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Jan 31, 2019

Arctic Weather Plunges into North America

Posted by in category: futurism

Desperately cold weather is now gripping the Midwest and Northern Plains of the United States, as well as interior Canada. The culprit is a familiar one: the polar vortex.

A large area of low pressure and extremely cold air usually swirls over the Arctic, with strong counter-clockwise winds that trap the cold around the Pole. But disturbances in the jet stream and the intrusion of warmer mid-latitude air masses can disturb this polar vortex and make it unstable, sending Arctic air south into middle latitudes.

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Jan 31, 2019

Cutbacks at Stratolaunch, Virgin Galactic show the space industry is entering a second stage

Posted by in category: space travel

January has been unforgiving for commercial space firms. SpaceX and Virgin Galactic laid off employees earlier this month, while Stratolaunch recently announced it would stop development of its rockets and rocket engine.

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Jan 31, 2019

New Aging Clock Could Predict Your Future Lifespan

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

A new aging clock developed by Professor Steve Horvath and his research team takes measuring your biological age a step further and can accurately predict your future lifespan.

The epigenetic clock

As we age, our DNA experiences chemical changes called DNA methylation (DNAm); these changes are used as a way to measure age and are the basis of the epigenetic clock. As we age, the methylation patterns present on our DNA change, and researchers can measure these changes to work out how old an animal or person is.

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Jan 31, 2019

Expert: Bill Gates Is “Completely Wrong” About Global Poverty

Posted by in category: futurism

The illusion of people being lifted out of poverty takes a hit.

“Gates’s favourite infographic,” he wrote, “takes the violence of colonisation and repackages it as a happy story of progress.”

The situation has not gotten better for most people.

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Jan 31, 2019

The Punishing Polar Vortex Is Ideal for Cassie the Robot

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

This is not a story about how the polar vortex is bad—bad for the human body, bad for public transportation, bad for virtually everything in its path. This is a story about how one being among us is actually taking advantage of the historic cold snap: Cassie the bipedal robot. While humans suffer through the chill, this trunkless pair of ostrich-like legs is braving the frozen grounds of the University of Michigan, for the good of science.

“When we saw the announcement for the polar vortex, we started making plans to see how long we could operate in that kind of weather,” says roboticist Jessy Grizzle. “We were going to tie a scarf on her just so it looked cute, but we decided people would think that was keeping her warm and affecting the experiment, so we didn’t.”

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Jan 31, 2019

Parasite spread

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

By cats that is carried by two billion people may lead to schizophrenia, experts have warned.

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) can be spread either through contract with cat litter trays or by eating uncooked meat but it is typically harmless.

However, according to a new study, the parasite could increase the chances of developing schizophrenia by 50 per cent.

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Jan 31, 2019

Genetic Tests for Autism Can Sometimes Change Lives

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

The assays don’t always yield results, but the information they offer can, at times, alter the course of treatment or prevention.

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Jan 31, 2019

Nearly half of U.S. adults have heart or blood vessel disease, new report says

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new report estimates that nearly half of all U.S. adults have some form of heart or blood vessel disease, a medical milestone that’s mostly due to recent guidelines that expanded how many people have high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association said Thursday that more than 121 million adults had cardiovascular disease in 2016. Taking out those with only high blood pressure leaves 24 million, or 9 percent of adults, who have other forms of disease such as heart failure or clogged arteries.

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Jan 31, 2019

The ‘Complete’ Cancer Cure Story Is Both Bogus and Tragic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet

An Israeli company claimed it will cure cancer in a year, and the internet erupted. But in this latest viral incident, everyone loses.

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Jan 31, 2019

Scientists Have Found a Way to Convert Human Brain Signals Directly Into Speech

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Welcome to the future.

In the first experiment of its kind, scientists have been able to translate brain signals directly into intelligible speech. It may sound like wild science fiction at first, but this feat could actually help some people with speech issues.

And yes, we could also get some futuristic computer interfaces out of this.

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