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Nov 30, 2016

Scientists design living organisms that make chemical bonds not found in nature

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological, chemistry

Move over, chemists. Thanks to proteins from Icelandic bacteria, scientists at Caltech have managed to coax microbes into making silicon-carbon bonds, a feat that until now has been achieved only by humans in the lab.

The findings, published last week in the journal Science, could open the door to new avenues in organic chemistry and drug development — and could help scientists investigate essential mysteries, such as whether life could be based on silicon instead of carbon on other planets.

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Nov 30, 2016

‘Tennessine’: Element 117 officially named

Posted by in category: energy

The recently discovered element 117 has been officially named “tennessine” in recognition of Tennessee’s contributions to its discovery, including the efforts of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Tennessee collaborators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee.

“The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state’s standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory’s scientists and technicians,” ORNL Director Thom Mason said.

“The historic discovery of tennessine is emblematic of the contributions Tennessee institutions like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University make toward a better world,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “On behalf of all Tennesseans we thank this world body for honoring our state this way.”

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Nov 30, 2016

Team combines quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient solar cells

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

A University of California, Riverside assistant professor has combined photosynthesis and physics to make a key discovery that could help make solar cells more efficient. The findings were recently published in the journal Nano Letters.

Nathan Gabor is focused on experimental condensed matter physics, and uses light to probe the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics. But, he got interested in photosynthesis when a question popped into his head in 2010: Why are plants green? He soon discovered that no one really knows.

During the past six years, he sought to help change that by combining his background in physics with a deep dive into biology.

Continue reading “Team combines quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient solar cells” »

Nov 30, 2016

Photons created in a superposition of two colours

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Multicoloured qubits could boost quantum computing.

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Nov 30, 2016

What Is YawLife?

Posted by in category: lifeboat

The non-profits & charities supported will include the lifeboat foundation smile

Find out in a minute.

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Nov 30, 2016

Geohot’s startup open-sources its self-driving car technology

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

George “Geohot” Hotz is driving forward with his push to bring self-driving cars to the masses, but he’s going about it a slightly unconventional way. His company is brushing past some previous regulatory issues and is trying another route — open-sourcing not only its self-driving technology, but also instructions for building your very own hardware device (“a robotics platform”) called Comma Neo. All of this information is available today through’s GitHub repositories.

Since the beginning, the company has had a goal of being the Android version of self-driving cars — it wants to empower “ghostriding for the masses.” Earlier this year, it was approached by state and federal regulators inquiring about a product Hotz claimed wasn’t even on sale yet. Fed up with the scrutiny, cancelled its first product, the Comma One, and pivoted its thinking to democratizing its knowledge. So it’s keeping with its promise, but has scrapped its $999 price point in favor of it being free. “If we really want to be the Android of self-driving cars, we can’t be charging $999, can we?” Hotz explained.

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Nov 30, 2016

Drugs to Extend Life — Nathaniel David, CEO of Unity Biotechnology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Nathaniel David from Unity Biotech giving a talk about the potential of Senolytics and how science can break the natural limit to lifespan. David is the CEO of Unity Biotechnology a company taking SENS based Senolytic drugs into human clinical trials in the next year or so. Very exciting as this is the first true rejuvenation biotechnology therapy to be deployed in humans.

Unity is leading the way for the first rejuvenation technologies in the #sens model. Here we have Nathaniel David from Unity talking about the potential of Senolytics and increased lifespans.

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Nov 30, 2016

When A.I. Matures, It May Call Jürgen Schmidhuber ‘Dad’

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A researcher who co-wrote a paper in the 1990s on a crucial artificial intelligence technique feels overlooked by today’s stars in the field.

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Nov 30, 2016

Silicon Valley Startups Enter the Space Race

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, space travel

“The two options looked like going to work at NASA or going to work with a large corporation that was fulfilling space contracts with the government — a Boeing, a Lockheed or Northrup,” said the partner at San Francisco-based Founders Fund.

Then Elon Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — SpaceX — and Nolan became its first intern in 2003. The internship turned into a full-time gig developing reusable Dragon capsules at SpaceX and working on rocket propulsion, giving Nolan — who now invests in space startups — a front-row seat for the “New Space” race.

Musk’s Southern California company, which raised $1 billion early this year from Google and others at a $10 billion valuation, dramatically cut the cost of launching a space mission from $1 billion down to tens of millions.

Continue reading “Silicon Valley Startups Enter the Space Race” »

Nov 30, 2016

Amazon launches new artificial intelligence services for developers: Image recognition, text-to-speech, Alexa NLP

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Amazon today announced three new artificial intelligence-related toolkits for developers building apps on Amazon Web Services.

At the company’s AWS re: invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon showed how developers can use three new services — Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, Amazon Rekognition — to build artificial intelligence features into apps for platforms like Slack, Facebook Messenger, ZenDesk, and others.

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