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Feb 13, 2017

Here’s a glimpse of China’s new Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft

Posted by in category: space travel

A state media video report offers rare footage of China’s Tianzhou-1 cargo and resupply spacecraft, which will launch in April to test refuelling technology needed for the country’s plan for a large space station.

The video shows what is China’s first such spacecraft undergoing development and testing at the AIT facility in Tianjin, North China, as well as 3D renderings of Tianzhou-1 docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab.

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Feb 13, 2017

We wouldn’t be able to pay the pensions

Posted by in category: health

How rejuvenation could help solve the problem of pensions.


I’m sure the pension argument may seem the secret weapon of the opponents of rejuvenation, probably together with the dreaded spectre of overpopulation. However, that of pensions is an argument for of rejuvention, not against.

Let’s recap what’s the deal with pensions as things stand. When people reach the age of 65 or so, they retire (that is, they stop working and produce zero wealth) and receive a pension (aka free money) from the State. In theory, a pension is something you’ve already earned when you were young and working, and the State only gives you back the money it has kept on a side for you all your life; in practice, it seems the pension system may run out of money fairly soon both in US and possibly in Europe, and it may face a serious crisis around 2050, when the number of 80-year-old people and older is expected to be around five times as high as it is now. We’re gonna have one hell of a hard time paying all those pensions.

As a matter of fact, we are already having problems paying pensions. Retirement age is slowly getting higher all around the world, both for men and women, and not just because people in their sixties these days are a bit better than they used to be when my grandfather was young. Obviously, the later they retire the longer they will produce wealth for, and the later the State will have to start paying them money for the rest of their lives. Since human healthspan is not going to increase much at all until we implement rejuvenation therapies, the deal boils down to this: You work for longer in an increasingly crappy health condition, and retire and start receiving your pension later than people from previous generations did. Now that is one pretty bad deal.

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Feb 13, 2017

Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in AI age

Posted by in categories: biological, cyborgs, Elon Musk, government, robotics/AI

Billionaire Elon Musk is known for his futuristic ideas and his latest suggestion might just save us from being irrelevant as artificial intelligence (AI) grows more prominent.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said on Monday that humans need to merge with machines to become a sort of cyborg.

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence,” Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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Feb 13, 2017

Will androids dream of quantum sheep?

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum replicants of responsive systems can be more efficient than classical models, say researchers from the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, because classical models have to store more past information than is necessary to simulate the future. They have published their findings in npj Quantum Information.

The word ‘replicant’ evokes thoughts of a sci-fi world where society has replaced common creatures with artificial machines that replicate their behaviour. Now researchers from Singapore have shown that if such machines are ever created, they’ll run more efficiently if they harness theory to respond to the environment.

This follows the findings of a team from the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), published 10 February in npj Quantum Information. The team investigated ‘input-output processes’, assessing the mathematical framework used to describe arbitrary devices that make future decisions based on stimuli received from the environment. In almost all cases, they found, a quantum device is more efficient because classical devices have to store more past information than is necessary to simulate the future.

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Feb 13, 2017

Interstellar Travel Is a Lot More Complicated Than Rocket Science

Posted by in category: space travel

A dash of philosophy and existential crisis.

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Feb 13, 2017

Transhumanist politician wants to run for governor of California

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, genetics, geopolitics, governance, transhumanism

A new story out on Engadget, emphasizing the need to make government treat science and technology as a primary focus:


Zoltan Istvan didn’t have much of a chance at being president, but that didn’t stop him from campaigning as the Transhumanist Party’s candidate to promote his pro-technology and science positions. Now, he’s setting his sights a bit lower, and with a different party. Istvan announced this morning that he plans to run for governor of California in 2018 under the Libertarian Party.

“We need leadership that is willing to use radical science, technology, and innovation—what California is famous for—to benefit us all,” he wrote in a Newsweek article. “We need someone with the nerve to risk the tremendous possibilities to save the environment through bioengineering, to end cancer by seeking a vaccine or a gene-editing solution for it, to embrace startups that will take California from the world’s 7th largest economy to maybe even the largest economy—bigger than the rest of America altogether.”

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Feb 13, 2017

4 Main Economic Implications Of An Aging Population, And How Life Extension Technologies Could Solve Them

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, life extension

The effects of a rapidly aging population have a number of serious economic and social implications.


What a rapidly aging populaton means to the economy and the workforce and why biotechnology is the answer.

#aging #economy

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Feb 13, 2017

Bionic Leaf Is 10 Times Better At Photosynthesis Than Real Plants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, transhumanism

Plants take in carbon dioxide, water, and sunshine to create a sugary fuel. Now researchers have done the same, but even better.

A recent study in Science describes the system, named Bionic Leaf 2.0. In the “leaf,” solar energy splits up a water molecule, and bacteria turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, mainly isopropanol. The fuel could possibly be used to power a car’s engine or motor in the future.

The researchers, led by Daniel Nocera and Pamela Silver from Harvard University, have made advancements on their original Bionic Leaf, released last year. The system had some problems, mainly with the metal catalyst that helped the reaction. In the first edition, the catalyst also set off a reaction that attacked the bacteria’s DNA.

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Feb 13, 2017

Here’s how to use AI to make America great again

Posted by in categories: economics, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence could dramatically improve the economy and aspects of everyday life, but we need to invent ways to make sure everyone benefits.

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Feb 13, 2017

Bacteria Have ‘Biological Wheels’ That We Can Finally See In 3D

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Among bacteria’s many attributes, perhaps one of its most overlooked yet important ones is its ability to propel itself via flagellum, a unique appendage hanging off its end. This mechanism is a perfect example of a naturally occurring, biological wheel.

Now, for the first time, scientists were able to take a high resolution, 3D look at these wheels at work, using an electron microscope. Their work was published online yesterday in the journal, PNAS.

A flagella is like a tiny tail at the end of the bacteria, allowing it to move through various mediums. It generates torque (that’s twisting force) from stators, a ring of structures around the motor part of the organ. These act as the wheel providing the power.

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