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Feb 1, 2019

The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

But in private settings, including meetings with the leaders of the many consulting and technology firms whose pop-up storefronts line the Davos Promenade, these executives tell a different story: They are racing to automate their own work forces to stay ahead of the competition, with little regard for the impact on workers.

DAVOS, Switzerland — They’ll never admit it in public, but many of your bosses want machines to replace you as soon as possible.

I know this because, for the past week, I’ve been mingling with corporate executives at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. And I’ve noticed that their answers to questions about automation depend very much on who is listening.

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Feb 1, 2019

Learning Language in Deep Sleep Isn’t Just Science Fiction Anymore

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

As important as sleep is for health, happiness, and performance, it really is a time suck. Those eight or so hours when we lose consciousness may be restorative, but just think of what we could accomplish if we could actually put them to productive use. Scientists believe that we can use these unconscious hours to begin to learn new facts or languages in our sleep, as long the information is presented in the right way.

In his paper published Thursday in Current Biology, University of Bern neuropsychologist Marc Züst, Ph.D., presents evidence that it’s actually possible to form new “semantic connections” at specific moments during the sleep cycle. These, he explains, are associations between two words that we use to help encode new information and give words context. For instance, when we hear the word “winter,” we think of cold temperatures, skiing, or, most recently, polar vortices. In his study, Züst found that the brain can actually learn to make these associations if we hear two words paired together at certain times within the sleep cycle.

“Humans are capable of sophisticated information processing without consciousness,” Züst tells Inverse. “Sleep-formed memory traces endure into the following wakefulness and can influence how you react to foreign words, even though you think you’ve never seen that word before. It’s an implicit, unconscious form of memory — like a gut feeling.”

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Feb 1, 2019

New Madrid fault zone could spawn huge quakes in U.S. Midwest, South

Posted by in category: futurism

LOS ANGELES — The New Madrid fault zone in the nation’s midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported.

It’s “not dead yet,” said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough, who was part of the study published online Thursday by the journal Science.

Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid (MAD’-rihd) poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

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Feb 1, 2019

Scientists create strange matter that once filled Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The team created the so-called quark-gluon plasma by smashing packets of protons and neutrons into a much heavier gold atom in the PHENIX Detector particle collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. It is theorised that this matter filled the entire Universe shortly after the Big Bang when it was still too hot for particles to come together to make atoms.

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Feb 1, 2019

Lab-Grown Chicken Nuggets Made From Feathers to Hit Shelves

Posted by in categories: food, futurism

Is lab grown meat the future of the industry, or simply an expensive boondoggle that wealthy investors like Bill Gates and Richard Branson will eventually have to bite the bullet on? According to major players in this “cultured meat” industry, lab grown meats can replace having to actually slaughter and process these foods for human consumption, preventing animal deaths and giving rise to a new era in the food industry.

The JUST cultured meat company of California hopes to sell nuggets synthesized from chicken feathers by the end of 2018.

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Jan 31, 2019

Could an extremophile hold the secret to treatment of devastating injuries?

Posted by in category: biological

Water bear. Moss piglet. Tardigrade.

The gentle teddy-bear features of this polyonymic animal belie its hardy nature.

Capable of withstanding dehydration and cosmic radiation and surviving temperatures as low as −450 F and as high as 300 F, this eight-limbed microscopic creature holds the key to one of biology’s greatest secrets — extreme survival.

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Jan 31, 2019

Former NASA Rocket Scientist On Why We’re Still Going Nowhere Fast

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

Interstellar propulsion breakthroughs will require research that is motivated by more than mere hype, says former NASA breakthrough propulsion physicist.

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Jan 31, 2019

Dark matter may not actually exist – and our alternative theory can be put to the test

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Scientists have been searching for “dark matter” – an unknown and invisible substance thought to make up the vast majority of matter in the universe – for nearly a century. The reason for this persistence is that dark matter is needed to account for the fact that galaxies don’t seem to obey the fundamental laws of physics. However, dark matter searches have remained unsuccessful.

But there are other approaches to make sense of why behave so strangely. Our new study, published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, shows that, by tweaking the laws of gravity on the enormous scales of galaxies, we may not actually need dark after all.

The Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky discovered in the 1930s that velocities in galaxy clusters were too high to account for how much matter we could see. A similar phenomenon was described by several groups of astronomers, such as Vera Rubin and Kent Ford, when they studied the motion of stars at the far edges of the Andromeda Galaxy.

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Jan 31, 2019

Scientists discover brain cells responsible for direction and memory

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Research has revealed the cluster of neurons that helps the brain’s internal GPS remember key landmarks. It is hoped that the findings will provide insight into a range of psychiatric disorders.

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Jan 31, 2019

Dark Energy Gets Weirder: Mysterious Force May Vary Over Time

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Dark energy is apparently even more mysterious than astronomers had thought.

Scientists first proposed the existence of this invisible force two decades ago, to explain the surprising discovery that the universe’s expansion is accelerating. (Surprising and incredibly important; the find netted three researchers the Nobel Prize in physics in 2011.)

The most-used astrophysical model of the universe’s structure and evolution regards dark energy as a constant. Indeed, many astronomers believe it to be the cosmological constant, which Einstein posited in 1917 as part of his theory of general relativity. [The History & Structure of the Universe in Pictures].

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