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Mar 9, 2018

NASA astronaut who spent a year in space now has different DNA from his twin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

Space travel is dangerous for a lot of very obvious reasons — traveling off of Earth on a rocket has its risks, after all — but even when everything goes well it seems that a brief stay in space has the potential to alter a person’s very DNA. That’s the takeaway from a long-term NASA study that used astronaut Scott Kelly and his twin brother Mark as guinea pigs to see how living in space can affect the most basic building blocks of life.

Scott Kelly has spent over 500 days in space overall, but a huge chunk of that came with a single mission which had him stay aboard the International Space Station for 342 days. His brother Mark, who is a retired astronaut, is his identical twin and has the same DNA. This provided a never-before-possible opportunity for NASA to study how long-term space travel affects the human body and the genes that make us who we are. As it turns out, space really does change us, and upon Scott’s return to Earth it was discovered that his DNA has significantly changed.

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Mar 9, 2018

Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Carbon-free fusion power could be ‘on the grid in 15 years’

Science correspondent.

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Mar 9, 2018

We Just Completed a Record-Breaking Test of a Revolutionary Ion Engine

Posted by in categories: military, space travel

When it comes to the future of space exploration, a number of new technologies are being investigated. Foremost among these are new forms of propulsion that will be able to balance fuel-efficiency with power. Not only would engines that are capable of achieving a great deal of thrust using less fuel be cost-effective, they will be able to ferry astronauts to destinations like Mars and beyond in less time.

This is where engines like the X3 Hall-effect thruster comes into play. This thruster, which is being developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in conjunction with the US Air Force and the University of Michigan, is a scaled-up model of the kinds of thrusters used by the Dawn spacecraft. During a recent test, this thruster shattered the previous record for a Hall-effect thruster, achieving higher power and superior thrust.

Hall-effect thrusters have garnered favor with mission planners in recent years because of their extreme efficiency. They function by turning small amounts of propellant (usually inert gases like xenon) into charged plasma with electrical fields, which is then accelerated very quickly using a magnetic field. Compared to chemical rockets, they can achieve top speeds using a tiny fraction of their fuel.

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Mar 9, 2018

Spacewatch: engine fuelled by air will enable low-flying class of satellites

Posted by in category: satellites

Electric thruster sucks in the scarce air molecules at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, using them as propellant to fight drag.

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Mar 9, 2018

VICE on HBO, Full Episode

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Everyone is worried about robots stealing manufacturing jobs, but the real value (and threat) in robots may lie in whether they can become smart enough to actually think on their own.

One of the major milestones in creating human level intelligence is for machines to attain self-awareness. And Columbia University’s Creative Machines Lab may have already done it. “These robots learn overtime, to stimulate themselves in a future situation they haven’t actually experienced.” said Dr. Hod Lipson, the mechanical engineering professor leading the lab’s push to create self-aware robots.

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Mar 8, 2018

RED’s holographic smartphone

Posted by in category: mobile phones

This legendary camera maker has created an incredible holographic smartphone.

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Mar 8, 2018

Why FOXO4-DRi May Just Be Better Than HGH and Anabolics For Physical Performance and Enhancement

Posted by in category: futurism

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

L+ Magazine copyright 2018.

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Mar 8, 2018

Sculptures inspired by quantum physics appear to vanish in thin air as you walk around them

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Now you see them, now you don’t.

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Mar 8, 2018

Diamonds reveal sign of the deepest water known inside Earth

Posted by in category: futurism

A rare form of ice crystal in the gems could have formed only at the crushing pressures found in the mantle.

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Mar 8, 2018

Clocks in Europe are running late because of the Kosovo conflict

Posted by in category: energy

For weeks, digital clocks in Europe have been lagging behind. The unexpected source of the problem: Kosovo and Serbia, whose power grid operators can’t find common ground.

Clock radios and timers on microwaves and stoves have gotten out of sync in Europe in recent weeks. The reason: Coordination problems between the power grid operators of Kosovo and Serbia.

Since mid January power companies in Kosovo and Serbia have failed to mutually balance their electricity grids in the case of irregularities. According to the grid codes of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), they are obliged to maintain a mean frequency of 50 hertz (oscillations per second) and help each other out if necessary.

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