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Aug 4, 2015

From the Earth to the Moon: 1865/1968

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, space, space travel

How does science fiction become science fact? Often the link between art and science can be hard to pin down. It can be unclear if science fiction is actually influencing science or merely observing it, giving the public sneak peaks into the implications of scientist’s work.

But some work of science fiction create direct links to the future. As a young man in Russia, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky read a translation of Jules Verne’s ‘From the Earth to the Moon.” And although Verne’s plan to get to the moon wouldn’t have worked, the novel had just enough science mixed in with its romance to make the central idea seem plausible. Tsiolkovsky became obsessed with the idea of spaceflight, and his life’s work created the foundations of modern rocketry.

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Aug 4, 2015

A (Very) Brief History of Death

Posted by in categories: bionic, biotech/medical, cryonics, cyborgs, education, evolution, futurism, health, information science, life extension, science, transhumanism

“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” — Winston Churchill

Death still enjoys a steady paycheck, but being the Grim Reaper isn’t the cushy job that it used to be.

Aug 4, 2015

This new aluminium battery can charge your phone in 60 seconds

Posted by in category: energy

A new rechargeable aluminium battery has been produced by researchers in the US, and according to them the prototype can charge a smartphone in 60 seconds and it’s more environmentally friendly, heavy-duty, and inexpensive than anything presently on the market. And it won’t suddenly burst into flames like certain generally used lithium-ion batteries are capable of… This new technology has done something researchers around the world have been pursuing for decades — it puts aluminium to better use in the high-demand battery market. The benefits of aluminium are many, counting its cheapness, accessibility, low-flammability, and high-charge storage capability. But the challenge in producing a sustainable aluminium battery has been in finding a material for the cathode — the device through which the entire electrical current passes — that can yield enough voltage to withstand it across a whole lot of charges.

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Aug 3, 2015

World’s first “aqueous solar flow battery” outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, solar power, sustainability

The scientists who last year revealed the world’s first solar battery that essentially combines a battery and solar cell, are now reporting its first significant performance milestone. Tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.

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Aug 3, 2015

Quantum batteries could allow for super-fast charging thanks to entanglement

Posted by in category: particle physics

Entangled particles could one day allow your phone to charge at warp speed.

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Aug 3, 2015

Microsoft Works Out How to Upgrade Online Encryption to Protect Against Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, encryption, energy

Call it an abundance of caution. A Microsoft research project has upgraded the encryption protocol that secures the Web to resist attacks from quantum computers—machines that are expected to have stupendous power but have never been built.

Governments and computing giants like IBM, Microsoft, and Google are working on quantum computers because tapping subtle effects of quantum physics should let them solve in seconds some problems that a conventional machine couldn’t solve in billions of years (see “Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics”). That might allow breakthroughs in areas such as medicine or energy. But such machines would also be able to easily break the encryption used to secure information online.

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Aug 3, 2015

Time for technology in international policy processes? — By Adrian Ely | The Our Common Future under Climate Change conference

Posted by in categories: innovation, science

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As everyone is pointing out, 2015 is a crucial year for sustainable development, with three critical international meetings in the calendar starting this month. But what role do science, technology and innovation play in these processes?

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Aug 3, 2015

Getting to the bottom of aging

Posted by in category: life extension

August 3, 2015 The question of why we age is one of the most fascinating questions for humankind, but nothing close to a satisfactory answer has been found to date. Scientists at the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie in Berlin have now shown, for the first time, that the ER loses its oxidative power in advanced age, which shifts the reducing/oxidising equilibrium — redox for short — in this compartment. This leads to a decline in the capacity to form the disulphide bridges that are so important for correct protein folding. As a consequence, many proteins can no longer mature properly and become unstable.

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Aug 3, 2015

WISH COME TRUE: 8-year-old Zion receives the world’s first pediatric double hand transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

WISH COME TRUE: 8-year-old Zion receives the world’s first pediatric double hand transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. http://nbcnews.to/1SLmf5m.

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Aug 2, 2015

From cameras to computers, new material could change how we work and play

Posted by in categories: computing, energy, life extension, physics

Serendipity has as much a place in science as in love. That’s what Northeastern physicists Swastik Kar and Srinivas Sridhar found during their four-year project to modify graphene, a stronger-than-steel infinitesimally thin lattice of tightly packed carbon atoms. Primarily funded by the Army Research Laboratory and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the researchers were charged with imbuing the decade-old material with thermal sensitivity for use in infrared imaging devices such as night-vision goggles for the military.

What they unearthed, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, was so much more: an entirely new material spun out of boron, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen that shows evidence of magnetic, optical, and electrical properties as well as DARPA’s sought-after thermal ones. Its potential applications run the gamut: from 20-megapixel arrays for cellphone cameras to photo detectors to atomically thin transistors that when multiplied by the billions could fuel computers.

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