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The Six Epochs of Life - inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near

The Six Epochs of Life - inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

he Six Epochs of Life mural was commissioned by Martine and Bina Rothblatt in the summer of 2008 to be painted on a bare concrete wall at Estate Marbina Abenaki’s Terasem Center of Critical Consciousness. The primary wish that the Rothblatts had for the mural was that it illustrate the Six Epochs of Life described in chapter one of Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near.

http://tinyurl.com/72veefn

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First-ever geological map of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io

First-ever geological map of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

First detailed map of the volcano-covered surface of Io, the innermost of Jupiter's four Galilean moons. Io, discovered by Galileo Galilei on January 7–13, 1610, is the innermost of the four Galilean satellites of the planet Jupiter (Galilei, 1610). It is the most volcanically active object in the Solar System, as recognized by observations from six National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft: Voyager 1 (March 1979), Voyager 2 (July 1979), Hubble Space Telescope (1990–present), Galileo (1996–2001), Cassini (December 2000), and New Horizons (February 2007). The lack of impact craters on Io in any spacecraft images at any resolution attests to the high resurfacing rate (1 cm/yr) and the dominant role of active volcanism in shaping its surface.

 

Original vector map is here: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3168/sim3168_sheet.pdf

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Robotic jellyfish fueled by hydrogen

Robotic jellyfish fueled by hydrogen | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Virginia Tech engineers have invented a hydrogen-powered robot nicknamed Robojelly that moves through water like a jellyfish, intended for underwater rescue operations.

 

A jellyfish moves using circular muscles in the inside of its umbrella-like bell. As they contract, the bell closes in on itself and ejects water to propel itself forward. When the muscles relax, the bell regains its original shape.

 http://tinyurl.com/7enjj2m

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The tech that will help James Cameron win his race to the bottom of the ocean

The tech that will help James Cameron win his race to the bottom of the ocean | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Imagine a place where every single inch of your skin is under eight tons of weight. That’s not some planet in a galaxy far, far away: it’s the bottom of the bottom of the ocean. At its deepest point the Mariana trench is 36,000 feet (11,000m) deep, and water pushes from all sides with 16,000 psi (pounds per square inch) — over 1000 atmospheres. That spot, called the Challenger Deep, is where James Cameron plans to be traveling very soon. His secretively constructed submersible, the Deepsea Challenger, is designed to test the limits of the oceans and allow him to see, record, and bring samples back from its most remote region.

http://tinyurl.com/73po4oj

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Oceans' acidic shift fastest in 300 million years

Oceans' acidic shift fastest in 300 million years | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The world's oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago.

http://tinyurl.com/7b2xaa2

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Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven - it's a fairy story'

Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven - it's a fairy story' | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a “fairy story” for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/hawking) has said. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he said.  In a lecture at the Google Zeitgeist meeting he addressed the question: “Why are we here?” He argued that tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged. “Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in,” he said.

http://tinyurl.com/45x2bnp

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High-resolution design of nanoscale biomolecules

High-resolution design of nanoscale biomolecules | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A key element of both biotechnology and nanotechnology is – perhaps unsurprisingly – computational modeling. Frequently, in silico nanostructure design and simulation precedes actual experimentation. Moreover, the ability to use modeling to predict biomolecular structure lays the foundation for the subsequent design of biomolecules. Historically, the problem has been that most modeling software presents a tradeoff between being general purpose (in being able to model systems at high/atomic resolution) but limited in scope (i.e., only explores a small fraction conformational space around the initial structure). Recently, however, Stanford University scientists have developed an algorithm – implemented in a modeling program known as MOSAICS (Methodologies for Optimization and SAmpling In Computational Studies) – that achieves nanoscale modeling at the resolution required without being limited by the scope/size dilemma. In addition, the researchers successfully modeled – and benchmarked the new computation modeling technique with – RNA-based nanostructures.

http://tinyurl.com/8yjky7z

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Quantum optics may remove the uncertainty about quantum gravity

Quantum optics may remove the uncertainty about quantum gravity | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Werner Heisenberg, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics. His famous uncertainty principle may require modification under quantum gravity. While both quantum physics—in the form of the Standard Model of particles and interactions—and gravitation—formulated in general relativity—are hugely successful theories, making them work together hasn't, well, worked out. Currently, there's no complete, reliable quantum theory of gravity, though there are many candidates, including superstring theory. In most of these schemes, quantum behavior extends to spacetime itself, setting a fundamental length at which gravitation modifies quantum theory. This fundamental scale, known as the Planck length, is beyond the reach of foreseeable experiments.

http://tinyurl.com/7syll9r

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The Pirate Bay fights Hollywood with hovering server drones

The Pirate Bay fights Hollywood with hovering server drones | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The Pirate Bay (TPB), which allows users to share media files via BitTorrent, plans to avoid shutdown by Hollywood by putting some of its servers in GPS controlled drones hovering over international waters, the TPB team told TorrentFreak.

 

“With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air,” TPB revealed in a blog post.

http://tinyurl.com/895vsmb

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An unsuspected way how protons can move among molecules

An unsuspected way how protons can move among molecules | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Berkeley Lab scientists and their colleagues have discovered an unsuspected way that protons can move among molecules.

 

When a proton – the bare nucleus of a hydrogen atom – transfers from one molecule to another, or moves within a molecule, the result is a hydrogen bond, in which the proton and another atom like nitrogen or oxygen share electrons.

http://tinyurl.com/77nlmh9

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Science Physicists 'design' electrons with unusual properties

Science Physicists 'design' electrons with unusual properties | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers from Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created the first-ever system of "designer electrons" -- exotic variants of ordinary electrons with tunable properties that may ultimately lead to new types of materials and devices. The handcrafted, honeycomb-shaped structures were inspired by graphene, a pure form of carbon widely heralded for its potential in future electronics.

http://tinyurl.com/722ahhr

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Reusable Sticky Tape Could Hold Up Your TV

Reusable Sticky Tape Could Hold Up Your TV | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Large patches of an extremely strong new adhesive, inspired by geckos, can be used over and over again. For years scientists have tried to make strong, reusable adhesives by mimicking the microscopic hair-like structures on gecko toes that give the lizard its climbing ability. But those structures are hard to make, limiting the adhesives' size to a few centimeters. Now researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, have come up with a different gecko-inspired structure that works even better. They have created a reusable adhesive fabric that can be easily and cheaply made tens of centimeters wide and is three times stronger than gecko feet.

http://tinyurl.com/7dak2q4

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Key recombination gene in higher mammals - PRDM9

Key recombination gene in higher mammals - PRDM9 | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

PRDM9 has evolved exceptionally rapidly between humans and chimpanzees and this rapid evolution explains a second, previously published, finding of the researchers: recombination hotspots also differ between humans and chimpanzees. Remarkably, PRDM9 is involved not just in determining mouse hotspot locations, but is also a key player in mouse speciation.

http://tinyurl.com/6vqmq3o

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Unique camera can ‘see’ around corners using lasers

Unique camera can ‘see’ around corners using lasers | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a camera that can see around corners by making sense of scattered laser light. This particular device, however, hasn’t been designed with the Flickr community in mind, enabling amateur photographers to take pictures over high walls. Instead, it may be utilized by the military, once work on it is complete. It could also be useful in inaccessible locations, such as an area that’s been contaminated, or be used to build up an image of a place that’s hard to enter because of various physical obstacles.

http://tinyurl.com/7kh294f

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TEDxLausanne - Jürgen Schmidhuber - When creative machines overtake man

http://www.tedxlausanne.org - Machine intelligence is improving rapidly, to the point that the scientist of the future may not even be human! In fact, in more and more fields, learning machines are already outperforming humans.

 

Artificial intelligence expert Jürgen Schmidhuber isn’t able to predict the future accurately, but he explains how machines are getting creative, why 40’000 years of Homo sapiens-dominated history are about to end soon, and how we can try to make the best of what lies ahead.

http://tinyurl.com/6mshl66

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NPAS4 - Master gene controlling memory identified

NPAS4 - Master gene controlling memory identified | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Neuroscientists have identified what may be a master gene that controls the complex process of memorising events that an individualexperiences. When a person experiences a new event, their brain encodes a memory of it by altering the connections between neurons. This requires turning on many genes in those neurons.

 

Researchers led by Yingxi Lin from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focused on the Npas4 gene, which previous studies have shown is turned on immediately following new experiences.

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/hippocampus-memory-genes-1222.html

 

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We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction

We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Unthinkable as it may be, humanity, every last person, could someday be wiped from the face of the Earth. We have learned to worry about asteroids and supervolcanoes, but the more-likely scenario, according to Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at Oxford, is that we humans will destroy ourselves.

http://tinyurl.com/7rdnqt5

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Biggest 3-D map of the distant universe

Biggest 3-D map of the distant universe | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
The biggest 3-D map of the distant universe ever made, using light from 14,000 quasars — supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies many billions of light years away — has been constructed by scientists at the Berkeley Lab with the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III).

 

The map is the first major result from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), SDSS-III’s largest survey. BOSS is the first attempt to use baryon acousticoscillation (BAO) as a precision tool to measure dark energy.

http://tinyurl.com/7d8zokg

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Searching For Amyloid Interactions in Alzheimer's disease patients

Searching For Amyloid Interactions in Alzheimer's disease patients | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers have undertaken a large-scale investigation into the molecular environment of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), a protein centrally associated with Alzheimer's disease. Using this technique, researchers identified over 30 new, potentially interacting proteins. They also mapped the interactions of two proteins related to APP that are not known to cause disease, to sense which interactions the three related proteins had in common and which were APP-specific; interestingly the majority of the potential binding partners were specific to APP.

http://tinyurl.com/6vwoc5s

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Exotic new matter expected in ultracold atoms

Exotic new matter expected in ultracold atoms | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Just as NASA engineers test new rocket designs in computer studies before committing themselves to full prototypes, so physicists will often model matter under various circumstances to see whether something new appears. This is especially true of atomtronics, a relatively new science devoted to creating artificial tailored materials consisting of neutral atoms held in an array with laser beams, or atoms moving along a desired track under electric or magnetic influence. A new study shows how a simple "joystick" consisting of an adjustable magnetic field can create several new phases of atomtronic matter, several of them never seen before.

http://tinyurl.com/7sfp3g4

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Human genetics: Genomes on prescription

Human genetics: Genomes on prescription | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Many researchers say that genome sequencing could be used in diagnosis and therapy of cancer more easily than in rare diseases. Clinicians are already doing sophisticated analyses of some tumours in order to tailor therapies to the patient's genetic characteristics; a genome sequence provides even more molecular detail. For example, an individual's cancer genome sometimes reveals defects in a pathway that might point to use of a known drug, but were not apparent from standard tests.

http://tinyurl.com/6u5vc2k

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Bone-marrow transplant reverses Rett syndrome in mice

Bone-marrow transplant reverses Rett syndrome in mice | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
A bone-marrow transplant can treat a mouse version of Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder that affects roughly 1 in 10,000–20,000 girls born worldwide (boys with the disease typically die within a few weeks of birth).

 

The findings suggest that brain-dwelling immune cells called microglia are defective in Rett syndrome and also raise the possibility that bone-marrow transplants or other means of boosting the brain’s immune cells could help to treat the disease.

http://tinyurl.com/6v8bvm5

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Visible Only From Above, Mystifying 'Nazca Lines' Discovered in Middle East

Visible Only From Above, Mystifying 'Nazca Lines' Discovered in Middle East | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
They stretch from Syria to Saudi Arabia, can be seen from the air but not the ground, and are virtually unknown to the public.

 

They are the Middle East's own version of the Nazca Lines — ancient "geoglyphs," or drawings, that span deserts in southern Peru — and now, thanks to new satellite-mapping technologies, and an aerial photography program in Jordan, researchers are discovering more of them than ever before. They number well into the thousands.

http://tinyurl.com/672wm24

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Genome Features and Adaptations of a Drosophila Line Reared for 57 Years in the Dark

Genome Features and Adaptations of a Drosophila Line Reared for 57 Years in the Dark | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Organisms are remarkably adapted to diverse environments by specialized metabolisms, morphology, or behaviors. To address the molecular mechanisms underlying environmental adaptation, a Drosophila melanogaster line, termed “Dark-fly” has been maintained in constant dark conditions for 57 years (1400 generations). Dark-fly exhibited higher fecundity in dark than in light conditions, indicating that Dark-fly possesses some traits advantageous in darkness. Using next-generation sequencing technology, the whole genome sequence of Dark-fly was obtained and approximately 220,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 4,700 insertions or deletions (InDels) were unique for the Dark-fly genome compared to the genome of the Oregon-R-S strain, a control strain. 1.8% of SNPs were classified as non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs: i.e., they alter the amino acid sequence of gene products). Among them, we detected 28 nonsense mutations (i.e., they produce a stop codon in the protein sequence) in the Dark-fly genome.

http://tinyurl.com/7gjvpmq

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Researchers discover way to create true-color 3-D holograms

Researchers discover way to create true-color 3-D holograms | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute (Japan) have developed a unique way to create full-color holograms with the aid of surface plasmons. The major difference between the researchers’ technique and ordinary holography is the use of a prism to adjust the light beam’s angle of incidence in combination with a thin silver film to produce the surface plasmons. When the angle of incidence is controlled appropriately, the silver film is excited to produce surface plasmons, which in turn cause the white light to reach the hologram in the three primary colors of red, green and blue, producing a floating full-color stereoscopic image. Although only still images can be obtained at present, Kawata is planning to improve the current system to enable movie imaging based on the same principle in the future.

http://tinyurl.com/7m2ookf

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