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Feb 15, 2017

Rocket Lab’s experimental rocket arrives at New Zealand launch pad for debut flight

Posted by in category: satellites

After three years of developing a brand new rocket, aerospace startup Rocket Lab has finally transported a finished vehicle to the New Zealand launch pad where it will take its first flight. The rocket, called the Electron, has been tested on the ground over the last year but has never been flown to space before. Over the next couple of months, Rocket Lab will conduct a series of test launches of the vehicle to verify that it’s ready to carry payloads into orbit for commercial customers.

Compared to other major commercial rockets like the Falcon 9 or the Atlas V, the Electron is pretty small — only 55 feet tall and and around 4 feet in diameter. That’s because the vehicle is specifically designed to launch small satellites. The vehicle can carry payloads ranging from 330 to 500 pounds into an orbit more than 300 miles up. That’s a relatively light lift contrasted with the Falcon 9, which can carry more than 50,000 pounds into lower Earth orbit.

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Feb 15, 2017

Harvard and M.I.T. Scientists Win Gene-Editing Patent Fight

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

The Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., will retain potentially lucrative rights to a powerful gene-editing technique that could lead to major advances in medicine and agriculture, the federal Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Wednesday.

The decision, in a bitterly fought dispute closely watched by scientists and the biotechnology industry, was a blow to the University of California, often said to be the birthplace of the technique, which is known as Crispr-Cas9.

An appeals board of the patent office ruled that the gene-editing inventions claimed by the two institutions were separate and do not overlap.

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Feb 15, 2017

Combination immunotherapies kill brain cancer in mice – study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scientists have discovered a groundbreaking immunotherapy combination that kills brain cancer, promotes long-term immunity and is highly effective against breast cancer and myeloma.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa had the promising findings published Wednesday in the journal ‘Nature Communications’.

The study outlines how the team developed a unique combination of drugs known as SMAC Mimetics and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) that produce high kill rates for cancer tumor cells in mice.

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Feb 15, 2017

Trump may get Kennedy-esque with earlier return to moon

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

Feb. 15 (UPI) — The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Wednesday indicated that President Donald Trump may want the United States to resurrect its pioneering spirit in outer space — much the same way another American leader did five decades ago.

Acting NASA Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr., sent a memo to employees Wednesday saying he had instructed the agency to work up a feasibility report on adding astronauts to its planned EM-1 flight late next year.

The mission, which is currently unmanned, will launch NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket with an Orion capsule. The spacecraft would orbit the moon and return to Earth. The agency’s EM-2 mission, scheduled for years later, was supposed to be the spaceflight to carry humans.

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Feb 15, 2017

Homemade Exoskeleton Gives Man Superhuman Strength

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transportation

A backyard engineer built an exoskeleton that helps him lift a truck.

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Feb 15, 2017

Physicists Found Proof That the Universe Is Built Like a Hologram

Posted by in categories: holograms, physics, robotics/AI, space

This article was originally posted on Inverse.

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Feb 15, 2017

An algae that survived two years in outer space may hold the secret to growing food on Mars

Posted by in categories: biological, food, space

Humans won’t survive on Mars for very long if they don’t learn to grow their own food. That’s why we need to answer the question: What, if anything, can grow on the red planet?

A two-year experiment on the International Space Station (ISS) gives us some hints. A species of green algae and photosynthesizing bacteria have survived their 450-day stay in outer space. All but one of the algae samples started growing after being returned to Earth.

The experiment was part of the Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX) to understand to what extent terrestrial life can survive in space. It involved a series of pockets where hundreds of specimens of bacteria, fungi, lichens, algae, and mosses were exposed to conditions of near vacuum, temperatures between −4 °F (−20 °C) and 116 °F (47 °C), and a continuous blast of ultraviolet radiation.

Continue reading “An algae that survived two years in outer space may hold the secret to growing food on Mars” »

Feb 15, 2017

Robot Room Service and More: Robots Take Over Hotels

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Seventy-five percent of the work in hotels can be automated.

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Feb 15, 2017

The world in 2045, according to Pentagon researchers

Posted by in categories: futurism, military

Three researchers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency make some predictions for the future.

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Feb 15, 2017

Universal Basic Income: The Answer to Automation?

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

57% of the world’s jobs are at risk of being automated. Universal Basic Income may be our only way out. Here’s why.

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