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Feb 16, 2019

The company that promised a one-way ticket to Mars is bankrupt

Posted by in category: space travel

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


What a shocker.

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Feb 16, 2019

‘Tumour monorail’ on the fast track for human trials

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

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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Feb 16, 2019

Gravitational-wave observatory LIGO set to double its detecting power

Posted by in category: energy

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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Feb 16, 2019

Bill Gates: Textbooks are ‘becoming obsolete’— here’s the best way to learn today

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science

“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.”

Continue reading “Bill Gates: Textbooks are ‘becoming obsolete’— here’s the best way to learn today” »

Feb 16, 2019

California’s Rain Was a ‘Cat 4’ Atmospheric River. Wait, What?

Posted by in category: futurism

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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Feb 16, 2019

Researchers discover anti-laser masquerading as perfect absorber

Posted by in category: futurism

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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Feb 16, 2019

Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

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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Feb 16, 2019

Overdue: a US advisory board for research integrity

Posted by in category: habitats

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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Feb 15, 2019

Researchers discover a weakness in a rare cancer that could be exploited with drugs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

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.

Continue reading “Researchers discover a weakness in a rare cancer that could be exploited with drugs” »

Feb 15, 2019

Special forces are getting a stealth motorcycle that’s silent and deadly

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

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

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