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Dec 4, 2019

Bionic neurons could enable implants to restore failing brain circuits

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, neuroscience, transhumanism

Scientists say creation could be used to circumvent nerve damage and help paralysed people regain movement.

Ian Sample Science editor.

Dec 4, 2019

The gut may be involved in the development of multiple sclerosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The gut has long been suspected to play a role in autoimmune disease. A research team has now identified evidence of a potential mechanism.

Dec 4, 2019

First experimental genetic evidence of the human self-domestication hypothesis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A new University of Barcelona study reveals the first empirical genetic evidence of human self-domestication, a hypothesis that humans have evolved to be friendlier and more cooperative by selecting their companions depending on their behaviour. Researchers identified a genetic network involved in the unique evolutionary trajectory of the modern human face and prosociality, which is absent in the Neanderthal genome. The experiment is based on Williams Syndrome cells, a rare disease.

The study, published in Science Advances, results from the collaboration between a UB team led by Cedric Boeckx, ICREA professor from the Section of General Linguistics at the Department of Catalan Philology and General Linguistics, and member of the Institute of Complex Systems of the UB (UBICS), and researchers from the team led by Giuseppe Testa, lecturer at the University of Milan and the European Institute of Oncology.

Dec 4, 2019

Pulsed Fission Fusion Propulsion for Faster Manned Travel Through the Solar System

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, space

Robert Adams updated the work on a phase 2 Pulsed Fission-Fusion (PuFF) Propulsion Concept. Robert works at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. This system should be able to achieve 15 kW/kg and 30,000 seconds of ISP. This will be orders of magnitude improvement over competing systems such as nuclear electric, solar electric, and nuclear thermal propulsion that suffer from lower available power and inefficient thermodynamic cycles. Puff will meet an unfilled capability needed for manned missions to the outer planets and vastly faster travel throughout the solar system.

A tiny lithium deuteride and uranium 235 pellet will be fired into a shell of structure that will complete a circuit and generate high voltages and pressures that will compress the pellet and cause fission and fusion to occur.

Heat from fission fuel increases the reactivity of the fusion fuel and the neutron flux may breed additional fuel to fuse. Additionally, the neutron flux from the fusion fuel will induce fission. This coupling can drastically reduce the driving energy required to initiate the burn and drastically improve output. This concept has been examined in the past by Winterberg and is being investigated in support of a Pulsed Fission-Fusion (PuFF) engine concept at Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dec 4, 2019

Surprising 1st results from NASA’s sun-skimming spacecraft

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s sun-skimming spacecraft, the Parker Solar Probe, is surprising scientists with its unprecedented close views of our star.

Scientists released the first results from the mission Wednesday. They observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind.

NASA’s Nicola Fox compared this unexpected switchback phenomenon to the cracking of a whip.

Dec 4, 2019

Era Ends for Google as Founders Step Aside From a Pillar of Tech

Posted by in category: futurism

SAN FRANCISCO — Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Stanford graduate students who founded Google over two decades ago, are stepping down from executive roles at Google’s parent company, Alphabet, they announced on Tuesday.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, will become the chief of both Google and Alphabet.

The move is an end of an era for Google. Mr. Page and Mr. Brin have personified the company since its founding and have been two of the technology industry’s most influential figures, on a par with the founders of Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Dec 4, 2019

The rise, disappearance, and retirement of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Posted by in category: information science

Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1996 on the back of an algorithm, turned it into one of the most valuable companies in the world, and have now given up their leadership roles three times — even though they’ve always retained a controlling interest in the company behind the scenes. Here’s a timeline of their most important moments in Google and Alphabet history.

Dec 4, 2019

Facebook’s Head of AI Says the Field Will Soon ‘Hit the Wall’

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Jerome Pesenti is encouraged by progress in artificial intelligence, but sees the limits of the current approach to deep learning.

Dec 4, 2019

Iran Has Launched ‘Malicious’ New Malware That Wipes Windows Computers, Warns IBM

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

Iranian hackers have again attacked strategic industrial targets in the region, with a new strain of malware designed to cause widespread chaos.

Dec 4, 2019

Re.comm 19 — an Interview with Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in category: life extension