Blog Archives

Does child survival make for smaller family sizes?

Hans Rosling (1948–2017), physician and epidemiologist, famously upturned assumptions widely held by the public and by the development community — assumptions that, thanks to US President Donald Trump, are back in the spotlight. A recurring theme of Rosling's was that

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Unfortunately Game Over for Actor Bill Paxton who played Hudson in Aliens

Actor Bill Paxton, age 61, has died due to complications from surgery. Bill Paxton had important roles in several of the best moviesHudson in AliensMorgan Earp in Tombstone (1993)Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995)the lead role in the 1996 hit

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China's J-20 stealth fighter has been seen with four auxiliary fuel tanks (aka, drop tanks or "bags") under its wings. Although cumbersome external fuel tanks sap the J-20's low observable (stealth) qualities and maneuvering performance, it is likely that they

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Making 3D maps of every cell in the human body

On 10 February 2017, the London-based charity Cancer Research UK announced that a team of molecular biologists, astronomers and game designers would receive up to £20 million (US$25 million) over the next five years to develop its interactive virtual-reality map

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Membrane solves one of the major technical barriers to commercialization of the lithium sulfur battery

Researchers developed an alteration to the lithium-sulfur battery that could make it more than competitive with the industry standard lithium-ion battery. The lithium-sulfur battery, long thought to be better at energy storage capacity than its more popular lithium-ion counterpart, was

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Scientifically designed fasting diet lowers risks for major diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease and other age related disease

A randomized trial shows cycles of a five-day fasting diet designed by a USC researcher safely reduces the risk factors for age-related diseases. What if you could lose weight and reduce your risk of life-threatening disease without any changes in

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Vasimr plasma rocket targeting 100 hours of continuous operation at 100 kW power level early in 2018

NASA NEXTSTep program awarded Ad Astra Vasimr plasma propulsion a three-year, $9 million contract in 2015. Ad Astra must fire its plasma rocket for 100 hours, at a power level of 100 kilowatts in 2018. This February, the company has

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Tesla Gigafactory 1 has 35% battery cost reduction to about $124/kWh and Tesla planing for 3 more Gigafactories

Tesla was aiming for at least a 30% reduction from its battery cost for Gigafactory and it now claims a “35% cost reduction” in a new promotional video. Starting from the “less than $190/kWh” cost and applying a 35% reduction

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DARPA sees future third wave of Artificial Intelligence

DARPA sees three waves of artificial intelligence – Wave 1 Engineers create sets of rules to represent knowledge in well‐defined domainsThe structure of the knowledge is defined by humans The specifics are explored by the machine Wave 2 Manifold hypothesisNatural

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Hair thin fibers were used for two way optical, electrical and chemical signaling within the brain

For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two

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US military technology superiority is challenged as reaching near parity in some capability areas

The Military Balance 2017 is the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics from the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies, London) There has been no reduction in the range and number of security challenges demanding the attention

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Stanford researchers improve extraction of uranium from seawater

In the recent work, Stanford researchers improved on all three variables related to extracting uranium from seawater: capacity, rate and reuse. Their key advance was to create a conductive hybrid fiber incorporating carbon and amidoxime. By sending pulses of electricity

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If Bruce Wayne became president we could use the next stealth bomber as Air Force One

President Donald Trump complained that Boeing was building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but the costs are out of control and were projected to be more than $4 billion. Wright Williams and Kelley reported that

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Russian company working on a lightweight stealth fighter to replace the Mig-29 and Mig35

Russia’s RSK-MiG is working on a new lightweight fifth-generation stealth fighter to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29 and MiG-35 Fulcrum series fighters. Called the Liogkiy Mnogofunktsionalniy Frontovoi Samolyet (LMFS)—or Light Multi-Function Frontal Aircraft in English—United Aircraft Corporation is developing the new

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Many Ethicists are idiots

There is a 261 page report that reviews the ethics of genome editing The report’s recommendations are that in very, very limited cases, editing of viable human embryos should be allowed to go forward in the United States — a

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Researchers devise efficient power converter for internet of things by reducing resting power consumption by 50%

A new design reduces converter’s resting power consumption by 50 percent. he “internet of things” is the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock will soon have sensors that report information directly to networked servers, aiding

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George Church indicates reversal of aging will be a reality within ten years

While discussing creating a hybrid elephant – wooly mammoth using CRISPR genome editing, Harvard's George Church predicted that reversal of aging will be a reality within ten years. Nextbigfuture suspects that this would likely be reversing aging in mice cells

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George Church’s team closing in on hybrid mammoth elephant embryo using CRISPR genome editing to increase to 45 genome edits of elephant from 15 edits a few years ago

Scientist leading ‘de-extinction’ effort says Harvard team could create hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo in two years “Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo,” said Harvard Prof George Church. “Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number

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India detailed solar and renewable plans to 2022 with solar pumps for agriculture, minigrids, roof top solar and utility energy

India has reiterated its goal of scaling up its solar power capacity to 100 GW by 2022. It is targeting 60 GW from wind energy and plans to bring in hydro power, from which it generates 40 GW, into the

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88 Dove cubesats will provide frequently updated coverage the earth’s landmass at 3 to 5 meter resolution

Today, Planet will launch the largest sat fleet ever, on a rocket carrying the most satellites in history, when it sends 88 new craft from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India. These devices, called Doves, will flock with

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