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Nov 17, 2018

AI heralds new frontiers for predicting enzyme activity

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, engineering, robotics/AI

Researchers from the Departments of Chemistry and Engineering Science at the University of Oxford have found a general way of predicting enzyme activity. Enzymes are the protein catalysts that perform most of the key functions in Biology. Published in Nature Chemical Biology, the researchers’ novel AI approach is based on the enzyme’s sequence, together with the screening of a defined ‘training set’ of substrates and the right chemical parameters to define them.

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Nov 17, 2018

How Can Science Help Reverse Blindness?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, science, transhumanism

From bionic eyes to gene editing, how can we use science to bring back sight?

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Nov 17, 2018

Multi-dose capsule gets tested on humans for first time

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Taking one or more pills every day can be a hassle, with many people either forgetting or just not bothering. There could soon be an alternative, however. An experimental system that packs a week’s worth of timed-release doses into one capsule has shown promising results in its first clinical study.

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Nov 17, 2018

New space industry emerges: on-orbit servicing

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites

Imagine an airport where thousands of planes, empty of fuel, are left abandoned on the tarmac. That is what has been happening for decades with satellites that circle the Earth.

When satellites run out of fuel, they can no longer maintain their precise orbit, rendering them useless even if their hardware is still intact.

“It’s literally throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars,” Al Tadros, vice president of space infrastructure and civil Space at a called SSL, said this month at a meeting in the US capital of key players in the emerging field of on-orbit servicing, or repairing satellites while they are in space.

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Nov 17, 2018

Quantum computing, not AI, will define our future

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

William (“Whurley”) Hurley Contributor

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Nov 17, 2018

Celebrating the amazing women of Antarctica

Posted by in category: climatology

Women have made a massive impact on scientific research in Antarctica, but they don’t get remotely the recognition they deserve. Science-celebrator Steph Green wants to do something about that.

Antarctica, the edge of the world – a seemingly endless expanse of glacial and sea ice, with no indigenous human population and an inhospitable climate. If there was any part of the world untouched by the patriarchy, surely this would be it?

Not so. Despite oral history from Oceania indicating female explorers visited the region, women have often been excluded from Antarctic exploration and scientific discovery. When Ernest Shackleton advertised for fellow adventurers in 1914, three women applied to join him, but they were not included. In 1937, 1300 women applied to join a British Antarctic Expedition. How many went to the frozen continent? Not a one.

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Nov 17, 2018

Treated superalloys demonstrate unprecedented heat resistance

Posted by in categories: materials, nuclear energy

Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory have discovered how to make “superalloys” even more super, extending useful life by thousands of hours. The discovery could improve materials performance for electrical generators and nuclear reactors. The key is to heat and cool the superalloy in a specific way. That creates a microstructure within the material that can withstand high heat more than six times longer than an untreated counterpart.

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Nov 17, 2018

What is absolute zero?

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

The coldest place beyond Earth is artificial, too. Last summer, astronauts activated an experiment called the Cold Atom Lab aboard the International Space Station. The lab has attained temperatures 30 million times lower than empty space. “I’ve been working on this idea, off and on, for over 20 years,” says Robert Thompson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, one of the researchers who devised the experiment. “It feels incredible to witness it up and operating.”

What happens when matter gets that cold?

If Thompson sounds excited, it’s because ultra-cold atoms behave in fascinating and potentially useful ways. For one thing, they lose their individual identities, fusing to form a bizarre state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

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Nov 17, 2018

Sun’s closest solo star may have company

Posted by in category: space

This week’s announcement? One of the closest stars to Earth has a super-Earth companion—Barnard’s star is a red dwarf that is only six light years from our Solar System. Only the three stars of the Centauri system are closer.


A large planet appears to be orbiting out near the system’s snow line.

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Nov 17, 2018

I’ve recently finished drafting two more chapters of my forthcoming book “Sustainable Superabundance” — the chapters on “Abundant Health” and “Abundant Intelligence”

Posted by in categories: health, sustainability

At this rate of progress, the book could be published by year end. Feedback welcome! https://transpolitica.org/projects/abundance-manifesto/

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