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Apr 13, 2019

The world’s largest plane just flew for the first time

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

After years of development in the desert north of Los Angeles, a gigantic, six-engined mega jet with the wingspan of an American football field flew Saturday morning for the first time.

“We finally did it,” said Stratolaunch Systems CEO Jean Floyd at a news conference from the hangar at Mojave Air & Space Port. “It was an emotional moment to watch this bird take flight.”

Stratolaunch, the company founded in 2011 by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, conducted the first test flight of the world’s largest plane.

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Apr 13, 2019

Google’s Next Big Money Maker Could Be the Maps on Your Phone

Posted by in categories: business, economics, mobile phones

Indeed, Schindler stressed that Google would generate personalized Maps recommendations in “privacy-sensitive, opt-in ways.”

The company is betting that adding more data about places and businesses to Maps will lead people to spend more time on the service. As users expect more from Maps, Google has extra space to introduce more ads.

“We want to be able to highlight things that are around you and surface them nearby to you in a way that’s not disrupting your experience,’’ said Rajas Moonka, director of product management for Google Maps. Because so much of what users are looking for in Google Maps is commercial in nature, ads can be a helpful addition to the experience, he said.

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Apr 13, 2019

Inside the lab using mind-changing psychology experiments to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict

Posted by in categories: electronics, neuroscience

To read a man’s mind, first you have to outline his skull.

Last November, I watched a psychologist use a digital pen to draw the circumference of a man’s head. The coordinates of his brain were quickly mapped, pinpointing the precise areas within his skull that process emotions. Behind him, a massive magnetic mind-reader—a neuroimaging device called a magnetoencephalography, or MEG—emerged from the wall, funneling into an oversized white helmet. It took two scientists to slowly maneuver the apparatus into position around his head.

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Apr 13, 2019

Sustained rescue of prefrontal circuit dysfunction

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the action of antidepressants is urgently needed. Moda-Sava et al. explored a possible mode of action for the drug ketamine, which has recently been shown to help patients recover from depression (see the Perspective by Beyeler). Ketamine rescued behavior in mice that was associated with depression-like phenotypes by selectively reversing stress-induced spine loss and restoring coordinated multicellular ensemble activity in prefrontal microcircuits. The initial induction of ketamine’s antidepressant effect on mouse behavior occurred independently of effects on spine formation. Instead, synaptogenesis in the prefrontal region played a critical role in nourishing these effects over time. Interventions aimed at enhancing the survival of restored synapses may thus be useful for sustaining the behavioral effects of fast-acting antidepressants.

Science, this issue p. eaat8078; see also p. 129.

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Apr 13, 2019

Neutral Zinc-air battery with cathode NiCo/C-N shows outstanding performance

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, sustainability

In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, a team of researchers from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Hunan University of Science and Technology have proposed a novel strategy for the synthesis of non-precious metal catalysts in zinc-air batteries that do not compromise its electroactivity, affordability and stability.

As a green and sustainable energy generator, zinc-air battery has attracted great attention from researchers due to its high specific energy, high current density, low cost, and environmental friendliness. Yet it is not without its drawbacks. The slow oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) of its cathode has become an obstacle to its commercial application. One possible solution is to use platinum (Pt) and Pt-based catalysts, but its high cost and scarce availability make it less ideal. In addition, alkaline KOH (or NaOH) is generally used as the electrolyte, but it leads to the generation of carbonates (CO32-) due to the dissolution of CO2 in the electrolyte as well as the spontaneous corrosion of the anodic zinc in strong alkaline media. This has the effect of slowing down the ionic conductivity of the electrolyte and battery life. Therefore, a neutral electrolyte should be used instead.

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Apr 13, 2019

From medicine to nanotechnology: How gold quietly shapes our world

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

The periodic table of chemical elements turns 150 this year. The anniversary is a chance to shine a light on particular elements – some of which seem ubiquitous but which ordinary people beyond the world of chemistry probably don’t know much about.

One of these is , which was the subject of my postgraduate degrees in chemistry, and which I have been studying for almost 30 years. In chemistry, gold can be considered a late starter when compared to most other metals. It was always considered to be chemically “inert” – but in recent decades it has flourished and a variety of interesting applications have emerged.

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Apr 13, 2019

What Interesting Trends Are We Seeing In Genetics Research Right Now?

Posted by in category: genetics

What interesting trends are we seeing in genetics research right now? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Carrie Northover, Research Director at 23andMe, on Quora:

One of the coolest things right now is the size and scale of the research we’re able to do with human genetics, and those numbers are just getting bigger and bigger.

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Apr 13, 2019

Biophotonic therapy eliminates bacteria and viruses from organs before transplantation

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new technique for the decontamination of organs before transplantation using ultraviolet and red light irradiation has been developed by Brazilian and Canadian researchers and is described in an article titled “Inactivating hepatitis C virus in donor lungs using light therapies during normothermic ex vivo lung perfusion,” published in the journal Nature Communications. The research was partially conducted at the Optics and Photonics Research Center (CEPOF), hosted by the University of S\xE3o Paulo (USP) at S\xE3o Carlos in S\xE3o Paulo State (Brazil).

“This biophotonic technique is revolutionary, as it helps avoid the transmission of diseases during ,” said Vanderlei Bagnato, full professor at the University of S\xE3o Paulo, director of its S\xE3o Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP), and principal investigator for CEPOF.

Bagnato’s group partnered with researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada, which has the world’s largest lung transplantation program, having performed 197 such surgeries in 2018 alone. According to thoracic surgeon Marcelo Cypel, who heads the service, the number of transplants could be higher if organs could be decontaminated, especially when the prospective donor has a such as hepatitis C.

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Apr 13, 2019

Experts say our brains and computers will form ‘internet of thoughts’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet, nanotechnology, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Scientists say our brains will connect to computers within decades to form an ‘internet of thoughts’ that will provide instant access to information…


Forward-leaning scientists and researchers say advancements in society’s computers and biotechnology will go straight to our heads — literally.

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Apr 13, 2019

SpaceX will launch NASA’s mission to crash spacecraft into an asteroid

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX will launch NASA’s $69 million mission to crash a spacecraft into an ASTEROID in 2021 to test methods that could save Earth from deadly impacts…


The groundbreaking mission will be the first demonstrated attempt to deflect an asteroid by purposely crashing an object into it at high speed.

After launching from California’s Vandenberg Air Force base atop a Falcon 9 rocket in 2021, the DART craft is expected to reach the object Didymos in October 2022, when it’s 11 million kilometers (6.8 million miles) from Earth.

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