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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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Jan 31, 2019

Is self-healing concrete technology the future of construction?

Posted by in categories: futurism, materials

Building cracks and deterioration are common points of concern for asset owners and managers alike, but a new technology may soon alleviate these industry issues.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are using micro-encapsulation technologies developed by Dolomite Microfluidics to develop self-healing construction materials.

The university’s Department of Engineering’s Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group said last month that it is developing microcapsules containing ‘healing’ agents such as minerals, epoxy, or polyurethane which can be added to building materials to allow the self-repair of small cracks that develop over time.

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Jan 31, 2019

Smart building materials to watch in 2019

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, habitats

Smart building materials are altering the fabric of the housebuilding industry. Housebuilders are already looking ahead to the days when homes will fix themselves, serve their residents and tell us how we can build them better.


While housebuilders gaze into the future, researchers have been turning to the past for inspiration. Over the last few years, the DNA of concrete has been decoded and rewritten by scientists to make the material that built the Roman Empire fit for the future.

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Jan 31, 2019

FDA Approved Drugs in Neurology

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Organized by drug name, this comprehensive listing of Neurology FDA Approved Drugs by the Food and Drug Administration features facts on…

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Jan 31, 2019

Atari master: New AI smashes Google DeepMind in video game challenge

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science, robotics/AI

A new breed of algorithms has mastered Atari video games 10 times faster than state-of-the-art AI, with a breakthrough approach to problem solving.

Designing AI that can negotiate planning problems, especially those where rewards are not immediately obvious, is one of the most important research challenges in advancing the field.

A famous 2015 study showed Google DeepMind AI learnt to play Atari video games like Video Pinball to human level, but notoriously failed to learn a path to the first key in 1980s video Montezuma’s Revenge due to the game’s complexity.

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Jan 31, 2019

Understanding white blood cells’ defense mechanisms could lead to better treatments

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Experiencing a bacterial infection? You’re generally prescribed antibiotics by your doctor. But how exactly do those antibiotics and your white blood cells work in tandem to improve your infection?

“The human body’s first line of defense against are certain white blood cells called neutrophils,” says J. Scott VanEpps, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at Michigan Medicine. “One of their weapons are neutrophil extracellular traps, also called NETs.”

The traps are microscopic networks of fibers made primarily of DNA that are produced by the neutrophils to capture bacteria. But how exactly they work, VanEpps notes, is still unclear.

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Jan 31, 2019

Could targeting this enzyme slow aging and related diseases?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

In showing how an enzyme halts cell division by producing reactive oxygen species, scientists shed new light on the biology of aging and related diseases.

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