever: the defeat of aging.

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May 9, 2018

Dr. Sarah Constantin – The Longevity Research Institute

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Today, we have an interview with the Longevity Research Institute, a new group set to launch in April 2018 of this year. The goal of the Institute is to identify therapies that can demonstrably extend healthy human lifespan by 2030 at the latest.

Searching for longevity

There are dozens of compounds and therapies that have been demonstrated to increase the lifespan of mammals. Recently, there have been some impressive examples of rejuvenation in animals using a variety of approaches, including partial cellular reprogramming, stem cell therapy, and senescent cell removal. More importantly, in many of these studies, age-related diseases have been delayed or even reversed.

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May 9, 2018

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

A hilarious but accurate (!) introduction to bitcoin and cryptocurrencyby the British comedian John Oliver.

Digital currencies are generating a lot of excitement. John Oliver enlists Keegan-Michael Key to get potential investors equally excited about the concept of caution.

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May 9, 2018

Mining asteroids might sound like science fiction, but it’s inching closer to reality—and it could be incredibly lucrative

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Sending a spacecraft to the far reaches of our solar system to mine asteroids might seem like an improbable ambition best left to science fiction. But it’s inching closer to reality. A NASA mission is underway to test the feasibility on a nearby asteroid, and a niche group of companies is ramping up to claim a piece of the pie.

Industry barons see a future in finding and harnessing water on asteroids for rocket fuel, which will allow astronauts and spacecrafts to stay in orbit for longer periods. Investors, including Richard Branson, China’s Tencent Holdings and the nation of Luxembourg, see a longer-term solution to replenishing materials such as iron and nickel as Earth’s natural resources are depleted.

Millions of asteroids roam our solar system. Most are thought unsuitable for mining, either because they’re too small, too inaccessible to Earth or because the materials that make up the asteroid have little value. But we know of almost 1,000 asteroids that show potential. Timing is everything, though. The varied orbits of these asteroids mean that many are nearby only once every several years.

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May 9, 2018

Building Sails for Tiny Interstellar Probes Will Be Tough — But Not Impossible

Posted by in categories: innovation, space

Giant lasers may indeed launch fleets of spacecraft to Alpha Centauri, given breakthroughs in the science behind extraordinarily thin, incredibly reflective sails that can catch this laser light, a new study finds.

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May 9, 2018

Where are the aliens? Solutions to Fermi Paradox

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, existential risks, first contact, lifeboat

The Fermi Paradox poses an age-old question: With light and radio waves skipping across the galaxy, why has there never been any convincing evidence of other life in the universe—or at least another sufficiently advanced civilization that uses radio? After all, evidence of intelligent life requires only that some species modulates a beacon (intentionally or unintentionally) in a fashion that is unlikely to be caused by natural phenomena.

The Fermi Paradox has always fascinated me, perhaps because SETI spokesperson, Carl Sagan was my astronomy professor at Cornell and—coincidentally—Sagan and Stephen Spielberg dedicated a SETI radio telescope at Oak Ridge Observatory around the time that I moved from Ithaca to New England. It’s a 5 minute drive from my new home. In effect, two public personalities followed me to Massachusetts.

What is SETI?

In November of 1984, SETI was chartered as a non-profit corporation with a single goal. In seeking to answer to the question “Are we alone?” it fuels the Drake equation by persuading radio telescopes to devote time to the search for extraterrestrial life and establishing an organized and systematic approach to partitioning, prioritizing, gathering and mining signal data.

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May 9, 2018

Police Cars Might Soon Have Facial Recognition Tech

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Police cars might soon be able to track your face.

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