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Mar 22, 2016

NASA scientists say we could colonise the Moon by 2022… for just $10 billion

Posted by in category: space travel

A lot of focus over the past 12 months has been on NASA’s journey to Mars. But a group of space experts, including leading NASA scientists, has now produced a special journal edition that details how we could establish a human colony on the Moon in the next seven years — all for US$10 billion.

Although that’s pretty awesome, the goal isn’t really the Moon itself — from an exploratory point of view, most scientists have bigger targets in sight. But the lessons we’ll learn and the technology we’ll develop building a human base outside of Earth will eventually be the key to colonising Mars, and other planets, according to the experts.

“My interest is not the Moon. To me the Moon is as dull as a ball of concrete,” NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who edited the special, open-access issue of New Space journal, told Sarah Fecht over at Popular Science. “But we’re not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The Moon provides a blueprint to Mars.”

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Mar 22, 2016

Giant floating solar panel

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

This giant floating solar panel is saving a water company millions of dollars.

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Mar 22, 2016

A company made a robot kitchen that will cook you dinner and clean up afterwards

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

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Mar 22, 2016

We had all better hope these scientists are wrong about the planet’s future

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

A controversial climate change catastrophe study has now made its way through peer review.

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Mar 22, 2016

Seven ways the driverless car will change your life

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

I like it already…

Autonomous vehicles will bring about an age of safe and effortless travel. But anything that comes with a trunk also comes with baggage.

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Mar 22, 2016

What Do These Robots Mean For The Future Of Sex?

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI, sex

For those unfamiliar, SXSW is a week-long, trendy, if not seriously geeky festival of film and culture, panels and discussions. This year, one of the strangest – and either most disturbing or most compelling, depending on where you stand – talks was delivered by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a Japanese inventor and roboticist. The Osaka University professor was speaking about human-like androids and what roles they might fill within society in the near future. Ishiguro discussed his greatest and most marvellous creation to date: a “Geminoid” (robot in his own likeness) whose human appearance has been deftly created through with a plastic skull, a metal skeleton and silicon skin – and is controlled by an external computer. It would be hard, at a glance, to tell the two apart. In fact, the Geminoid held an autonomous conversation in Japanese, on stage, in front of an audience of hundreds.

Geminoid is not Ishiguro’s first uncannily human robot. In 2005, he developed a female android named Repliee Q1Expo, telling the BBC, “I have developed many robots before, but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence. Repliee Q1Expo can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It’s very satisfying.”

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Mar 22, 2016

Shockwave of an exploding star seen for the first time

Posted by in category: space

It lasted only 20 minutes and took place 1.2 billion light years away, but NASA managed to catch it on camera: a star exploding.

The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave — or “shock breakout” — has been captured for the first time in visible light by the Kepler space telescope.

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Mar 22, 2016

LIGO could catch dark matter made of black holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The black holes that kicked off the first detection of gravitational waves seem to be the right size and frequency to be long-sought primordial black holes.

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Mar 22, 2016

Effect of systemic transplantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on neuropathology markers in APP/PS1 Alzheimer mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Stem cells hold great potential!

Aims: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have recently attracted interest as a potential basis for a cell based therapy of AD. We investigated the putative immune-modulatory effects in…

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Mar 22, 2016

HIV Genes Successfully Edited Out of Immune Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

This could have some truly profound implications for the treatment of all viruses, including HIV!

Researchers from Temple University have used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool to clear out the entire HIV-1 genome from a patient’s infected immune cells. It’s a remarkable achievement that could have profound implications for the treatment of AIDS and other retroviruses.

When we think about CRISPR/Cas9 we tend to think of it as a tool to eliminate heritable genetic diseases, or as a way to introduce new genes altogether. But as this new research shows, it also holds great promise as a means to eliminate viruses that have planted their nefarious genetic codes within host cells. This latest achievement now appears in Nature Scientific Reports.

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