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Sep 19, 2019

China will overtake the U.S. as world’s top economy in 2020, says Standard Chartered Bank

Posted by in category: economics

The report also predicts India’s economy will surpass the U.S. by 2030.

Sep 19, 2019

The end of aging: Are you ready to live to 150?

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

Meet the Harvard genetics genius who says we can stop growing old today – even without futuristic drugs.

Sep 19, 2019

Researchers Think It’s a Good Idea to Secure Your Phone Using the One Thing You Perpetually Lose

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, privacy, security

Apple’s FaceID authentication system started moving smartphone users away from relying on fingerprints to secure their mobile devices, which are arguably less secure. But researchers think they’ve come up with an even better biometric tool for protecting a device that uses a part of the body that’s nearly impossible to spoof: a user’s ear canals.

A team of researchers led by Zhanpeng Jin, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the University of Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, created a new authentication tool called EarEcho, which is somewhat self-explanatory. The team modified a set of off the shelf earbuds with a tiny microphone that points inside the wearer’s ear, not out towards the world around them. It’s not there to pick up ambient sounds to facilitate a noise-canceling or feature, or even the wearer’s voice for making calls; the tiny mic is instead tuned to listen to the echo of sounds as they’re played and then propagate through the ear canal.

Sep 19, 2019

The design, construction and characterization of new nanovibrational bioreactors for osteogenesis

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, life extension, nanotechnology

In regenerative medicine, scientists aim to significantly advance techniques that can control stem cell lineage commitment. For example, mechanical stimulation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) at the nanoscale can activate mechanotransduction pathways to stimulate osteogenesis (bone development) in 2-D and 3D culture. Such work can revolutionize bone graft procedures by creating graft material from autologous or allogenic sources of MSCs without chemically inducing the phenomenon. Due to increasing biomedical interest in such mechanical stimulation of cells for clinical use, both researchers and clinicians require a scalable bioreactor system to provide consistently reproducible results. In a new study now published on Scientific Reports, Paul Campsie and a team of multidisciplinary researchers at the departments of biomedical engineering, computing, physics, and molecular, cell and systems biology engineered a new bioreactor system to meet the existing requirements.

The new instrument contained a vibration plate for bioreactions, calibrated and optimized for nanometer vibrations at 1 kHz, a power supply unit to generate a 30 nm vibration amplitude and custom six-well cultureware for cell growth. The cultureware contained magnetic inserts to attach to the bioreactor’s magnetic vibration plate. They assessed osteogenic protein expression to confirm the differentiation of MSCs after initial biological experiments within the system. Campsie et al. conducted atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the 3D gel constructs to verify that strain hardening of the gel did not occur during vibrational stimulation. The results confirmed to be the result of nano-vibrational stimulations provided by the bioreactor alone.

The increasing incidence of skeletal injuries due to age-related conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis is a metric of the depleting quality of human life. The development of treatments for increased bone density or fracture healing are prime targets for the regenerative potential of mesenchymal stem (MSCs). Researchers have demonstrated controlled osteogenesis (development of bones) of MSCs via mechanical stimulation using several methods, including passive and active strategies. Passive methods typically alter the substrate topography to influence the cell adhesion profile, while active methods include exposure to varied forces from external sources.

Sep 19, 2019

Interest in life extension might seem to be a fairly recent phenomenon, but it is almost as old as humanity itself

Posted by in category: life extension

Click on photo to start video.

Let’s take a look at the history of life extension and some of humanity’s attempts €”some promising, some hilariously wrong €”to cheat aging and death.

Sep 19, 2019

An inside look at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s robotics design area

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

NASA is on a mission to go back to the moon by 2024 and use it as a “backyard” of experimentation, according to Lucien Junkin, chief engineer of the space exploration vehicle at NASA.

ABC toured NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s robotics design area: https://abcn.ws/2AleGSQ

Sep 19, 2019

Our Relative Velocities

Posted by in category: futurism

Everything is moving. Our relative velocities.

Sep 18, 2019

Quantum Chemistry Breakthrough: DeepMind Uses Neural Networks to Tackle Schrödinger Equation

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

Wave function represents the quantum state of an atom, including the position and movement states of the nucleus and electrons. For decades researchers have struggled to determine the exact wave function when analyzing a normal chemical molecule system, which has its nuclear position fixed and electrons spinning. Fixing wave function has proven problematic even with help from the Schrödinger equation.

Previous research in this field used a Slater-Jastrow Ansatz application of quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods, which takes a linear combination of Slater determinants and adds the Jastrow multiplicative term to capture the close-range correlations.

Now, a group of DeepMind researchers have brought QMC to a higher level with the Fermionic Neural Network — or Fermi Net — a neural network with more flexibility and higher accuracy. Fermi Net takes the electron information of the molecules or chemical systems as inputs and outputs their estimated wave functions, which can then be used to determine the energy states of the input chemical systems.

Sep 18, 2019

Could we intercept interstellar comet C/2019 Q4 Borisov?

Posted by in category: space

When ‘Oumuamua passed through our solar system two years ago, it set off a flurry of excitement in the astronomical community. Here was the first-ever interstellar object that be observed by human trackers, and the mysteries surrounding its true nature and composition led to some pretty interesting theories. There were even some proposals for a rapid mission that would be able to rendezvous with it.

And now that a second —C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)—has been detected traveling through the solar system, similar proposals are being made. One of them comes from a group of scientists from the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) in the U.K. In a recent study, they assess the technical feasibility of sending a mission to this interstellar comet using existing technology, and found that there were a few options.

In many ways, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) represents an opportunity to conduct the kinds of research that were not possible with ‘Oumuamua. When that mystery was first observed, it had already made its closest pass to the sun, past Earth, and was on its way out of the solar system. Nevertheless, what we were able to learn about ‘Oumuamua led to the conclusion that it was an entirely new class of celestial object.

Sep 18, 2019

Investigating robot illusions and simulations of reality

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

To evaluate the performance of robotics algorithms and controllers, researchers typically use software simulations or real physical robots. While these may appear as two distinct evaluation strategies, there is a whole other range of possibilities that combine elements of both.

In a recent study, researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of South Carolina have set out to examine evaluation and execution scenarios that lie at an intersection between simulations and real implementations. Their investigation, outlined in a paper pre-published on arXiv, specifically focuses on instances in which real robots perceive the world via their sensors, where the environment they sense could be seen as a mere illusion.

“We consider problems in which robots conspire to present a view of the world that differs from reality,” Dylan Shell and Jason O’Kane, the researchers who carried out the study, wrote in their paper. “The inquiry is motivated by the problem of validating robot behavior physically despite there being a discrepancy between the robots we have at hand and those we wish to study, or the environment for testing that is available versus that which is desired, or other potential mismatches in this vein.”

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