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Aug 13, 2018

Solar-powered aircraft stays aloft for record-breaking 25 days

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, satellites, surveillance, sustainability

While Facebook and Google recently pulled the plug on their solar-powered internet drones, another company with a lot more experience is having success with the idea. Airbus announced that its solar-powered Zephyr S HAPS (high altitude pseudo-satellite) flew for 25 straight days, setting a time aloft record for any airplane, ever. It shattered the previous record of 14 days, marked by a previous prototype Zephyr aircraft.

The Zephyr flies on sun power alone at over 70,000 feet, an altitude that just a few aircraft like the Concorde and SR-71 Blackbird have reached. That’s well above any weather, and lets it perform reconnaissance, surveillance and communications/internet duties. “[It fills a] capability gap complimentary to satellites, UAVs and manned aircraft to provide persistent local satellite-like services,” Airbus said in a press release. A video of the takeoff (below) shows that it can be lifted and launched by hand. Once aloft, it can be operated for a fraction the cost of a satellite.

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Aug 13, 2018

FBI warns banks about ATM cash-out scheme

Posted by in category: finance

The FBI is warning banks about a fraud scheme called an ATM cash-out, Krebs on Security reports. With this type of heist, attackers typically compromise a bank or payment card processor with malware, disable fraud controls and withdraw large sums of money — sometimes millions of dollars — with cloned bank cards. The FBI reportedly sent an alert to banks last week. “The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an ‘unlimited operation’,” said the notice.

Once hackers gain access to a financial institution’s system, often through phishing, they’ll alter account balances as well as disable maximum ATM withdrawal amounts and transaction limits. That way, they can quickly take out large amounts of cash from ATMs with fraudulent bank cards made from stolen card data and gift cards.

Last month, Krebs on Security reported on two successful applications of this type of scheme. Hackers were able to steal around $2.4 million from The National Bank of Blacksburg through two ATM cash-outs in 2016 and 2017.

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Aug 13, 2018

Quantum formulation of the Einstein equivalence principle

Posted by in category: quantum physics

The physical conditions that support a geometric interpretation of spacetime, such as the equivalence between rest and inertial mass, are shown not to be necessarily valid in the quantum regime, and a quantum formulation is provided.

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Aug 13, 2018

Scientists Have Successfully Reversed The Aging Of Human Cells In The Lab

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Aging is a battle that humans have known they can’t win since the beginning of history. We can hate it or (eventually) accept it but ultimately we can’t avoid growing old. However, over the years scientists have been trying to pinpoint the roots of this biological process and work out if there is any way to stop or reverse it. There have been some minor successes along the way and a new study adds to these.

The researchers were able to reverse the aging process of some old human cells by delivering a specific molecule to their mitochondria, the structures within cells where energy is produced. This approach stops the cells from becoming senescent, a point at which they can no longer duplicate. Some researchers believe that the accumulation of these cells in organs is key to the aging process.

“We still don’t fully understand why cells become senescent as we age, but damage to DNA, exposure to inflammation and damage to the protective molecules at the end of the chromosomes – the telomeres – have all been suggested,” the authors wrote in a post on The Conversation. “More recently, people have suggested that one driver of senescence may be loss of our ability to turn genes on and off at the right time and in the right place.”

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Aug 13, 2018

Is Life Extension Altruistic?

Posted by in category: life extension

Recently, we’ve published an article explaining why life extension is not a selfish endeavor. As a matter of fact, life extension is a rather altruistic endeavor, though this depends on your interpretation of the definition. Let’s dig deeper.

What is altruism?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, altruism is disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Thus, one is altruistic when his or her actions are done for the benefit of others, without placing any importance on his or her own benefit.

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Aug 13, 2018

The fastest-sinking city in the world

Posted by in category: habitats

With frequent floods, sinking markets and engulfed homes, by 2050 parts of Jakarta will be underwater.

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Aug 13, 2018

Bayer shares plunge after Monsanto cancer ruling

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Shares in German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer tumbled more than 10 percent as markets opened Monday, as investors reacted to a shock US ruling against freshly-acquired Monsanto.

Stock in the Leverkusen-based group fell 10.4 percent to 83.61 euros ($95.19) around 9:25 am (0725 GMT), after a California jury on Friday awarded a dying groundskeeper damages of almost $290 million, saying Monsanto should have warned buyers that its flagship Roundup weedkiller could cause cancer.

While observers have predicted thousands of other claims could follow, Bayer said the jury’s findings went against scientific evidence and that other courts might “arrive at different conclusions”.

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Aug 13, 2018

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, evolution, nanotechnology

Over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, nature has produced a myriad of biological materials that serve either as skeletons or as defensive or offensive weapons. Although these natural structural materials are derived from relatively sterile natural components, such as fragile minerals and ductile biopolymers, they often exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties due to their highly ordered hierarchical structures and sophisticated interfacial design. Therefore, they are always a research subject for scientists aiming to create advanced artificial structural materials.

Through microstructural observation, researchers have determined that many biological materials, including fish scales, crab claws and bone, all have a characteristic “twisted plywood” structure that consists of a highly ordered arrangement of micro/nanoscale fiber lamellas. They are structurally sophisticated natural fiber-reinforced composites and often exhibit excellent damage tolerance that is desirable for engineering structural materials, but difficult to obtain. Therefore, researchers are seeking to mimic this kind of natural hierarchical structure and interfacial design by using artificial synthetic and abundant one-dimensional micro/nanoscale fibers as building blocks. In this way, they hope to produce high-performance artificial structural materials superior to existing materials.

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Aug 13, 2018

Flat-pack homes and profit-sharing retrofits are making sustainable housing affordable

Posted by in categories: habitats, sustainability

Wealth-generating, flat-pack solar houses and a profit-sharing scheme that incentivises retrofitting are bringing sustainable living to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it.

“One of the biggest problems that we see right now is (the creation of) a big gap between the lower and the middle classes. Everyone is talking about this growing inequality gap,” said Bart Glowacki, co-founder of SOLACE, a start-up based in Warsaw, Poland, set up with the aim of making sustainable housing widely affordable.

Tighter mortgage controls, job insecurity and high student debts in Europe has meant that it is increasingly difficult for young people to buy their own homes.

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Aug 13, 2018

‘Brainprint’ Can Identify You With 100% Accuracy

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Your unique

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