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Facebook acquires Oculus VR

March 26, 2014

Oculus VR logo

“We started Oculus VR with a vision of delivering incredible, affordable, and ubiquitous consumer virtual reality to the world,” said Oculus VR in a public statement.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 18 months: from foam core prototypes built in a garage to an incredible community of active and talented developers with more than 75,000 development kits ordered.

“In the process, we’ve… read more

The Red Queen was right: life must continually evolve to avoid extinction

June 22, 2013

Alice_&_Red_Queen

A University of California, Berkeley study has found that a lack of new emerging species contributes to extinction over a period of millions of years.

The researchers studied 19 groups of mammals that either are extinct or in decline from a past peak in diversity, as in the case of horses, elephants, rhinos and others.

The “Red Queen” hypothesis

The study was conducted… read more

The world’s largest domed city

Will include a 3 million sq. ft. wellness zone with rejuvenation services
July 15, 2014

Image from the planned Mall of the World. (credit: Dubai Holding)

Dubai Holding plans to build the world’s largest domed city: Mall of the World, in Dubai. The temperature-controlled city (also a first) will occupy a total area of 48 million square feet — the largest indoor theme park in the world. It will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months.

The project will also house the largest shopping mall in the world,… read more

What happens during the brain’s ‘resting state’?

September 20, 2012

fMRI images

Over the past few years, some researchers have been adding a bit of down time to their study protocols, Nature News reports. While subjects are still lying in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, the researchers ask them to try to empty their minds. The aim is to find out what happens when the brain simply idles. And the answer is: quite a lot.

Some circuits… read more

Fullerene C60 administration doubles rat lifespan with no toxicity

April 17, 2012

Optical microscopy of spleen sections (a) oral and (b) i.p. treatment with olive oil only; (c) oral and (d) i.p. treatment with C60-olive oil. The arrows indicate C60 crystalscontaining macrophages with specific brown color. (Credit:

Researchers at the University of Paris and colleagues fed the molecule fullerene (C60 or “buckyballs”) dissolved in olive oil to rats and found it almost doubles their lifespan, with no chronic toxicity.

The results suggest that the effect of C60, an antioxidant, on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress, according to the researchers.

Pharmacokinetic studies show that dissolved C60 is absorbed by the gastro-intestinal tract and… read more

A weapon we can’t control

June 27, 2012

Stuxnet

The decision by the United States and Israel to develop and then deploy the Stuxnet computer worm against an Iranian nuclear facility late in George W. Bush’s presidency marked a significant and dangerous turning point in the gradual militarization of the Internet, says Misha Glenny, a visiting professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and the author of DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercopsread more

Unexplained communication between brain hemispheres without corpus callosum

October 21, 2011

Ag CC

Could the brain be using electromagnetic fields to communicate between hemispheres — the electromagnetic field theory of consciousness proposed by Johnjoe McFadden (School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey)?

Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have made a puzzling finding: people born without a corpus callosum (which links the two hemispheres of the brain)  — a condition called agenesis… read more

A cheap spying tool with a high creepy factor

August 6, 2013

cheap_spying_tool

How easy would it be to monitor the movement of everyone on the street by a private citizen with a few hundred dollars to spare?

Brendan O’Connor, 27, bought some plastic boxes and stuffed them with a $25, credit-card size Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors, including Wi-Fi adapters, The New York Times reports.

He connected each of those boxes to a… read more

Disruptions: next step for technology is becoming the background

July 10, 2012

google_io2012_glasses

The invention of the motion picture enabled visual storytelling and at a mass scale unimaginable before.

The equivalent to that moment is happening right now with the advent of wearable computing. These wearable technologies like Google’s glasses that project information right where a person is looking will have the same effect on smartphones and computers as… read more

Musk teases Tesla superchargers

September 14, 2012

tesla-shareholders-meeting-0612-628

Prospective Alzheimer’s drug builds new brain-cell connections

October 12, 2012

572px-PET_Alzheimer

Washington State University researchers have developed a new drug candidate that dramatically improves the cognitive function of rats with Alzheimer’s-like mental impairment.

Their compound, which is intended to repair brain damage that has already occurred, is a significant departure from current Alzheimer’s treatments, which either slow the process of cell death or inhibit cholinesterase, an enzyme believed to break down a key neurotransmitter involved in… read more

Asteroid deflection mission seeks smashing ideas

January 16, 2013

AIDA_mission_concept_node_full_image

A space rock several hundred meters across is heading towards our planet and the last-ditch attempt to avert a disaster — an untested mission to deflect it — fails.

This fictional scene of films and novels could well be a reality one day. So the European Space Agency (ESA) is appealing for research ideas to help guide the development of a U.S.-European asteroid deflection mission… read more

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do

July 8, 2013

Human-Race

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do, by Dr. Daniel Berleant (388 pages), the first book published by the Lifeboat Foundation, is available free (Kindle version) to KurzweilAI readers on July 8 as a one-day promo.

A non-fiction book verging on science fiction, its imaginative future scenarios include colonizing the planet Mercury (it has water at the poles), GPS-enabled… read more

Is the ‘quantum singularity’ near?

January 18, 2013

quantum_aaronson

Four research groups have announced progress on a quantum-computing proposal made two years ago by MIT researchers.

In early 2011, two theoretical computer scientists at MIT proposed an optical experiment that would harness the weird laws of quantum mechanics to perform a computation impossible on conventional computers.

Commenting at the time, Terry Rudolph, a quantum-computing researcher at Imperial College London said that the experiment… read more

The speed of light in a vacuum may not be a constant after all

Ephemeral vacuum particles induce speed-of-light fluctuations
April 25, 2013

speed_of_light

Two European Physical Journal D papers challenge established wisdom about the nature of vacuum.

In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud and colleagues identified a quantum-level mechanism for interpreting vacuum as being filled with pairs of virtual particles with fluctuating energy values.

As a result, the inherent characteristics of vacuum, such as the speed of light, may not be a constant… read more

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