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May 6, 2017

China increases solar power output

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

China electricity output from photovoltaic plants rose 80 per cent in the first quarter after the world’s biggest solar power market increased installed capacity.

Solar power generation rose to 21.4 billion kilowatt-hours in the three months ending 31 March from a year earlier, the National Energy Administration said on Thursday in a statement on its website. China added 7.21 gigawatts of solar power during the period, boosting its total installed capacity to almost 85 gigawatts, the NEA said.

The power-generation increase comes even as more solar plants stand idle because of congested transmission infrastructure. China idled about 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of solar power in the first quarter, up from 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours a year earlier, according to the NEA data.

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May 6, 2017

As Coal Jobs Decline, Solar Sector Shines

Posted by in categories: business, employment, solar power, sustainability

A work crew for the Pittsburgh company Energy Independent Solutions installs solar panels at a community building in Millvale, Pa.

Craig Williams is still mining coal despite tough times for the business. “We’re one of the last industries around and hope to keep it that way,” he says in a breakroom at Consol Energy’s Harvey mine, south of Pittsburgh.

The father of two — speaking in his dusty work jacket and a hard hat with headlamp — says coal is the best way he’s able to support his family. He declines to give his salary, but nationally, coal miners average about $80,000 a year.

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May 6, 2017

‘Magic’ skin gun sprays stem cells on to burns victims’ wounds

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

US doctors are using a new technique that allows patients to regrow a new layer of healthy skin in as little as four days.

Doctors harvested nearly 24 million stem cells from an area smaller than an iPhone 5, and sprayed them back on to his body. After four days, a thin layer of skin had regrown over his arms and chest, areas which had suffered the least deep burns. After 20 days, ‘all of the areas treated with cell spray grafting were noted as completely healed’.

Mr Bold explained that, in normal circumstances, wounds heal from the outside in, with healthy skin on the edges supplying the stem cells needed for the repair process. Plastic surgeons assist by taking skin grafts and puncturing them with many holes. This they lay on the wound. The holes cover over with skin, creating a new layer.

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May 6, 2017

The Military is Using Human Brain Waves to Teach Robots How to Shoot

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

Without even realizing it, soldiers could soon be training robot sharpshooters to take their jobs.

Modern sensors can see farther than humans. Electronic circuits can shoot faster than nerves and muscles can pull a trigger. Humans still outperform armed robots in knowing what to shoot at — but new research funded in part by the Army may soon narrow that gap.

Researchers from DCS Corp and the Army Research Lab fed datasets of human brain waves into a neural network — a type of artificial intelligence — which learned to recognize when a human is making a targeting decision. They presented their paper on it at the annual Intelligent User Interface conference in Cyprus in March.

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May 6, 2017

Deep learning-based bionic hand grasps objects automatically

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, transhumanism

British biomedical engineers have developed a new generation of intelligent prosthetic limbs that allows the wearer to reach for objects automatically, without thinking — just like a real hand.

The hand’s camera takes a picture of the object in front of it, assesses its shape and size, picks the most appropriate grasp, and triggers a series of movements in the hand — all within milliseconds.

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May 6, 2017

Confirmed: AI Can Predict Heart Attacks and Strokes More Accurately Than Doctors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

University of Nottingham researchers created an AI system that scanned routine medical data to predict which patients would have strokes or heart attacks within 10 years. The AI system beat the standard method of prediction, correctly making calls in 355 more cases than traditional means. Predicting cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks is a notoriously challenging task. In fact, the researchers note in their recent paper that around half of all strokes and heart attacks occur in patients who were never identified as being “at risk.”

The records included a decade of health outcomes, lab data, drug information, hospital records, and demographic information. The team identified the distinguishing characteristics of patients who experienced strokes and heart attacks using 75 percent of the records. They then tested their models against the standard guidelines using the remaining 25 percent of the records. The standard guidelines scored 0.728 out of 1.0, with the latter signifying 100 percent accuracy. The machine models scored between 0.745 to 0.764, with the neural network making 355 more accurate predictions than the standard guidelines, therefore earning the best score. Had those predictions been made in real time, the patients could have been provided with preventative care.

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May 6, 2017

How Nanotech Bandages Could Supercharge First Aid

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Scientists are developing ointments and bandages with nanoparticles that speed up and enhance healing.

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May 6, 2017

Moontopia: Lunar Colony Visions Revealed

Posted by in category: space

A lunar colony seems an obvious choice for space colonization. It’s relatively close to Earth and we won’t get homesick that easily, right? You’d be surprised to learn the exact opposite. Given its atmosphere is almost non-existent, an underground facility would be in dire need. The settlement on moon should be about 4 meters or 13 feet deep. Do you still want to go there?

Maybe you should read further now and decide for yourself as nine space-age designs have finally been revealed as the winners of the Moontopia competition. Visualizing a decent life on the moon has become the main objective for many architects and designers who submitted their very own proposal to the design magazine Eleven. The competition ran from August to November 2016 and a jury of NASA designers, space-architects, academics and the editorial team at Eleven themselves selected the top nine entries these days.

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May 6, 2017

New Design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

In January, Angelenos were elated to discover that Star Wars creator George Lucas has selected Exposition Park as the future site of his Museum of Narrative Art. An upcoming presentation to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission has unveiled new renderings for the $1-billion project, suggesting changes from the initial designs presented last year.

Slated for two city-owned parking lots on Vermont Avenue south of Exposition Boulevard, the museum would take the form of a four-story, 115-foot tall building featuring 300,000 square feet of floor area. Plans call for a vacation of 39th Street between Vermont Avenue and Bill Robertson Lane, allowing for the construction of an underground parking garage across the site featuring more than 2,400 vehicle spaces. The subterranean garage levels would be capped with 11 acres of public green space.

The design from Chinese architect Ma Yansong has evolved to beome more compact than the sinewy images last seen in January.

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May 6, 2017

Scientists Just Transplanted Small Rat Heads Onto Bigger Rats

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Researches successfully avoided brain-damaging blood loss while the donor head was being attached to the recipient rat.

The world has been gifted, or maybe cursed, with the latest iteration of creepy head transplant experiments.

In a new study published in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, researchers in China grafted the heads of smaller rats onto the necks of larger rats because we all know that rats with two heads are better than rats with one.

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