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Nov 6, 2018

The time is NOW

Posted by in category: futurism

The Solar Decathlon deadline is today! (And actually, you have until 5 p.m. Eastern. smile ) Teams, we want to see you at the National Showcase Build Challenge culminating at the 2020 @SmithsonianFolk Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

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Nov 6, 2018

Therapy that Dramatically Slows Alzheimers has Passed Final Clinical Phase

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Through a new approach dubbed AMBAR, the biotechnology company Grifols has attempted to reduce the amount of harmful, Alzheimer’s disease-causing amyloid beta in the brain by collecting it with a blood protein called albumin and draining it out of the bloodstream. This approach differs from the previous antibody and catabody approaches and offers new hope for sufferers of this neurodegenerative disease.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease, named after its discoverer, is a slow and progressive disease that causes the degradation of the brains of its sufferers. This leads to memory loss, a decrease in problem-solving abilities, changes in personality, and other symptoms. It is associated with the accumulation of tau and amyloid beta in the brain.

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Nov 6, 2018

In materials hit with light, individual atoms and vibrations take disorderly paths

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

‘’Until now, scientists assumed this all happened in a smooth, coordinated way. ‘’… silly scientists 🤔🙈🤦‍♂️.

Hitting a material with laser light sends vibrations rippling through its latticework of atoms, and at the same time can nudge the lattice into a new configuration with potentially useful properties – turning an insulator into a metal, for instance.

Until now, scientists assumed this all happened in a smooth, coordinated way. But two new studies show it doesn’t: When you look beyond the average response of atoms and vibrations to see what they do individually, the response, they found, is disorderly.

Continue reading “In materials hit with light, individual atoms and vibrations take disorderly paths” »

Nov 6, 2018

Wellcome and Gates join bold European open-access plan

Posted by in category: futurism

The Wellcome Trust, which gave out £1.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) in grants in 2016–17, is also the first funder to detail how it intends to implement Plan S. Its approach suggests that journals may not need to switch wholesale to open-access (OA) models by 2020 to be compliant with Plan S — if the initiative’s other backers decide on a similar line.

The Wellcome Trust has also announced how it will implement the plan, which could provide a blueprint for others.

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Nov 6, 2018

Cigar-shaped interstellar object may have been an alien probe, Harvard paper claims

Posted by in category: alien life

A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.

The object, nicknamed ‘Oumuamua, meaning “a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” in Hawaiian, was first discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid, before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of “interstellar objects.”

Continue reading “Cigar-shaped interstellar object may have been an alien probe, Harvard paper claims” »

Nov 6, 2018

What If Genetically Modified People Became the Norm?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Should we start to tinker with the human genome and alter our own biology?

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Nov 5, 2018

Are We Prepared For This… (See This Before it is Deleted 2018–2019)

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, singularity

Artificial intelligence: the singularity as the road to dystopia

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Nov 5, 2018

SpaceX Rehearses Recovery of Astronauts During Ocean Landings, Builds Helipad on Ship

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

SpaceX has started preparations for recovering International Space Station (ISS) astronauts during ocean touchdowns, conducting landing and patient loading rehearsals on their recovery ship GO Searcher.

NASA recently shared photos of the rehearsals on board GO Searcher, which has been upgraded with a medical treatment facility and a helipad in the center of the vessel.

SpaceX practiced how the helicopter will pick up astronauts and fly them to a nearby hospital, in case of a medical emergency.

Continue reading “SpaceX Rehearses Recovery of Astronauts During Ocean Landings, Builds Helipad on Ship” »

Nov 5, 2018

Scientists Are About to Redefine the Kilogram

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, transportation

The kilogram is one of the most important and widely used units of measure in the world — unless you live in the US. For everyone else, having an accurate reading on what a kilogram is can be vitally important in fields like manufacturing, engineering, and transportation. Of course, a kilogram is 1,000 grams or 2.2 pounds if you want to get imperial. That doesn’t help you define a kilogram, though. The kilogram is currently controlled by a metal slug in a French vault, but its days of importance are numbered. Scientists are preparing to re define the kilogram using science.

It’s actually harder than you’d expect to know when a measurement matches the intended standard, even when it’s one of the well–define d Systéme International (SI) units. For example, the meter was originally define d in 1793 as one ten-millionth the distance from the equator to the north pole. That value was wrong, but the meter has since been re define d in more exact terms like krypton-86 wavelength emissions and most recently the speed of light in a vacuum. The second was previously define d as a tiny fraction of how long it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. Now, it’s pegged to the amount of time it takes a cesium-133 atom to oscillate 9,192,631,770 times. Again, this is immutable and extremely precise.

That brings us to the kilogram, which is a measurement of mass. Weight is different and changes based on gravity, but a kilogram is always a kilogram because it comes from measurements of density and volume. The definition of the kilogram is tied to the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK, see above), a small cylinder of platinum and iridium kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France. Scientists have created dozens of copies of the IPK so individual nations can standardize their measurements, but that’s a dangerous way to go about it. If anything happened to the IPK, we wouldn’t have a standard kilogram anymore.

Continue reading “Scientists Are About to Redefine the Kilogram” »

Nov 5, 2018

Ron Howard: Creating vision of a future Mars colony

Posted by in categories: habitats, space

To mark the second season of the television series Mars, Hollywood director Ron Howard talked to the BBC about creating a realistic depiction of the first human colonies on the Red Planet.

If humankind is to expand out into the Universe, then Mars is likely to be our first stepping stone. With an atmosphere largely consisting of carbon dioxide and temperatures that vary between 20C and −125C, the Red Planet isn’t exactly ideal for human occupation.

We’d have to adapt to living almost entirely within sealed habitats — so outdoors-y types need not apply.

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