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Oct 13, 2017

Ion Thruster Prototype Breaks Records in Tests, Could Send Humans to Mars

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, space travel

A thruster that’s being developed for a future NASA mission to Mars broke several records during recent tests, suggesting that the technology is on track to take humans to the Red Planet within the next 20 years, project team members said.

The X3 thruster, which was designed by researchers at the University of Michigan in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, is a Hall thruster — a system that propels spacecraft by accelerating a stream of electrically charged atoms, known as ions. In the recent demonstration conducted at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio, the X3 broke records for the maximum power output, thrust and operating current achieved by a Hall thruster to date, according to the research team at the University of Michigan and representatives from NASA.

“We have shown that X3 can operate at over 100 kW of power,” said Alec Gallimore, who is leading the project, in an interview with “It operated at a huge range of power from 5 kW to 102 kW, with electrical current of up to 260 amperes. It generated 5.4 Newtons of thrust, which is the highest level of thrust achieved by any plasma thruster to date,” added Gallimore, who is dean of engineering at the University of Michigan. The previous record was 3.3 Newtons, according to the school.

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Oct 13, 2017

Google’s AutoML Project Teaches AI To Write Learning Software

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, law, mobile phones, robotics/AI, transportation

White-collar automation has become a common buzzword in debates about the growing power of computers, as software shows potential to take over some work of accountants and lawyers. Artificial-intelligence researchers at Google are trying to automate the tasks of highly paid workers more likely to wear a hoodie than a coat and tie—themselves.

In a project called AutoML, Google’s researchers have taught machine-learning software to build machine-learning software. In some instances, what it comes up with is more powerful and efficient than the best systems the researchers themselves can design. Google says the system recently scored a record 82 percent at categorizing images by their content. On the harder task of marking the location of multiple objects in an image, an important task for augmented reality and autonomous robots, the auto-generated system scored 43 percent. The best human-built system scored 39 percent.

Such results are significant because the expertise needed to build cutting-edge AI systems is in scarce—even at Google. “Today these are handcrafted by machine learning scientists and literally only a few thousands of scientists around the world can do this,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai last week, briefly namechecking AutoML at a launch event for new smartphones and other gadgets. “We want to enable hundreds of thousands of developers to be able to do it.”

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Oct 13, 2017

Steve Hill — Healthy aging what does it even mean?

Posted by in category: life extension

Healthy aging what does it even mean? bigsmile

#CrowdfundTheCure for #aging at

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Oct 13, 2017

Eight Ways Your Cells Deal With Stress

Posted by in category: futurism

Our cells face stress from toxins such as smoke, pollution, and UV light. Without stress resistance, it can cause damage & inflammation.

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Oct 13, 2017

Phytonutrients: Summary: Phytonutrients – such as carotenoids

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health

ellagic acid, lignans, flavonoids, glucosinolates, curcumin, resveratrol and other bioactive compounds – are natural substances found in plants. Research has shown that these natural compounds help to prevent stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature death.

What Are Phytonutrients?

Whole plants contain thousands of natural compounds, called phytonutrients and phytochemicals. Deriving their name from phyto, the Greek word for plant, the terms are used interchangeably used to describe the health-promoting compounds found in all whole plants. While plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves from insects, germs, and fungi. Along with fiber, phytonutrients in our diet are the reason that fruits and vegetables help to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, heart disease, and premature death.

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Oct 13, 2017

Intel moves towards production quantum computing with new 17-qubit chip

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Intel’s quantum computing efforts have yielded a new 17-qubit chip, which the company has just delivered to its partner in that field, QuTech in the Netherlands. It’s not a major advance in the actual computing power or applications — those are still in very early days — but it’s a step toward production systems that can be ordered and delivered to spec rather than experimental ones that live in a physics lab somewhere.

Intel’s celebration of this particular chip is a bit arbitrary; 17 isn’t some magic number in the quantum world, nor does this chip do any special tricks other quantum computer systems can’t. Intel is just happy that its history and undeniable expertise in designing and fabricating chips and architectures is paying off in a new phase of computing.

I chatted with Intel’s director of quantum hardware, Jim Clarke, about the new system.

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Oct 13, 2017

General Atomics ramping cubesat production, muses railgun smallsat launcher

Posted by in categories: drones, military, satellites

WASHINGTON — General Atomics is better known for building Predator combat drones and mining uranium than building spacecraft, but that could change as the company develops an interest in building defense-focused cubesats.

Also in the realm of possibility: using expertise from building railguns to design a large, electromagnetic cannon as a means to orbit small satellites.

Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems for General Atomic’s Electromagnetic Systems Group, said the company has built 11 cubesats for the U.S. Army over the past seven years, and is gradually becoming more and more invested in space.

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Oct 13, 2017

To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science

Posted by in categories: engineering, science

Has mobilized a team of the most experienced, connected and passionately curious minds from the US intelligence community, including the CIA and Department of Defense, that have been operating under the shadows of top-secrecy for decades.

Tom Delonge and the team members all share a common thread of frustration and determination to disrupt the status quo and want to use their expertise and credibility to bring transformative science and engineering out of the shadows and collaborate with global citizens to apply that knowledge in a way that benefits humanity.

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Oct 13, 2017

SURUS: GM’s modular platform for silent, self-driving trucks

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

While some automakers look to electrify conventional trucks, General Motors has taken a much more radical approach in its development of next-generation commercial vehicles.

Meet the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, or SURUS for short.

Unveiled on Friday ahead of the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army, where it will be presented on Monday, the SURUS is essentially a modular platform designed for heavy-duty trucks that will enable near-silent running, zero harmful emissions, and autonomous operation.

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Oct 13, 2017

Humanity Gets a Laser-Shooting, Drone-Slaying Dune Buggy

Posted by in categories: drones, military

Raytheon’s latest, craziest invention could keep troops safe from drone attacks.

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