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America's Romance with Holidays (July 4 Edition)

America's Romance with Holidays (July 4 Edition) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
I don't know if we Americans are unique in this respect, but I suspect we are particularly out of touch with the meanings of our holidays.Oh sure — we know the backstories. Well most of them,
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Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals)

Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Physicists reported recently that they have successfully used the lasers built for fusion reactions at the National Ignition Facilityin Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to compress a synthetic diamond to pressures of 50 million Earth atmospheres (5 terapascals).  For the first time scientists measured pressure-density curves of matter at trillion pascal pressures, an extreme environment found in the core of gas giants and super Earth planets.

 

A tiny sample of synthetic diamond, millimeter-sized and in the shape of a cylinder, was held upright and put into the crosshairs of 176 high powered fusion laser beams.  The beams have total peak power of 2200 gigawatts (GW).  In comparison, a nuclear power plant only produces as much as energy at a rate of 0.5 to 2 GW.  Since power is the energy output over time, the laser beams can only run a very short time at such power, so the total output of energy is not high.

 

Half the beams are focused on the top half of the cylinder and the other half on the bottom.  This squeezes the cylinder when the lasers fire.  Upon firing, the physicists measured the rate of diamond material moving under the tremendous heating and counter-reactions.  As the cylindrical piece of diamond is compressed, its middle bulges out at extremely high velocities.  The measured peak velocity was 109,000 miles per hour, or about 45 kilometers per second.

 

They found that at the peak pressure of 5 trillion pascals, or equivalently 50 million Earth atmospheres, the density of the diamond had more than tripled.  Therefore the diamond was compressed to three times a smaller volume than before, making its density equal to that of lead.

 

The results were compared to a type of computer simulation called density functional theory (DFT).  DFT is based on a branch of physics known as quantum mechanics.  While it is an approximate method, meaning that accuracy of representing the underlying physics is sacrificed for purposes of speed, it is quite successful in predicting many complex aspects of matter.  The researchers used two types of theories in DFT and showed that the measured results fall right in between the computer predictions.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Next X Prize: Artificial Intelligence! - YouTube

Hank takes you to the next frontier of innovation: the XPrize for Artificial Intelligence, talking about how true AI can be measured, and what the future mig...

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET, Emmanuel Capitaine
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WATCH: These Mind-Controlling Parasites Are Freaky, And Apparently There Are A Lot Of Them

WATCH: These Mind-Controlling Parasites Are Freaky, And Apparently There Are A Lot Of Them | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
How do you explain suicidal crickets and zombie caterpillars? One word: parasites. Science writer Ed Yong shows us how these tiny creatures force insects and animals to do their bidding, and asks: Are parasites manipulating humans, too?
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Google's delivery drones newest front in war with Amazon

Google's delivery drones newest front in war with Amazon | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Google's secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly. (Cool video: Google steps up race in drone delivery.
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What Are "Nearables," And Why Is Ideo So Excited About Them?

What Are "Nearables," And Why Is Ideo So Excited About Them? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Bluetooth beacons enter a new interactive frontier with Estimote's sticker-size hardware Last week beacon technology--sensors which can trigger actions in devices that come within range, increasing their spatial intelligence--shrank in size and...
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The Google Driverless Car Can Repair itself on Its Own

The Google Driverless Car Can Repair itself on Its Own | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The driverless car by Google is an amazing machine. In our past posts we have mentioned that it can pick and drop a passenger from anywhere. One can impose destination limitation and can prevent it...

Via F. Thunus
Sharrock's insight:

Is that you, KITT?

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Nancy Miller 's comment, August 28, 6:06 AM
:*
degrowth economy and ecology's comment, August 28, 6:11 AM
stupidless
Nancy Miller 's comment, August 28, 6:34 AM
It will be doing. They have filed a patent application for it. It is all about AI
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IBM Sees Broader Role for Watson in Aiding Research

IBM Sees Broader Role for Watson in Aiding Research | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Watson, the IBM system that won "Jeopardy," has shown promise in answering some kinds of questions. Now the company sees a broader role, a bit like the deductions that helped its namesake's famous partner solve fictional crimes.

 

"The company on Thursday is announcing advances in the technology and the availability of what it calls IBM’s Watson Discovery Advisor, a cloud service that it says can help research teams analyze vast troves of data to come up with new research ideas."

Sharrock's insight:

This announcements has implications for The Singularity in that a machine is being scientifically creative. Discovery is one of the creative activities of scientists.

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Absurd Creature of the Week: Voracious Velvet Worm Ensnares Foes With Jets of Slime | Science | WIRED

Absurd Creature of the Week: Voracious Velvet Worm Ensnares Foes With Jets of Slime | Science | WIRED | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
One of the animal kingdom’s more non-exclusive semantic clubs is that of the worms. Are you “any of a number of creeping or burrowing invertebrate animals with long, slender, soft bodies and no limbs,” as the New Oxford American Dictionary defines you? Well come on in—we have a seat just for you. From the ferocious…
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The Time Of Our Lives

The Time Of Our Lives | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Living organisms evolved an internal biological clock, called the circadian rhythm, to help their bodies adapt to the daily cycle of day and night (light and dark) as the Earth rotates every 24 hours. The term "circadian" comes from the Latin words for about (circa) a day (diem).

 

Circadian rhythms are controlled by "clock genes" that code for clock proteins. The levels of these proteins rise and fall in rhythmic patterns. These oscillating biochemical signals control various functions, including when we sleep and rest, and when we are awake and active. Circadian rhythms also control body temperature, heart activity, hormone secretion, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, metabolism, and many other functions.

 

Daily cycles also regulate the levels of substances in our blood, including red blood cells, blood sugar, gases, and ions such as potassium and sodium. Our internal clocks may even influence our mood, particularly in the form of wintertime depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

 

A biological clock has three parts: a way to receive light, temperature, or other input from the environment; the protein and chemicals that make up the clock itself; and components that help the clock control the activity of other genes.

In the last few decades, scientists have discovered the genes that control internal clocks: period (per), clock (clk), cycle (cyc), timeless (tim), frequency (frq), doubletime (dbt) and others. Clock genes have been found in organisms ranging from people to mice, fish, fruit flies, plants, molds, and even single-celled cyanobacteria.

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The Angry Brain: How to Help Men With Uncontrollable Tempers

The Angry Brain: How to Help Men With Uncontrollable Tempers | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Men with anger management issues present unique problems. But there's a fascinating new route to helping them overcome their tempers. (The Angry Brain: How to Help Men With Uncontrollable Tempers; negative and positive neural plasticity.

Via Luis Valdes
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Luis Valdes's curator insight, August 20, 2:52 PM

Outstanding article.  Best of the week so far.  

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Genetically engineered pig hearts survived more than a year in baboon abdomens

Genetically engineered pig hearts survived more than a year in baboon abdomens | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The heart didn't beat for the baboon, but it did overcome the risk of organ rejection.

 

By breeding piglets with a few choice human genes, scientists were able to create sort-of-pig hearts that seem to be compatible with primate hosts. The organ wasn't used as a heart, but was instead grafted into the abdomen of an otherwise healthy baboon. After over a year, the best of the hearts are still living, viable organs. Next stop, the chest cavity!

 

Researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health will publish their results in the September issue of The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, though their findings were discussed several months ago at a conference. According to the study, the researchers experimented with different degrees of genetic modification in the pigs. They prevented all of the piglets from producing certain enzymes known to cause organ rejection in baboons (and, by extension, humans) but were given different gene alterations to keep blood from clotting, which is another common issue.

 

The most successful group had the human thrombomodulin gene added to their genomes. The expression of this gene prevented clotting, lead investigator Muhammad M. Mohiuddin said in a statement. While the average survival of the other groups were 70 days, 21 days and 80 days, the thrombomodulin group survived an average of 200 days in the baboon abdomen. And three of the five grafts in the group were still alive at 200 to 500 days since their grafting, when the study was submitted for review.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Stretching Is Overrated

Stretching Is Overrated | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The pre-exercise ritual can weaken muscles, hurt athletic performance, and even lead to injury.
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Brain Hacking Is Having Incredible Effects And It's Just Getting Started - Yahoo News

Brain Hacking Is Having Incredible Effects And It's Just Getting Started - Yahoo News | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Brain Hacking Is Having Incredible Effects And It's Just Getting Started Yahoo News "I don't think there's any doubt we'll eventually understand the brain," says Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University, and an editor of the...

Via Luis Valdes
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A Bionic Eye That Restores Sight

A Bionic Eye That Restores Sight | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
By bridging the gap between eye and brain, a new device has the capacity to help the blind regain their vision.
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Smartphones are about to get awesome again

Smartphones are about to get awesome again | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Smartphones. They’re all just a bunch ofundifferentiated rectangles, right? You’d be forgiven for feeling a little jaded about the rate of innovation in smartphones over the past couple of years. A 4-inch iPhone still dominates the consumer landscape, HTC is still designing beautiful but flawed masterpieces, and Samsung is still the world’s foremost purveyor of cheap plastic.

 

It’s as if we’ve been stuck in a long winter hibernation, waiting for the next wave of real excitement to awaken us to the awesome power and potential of smartphones. Look out to the horizon, however, and you may see that wave coming....


Via Jeff Domansky
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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, August 31, 1:04 PM

Technology is about to get awesome and marketing is in for a fun ride in the next few months. Stay tuned!

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Lawyers Won’t Lose Clients to DIY Legal Services

Lawyers Won’t Lose Clients to DIY Legal Services | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
People who want to do their own legal work are, naturally, not likely to hire a lawyer in the first place. And people who hire lawyers do not want to do their own legal work.
Sharrock's insight:

Every few weeks, I find an article promising that some kind of technology will replace the human employee--teacher, accountant, etc. This article explains why lawyers will not probably be replaced. For some of the same reasons, teachers will also never be replaced...at least, not for a very long time.

 

excerpt: "Currently, consumers can pick from a range of options for do-it-yourself legal services. You can get a divorce at OfficeMax, a will from Amazon, and dissolve a partnership with LegalZoom. Those are just a few examples, of course. There are hundreds of DIY legal documents available online and offline."

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Sharrock's curator insight, August 29, 11:29 AM

Every few weeks, I find an article promising that some kind of technology will replace the human employee--teacher, accountant, etc. This article explains why lawyers will not probably be replaced. For some of the same reasons, teachers will also never be replaced...at least, not for a very long time.

 

excerpt: "Currently, consumers can pick from a range of options for do-it-yourself legal services. You can get a divorce at OfficeMax, a will from Amazon, and dissolve a partnership with LegalZoom. Those are just a few examples, of course. There are hundreds of DIY legal documents available online and offline."

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Music streams are up and downloads are down. Why is that a surprise?

Music streams are up and downloads are down. Why is that a surprise? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
37m people will pay to stream by the end of 2014 but analyst Mark Mulligan sees more potential. By Stuart Dredge (Music streams are up and downloads are down. Why is that a surprise?
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Preparing Your Students for the Challenges of Tomorrow

Preparing Your Students for the Challenges of Tomorrow | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Here are six ways to prepare students for their future, including the ability to collaborate, evaluate information accuracy, and make every day a learning experience.
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AIntelligent Algorithm Made Discovery That Slipped Past Art Historians For Years | The Creators Project

AIntelligent Algorithm Made Discovery That Slipped Past Art Historians For Years | The Creators Project | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

A recent project used nuanced imaging technology and classification systems to robotize the process of understanding how famous artists have influenced one another.

 

Could a computer program influence how we understand art history and the canon? Or, could an artificially intelligent algorithm do the work of art experts for them? A recent researcher project doesn't quite suggest such a reality, but it does demonstrate that machines can highlight subtleties within arts and culture that humans have previously never noticed.In a paper titled "Toward Automated Discovery Of Artistic Influence" by Babak Saleh and a team of computer science researchers at Rutgers, the academics explained how they used nuanced imaging technology and classification systems to robotize the process of understanding how famous artists have influenced and inspired one another.

 

For their research, the team chose 1,700 paintings by 66 artists, covering the 15th to the late 20th century. Using a technique that analyzes visual concepts called "classemes"—wherein objects, color shades, subjects' movement, and more are marked—the researchers created a list of 3,000 classemes for each painting, data which The Physics arXiv Blog compares to a vector. Then, they used an artificially intelligent algorithm to evaluate the vectors and look for similarities or overlapping qualities among the 1,700 paintings. ArXiv adds, "To create a ground truth against which to measure their results, they also collate expert opinions on which these artists have influenced the others."...


Via Jeff Domansky
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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, August 28, 10:45 AM

Fascinating application of technology to art and creativity. Good read. 9/10

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Look at what two years on Mars did to the Curiosity Rover

Look at what two years on Mars did to the Curiosity Rover | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
NASA's Curiosity rover just finished its second year exploring Mars, and the red planet's harsh environment has taken its toll. Rocky terrain, tricky sand dunes, and Martian dust storms have left the robot looking a little worse for wear.
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How 'Google Science' could transform academic publishing

How 'Google Science' could transform academic publishing | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Google is allegedly working on a free, open access platform for the research, collaboration and publishing of peer-reviewed scientific journals

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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33rd Square: Doctors Implant 3D Printed Vertebra for First Time

33rd Square: Doctors Implant 3D Printed Vertebra for First Time | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A hospital in Beijing has carried out the world’s first 3D printed vertebra surgery, to replace the second vertebra in a 12-year-old boy’s neck that had developed cancer.
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Solar plants causing birds to catch on fire in mid-flight

Solar plants causing birds to catch on fire in mid-flight | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Via The QI Elves
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Expedition uncovers subglacial life beneath Antarctic ice sheet

Expedition uncovers subglacial life beneath Antarctic ice sheet | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The first breakthrough paper to come out of a massive U.S. expedition to one of Earth's final frontiers shows that there's life and an active ecosystem one-half mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, specifically in a lake that hasn't seen sunlight or felt a breath of wind for millions ...
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Quoc Le | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review

Quoc Le | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

While at Stanford, Le worked out a strategy that would let software learn things itself. Academics had begun to report promising but very slow results with a method known as deep learning, which uses networks of simulated neurons. Le saw how to speed it up significantly—by building simulated neural networks 100 times larger that could process thousands of times more data. It was an approach practical enough to attract the attention of Google, which hired him to test it under the guidance of the AI researcher Andrew Ng (see “A Chinese Internet Giant Starts to Dream”).

 
Sharrock's insight:

It amazes me that the idea of machine "deep learning" became public in 2012 (written 8/19/14). That's only 2 years ago! With the invention of the synapse processor chip and chips similar to this, deep learning will probably increase in terms of power, granularity, and impact on even more human-superior tasks: "The technique is now used in Google’s image search and speech-recognition software. The ultra-intelligent machine Le once imagined remains distant. But seeing his ideas make software smart enough to assist people in their everyday lives feels pretty good." Such technology will have more immediate impacts on radiology and diagnostics, as it does in the image search services, but may also increase capabilities in music and reading recommendation services. Who knows what else? 

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