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Mar 10, 2019

Meet ‘The Blobs’: Two Continent-Size Mountains in Earth’s Deep Mantle That Nobody Understands

Posted by in category: futurism

They’re called ‘the blobs’ — two lumpy, continent-size mountains of hot, compressed rock lurking at the bottom of Earth’s mantle. Nobody knows what they are.

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Mar 10, 2019

Proposed NASA SmallSat Mission Could Be First To Visit Pallas, Our Third Largest Asteroid

Posted by in category: space

With a flyby of Pallas, NASA mission could help round out exploration of our solar system’s three largest asteroids.

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Mar 10, 2019

For HyperSciences, geothermal energy builds a path to space

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

These days, it seems anyone wanting to launch rockets will inevitably be compared to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, especially if rocket launching isn’t the only business interest on the agenda. Musk has Tesla plus SpaceX, and Bezos has Amazon plus Blue Origin. Now, meet Mark Russell, a disciple of Bezos and rocket engineer who founded HyperSciences, a drilling company that uses aerospace technology to both quickly extract underground geothermal energy and put payloads into orbit at low cost.

The idea of leveraging Earth’s geothermal energy is not a new concept, but the expense and time required to reach the depth needed have been prohibitively expensive. That’s where HyperSciences comes in.

Russell and his team have developed a low-cost, multi-purpose projectile called the HyperDrone that can accelerate to velocities over five times the speed of sound and pulverize hard rock via their HyperDrill. This will enable tunneling speeds that are 5–10 times quicker than conventional methods, and more importantly, it opens up significant market viability in other industries that could benefit, namely when that acceleration is pointed skyward. NASA has already recognized this potential and is a current investor and major partner of HyperSciences.

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Mar 10, 2019

Artificial intelligence in healthcare: past, present and future

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

Artificial intelligence (AI) aims to mimic human cognitive functions. It is bringing a paradigm shift to healthcare, powered by increasing availability of healthcare data and rapid progress of analytics techniques. We survey the current status of AI applications in healthcare and discuss its future. AI can be applied to various types of healthcare data (structured and unstructured). Popular AI techniques include machine learning methods for structured data, such as the classical support vector machine and neural network, and the modern deep learning, as well as natural language processing for unstructured data. Major disease areas that use AI tools include cancer, neurology and cardiology. We then review in more details the AI applications in stroke, in the three major areas of early detection and diagnosis, treatment, as well as outcome prediction and prognosis evaluation. We conclude with discussion about pioneer AI systems, such as IBM Watson, and hurdles for real-life deployment of AI.

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Mar 10, 2019

Comma.ai founder George Hotz wants to free humanity from the AI simulation

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transhumanism

The crowd didn’t much care either way. During the Q&A, an audience member asked Hotz if he would consider partnering with transhumanists — people who believe in humanity’s eventual evolution by way of merging the body and mind with robotics and AI — to found his church. Hotz was rather ambivalent to the idea; perhaps he didn’t think people would take him at his word. But if he does a start a church, the sermon he gave at SXSW yesterday was delivered to a room of would-be believers.


“Jailbreak the simulation”

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Mar 9, 2019

A New Drug Might, Possibly, Have Cured the Flu

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The only patients to have taken the new drug so far are lab mice. But even when the mice had been exposed to lethal levels of the flu, 100 percent of the ones treated with the new treatment survived.

Promisingly, according to NPR, the new treatment was also effective at treating human lung cells grown in the lab — potentially paving the way to human trials.

“It’s a really interesting study,” Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who wasn’t involved with the research, told NPR. “We need more drugs in the fight against flu, and this approach could provide them.”

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Mar 9, 2019

Bizarre Malware Is Disabling Safety Systems at Industrial Plants

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, military

What’s most worrisome, one source told MIT Tech, was that the malware crosses a new ethical line.

“Targeting safety systems just seemed to be off limits morally and really hard to do technically,” Joe Slowik, a former information warfare officer in the US Navy who now works at Dragos, an industrial cybersecurity firm that’s been tracking the spread of Triton, told the magazine.

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Mar 9, 2019

Patients experiment with prescription drugs to fight aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, life extension

Dr. Alan Green’s patients travel from around the country to his tiny practice in Queens, N.Y., lured by the prospect of longer lives.

Over the past two years, more than 200 patients have flocked to see Green after learning that two drugs he prescribes could possibly stave off aging. One 95-year-old was so intent on keeping her appointment that she asked her son to drive her from Maryland after a snowstorm had closed the schools.

Green is among a small but growing number of doctors who prescribe drugs “off-label” for their possible anti-aging effects. Metformin is typically prescribed for diabetes, and prevents organ rejection after a transplant, but doctors can prescribe drugs off-label for other purposes—in this case, for “aging.”

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Mar 9, 2019

CERN Creates Antimatter to Answer Fundamental Question of Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, nuclear energy, particle physics

The concept of antimatter has delighted sci-fi fans for years, but it also poses a real question for physicists. Mathematically speaking, it makes sense that for every type of particle in our universe there exists a corresponding antiparticle which is the same but with the opposite charge — so to correspond with the electron, for example, there should be an antielectron, also known as a positron. When antimatter and matter come into contact, they both destroy each other in a flash of energy.

When the Big Bang happened, it should have created equal amounts of both matter and antimatter. And yet matter is everywhere and there is hardly any antimatter in our universe today. Why is that?

A new experiment from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has been tackling the question by looking at how matter and antimatter could react differently to Earth’s gravitational field. Physicists think that antimatter could fall at a different rate than matter, which would help to explain why it is less prevalent. But in order to test this, they need to create antimatter particles such as positronium atoms. These are pairs of one electron and one positron, but they only live for a fraction of a second — 142 nanoseconds to be exact — so there isn’t enough time to perform experiments on them.

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Mar 9, 2019

Telomeres of Human Chromosomes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Each eukaryotic chromosome has a loop at its end that is known as a telomere. This loop is composed of highly repeated DNA sequences and specialized binding proteins that protect the end the chromosome. The loss of one or more telomeres can lead to senescence or anueploidy, so cells must carefully r…

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