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Mar 28, 2019

20% of Industrial Control Systems Affected by Critical Vulnerabilities

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security

Image: Business Wire

Over half of the 415 vulnerabilities found in industrial control systems (ICS) were assigned CVSS v.3.0 base scores over 7 which are designated to security issues of high or critical risk levels, with 20% of vulnerable ICS devices being impacted by critical security issues.

As detailed in Kaspersky’s “Threat landscape or industrial automation systems H2 2018”, “The largest number of vulnerabilities affect industrial control systems that control manufacturing processes at various enterprises (115), in the energy sector (110), and water supply (63).”

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Mar 28, 2019

Neural networks stop autonomous cars spinning out

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Staying at the ‘limit of friction’ is key to marrying speed and safety. Nick Carne reports.

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Mar 28, 2019

Long term study finds engineered blood vessels turned to living tissue

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Researchers from Yale and a medical company called Humacyte have published the results of a long term study that shows engineered blood vessels that are implanted into humans eventually evolved into living tissue. The vessels are known as bioengineered acellular human vessels (HAVs).

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Mar 28, 2019

An experiment that solved a 100-year-old mystery posed by Einstein is about to turn back on — and it’s more powerful than ever

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

  • Colliding black holes and neutron stars create ripples in spacetime, called gravitational waves. These were “heard” for the first time in September 2015.
  • On Monday, a pair of gravitational-wave detectors called LIGO will turn back on after 6 months of downtime and upgrades.
  • To boost its power, the experiment will now work with a sister machine in Italy called Virgo.
  • Physicists expect the next period of searching for colliding black holes to last a year and be 40% more sensitive than before.

One of the most remarkable experiments in history — a pair of giant machines that listen for ripples in spacetime called gravitational waves — will wake up from a half-year nap on Monday. And it will be about 40% stronger than before.

That experiment is called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); it consists of two giant, L-shaped detectors that together solved a 100-year-old mystery posed by Albert Einstein.

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Mar 28, 2019

The Worst Disease Ever Recorded

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

A doomsday fungus known as Bd has condemned more species to extinction than any other pathogen.

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Mar 28, 2019

Exquisite fossil finds shed new light on the ‘Cambrian explosion’, when oceans first filled with complex animal life

Posted by in category: futurism

Exceptionally well preserved 500m year old fossils show Cambrian seas were more diverse than scientists had thought.

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Mar 28, 2019

This woman’s genetic mutation shields her from pain and anxiety

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Arthritis is usually painful. So is the surgery to fix it, at least in the immediate aftermath. So when a 66-year old woman at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, Scotland, told doctors that her severely arthritic hand felt fine both before and after her operation, they were suspicious. The joint of her thumb was so severely deteriorated that she could hardly use it—how could that not hurt?

So they sent her to see teams specializing in pain genetics at University College London and the University of Oxford. Those researchers took DNA samples from both her and some of her family members and uncovered her secret: a tiny mutation in a newly-discovered gene. They recently published their results in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

This minuscule deletion is inside something called a pseudogene, which is a partial copy of a fully functioning gene inserted elsewhere in the genome. Pseudogenes don’t always have a function—sometimes they’re just junk DNA—but some of them have residual functionality leftover from the original gene’s purpose.

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Mar 28, 2019

Remote-Controlled Insect Ornithopter Developed

Posted by in category: futurism

Aeronautical engineer Edwin Van Ruymbeke has developed a remote-controlled insect ornithopter called MetaFly.

Capable of reaching a top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) and a maximum range of 100 metres (328 ft), the wings are flapped using a mechanical coreless motor and an aluminum heat sink that is powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.

Weighing 10 grams (0.35 oz), MetaFly measures 19 cm long (7.5 in) with a 29-cm (11.4-in) wingspan. The patented wings are made from carbon fibre, liquid crystal polymer and oriented polypropylene.

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Mar 28, 2019

Chip combining CRISPR and graphene can detect genetic mutations in minutes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, genetics

The marriage of these two technologies can only mean something great is in store.

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Mar 28, 2019

An electric plane with no moving parts has made its first flight

Posted by in category: transportation

The turbineless design uses electroaerodynamic propulsion to fly and could herald the arrival of quieter, lower-emission aircraft.

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