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Oct 11, 2016

The future of brain and machine is intertwined, and it’s already here

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Imagine a condition that leaves you fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate, as some victims of severe strokes or other neurological damage experience.

This is locked-in syndrome, when the outward connections from the brain to the rest of the world are severed. Technology is beginning to promise ways of remaking these connections, but is it our ingenuity or the brain’s that is making it happen?

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Oct 11, 2016

Brain modulyzer provides interactive window into the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

For the first time, a new tool developed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) allows researchers to interactively explore the hierarchical processes that happen in the brain when it is resting or performing tasks. Scientists also hope that the tool can shed some light on how neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s spread throughout the brain.

Created in conjunction with computer scientists at University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and with input from neuroscientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF), the software, called Brain Modulyzer, combines multiple coordinated views of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data — like heat maps, node link diagrams and anatomical views — to provide context for brain connectivity data.

“The tool provides a novel framework of visualization and new interaction techniques that explore the brain connectivity at various hierarchical levels. This method allows researchers to explore multipart observations that have not been looked at before,” says Sugeerth Murugesan, who co-led the development of Brain Modulyzer. He is currently a graduate student researcher at Berkeley Lab and a PhD candidate at UC Davis.

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Oct 11, 2016

China developing world’s smallest nuclear reactor for South China sea islands: report

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

China is developing the world’s smallest nuclear power plant which could be installed in one of the islands in the disputed South China Sea to supply power to households and is capable of running for up to decades without refuelling, a media report said on Tuesday.

Modelled on the compact lead-cooled thermal reactor used by the navy of the former Soviet Union in its nuclear submarines in the 1970s, Chinese researchers are carrying out intensive work to develop “portable nuclear battery pack” within five years, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Earlier, the official media reports said China will soon start assembling floating maritime nuclear power platforms.

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Oct 11, 2016

Scholars call for probe into genome editing technology claims

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Chinese biologists reiterate doubts over validity of genome editing study

A number of Chinese scientists have announced publicly that they cannot replicate the breakthrough genome editing technology NgAgo discovered by a Hebei-based researcher, Han Chunyu, urging to investigate his team for the sake of “reputation of Chinese scientists.”

After months of study, 13 biologists including Wei Wensheng and Sun Yujie from Peking University’s School of Life Science, and other biologists from prestigious institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said publicly that they cannot replicate Han’s results, and called on Han to publicize his raw data.

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Oct 11, 2016

Russia’s Preference for Open-Source to Hurt U.S. Tech Stocks

Posted by in categories: business, government, law

Amid rising political tensions with the U.S., Russia is planning to further lower its usage of licensed software from IT giants like International Business Machines Corp IBM, Microsoft Corporation MSFT, SAP AG SAP and Oracle Corporation ORCL.

Per Bloomberg, “The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software.”

The proposed law is an addition to an already existing federal law that came into effect on Jan 1, 2016, which restricts the use of foreign software in the public sector, if there is a domestic version available.

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Oct 11, 2016

First human clinical trial for nicotinamide riboside

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

(credit: iStock)

In the first controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide riboside (NR), a newly discovered form of Vitamin B3, researchers have shown that the compound is safe for humans and increases levels of a cell metabolite called NAD+ that is critical for cellular energy production and protection against stress and DNA damage.

Levels of NAD+ (first discovered by biochemists in 1906) diminish with age, and it has been suggested that loss of this metabolite may play a role in age-related health decline.

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Oct 11, 2016

Obama wants to send humans to Mars by the 2030s with NASA, private company collaboration

Posted by in category: space travel

President Obama said Tuesday that he wants private companies to help send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

Obama first said in 2010 he wanted to send astronauts “to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth” by the mid-2030s with “a landing on Mars” to follow. In that speech at the Kennedy Space Center, Obama added that he expected to see such a landing in his lifetime.

In an opinion article Tuesday on, Obama said private companies would be key to those lofty goals.

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Oct 11, 2016

Researchers discover feedback mechanism in photosynthesis that protects plants from damage

Posted by in category: food

Just in case u did not know. Photosynthesis is the most efficient way of producing electricity. Once this process is understood an replicated it will change the world.

Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered a feedback mechanism at the heart of photosynthesis that protects plants from damage by light.

The researchers have discovered that the key enzyme in photosynthesis can tune its activity to avoid being damaged by light and oxygen.

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Oct 11, 2016

The Barack Obama Mars 2030 Plan: Will It Really Work?

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

As reported by the AP, President Obama Mars op-ed published at CNN today paints a vivid picture in which NASA — working in concert with other agencies and private industry — would sometime after 2030 finally make an expedition to the planet Mars. But is the Barack Obama Mars vision for NASA a tangible possibility, or will Elon Musk and SpaceX beat NASA to Mars long before that?

US President Obama says US is partnering with private firms to send humans to Mars by 2030s – CNN

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Oct 11, 2016

Physicists Created the First-Ever Time Crystals

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

In Brief:

  • Scientists have pushed through the theoretical and have created the first ever physical time crystal.
  • While the harvesting of energy from such an object would violate physical law, the development may spur new possibilities in quantum computing.

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