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Apr 12, 2016

NASA reveals winning concepts to explore alien worlds

Posted by in categories: alien life, space travel

Future space missions, including the journey to Mars, edge closer to reality as NASA reveals its top picks from a series of competitions designed to crowdsource innovative concepts.

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Apr 12, 2016

News from the Allen Institute for Brain Science: March 2016

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, science

Events and trainings hosted and sponsored by the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

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Apr 11, 2016

Microbots can clean up polluted water

Posted by in category: bioengineering

(—A new study shows that a swarm of hundreds of thousands of tiny microbots, each smaller than the width of a human hair, can be deployed into industrial wastewater to absorb and remove toxic heavy metals. The researchers found that the microbots can remove 95% of the lead in polluted water in one hour, and can be reused multiple times, potentially offering a more effective and economical way to remove heavy metals than previous methods.

The researchers, Diana Vilela, et al., have published a paper on the lead-adsorbing microbots in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

“This work is a step toward the development of smart remediation system where we can target and remove traces of pollutant without producing an additional contamination,” coauthor Samuel Sánchez, at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany; the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona; and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona, told

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Apr 11, 2016

NASA Begins Testing of Revolutionary E-Sail Technology

Posted by in category: space travel

Testing has started at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on a concept for a potentially revolutionary propulsion system that could send spacecraft to the edge of our solar system, the heliopause, faster than ever before.

The test results will provide modeling data for the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS). The proposed HERTS E-Sail concept, a propellant-less propulsion system, would harness solar wind to travel into interstellar space.

“The sun releases protons and electrons into the solar wind at very high speeds — 400 to 750 kilometers per second,” said Bruce Wiegmann an engineer in Marshall’s Advanced Concepts Office and the principal investigator for the HERTS E-Sail. “The E-Sail would use these protons to propel the spacecraft.”

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Apr 11, 2016

NASA Expands Economic Research to Advance Space Development

Posted by in categories: economics, space

The global space economy is growing, generating more than $300 billion a year in space-related activities, and attracting new, diverse participants and investors. A recent study also found more private money invested in commercial space development in 2015 than in the previous 15 years combined.

NASA has selected six new research proposals to understand the effective drivers of investments in the space economy.

In its second call for economic studies related to investments in the space economy, the agency picked studies that cover topics ranging from in-space manufacturing in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to the economics of resources obtained from near-Earth objects (NEO), such as asteroids.

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Apr 11, 2016

Watch a live surgery take place in virtual reality on April 14th

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, augmented reality, biotech/medical, cyborgs, virtual reality

Hmmm; not sure if I can watch given my tolerance level of seeing blood.

Cutting-edge technology has a way of snaking itself into the medical field. Over the past few years, for example, we’ve seen 3D printers used to create prescription medication, prosthetic limbs, casts, replacement bones, homemade cosmetic braces and even cartilage implants.

Now, we’re beginning to see some of the ways that virtual reality will impact modern medicine with a company by the name of Medical Realities leading the way.

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Apr 11, 2016

What is Squad X, and how much will it change the U.S. Army?

Posted by in category: military

Nice; Universal Soldier time.

So Orlowski and the advanced research agency have their work cut out for them. Meanwhile Americans have plenty of reasons to be skeptical they’ll succeed — and not just because the Pentagon has repeatedly failed to manage complex weapons programs without cost overruns and technical problems, the prime example being the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Pentagon launched Squad X in 2013, to solve longtime serious problems. A squad, which is roughly a dozen troops, is the smallest conventional military unit capable of fighting independently. A “dismounted” squad — meaning traveling on foot rather than in vehicles — usually carries rifles, grenades, a few machine guns and several radios. It depends on larger units for speedy transportation, heavy firepower and long-range communications.

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Apr 11, 2016

The cognitive era: Wither the machine brain

Posted by in categories: computing, health, neuroscience, robotics/AI, singularity

My own prediction is that we will see singularity with humans 1st via BMI/ BI technology and other bio-computing technology before we see a machine brain operating a the level of a healthy fully funtional human brain.

Since War of the Worlds hit the silver screen, never has the notion that machine intelligence will overtake human intelligence is more real. In this two-part series, the author examines the growing trend towards cognitive machines.

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Apr 11, 2016

Are Artificial-Intelligence Software Audits Around the Corner?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, robotics/AI

They need to be especially as we assess AI with SOX, HIPAA, and Cyber security. It will be interesting how auditors will approach this space as well since not many folks outside of tech are considered AI experts. This should be interesting.

Scott & Scott, LLP attorney, Christopher Barnett, expresses concern whether KPMG’s recent announcement that they will be deploying IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology points to changes in software audits in the future.

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Apr 11, 2016

Mobile Services: Bots, the Next Frontier

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Bots; the Next Frontier.

The market for apps is maturing. Now one for text-based services, or chatbots, looks poised to take off.

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