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May 17, 2018

Black Hole Traffic Accidents May Produce Monster Mergers

Posted by in category: cosmology

This post is regarding binary black holes, supermassive black holes and LIGO detections.

Black holes formed from the death of a single star may collect and collide with other black holes to form even more-massive objects.

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May 17, 2018

Cancer ‘vaccine’ eliminates tumors in mice

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Injecting minute amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid tumors in mice can eliminate all traces of cancer in the animals, including distant, untreated metastases, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The approach works for many different types of cancers, including those that arise spontaneously, the study found.

The researchers believe the local application of very small amounts of the agents could serve as a rapid and relatively inexpensive cancer therapy that is unlikely to cause the adverse side effects often seen with bodywide immune stimulation.

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May 17, 2018

This physicist’s ideas of time will blow your mind

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, quantum physics

Time feels real to people. But it doesn’t even exist, according to quantum physics. “There is no time variable in the fundamental equations that describe the world,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli tells Quartz.

If you met him socially, Rovelli wouldn’t assault you with abstractions and math to prove this point. He’d “rather not ruin a party with physics,” he says. We don’t have to understand the mechanics of the universe to go about our daily lives. But it’s good to take a step back every once in a while.

“Time is a fascinating topic because it touches our deepest emotions. Time opens up life and takes everything away. Wondering about time is wondering about the very sense of our life. This is [why] I have spent my life studying time,” Rovelli explains.

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May 17, 2018

How 3D Printing Is Unlocking A New Space Race

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, government, satellites

A new space race is in the works, thanks to 3D printing. This time around, it’s not about large government agencies vying to blast human astronauts into uncharted territory. Instead, today’s competitors are aerospace startups like Rocket Lab and Relativity Space that are trying to launch satellites into orbit.

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May 17, 2018

Achieving scalability in quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

While a variety of quantum systems exist today, many are unable to scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. Explaining the real-world obstacles of building a quantum system that scales, this post explores how Microsoft addresses these challenges through a topological qubit.

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May 17, 2018

The right to die and the right to live

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, life extension

Somewhat paradoxically, euthanasia and life extension share a common goal—ending pointless suffering.

On May 10 this year, Australian ecologist David Goodall took his own life before aging could. The scientist, aged 104, reportedly said he “regretted” having reached that age, because the quality of his life had significantly deteriorated as a consequence of his declining health. Unhappy with his condition, though not suffering from any terminal disease—except for aging itself—Goodall opted to end his life through assisted suicide. As the practice is currently not allowed in Australia, he flew with friends and family all the way to a clinic in Switzerland, where he flipped a switch and administered his own lethal injection while listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Interestingly, the cost of his trip to Switzerland was covered with money collected through a crowdfunding campaign.

A matter of rights

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May 17, 2018

Selfish Ledger: Google’s mass sociology experiment

Posted by in categories: big data, complex systems, DNA, ethics, evolution, genetics, information science, internet, surveillance

Check out the internal Google film, “The Selfish Ledger”. This probably wasn’t meant to slip onto a public web server, and so I have embedded a backup copy below. Ping me if it disappears. I will locate a permanent URL.

This 8½ minute video is a lot deeper—and possibly more insipid—than it appears. Nick Foster may be the Anti-Christ, or perhaps the most brilliant sociologist of modern times. It depends on your vantage point, and your belief in the potential of user controls and cat-in-bag containment.

He talks of a species propelling itself toward “desirable goals” by cataloging, data mining, and analyzing the past behavior of peers and ancestors—and then using that data to improve the experience of each user’s future and perhaps even their future generations. But, is he referring to shared goals across cultures, sexes and incomes? Who controls the algorithms and the goal filters?! Is Google the judge, arbiter and God?

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May 17, 2018

New Drug Blocks Cancer Metastasis

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Kansas, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) have discovered a compound that can block the spread of cancer cells.

Preventing cancer metastasis

Metastasis is how cancer spreads from an initial site to a secondary site within the host’s body; the newly pathological sites, then, are metastases. Metastasis is what makes some cancers so lethal and hard to treat unless they are caught before they spread.

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May 17, 2018

What happens to small towns whose water becomes big business for bottled brands?

Posted by in categories: business, food, law

Groundwater being pumped from a highland aquifer, only to be whisked away in tankers and sold in little plastic bottles by a multinational corporation – it’s a difficult concept for a small farming town to swallow.

Just ask the residents of Stanley, Victoria, whose four-year court battle to stop a farmer bottling local groundwater for Japanese beverage giant Asahi ended in failure last month. They were left with a A$90,000 bill for legal costs.

Locals have clashed with the bottled water industry in many parts of the world, including the United States and Canada, and perhaps most famously in the French spa town of Vittel, where residents have accused Nestlé of selling so much of their water to the rest of the world that they barely have enough left for themselves.

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May 17, 2018

Lunar Palace 1: China’s One-Year Mock Moon Mission in Pictures

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

China and India are going to build a Lunar base/colony (I’ve heard) and the Japanese (I’ve heard) want to clad the moon in solar cells and microwave the power to Earth. To different places round the globe depending on the time.

In May 2018, China wrapped up a yearlong mission inside “Lunar Palace 1,” a Beijing facility designed to help the nation prepare to but boots on the moon. See images of the experiment here. (Read our full story here.) Here: Four volunteers take the oath in front of Lunar Palace 1, a facility for conducting bio-regenerative life-support systems experiments key to setting up a lunar base, at the Beijing University for Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) on May 10, 2017. A ceremony was held in the BUAA that day as eight volunteers in two groups started a 365-day experiment in Lunar Palace 1.

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