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Oct 14, 2015

If it works, this could power everything

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

The sun powers itself through nuclear fusion. CNN’s Rachel Crane explores whether we could power everything on Earth the same way.

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Oct 14, 2015

Nick Bostrom sets out threats from future technologies at UN meeting

Posted by in categories: education, materials, robotics/AI, security

Professor Nick Bostrom briefed political representatives from around the world on the national and international security risks posed by artificial intelligence and other future technologies at a UN event last week.

Professor Bostrom, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford Martin School, was invited to speak at a special side event examining the challenges posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials and weapons, held during the UN’s 2015 General Assembly meeting.

The event was organised by Georgia’s UN representatives, in collaboration with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), with the aim of understanding the implications of new technologies, ensuring responsible development and mitigating against misuse.

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Oct 14, 2015

Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

Posted by in category: sustainability

The logic is flawless:

“Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC”


The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Continue reading “Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change” »

Oct 14, 2015

Japanese researchers invent a throwable ‘Droideka’ drone

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

A team of researchers from Japan’s Chiba Institute of Technology recently presented a novel robot design at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. It can be thrown like the Explorer camera sphere, but after it stops rolling, this nimble quadruped unfurls mechanical legs to skitter the rest of the way to its destination — basically the same idea as Star Wars’ Droideka, just without the laser cannons (yet).

The robot is called the QRoSS. The second iteration, shown above, employs a 30 cm protective shell. It uses this shell mostly as a passive shock absorber, akin to a robotic roll cage. And since the legs operate independently from the outer structure, the robot can easily navigate rough and uneven terrain at speeds reaching 0.1 meter per second without fear of falling over. Even if it does, the cage will take the brunt of the damage, not the delicate machinery inside. This setup therefore could be employed in emergencies by first responders to scout ahead of rescue teams operating in damaged or structurally unsound buildings.

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Oct 14, 2015

New Portable Device Counts White Blood Cells Through the Skin

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, electronics, information science

Madrid, Spain (Scicasts) — A novel way to count white blood cells without a blood test, simply by applying a small device on the fingertip, is being developed by a team of young bioengineers.

The technology, that combines an optical sensor with algorithms, has already three prototypes on the go and is specially designed to be used on chemotherapy patients, who could know their immune system levels in real time. It could also serve to detect serious infections.

A group of young bioengineers from various countries, including Spaniard Carlos Castro, is developing a portable device capable of counting white blood cells in real time, without requiring a blood test. The system includes an innovative optics sensor through the skin that can observe white cells as they flow past a miniature lens. This new device could be applied to improve the treatment of patients who are left immunosuppressed after chemotherapy treatments and to prevent sepsis.

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Oct 13, 2015

Deleting genes could boost lifespan

Posted by in category: life extension

Scientists have discovered more than 200 genes linked to ageing and have found switching them off extends life.

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Oct 13, 2015

How Is It Possible That Galaxies Are Moving Away From Us Faster Than the Speed of Light?

Posted by in category: cosmology

According to Albert Einstein, the speed of light is an absolute constant beyond which nothing can move faster. So, how can galaxies be traveling faster than the speed of light if nothing is supposed to be able to break this cosmic speed limit?

I’m a little world of contradictions. “Not even light itself can escape a black hole,” and then, “black holes are the brightest objects in the Universe.” I’ve also said “nothing can travel faster than the speed of light”. And then I’ll say something like, “galaxies are moving away from us faster than the speed of light.” There’s more than a few items on this list, and it’s confusing at best. Thanks Universe!

Continue reading “How Is It Possible That Galaxies Are Moving Away From Us Faster Than the Speed of Light?” »

Oct 13, 2015

The Simulation Hypothesis

Posted by in categories: cosmology, entertainment, virtual reality

Are we living in a virtual reality? Is the universe emerging from an information processing system? And if so, could we ever tell? Is it possible to ‘hack’ the system and change reality? Take a look at the evidence and decide for yourself! Contributions to THE SIMULATION HYPOTHESIS are made by leading researchers from physics, cosmology, mathematics and information sciences. Appearances by MaxTegmark, Neil degrasse Tyson, Paul Davies, James Gates and many more. Science has never been so much fun!

“What an incredible film! Fascinating, mind-bending stuff.” — Timothy Rhys, Publisher: MovieMaker Magazine.

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Oct 13, 2015

Weapons of Mass Extinction

Posted by in categories: entertainment, existential risks, space

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series How the Universe Works ~ Weapons of Mass Extinction.

The Universe is a very dangerous place to live. Death and destruction lie all around us. The Cosmic Grim Reaper lies in wait; scythe in hand, in some dark corner of the universe ever ready to bestow some dark faith upon us.

Continue reading “Weapons of Mass Extinction” »

Oct 13, 2015

10 things we learned from Liz Parrish’s Reddit AMA

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

BioViva made headlines last week after announcing that they had become the first company to administer anti-aging gene therapy on a human subject. But missing from the press release was exactly how this would work, the likelihood of its success, and the consequences. How better to address this then, than to hear from ‘Patient 0’ herself, Liz Parrish, the company’s CEO who will be undertaking the treatment.

Yesterday (October 11), she took part in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), answering a range of questions submitted by Reddit users seeking to find out more about this supposedly pioneering study.

Here are ten things we learned from Liz Parrish’s Reddit AMA.

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