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Feb 13, 2019

The “Impossible” Tech Behind SpaceX’s New Engine

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

The recent SpaceX Raptor engine was actually a real breakthrough. It was a holy grail desired by NASA and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union almost had it, but when we landed on the Moon they stopped development. The engine is a “full-flow staged combustion” engine.

“Full-flow staged combustion (FFSC) is a twin-shaft staged combustion cycle that uses both oxidizer-rich and fuel-rich preburners. The cycle allows full flow of both propellants through the turbines; hence the name The fuel turbopump is driven by the fuel-rich preburner, and the oxidizer turbopump is driven by the oxidizer-rich preburner”

Followers of the Church of Elon will no doubt already be aware of SpaceX’s latest technical triumph: the test firing of the first full-scale Raptor engine. Of course, it was hardly a secret. As he often does, Elon has been “leaking” behind the scenes information, pictures, and even video of the event on his Twitter account. Combined with the relative transparency of SpaceX to begin with, this gives us an exceptionally clear look at how literal rocket science is performed at the Hawthorne, California based company.

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Feb 13, 2019

New research findings could be key to improving outcomes for some brain cancers

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

Researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center have found that a genetic mutation seen in about half of all brain tumors produces a response that prevents radiation treatment from working. Altering that response using FDA-approved drugs restores tumors’ sensitivity to radiation therapy, extending survival in mice.

The paper, representing more than five years of research, is published in Science Translational Medicine.

“These findings have great potential to impact medical treatment of patients with low-grade glioma, which is critically needed for this terrible disease,” says senior author Maria G. Castro, Ph.D., R. C. Schneider Collegiate Professor of Neurosurgery and a professor of cell and developmental biology at Michigan Medicine.

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Feb 13, 2019

The atomic dynamics of rare everlasting electric fields

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

By ricocheting neutrons off the atoms of yttrium manganite (YMnO3) heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers have discovered the atomic mechanisms that give the unusual material its rare electromagnetic properties. The discovery could help scientists develop new materials with similar properties for novel computing devices and micro-actuators.

The experiment was conducted as a collaboration between Duke University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and appeared online in Nature Communications on January 2, 2018.

Ferromagnetism is the scientific term for the phenomenon responsible for permanent magnets like iron. Such exist because their molecular structure consists of tiny magnetic patches that all point in the same direction. Each patch, or domain, is said to have a , with a north and a south pole, which, added together, produce the magnetic fields so often seen at work on refrigerator doors.

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Feb 13, 2019

What the new artificial intelligence initiative does—and doesn’t—mean

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A new executive order raises a host of questions, from how AI works to whether it will fulfill our science fiction dreams or our nightmares.

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Feb 13, 2019

New welding process opens up uses for formerly un-weldable lightweight alloy

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Developed in the 1940s, AA7075 is an aluminum alloy that’s almost as strong as steel, yet it weighs just one third as much. Unfortunately its use has been limited, due to the fact that pieces of it couldn’t be securely welded together. That’s recently changed, however, thanks to the use of titanium carbide nanoparticles.

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Feb 13, 2019

New Map of Dark Matter Breaks Scientists’ Understanding of Physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

What they found was surprising. The new map, published on the preprint server arXiv, suggests that the huge structure of dark matter in the universe formed more slowly that previously believed — results that “appear to challenge current understanding of the fundamental laws of physics,” according to the press release.

Road Ahead

But before physicists throw out the rulebook, Hikage cautioned that the new map needs to be corroborated.

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Feb 13, 2019

Major Clinical Trial Links High Blood Pressure And Mild Cognitive Impairment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A new study says lowering blood pressure doesn’t reduce the risk for dementia, but it does lower the impact of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which could be the next best thing in the study of dementia prevention.

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Feb 13, 2019

New Oxford-developed tool reads the life histories of cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Cancer is a complicated disease. Tumors are made up of many different types of cancer cells, and our current treatment techniques can’t always clear them all out. Now, a team of Oxford researchers has developed a way to track the genetic “life histories” of thousands of individual cancer cells at once, which may lead to more effective and personalized cancer treatments.

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Feb 13, 2019

Graphene-Based Cement/Concrete Admixture for Ultra-Strong, High-Strength and Sustainable Housing/Infrastructure

Posted by in categories: habitats, sustainability

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Feb 13, 2019

NASA’s New Nuclear Reactor Could Change Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

NASA and engineers from the Department of Energy are developing small nuclear reactors that could power spacecraft and space colonies.

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