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$5 million grant to study immortality

John Templeton Foundation grant to UC Riverside philosopher John Fischer will fund research
August 3, 2012

nde

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a three-year, $5 million grant  to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality.

“People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,”… read more

Chinese astronauts may grow vegetables on the Moon

December 6, 2012

800px-Kundasang_vegetables

Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extraterrestrial bases in the future, according to Deng Yibing, deputy director of the Beijing-based Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center, Xinhua News reports.

Yibing said the experiment focused on a dynamic balanced mechanism of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water between people and plants in a closed system.

According to Deng, a cabin of 300 cubic meters… read more

New self-driving car system tested on UK roads

February 20, 2013

Self-driving RobotCar

Scientists at Oxford University have developed a self-driving car that can cope with snow, rain and other weather conditions. The system can be fitted to existing cars and could one day cost just £100 (US$150), The Guardian reports.

The new system has been installed in a Nissan Leaf electric car and tested on private roads around the university. It will halt for pedestrians, and could take over… read more

Bitcoin attracts major investors

May 24, 2013

bitcoin

Bitcoin is gaining traction outside its existing community of enthusiastic early adopters.

An estimated 1,100 people attended Bitcoin 2013, the first large conference dedicated to Bitcoin, MIT Technology Review reports. The conference also showed that Bitcoin has begun to attract the backing of conventional technology industry investors, who have sunk millions of dollars into a handful of Bitcoin startups.

In the Bitcoin system,… read more

The island where people forget to die

October 26, 2012

Ikaria

For a decade, with support from the National Geographic Society, I’ve been organizing a study of the places where people live longest, Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zoneswrites in The New York Times.

The project grew out of studies by my partners, Dr. Gianni Pes of the University of Sassari in Italy and Dr. Michel Poulain, a Belgian demographer. In 2000, they identified a region of… read more

New theory uncovers cancer’s deep evolutionary roots

Authors predict that if cancer cells are saturated with oxygen but deprived of sugar, it will slow them down or even even kill them
July 16, 2013

This typical four-week-old human embryo looks similar to fish embryos, with proto-gills and a tail.(credit: University of New South Wales)

A new way to look at cancer — by tracing its deep evolutionary roots to the dawn of multicellularity more than a billion years ago — has been proposed by Paul Davies of Arizona State University’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science in collaboration with Charles Lineweaver of the Australian National University.

If their theory is correct, it promises to transform the approach to… read more

Revolutionary space engine turns an airplane into a spaceplane

July 1, 2013

skylon

A revolutionary engine that can turn an aircraft into an orbiting spaceplane has won fresh backing from the British Government.

The hybrid engine called Skylon (Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) — is currently being developed by Reaction Engines, SEN reports.

Until now, spacecraft heading for orbit have had to be launched by conventional rockets because of the amount of fuel needed to be get them… read more

23-Year old with terminal brain cancer hopes to be cryopreserved (UPDATE)

October 18, 2012

kim_suozzi

As we noted previously, Kim Suozzi, 23, has terminal brain cancer that is highly aggressive and growing rapidly in a location that makes surgery impossible, and her final wish is to be cryopreserved.

Alcor Life Extension Foundation announced Wednesday that it has offered to cryopreserve Kim at a reduced cost, with the staff donating their time for her cryopreservation.

“I learned about cryonics… read more

Australian billionaire wants to build Jurassic Park-style resort

August 1, 2012

jurassic_park

Controversial billionaire Clive Palmer is rumored to be planning to clone a dinosaur from DNA so he can set it free in a Jurassic Park-style area at his new Palmer Resort in Coolum, Sunshine Coast Daily reports.

Palmer has apparently been in deep discussion with the people who successfully cloned Dolly the sheep to bring his dinosaur vision to life.

A spokesman said Palmer would hold a… read more

When will a computer pass the Turing Test?

An interview with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
August 14, 2013

Schmidt

“Many people in AI believe that we’re close to [a computer passing the Turing Test] within the next five years,” said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, speaking at The Aspen Institute on July 16, 2013.

In a wide-ranging interview by writer/biographer Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Schmidt covered topics ranging from future user interfaces (“the next UI is AI”) to phone-based medical… read more

Warp drive may be more feasible than thought, scientists say

September 18, 2012

warp-drive-starship

A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, according to scientists at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, Space.com reports.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving fasterread more

Low-cost self-driving cars expected by 2016

May 28, 2013

audi_mobileye

Mobileye Vision Technologies has created a self-driving system for an Audi A7 car, John Markoff writes in The New York Times.

It is capable only of driving in a single lane at freeway speeds, as well as identifying traffic lights and automatically slowing, stopping and then returning to highway speeds.

But by blending advanced computer-vision techniques with low-cost video cameras, the company is… read more

Serious Blow to Dark Matter Theories?

April 19, 2012

galactic_halo

The most accurate study so far of the motions of stars in the Milky Way has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the Sun.

According to widely accepted theories, the solar neighborhood was expected to be filled with dark matter, a mysterious invisible substance that can only be detected indirectly by the gravitational force it exerts. But a new study by a team of… read more

Ray Kurzweil talk at DEMO Oct. 2 to be streamed live

October 2, 2012

DEMO

Ray Kurzweil will speak Tuesday Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. PDT at the DEMO conference at the Hyatt Santa Clara in Santa Clara, California on “how we are making exponential gains in reverse-engineering the human brain, how these insights are going to fuel an AI revolution, and the impact of that revolution on business and society.”

The conference will be streamed live here through Oct. 3.

Kurzweil’s… read more

The end of Chinese manufacturing and rebirth of US industry

July 30, 2012

Tesla-Manufacturing

There is great concern about China’s real-estate and infrastructure bubbles.  But these are just short-term challenges that China may be able to spend its way out of.

The real threat to China’s economy is bigger and longer term: its manufacturing bubble.

Rising costs and political pressure aren’t what’s going to rapidly change the equation. The disruption will come from a set of technologies that are advancing at exponential… read more

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