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Oct 4, 2017

Are Space, Time, And Gravity All Just Illusions?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Pioneered by Erik Verlinde, the idea is that gravity emerges from a more fundamental phenomenon in the Universe, and that phenomenon is entropy.

“Sound waves emerge from molecular interactions; atoms emerge from quarks, gluons and electrons and the strong and electromagnetic interactions; planetary systems emerge from gravitation in General Relativity. But in the idea of entropic gravity — as well as some other scenarios (like qbits) — gravitation or even space and time themselves might emerge from other entities in a similar fashion. There are well-known, close relationships between the equations that govern thermodynamics and the ones that govern gravitation. It’s known that the laws of thermodynamics emerge from the more fundamental field of statistical mechanics, but is there something out there more fundamental from which gravity emerges? That’s the idea of entropic gravity.”

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Oct 4, 2017

The Singularity Must Be Decentralized

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, singularity

The research community is beginning to understand that motivations are not a human “artifact” of consciousness, but part of the essential glue that binds consciousness together. Without motivations we have nothing that holds us to this vessel, ensuring that we continue to eat, pay our rent, and do other things necessary for our survival. Conscious machines will for this reason have motivations as well. Otherwise they simply just wouldn’t function. This is an important point because talk of the singularity often brings up visions of a single integrated “machine” that will inevitably enslave humanity. A better question is:

“Will AI be used to gain immense advantage for a single party (whether that party is the AI itself or the human that controls it), or will AI be used to maximize benefit for us all?”

Even if the AIs have interfaces that allow them to share information more rapidly than humans can through reading or watching media, separate AIs will have separate motivations from a single centralized AI. Given that a signature of consciousness is motivation, any consciousness will obviously be motivated to secure all the resources it needs to ensure its survival. In some cases, the most efficient way to secure resources is sharing. In other cases, it’s through competition. AIs might share resources, but they might also compete.

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Oct 4, 2017

Why a Longer Life Does Not Mean Longer Decrepitude

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Whenever the topic of increasing human lifespan is discussed the concern is sometimes raised that a longer life would mean a life spent frail and decrepit. This is sometimes known as the Tithonus error and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the aims of rejuvenation biotechnology. The concern is based on the ancient Greek myth of Tithonus which might be thought of as a cautionary tale warning seekers of an eternal life of its alleged inherent dangers.

The myth of Tithonus in brief

Tithonus, the story goes, was a mere mortal who was in love with Eos, the beautiful titan of the dawn. His feelings were requited, but, unfortunately, their idyll was not destined to last. Being a titan, Eos was also a deity and thus immortal, unlike Tithonus, who one day would die of old age if not of some other cause. Eos thus turned to Zeus and asked him to make Tithonus immortal as well. Zeus granted Eos’ wish, but even this did not solve the two lovers’ problem; the father of the gods had granted Tithonus immortality, not eternal youth.

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Oct 4, 2017

End Aging Now

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

As we age, the thymus begins to shrink, and fewer numbers of T cells are created and trained to fight. This structural decay of the thymus is one of the main reasons why we become increasingly vulnerable to infectious diseases, such as influenza and pneumonia. The other reason is immune cells becoming senescent.

So, what can we do about it? Check out our new exclusive interview and find out.

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Oct 4, 2017

Career Advice for Learners in Artificial Intelligence AI and Machine Learning

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Yann LeCun is Director of AI Research at Facebook and Silver Professor at New York University, affiliated with the Courant Institute, the Center for Neural Science and the Center for Data Science, for which he served as founding director until 2014. He received an EE Diploma from ESIEE (Paris) in 1983, a PhD in Computer Science from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) in 1987.

After a postdoc at the University of Toronto, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories. He became head of the Image Processing Research Department at AT&T Labs-Research in 1996, and joined NYU in 2003 after a short tenure at the NEC Research Institute. In late 2013, LeCun became Director of AI Research at Facebook, while remaining on the NYU Faculty part-time. He was visiting professor at Collège de France in 2016.

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Oct 4, 2017

Dr. Greg Fahy – Rejuvenating the Thymus to Prevent Age-related Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

As we age, the thymus begins to shrink, and fewer numbers of T cells are created and trained to fight. This structural decay of the thymus is one of the main reasons why we become increasingly vulnerable to infectious diseases, such as influenza and pneumonia. The other reason is immune cells becoming senescent.

There are a number of possible solutions to this problem. Firstly, engineering new healthy and youthful thymic tissue might help to restore the immune system, and indeed a number of groups are working towards this.

Secondly, some researchers are focused on encouraging the aged thymus to regrow using various approaches, such as stem cell transplants, cellular reprogramming or chemical compounds. Dr. Greg Fahy is involved in researching this second approach, and we had the opportunity to speak to him about this work.

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Oct 4, 2017

Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming

Posted by in category: food

The shift will occur with the advent of cheap artificial meat. Technological change has often helped to catalyse ethical change. The $300m deal China signed last month to buy lab-grown meat marks the beginning of the end of livestock farming. But it won’t happen quickly: the great suffering is likely to continue for many years.


The suffering inherent in mass meat production can’t be justified. And as the artificial meat industry grows, the last argument for farming animals has now collapsed.

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Oct 4, 2017

New method for tissue regeneration using extracellular vesicles

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

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Oct 4, 2017

Jim Mellon talks to Dominic Frisby in Stuff That Interests Me

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

For this new book, Jim and Al have spent a year sifting through the cutting-edge research, visiting laboratories and interviewing key opinion leaders in the field of life extension. https://www.juvenescence-book.com/


My guest today on Stuff That Interests Me is one of Britain’s most successful investors, Jim Mellon.

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Oct 3, 2017

Gold nanoparticle used to replace virus in new CRISPR approach

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the University of California and the University of Tokyo has found a way to use the CRISPR gene editing technique that does not rely on a virus for delivery. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the group describes the new technique, how well it works and improvements that need to be made to make it a viable gene editing tool.

CRISPR-Cas9 has been in the news a lot lately because it allows researchers to directly edit genes—either disabling unwanted parts or replacing them altogether. But despite many success stories, the technique still suffers from a major deficit that prevents it from being used as a true medical tool—it sometimes makes mistakes. Those mistakes can cause small or big problems for a host depending on what goes wrong. Prior research has suggested that the majority of mistakes are due to delivery problems, which means that a replacement for the virus part of the technique is required. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have discovered just a such a replacement, and it worked so well that it was able to repair a in a Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model. The team has named the CRISPR-Gold, because a gold nanoparticle was used to deliver the molecules instead of a virus.

The new package was created by modifying a bit of DNA to cause it to stick to a gold nanoparticle and then a Cas9 protein and also an RNA guide. The package was then coated with a polymer that served as a containment casing—one that also triggered endocytosis (a form of cell transport) and helped the molecules escape endosomes once inside the target cells. The molecules then set to work—the Cas9 cut the target DNA strand, the guide RNA showed what needed to be done and a DNA strand was placed where a mutation had existed. The result was a gene free of a mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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