Lifeboat News: The Blog https://lifeboat.com/blog Safeguarding Humanity Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:46:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Scientists Reprogrammed Human Skin Cells Into Immune Cells To Fight Cancer https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-reprogrammed-human-skin-cells-into-immune-cells-to-fight-cancer https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-reprogrammed-human-skin-cells-into-immune-cells-to-fight-cancer#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:46:07 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-reprogrammed-human-skin-cells-into-immune-cells-to-fight-cancer

The process will help develop new treatments.

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Topological-physics pioneer Shoucheng Zhang dies https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/topological-physics-pioneer-shoucheng-zhang-dies https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/topological-physics-pioneer-shoucheng-zhang-dies#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:45:50 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/topological-physics-pioneer-shoucheng-zhang-dies

Theoretical physicist was among the first to predict that the phenomenon of topology could lead to exotic states of matter.

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How Dark Energy Beat Out ‘Grey Dust’ https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-dark-energy-beat-out-grey-dust https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-dark-energy-beat-out-grey-dust#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:45:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-dark-energy-beat-out-grey-dust

RealClearScience.

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Scientists May Have Halted Blindness Caused by This Rare Genetic Disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-may-have-halted-blindness-caused-by-this-rare-genetic-disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-may-have-halted-blindness-caused-by-this-rare-genetic-disease#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:45:19 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/scientists-may-have-halted-blindness-caused-by-this-rare-genetic-disease

D esigner therapies are treatments tailored to a specific disease, and nowhere is the need greater for new therapies than in a group of nervous system disorders, known as “neurodegenerative diseases.”

Many of these diseases are common and well-known, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. However, some are very rare, genetic disorders that are the consequence of a defective gene. In all these diseases, a mutant protein that misfolds causes the degeneration and death of neurons. One effective therapeutic strategy is to prevent the rogue protein from ever being made.

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is one such disease in which nerves in different parts of the brain, including the eye, degenerate, which leads to blindness and difficulty walking, speaking, and balancing. SCA7 is dominantly inherited — which means that you just need one bad copy of the mutation to cause disease. The disease occurs when a short section of DNA that encodes ataxin-7 gene is erroneously repeated — like a word in a book printed two or three times. In this case, three chemical units of the DNA sequence — C-A-G — are repeated over and over.

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Astrophotography: How to Photograph the Stars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/astrophotography-how-to-photograph-the-stars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/astrophotography-how-to-photograph-the-stars#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:45:05 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/astrophotography-how-to-photograph-the-stars

Before we get started, it’s essential to understand that astrophotography takes time and practice in order to achieve good results, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t nail it on the first go.

When it comes to photographing the night sky there isn’t an exact setting which is going to achieve the same results across the board. This is due to the amount atmospheric light which is available in your area. So in order to help get you started, I’ve decided to write a guide on “how to photograph the stars.”

The aim is to shed some light on the type of equipment you will need and give you a general starting point for where your settings ‘should’ be so that you can head out into the night and have some fun with it.

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The Digital Silk Road – China’s $200 billion project https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-digital-silk-road-chinas-200-billion-project https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-digital-silk-road-chinas-200-billion-project#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:44:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-digital-silk-road-chinas-200-billion-project

China’s expansion of its digital communications infrastructure will have global implications in the years to come.

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Childhood adversity linked to reduced inhibitory control and alterations in key brain networks https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/childhood-adversity-linked-to-reduced-inhibitory-control-and-alterations-in-key-brain-networks https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/childhood-adversity-linked-to-reduced-inhibitory-control-and-alterations-in-key-brain-networks#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:44:34 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/childhood-adversity-linked-to-reduced-inhibitory-control-and-alterations-in-key-brain-networks

New research suggests that exposure to childhood adversity is associated with reduced cognitive control and alterations in key brain networks. The findings, which appear in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, could help explain the link between childhood adversity and depression.

“My work focuses on how we can use objective biomarkers to aid in clinical decision making,” said study author Scott A. Langenecker of the University of Utah.

“One challenging clinical decision point is what to do when individuals have recovered from a depressive episode. Do we continue treatment? Do we exercise regular check-ins? Or do we just wait and see?”

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A bright discovery: U of A intern discovers better way to extract diamonds https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-bright-discovery-u-of-a-intern-discovers-better-way-to-extract-diamonds https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-bright-discovery-u-of-a-intern-discovers-better-way-to-extract-diamonds#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:22:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-bright-discovery-u-of-a-intern-discovers-better-way-to-extract-diamonds

One Grade 11 student’s summer research at the University of Alberta has the possibility to change how industry leaders extract diamonds from rocks.

As part of a six-week internship called the Wisest Summer Research Program, students get the chance to spend their summer doing research at the university.

Hamdi Ali spent this summer at the university’s Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department as part of the internship program. She had the chance to work with various researchers in the geology department for six weeks.

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Wind From A Distant Black Hole Spotted 228,000 Light-Years Away From Its Galaxy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/wind-from-a-distant-black-hole-spotted-228000-light-years-away-from-its-galaxy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/wind-from-a-distant-black-hole-spotted-228000-light-years-away-from-its-galaxy#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:22:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/wind-from-a-distant-black-hole-spotted-228000-light-years-away-from-its-galaxy

This is the farthest away that black hole wind has ever been known to extend.

Astronomers studying the universe’s first light — the light from the first stars, which ignited nearly 14 billion years ago, according to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) — have made an unexpected discovery.

While scouring the distant cosmos with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile, the scientists came across a streak of thermal wind spewed from a far-flung black hole, which had traveled a staggering distance from the galaxy where it originated.

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Chang’e 4 in Pictures: China’s Mission to the Moon’s Far Side https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/change-4-in-pictures-chinas-mission-to-the-moons-far-side https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/change-4-in-pictures-chinas-mission-to-the-moons-far-side#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:42:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/change-4-in-pictures-chinas-mission-to-the-moons-far-side

China launched its Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon on Dec. 8, 2018 Beijing Time (Dec. 7 EST/GMT). China is the first country ever to send a rover to soft-land on the lunar farside. See the mission photos here! This Image: The Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang’e 4 lifts off from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Credit: Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua/Zuma

China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe lifts off the pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 7, 2018 (Dec. 8 local Chinese time).

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teases new Starship photos and “heavy metal” BFR https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/spacex-ceo-elon-musk-teases-new-starship-photos-and-heavy-metal-bfr https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/spacex-ceo-elon-musk-teases-new-starship-photos-and-heavy-metal-bfr#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:22:41 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/spacex-ceo-elon-musk-teases-new-starship-photos-and-heavy-metal-bfr

Drawn in by Teslarati photographer Pauline Acalin’s most recent photos of Port of LA Falcon 9 recovery operations SpaceX is in the midst of, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on December 8th to discuss titanium grid fins and – more importantly – answer a miscellaneous handful of questions about the status of BFR’s development.

Marked lately by rapid-fire, wide-reaching changes to BFR’s general structural composite, Musk at long last confirmed what some suspected – now known as Starship/Super Heavy, the BFR program has officially moved away from carbon fiber composites as the primary material of choice for the rocket’s structure and propellant tanks, instead pivoting to what Musk described as a “fairly heavy metal”.

But cool pics of the demo Starship that will fly suborbital hops coming in ~4 weeks.

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Brightest comet of the year can be seen as it zips past Earth https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/brightest-comet-of-the-year-can-be-seen-as-it-zips-past-earth https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/brightest-comet-of-the-year-can-be-seen-as-it-zips-past-earth#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:22:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/brightest-comet-of-the-year-can-be-seen-as-it-zips-past-earth

If you have clear skies and are willing to brave the chilly temperatures, you might want to head to a dark site and look for a passing visitor.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, first discovered in 1948, will have its closest encounter with Earth on Dec.16. But it’s already visible in the sky.

While this is the brightest comet of the year and the 10th closest comet in modern times, don’t expect one with a well-defined tail, a hallmark of comets.

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A ‘secret’ patch shows the future of treating the most common food allergy, and two biotechs are competing to own the $3 billion market https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-secret-patch-shows-the-future-of-treating-the-most-common-food-allergy-and-two-biotechs-are-competing-to-own-the-3-billion-market https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-secret-patch-shows-the-future-of-treating-the-most-common-food-allergy-and-two-biotechs-are-competing-to-own-the-3-billion-market#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:03:06 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-secret-patch-shows-the-future-of-treating-the-most-common-food-allergy-and-two-biotechs-are-competing-to-own-the-3-billion-market

Kids with peanut allergies haven’t had many options, but that first-of-their-kind treatments could change that as soon as 2019.

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3D Printing for Cancer Treatment https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/3d-printing-for-cancer-treatment https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/3d-printing-for-cancer-treatment#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:02:50 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/3d-printing-for-cancer-treatment

Mayo Clinic has been using 3D printed models for over a decade to help guide surgery and treatment, education, and patient-specific simulation.

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Future Cities & Societies: Governance, Law, Blockchain https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/future-cities-societies-governance-law-blockchain https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/future-cities-societies-governance-law-blockchain#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 15:42:25 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/future-cities-societies-governance-law-blockchain

I’m speaking next Friday evening, Dec 14, at 6PM then doing a panel at the NodeSF in San Francisco. Hosted by the Institute for Competitive Governance and Startup Societies Foundation, the event will discuss innovative approaches for new cities and societies. Join us in building the future! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-cities-distributed-socie…gFeha96wn2 #transhumanism


How are the future cities going to look like? Are they going to be sovereign states? Will people have decentralized governments? What is the future of law like?

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The silent epidemic killing more people than HIV, malaria or TB https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-silent-epidemic-killing-more-people-than-hiv-malaria-or-tb https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-silent-epidemic-killing-more-people-than-hiv-malaria-or-tb#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 11:26:50 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-silent-epidemic-killing-more-people-than-hiv-malaria-or-tb

The hepatitis B virus (HBV), which spreads through blood and bodily fluids and invades liver cells, is thought to kill just under 1 million people every year around the world, mostly from cancer or scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver. HBV is less likely to be fatal than HIV, and many people who carry the virus don’t have symptoms. But because more than 250 million people live with chronic HBV infections, more than 7 times the number with HIV, its global death toll now rivals that of the more-feared virus.


Viral hepatitis is on the rise. Tackling hepatitis B in Africa is key to fighting back. Viral hepatitis is on the rise. Tackling hepatitis B in Africa is key to fighting back.

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Is this the real life? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-this-the-real-life https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-this-the-real-life#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 09:42:31 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-this-the-real-life

Is this just fantasy?

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Bitly: CHECK THIS OUT: Diwata-2’s first images of the Philippines have been successfully captured and downloaded! https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/bitly-check-this-out-diwata-2s-first-images-of-the-philippines-have-been-successfully-captured-and-downloaded https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/bitly-check-this-out-diwata-2s-first-images-of-the-philippines-have-been-successfully-captured-and-downloaded#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 04:43:05 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/bitly-check-this-out-diwata-2s-first-images-of-the-philippines-have-been-successfully-captured-and-downloaded

While things have seemed quiet after Diwata-2’s launch into space last October 29, the team has been busy working on the initial tests and calibration of Diwata-2’s payloads. Stay tuned for more images and updates in the coming weeks! Read more about the first few images here: https://bit.ly/2E9oi6m&h=AT3JRdu_Q1bmVIKgKhh6i5isF4r0_KorJah…-f_F-Lf8F8 #Diwata2 #D2nMe

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Lasers Cure Nearly 50% of Patients With Prostate Cancer in New Study https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/lasers-cure-nearly-50-of-patients-with-prostate-cancer-in-new-study https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/lasers-cure-nearly-50-of-patients-with-prostate-cancer-in-new-study#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 22:22:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/lasers-cure-nearly-50-of-patients-with-prostate-cancer-in-new-study

Optical fibers are then inserted through an area called the perineum, found between the testes and the anus, and directly into the prostate gland. Afterwards, the scientists turn on a red laser that is induced through the optical fibers. This process utilizes the photosensitivity of the WST11 drug and activates it. Upon activation, free radicals are released within the area, attacking and destroying the tumors. Unlike conventional treatments which might affect a general area of body cells, this treatment is localized. The nearby cells are left more or less unharmed.

Beating The Big ‘C’

The trial for this prostate cancer treatment has shown promising results. Endgadget reports that, from the 415 participating men, nearly half were rid of the malignant disease by the end of treatment. This is a huge improvement compared to conventional procedures, which only have an average success rate of about 14 percent. Of those that had cancer in remission, only six percent needed to have their affected prostate removed, which is again a stark contrast to the conventional procedures’ 30 percent.

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A Fungus That Can “Eat” Plastic Has Been Discovered In Pakistan https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-fungus-that-can-eat-plastic-has-been-discovered-in-pakistan https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-fungus-that-can-eat-plastic-has-been-discovered-in-pakistan#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 22:22:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/a-fungus-that-can-eat-plastic-has-been-discovered-in-pakistan

By Luke Miller

A fungus that can “eat” plastic has been discovered in Pakistan. This discovery could tackle the growing plastic problem the planet is currently facing, by cutting the lifespan of plastic from up to 1000 years, to just weeks.

One of the largest environmental problems we are currently facing is plastic. Taken from sas.org pollution facts and figures:

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NASA releases first sounds ever recorded on Mars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/nasa-releases-first-sounds-ever-recorded-on-mars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/nasa-releases-first-sounds-ever-recorded-on-mars#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 21:22:32 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/nasa-releases-first-sounds-ever-recorded-on-mars

Today, NASA released the first ever audio recording from Mars!

NASA’s InSight lander touched down successfully on Mars on November 26th. The primary mission of the lander (which is not a rover) is to study the interior of Mars by drilling below the surface. The goal is to analyze seismic activity and monitor for Marsquakes, which are Earthquakes, except on Mars.

“Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat,” Bruce Banerdt, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release. “But one of the things [the InSight mission] is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves.”

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Tesla’s Elon Musk describes factors needed to grow company in Nevada https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/teslas-elon-musk-describes-factors-needed-to-grow-company-in-nevada https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/teslas-elon-musk-describes-factors-needed-to-grow-company-in-nevada#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 18:43:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/teslas-elon-musk-describes-factors-needed-to-grow-company-in-nevada

STOREY COUNTY — The need for more infrastructure and housing is constraining Tesla Motors’ desire to grow its footprint in Northern Nevada, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday.

Musk’s comment came during a technology and innovation summit hosted by Gov. Brian Sandoval at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 located just outside of Sparks.

Musk said he envisions growing the number of employees at the Nevada factory from roughly 7,000 currently to upward of 20,000 in the future, and more than doubling the physical footprint of the 5.8 million-square-foot lithium-ion battery factory.

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Ancient black hole collision is the most massive researchers have ever observed https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/ancient-black-hole-collision-is-the-most-massive-researchers-have-ever-observed https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/ancient-black-hole-collision-is-the-most-massive-researchers-have-ever-observed#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 18:43:14 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/ancient-black-hole-collision-is-the-most-massive-researchers-have-ever-observed

The discovery of three other black hole collisions were announced at the same time.


The best is yet to come.

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#DidYouKnow that Earth’s atmosphere leaks oxygen? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/didyouknow-that-earths-atmosphere-leaks-oxygen https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/didyouknow-that-earths-atmosphere-leaks-oxygen#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 18:43:00 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/didyouknow-that-earths-atmosphere-leaks-oxygen

We launched two sounding rockets that will help scientists understand atmospheric escape on our home planet that has applications all over the universe — from predicting which far off planets might be habitable, to piecing together how Mars became the desolate, exposed landscape it is today.

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Days after its launch from Florida https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/days-after-its-launch-from-florida https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/days-after-its-launch-from-florida#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 16:22:57 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/days-after-its-launch-from-florida

SpaceX’s #Dragon cargo spacecraft was successfully installed on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 10:36 a.m. EST. While there are now six spaceships attached at the station, the Dragon will spend about five weeks there and return to Earth in January 2019 with more than 4,000 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.

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How did the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope measure all the starlight produced over 90% of the universe’s history? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-did-the-nasa-fermi-gamma-ray-space-telescope-measure-all-the-starlight-produced-over-90-of-the-universes-history https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-did-the-nasa-fermi-gamma-ray-space-telescope-measure-all-the-starlight-produced-over-90-of-the-universes-history#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 15:02:58 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/how-did-the-nasa-fermi-gamma-ray-space-telescope-measure-all-the-starlight-produced-over-90-of-the-universes-history

Starlight continues to travel across the cosmos long after its sources have burned out — which means that we can see stars that no longer exist. It also means that our astronomers can study stellar formation without looking at the stars at all, but by observing the gamma rays that shoot out from distant galaxies interacting with the starlight. Take a closer look: https://go.nasa.gov/2G33gsA&h=AT2mbPrj5N1YVp76caneadyE80cXxz…q-2PIES2mQ

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Support the Drive to End Age-Related Diseases During Project for Awesome https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/support-the-drive-to-end-age-related-diseases-during-project-for-awesome https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/support-the-drive-to-end-age-related-diseases-during-project-for-awesome#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 13:42:26 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/support-the-drive-to-end-age-related-diseases-during-project-for-awesome

Project for Awesome (P4A) 2018 is finally here, and you can help us to win much-needed funds at no cost to you by voting for the videos supporting our charity.

Every year, a number of charities are chosen through voting, and they each receive a sum of money based on what the fundraiser at P4A has raised. In the past, charities have received around $25,000 each, which is a considerable sum, especially for a small non-profit org such as LEAF.

With these funds, we can purchase new equipment to support reporting at conferences and events and to bring our audience the best media experience possible. We are also planning to host a second conference in New York City in 2019, and this will be far more ambitious in scale and will be a two-day event rather than the single-day conference we held this year; with your support, we can make this one of the top conferences supporting the field of rejuvenation biotechnology and make high-quality footage available to the public. Finally, we can use the funds to hire new writers in order to bring you even more high-quality news articles and educational pieces about aging and research.

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Is it possible to reverse ‘chemo brain?’ https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-it-possible-to-reverse-chemo-brain https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-it-possible-to-reverse-chemo-brain#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 12:22:25 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/is-it-possible-to-reverse-chemo-brain

‘Chemo brain’ affects many people who have undergone cancer treatment. What happens in the brain, and how can we reverse this effect?

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Regenerage — SMX Radio — The Net of Regenerative Medicine — Bioquark https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/regenerage-smx-radio-the-net-of-regenerative-medicine-bioquark https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/regenerage-smx-radio-the-net-of-regenerative-medicine-bioquark#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 11:47:34 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/?p=85608
Dr. Joel I. Osorio of RegenerAge Clinic on SMX Radio broadcasting from the Colonia Santa María la Ribera neighborhood of Mexico City -
“LAS NETAS DE LA MEDICINA REGENERATIVA” (The Net of Regenerative Medicine)
Spreading the gospel of human regeneration, repair, and rejuvenation to the world — https://www.facebook.com/SMXradio/videos/751646811869501/
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Qualcomm’s ‘Extreme’ Snapdragon 8cx CPU Could Power Your Next Laptop https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/qualcomms-extreme-snapdragon-8cx-cpu-could-power-your-next-laptop https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/qualcomms-extreme-snapdragon-8cx-cpu-could-power-your-next-laptop#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:45:51 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/qualcomms-extreme-snapdragon-8cx-cpu-could-power-your-next-laptop

Intel and AMD could be looking at some stiff competition in the processor game. Fresh off announcing its new Snapdragon 855 mobile chip, the company has announced the Snapdragon 8cx. It’s for laptops instead of smartphones and is by far the most powerful processor the company has ever made. How can you tell? The “X” in the name stands for “extreme.”

While the Snapdragon 8cx is not the company’s first PC chip (that honor goes to the quickly forgotten Snapdragon 850), it’s the first one that could make Intel take note. Like the 855, the Snapdragon 8cx uses a 7nm manufacturing process. It has the same octa-core design with four high-performance cores based on the Cortex A76 and four low-power cores based on the A55. That’s really the end of the similarities, though.

Qualcomm has cranked the clock speed of all of its “Kryo 495” cores way up in the Snapdragon 8cx, but it won’t say exactly how high. The chip has 10MB of cache between L2 and L3 — the 855 only has 3MB. That makes the Snapdragon 8cx better at running heavy apps, and there’s support for up to 16GB of system memory. You can also check the boxes for NVMe and UFS3.0 storage.

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Microsoft president calls for government regulation of facial-recognition technology to ‘ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984’ https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/microsoft-president-calls-for-government-regulation-of-facial-recognition-technology-to-ensure-that-the-year-2024-doesnt-look-like-a-page-from-the-novel-1984 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/microsoft-president-calls-for-government-regulation-of-facial-recognition-technology-to-ensure-that-the-year-2024-doesnt-look-like-a-page-from-the-novel-1984#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:45:37 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/microsoft-president-calls-for-government-regulation-of-facial-recognition-technology-to-ensure-that-the-year-2024-doesnt-look-like-a-page-from-the-novel-1984

Microsoft said Thursday it was adopting a set of ethical principles for the use of its facial recognition technology, and urged the government to follow its lead with regulations barring unlawful discrimination and focusing on transparency.

In a blog post, Microsoft president Brad Smith pushed for the government, as well as tech companies, to regulate facial-recognition technology and ensure it “creates broad societal benefits while curbing the risk of abuse.”

“The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle,” Smith said in the post. “Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues.”

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Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/link-between-neonatal-vitamin-d-deficiency-and-schizophrenia-confirmed https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/link-between-neonatal-vitamin-d-deficiency-and-schizophrenia-confirmed#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:45:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/link-between-neonatal-vitamin-d-deficiency-and-schizophrenia-confirmed

Newborns with vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, a team of Australian and Danish researchers has reported.

The discovery could help prevent some cases of the disease by treating vitamin D deficiency during the earliest stages of life.

The study, led by Professor John McGrath from The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and Aarhus University in Denmark, found newborns with vitamin D deficiency had a 44 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels.

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For the first time, a major US utility has committed to 100% clean energy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/for-the-first-time-a-major-us-utility-has-committed-to-100-clean-energy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/for-the-first-time-a-major-us-utility-has-committed-to-100-clean-energy#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:45:07 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/for-the-first-time-a-major-us-utility-has-committed-to-100-clean-energy

Another sign that zero-carbon energy is going viral.

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Robotic harvester picks strawberries https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/robotic-harvester-picks-strawberries https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/robotic-harvester-picks-strawberries#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:44:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/robotic-harvester-picks-strawberries

This robotic strawberry harvester saves farmers hours of time and effort.

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Genetically Modified People Are Walking Among Us https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/genetically-modified-people-are-walking-among-us https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/genetically-modified-people-are-walking-among-us#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:44:00 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/genetically-modified-people-are-walking-among-us

And, so far, they’re just fine. America needs a sober debate about the pros and cons of Crispr instead of a paranoid ban on the technology.

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Theoretically Possibility That Gene Edited Twins Received a Tiny Intelligence Enhancement https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/theoretically-possibility-that-gene-edited-twins-received-a-tiny-intelligence-enhancement https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/theoretically-possibility-that-gene-edited-twins-received-a-tiny-intelligence-enhancement#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:43:56 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/theoretically-possibility-that-gene-edited-twins-received-a-tiny-intelligence-enhancement

The question and answer interview of He Jianku conference presentation has the most interesting parts of this debate about human gene editing of embryos. The interview starts at about 1 hour and 28 minutes of the record. The formal presentation showed that the scientist He has taken appropriate scientific care to perform the work. He took care to make sure it was on target and was successful. He took care to make sure there were no unintended off-target side-effects.

* the parents (father HIV positive) made a choice to use the edited embryos versus unedited * the CRISPR vector used to make the change. Appears to be the kind that can be ordered for about $100. There have been adult people who have self-experimented with mail order gene editing kits * the conference interviewer asked about whether He Jianku was aware of a few other research papers. Some paper suggests that the gene CCR5 could cause increased susceptibility to flu and another suggests a tiny increase in cognitive effect.

Intelligence is controlled by many thousands of genes.

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The First 8K TV Broadcast Has Officially Taken Place https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-first-8k-tv-broadcast-has-officially-taken-place https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-first-8k-tv-broadcast-has-officially-taken-place#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:43:41 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/the-first-8k-tv-broadcast-has-officially-taken-place

The first-ever 8K broadcast has officially occurred, but don’t expect immediate uptake.

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90% of All the Scientists That Ever Lived Are Alive Today https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/90-of-all-the-scientists-that-ever-lived-are-alive-today https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/90-of-all-the-scientists-that-ever-lived-are-alive-today#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:43:25 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/90-of-all-the-scientists-that-ever-lived-are-alive-today

This simple statistic captures the power of the exponential growth in science that has been taking place over the past century. It is attributable to Derek de Solla Price, the father of scientometrics (i.e., the science of studying science), in his 1961 book Science Since Babylon. If science is growing exponentially, then the major technological advancements and upheavals of the past 200 years are only the tip of the iceberg.

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FDA Approves Drug That Targets Key Genetic Driver of Cancer https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/fda-approves-drug-that-targets-key-genetic-driver-of-cancer https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/fda-approves-drug-that-targets-key-genetic-driver-of-cancer#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:22:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/fda-approves-drug-that-targets-key-genetic-driver-of-cancer

Imagine one drug that can target and kill malignant cells for some patients with many types of cancer. A new drug called Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, shows promise of doing just that for both adults and children with a variety of sometimes rare cancers that share one specific genetic mutation.

The mutation, called a TRK fusion, occurs when one of three NTRK genes becomes mistakenly connected to an unrelated gene and ignites uncontrolled growth. By solely targeting this mutation, the drug is designed to turn off growth signaling with a minimum of other toxicities.

According to the drug manufacturer, Loxo Oncology, this specific mutation can occur in a small subset of various adult and pediatric solid tumors ranging from cancers of the appendix, bile ducts, breast, lung, pancreas and thyroid to melanoma, GIST and various sarcomas.

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We finally know what causes childhood leukemia — and how to prevent it https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-finally-know-what-causes-childhood-leukemia-and-how-to-prevent-it https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-finally-know-what-causes-childhood-leukemia-and-how-to-prevent-it#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 04:02:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-finally-know-what-causes-childhood-leukemia-and-how-to-prevent-it

A number of different things have to happen for a child to develop leukemia.

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Massive Cave Discovered in Canada, Named After ‘Star Wars’ Beast https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/massive-cave-discovered-in-canada-named-after-star-wars-beast https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/massive-cave-discovered-in-canada-named-after-star-wars-beast#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:24:18 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/massive-cave-discovered-in-canada-named-after-star-wars-beast

A massive, previously unexplored cave discovered by accident in Canada has been named “Sarlacc’s Pit,” after the multi-tentacled alien beast that first made an appearance in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Officials from Canada’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change first came across the huge cavern in Wells Gray Provincial Park in British Columbia while conducting a caribou count by helicopter in March.

The sinkhole was later discovered to be the entrance to a cave, and is 328 feet long, 196 feet broad and 600 feet deep. Officials believe it may be Canada’s largest cave.

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Tiny ceramic particles make this building material fire-safe https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/tiny-ceramic-particles-make-this-building-material-fire-safe https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/tiny-ceramic-particles-make-this-building-material-fire-safe#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:24:04 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/tiny-ceramic-particles-make-this-building-material-fire-safe

Inspired by the insulation on a humble electrical cable, researchers have found that tiny ceramic particles can make plastic-backed cladding fire-safe.

How do you make a light-weight cladding material that doesn’t catch fire? It’s a question the building industry globally is wrestling with in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower blaze in London that cost the lives of 72 people.

But according to new research, the answer is under your desk in the plastic insulation around the electrical cable powering your computer.

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We Need to Prepare For Quantum Attacks Now, Top US Scientists Warn https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-need-to-prepare-for-quantum-attacks-now-top-us-scientists-warn https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-need-to-prepare-for-quantum-attacks-now-top-us-scientists-warn#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:23:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/we-need-to-prepare-for-quantum-attacks-now-top-us-scientists-warn

The promise of quantum computing brings with it some mind-blowing potential, but it also carries a new set of risks, scientists are warning.

Specifically, the enormous power of the tech could be used to crack the best cyber security we currently have in place.

A new report on the “progress and prospects” of quantum computing put together by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in the US says that work should start now on putting together algorithms to beat the bad guys.

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Probe Headed for Mercury Fires Most Powerful Ion Drive Ever Built https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/probe-headed-for-mercury-fires-most-powerful-ion-drive-ever-built https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/probe-headed-for-mercury-fires-most-powerful-ion-drive-ever-built#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:23:34 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/probe-headed-for-mercury-fires-most-powerful-ion-drive-ever-built

BepiColombo has fired its ion drives in preparation for Mercury orbital injection over the next seven years.

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World’s First Insect Vaccine Could Help Bees Fight Off Deadly Disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/worlds-first-insect-vaccine-could-help-bees-fight-off-deadly-disease https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/worlds-first-insect-vaccine-could-help-bees-fight-off-deadly-disease#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:23:20 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/worlds-first-insect-vaccine-could-help-bees-fight-off-deadly-disease

The Salt American foulbrood is an infectious disease that devastates honeybee hives. Scientists say they’ve created a vaccine for it, despite a big hurdle: Bees don’t have antibodies.

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Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Woman Who Filled Her Neti Pot With Tap Water https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/rare-brain-eating-amoeba-kills-woman-who-filled-her-neti-pot-with-tap-water https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/rare-brain-eating-amoeba-kills-woman-who-filled-her-neti-pot-with-tap-water#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:23:07 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/rare-brain-eating-amoeba-kills-woman-who-filled-her-neti-pot-with-tap-water

A 68-year-old Seattle woman who died after contracting a rare brain-eating amoeba used regular tap water to rinse her sinuses, according to new research.

As noted in a new International Journal of Infectious Diseases case study, the infection was initially misdiagnosed as a brain tumor. During surgery to remove the suspected tumor, the lead neurosurgeon, Charles Cobbs from Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, was taken aback by the extent of the brain damage. So he extracted a sample for further testing.

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Experiments at PPPL show remarkable agreement with satellite sightings https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/experiments-at-pppl-show-remarkable-agreement-with-satellite-sightings https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/experiments-at-pppl-show-remarkable-agreement-with-satellite-sightings#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:02:56 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/experiments-at-pppl-show-remarkable-agreement-with-satellite-sightings

As on Earth, so in space. A four-satellite mission that is studying magnetic reconnection—the breaking apart and explosive reconnection of the magnetic field lines in plasma that occurs throughout the universe—has found key aspects of the process in space to be strikingly similar to those found in experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The similarities show how the studies complement each other: The laboratory captures important global features of reconnection and the spacecraft documents local key properties as they occur.

The observations made by the Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellite (MMS) mission, which NASA launched in 2015 to study in the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth, correspond quite well with past and present laboratory findings of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at PPPL. Previous MRX research uncovered the process by which rapid reconnection occurs and identified the amount of magnetic that is converted to particle energy during the process, which gives rise to northern lights, and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell phone service, black out power grids and damage orbiting satellites.

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Harnessing the power of ‘spin orbit’ coupling in silicon: Scaling up quantum computation https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/harnessing-the-power-of-spin-orbit-coupling-in-silicon-scaling-up-quantum-computation https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/harnessing-the-power-of-spin-orbit-coupling-in-silicon-scaling-up-quantum-computation#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:02:43 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/harnessing-the-power-of-spin-orbit-coupling-in-silicon-scaling-up-quantum-computation

Australian scientists have investigated new directions to scale up qubits—utilising the spin-orbit coupling of atom qubits—adding a new suite of tools to the armory.

Spin-orbit coupling, the coupling of the qubits’ orbital and spin degree of freedom, allows the manipulation of the via electric, rather than magnetic-fields. Using the electric dipole coupling between qubits means they can be placed further apart, thereby providing flexibility in the chip fabrication process.

In one of these approaches, published in Science Advances, a team of scientists led by UNSW Professor Sven Rogge investigated the spin-orbit coupling of a boron atom in silicon.

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Multichannel vectorial holographic display and encryption https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/multichannel-vectorial-holographic-display-and-encryption https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/multichannel-vectorial-holographic-display-and-encryption#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:02:25 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/multichannel-vectorial-holographic-display-and-encryption

Holography is a powerful tool that can reconstruct wavefronts of light and combine the fundamental wave properties of amplitude, phase, polarization, wave vector and frequency. Smart multiplexing techniques (multiple signal integration) together with metasurface designs are currently in high demand to explore the capacity to engineer information storage systems and enhance optical encryption security using such metasurface holograms.

Holography based on metasurfaces is a promising candidate for applications in optical displays/storage with enormous information bearing capacity alongside a large field of view compared to traditional methods. To practically realize holograms, holographic profiles should be encoded on ultrathin nanostructures that possess strong light-matter interactions (plasmonic interactions) in an ultrashort distance. Metasurfaces can control light and acoustic waves in a manner not seen in nature to provide a flexible and compact platform and realize a variety of vectorial holograms, with high dimensional information that surpass the limits of liquid crystals or optical photoresists.

Among the existing techniques employed to achieve highly desired optical properties, polarization multiplexing (multiple signal integration) is an attractive method. The strong cross-talk associated with such platforms can, however, be prevented with birefringent metasurfaces (two-dimensional surfaces with two different refractive indices) composed of a single meta-atom per unit-cell for optimized multiplexing.

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Computer vision in the dark using recurrent CNNs https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/computer-vision-in-the-dark-using-recurrent-cnns https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/computer-vision-in-the-dark-using-recurrent-cnns#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 22:42:55 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2018/12/computer-vision-in-the-dark-using-recurrent-cnns

Over the past few years, classical convolutional neural networks (cCNNs) have led to remarkable advances in computer vision. Many of these algorithms can now categorize objects in good quality images with high accuracy.

However, in real-world applications, such as autonomous driving or robotics, imaging data rarely includes pictures taken under ideal lighting conditions. Often, the images that CNNs would need to process feature occluded objects, motion distortion, or low signal to noise ratios (SNRs), either as a result of poor image quality or low light levels.

Although cCNNs have also been successfully used to de-noise images and enhance their quality, these networks cannot combine information from multiple frames or video sequences and are hence easily outperformed by humans on low quality images. Till S. Hartmann, a neuroscience researcher at Harvard Medical School, has recently carried out a study that addresses these limitations, introducing a new CNN approach for analyzing noisy images.

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