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Mar 25, 2017

Provo doctors use hologram imaging to change the way surgeons operate

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, holograms

Two Provo doctors are using Microsoft’s HoloLens with advanced medical imaging to create holograms of MRIs and X-rays, and they’re certain this will change the way surgeons operate.

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Mar 25, 2017

Liquid energy storage system gets the “MOST” out of the Sun

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power is potentially the greatest single energy source outside of controlled nuclear fusion, but the Sun is literally a fair weather source that relies on daytime and clear skies. To make solar energy a reliable, 24-hour source of energy, a team of scientists at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is developing a liquid energy storage medium that can not only release energy from the Sun on demand, but is also transportable.

The Chalmers team has been working on variants of its system, called a MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST), for over six years, with a conceptual demonstration in 2013. It differs from other attempts to store solar energy in things like heated salts and reversing exothermic reactions in that the MOST system stores the energy directly in the bonds of an organic chemical.

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Mar 25, 2017

Major Breakthrough Could Enable Mass Produced Artificial Blood

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Every minute in the United States, 30 people require a blood transfusion. That equates to a lot of blood, and the problem is that not enough people donate. This bottleneck has long been an issue for medicine, and so many have been trying to find a way to artificially create large volumes to meet this demand.

A team of researchers from the University of Bristol and NHS Blood and Transplant may have finally cracked it. They’ve made a major breakthrough in the process of mass producing red blood cells, in what could technically be an unlimited supply of the stuff. While they now have a biological way of achieving this, they now need the manufacturing technology on a large enough scale in order to mass produce it.

Scientists have been able to create artificial blood before, but these earlier methods have been incredibly inefficient. They worked by taking stem cells, and then directly inducing them to form red blood cells. By doing this, they could create maybe 50,000 cells in one go, far short of the trillions typically needed for a blood transfusion.

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Mar 25, 2017

Farmers of the Future Will Sit Behind Screens

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, transportation

Farming is about to change forever.

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Mar 25, 2017

Photon Rockets Might Make Mars A Three Minute Trip

Posted by in category: space travel

Professor says all spacecraft have an ultimate speed limit just below that of light. Let’s hope he’s wrong.


Hypothetical photon rocket drives might one day dramatically shrink interplanetary travel times.

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Mar 25, 2017

Here Is One Powerful Way the U.S. Could Boost Solar Adoption — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: energy, governance, government, policy, solar power

“Harnessing the Sun’s power may require concerted international coöperation.”

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Mar 25, 2017

The women who’ll do anything to have whiter skin

Posted by in category: futurism

Former model Irene Major is the wife of Canadian oil tycoon Sam Mail and has used skin lightening creams.

The sale of the product provoked outrage, with some accusing the chain of encouraging racist ideals. Yet Irene, who’s 34 and lives with her husband and four children in a Kent mansion, claims that in some communities the pressure on women to use such products is overwhelming.

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Mar 25, 2017

Nutella on TAP

Posted by in category: futurism

This Australian bar has Nutella on tap.

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Mar 25, 2017

Elon Musk on Twitter

Posted by in category: Elon Musk

First drive of a release candidate version of Model 3 https://t.co/zcs6j1YRa4

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Mar 25, 2017

Evolution Strategies as a Scalable Alternative to Reinforcement Learning

Posted by in category: evolution

We’ve discovered that evolution strategies (ES), an optimization technique that’s been known for decades, rivals the performance of standard reinforcement learning (RL) techniques on modern RL benchmarks (e.g. Atari/MuJoCo), while overcoming many of RL’s inconveniences.

In particular, ES is simpler to implement (there is no need for backpropagation), it is easier to scale in a distributed setting, it does not suffer in settings with sparse rewards, and has fewer hyperparameters. This outcome is surprising because ES resembles simple hill-climbing in a high-dimensional space based only on finite differences along a few random directions at each step.

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