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Sep 24, 2015

Mars‘ Mysterious Dark Streaks Spur Exploration Debate

Posted by in category: space

The dark, fingerlike features that creep down steep Martian slopes in warm weather continue to puzzle scientists.

These “recurring slope lineae” (RSL), which have been spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) at low and middle latitudes on the Red Planet, fade during cooler months but come back again annually at nearly the same locations over multiple Martian years.

Scientists continue to debate the true nature of the RSL phenomenon; no guess as to what they are and why they occur yet satisfies all observations. And just how RSL sites should be explored generates spirited debate, as evidenced by the discussions that emerged during the second Mars 2020 Landing Site Workshop, which was held last month in Monrovia, California. [Photos: The Search for Water on Mars].

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Sep 24, 2015

Losing Your Mind? Great Thinkers on the Brain

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, cryonics, neuroscience, philosophy, science, theory

Aristotle is frequently regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of antiquity. So why didn’t he think much of his brain?

In this brief history of the brain, the GPA explores what the great minds of the past thought about thought. And we discover that questions that seem to have obvious answers today were anything but self-evident for the individuals that first tackled them. And that conversely, sometimes the facts which we simply accept to be true can be blinding, preventing us from making deeper discoveries about our our world and ourselves.

Sep 24, 2015

Hooked-up human brains play telepathic ‘20 Questions’

Posted by in categories: entertainment, neuroscience

“For the experiment, pairs of people played the well-known question-and-answer game “20 Questions”, but were located in two rooms a mile apart and hooked up to a brain-reading system. The person answering “yes” or “no” was connected to an ECG machine, which records electrical brain activity. The person guessing had a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil behind their head — a non-invasive tool that stimulates small areas of the brain”


Two human brains have successfully played “20 Questions”, showing for the first time that it is possible for two brains to share thoughts.

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Sep 23, 2015

AI system solves SAT geometry questions as well as average American 11th-grade student

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Examples of questions (left column) and interpretations (right column) derived by GEOS (credit: Minjoon Seo et al./Proceedings of EMNLP)

An AI system that can solve SAT geometry questions as well as the average American 11th-grade student has been developed by researchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) and University of Washington.

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Sep 23, 2015

DNA-guided 3-D printing of human tissue

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical

Reconstituting epithelial (skin) microtissues with programmed size, shape, composition, spatial heterogeneity, and embedding extracellular matrix. Scheme and images of fully embedded aggregates of human luminal and myoepithelial cells. (credit: Michael E Todhunter et al./Nature Methods)

A new technique developed by UCSF scientists for building organoids (tiny models of human tissues) more precisely turns human cells into the biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. Called DNA Programmed Assembly of Cells (DPAC), it allows researchers in hours to create arrays of thousands of custom-designed organoids, such as models of human mammary glands containing several hundred cells each.

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Sep 23, 2015

Animated GIF

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

The best GIFs are on Giphy.

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Sep 23, 2015

A Months-Long Journey in Search of the Ultimate Fitness Tracker — By John Bradley | Outside Magazine

Posted by in category: wearables

wired-athlete-multi_h

“After two months testing 16 different fitness trackers, I’m sitting on the sofa watching Game of Thrones, jiggling my wrist to push the step count on my Garmin Forerunner smartwatch to the 20,000 mark.”

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Sep 23, 2015

Engineering Humans for War

Posted by in categories: computing, cyborgs, electronics, engineering, military

For decades after its inception in 1958, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—DARPA, the central research and development organization of the Department of Defense—focused on developing vast weapons systems. Starting in 1990, and owing to individuals like Gorman, a new focus was put on soldiers, airmen, and sailors—on transforming humans for war. The progress of those efforts, to the extent it can be assessed through public information, hints at war’s future, and raises questions about whether military technology can be stopped, or should.

Gorman sketched out an early version of the thinking in a paper he wrote for DARPA after his retirement from the Army in 1985, in which he described an “integrated-powered exoskeleton” that could transform the weakling of the battlefield into a veritable super-soldier. The “SuperTroop” exoskeleton he proposed offered protection against chemical, biological, electromagnetic, and ballistic threats, including direct fire from a.50-caliber bullet. It “incorporated audio, visual, and haptic [touch] sensors,” Gorman explained, including thermal imaging for the eyes, sound suppression for the ears, and fiber optics from the head to the fingertips. Its interior would be climate-controlled, and each soldier would have his own physiological specifications embedded on a chip within his dog tags. “When a soldier donned his ST [SuperTroop] battledress,” Gorman wrote, “he would insert one dog-tag into a slot under the chest armor, thereby loading his personal program into the battle suit’s computer,” giving the 21st-century soldier an extraordinary ability to hear, see, move, shoot, and communicate.

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Sep 23, 2015

Some of the Most Beautiful Astronomy Photos That Anyone Has Ever Seen

Posted by in category: space

Some truly beautiful images!


Our cosmos is freaking wonderful. And a few talented and patient photographers have managed to capture all of its glory. It’s time to celebrate them, by ogling some of their most brilliant photos.

Every year, the Royal Observatory Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition picks the best photos by astrophotographers. And now, a new book collects the most incredibly gorgeous images from the past several years, bringing the cosmos to your coffee table. We’re happy to be able to share some of the pictures from the book Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Prize-winning Images by Top Astrophotographers with you.

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Sep 23, 2015

Cambridge Physicists Find Wormhole Proof

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics, space, time travel

Calculations show that if the wormhole’s throat is orders of magnitude longer then the width of its mouth, it does indeed create Casimir energy at its centre.


Cambridge Physicists Find Wormhole Proof:-Physicists at the University of Cambridge have established a theoretical groundwork for the reality of wormholes, which are pipes that join two different points in space-time. If a part of information or physical object could pass through the wormhole, it might open the door to time travel or immediate communication through huge distances. “But there’s a problem: Einstein’s wormholes are extremely unsteady, and they don’t stay open long enough for something to pass over.” In 1988, physicists reached the deduction that a type of negative energy called Casimir energy might keep wormholes open.

The hypothetical solution established at Cambridge has to do with the properties of quantum energy, which conveys that even vacuums are teaming by means of waves of energy. If you visualize two metal plates in a vacuum, some waves of energy would be excessively big enogh to fit between the plates, meaning that the space-time among the plates would have negative energy. “Under the right circumstances, could the tube-like shape of the wormhole itself generate Casimir energy? Calculations show that if the wormhole’s throat is orders of magnitude longer then the width of its mouth, it does indeed create Casimir energy at its centre.”

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