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Apr 27, 2019

11 Things People Think Are Awful For Your Diet That Actually Aren’t

Posted by in category: food

I’m used to the shaming look I get from my peers when I crack open a can of sugar-free Red Bull. The questions – and judgement – never end. “That stuff’ll kill you,” someone said to me the other day, shaking his head. “So many chemicals!” was what I heard last week.

Truth be told, Red Bull (at least the sugar-free kind) isn’t all that terrible for you. Besides having only 10 calories and no sugar, it has only 80 milligrams of caffeine, about a third of the amount in a tall Starbucks drip coffee.

As far as its other ingredients – namely B vitamins and taurine – go, scientific studies have found both to be safe.

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Apr 27, 2019

This live stream plays endless death metal produced by an AI

Posted by in categories: information science, media & arts, robotics/AI

This particular version of Dadabots has been trained on real death metal band Archspire, and Carr and Zukowski have previously trained the neural network on other real bands like Room For A Ghost, Meshuggah, and Krallice. In the past, they’ve released albums made by these algorithms for free on Dadabots’ Bandcamp — but having a 24/7 algorithmic death metal livestream is something new.

Carr and Zukowski published an abstract about their work in 2017, explaining that “most style-specific generative music experiments have explored artists commonly found in harmony textbooks,” meaning mostly classical music, and have largely ignored smaller genres like black metal. In the paper, the duo said the goal was to have the AI “achieve a realistic recreation” of the audio fed into it, but it ultimately gave them something perfectly imperfect. “Solo vocalists become a lush choir of ghostly voices,” they write. “Rock bands become crunchy cubist-jazz, and cross-breeds of multiple recordings become a surrealist chimera of sound.”

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Apr 27, 2019

Say Hello To Neutron Stars, Your Worst Nightmare

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Yes, black holes get all of the attention. They’re mysterious, they lurk in the shows of interstellar space, they break the laws of known physics, they can trap you forever, they have a cool-sounding and easy-to-understand name. They’ve got great branding.

But some things are even weirder and scarier than black holes. And what makes them weirder and scarier is that they’re weird and scary within the known laws of physics. Which means we understand them. Which means we can explain, in great and gruesome detail, just how awful they are.

Take, for example, the neutron star.

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Apr 27, 2019

Autonomous Scooter Uses AI to Learn Your Favorite Routes

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

UK-based design agency Layer has teamed up with Chinese electric car maker Nio to create a smart scooter that can learn where you want to go.

Once “Pal” learns your preferred routes, the smart scooter can autonomously take you to your destination. On its website, Layer calls the scooter a “near-future prototype” that “embraces AI and machine learning to offer flexible and convenient ‘last mile’ travel.”

It’s a stunning example of industrial design that could make short-distance travel much more convenient — whether it will ever actually be sold to the public or not.

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Apr 27, 2019

A Deceptively Simple Tweak to CRISPR Makes It 50 Times More Accurate

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Without ensuring high levels of accuracy, any proposed CRISPR gene therapy becomes a genetic crapshoot.

Now, a team from Duke University may have found a universal workaround—a trick to fundamentally boost CRISPR’s accuracy in almost all its forms. Published this month in Nature Biotechnology, the team’s study tweaked the design of guide RNAs, the indispensable targeting “blood hound” of the CRISPR duo that hunts down specific DNA sequences before its partner Cas makes the cut.

The upgrade is deceptively simple: tag a “locking” structure to one end of the guide RNA so that only the targeted DNA can unleash the power of the Cas scissors. Yet exactly because the tweak is so easy, guide RNA 2.0 can fundamentally tune the accuracy of multiple CRISPR systems—not just those relying on the classic Cas9, but also newer diagnostic systems that deploy Cas12a and other flavors—by as much as 200-fold.

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Apr 27, 2019

Drone delivers human organ for transplant for first time ever

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones

For the first time ever, a drone delivered a human organ for transplant.

The doctor who performed the kidney transplant surgery explains why it’s such a big deal.

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Apr 27, 2019

Blue Origin’s cryptic tweet hints at a new adventure

Posted by in category: space travel

Jeff Bezos and his rocket company have an odd way of building anticipation.

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Apr 27, 2019

Physicists create Star Trek-style holograms

Posted by in categories: holograms, physics, virtual reality

Star Trek’s famous holodeck is a virtual reality stage that simulates any object in 3D as if they were real. However, 3D holographic projection has never been realized. A team of scientists from Bilkent University, Turkey, has now demonstrated the first realistic 3D holograms that can be viewed from any angle.

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Apr 27, 2019

The World’s Largest Atom Smasher Could Be Tweaked to Hunt ‘Dark World’ Particles

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

When it reopens in 2021, the Large Hadron collider should be able to detect rare particles with possible links to the world of dark matter and energy.

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Apr 27, 2019

To Prevent the Apocalypse, MIT Says to Study “Machine Behaviour”

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

We need more than engineers and computer scientists shaping the future of AI.

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