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Sep 12, 2018

Graphene enables clock rates in the terahertz range

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Graphene — an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms — is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range — which correspond to today’s clock rates — extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal Nature.

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Sep 12, 2018

Anti-ageing drugs are coming – an expert explains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

It has recently been suggested that humans could live to 150 by 2020 simply by taking a certain supplement.

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Sep 12, 2018

How can we do the most good for the world?

Posted by in category: ethics

Of all the problems facing humanity, which should we focus on solving first?

In a compelling talk about how to make the world better, moral philosopher Will MacAskill provides a framework for answering this question based on the philosophy of “effective altruism” — and shares ideas for taking on three pressing global issues.


Of all the problems facing humanity, which should we focus on solving first? In a compelling talk about how to make the world better, moral philosopher Will MacAskill provides a framework for answering this question based on the philosophy of.

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Sep 12, 2018

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship Documentary in English and Russian

Posted by in categories: business, education, health

Today, we want to let you know that the documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is now available in both English and Russian. This is a documentary exploring the crisis in scientific journal publication and the excessive fees that some publishers charge to access knowledge.

Holding scientific knowledge to ransom

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Sep 12, 2018

A fast update on the Conference Aging and Drug Discoverie at #baselife18

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A wide panel discussion on the anti aging biotechnology is taking place now. I will mention only the important lecture on senescent cells, aging and drugs given this afternoon by Dr Judith Campisi (Buck Institute for research on Aging), the small big woman scientist!

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Sep 12, 2018

Why it’s so hard to reach an international agreement on killer robots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

For several years, civil society groups have been calling for a ban on what they call “killer robots”. Scores of technologists have lent their voice to the cause. Some two dozen governments now support a ban and several others would like to see some kind of international regulation.

Yet the latest talks on “lethal systems” wrapped up last month with no agreement on a ban. The Group of Governmental Experts meeting, convened in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, did not even clearly proceed towards one. The outcome was a decision to continue discussions next year.

Those supporting a ban are not impressed. But the reasons for the failure to reach agreement on the way forward are complex.

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Sep 12, 2018

Digital government isn’t working in the developing world: Here’s why

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, government

The digital transformation of society has brought many immediate benefits: it’s created new jobs and services, boosted efficiency and promoted innovation. But when it comes to improving the way we govern, the story is not that simple.

It seems reasonable to imagine introducing digital information and communication technologies into public sector organisations – known as “digital ” or “e-government” – would have a beneficial impact on the way public services are delivered. For instance, by enabling people to claim rebates for medical bills via a government website.

When implemented well, e-government can reduce the cost of delivering government and public services, and ensure better contact with citizens – especially in remote or less densely populated areas. It can also contribute to greater transparency and accountability in public decisions, stimulate the emergence of local e-cultures, and strengthen democracy.

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Sep 12, 2018

Prompting people to listen to each other reduces inequality and improves group performance

Posted by in category: futurism

A small but impactful shift in the way a group assignment is presented can significantly reduce racial inequality within the group, as well as lead to better work, according to new research by Bianca Manago, assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University. Groups, Inequality and Synergy, co-authored with Jane Sell at Texas A&M University and Carla Goar at Kent State University, appears online in the September 2018 issue of Social Forces.

Previous research has shown that groups often diminish the contributions of minorities, by dismissing their opinions more often, for example, or by being less likely to adopt their ideas. Manago and her colleagues sought to discover whether reframing the parameters of a task could reduce that , and how that would impact the quality of the group’s work.

“Past research shows that people with different skills working together is good for , but relatively little research has been done on how superficial differences that shouldn’t matter, like race, affect group performance,” Manago said. “We found that when people are more willing to listen to the minority group member, the group does better.”

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Sep 12, 2018

New high-capacity sodium-ion could replace lithium in rechargeable batteries

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

University of Birmingham scientists are paving the way to swap the lithium in lithium-ion batteries with sodium, according to research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are rechargeable and are widely used in laptops, mobile phones and in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The electric vehicle is a crucial technology for fighting pollution in cities and realising an era of clean sustainable transport.

However is expensive and resources are unevenly distributed across the planet. Large amounts of drinking water are used in lithium extraction and extraction techniques are becoming more energy intensive as lithium demand rises – an ‘own goal’ in terms of sustainability.

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Sep 12, 2018

European science funders ban grantees from publishing in paywalled journals

Posted by in categories: business, physics, science

The move means grantees from these 11 funders—which include the national funding agencies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France as well as Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics—will have to forgo publishing in thousands of journals, including high-profile ones such as Nature, Science, Cell, and The Lancet, unless those journals change their business model. “We think this could create a tipping point,” says Marc Schiltz, president of Science Europe, the Brussels-based association of science organizations that helped coordinate the plan. “Really the idea was to make a big, decisive step—not to come up with another statement or an expression of intent.”


Bold move is intended to trigger open-access tipping point.

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