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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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Mar 9, 2019

Waking Up with Sam Harris

Posted by in categories: economics, governance, information science, robotics/AI

James Hughes : “Great convo with Yuval Harari, touching on algorithmic governance, the perils of being a big thinker when democracy is under attack, the need for transnational governance, the threats of automation to the developing world, the practical details of UBI, and a lot more.”

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics.

Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His books have been translated into 50+ languages, with 12+ million copies sold worldwide. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind looked deep into our past, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow considered far-future scenarios, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century focuses on the biggest questions of the present moment.

Twitter: @harari_yuval

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Mar 9, 2019

#IAmTranshuman — Compilation #1 — U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, geopolitics, transhumanism

Leading transhumanists from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives provide concise, powerful statements as to why they are transhuman. The Transhuman Era has arrived; some of us are aware of this already, whereas others are transhuman but do not know it yet. The #IAmTranshuman campaign helps illustrate how emerging technologies and the accompanying shifts in thinking are already transforming everyday life.

This video was compiled and formatted by Tom Ross, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party’s Director of Media Production:

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Mar 9, 2019

The Smart Cities of the Future Are Already Taking Off

Posted by in categories: energy, governance, transportation

Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future.

As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance.

Connecting countless industries—real estate, energy, sensors and networks, and transportation, among others—tomorrow’s cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.

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Mar 9, 2019

The World’s Most Valuable AI Companies, and What They’re Working On

Posted by in categories: business, finance, information science, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence and its subset of disciplines—such as machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision —are seemingly becoming integrated into our daily lives whether we like it or not. What was once sci-fi is now ubiquitous research and development in company and university labs around the world.

Similarly, the startups working on many of these AI technologies have seen their proverbial stock rise. More than 30 of these companies are now valued at over a billion dollars, according to data research firm CB Insights, which itself employs algorithms to provide insights into the tech business world.

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Mar 9, 2019

There is nothing quite like the chaotic beauty of colliding galaxies

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured these galaxies crashing into each other inside of the Hercules constellation, about 230 million light-years away. Eventually the galaxies will fully merge to form a single, stable galaxy. Become transfixed:

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