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May 17, 2018

Warning and Aviation Code Red Alert Issued For Hawaii

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Red is the highest level of alert to aviation, meaning that either an eruption is forecast to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely — as is the case currently in Hawaii — or an eruption is underway with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere. Either way, this could mean disruptions are possible in aviation around the big island of Hawaii for the foreseeable future, depending on what happens.

Ash clouds from volcanoes can clog the engines of airplanes and cause them to malfunction — or stop working altogether. According to this article from the World Organization of Volcano Observatories:

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May 16, 2018

Exploration of diverse bacteria signals big advance for gene function prediction

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In the air, beneath the ocean’s surface, and on land, microbes are the minute but mighty forces regulating much of the planet’s biogeochemical cycles. To better understand their roles, scientists work to identify these microbes and to determine their individual contributions. While advances in sequencing technologies have enabled researchers to access the genomes of thousands of microbes and make them publicly available, no similar shift has occurred with the task of assigning functions to the genes uncovered.

To help overcome this bottleneck, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), have developed a workflow that enables large-scale, genome-wide assays of gene importance across many conditions. The study, “Mutant Phenotypes for Thousands of Bacterial Genes of Unknown Function,” has been published in the journal Nature and is by far the largest functional genomics study of bacteria ever published.

“This is the first really large, systematic experimental effort to try to assign functions to of unknown function,” said study senior author and biologist Adam Deutschbauer of Berkeley Lab’s Biosciences Area. “We are tackling the problem that biology is up against and recognizes: It is super easy to sequence, but we cannot currently assign confident functions for the majority of identified by sequencing. Our experimental data provides an anchor that other researchers could use to make a more informed inference about protein function.”

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May 16, 2018

The inside of a proton endures more pressure than anything else we’ve seen

Posted by in category: futurism

For the first time, scientists used experimental data to estimate the pressure inside a proton


Emily Conover

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May 16, 2018

Laser emissions discovered emerging from the Ant Nebula

Posted by in category: space

An international team of astronomers has identified a rare laser phenomenon shining from the heart of the planetary nebula Menzel 3, otherwise known as the Ant Nebula. The discovery suggests the presence of an as yet unseen companion star, hiding at the core of the chaotic cosmic structure.

Menzel 3 is located roughly 8,000 light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Norma. Discovered by Donald Menzel in the 1920s, it was given the moniker of the Ant Nebula, owing to its apparent similarity to the head and thorax of a garden ant.

The striking object belongs to a specific family of diffuse bodies known as planetary nebula. Despite their suggestive name, the formation of these beautiful structures has nothing to do with planets, and is instead rooted in the demise of middleweight stars similar to our Sun.

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May 16, 2018

Two cool: A pair of patents filed on breakthrough materials for next-gen refrigerators

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Scientists at the research consortium CaloriCool are closer than ever to the materials needed for a new type of refrigeration technology that is markedly more energy efficient than current gas compression systems. Currently, residential and commercial cooling consumes about one out of every five kilowatt-hours of electricity generated in the U.S., but a caloric refrigeration system could save as much as 30 percent in energy usage.

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May 16, 2018

DARPA’s Next Challenge? A Grueling Underground Journey

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

DARPA calls on researchers to autonomously explore the innards of Earth. Get ready for high drama and some fantastical-looking robots.

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May 16, 2018

AI dengue prediction tool trialled in Asia, Latin America

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The system’s inventors claim it predicts outbreaks up to three months in advance.

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May 16, 2018

Plastics are ubiquitous in the deep ocean — even in the Mariana Trench

Posted by in category: materials

Plastic is everywhere — literally.

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May 16, 2018

Machine Learning of Human Brain

Posted by in categories: information science, nanotechnology, physics, robotics/AI

Q) Why Algorithmic leaps can be better than Hardware leaps?

Ans) Hardware constraints create bottlenecks that are hard to tackle as uncertainty of physics at small scale (nano-meters and less) come into play (electrons start jumping around).

At this point, ideas (algorithms) can be used to unleash full potential of the feasible hardware.

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May 16, 2018

‘Exergaming’ may slow down risk of Alzheimer’s: Study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

New York, May 16 (IANS) Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who indulge in exergames — video games that are also a form of exercise — may experience significant improvement in complex thinking and memory skills, according to a study.

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