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Feb 15, 2019

New drug raises hopes of reversing memory loss in old age

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

An experimental drug that bolsters ailing brain cells has raised hopes of a treatment for memory loss, poor decision making and other mental impairments that often strike in old age.

The drug could be taken as a daily pill by over-55s if clinical trials, which are expected to start within two years, show that the medicine is safe and effective at preventing memory lapses.

Tests in the lab showed that old animals had far better memory skills half an hour after receiving the drug. After two months on the treatment, brain cells which had shrunk in the animals had grown back, scientists found.

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Feb 15, 2019

Laser creates clouds over Germany

Posted by in category: geoengineering

Circa 2010


A laser has been used to generate small clouds on demand in lab, and real-world experiments suggest this could be a way to call down rain when it’s needed.

People have experimented with cloud seeding for decades in the hope of boosting rainfall, usually by sprinkling silver iodide crystals into clouds high in the atmosphere.

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Feb 15, 2019

D-Wave Launches Free Quantum Cloud Service

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Circa 2018


Canadian company joins IBM and Rigetti in offering online access to pricey hardware.

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Feb 15, 2019

Everything will change with the advent of the laptop quantum computer (QC)

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, neuroscience, quantum physics

The transition from PCs to QCs will not merely continue the doubling of computing power, in accord with Moore’s Law. It will induce a paradigm shift, both in the power of computing (at least for certain problems) and in the conceptual frameworks we use to understand computation, intelligence, neuroscience, social interactions, and sensory perception.

Today’s PCs depend, of course, on quantum mechanics for their proper operation. But their computations do not exploit two computational resources unique to quantum theory: superposition and entanglement. To call them computational resources is already a major conceptual shift. Until recently, superposition and entanglement have been regarded primarily as mathematically well-defined by psychologically incomprehensible oddities of the quantum world—fodder for interminable and apparently unfruitful philosophical debate. But they turn out to be more than idle curiosities. They are bona fide computational resources that can solve certain problems that are intractable with classical computers. The best known example is Peter Shor’s quantum algorithm which can, in principle, break encryptions that are impenetrable to classical algorithms.

The issue is the “in principle” part. Quantum theory is well established and quantum computation, although a relatively young discipline, has an impressive array of algorithms that can in principle run circles around classical algorithms on several important problems. But what about in practice? Not yet, and not by a long shot. There are formidable materials-science problems that must be solved—such as instantiating quantum bits (qubits) and quantum gates, and avoiding an unwanted noise called decoherence—before the promise of quantum computation can be fulfilled by tangible quantum computers. Many experts bet the problems can’t adequately be solved. I think this bet is premature. We will have laptop QCs, and they will transform our world.

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Feb 15, 2019

An AI can now write its own code

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Circa 2018


Computer scientists have created an AI called Bayou that is able to write its own software code, reports Futurity. Though there have been attempts in the past at creating software that can write its own code, programmers generally needed to write as much or more code to tell the program what kind of applications they want it to code as they would write if they just coded the app itself. That’s all changed with Bayou.

The AI studies all the code posted on GitHub and uses that to write its own code. Using a process called neural sketch learning, the AI reads all the code and then associates an “intent” behind each. Now when a human asks Bayou to create an app, Bayou associates the intent its learned from codes on Github to the user’s request and begins writing the app it thinks the user wants.

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Feb 15, 2019

CRISPR Could Make You Immune to the Flu

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

But scientists will have to prove the technique is safe first before any human trials.

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Feb 15, 2019

Scientists Planted Clones of Ancient Super-Tall Redwoods

Posted by in category: futurism

They’re bringing back the iconic forest through scientific brute force.

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Feb 15, 2019

Anti-Aging Drug That Kills Old Cells Passes First Human Trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Over the course of three weeks, the patients took nine doses of a leukemia drug called dasatinib and quercetin, a supplement. By the end of the trial, the patients were reportedly able to walk farther than they could previously in the same amount of time and other signs of improved well being — all without any serious side effects.

“Though small, this pilot study marks a major breakthrough in how we treat age-related diseases such as IPF,” researcher Jamie Justice said in a press release. “Here, we’ve therapeutically targeted a fundamental biological hallmark of aging that is implicated in IPF, and we show early but promising results for the first time in human patients.”

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Feb 15, 2019

Ending Aging. Be Excited!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Be excited! Technology is rapidly advancing to eliminate age related sickness and death.

Imagine a world where aging will be reversed and people can remain young and in good health. Dr. Aubrey de Gray and others are working on therapies in making this a reality.

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Feb 15, 2019

Environmental noise found to enhance the transport of energy across a line of ions

Posted by in categories: information science, quantum physics, space travel

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Austria and Germany has shown that introducing environmental noise to a line of ions can lead to enhanced transport of energy across them. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe their experiments and why they believe their findings will be helpful to other researchers.

Prior research has shown that when electrons move through , the means by which they do so can be described by quantum mechanics equations. But in the real world, such movement can be hindered by interference due to noise in the environment, leading to suppression of the transport . Prior research has also shown that electricity moving through a material can be described as a wave—if such waves remain in step, they are described as being coherent. But such waves can be disturbed by noise or defects in an atomic lattice, leading to suppression of flow. Such suppression at a given location is known as an Anderson localization. In this new effort, the researchers have shown that Anderson localizations can be overcome through the use of .

The work consisted of isolating 10 and holding them in space as a joined line—a one-dimensional crystal. Lasers were used to switch the ions between states, and energy was introduced to the ion line using . This setup allowed them to watch as energy moved along the line of ions from one end to the other. Anderson localizations were introduced by firing individual lasers at each of the ions—the energy from the lasers resulted in ions with different intensities. With a degree of disorder in place, the team then created noise by randomly changing the intensity of the beams fired at the individual ions. This resulted in frequency wobble. And it was that wobble that the team found allowed the movement of energy between the ions to overcome the Anderson localizations.

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