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Nov 16, 2016

Cormorant/AirMule UAV completes first autonomous flight

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

A lot has happened since we first heard about the AirMule, a prototype VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft that features internal rotor blades – these work along with the horizontal-thrust ducted fans visible at the rear. First, it made some tethered autonomous test flights. Then, it flew untethered for a short distance. Now, known as the Cormorant UAV, it’s made its first full untethered autonomous flight … although there were a couple of hiccups.

Designed by Israeli firm Tactical Robotics, the Cormorant is designed to deliver troops, civilian passengers or other cargo within tight quarters where helicopters with exposed rotor blades just can’t go. With the UAV in its name standing for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the idea is that it will perform these tasks either autonomously or by remote control.

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Nov 16, 2016

Private Space Stations could start launching in 2020 and large multi-module stations able to hold 100 or more people by 2030

Posted by in categories: habitats, space travel

Bigelow Aerospace and Axiom Space — plan to launch habitat modules to orbit in 2020, with the aim of making some money off Earth. If all goes according to plan, private space stations will eventually form the backbone of commercial facilities that replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is currently funded through 2024.

“Hopefully, if we’re successful in the private-sector community, NASA’s going to save a boatload of money, on multiple locations [in orbit] — not just one — with more volume than they’ve ever had before,” Bigelow founder and CEO Robert Bigelow said here Wednesday (Oct. 12) at the 2016 International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS). “So, whether it’s Axiom or us or other people, that is the future.”

A new company, named Axiom Space LLC, was incorporated in January, 2016 in Delaware but is based in Houston. Mike Suffredini (former NASA manager of the International Space Station) serves as its president and Kam Ghaffarian, the president and chief executive of SGT, is the chief executive.

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Nov 16, 2016

The CRISPR Gene-Editing Tool is Finally Being Used on Humans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A team of scientists in China has become the first to treat a human patient with the groundbreaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique. While the results of the trial are uncertain, it’s a historic milestone that should serve as a serious wakeup call to the rest of the world.

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Nov 16, 2016

Shailesh Prasad Photo 4

Posted by in category: futurism

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Nov 16, 2016

Project Blue: A Space Telescope to Find Another Earth — Project Blue | Kickstarter

Posted by in categories: science, space, space travel


“Finding the first planet like Earth beyond our solar system would transform how we think about our place in the universe.”

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Nov 16, 2016

Chinese group injects CRISPR edited cells into human test subject for first time

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

(—A team of researchers working at West China Hospital in Chengdu has for the first time injected CRISPR–Cas9 edited cells into a human test subject. Nature reports that the procedure occurred on October 28, and that thus far, the patient is doing “fine.”

Modified cells have been injected into human subjects before, of course, but using different techniques. CRISPR-Cas 9 is considered to be a more efficient approach. In this new effort, the researchers isolated retrieved from a , then used CRISPR-Cas9 to locate and disable the PD-1 protein in them, which prior research has shown slows an by a cell. The idea is that disabling the protein will allow the immune system to put up more of a fight against tumor growth. The edited cells were placed in a container where they were fed and allowed to multiply—the entire collection was then gathered and injected into a patient suffering from a type of lung cancer that had not responded to any other treatment type.

The CRISPR technique involves using an RNA guide that binds to a particular DNA sequence and an enzyme (the Cas9 part) that can cut strands of DNA at preselected spots, allowing for removing strands or adding new ones.

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Nov 16, 2016

Google’s new website lets you play with its experimental AI projects

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Take a peek into Google’s experimental artificial intelligence research.

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Nov 16, 2016

Check Out These Hive Mind Robots

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Here’s your chance to build your own little robot army.

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Nov 16, 2016

Test of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain shows improved multitasking performance

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Placement of five anode electrodes (left) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the cathode (right) over the right shoulder (to avoid spurious cognitive effects from cortical excitability) (credit: Justin Nelson et al./ Front. Hum. Neurosci.)

In an experiment at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, researchers have found that transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain can improve people’s multitasking skills and help avoid the drop in performance that comes with information overload.

The study was reported in a pre-publication paper in the open-access journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience. It was motivated by the observation that various Air Force operations such as remotely piloted and manned aircraft operations require a human operator to monitor and respond to multiple events simultaneously over a long period of time. “With the monotonous nature of these tasks, the operator’s performance may decline shortly after their work shift commences,” according to the researchers.

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Nov 16, 2016

You Can Watch the First Episode of Syfy’s Incorporated Right Now

Posted by in categories: futurism, government

Nifty…I’ll definitely give it a go when I find the time!

Has anyone else seen it yet? If so, thoughts?

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