Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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33rd Square: Explaining Bitcoin

33rd Square: Explaining Bitcoin | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
As of this month, Bitcoins are worth over a billion dollars, and interest in the currency is skyrocketing.
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Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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Paralyzed Patients Able to Move After Using a Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton

Paralyzed Patients Able to Move After Using a Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Researchers at Duke University were surprised to find that the process of learning to use a brain-machine interface (BMI) and exoskeleton led to neurological recovery in paralyzed patients who had suffered spinal cord injury.
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10 Ways Scientists Messed With Children's Minds - Listverse

10 Ways Scientists Messed With Children's Minds - Listverse | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
10 Ways Scientists Messed With Children’s Minds
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60,000 critically endangered antelopes dropped dead in 4 days

60,000 critically endangered antelopes dropped dead in 4 days | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

This mass die-off has become something of a hallmark for the Kazakh saigas. Back in May 1988, 270,000 Saiga were wiped out in Kazakhstan, and again in May 2010, one of the populations lost 12,000 of its 26,000 individuals - both under much the same circumstances as we’ve seen this year. While researchers at the time put it down to an infectious disease called pasteurellosis, which attacks the lungs and intestines, they struggled to get out into the rugged and remote habitat to perform the extensive analysis needed to confirm this.

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The Tyranny of Simple Explanations

The Tyranny of Simple Explanations | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Occam’s razor was never meant for paring nature down to some beautiful, parsimonious core of truth. Because science is so difficult and messy, the allure of a philosophical tool for clearing a path or pruning the thickets is obvious. In their readiness to find spurious applications of Occam’s razor in the history of science, or to enlist, dismiss, or reshape the razor at will to shore up their preferences, scientists reveal their seduction by this vision.

But they should resist it. The value of keeping assumptions to a minimum is cognitive, not ontological: It helps you to think. A theory is not “better” if it is simpler—but it might well be more useful, and that counts for much more.
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How did primate brains get so big?

How did primate brains get so big? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Virtual brains reconstructed from ancient, kiwi-sized primate skulls could help resolve one of the most intriguing evolutionary mysteries: how modern primates developed large brains.
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IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
They behave like biological neurons, including low power usage and dense scaling.
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The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak

The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In a news report that could easily be the plot of a cult horror movie, an anthrax outbreak has swept the remote Yamalo-Nenets district of western Siberia, killing 1,500 reindeer since Sunday. a new field of study called “resurrection ecology” has sprung up around the discovery that certain bacteria, fungi, plants, and even animals will sometimes thaw out after long periods of suspended animation—up to millions of years, if the preservation conditions are good—and go about their business again.
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Okeanos Explorer | Expeditions | NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas | Expedition Education Module

Okeanos Explorer | Expeditions | NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas | Expedition Education Module | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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Pea plants demonstrate ability to 'gamble'—a first in plants

Pea plants demonstrate ability to 'gamble'—a first in plants | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists from Oxford University, UK, and Tel-Hai College, Israel, has shown that pea plants can demonstrate sensitivity to risk - namely, that they can make adaptive choices... Efrat Dener, now a master's student at Ben Gurion University, Israel, and the study's first author, said: "Like most people, including even experienced farmers and gardeners, I used to look at plants as passive receivers of circumstances. This line of experiments illustrates how wrong that view is: living organisms are designed by natural selection to exploit their opportunities, and this often implies a great deal of flexibility."
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Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say

Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say
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How Budget Cuts Brought Back Syphilis

How Budget Cuts Brought Back Syphilis | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The 18th-century ailment was on the brink of elimination before budget cuts helped resurrect it.
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What are ecosystem applications?

What are ecosystem applications? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
we are entering into the third generation of collective process management tooling which will focus on extending the benefits of software defined relationships for businesses of many different sizes. This generation of tooling, which will be led by the companies we currently label “blockchain” and “smart contract” companies, will leverage the economies of redundancy over data and data processing power which networks of peers can provide. This generation of software will emphasize the “Ecosystem” as the center of part of the universe.
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A Complex Predicament: How Our Energy, Economic and Ecological Systems are Connected

A Complex Predicament: How Our Energy, Economic and Ecological Systems are Connected | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
I am reposting, in their entirety, the ten articles I wrote that were published in SHIFT magazine (which is now on hiatus) between 2013 and 2015, since some of the links have changed and so that my blog contains the … Continue reading →...
Via Jürgen Kanz
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Garbage-gobbling drone may be coming to a harbor near you

Garbage-gobbling drone may be coming to a harbor near you | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
​​There may indeed be plastic waste strewn across the surface of the world's oceans, but most of it still enters the water at the shoreline. It was with this in mind that Richard Hardiman created the WasteShark.
Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
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Breakthrough As Robot Used to Sew Article of Clothing

Breakthrough As Robot Used to Sew Article of Clothing | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A Seattle-based startup has announced that it has used an industrial robot to sew together a T-shirt, achieving the long-sought goal of automation for garment production. The technology, once more fully developed could spell the end of the Asian sweat shop, according to some. More than two-thirds of Southeast Asia's 9.2 million textile and footwear jobs are threatened by automation technologies like Sewbo's. Eighty-eight percent of those jobs are in Cambodia, 86 percent in Vietnam and 64 percent in Indonesia.
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Will consumers embrace 'animal-free' milk produced using genetically engineered yeast? | Genetic Literacy Project

Perfect Day, a new ‘animal-free’ milk scheduled to launch at the end of next year, contains all the same components as cow’s milk, including dairy proteins
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Virus attracts bumblebees to infected plants by changing scent

Virus attracts bumblebees to infected plants by changing scent | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Plant scientists at the University of Cambridge have found that the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) alters gene expression in the tomato plants it infects, causing changes to air-borne chemicals - the scent - emitted by the plants
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The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot

The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Now, nobody heard Krakatoa in England or Toronto. There wasn’t a “boom” audible in St. Petersburg. Instead, what those places recorded were spikes in atmospheric pressure — the very air tensing up and then releasing with a sigh, as the waves of sound from Krakatoa passed through. There are two important lessons about sound in there: One, you don’t have to be able to see the loudest thing in the world in order to hear it. Second, just because you can’t hear a sound doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sound is powerful and pervasive and it surrounds us all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not.

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Beepocalypse Myth Handbook: Dissecting claims of pollinator collapse | Genetic Literacy Project

After a decade of debate, the causes of the mid-2000s spike in bee deaths is coming into focus. Culprits are multifactorial, a rebuke of simplistic fingering of pesticides. Time for targeted solutions. Bee populations aren’t declining; they’re rising. According to statistics kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, honeybee populations in the United States, Canada and Europe have been stable or growing for the two decades neonics have been on the market.
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Scientists solve structure of cold virus linked to childhood asthma

Scientists solve structure of cold virus linked to childhood asthma | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The virus was among the first samples analyzed with a new cryo-electron microscopy system at Purdue, which was designed to operate at vastly higher resolution than previous instruments. The system allows for multiple imaging of single virus particles, rather than relying on a composite of images from thousands of individual viruses. Therefore, the system is faster, more accurate and gives higher resolution structures from less virus material.
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Meet the First Artificial Animal

Meet the First Artificial Animal | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Scientists genetically engineered and 3-D-printed a biohybrid being, opening the door further for lifelike robots and artificial intelligence.
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Transparent, flexible supercapacitors pave the way for a multitude of applications

Transparent, flexible supercapacitors pave the way for a multitude of applications | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
"The standard appearance of today's electronic devices as solid, black objects could one day change completely as researchers make electronic components that are transparent and flexible. Working toward this goal, researchers in a new study have developed transparent, flexible supercapacitors made of carbon nanotube films. The high-performance devices could one day be used to store energy for everything from wearable electronics to photovoltaics..."

Via Terheck
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Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad?

Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Fears of civilization-wide idleness are based too much on the downsides of being unemployed in a society premised on the concept of employment.
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Self-driving banks: industrial verification without industrial capex

Self-driving banks: industrial verification without industrial capex | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Thanks to blockchains, a laptop or a mobile phone is, today, as effective at running a globally-accessible application as a datacentre or a mainframe. Furthermore, with the permissioned chains, the “mining” process can be dispensed with entirely, allowing a user to run such a network with only the latent capacity of hardware you already have (in relation to which, 99% of the time it is not being used anywhere near full capacity.

In the future, we will leverage this excess capacity to both increase the reliability and uptime of our systems, and bring the marginal costs of computing to nearly zero. This will be a world in which data infrastructure runs itself without physical infrastructure.
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Using CRISPR as a recording device

Using CRISPR as a recording device | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers at Harvard University has taken another look at CRISPR and has found that it can be used as a recording device of sorts, keeping track of when and where a given bacterium has been exposed to different viruses. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their study, their findings and the ways such natural recordings might be useful.
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