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Mar 9, 2016

The Science of Consciousness — Helané Wahbeh | Institute of Noetic Sciences

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, science

“While our materialistic paradigm would have us believe that our consciousness is housed in our physical brain and does not extend beyond it, there is growing evidence that this is actually not true.”

Mar 9, 2016

Russian officials again talk about a working lab prototype megawatt class nuclear propulsion system

Posted by in categories: energy, space travel

A Russian Megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system for long-range manned spacecraft must be ready by 2017, Skolkovo Foundation’s Nuclear Cluster head Denis Kovalevich said on Wednesday.

“At present we are testing several types of fuel and later we will start drafting the design,” Kovalevich said. “The first parts [of the nuclear engine] should be built in 2013, and the engine is expected to be ready by 2017.”

The engine is being developed for interplanetary manned spacecraft to ensure that Russia maintains a competitive edge in the space race, including the exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Continue reading “Russian officials again talk about a working lab prototype megawatt class nuclear propulsion system” »

Mar 9, 2016

You can now sequence your entire genome for under $1,000

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health

It wasn’t all that long ago that the first human genome was sequenced – a massive, globally orchestrated scientific undertaking that took years and some US$3 billion to achieve.

Since then, rapid advancements in genetic technology and techniques have seen the cost and time required for genome sequencing drop dramatically, leading to this week’s remarkable announcement: the first whole genome sequencing service for consumers that costs less than $1,000.

At just $999, myGenome, from US-based genetics startup Veritas Genetics, is being billed by its makers as the first practical and affordable way for people to access unparalleled personal data on their individual genetic code. The company claims its personalised service offers an accessible way to keep tabs on your current health, keep you abreast of any potential future issues, and even know what inherited genetics you might pass onto your children.

Continue reading “You can now sequence your entire genome for under $1,000” »

Mar 9, 2016

MIT researchers found a way to load websites 34% faster on the same connection

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, robotics/AI

A group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have found a way to speed up the Web without actually increasing the connection throughput or making fundamental code changes.

It created Polaris, a framework that determines how to overlap the objects being downloaded by a page and minimize the amounts of time a site fetches individual resources. The framework creates a dependency graph of the page, then uses that to determine when each object should be loaded.

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Mar 9, 2016

Google’s DeepMind defeats legendary Go player Lee Se-dol

Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, robotics/AI

A huge milestone has just been reached in the field of artificial intelligence: AlphaGo, a program developed by Google’s DeepMind unit, has defeated legendary Go player Lee Se-dol in the first of five historic matches being held in Seoul, South Korea. Lee resigned after about three and a half hours, with 28 minutes and 28 seconds remaining on his clock. The series is the first time a professional 9-dan Go player has taken on a computer, and Lee is competing for a $1 million prize.

“I was very surprised,” said Lee after the match. “I didn’t expect to lose. [But] I didn’t think AlphaGo would play the game in such a perfect manner.” DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis expressed “huge respect for Lee Se-dol and his amazing skills,” calling the game “hugely exciting” and “very tense.” Team lead David Silver said it was an “amazing game of Go that really pushed AlphaGo to its limits.”

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Mar 9, 2016

Canada To Test Universal Basic Income For Citizens

Posted by in categories: economics, government

By Jacob Bojesson

The Canadian province of Ontario will join several European countries in testing Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) in the near future.

UBI is a a monthly allowance given to all citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status. Ontario’s regional government will release its designs for a pilot program in 2016.

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Mar 9, 2016

Incredibly Precise LISA Orbiter Brings Us A Step Closer To Understanding Gravitational Waves

Posted by in category: physics

LISA Pathfinder is a precursor to the largest experiment ever, and it’s just getting fired up.

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Mar 9, 2016

Death Reversal — The Reanima Project — Research Whose Time Has Come

Posted by in categories: aging, biotech/medical, business, cryonics, health, life extension, neuroscience, posthumanism, science, scientific freedom

I have spent the last 30 years in various aspects of the biopharmaceutical industry, which for the most part has been a very rewarding experience.

However, during this time period, having been immersed many different components of therapeutic development and commercialization, one thing has always bothered me: a wide array of promising research never makes it off the bench to see the translational light of day, and gets lost in the historical scientific archives.


I always believed that scientific progress happened in a very linear narrative, with each new discovery supporting the next, resulting ultimately in an eventual stairway of scientific enlightenment.

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Mar 8, 2016

Match 1 — Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

Watch DeepMind’s program AlphaGo take on the legendary Lee Sedol (9-dan pro), the top Go player of the past decade, in a $1M 5-game challenge match in Seoul. This is the livestream for Match 1 to be played on: 9th March 13:00 KST (local), 04:00 GMT; note for US viewers this is the day before on: 8th March 20:00 PT, 23:00 ET.

In October 2015, AlphaGo became the first computer program ever to beat a professional Go player by winning 5–0 against the reigning 3-times European Champion Fan Hui (2-dan pro). That work was featured in a front cover article in the science journal Nature in January 2016.

Continue reading “Match 1 — Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo” »

Mar 8, 2016

Jeff Bezos Lifts Veil on His Rocket Company, Blue Origin

Posted by in category: space

Mr. Bezos introduced reporters to Blue Origin for the first time on Tuesday, offering updates on his space tourism plans and a new engine that is being developed.

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