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Mar 6, 2019

Antibiotic resistance is spreading from wastewater treatment plants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

The products of wastewater treatment have been found to contain trace amounts of antibiotic resistant DNA. These products are often reintroduced to the environment and water supply, potentially resulting in the spread of antibiotic resistance. As such, researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have been studying the development of these potentially harmful and dangerous genes in wastewater treatment processes. Their findings, published in Environmental Science & Technology, indicate that even low concentrations of just a single type of antibiotic leads to resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics.

“We’re quickly getting to a scary place that’s called a “post-antibiotic world,” where we can no longer fight infections with antibiotics anymore because microbes have adapted to be resilient against those antibiotics,” said Adam Smith, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at USC and lead investigator of the study. “Unfortunately, engineered water treatment systems end up being sort of a hot-bed for .”

The majority of the antibiotics we consume are metabolized in our bodies. However, small amounts pass through us in our waste, which are then carried to . At these plants, one of the common ways in which the wastewater is treated is with a membrane bioreactor, which uses both a filtration system and a biological process where consume waste products.

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Mar 6, 2019

World’s First Battery-Free Bluetooth Chip Pulls Power from the Air

Posted by in categories: computing, internet

“Without batteries or other high-cost components,” he continued, “tags have unlimited power and lifespan, so [they] can be embedded inside of products that were previously unconnected to the Internet of Things.”

READ MORE: This Tiny Bluetooth Chip Doesn’t Need a Battery Because It Harvests Energy From the Air [The Verge]

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Mar 6, 2019

Scientists find worms that recently evolved the ability to regrow a complete head

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

An international group of researchers including biologists from the University of Maryland found that at least four species of marine ribbon worms independently evolved the ability to regrow a head after amputation.

Regeneration of amputated is uncommon but does exist throughout the —from salamanders, spiders and sea stars that can regrow appendages to a of ribbon worm that can regenerate an entire individual from just a small sliver of tissue. But regenerative abilities were broadly assumed to be an ancient trait that some species managed to hold on to while most others lost through evolution.

This new study, which was published in the March 6, 2019 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, turns that assumption on its head. In a survey of 35 species of marine ribbon , the researchers found that the ability to regenerate an entire head, including a brain, evolved relatively recently in four .

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Mar 6, 2019

Goals for collecting and studying samples from Mars

Posted by in categories: engineering, space

A paper, “The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return,” authored by 71 scientists is available. According to the summary at Science Daily.


Returning samples from the surface of Mars has been a high-priority goal of the international Mars exploration community for many years. Although randomly collected samples would be potentially interesting, they would not be sufficient to answer the big questions that have motivated Mars exploration for decades. A new paper published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science describes the results of a major collaboration among 71 scientists from throughout the international science community to define specific scientific objectives for a Mars Sample Return campaign, to describe the critical measurements that would need to be done on returned samples to address the objectives, and to identify the kinds of samples that would be most likely to carry the key information.

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Mar 6, 2019

Asteroid Research Points to Planetary Defense Issues

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, computing, existential risks

Not as easy as the movies show. Say it isn’t so.


Incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously thought, finds a Johns Hopkins study that used a new understanding of rock fracture and a new computer modeling method to simulate asteroid collisions.

The findings, to be published in the March 15 print issue of Icarus, can aid in the creation of asteroid impact and deflection strategies, increase understanding of solar system formation, and help design asteroid mining efforts.

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Mar 6, 2019

San Francisco 2036: The Story of the First “Cyberian” Trillionaire and Countdown to the Singularity

Posted by in categories: genetics, robotics/AI, singularity, virtual reality

Going forward into our exponential future…


“By our very nature, we humans are linear thinkers. We evolved to estimate a distance from the predator or to the prey, and advanced mathematics is only a recent evolutionary addition. This is why it’s so difficult even for a modern man to grasp the power of exponentials. 40 steps in linear progression is just 40 steps away; 40 steps in exponential progression is a cool trillion (with a T) – it will take you 3 times from Earth to the Sun and back to Earth.” –Alex M. Vikoulov, The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind’s Evolution.

Today is a special day for me. My AI assistant Ava scheduled few hours aside from my otherwise busy daily lineup to relive select childhood and adolescence memories recreated in virtual reality with a help of a newly developed AI technique ‘Re: Live’. Ava is my smart home assistant, too. I can rearrange furniture in any room, for example, just by thinking. Digital landscape wallpaper is changed by Ava by knowing my preferences and sensing my moods.

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Mar 6, 2019

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Posted by in category: futurism

The Work Issue

New research reveals surprising truths about why some work groups thrive and others falter.

Credit credit illustration by james graham.

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Mar 6, 2019

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

I knew the future would be shocking but this is a whole other level.

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Mar 6, 2019

Waymo Built a Secret World for Self-Driving Cars

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

An exclusive look at how Alphabet understands its most ambitious artificial intelligence project.

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Mar 6, 2019

How to Design Streets for Humans—and Self-Driving Cars

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

A new blueprint from city transportation planners and engineers, who say it’s never too early to start thinking about the future.

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