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May 25, 2018

The strawberry-picking robots doing a job humans won’t

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

The strawberry-picking robots coming to a farm near you. 🤖🍓.

Strawberry producers say labour shortages are driving them to find robotic fruit pickers instead.

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May 25, 2018

The Absolutely Amazing Theory of Almost Everything

Posted by in category: physics

The Standard Model. What dull name for the most accurate scientific theory known to human beings.

More than a quarter of the Nobel Prizes in physics of the last century are direct inputs to or direct results of the Standard Model. Yet its name suggests that if you can afford a few extra dollars a month you should buy the upgrade. As a theoretical physicist, I’d prefer The Absolutely Amazing Theory of Almost Everything. That’s what the Standard Model really is.

Many recall the excitement among scientists and media over the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson. But that much-ballyhooed event didn’t come out of the blue – it capped a five-decade undefeated streak for the Standard Model. Every fundamental force but gravity is included in it. Every attempt to overturn it to demonstrate in the laboratory that it must be substantially reworked – and there have been many over the past 50 years – has failed.

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May 25, 2018

Watch the weird new solutions to the baffling three-body problem

Posted by in category: space

The three-body problem, which determines how objects orbit each other in space, is notoriously difficult to solve. Now there are 231 new valid orbits.

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May 25, 2018

In S.Africa, a unique telescope link-up scans deep space

Posted by in category: space

Scientists in South Africa on Friday launched the world’s first optical telescope linked to a radio telescope, combining “eyes and ears” to try to unravel the secrets of the universe.

The device forms part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in the remote Karoo desert, which will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope system.

The latest move combines the new optical telescope MeerLITCH — Dutch for ‘more light’ — with the recently-completed 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope, located 200 kilometres (125 miles) away.

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May 25, 2018

We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming

Posted by in category: genetics

Genetics is influencing more and more of our decisions, but we can’t make the right choices if we don’t understand it.

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May 25, 2018

How the Enlightenment Ends

Posted by in category: futurism

Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

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May 25, 2018

Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos advocates a return to the moon and calls for collaborative effort in space

Posted by in categories: existential risks, space travel

Staying on Earth “is not necessarily extinction, but the alternative is stasis,” Bezos said during an onstage discussion Friday night with Geekwire journalist Alan Boyle at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles.

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May 25, 2018

Weed-killing robots are threatening giant chemical companies’ business models

Posted by in categories: business, food, genetics, robotics/AI

But if robots kill weeds, who will spray Roundup on everything.

AI-powered weed hunters could soon reduce the need for herbicides and genetically modified crops.

How it’s done now: Current farming methods involve spraying large amounts of indiscriminate weed killer over fields full of crops that have been genetically tweaked (usually by the same company that makes the weed killer) to resist the chemicals. The pesticide and seed industry is enormous, worth $100 billion globally. Of that, herbicide sales alone account for $26 billion.

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May 25, 2018

Sir Richard Branson is training as an astronaut and hopes to travel into space

Posted by in category: space travel

The Virgin boss wants to break the final frontier and journey into the heavens.

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May 25, 2018

Black Hole At Center Of Galaxy Close To Being Imaged In Event Horizon Telescope Project

Posted by in category: cosmology

The telescope may give us a long-awaited glimpse at what lies behind the cosmic veil of the Milky Way’s super-massive black hole.

Scientists have used telescopes from all over the earth to edge closer to imaging the supermassive back hole (SMBH) at the center of the Milky Way, reports Newsweek. An SMBH, the largest type of black hole, is found in the middle of almost all known massive galaxies. The SMBH that inhabits our galaxy is located at approximately the galactic center of the galaxy (18hrs, −29 deg), and it is known as Sagittarius A*.

Pronounced Sagittarius A-star, this spiral structure within Sagittarius A West and Sagittarius A East “contains an intense compact radio source.” It’s located approximately 26,000 light years away from earth, and it can’t be seen by normal optics. Instead, Sagittarius A* lies hidden beneath the Milky Way’s enormous dust clouds.

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