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Jul 2, 2019

Diamond tech destroys ‘forever chemicals’ in water

Posted by in category: futurism

Even trace amounts of PFAS chemicals are dangerous, but a new method shows promise for cleaning up water contaminated with these substances.

Jul 2, 2019

TJ Wass Photo

Posted by in category: futurism

Jul 2, 2019

How to support open-source software and stay sane

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It’s a familiar problem: open-source software is widely acknowledged as crucially important in science, yet it is funded non-sustainably. Support work is often handled ad hoc by overworked graduate students and postdocs, and can lead to burnout. “It’s sort of the difference between having insurance and having a GoFundMe when their grandma goes to the hospital,” says Anne Carpenter, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose lab developed the image-analysis tool CellProfiler. “It’s just not a nice way to live.”

Releasing lab-built open-source software often involves a mountain of unforeseen work for the developers.

Jul 1, 2019

The Biggest Offshore Wind Project in the US Is Underway

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, energy

A new project announced last week will start helping close the gap, though. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) chose Ørsted of Denmark to build a 1.1 gigawatt wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. Dubbed (somewhat un-originally) Ocean Wind, the farm will be the biggest of its kind in the US and is estimated to be done by 2024. For comparison, the only wind farm currently operating in the US, off the coast of Rhode Island, has a paltry 30-megawatt production capacity.

Ocean Wind’s 1.1 gigawatts of energy will be enough to power about 500,000 homes. The project is slated to create 15,000 new jobs and generate up to $1.2 billion in additional economic benefits.

As of May of this year, there were 15 proposals in the works for new offshore wind farms along the US east coast (and that doesn’t include projects in California, Hawaii, South Carolina, and New York).

Jul 1, 2019

AI Simulates The Universe And Not Even Its Creators Know How It’s So Accurate

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

For the first time, scientists have used artificial intelligence to create complex, three-dimensional simulations of the Universe. It’s called the Deep Density Displacement Model, or DM, and it’s so fast and so accurate that the astrophysicists who designed it don’t even know how it does what it does.

What it does is accurately simulate the way gravity shapes the Universe over billions of years. Each simulation takes just 30 milliseconds — compared to the minutes it takes other simulations.

And, even more fascinatingly, DM learnt from the 8,000 training simulations the team fed it — vastly extrapolating from and outperforming them, able to adjust parameters in which it had not even been trained.

Jul 1, 2019

Intel researchers develop an eye contact correction system for video chats

Posted by in category: futurism

When participating in a video call or conference, it is often hard to maintain direct eye contact with other participants, as this requires looking into the camera rather than at the screen. Although most people use video calling services on a regular basis, so far, there has been no widespread solution to this problem.

A team of researchers at Intel has recently developed an correction model that could help to overcome this nuisance by restoring eye contact in live video chats irrespective of where a device’s camera and display are situated. Unlike previously proposed approaches, this model automatically centers a person’s gaze without the need for inputs specifying the redirection angle or the camera/display/user geometry.

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Jul 1, 2019

Lab-Grown Dairy: The Next Food Frontier

Posted by in category: food

While it remains to be seen if these fermented proteins can be produced economically, their introduction into the marketplace could cause significant disruption to the dairy industry. The disruption would be due in part to switching some processed products away from conventional dairy proteins.

There would be additional disruption because of the change in relative demand for protein and other milk components. We would likely end up with more significant surpluses of proteins from both conventional dairy and synthetic production.

Jul 1, 2019

Wild Case Study Reveals 66-Year-Old Man With All His Organs on The Wrong Side

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

For the latest tale of the unexpected from medical emergency rooms, we bring you the case of a 66-year-old man who turned up at the hospital complaining of a cough and chest pains.

Soon enough, doctors realised the patient’s internal organs were all on the wrong side of his body: his heart was on the right, liver on the left, and so on.

This condition actually has a name, situs inversus totalis, and it’s not as life-changing as you might think at first. In fact, before we had modern medical scanning tools, it’s thought most people who had this lived their lives without ever getting diagnosed.

Jul 1, 2019

A Tiny Norwegian Island Wants to Be The First Place in The World to Abolish Time

Posted by in category: futurism

When people come to visit the Nordic island of Sommarøy, they must leave their sense of time at the door.

Some choose to do this quite literally, and so, the bridge that connects this small fishing village to the mainland is sprinkled not with lover’s padlocks as you would expect in any other location, but rather, with discarded watches.

Here in West Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle, time in the traditional sense holds little meaning. During winter months, the Sun does not rise, and for 69 days of summer, it never sets.

Jul 1, 2019

This New Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Works Without a Brain Implant

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

If you want to control a robot with your mind — and really, who doesn’t? — you currently have two options.

You can get a brain implant, in which case your control over the robot will be smooth and continuous. Or you can skip the risky, expensive surgery in favor of a device that senses your brainwaves from outside your skull — but your control over the bot will be jerky and not nearly as precise.

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