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Mar 16, 2019

Super-fast engine set for key tests

Posted by in category: transportation

The UK project to develop a hypersonic engine that could take a plane from London to Sydney in about four hours is set for a key demonstration.

The Sabre engine is part jet, part rocket, and relies on a novel pre-cooler heat-exchanger technology.

This pre-cooler system will begin a new phase of testing in the next month or so in Colorado, US.

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Mar 16, 2019

Would someone who is 80 benefit from SENS therapies or is it too old to rejuvenate them?

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

I wonder, if you can turn a 65 year old into a 40 year old, could you not turn around and give that 40 year old another treatment so they rejuvenate to an even younger state?


It is an interesting question because I might be getting near there myself! Anyway, let’s assume we develop sufficiently robust rejuvenation therapies within 20 years that they can effectively reset the clock by say 25 years with the result that a person who is chronologically 65 could be restored to a point where biologically they are 40 it begs the question could an 80 year old be effectively restored to the physiology of a 55 year old? My feeling is that the first generation treatments will in all probability be quite aggressive and invasive involving stem cell therapies, gene therapies and possibly surgical interventions to replace organs created through tissue engineering. So my concern is that whilst a 65 year old or even a fit 70 year old might easily withstand the rigours of these interventions I can’t see this applying to the average person in their 80s, whilst we are not yet at the stage where we have developed all the comprehensive therapies needed we should nevertheless keep in mind we are close and some are already approaching implementation see Suicide of aging cells prolongs life span in mice and also the video below from a few weeks back and it’s clear we are moving fast and might only be 10 to 15 years out if we keep up the current pace.

My concern is that with the senescent cell clearance a large percentage of cells in an 80 year old will be senescent so complete removal were it possible could kill them.

My thought is we might need to consider whether a less comprehensive and aggressive SENS therapy which perhaps for the sake of argument we could call MiniSENS might be useful to pull octogenarians back from the edge, perhaps by say by 10 years at which point they might be strong enough after a period of time to recover that they could handle a more intensive treatment which would yield further long term health benefits. It is just a thought but it might be something we need to think about because it would extend the age range of the people who could benefit from SENS strategies.

Continue reading “Would someone who is 80 benefit from SENS therapies or is it too old to rejuvenate them?” »

Mar 16, 2019

Scientists Thread A Nano-Needle To Modify The Genes Of Plants

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

Carbon Nanotubes May Be An Easy Way To Tinker With Plant Genetics Getting DNA into plant cells is tricky. Researchers have tried using infectious bacteria, as well as gene guns that shoot gold bullets. Then a physicist came up with a new approach almost by accident.

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Mar 16, 2019

What do the people of the world die from?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, terrorism

In some countries, progress has not always been smooth. Disease, epidemics and unexpected events are a reminder that ever-longer lives are not a given.

Meanwhile, the deaths that may preoccupy us — from terrorism, war and natural disasters — make up less than 0.5% of all deaths combined.


It will happen to all of us, but how and when we die speaks volumes about who we are and where we live.

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Mar 15, 2019

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

Posted by in categories: information science, law, robotics/AI

It was 100 times faster on a routine task.


In a recent study, LawGeex, a legal tech startup, challenged a group of 20 experienced lawyers to test their skills and knowledge against its AI-powered algorithm.

A legal battle

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Mar 15, 2019

Me, My Selfie and I with Ryan Gander

Posted by in category: transhumanism

I’ll be on BBC Four this coming Monday (21:00) and Tuesday (02:30) hanging out with celebrated conceptual artist Ryan Gander. We discuss #transhumanism and the future of upgrades:


Celebrated conceptual artist Ryan Gander investigates the selfie – the icon of a new kind of self-regard that hardly existed just ten years ago.

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Mar 15, 2019

Harvard Scientists Have Discovered The DNA Switch That Controls Whole-Body Regeneration

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Humans have long envied animals that are able to regenerate parts of their bodies. Arms, legs, tails, even whole chunks of the organism. Yet despite all the technology and best efforts, humans don’t have this ability. However, this could all change. Harvard University uncovered the DNA switch that controls genes for whole body regeneration. This means that one day, humans may be able to grow back lost limbs!

Many people know that certain animals are able to achieve extraordinary feats of repair, such as salamanders which grow back legs, or geckos which can shed their tails to escape predators and then form new ones in just two months. It doesn’t stop there either. Planarian worms, jellyfish, and sea anemones take this regeneration to a whole new level and can actually regenerate their entire bodies after being cut in half.

Wild Axolotl Salamander

Continue reading “Harvard Scientists Have Discovered The DNA Switch That Controls Whole-Body Regeneration” »

Mar 15, 2019

Our Mission

Posted by in category: space

This is something near and dear to me.


The Out Astronaut Project is a collaboration between Stardom Space and Project PoSSUM to address the under-representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people in science and space. We highlight the contributions of LGBTQ members currently working in science and space and provide grants to promising LGBTQ students currently pursuing professions in space-related fields.

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Mar 15, 2019

Curing HIV just got more complicated. Can CRISPR help?

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists probe cellular hideouts for HIV and show that CRISPR can still cut the AIDS virus from DNA in monkeys.

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Mar 15, 2019

Indian Scientists Measure 1.3-Billion-Volt Thunderstorm, the Strongest on Record

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, space

Scientists in India observed the highest-voltage thunderstorm ever documented with the help of a subatomic particle you might not hear much about: the muon.

The researchers operate the GRAPES-3 telescope, which measures muons, particles that are similar to electrons but heavier. Specifically, the Gamma Ray Astronomy at PeV EnergieS Phase-3 (GRAPES-3) muon telescope measures high-energy particles from outer space called cosmic rays. It typically picks up 2.5 million muons each minute, mapped on a 13-by-13 grid across the sky. But during thunderstorms, it experiences quick changes to the amount of muons it receives. The GRAPES-3 researchers added electric field monitors to the experiment, and devised a way to turn these muon fluctuations into measurements of the voltage of passing storms.

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