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Dec 14, 2015

World’s most sensitive dark matter detector gets better

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

LEAD, S.D. [Brown University] — The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now, a new set of calibration techniques employed by LUX scientists has again dramatically improved its sensitivity.

Researchers with LUX are looking for WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter. “It is vital that we continue to push the capabilities of our detector in the search for the elusive dark matter particles,” said Rick Gaitskell, professor of physics at Brown University and co-spokesperson for the LUX experiment. “We have improved the sensitivity of LUX by more than a factor of 20 for low-mass dark matter particles, significantly enhancing our ability to look for WIMPs.”

The new research is described in a paper submitted to Physical Review Letters and posted to ArXiv. The work re-examines data collected during LUX’s first three-month run in 2013, and helps to rule out the possibility of dark matter detections at low-mass ranges where other experiments had previously reported potential detections.

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Dec 14, 2015

Evidence of a genetic ‘fountain of youth’ discovered

Posted by in categories: genetics, health, life extension

Scientists at ETH Zurich isolate genes for a longer, healthier life.

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Dec 14, 2015

Valve’s Controller Factory Is Controlled By Robots

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

A look at the future of manufacturing: A factory completely controlled by robots. http://voc.tv/1P6L9zh

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Dec 14, 2015

Jeremy Howard — ‘A.I. Is Progressing So Fast We Need a Basic Guaranteed Income’

Posted by in categories: economics, robotics/AI

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Dec 14, 2015

First plasma from Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor

Posted by in category: physics

Testing of the Wendelstein 7-x stellarator has started with a bang, albeit a very very small one, with researchers switching on the experimental fusion reactor to produce its first helium plasma at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany. After almost a decade of construction work and more than a million assembly hours, the first tests have gone according to plan with the researchers to shift focus to producing hydrogen plasma after the new year.

Assembly of the Wendelstein 7-x stellarator was completed in April of last year, and after a period of careful testing of its various components, the science team finally flicked the switch on December 10. This saw around a single milligram of helium gas heated to one million degrees Celsius (1.8 million° F), with the flash observed on cameras and measuring devices for one tenth of a second.

Continue reading “First plasma from Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor” »

Dec 14, 2015

Robots Are Taking Over Japan

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The 21st Robot Exhibition in Japan.


The 21st Robot Exhibition just opened in Japan. It features disaster relief robots, a robot cat, and plenty of the regularly creepy ones, too.

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Dec 13, 2015

Google’s Verily partners with Johnson & Johnson to develop surgical robots (Wired UK)

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

Google’s verily Launches New Robotic Surgical Company called Verb Surgical by teaming up with Johnson & Johnson.


The company formerly known as Google Life Sciences is one of the firms behind Verb Surgical Inc, which will develop advanced surgical robots. This promises to be just the first of Verily’s medical and academic partnerships.

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Dec 13, 2015

Computing with time travel?

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, time travel

Why send a message back in time, but lock it so that no one can ever read the contents? Because it may be the key to solving currently intractable problems. That’s the claim of an international collaboration who have just published a paper in npj Quantum Information.

It turns out that an unopened message can be exceedingly useful. This is true if the experimenter entangles the message with some other system in the laboratory before sending it. Entanglement, a strange effect only possible in the realm of quantum physics, creates correlations between the time-travelling message and the laboratory system. These correlations can fuel a quantum computation.

Around ten years ago researcher Dave Bacon, now at Google, showed that a time-travelling quantum computer could quickly solve a group of problems, known as NP-complete, which mathematicians have lumped together as being hard.

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Dec 13, 2015

US elections 2016: John McAfee and Zoltan Istvan debate cybersecurity, immortality and sexbots

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension, policy, transhumanism

This tongue-in-cheek article highlights an interesting experience I had a few days ago on the Immortality Bus in North Carolina:


One wants to live forever, the other wants to push reset on the US Constitution. Both are running for president in 2016. As Republican and Democrat presidential candidates prepare for December’s debates, pioneering Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan and cybersecurity legend John McAfee met for the first time this week for their own debate, over several large drinks in a motel bar.

Istvan, who is currently touring the US aboard a coffin-shaped campaign bus, and McAfee both have technology at the core of their campaign policies, but in terms of specific policy this is where the similarities end.

Continue reading “US elections 2016: John McAfee and Zoltan Istvan debate cybersecurity, immortality and sexbots” »

Dec 13, 2015

A multiverse hiding in the Large Hadron Collider

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Physicists will be looking for mini black holes when the Large Hadron Collider restarts this month. It’s impossible for the LHC to generate any sort of black hole that would be remotely unsafe, but this theory suggests that microscopic black holes that vanish almost instantly could be produced from the high-power particle collisions in the LHC.

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