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Crowdfunding Platform for Science Research Grants

Crowdfunding Platform for Science Research Grants | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Grow the next generation of ideas
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luiy's curator insight, March 26, 2013 5:53 AM

Microryza is a crowdfunding platform for research. Individuals pool their money until the funding goal is reached.

 

You'll get to see experiments unfold with updates and progress from the lab and have a chance to interact directly with the researchers.

 

At the end of the project, you will receive access to the results in a beautiful, online format.

Knowmads, Infocology of the future
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Should robot artists be given copyright protection?

Should robot artists be given copyright protection? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
When a group of museums and researchers in the Netherlands unveiled a portrait entitled The Next Rembrandt, it was something of a tease to the art world. It wasn’t a long lost painting but a new artwork generated by a computer that had analysed thousands of works by the 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

The computer used something called machine learning to analyse and reproduce technical and aesthetic elements in Rembrandt’s works, including lighting, colour, brush-strokes and geometric patterns. The result is a portrait produced based on the styles and motifs found in Rembrandt’s art but produced by algorithms.

This is just one example in a growing body of works generated by computers. A short novel written by a Japanese computer program in 2016 reached the second round of a national literary prize. The Google-owned artificial intelligence (AI) firm, Deep Mind, has created software that can generate music by listening to recordings. Other projects have seen computers write poems, edit photographs, and even compose a musical.

But who owns creative works generated by artificial intelligence? This isn’t just an academic question. AI is already being used to generate works in music, journalism and gaming, and these works could in theory be deemed free of copyright because they are not created by a human author.

This would mean they could be freely used and reused by anyone and that would be bad news for the companies selling them. Imagine you invest millions in a system that generates music for video games, only to find that music isn’t protected by law and can be used without payment by anyone in the world.

Unlike with earlier computer-generated works of art, machine learning software generates truly creative works without human input or intervention. AI is not just a tool. While humans program the algorithms, the decision making – the creative spark – comes almost entirely from the machine.
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Coffee under threat - BBC News

Coffee under threat - BBC News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Coffee drinkers could face poorer-tasting, higher-priced brews, as a warming climate causes the amount of land suitable for coffee production to shrink, say scientists from London’s Kew Gardens.

Coffee production in Ethiopia, the birthplace of the high quality Arabica coffee bean and Africa’s largest exporter, could be in serious jeopardy over the next century unless action is taken, according to a report, published in Nature Plants today.

“In Ethiopia and all over the world really, if we do nothing there will be less coffee, it will probably taste worse and will cost more,” Dr Aaron Davis, coffee researcher at Kew and one of the report’s authors, told the BBC.

Consumption is forecast to outstrip production for the third consecutive year, according to figures from the intergovernmental body for coffee, the International Coffee Organization (ICO). So far, stockpiles accumulated in high production years have avoided any coffee shortages or price hikes.

But as exporters have been forced to tap into those supplies, their stock levels of coffee are currently low, the ICO says. Longer-term climate change worries aside, initial fears about this year’s weather in Brazil and Vietnam, the world’s two biggest coffee producers, have eased. Concerns remain though that any unforeseen weather events there in the next few months may mean a short-term bean shortage.

However, it is the longer-term outlook that is a greater cause for concern to farmers and coffee drinkers alike.

As Dr Tim Schilling, director of the World Coffee Research institute, an organisation funded by the global coffee industry, says: "The supply of high-quality coffee is severely threatened by climate change, diseases and pests, land pressure, and labour shortages - and demand for these coffees is rising every year". In some coffee areas, temperatures have already risen enough to begin having quality impacts, he adds.

“The logical result of that is that prices will need to rise, especially for the highest quality coffees, which are the most threatened,” he adds.
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TEF: everything you need to know about the new university rankings

TEF: everything you need to know about the new university rankings | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The results of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) have now been announced. Universities across the UK have been ranked gold, silver or bronze based on the quality of their teaching, learning and student experience.

The results reveal that 59 higher education providers were rated gold, 116 silver and 56 bronze. Gold rated universities include Cambridge, Coventry, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Loughborough and Oxford.

Among the Russell Group universities – traditionally seen to be the best in the country – eight out of 21 institutions were awarded the gold rating, while 10 got silver. The world-renowned London School of Economics was awarded the lowest bronze rating, as was Liverpool, Southampton, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

All of these universities were outperformed in the TEF by newer universities such as Liverpool Hope and Lincoln, along with small specialist institutions including The Royal Veterinary College and Royal Northern College of Music – which are among those awarded the gold standard.

While these new rankings present something of a mixed picture in comparison to traditional league tables, it’s hoped they will help students make informed choices about which degree course might be right for them. But many universities awarded with the lowest bronze level have criticised the system as unfair and unreliable.

Here’s how you can make sense of the new rankings.
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Why Humans Have Such Big Brains

Why Humans Have Such Big Brains | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Humans are the only ultrasocial creature on the planet. We have outcompeted, interbred or even killed off all other hominin species.

We cohabit in cities of tens of millions of people and, despite what the media tell us, violence between individuals is extremely rare. This is because we have an extremely large, flexible and complex "social brain".

To truly understand how the brain maintains our human intellect, we would need to know about the state of all 86 billion neurons and their 100 trillion interconnections, as well as the varying strengths with which they are connected, and the state of more than 1,000 proteins that exist at each connection point.

Neurobiologist Steven Rose suggests that even this is not enough – we would still need know how these connections have evolved over a person's lifetime and even the social context in which they had occurred. It may take centuries just to figure out basic neuronal connectivity.

Many people assume that our brain operates like a powerful computer. But Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology, says this is just shoddy thinking and is holding back our understanding of the human brain.

Because, while humans start with senses, reflexes and learning mechanisms, we are not born with any of the information, rules, algorithms or other key design elements that allow computers to behave somewhat intelligently.

For instance, computers store exact copies of data that persist for long periods of time, even when the power is switched off.

Our brains, meanwhile, are capable of creating false data or false memories, and they only maintain our intellect as long as we remain alive.
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rubdelete's comment, June 22, 2:20 AM
nice
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 22, 8:16 PM

The most intricate and complex computer around is the human brain.  Our so-called "social" brain and ability to make rapid changes helped us to become the top predator in the food chain. Let's hope we're clever and flexible enough to maintain our species without destroying ourselves.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation?

Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks looked into the night sky and saw geometric shapes emerge among the stars: a hunter, a lion, a water vase.

In a way, they used these constellations to make sense of the random scattering of stars in the fabric of the universe. By translating astronomy into shapes, they found a way to seek order and meaning in a highly complex system.

As it turns out, the Greeks were wrong: most stars in a constellation don’t have much to do with one another. But their approach lives on.

This week, the Blue Brain Project proposed a fascinating idea that may explain the complexities of the human brain. Using algebraic topology, a type of mathematics that “projects” complex connections into graphs, they mapped out a path for complex functions to emerge from the structure of neural networks.

And get this: while the brain physically inhabits our three-dimensional world, its inner connections—mathematically speaking—operate on a much higher dimensional space. In human speak: the assembly and disassembly of neural connections are massively complex, more so than expected. But now we may have a language to describe them.

“We found a world that we had never imagined,” says Dr. Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project and professor at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland who led the study.
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Here's How to Backup Life on Earth Ahead of Any Doomsday Event

Here's How to Backup Life on Earth Ahead of Any Doomsday Event | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
There are ten asteroids that the space organisation NASA said last month have been classified as "potentially hazardous" based on their size and their orbits in our Solar system.

NASA has now identified 693 near-Earth objects thanks to the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft that's been looking for potential threats to Earth since 2013.

The organisation doesn't specify what kind of hazard these ten asteroids pose.

But Earth has been hit by objects in the past, with devastating effects. Scientists largely agree that it was an asteroid or comet impact that started the chain of events that wiped out the dinosaurs around 60 million years ago.

Every year several previously unseen asteroids whizz past Earth, sometimes with only with a few days' warning. This year two of these asteroids came very close to Earth, with one in May sailing past only 15,000km away.

On cosmic scales, that was a very close shave.

But impacts from objects in space are just one of several ways that humanity and most of life on Earth could suddenly disappear.

We are already observing that extinctions are happening now at an unprecedented rate. In 2014 it was estimated that the extinction rate is now 1,000 times greater than before humans were on the Earth.

The estimated number of extinctions ranges from 200 to 2,000 species per year.

From all of this very worrying data, it would not be a stretch to say that we are currently within a doomsday scenario. Of course, the "day" is longer than 24 hours but may be instead in the order of a century or two.

So what can we do about this potential prospect of impending doom? We can try to avoid some of the likely scenarios.

We should act to tackle climate change and we can develop new asteroid-tracking systems and put in place a means to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
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feignedloutish's comment, June 21, 3:19 AM
Nice
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 22, 8:21 PM

It's only a matter of time before a big interstellar rock strikes Earth.  Most of our problems will then be over.  Hopefully, we can resolve our petty differences on this planet and focus more attention on our survival.  If weren't not careful, we will join the dinosaurs who were erased 65 million years ago.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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DNA Replication Has Been Filmed For The First Time, And It's Not What We Expected

DNA Replication Has Been Filmed For The First Time, And It's Not What We Expected | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Here's proof of how far we've come in science - in a world-first, researchers have recorded up-close footage of a single DNA molecule replicating itself, and it's raising questions about how we assumed the process played out.

The real-time footage has revealed that this fundamental part of life incorporates an unexpected amount of 'randomness', and it could force a major rethink into how genetic replication occurs without mutations.

"It's a real paradigm shift, and undermines a great deal of what's in the textbooks," says one of the team, Stephen Kowalczykowski from the University of California, Davis.

"It's a different way of thinking about replication that raises new questions."

The DNA double helix consists of two intertwining strands of genetic material made up of four different bases - guanine, thymine, cytosine, and adenine (G, T, C and A).

Replication occurs when an enzyme called helicase unwinds and unzips the double helix into two single strands.

A second enzyme called primase attaches a 'primer' to each of these unravelled strands, and a third enzyme called DNA polymerase attaches at this primer, and adds additional bases to form a whole new double helix.
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Dogs have learnt to put up with unfairness from humans, study suggests

Dogs have learnt to put up with unfairness from humans, study suggests | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Dogs have their own innate sense of fairness and did not learn this from humans as previously believed, a new study has concluded.

In fact the research suggested the opposite may be true – that dogs have learned greater acceptance of inequitable treatment as a result of their close relationship with people.

In tests, wolves and dogs would both refuse to take part if they received no reward for pressing a buzzer while a partner animal got one for doing so. The same was true if they received a lower quality prize.

It was thought that dogs had learned the importance of equality – seen as a sophisticated trait found in humans and some primates – during the domestication process, but the study found the wolves displayed a greater reluctance to take part once they realised what was going on.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 19, 4:24 PM

Dogs are a lot smarter than we think. They've learned to put up with humans, while we can't even get along with our own species.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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This Machine Could Print Synthetic Life Forms on Demand, And Our Minds Are Reeling

This Machine Could Print Synthetic Life Forms on Demand, And Our Minds Are Reeling | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Back in 2016, biologist Craig Venter achieved something extraordinary. He built a new species of bacteria from scratch in the lab - the simplest genetic life form known to science, made entirely through chemical synthesis of a custom-made genome.

Now, he's unveiled a new machine that could print these synthetic life forms on demand - simply feed in a genome design, and let the 'ink' form the building blocks of life. The invention could see us colonise Mars with synthetic life without ever setting foot on the Red Planet, and Venter and Elon Musk have teamed up to make this happen.

Called 'biological teleportation', the technique could allow scientists to email the genome from Earth to a printer on Mars, theoretically allowing us to colonise the Red Planet from afar.

"I think biological teleportation is what is going to truly enable the colonisation of Mars," Venter told his biographer Ashlee Vance back in 2015.

"Elon and I have been talking about how this might play out."

The new tabletop prototype, called the digital-to-biological converter (DBC), is the first machine that can receive genetic sequences via the internet or radio waves.

That means it can print the four chemical bases of DNA - guanine, thymine, cytosine, and adenine (G, T, C and A) - via remote control to form various biological components.

"Just like a printer, it needs cassettes, but instead of colours, it's bottles of chemicals," Venter told Jordan Pearson at Motherboard.

"It's packaging complex biology that each of our tiny cells do remarkably well at a much, much smaller scale."

Venter has been working on this prototype for years now, but a new study describes how it's finally been able to produce biological compounds such as DNA templates, RNA molecules, proteins, and viral particles without any human intervention.

The printer has also made functional influenza viral particles (H1N1), and bacteriophages that can fight bacterial infections.
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Enerzeapowersolution's comment, June 17, 5:12 AM
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 18, 11:15 AM

Be careful what you wish for.  Amazing as this technology is for improving health and well-being, it can be abused and used for nefarious purposes.  A wondrous technology with many ethical and social consequences.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Computers are starting to reason like humans

Computers are starting to reason like humans | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
How many parks are near the new home you’re thinking of buying? What’s the best dinner-wine pairing at a restaurant? These everyday questions require relational reasoning, an important component of higher thought that has been difficult for artificial intelligence (AI) to master. Now, researchers at Google’s DeepMind have developed a simple algorithm to handle such reasoning—and it has already beaten humans at a complex image comprehension test.

Humans are generally pretty good at relational reasoning, a kind of thinking that uses logic to connect and compare places, sequences, and other entities. But the two main types of AI—statistical and symbolic—have been slow to develop similar capacities. Statistical AI, or machine learning, is great at pattern recognition, but not at using logic. And symbolic AI can reason about relationships using predetermined rules, but it’s not great at learning on the fly.

The new study proposes a way to bridge the gap: an artificial neural network for relational reasoning. Similar to the way neurons are connected in the brain, neural nets stitch together tiny programs that collaboratively find patterns in data. They can have specialized architectures for processing images, parsing language, or even learning games. In this case, the new “relation network” is wired to compare every pair of objects in a scenario individually. “We’re explicitly forcing the network to discover the relationships that exist between the objects,” says Timothy Lillicrap, a computer scientist at DeepMind in London who co-authored the paper.
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Prescott Kermit's comment, June 15, 5:23 AM
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Valerie Pilcer's curator insight, June 15, 2:48 PM

Combiner 2 types d'intelligence artificielle : l'

prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 15, 4:46 PM

Singularity is approaching--we soon will be sharing our neural connections with computers. The age of thinking, reasoning, and emotional machines is almost here...shades of the sci-fi film "Blade Runner."  Be careful what you wish for.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Forget Police Sketches: Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves

Forget Police Sketches: Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Picture this: you’re sitting in a police interrogation room, struggling to describe the face of a criminal to a sketch artist. You pause, wrinkling your brow, trying to remember the distance between his eyes and the shape of his nose.

Suddenly, the detective offers you an easier way: would you like to have your brain scanned instead, so that machines can automatically reconstruct the face in your mind's eye from reading your brain waves?

Sound fantastical? It’s not. After decades of work, scientists at Caltech may have finally cracked our brain’s facial recognition code. Using brain scans and direct neuron recording from macaque monkeys, the team found specialized “face patches” that respond to specific combinations of facial features.

Like dials on a music mixer, each patch is fine-tuned to a particular set of visual information, which then channel together in different combinations to form a holistic representation of every distinctive face.

The values of each dial were so predictable that scientists were able to recreate a face the monkey saw simply by recording the electrical activity of roughly 200 brain cells. When placed together, the reconstruction and the actual photo were nearly indistinguishable.

“This was mind-blowing,” says lead author Dr. Doris Tsao.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 15, 4:36 PM

A great tool for law enforcement.  Police artists will have another valuable tool for helping crime victims.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions

The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Neuroscientists have used a classic branch of maths in a totally new way to peer into the structure of our brains. What they've discovered is that the brain is full of multi-dimensional geometrical structures operating in as many as 11 dimensions.

We're used to thinking of the world from a 3-D perspective, so this may sound a bit tricky, but the results of this new study could be the next major step in understanding the fabric of the human brain - the most complex structure we know of.

This latest brain model was produced by a team of researchers from the Blue Brain Project, a Swiss research initiative devoted to building a supercomputer-powered reconstruction of the human brain.

The team used algebraic topology, a branch of mathematics used to describe the properties of objects and spaces regardless of how they change shape. They found that groups of neurons connect into 'cliques', and that the number of neurons in a clique would lead to its size as a high-dimensional geometric object.

"We found a world that we had never imagined," says lead researcher, neuroscientist Henry Markram from the EPFL institute in Switzerland.

"There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to 11 dimensions."

Human brains are estimated to have a staggering 86 billion neurons, with multiple connections from each cell webbing in every possible direction, forming the vast cellular network that somehow makes us capable of thought and consciousness.

With such a huge number of connections to work with, it's no wonder we still don't have a thorough understanding of how the brain's neural network operates. But the new mathematical framework built by the team takes us one step closer to one day having a digital brain model.

To perform the mathematical tests, the team used a detailed model of the neocortex the Blue Brain Project team published back in 2015. The neocortex is thought to be the most recently evolved part of our brains, and the one involved in some of our higher-order functions like cognition and sensory perception.

After developing their mathematical framework and testing it on some virtual stimuli, the team also confirmed their results on real brain tissue in rats.

According to the researchers, algebraic topology provides mathematical tools for discerning details of the neural network both in a close-up view at the level of individual neurons, and a grander scale of the brain structure as a whole.

By connecting these two levels, the researchers could discern high-dimensional geometric structures in the brain, formed by collections of tightly connected neurons (cliques) and the empty spaces (cavities) between them.

"We found a remarkably high number and variety of high-dimensional directed cliques and cavities, which had not been seen before in neural networks, either biological or artificial," the team writes in the study.
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bachelorreporter's comment, June 17, 3:29 AM
good
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The Benefits of Talking to Yourself

The Benefits of Talking to Yourself | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

A stranger approached me at a grocery store. “Do you need help finding something?” he asked. At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant. Then the realization kicked in: I was talking out loud, to myself, in public. It was a habit I’d grown so comfortable with that I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

The fairly common habit of talking aloud to yourself is what psychologists call external self-talk. And although self-talk is sometimes looked at as just an eccentric quirk, research has found that it can influence behavior and cognition.

“Language provides us with this tool to gain distance from our own experiences when we’re reflecting on our lives. And that’s really why it’s useful,” said Ethan Kross, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

When we talk to ourselves we’re trying to see things more objectively, Mr. Kross said, so it matters how you talk to yourself. The two types of self-talk you’re likely most familiar with are instructional self-talk, like talking yourself through a task, and motivational self-talk, like telling yourself, “I can do this.” It might be corny, but motivating yourself out loud can work.
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One study published in Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences researched the effects of both motivational and instructional self-talk on subjects playing basketball. It found that players passed the basketball faster when they motivated themselves through the task out loud.

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Evidence of "tipping points" turning climate change from gradual to rapid

Evidence of "tipping points" turning climate change from gradual to rapid | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Anyone who has seen The Day After Tomorrow will be familiar with the concept of "tipping points" where slow and gradual changes in atmospheric CO2 levels can reach a point that triggers a sudden change in temperatures. While a lot of the aforementioned movie remains firmly in the realm of science fiction, a new study has found evidence of such tipping points occurring in the past, resulting in dramatic climate changes over a short period.

Ice core samples in Greenland have shown that during the last glacial period, temperatures periodically shot up by as much as 10° C (18° F) in a matter of decades, but it wasn't clear why that was the case. A study by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute and the University of Cardiff has shed some more light on this phenomena, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger events, using a computer model that simulates the relationship between the atmosphere, ocean currents and sea ice levels.

The team found that a high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was the likely suspect for these sudden warming events. The CO2 levels didn't have to rise quickly either: after a period of slow but constant growth, the climate can reach a crucial tipping point, setting off a chain reaction that results in temperature spikes.
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New Evidence Points to a Tenth Planet in Our Solar System

New Evidence Points to a Tenth Planet in Our Solar System | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The Solar System hasn't been the same since Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet, and all bets have been off since this monumental decision.

Case in point, last year, scientists at the California Institute of Technology proposed that there might be a true Planet Nine in our Solar System. The team asserted that it appears to be 10 times the mass of Earth and that it is hiding out in the remote recesses of our Solar System - well beyond the orbit of Pluto.

At the time of the discovery, Mike Brown, who was behind the work, noted that the existence of a 9th planet is extremely likely: "Hey Planet Nine fans, a new eccentric KBO was discovered. And it is exactly where Planet Nine says it should be," Brown tweeted.

Furthermore, he says, the new object "takes the probability of this being a statistical fluke down to ~.001 percent or so."

Similar discoveries have been made in relation to new dwarf planets. Located about 13.7 billion kilometres (8.5 billion miles) from the Sun, 2014 UZ224 measures about 530 kilometres (330 miles) in diameter and takes around 1,100 Earth years to complete its orbit.

And so, our little corner of the cosmos has been in quite the state of flux.

But it appears that there may be more surprises lying in wait at the edge of our Solar System.

Kathryn Volk and Renu Malhotra at the University of Arizona have noticed some strange movement out in the Kuiper belt…movement that they believe could suggest the existence of a tenth planet.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 23, 7:54 PM

Astronomers now believe there is a larger-than-Earth planet in our solar system far beyond the orbit of the dwarf planet Pluto.  Our solar system is more crowded than once thought.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

yourogmore's comment, June 24, 3:32 AM
verry nice
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You Do Not Think Alone

You Do Not Think Alone | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
“The Thinker,” Auguste Rodin’s bronze sculpture, has become a visual cliché, a common representation of deep thought — a figure, gazing down, chin on hand, completely alone. This is utterly misleading, according to the authors of “The Knowledge Illusion,” which carries the subtitle: “Why We Never Think Alone.” Steven Sloman, a professor at Brown University, and Philip Fernbach, a professor at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, argue that our intelligence depends on the people and things that surround us, and to a degree we rarely recognize. Knowledge, they say, is a community effort. Sloman answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.
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pradawood's comment, June 22, 4:46 AM
very nice
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Surgeons Want Robots - if They Know They Will Help Cut Down Their Human Errors

Surgeons Want Robots - if They Know They Will Help Cut Down Their Human Errors | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
How good are humans at performing manual surgery? Major surgical errors must be reported and there has been research into the attitudes of surgeons in how they report such errors.

But there is no requirement or legislation in place to report minor unintentional damage, and how that is even defined is a grey area.

Very little research exists into the frequency of unintentional surgical damage, the challenges that cause this damage, or understanding of the long-term effects.

We are developing semi-autonomous robotic tools to help surgeons, especially for knee surgery. It's estimated that around 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed each year worldwide.

In our recent study, some surgeons said they found that such knee procedures could be physically challenging and could cause unintentional damage to their patients.

But a majority said they would be prepared to use robotic tools if they could be shown to help in the surgery and reduce the risks of injury to patients.
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GLOBALHACKERS.RU's curator insight, June 22, 4:07 AM

 

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pradawood's comment, June 22, 4:46 AM
really good
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 22, 8:12 PM

Robotic assistants in the operating room could reduce human mistakes and save more lives.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Stephen Hawking: "I Am Convinced That Humans Need to Leave Earth"

Stephen Hawking: "I Am Convinced That Humans Need to Leave Earth" | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Back in May, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking made yet another doomsday prediction. He said that humanity has 100 years left on Earth, which knocked 900 years off the prediction he made in November 2016, which had given humanity 1,000 years left.

With his new estimate, Hawking suggested the only way to prolong humanity's existence is for us to find a new home, on another planet.

Speaking at the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway on Tuesday, Hawking reiterated his point: "If humanity is to continue for another million years, our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before," he explained, according to the BBC.

Specifically, Hawking said that we should aim for another Moon landing by 2020, and work to build a lunar base in the next 30 years - projects that could help prepare us to send human beings to Mars by 2025.
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pradawood's comment, June 22, 4:46 AM
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 22, 8:24 PM

A sober warning from astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.  We have less than a century to get our act together before wars, politics, over population, famine, and climate change doom our species. Hawking believes we must leave planet Earth to preserve our species.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Engineers and Ethicists Must Work Together on Brain-Computer Interface Technology

Engineers and Ethicists Must Work Together on Brain-Computer Interface Technology | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
In the 1995 film “Batman Forever,” the Riddler used 3-D television to secretly access viewers’ most personal thoughts in his hunt for Batman’s true identity. By 2011, the metrics company Nielsen had acquired Neurofocus and had created a “consumer neuroscience” division that uses integrated conscious and unconscious data to track customer decision-making habits. What was once a nefarious scheme in a Hollywood blockbuster seems poised to become a reality.

Recent announcements by Elon Musk and Facebook about brain-computer interface (BCI) technology are just the latest headlines in an ongoing science-fiction-becomes-reality story.

BCIs use brain signals to control objects in the outside world. They’re a potentially world-changing innovation – imagine being paralyzed but able to “reach” for something with a prosthetic arm just by thinking about it. But the revolutionary technology also raises concerns. Here at the University of Washington’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) we and our colleagues are researching BCI technology – and a crucial part of that includes working on issues such as neuroethics and neural security. Ethicists and engineers are working together to understand and quantify risks and develop ways to protect the public now.
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cometmardy's comment, June 20, 3:29 AM
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Baby genome sequencing is now for sale in China

Baby genome sequencing is now for sale in China | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Boston-based DNA sequencing company is offering to decode the complete genomes of newborns in China, leading some to ask how much parents should know about their children’s genes at birth.

Veritas Genetics says the test, ordered by a doctor, will report back on 950 serious early- and later-life disease risks, 200 genes connected to drug reactions, and more than 100 physical traits a child is likely to have.

Called myBabyGenome, the service costs $1,500 and could help identify serious hidden problems in newborns, the company says.

But some doctors say the plan is a huge overstep. “I think it’s vastly premature to peddle a completely unproven set of data, especially to a vulnerable population like neonates,” says Jim Evans, a professor of genetics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

The problem is that the risk posed by many disease genes remains uncertain. Even if a child has a mutation in a gene, he or she may never be affected, prompting debate among doctors about whether it’s useful to inform parents.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 19, 4:18 PM

Be careful of this technology. There are many legal, cultural, privacy, and social issues involved in decoding of genomes, be they adult or newborns.  

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

Vanessa Ong Li Wen's curator insight, Today, 5:11 AM
DNA sequencing with the ability to decode the complete genomes of newborns has now become a reality, albeit a scary one. While this idea must have come into existence from an attitude of generosity and altruism – it can indeed help parents identify serious hidden problems in newborns, this raises a question of whether there is a need to implement baby genome sequencing. Do parents really need to know whether their child will have these unforeseen problems in the future? Even if they did know about it, how then is it possible for them to carry out an act of prevention against it? Considering the answers of these 2 questions, we will find ourselves doubting the necessity of baby genome sequencing. Adding on to this, Jim Evans, Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, also believes that genome sequencing is “vastly premature”, seeing as it “peddles a completely unproven set of data” and is presented to real life parents who will definitely feel anxious over it. In addition, making predictions of children’s traits is stepping into uncharted territory. Genetic factors are unstable and very much volatile – to predict a child’s traits and imply that it is absolute can become very dangerous in this context. It can not only bring about much emotional damage to the parents, but also potentially destroy the life of the newborn, who, under pressurised circumstances from the parents, is unable to grow and mature as it should. In addition, since the results of baby genome sequencing is definitely not an absolute, this may potentially bring about unnecessary stress and damage onto the parents, who, under the fear that their child may end up growing with an incurable disease or disorder, invariably descends into a never-ending abyss of depression and sadness. This may even lead up to the starting point of a very real and vicious cycle – the mother feels stressed and worried about her newborn, in turn affecting its development inside her stomach and creating conditions for these diseases to develop. I feel that this technology is volatile and unreliable, at best. Venturing into the unknown will more than likely spell out trouble for those of us who are foolish enough to think that doing so fulfils the lesson of the adage, “Knowledge is power”. Sometimes it is better to wait for nature to take its course, albeit its consequences.
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The latest threat to Antarctica: an insect and plant invasion

The latest threat to Antarctica: an insect and plant invasion | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Antarctica’s pristine ice-white environment is going green and facing an unexpected threat – from the common house fly. Scientists say that as temperatures soar in the polar region, invading plants and insects, including the fly, pose a major conservation threat.

More and more of these invaders, in the form of larvae or seeds, are surviving in coastal areas around the south pole, where temperatures have risen by more than 3C over the past three decades. Glaciers have retreated, exposing more land which has been colonised by mosses that have been found to be growing more quickly and thickly than ever before – providing potential homes for invaders. The process is particularly noticeable in the Antarctic peninsula, which has been shown to be the region of the continent that is most vulnerable to global warming.

“The common house fly is a perfect example of the problem the Antarctic now faces from invading species,” said Dominic Hodgson of the British Antarctic Survey. “It comes in on ships, where it thrives in kitchens and then at bases on the continent. It now has an increasing chance of surviving in the Antarctic as it warms up, and that is a worry. Insects like the fly carry pathogens that could have a devastating effect on indigenous lifeforms.”

The Antarctic has several native species of insects. Together with its indigenous mosses and lichens, these are now coming under increased threat from three major sources: visiting scientists; swelling numbers of tourists; and global warming.

In 2015-6, more than 38,000 tourists visited Antarctica while around 43,000 were expected for the following season. “These tourists are often very scrupulous about not leaving waste or having mud – which could carry seeds or bugs from other areas – on their boots when they set foot on the Antarctic peninsula,” said Hodgson.
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This $130 Million 'Hyperloop Hotel' Would Let You Travel Between Cities in Luxury Rooms

This $130 Million 'Hyperloop Hotel' Would Let You Travel Between Cities in Luxury Rooms | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
When you go out of town, you usually need to buy a few nights at a hotel in addition to a plane, train, or bus ticket. Brandan Siebrecht, a graduate architecture student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wants to combine these components into one experience.

He designed what he calls the "Hyperloop Hotel," a system that would feature a transit system and 13 hotels in different cities throughout the United States.

Siebrecht is the student winner of this year's Radical Innovation Award, a competition for imaginative hotel designs. In June, a jury of seven hotel investors, developers, and architects selected Driftscape as the one of two finalists out of over 65 submissions from 24 countries.

The futuristic concept would eliminate the need to buy separate transit tickets for most of the largest cities in the US.

It calls for hotels in 13 locations - Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Sante Fe, Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, DC, New York City, and Boston - which would all be connected by a "Hyperloop system".

The design was inspired by DevLoop, a real test track for Hyperloop One being developed north of Las Vegas.
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Researchers Are Closer Than Ever to Recharging Electric Cars While They Drive

Researchers Are Closer Than Ever to Recharging Electric Cars While They Drive | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Researchers have overcome a massive hurdle in beaming power wirelessly into a moving object.

The advance in technology could have applications in improving the driving range of electric vehicles while they motor down the highway, as well as making robots used in manufacturing more mobile.

Scientists from Stanford University built on previous research by MIT to transmit enough power over a metre (several feet) to make a tiny LED glow as it moved.

While the research has a long way to go before it can power even a small car, the experiment demonstrates it's at least possible to transfer power to a moving object, overcoming a practical hurdle on our way to recharging electric cars on the fly.

Transferring electricity over a long distance dates back to the dawn of electrical power itself.

In fact, it was a life-long dream of the famous 19th century inventor Nikola Tesla, who experimented with boosting voltage using capacitors and eventually produce what we call Tesla coils.

This high voltage generation of electricity could effectively cause electricity to flow through a conductor a short distance away through a process called inductive coupling.

In simple terms, induction describes how a moving magnetic field can produce an electric current in a conductor.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 15, 4:33 PM

If this technological hurdle is solved, then electric cars will be a viable, popular mode of transportation.  Recharging electric cars while they drive would solve the major issue of range, would put electric vehicles on a level playing field with current internal combustion-powered vehicles.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Our pursuit of happiness makes us sad - Futurity

Our pursuit of happiness makes us sad - Futurity | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Social pressure to feel happy can actually have the opposite effect–and might contribute to the prevalence of depression–according to recent research.

“Depression rates are higher in countries that place a premium on happiness,” says social psychologist Brock Bastian. “Rather than being the by-product of a life well-lived, feeling happy has become a goal in itself. Smiling faces beam at us from social media and happiness gurus flog their latest emotional quick fixes, reinforcing the message that we should aim to maximize our positive emotions and avoid our negative ones.

“If we fail to live up to that, what effect does it have on us?” asks Bastian, associate professor in the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

In a recent study in Depression and Anxiety, Bastian, Belgian collaborator Egon Dejonckheere, and fellow researchers sought to examine the relationship between the social expectations not to experience negative emotions, and the occurrence of depressive symptoms.

A sample of 112 individuals with elevated depression scores took part in an online daily diary study for 30 days in which they responded to questions designed to measure their depressive symptoms (low mood, fatigue, agitation, lack of concentration) and the extent to which they felt pressure from others not to feel depressed.
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Envisageapps's comment, June 14, 8:29 AM
nice
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Scientists Just Changed The Game And Made Synthetic Photosynthesis Possible

Scientists Just Changed The Game And Made Synthetic Photosynthesis Possible | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Photosynthesis is one of nature's most efficient phenomena: aside from providing much of the oxygen human beings need to breathe, this naturally occurring process gives plants the food and energy they need to survive.

It uses visible light - which the Earth has an abundance of - to provide the 'fuel' they need. Researchers have been working on ways to artificially recreate this natural process in labs, in the hopes of producing fuel, too - specifically methane.

Now, a team of chemists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Virginia Tech have designed two supramolecules, each made up of a number of light-harvesting ruthenium (Ru) metal ions attached to a single catalytic centre of rhodium (Rh) metal ions.

"By building supramolecules with multiple light absorbers that may work independently, we are increasing the probability of using each electron productively," Gerald Manbeck, lead author of the study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, said in a press release.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, June 10, 10:59 AM

The age of synthetic plants has arrived.  Perhaps this technology could be applied for food production in areas where plants are rare, such as deserts and polar climates.  This technology could also be used to supply food during long-duration spaceflights.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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