Lifeboat News: The Blog https://lifeboat.com/blog Safeguarding Humanity Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:02:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 IBM researchers develop a technique to virtually patch vulnerabilities ahead of threat https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/ibm-researchers-develop-a-technique-to-virtually-patch-vulnerabilities-ahead-of-threat https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/ibm-researchers-develop-a-technique-to-virtually-patch-vulnerabilities-ahead-of-threat#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:02:50 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/ibm-researchers-develop-a-technique-to-virtually-patch-vulnerabilities-ahead-of-threat

Researchers at IBM have recently devised a new technique to virtually patch security vulnerabilities before they are found. Their approach, presented at the International Workshop on Information and Operational Technology, co-located with RAID18, leverages testing techniques for supervised learning-based data generation.

“While researching a solution to find security vulnerabilities in popular software, we paused to think about the following problem: We know practically and theoretically that it is impossible to find all vulnerabilities in an application, and the security community is in a constant race to discover those vulnerabilities in the hope of finding them before the bad guys do,” Fady Copty, lead researcher of the study, told TechXplore. “This means enforcing regulations and constantly deploying to systems.”

Deploying a on an application is a tedious and time-consuming task, which entails a series of steps: identifying the vulnerable version of the application, managing this , delivering the , deploying it and then restarting the application. Often, patches are deployed over long periods of time, hence can remain vulnerable for a period after a vulnerability has been discovered. To speed up this process, researchers have recently introduced virtual patches, which are enforced using intrusion detection and prevention systems.

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Researchers keeps wraps on automatic text generator to prevent misuse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-keeps-wraps-on-automatic-text-generator-to-prevent-misuse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-keeps-wraps-on-automatic-text-generator-to-prevent-misuse#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:02:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-keeps-wraps-on-automatic-text-generator-to-prevent-misuse

Researchers this week announced they had developed an automatic text generator using artificial intelligence which is very good—so good, it is keeping details private for now.

That software developed by OpenAI could be used to generate , product reviews and other kinds of writing which may be more realistic than anything developed before by computer.

OpenAI, a research center backed by Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon and Microsoft, said the new software “achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language modeling benchmarks,” including summarization and translating.

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How learning more about neuroscience might influence development of improved AI systems https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-learning-more-about-neuroscience-might-influence-development-of-improved-ai-systems https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-learning-more-about-neuroscience-might-influence-development-of-improved-ai-systems#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:02:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-learning-more-about-neuroscience-might-influence-development-of-improved-ai-systems

Deep-learning neural networks have come a long way in the past several years—we now have systems that are capable of beating people at complex games such as shogi, Go and chess. But is the progress of such systems limited by their basic architecture? Shimon Ullman, with the Weizmann Institute of Science, addresses this question in a Perspectives piece in the journal Science and suggests some ways computer scientists might reach beyond simple AI systems to create artificial general intelligence (AGI) systems.

Deep learning networks are able to learn because they have been programmed to create artificial neurons and the connections between them. As they encounter , new neurons and communication paths between them are formed—very much like the way the operates. But such systems require extensive training (and a feedback system) before they are able to do anything useful, which stands in stark contrast to the way that humans learn. We do not need to watch thousands of people in action to learn to follow someone’s gaze, for example, or to figure out that a smile is something positive.

Ullman suggests this is because humans are born with what he describes as preexisting network structures that are encoded into our neural circuitry. Such structures, he explains, provide growing infants with an understanding of the physical world in which they exist—a base upon which they can build more that lead to general intelligence. If computers had similar structures, they, too, might develop physical and social skills without the need for thousands of examples.

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There’s a black hole that could erase your past and let you live out infinite futures, study suggests https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/theres-a-black-hole-that-could-erase-your-past-and-let-you-live-out-infinite-futures-study-suggests https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/theres-a-black-hole-that-could-erase-your-past-and-let-you-live-out-infinite-futures-study-suggests#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:02:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/theres-a-black-hole-that-could-erase-your-past-and-let-you-live-out-infinite-futures-study-suggests

According to most astrophysicists, once you enter a black hole, that’s it for you: gravity will drag you to the singularity — a one-dimensional infinitely small space containing a huge mass — at the speed of light. Then, the black hole will ‘spaghettify you”. Nice.

However, a new study from Berkley University theorises not only that humans could survive going into a black hole, but that their past could be erased, giving way to “infinite futures”.

Physicist Peter Hintz argues that if a human traveller entered a “relatively benign” black hole, they might be able to shed the natural laws of physics — and survive.

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This New ‘Trojan Horse’ Drug Successfully Treated 6 Types of Cancer Tumor https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/this-new-trojan-horse-drug-successfully-treated-6-types-of-cancer-tumor https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/this-new-trojan-horse-drug-successfully-treated-6-types-of-cancer-tumor#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:02:34 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/this-new-trojan-horse-drug-successfully-treated-6-types-of-cancer-tumor

A toxic antibody is the latest weapon to show promise as a broad spectrum treatment for multiple forms of advanced cancer.

Dubbed a ‘Trojan horse’ approach to chemotherapy, the new drug has proven itself worthy of moving up the chain of clinical trials to being tested on a greater variety of patients. It’s not a fabled cure-all, but this approach might be as close as we’re going to get.

Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust tested the new treatment in a clinical trial involving 147 patients to evaluate its potential benefits and risks of side effects.

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The magical thinking of guys who love logic https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-magical-thinking-of-guys-who-love-logic https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-magical-thinking-of-guys-who-love-logic#comments Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:22:22 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-magical-thinking-of-guys-who-love-logic

There are a lot of people who like to claim themselves as “supremely logical.” The ones who insist that their every thought is controlled by reason and not emotions. Of course, this is incorrect. Outside of people with certain kinds of brain damage, people are not logical beings. Especially since there’s no definition of logic that fits the definition of what lot’s of people refer to as logic.


Why so many men online love to use “logic” to win an argument, and then disappear before they can find out they’re wrong.

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Elon Musk says SpaceX is developing a ‘bleeding’ heavy-metal rocket ship. Making it work may be 100 times as hard as NASA’s most difficult Mars mission, one expert says https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/elon-musk-says-spacex-is-developing-a-bleeding-heavy-metal-rocket-ship-making-it-work-may-be-100-times-as-hard-as-nasas-most-difficult-mars-mission-one-expert-says https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/elon-musk-says-spacex-is-developing-a-bleeding-heavy-metal-rocket-ship-making-it-work-may-be-100-times-as-hard-as-nasas-most-difficult-mars-mission-one-expert-says#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 19:42:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/elon-musk-says-spacex-is-developing-a-bleeding-heavy-metal-rocket-ship-making-it-work-may-be-100-times-as-hard-as-nasas-most-difficult-mars-mission-one-expert-says

SpaceX is building a steel launch system called Starship for the moon and Mars, but some aerospace experts say Elon Musk’s new design won’t be easy.

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Best apps and gadgets to repel mosquitoes https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/best-apps-and-gadgets-to-repel-mosquitoes https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/best-apps-and-gadgets-to-repel-mosquitoes#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 19:02:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/best-apps-and-gadgets-to-repel-mosquitoes

Ah, warm weather. It’s time for t-shirts, backyard barbecues, pool parties, and madly swatting at mosquitoes as the biting insects come out from hiding to make our outdoor experiences miserable.

There are some traditional ways of fighting off the flying pests. You can slather on insect-repellent sprays and lotions, light citronella candles, or just keep smacking the bugs when they land on you. Or you can try out some newer methods, including interesting gadgets that take on the problem.

You may even have heard about smartphone apps that are designed to deter mosquitoes, but there’s something you need to know about those.

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Travel-friendly robot cleans your hotel bed with artificial intelligence https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/travel-friendly-robot-cleans-your-hotel-bed-with-artificial-intelligence https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/travel-friendly-robot-cleans-your-hotel-bed-with-artificial-intelligence#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:46:14 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/travel-friendly-robot-cleans-your-hotel-bed-with-artificial-intelligence

Germaphobes rejoice: you can now check in with confidence, thanks to this nifty little device.

Advertise with NZME.

The robot uses UV light to scour surfaces – including bed sheets – without the need for harmful chemicals or manual labour. This method is found to be effective against 99.9 per cent of pathogens tucked away in the fabric of hotel suites.

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Engineered metasurfaces reflect waves in unusual directions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/engineered-metasurfaces-reflect-waves-in-unusual-directions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/engineered-metasurfaces-reflect-waves-in-unusual-directions#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:45:57 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/engineered-metasurfaces-reflect-waves-in-unusual-directions

In our daily lives, we can find many examples of manipulation of reflected waves such as mirrors to see our reflections or reflective surfaces for sound that improve auditorium acoustics. When a wave impinges on a reflective surface with a certain angle of incidence and the energy is sent back, the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence. This classical reflection law is valid for any homogenous surface. Researchers at Aalto University have developed new metasurfaces for the arbitrary manipulation of reflected waves, essentially breaking the law to engineer the reflection of a surface at will.

Metasurfaces are artificial structures, composed of periodic arranged of meta-atoms at subwavelength scale. Meta-atoms are made of traditional materials but, if they are placed in a periodic manner, the surface can show many unusual effects that cannot be realized by the materials in nature. In their article published 15 February 2019 in Science Advances, the researchers use power-flow conformal metasurfaces to engineer the direction of reflected waves.

‘Existing solutions for controlling reflection of waves have low efficiency or difficult implementation,’ says Ana Díaz-Rubio, postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University. ‘We solved both of those problems. Not only did we figure out a way to design high efficient metasurfaces, we can also adapt the design for different functionalities. These metasurfaces are a versatile platform for arbitrary control of reflection.’

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OpenAI’s text synthesis algorithm generated this bit of Lord of the Rings fanfiction completely from scratch on its first try https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/openais-text-synthesis-algorithm-generated-this-bit-of-lord-of-the-rings-fanfiction-completely-from-scratch-on-its-first-try https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/openais-text-synthesis-algorithm-generated-this-bit-of-lord-of-the-rings-fanfiction-completely-from-scratch-on-its-first-try#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:45:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/openais-text-synthesis-algorithm-generated-this-bit-of-lord-of-the-rings-fanfiction-completely-from-scratch-on-its-first-try

19 votes and so far on Reddit.

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Research: Planting Trillions of Trees Could Cancel Out CO2 Emissions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/research-planting-trillions-of-trees-could-cancel-out-co2-emissions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/research-planting-trillions-of-trees-could-cancel-out-co2-emissions#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:22:37 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/research-planting-trillions-of-trees-could-cancel-out-co2-emissions

Unlike high tech solutions to climate change like carbon capture systems, Crowther argued, trees are nice because anyone can plant one.

“It’s a beautiful thing because everyone can get involved,” he told The Independent. “Trees literally just make people happier in urban environments, they improve air quality, water quality, food quality, ecosystem service, it’s such an easy, tangible thing.”

READ MORE: Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests [The Independent].

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These Tree-Planting Drones Are About To Start An Entire Forest From The Sky https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/these-tree-planting-drones-are-about-to-start-an-entire-forest-from-the-sky https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/these-tree-planting-drones-are-about-to-start-an-entire-forest-from-the-sky#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:22:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/these-tree-planting-drones-are-about-to-start-an-entire-forest-from-the-sky

Villages have spent years replanting mangroves along the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Now their work will go much faster, with some help from above.

“We are now racing against time to rebuild the green shield in order to protect the most vulnerable people.” [Photo: BioCarbon Engineering].

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How the Brain Keeps Its Memories in the Right Order https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-the-brain-keeps-its-memories-in-the-right-order https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-the-brain-keeps-its-memories-in-the-right-order#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 15:42:31 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-the-brain-keeps-its-memories-in-the-right-order

The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events.

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The End Of Work: The Consequences Of An Economic Singularity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-end-of-work-the-consequences-of-an-economic-singularity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-end-of-work-the-consequences-of-an-economic-singularity#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 15:42:15 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-end-of-work-the-consequences-of-an-economic-singularity

How will artificial intelligence, molecular manufacturing, biological engineering and distributed additive manufacturing change the economics of the production of goods and services?

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One would think one third of the universe’s matter would be easy to find https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-would-think-one-third-of-the-universes-matter-would-be-easy-to-find https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-would-think-one-third-of-the-universes-matter-would-be-easy-to-find#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:43:48 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-would-think-one-third-of-the-universes-matter-would-be-easy-to-find

However, when astronomers add up all the mass of normal matter in the universe, a third of it can’t be found. (This missing matter is distinct from the still-mysterious dark matter.) However, the matter might be contained in gigantic strands of hot gas in intergalactic space, which are invisible to optical light telescopes. Data from Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes are on the case: https://go.nasa.gov/2N7nWj6

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Oncology Meets Immunology: The Cancer-Immunity Cycle https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/oncology-meets-immunology-the-cancer-immunity-cycle https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/oncology-meets-immunology-the-cancer-immunity-cycle#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:24:37 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/oncology-meets-immunology-the-cancer-immunity-cycle

The genetic and cellular alterations that define cancer provide the immune system with the means to generate T cell responses that recognize and eradicate cancer cells. However, elimination of cancer by T cells is only one step in the Cancer-Immunity Cycle, which manages the delicate balance between the recognition of nonself and the prevention of autoimmunity. Identification of cancer cell T cell inhibitory signals, including PD-L1, has prompted the development of a new class of cancer immunotherapy that specifically hinders immune effector inhibition, reinvigorating and potentially expanding preexisting anticancer immune responses. The presence of suppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment may explain the limited activity observed with previous immune-based therapies and why these therapies may be more effective in combination with agents that target other steps of the cycle. Emerging clinical data suggest that cancer immunotherapy is likely to become a key part of the clinical management of cancer.

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Cholesterol Metabolism Is a Druggable Axis that Independently Regulates Tau and Amyloid-β in iPSC-Derived Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/cholesterol-metabolism-is-a-druggable-axis-that-independently-regulates-tau-and-amyloid-%ce%b2-in-ipsc-derived-alzheimers-disease-neurons https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/cholesterol-metabolism-is-a-druggable-axis-that-independently-regulates-tau-and-amyloid-%ce%b2-in-ipsc-derived-alzheimers-disease-neurons#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:23:53 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/cholesterol-metabolism-is-a-druggable-axis-that-independently-regulates-tau-and-amyloid-%ce%b2-in-ipsc-derived-alzheimers-disease-neurons

Genetic, epidemiologic, and biochemical evidence suggests that predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may arise from altered cholesterol metabolism, although the molecular pathways that may link cholesterol to AD phenotypes are only partially understood. Here, we perform a phenotypic screen for pTau accumulation in AD-patient iPSC-derived neurons and identify cholesteryl esters (CE), the storage product of excess cholesterol, as upstream regulators of Tau early during AD development. Using isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines carrying mutations in the cholesterol-binding domain of APP or APP null alleles, we found that while CE also regulate Aβ secretion, the effects of CE on Tau and Aβ are mediated independent pathways. Efficacy and toxicity screening in iPSC- derived astrocytes and neurons showed that allosteric activation of CYP46A1 lowers CE specifically in neurons and is well tolerated by astrocytes. These data reveal that CE independently regulate Tau and Aβ and identify a druggable CYP46A1-CE-Tau axis in AD.


Van der Kant et al. performed a repurposing drug screen in iPSC-derived AD neurons and identified compounds that reduce aberrant accumulation of phosphorylated Tau (pTau). Reduction of cholesteryl ester levels or allosteric activation of CYP46A1 by lead compounds enhanced pTau degradation independently of APP and Aβ.

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A new chemical process could turn a quarter of our plastic waste into clean fuel https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-new-chemical-process-could-turn-a-quarter-of-our-plastic-waste-into-clean-fuel https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-new-chemical-process-could-turn-a-quarter-of-our-plastic-waste-into-clean-fuel#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:23:20 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-new-chemical-process-could-turn-a-quarter-of-our-plastic-waste-into-clean-fuel

A new chemical process could turn about 90% of the world’s grocery bags, shrink wrap, and other polypropylene waste into clean fuel.


Grocery bags and other trash could be melted down to yield useful products like oil and gas.

The problem: The world’s landfill sites and oceans are being flooded with plastic. A mere 9% of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced over the last 65 years has been recycled, according to the United Nations. Over eight million tons of plastic flow into our oceans every year, harming wildlife.

How it works: The technology works on polyolefin waste, the sort of plastic used for grocery bags, toys, and shrink wrap. This sort of plastic accounts for about 23% of plastic waste, according to researchers who describe the process in a paper published in Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. The new technique uses a process called hydrothermal liquefaction, in which very high temperatures melt pellets of polyolefin and then dissolve them in water. The by-products of this process are oil, gas, or solvents.

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Transmedics, une machine qui permet de « réanimer » un coeur ayant cessé de battre https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/transmedics-une-machine-qui-permet-de-reanimer-un-coeur-ayant-cesse-de-battre https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/transmedics-une-machine-qui-permet-de-reanimer-un-coeur-ayant-cesse-de-battre#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:22:43 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/transmedics-une-machine-qui-permet-de-reanimer-un-coeur-ayant-cesse-de-battre

Une belle avancée pour augmenter considérablement le nombre de greffons disponibles pour les transplantations!

Via Explore Science

Transmedics, a machine that allows “Revive” a heart that has stopped beating. A great advance to significantly increase the number of plugins available for transplants! Via @[1382701505100571:274:Explore Science].

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Stem Cells, Genome Editing, and the Path to Translational Medicine https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/stem-cells-genome-editing-and-the-path-to-translational-medicine https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/stem-cells-genome-editing-and-the-path-to-translational-medicine#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:02:34 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/stem-cells-genome-editing-and-the-path-to-translational-medicine

The derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and the stunning discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) holds the promise to revolutionize biomedical research and regenerative medicine. In this Review, we focus on disorders of the central nervous system and explore how advances in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) coincide with evolutions in genome engineering and genomic technologies to provide realistic opportunities to tackle some of the most devastating complex disorders.


Advances in stem cell biology are paving new paths toward their use in the clinic, especially toward understanding and treating neurological and neurodegenerative disease.

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A Paradigm Shift in Cancer Immunotherapy: From Enhancement to Normalization https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-paradigm-shift-in-cancer-immunotherapy-from-enhancement-to-normalization https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-paradigm-shift-in-cancer-immunotherapy-from-enhancement-to-normalization#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:43:49 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-paradigm-shift-in-cancer-immunotherapy-from-enhancement-to-normalization

Harnessing an antitumor immune response has been a fundamental strategy in cancer immunotherapy. For over a century, efforts have primarily focused on amplifying immune activation mechanisms that are employed by humans to eliminate invaders such as viruses and bacteria. This “immune enhancement” strategy often results in rare objective responses and frequent immune-related adverse events (irAEs). However, in the last decade, cancer immunotherapies targeting the B7-H1/PD-1 pathway (anti-PD therapy), have achieved higher objective response rates in patients with much fewer irAEs.


This Perspective discusses the concept of immune normalization and how its underlying principles may help to augment, as well as design, cancer immunotherapies.

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Inside Finland’s plan to become an artificial intelligence powerhouse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/inside-finlands-plan-to-become-an-artificial-intelligence-powerhouse https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/inside-finlands-plan-to-become-an-artificial-intelligence-powerhouse#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:02:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/inside-finlands-plan-to-become-an-artificial-intelligence-powerhouse

Finland knows it doesn’t have the resources to compete with China or the United States for artificial intelligence supremacy, so it’s trying to outsmart them. “People are comparing this to electricity – it touches every single sector of human life,” says Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa. From its foundations as a pulp mill 153 years ago, Nokia is now one of the companies helping to drive a very quiet, very Finnish AI revolution.


The small Nordic country is betting on education to give it a decisive edge in the age of AI.

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ISDApp: INON: ISDApp represented the country with a simple solution but with a deep purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/isdapp-inon-isdapp-represented-the-country-with-a-simple-solution-but-with-a-deep-purpose-which-we-believe-helped-it-swim-to-success https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/isdapp-inon-isdapp-represented-the-country-with-a-simple-solution-but-with-a-deep-purpose-which-we-believe-helped-it-swim-to-success#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:23:20 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/isdapp-inon-isdapp-represented-the-country-with-a-simple-solution-but-with-a-deep-purpose-which-we-believe-helped-it-swim-to-success

This is proof that even technology needs a heart.” #SpaceApps #SpaceAppsPH http://verafiles.org/articles/isdapp-filipino-it-experts-win…-challenge


An app developed by a group of Filipino information technology professionals to assist local fishermen in their daily work has been named one of six global winners in the NASA Space Challenge, an announcement made on Feb. 16 said.

The much-awaited announcement was delayed for weeks because of the U.S. federal government shutdown.

ISDApp, an app that would enable fishermen to receive scientific data without Internet connection, was declared winner in the “Galactic Impact” category besting co-finalists from, India, Italy, Romania, and Slovenia.

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After you spit into a tube for a DNA test like 23andMe, experts say you shouldn’t assume your data will stay private forever https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/after-you-spit-into-a-tube-for-a-dna-test-like-23andme-experts-say-you-shouldnt-assume-your-data-will-stay-private-forever https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/after-you-spit-into-a-tube-for-a-dna-test-like-23andme-experts-say-you-shouldnt-assume-your-data-will-stay-private-forever#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 00:22:38 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/after-you-spit-into-a-tube-for-a-dna-test-like-23andme-experts-say-you-shouldnt-assume-your-data-will-stay-private-forever

The DNA from the spit you submitted to Ancestry or 23andMe might be private for now. But experts warn it’s getting easier to link your DNA to your identity.

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Human Diet Drugs Kill Mosquitoes’ Appetite Too https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/human-diet-drugs-kill-mosquitoes-appetite-too https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/human-diet-drugs-kill-mosquitoes-appetite-too#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 00:22:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/human-diet-drugs-kill-mosquitoes-appetite-too

When researchers fed mosquitoes a drug used to treat people for obesity, the insects were less interested in hunting for their next human meal ticket. Karen Hopkin reports.

Full Transcript

Believe it or not, mosquitoes don’t bite out of spite. Female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti need the nutrients present in your plasma to ensure the proper development of their eggs. And though their thirst may seem unquenchable, the ladies actually take time to savor your blood once they’ve sipped their fill.

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The Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces and the Human Machine https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-future-of-brain-computer-interfaces-and-the-human-machine https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-future-of-brain-computer-interfaces-and-the-human-machine#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:43:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-future-of-brain-computer-interfaces-and-the-human-machine

The melding of humanity with the technology we have created has begun…

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Gloucester Daily Times https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gloucester-daily-times https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gloucester-daily-times#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:42:36 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gloucester-daily-times

Publication: Gloucester Daily Times pages: opinion section: columns story title: Living with artificial super-intelligence author: Anthony J. Marolda date: February 1, 2019.

Note: collected for library archive.

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Artificial Intelligence Crime: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Foreseeable Threats and Solutions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/artificial-intelligence-crime-an-interdisciplinary-analysis-of-foreseeable-threats-and-solutions https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/artificial-intelligence-crime-an-interdisciplinary-analysis-of-foreseeable-threats-and-solutions#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 20:02:32 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/artificial-intelligence-crime-an-interdisciplinary-analysis-of-foreseeable-threats-and-solutions With the development of deep fakes and social media bots, there’s a concern about the use of AI in crime. This paper by Floridi is a great analysis of the possible problems that may arise. From the above mentioned deep fakes to AI copying someone’s social media account into another media and pretending to be them or the use of AI financial bots to gather insider information to use in financial manipulation.

The last idea reminds of the scenes in Transcendence where the AI Will Caster makes a fortune in the markets.


Artificial intelligence (AI) research and regulation seek to balance the benefits of innovation against any potential harms and disruption. However, one unintended consequence of the recent surge in AI research is the potential re-orientation of AI.

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I had an in-depth conversation with CNBC this week covering everything from NASA tech in agriculture to potential life on Mars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/i-had-an-in-depth-conversation-with-cnbc-this-week-covering-everything-from-nasa-tech-in-agriculture-to-potential-life-on-mars https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/i-had-an-in-depth-conversation-with-cnbc-this-week-covering-everything-from-nasa-tech-in-agriculture-to-potential-life-on-mars#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 19:02:42 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/i-had-an-in-depth-conversation-with-cnbc-this-week-covering-everything-from-nasa-tech-in-agriculture-to-potential-life-on-mars

Here’s a clip about how we’re helping farmers understand the precise irrigation needs of their crops.

Full interview: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/14/nasas-bridenstine-on-spacex-…-mars.html

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A Philosopher Is Trying to Figure out What Black Holes Really Are https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-philosopher-is-trying-to-figure-out-what-black-holes-really-are https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-philosopher-is-trying-to-figure-out-what-black-holes-really-are#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:43:45 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/a-philosopher-is-trying-to-figure-out-what-black-holes-really-are

Physicists can’t agree.


Physicists define black holes according to their field’s needs.

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China made an artificial star that’s 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/china-made-an-artificial-star-thats-6-times-as-hot-as-the-sun-and-it-could-be-the-future-of-energy https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/china-made-an-artificial-star-thats-6-times-as-hot-as-the-sun-and-it-could-be-the-future-of-energy#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:22:21 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/china-made-an-artificial-star-thats-6-times-as-hot-as-the-sun-and-it-could-be-the-future-of-energy

Imagine if we could replace fossil fuels with our very own stars. And no, we’re not talking about solar power: We’re talking nuclear fusion. And recent research is helping us get there. Meet the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, or EAST.

EAST is a fusion reactor based in Hefei, China. And it can now reach temperatures more than six times as hot as the sun. Let’s take a look at what’s happening inside. Fusion occurs when two lightweight atoms combine into a single, larger one, releasing energy in the process. It sounds simple enough, but it’s not easy to pull off. Because those two atoms share a positive charge. And just like two opposing magnets, those positive atoms repel each other.

Stars, like our sun, have a great way of overcoming this repulsion … their massive size, which creates a tremendous amount of pressure in their cores … So the atoms are forced closer together making them more likely to collide. There’s just one problem: We don’t have the technology to recreate that kind of pressure on Earth.

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The LED Guitar https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-led-guitar https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-led-guitar#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:02:55 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-led-guitar

For more information visit: http://immergeinteractive.com/elements

Fender Telecaster meets custom built LED video display meets audio reactive control software.

The guitar display is a custom cut faceplate mapped with individually addressable LEDs which turns the whole face of the instrument into a video screen. Integrated with our software that drives the band’s existing light show, the guitar visuals are synced with the entire light rig to provide cohesive looks and stand out solos.

Premiering only in recent weeks, this piece draws immediate crowd attention. Paired with the band’s unique musical style, this element of their show leaves the crowd with a unique memory of a stand out performance.

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The company that promised a one-way ticket to Mars is bankrupt https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-company-that-promised-a-one-way-ticket-to-mars-is-bankrupt https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-company-that-promised-a-one-way-ticket-to-mars-is-bankrupt#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 17:43:46 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-company-that-promised-a-one-way-ticket-to-mars-is-bankrupt

The company claimed it was going to send hundreds of people to live on Mars.


What a shocker.

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‘Tumour monorail’ on the fast track for human trials https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/tumour-monorail-on-the-fast-track-for-human-trials https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/tumour-monorail-on-the-fast-track-for-human-trials#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:42:23 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/tumour-monorail-on-the-fast-track-for-human-trials

A biomedical device designed to lure tumour cells out of the brain Pied Piper-style has been awarded specialist breakthrough status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Following successful trials in rats, the device, dubbed a ‘tumour monorail’, has been put on the fast track for human trials by the FDA.

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Gravitational-wave observatory LIGO set to double its detecting power https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gravitational-wave-observatory-ligo-set-to-double-its-detecting-power https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gravitational-wave-observatory-ligo-set-to-double-its-detecting-power#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:23:45 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/gravitational-wave-observatory-ligo-set-to-double-its-detecting-power

A planned US$35-million upgrade could enable LIGO to spot one black-hole merger per hour by the mid-2020s.

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Bill Gates: Textbooks are ‘becoming obsolete’— here’s the best way to learn today https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/bill-gates-textbooks-are-becoming-obsolete-heres-the-best-way-to-learn-today https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/bill-gates-textbooks-are-becoming-obsolete-heres-the-best-way-to-learn-today#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:02:22 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/bill-gates-textbooks-are-becoming-obsolete-heres-the-best-way-to-learn-today

“I read more than my share of textbooks,” Gates says. “But it’s a pretty limited way to learn something. Even the best text can’t figure out which concepts you understand and which ones you need more help with.”

Software can be used to create a much more dynamic learning experience, he says.

Gates gives the example of learning algebra. “Instead of just reading a chapter on solving equations, you can look at the text online, watch a super-engaging video that shows you how it’s done, and play a game that reinforces the concepts,” he writes. “Then you solve a few problems online, and the software creates new quiz questions to zero in on the ideas you’re not quite getting.”

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California’s Rain Was a ‘Cat 4’ Atmospheric River. Wait, What? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/californias-rain-was-a-cat-4-atmospheric-river-wait-what https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/californias-rain-was-a-cat-4-atmospheric-river-wait-what#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:03:22 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/californias-rain-was-a-cat-4-atmospheric-river-wait-what

All that rain drenching California this week came from an atmospheric river. A new rating scale would tell you how much water is fueling the system.

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Researchers discover anti-laser masquerading as perfect absorber https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-anti-laser-masquerading-as-perfect-absorber https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-anti-laser-masquerading-as-perfect-absorber#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:03:08 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-anti-laser-masquerading-as-perfect-absorber

Researchers at Duke University have discovered that a perfect absorber of electromagnetic waves they described in a 2017 paper can easily be tweaked into a sort of “time-reversed laser” known as a coherent perfect absorber (CPA).

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Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nissan-unveils-incredible-solar-powered-mobile-workshop-for-woodworkers https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nissan-unveils-incredible-solar-powered-mobile-workshop-for-woodworkers#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:02:54 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nissan-unveils-incredible-solar-powered-mobile-workshop-for-woodworkers

Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of unique van conversions, but Nissan has taken the van-loving world by storm with its new NV300 concept van — a mobile workshop for woodworking professionals. The amazing design, which was a collaboration between Nissan and UK-based firm Studio Hardie, is fully-functioning mobile woodworking studio that can be taken off grid, letting wood-loving artisans find inspiration anywhere they choose. What’s more, the van runs on solar power and its tools are powered by an emissions-free, weatherproof power pack made out of recycled electric car batteries.

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Overdue: a US advisory board for research integrity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/overdue-a-us-advisory-board-for-research-integrity https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/overdue-a-us-advisory-board-for-research-integrity#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 08:46:05 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/overdue-a-us-advisory-board-for-research-integrity

Building a culture of quality and integrity requires conversations across the scientific enterprise. Science is a complex ecosystem of funders, journals, academic administrators, scientific societies and researchers — the latter group including principal investigators, staff scientists, postdocs and graduate students. The interests of each group conflict as often as they overlap, and interactions tend to be stratified and constrained. Institutional presidents sit on working groups with each other but not with research-integrity officers. These officers attend conferences with each other, but not with faculty advisers and bench scientists. Journal editors meet scientists and other editors, but not institutional officers, on whom they rely for investigation when concerns about manuscripts arise.


Research needs an authoritative forum to hash out collective problems, argue C. K. Gunsalus, Marcia K. McNutt and colleagues. Research needs an authoritative forum to hash out collective problems, argue C. K. Gunsalus, Marcia K. McNutt and colleagues.

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Researchers discover a weakness in a rare cancer that could be exploited with drugs https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-a-weakness-in-a-rare-cancer-that-could-be-exploited-with-drugs https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-a-weakness-in-a-rare-cancer-that-could-be-exploited-with-drugs#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:42:30 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/researchers-discover-a-weakness-in-a-rare-cancer-that-could-be-exploited-with-drugs

Cancer cells are, in some respects, impressive: They can grow relentlessly, sidestep the aging process by becoming immortal, and evade the immune system’s persistent attacks. But in the process of acquiring such superpowers, the cells must occasionally relinquish other, more mundane skills—including the ability to produce certain nutrients.

Researchers at The Rockefeller University now announce the discovery of a rare tumor type that is unable to synthesize cholesterol, a molecule without which can’t survive.

“These cells become dependent on taking up cholesterol from their environment, and we can use this dependency to design therapies that block cholesterol uptake,” says Kivanç Birsoy, the Chapman Perelman Assistant Professor, who reports the findings in Nature.

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Special forces are getting a stealth motorcycle that’s silent and deadly https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/special-forces-are-getting-a-stealth-motorcycle-thats-silent-and-deadly https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/special-forces-are-getting-a-stealth-motorcycle-thats-silent-and-deadly#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:04:47 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/special-forces-are-getting-a-stealth-motorcycle-thats-silent-and-deadly

DARPA wants a stealthy, fuel-scavenging hybrid-electric motorcycle for special forces.

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Brain discovery may explain mysterious cell death in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/brain-discovery-may-explain-mysterious-cell-death-in-alzheimers-parkinsons https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/brain-discovery-may-explain-mysterious-cell-death-in-alzheimers-parkinsons#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:03:10 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/brain-discovery-may-explain-mysterious-cell-death-in-alzheimers-parkinsons

Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified a potential explanation for the mysterious death of specific brain cells seen in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The new research suggests that the may die because of naturally occurring in brain cells that were, until recently, assumed to be genetically identical. This variation – called “somatic mosaicism” – could explain why in the are the first to die in Alzheimer’s, for example, and why are the first to die in Parkinson’s.

“This has been a big open question in neuroscience, particularly in various neurodegenerative diseases,” said neuroscientist Michael McConnell of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, or BIG. “What is this selective vulnerability? What underlies it? And so now, with our work, the hypotheses moving forward are that it could be that different regions of the brain actually have a different garden of these [variations] in and that sets up different regions for decline later in life.”

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The ‘Zombie Deer Virus’ Has Hit 24 US States https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-zombie-deer-virus-has-hit-24-us-states https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-zombie-deer-virus-has-hit-24-us-states#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:44:27 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/the-zombie-deer-virus-has-hit-24-us-states

The so-called “zombie disease” has been reported in deer, elk, and moose across 24 US states, according to a new warning by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of January 2019, at least 251 counties across the US, from northern Montana to southern Texas, have reported CWD in free-ranging cervids, members of the deer family. Farther afield, there are similar concerns for reindeer in Norway, Finland, and, to a lesser extent, South Korea.

Scientifically known as chronic wasting disease (CWD), the contagious neurological disease gets its sensational nickname because of its effect on the brain of cervids, including North American elk or wapiti, red deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, sika deer, reindeer, and moose. Deer that have been struck with the disease suffer from drastic weight loss, abnormal behavior, stumbling, drooling, lack of coordination, aggression, excessive thirst, and a fear of others.

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NASA heading back to Moon soon, and this time to stay https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nasa-heading-back-to-moon-soon-and-this-time-to-stay https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nasa-heading-back-to-moon-soon-and-this-time-to-stay#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:42:38 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/nasa-heading-back-to-moon-soon-and-this-time-to-stay

NASA is accelerating plans to return Americans to the Moon, and this time, the US space agency says it will be there to stay.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, told reporters Thursday that the agency plans to speed up plans backed by President Donald Trump to return to the , using private companies.

“It’s important that we get back to the moon as fast as possible,” said Bridenstine in a meeting at NASA’s Washington headquarters, adding he hoped to have astronauts back there by 2028.

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Are birds using quantum entanglement to navigate? https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/are-birds-using-quantum-entanglement-to-navigate https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/are-birds-using-quantum-entanglement-to-navigate#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:26:59 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/are-birds-using-quantum-entanglement-to-navigate

Sounds wild, but it may well be so.

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How quantum terrorists could bring down the future internet https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-quantum-terrorists-could-bring-down-the-future-internet https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-quantum-terrorists-could-bring-down-the-future-internet#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:25:24 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/how-quantum-terrorists-could-bring-down-the-future-internet

Malicious actors could exploit the laws of quantum mechanics to destroy quantum information on a global scale, say physicists.

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Single Photon Reveals Quantum Entanglement of 16 Million Atoms https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/single-photon-reveals-quantum-entanglement-of-16-million-atoms https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/single-photon-reveals-quantum-entanglement-of-16-million-atoms#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:25:09 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/single-photon-reveals-quantum-entanglement-of-16-million-atoms

Scientists have demonstrated entanglement between 16 million atoms in a crystal crossed by a single photon, reinforcing the quantum theory that entanglement can persist in macroscopic physical systems.

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One step closer to complex quantum teleportation https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-step-closer-to-complex-quantum-teleportation https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-step-closer-to-complex-quantum-teleportation#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:24:50 +0000 https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/02/one-step-closer-to-complex-quantum-teleportation

Circa 2018


The experimental mastery of complex quantum systems is required for future technologies like quantum computers and quantum encryption. Scientists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have broken new ground. They sought to use more complex quantum systems than two-dimensionally entangled qubits and thus can increase the information capacity with the same number of particles. The developed methods and technologies could in the future enable the teleportation of complex quantum systems. The results of their work, “Experimental Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger entanglement beyond qubits,” is published recently in the renowned journal Nature Photonics.

Similar to bits in conventional computers, qubits are the smallest unit of in . Big companies like Google and IBM are competing with research institutes around the world to produce an increasing number of entangled qubits and develop a functioning quantum computer. But a research group at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences is pursuing a new path to increase the information capacity of complex quantum systems.

The idea behind it is simple: Instead of just increasing the number of particles involved, the complexity of each is increased. “The special thing about our experiment is that for the first time, it entangles three photons beyond the conventional two-dimensional nature,” explains Manuel Erhard, first author of the study. For this purpose, the Viennese physicists used quantum systems with more than two possible states—in this particular case, the angular momentum of individual light particles. These individual photons now have a higher than qubits. However, the entanglement of these light particles turned out to be difficult on a conceptual level. The researchers overcame this challenge with a groundbreaking idea: a computer algorithm that autonomously searches for an experimental implementation.

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