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Mar 4, 2017

New Evidence Links the Collapse of Aztec Society to a Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A new pathogen can have devastating consequences in genetically homogenous populations.

When Spanish forces arrived in Mexico in 1519, the native population was estimated to be around 25 million. A century later, there were only around 1 million left, following several devastating outbreaks of disease brought in from overseas.

Despite plenty of speculation, the diseases that contributed to the collapse of Aztec society remain unconfirmed. But now scientists have presented the first DNA evidence of a bacterial species from one of the worst epidemics — and it suggests that a deadly outbreak of salmonella might have been involved.

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Mar 4, 2017

Californian researchers 3D print functioning blood vessels

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have successfully 3D printed a framework of functional blood vessels. Blood vessel networks are important in transporting blood, nutrients and waste around the human body.

The research team employed a 3D bioprinting process involving hydrogel and endothelial cells. Endothelial are the form of cells that make up the inner lining of blood vessels.

Leading the research was Shaochen Chen, who explains the motivation of the project.

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Mar 4, 2017

Transhumanism: More Nightmare Than Dream?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, ethics, law enforcement, life extension, policy, robotics/AI, transhumanism

A new well written but not very favorable write-up on #transhumanism. Despite this, more and more publications are tackling describing the movement and its science. My work is featured a bit.

On the eve of the 20th century, an obscure Russian man who had refused to publish any of his works began to finalize his ideas about resurrecting the dead and living forever. A friend of Leo Tolstoy’s, this enigmatic Russian, whose name was Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov, had grand ideas about not only how to reanimate the dead but about the ethics of doing so, as well as about the moral and religious consequences of living outside of Death’s shadow. He was animated by a utopian desire: to unite all of humanity and to create a biblical paradise on Earth, where we would live on, spurred on by love. He was an immortalist: one who desired to conquer death through scientific means.

Despite the religious zeal of his notions—which a number of later Christian philosophers unsurprisingly deemed blasphemy—Fyodorov’s ideas were underpinned by a faith in something material: the ability of humans to redevelop and redefine themselves through science, eventually becoming so powerfully modified that they would defeat death itself. Unfortunately for him, Fyodorov—who had worked as a librarian, then later in the archives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs—did not live to see his project enacted, as he died in 1903.

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Mar 4, 2017

The first real hoverboard

Posted by in category: transportation

We are a company that specializes in propeller-based hoverboards. Our mark-1 prototype managed to travel a total distance of 275.9 m (905 ft and 2 inches) to achieve a new Guinness World Records title for the longest distance travelled by a hoverboard.

We invited CBC into our workshop where we are building the hoverboard. Stay tuned for the final consumer prototype.

Read more

Mar 4, 2017

10 Million Self-Driving Cars Will Hit The Road By 2020 — Here’s How To Profit

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Given the advanced state of driverless technologies and the amount of money being poured into the sector, there is little question—make that, no question at all—that within 10 years, driverless cars will be the norm.

The implications are immense and widespread.

There are currently about 1.4 billion cars on the road. Many of those cars, and eventually all, are going to be replaced by self-driving vehicles.

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Mar 4, 2017

A Universal Basic Income? Slow Your Roll, Silicon Valley

Posted by in categories: economics, employment

While there are different flavors of the UBI, the basic concept is that everyone just gets money for existing—this, in theory, would help keep the economy running smoothly even as people are working less.

“Sounds like a communist scheme” jokes Pethokoukis. But he explains how this is actually a very old idea that has its roots on the political right as a way to simplify the welfare state. It’s an idea that’s really taken off among the libertarian-leaning luminaries of the tech world in recent years.

“Silicon Valley has sort of latched on to this idea. They have the most aggressive timetable as far as when we will actually see all these jobs hemorrhage,” explains Pethokoukis.

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Mar 3, 2017

These 12 Superbugs Could Wipe Out Humanity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Antibiotic resistance continues to rise, and new drugs made to battle these increasingly formidable Most-Dangerous-Super-Bugs-D2microbes could take more than a decade to develop. In an effort to stress the urgency of this rising resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a list of the twelve deadliest superbugs with which we are currently dealing.

The list is broken into three categories based on the severity of the threat (medium, high, or critical) that a given superbug poses. The three critical bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae, are all already resistant to multiple drugs. One of these (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) actually explodes when they die, making them even more deadly.

Pathogens that cause more common diseases like food poisoning or gonorrhea round out the rest of the list. Some big hitters include MRSA and salmonella.

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Mar 3, 2017

Robots are about to make your beer runs

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

In the future, your beer will be delivered by by robots that look like big beetles out to set up a golf course.

Virginia became the first state in the union on Wednesday to legally allow robots to use sidewalks and crosswalks just like us humans.

SEE ALSO: Bizarre Boston Dynamics robot moves like a world-class athlete.

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Mar 3, 2017

Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3D structures

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Inspired by origami, North Carolina State University researchers have found a way to remotely control the order in which a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet folds itself into a three-dimensional (3D) structure.

“A longstanding challenge in the field has been finding a way to control the sequence in which a 2-D sheet will fold itself into a 3D object,” says Michael Dickey, a professor of chemical and at NC State and co-corresponding author of a paper describing the work. “And as anyone who has done origami — or folded their laundry—can tell you, the order in which you make the folds can be extremely important.”

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Mar 3, 2017

Pixel-perfect play confronts the reality of immersive therapy

Posted by in category: virtual reality

Ugly Lies The Bone, US writer Lindsey Ferrentino’s debut at London’s National Theatre, is more than just a survivor story. It’s a visually arresting meditation on virtual reality exposure therapy.

The therapy was first trialled in 1997 by Albert Carlin and Hunter Hoffman at the University of Washington Human Interface Lab in Seattle. The pair designed a virtual reality environment, Spiderworld, which enabled a phobic individual to safely encounter and interact with the object of their irrational fear – in this case, a 3D-rendered arachnid. After 12 sessions, the subject’s symptoms seemed to.

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