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May 17, 2019

‘The Big Bang Theory’ takes math notes from Carl Pomerance

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

A prime number theory equation by mathematics professor emeritus Carl Pomerance turned up on The Big Bang Theory, where it was scrawled on a white board in the background of the hit sitcom about a group of friends and roommates who are scientists, many of them physicists at the California Institute of Technology.

In a recent paper, “Proof of the Sheldon Conjecture,” Pomerance, the John G. Kemeny Parents Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, does the math on a claim by fictional quantum physicist Sheldon Cooper that 73 is “the best ” because of several . Pomerance’s proof shows that 73 is indeed unique.

The Big Bang Theory is known for dressing the set with “Easter eggs” to delight the self-avowed science nerds in the audience. When UCLA physics professor David Saltzberg, technical consultant for The Big Bang Theory, heard about the Sheldon proof, he contacted Pomerance to ask if they could use it in the show, which was broadcast April 18.

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May 17, 2019

Clean and effective electronic waste recycling

Posted by in categories: energy, health, sustainability

As the number of electronics devices increases around the world, finding effective methods of recycling electronic waste (e-waste) is a growing concern. About 50 million tons of e-waste is generated each year and only 20% of that is recycled. Most of the remaining 80% ends up in a landfill where it can become an environmental problem. Currently, e-waste recycling involves mechanical crushers and chemical baths, which are expensive, and manual labor, which can cause significant health and environmental problems when not performed properly. Thus, researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan have been using pulsed power (pulsed electric discharges) to develop a cleaner and more efficient recycling method.

Pulsed power has been shown to be successful in processing various waste materials, from concrete to waste water. To test its ability to be used in e-waste recycling, researchers examined its effectiveness in separating components found in one of the most prolific types of e-waste, CD ROMs. In previous work, they showed that complete separation of metal from plastic occurred using 30 pulses at about 35 J/pulse (At the current price of electricity in Tokyo, this amount of energy costs about 0.4 Yen for recycling 100 CD ROMs). To examine the mechanism of material separation using this method, researchers performed further analyses by observing the plasma discharge with a , by taking schlieren visualizations to assess the shock wave, and using shadowgraph images to measure fragment motion.

Images at the early stage of electrical discharge showed two distinct light emissions: blue-white and orange. These indicated excitation of aluminum and upper protective plastic respectively. After the plasma dissipated, fragments of metal and plastic could be seen flying away from the CD ROM sample.

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May 17, 2019

New “Minecraft” Game Will Let You Build Stuff in the Real World

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, entertainment, mobile phones

“Minecraft Earth,” announced today, will allow users to collect items, blocks, and creatures while roaming around in the real world with other real-world friends — think of it as a “Minecraft”-themed “Pokémon Go” experience, but with more fishing, building and resource management.

While the extremely popular smartphone game “Pokémon Go” relied on augmented reality only minimally, the new “Minecraft” title will double down on the technology. A new feature called Azure Spatial Anchors will allow users to plop down objects in augmented reality — and persist indefinitely. Other users will also be able to interact with those same objects.

The goal is to eventually have players build their own “Minecraft” worlds for others to experience in augmented reality through their phones.

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May 17, 2019

Ending Age-Related Diseases: 2019

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

Special offer ticket price extended until midnight EDT today! Join us for two action-packed days of aging research and biotech business talks in the heart of New York City. Use the code: Metchnikoff to get $50 off the ticket cost today.


Find out more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ending-age-related-diseases-20

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May 17, 2019

New Birth Control Drug Would Work for Men and Women

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The contraceptive burden has been on women for forever.

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May 17, 2019

Mast cells crucial to causing osteoarthritis

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have definitively linked mast cells, a class of cells belonging to the immune system, to the development of osteoarthritis, one of the world’s most common causes of pain and immobility.

In a study published online May 14 in eLife, the scientists demonstrated for the first time that banishing —or blocking signals from the most common stimulus activating them in real life, or disabling a cartilage-degrading enzyme they release when activated—all protected mice from developing typically induced by a classic experimental procedure. The results were supported by findings in and tissues.

Osteoarthritis, by far the most frequently occurring variety of arthritis, is characterized by cartilage breakdown and inflammation in joints, which can be further aggravated by excess bone growths called osteophytes.

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May 17, 2019

Nobel winner claims lasers can make nuclear waste safe

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Physicist plans to karate-chop them with super-fast blasts of light.

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May 17, 2019

The volcano that built Bermuda is unlike any other on Earth

Posted by in category: futurism

Rock samples from the island suggest it’s a strange hybrid that represents a whole new way for the planet to make volcanoes.

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May 17, 2019

Electric air taxi startup Lilium completes first test of its new five-seater aircraft

Posted by in category: transportation

Compared to the other preproduction electric aircraft we’ve seen so far, the Lilium Jet certainly stands out: it has an egg-shaped cabin perched on landing gear with a pair of parallel tilt-rotor wings. The wings are fitted with a total of 36 electric jet engines that tilt up for vertical takeoff and then shift forward for horizontal flight. There is no tail, rudder, propellers, or gearbox. When it’s complete, the Lilium Jet will have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a top speed of 300 km / hour (186 mph), the company says.

That’s much farther than many of its competitors are predicting of their electric aircraft. Remo Gerber, Lilium’s chief commercial officer, said this was due to the Jet’s fixed-wing design, which requires less than 10 percent of its maximum 2,000 horsepower during cruise flight.

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May 17, 2019

Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

A sensational new study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development. The study reveals that the destiny of intestinal cells is not predetermined, but instead determined by the cells’ surroundings. The new knowledge may make it easier to manipulate stem cells for stem cell therapy. The results have been published in Nature.

All in the foetal gut have the potential to develop into , a new study conducted at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen concludes. The researchers behind the study have discovered that the development of immature intestinal cells—contrary to previous assumptions—is not predetermined, but affected by the cells’ immediate surroundings in the intestines. This discovery may ease the path to effective , says Associate Professor Kim Jensen from the Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC) and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem).

“We used to believe that a cell’s potential for becoming a stem cell was predetermined, but our new results show that all immature cells have the same probability for becoming stem cells in the fully developed organ. In principle, it is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Here signals from the cells’ surroundings determine their fate. If we are able to identify the signals that are necessary for the immature cell to develop into a stem cell, it will be easier for us to manipulate cells in the wanted direction.”

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