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Sep 6, 2020

SpaceX shares photo of gigantic Starship vacuum-optimized Raptor engine

Posted by in category: space travel

Featured Image Source: SpaceX

SpaceX is rapidly manufacturing multiple Starship prototypes at the South Texas facility located in Brownsville’s Boca Chica beach. An orbital-class Starship will be equipped with six powerful Raptor engines. Raptors are fueled by cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen which is a unique fuel combination in the aerospace industry. Each Raptor is capable of producing over 200 tons, or 2MN (meganewtons), of thrust at full throttle. Three of Starship’s Raptors will be sea-level engines for atmospheric flight, and three vacuum-optimized Raptors for propulsion in space. Vacuum-optimized engines are more complex and different than sea-level engines; they’re specifically designed to have a higher performance in the vacuum of space. A visible difference between the two engines is that the bell nozzle is larger in the Raptor vacuum engine. Today, SpaceX shared a photograph showcasing the gigantic Raptor vacuum engine, pictured below.

Sep 6, 2020

Urban Aeronautics CEO has designed a made-in-Israel flying car

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

In industry speak, he said it has to have electrical Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) to be a flying car. According to the Deloitte website, eVTOL vehicles have the potential to improve the future of elevated mobility by moving people and cargo more quickly, quietly, and cost-effectively than traditional helicopters. A separate journal described eVTOL as a new means of transport that can fly like an aircraft and take off and land vertically like a helicopter, “sometimes called personal aerial vehicle.”

Yoeli’s company has two models: the CityHawk and the Falcon XP, both of which weigh more than a ton, not including the passengers.

So how did he get these cars to fly?

Sep 6, 2020

Inside Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s Small Satellite Bid To Match Musk And Bezos In The Billionaire Space Race

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, satellites

Fellow rocket man Elon Musk reacted with sympathy. “Sorry to hear that. Orbit is hard,” he tweeted, adding that it took his firm, SpaceX, four attempts before reaching orbit in September 2008. Branson himself “waited an hour” before getting on the phone to CEO Dan Hart. “His brain, as it does, just immediately turns to – ‘well how quickly can you try again’?” Pomerantz recalls, describing the mood in the room as the sun set in California as “a big step forward that nevertheless was nowhere near as big as we wanted it to be – we are a way better company than we were the day we did that launch, but we didn’t get to orbit.”

Back Of A Napkin

But for Pomerantz, Branson, Virgin and the watching entrepreneurial world, including competitors like SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, a larger question was answered: Could Richard Branson drop a rocket off the wing of a Virgin aircraft and call it a business?

Sep 5, 2020

The Brain Implants That Could Change Humanity

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

He was also scared because the experiment showed, in a concrete way, that humanity was at the dawn of a new era, one in which our thoughts could theoretically be snatched from our heads. What was going to happen, Dr. Gallant wondered, when you could read thoughts the thinker might not even be consciously aware of, when you could see people’s memories?


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Sep 5, 2020

“Berry Curvature” Memory: Quantum Geometry Enables Information Storage in Metal

Posted by in categories: information science, internet, quantum physics, robotics/AI

The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques is changing the world dramatically with novel applications such as internet of things, autonomous vehicles, real-time imaging processing and big data analytics in healthcare. In 2020, the global data volume is estimated to reach 44 Zettabytes, and it will continue to grow beyond the current capacity of computing and storage devices. At the same time, the related electricity consumption will increase 15 times by 2030, swallowing 8% of the global energy demand. Therefore, reducing energy consumption and increasing speed of information storage technology is in urgent need.

Berkeley researchers led by HKU President Professor Xiang Zhang when he was in Berkeley, in collaboration with Professor Aaron Lindenberg’s team at Stanford University, invented a new data storage method: They make odd numbered layers slide relative to even-number layers in tungsten ditelluride, which is only 3nm thick. The arrangement of these atomic layers represents 0 and 1 for data storage. These researchers creatively make use of quantum geometry: Berry curvature, to read information out. Therefore, this material platform works ideally for memory, with independent ‘write’ and ‘read’ operation. The energy consumption using this novel data storage method can be over 100 times less than the traditional method.

This work is a conceptual innovation for non-volatile storage types and can potentially bring technological revolution. For the first time, the researchers prove that two-dimensional semi-metals, going beyond traditional silicon material, can be used for information storage and reading. This work was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Physics[1]. Compared with the existing non-volatile (NVW) memory, this new material platform is expected to increase storage speed by two orders and decrease energy cost by three orders, and it can greatly facilitate the realization of emerging in-memory computing and neural network computing.

Sep 5, 2020

Is Virtual Burning Man the Internet’s Ultimate Test?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet

The cyberdelic extravaganza is online for the first time because of the pandemic. But maybe that’s not as strange as it might seem.

Sep 5, 2020

Quarantine cuisine: Easy meals to support a healthy immune system

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

COVID-19 has led to limited food budgets, and shelter-in-place adds a layer of complexity to buying and planning meals. At the same time, we’re bombarded with ads shouting “Take this supplement to boost your immunity!” So, what’s a person to do?

Filling your cart with the basics might make you feel secure in the short term. But as Dr. Chu found, it’s a different ballgame when you get these items home. Can you make healthy meals with shelf-stable foods? Will the family eat your creation? And does food really boost our immunity? Yes, yes, and yes – over time.

I field questions like these often as director of UT Southwestern’s Culinary Medicine Program. We help people transform food preparation and eating into a healthier part of their daily lives. The program focuses on creating budget-friendly meals with shelf-stable ingredients, as well as mindful eating practices.

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Sep 5, 2020

Researchers identify nanobody that may prevent COVID-19 infection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a small neutralizing antibody, a so-called nanobody, that has the capacity to block SARS-CoV-2 from entering human cells. The researchers believe this nanobody has the potential to be developed as an antiviral treatment against COVID-19. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

“We hope our findings can contribute to the amelioration of the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging further examination of this nanobody as a therapeutic candidate against this viral infection,” says Gerald McInerney, corresponding author and associate professor of virology at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet.

The search for effective nanobodies—which are fragments of antibodies that occur naturally in camelids and can be adapted for humans—began in February when an alpaca was injected with the new ’ spike protein, which is used to enter our cells. After 60 days, from the alpaca showed a strong immune response against the spike protein.

Sep 5, 2020

Inheritance in plants can now be controlled specifically

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

A new application of the CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors promises major progress in crop cultivation. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers from the team of molecular biologist Holger Puchta have succeeded in modifying the sequence of genes on a chromosome using CRISPR/Cas. For the first time worldwide, they took a known chromosome modification in the thale cress model plant and demonstrated how inversions of the gene sequence can be undone and inheritance can thus be controlled specifically. The results are published in Nature Communications.

About 5,000 years ago, genetic information of thale cress was modified. To date, it has spread widely and is of major interest to science. On the chromosome 4 of the plant, a so-called occurred: The chromosome broke at two points and was reassembled again. The broken out section was reinserted, but rotated by 180°. As a result, the sequence of genes on this chromosome section was inverted. This chromosome mutation known as “Knob hk4S” in research is an example of the fact that evolution cannot only modify the genetic material of organisms, but determine it for a long term. “In inverted sections, genes cannot be exchanged between homologous during inheritance,” molecular biologist Holger Puchta, KIT, explains.

Sep 5, 2020

How Far We Can Wind Back The Clock Ft. David Sinclair | Think Inc.

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

This is a part of a longer interview which you can watch in parts or listen in one go though it is posted on youtube as audio only for the latter.

Let’s say we find a way to reverse aging. How far could we wind things back and when should we do it?

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