On The New York Times, Adam Frank says that for the longest time we questioned whether or not there were aliens out there; however, now that we know that "every star in the sky likely hosts at least one planet," even the worse case scenario still shows that "a trillion civilizations still would have appeared over the course of cosmic history." In other words, we may not know if there are aliens right now, but there's a good change that they definitely existed.
Or consider the average lifetime of a civilization. Humans have been using radio technology for only about 100 years. How much longer will our civilization last? A thousand more years? A hundred thousand more? Ten million more? If the average lifetime for a civilization is short, the galaxy is likely to be unpopulated most of the time. Once again, however, with only one example to draw…
In this video by COOPH, photographer Thomas Leuthard shows some basic tricks on how to get some nice urban photography.
Watch photographer Thomas Leuthard demonstrate some creative street photography tips & tricks in Salzburg
In these videos, AsapScience explains how the advent of smartphones is drastically changing both the brain and body of its users — and why you should probably stop using them so much.158More
Soli tracks and recognizes dynamic gestures expressed by fine motions of the fingers and hand. In order to accomplish this with a single chip sensor, we developed a novel radar sensing paradigm with tailored hardware, software, and algorithms. Unlike traditional radar sensors, Soli does not require large bandwidth and high spatial resolution; in fact, Soli’s spatial resolution is coarser than the scale of most fine finger gestures. Instead, our fundamental sensing principles rely on motion resolution by extracting subtle changes in the received signal over time. By processing these temporal signal variations, Soli can distinguish complex finger movements and deforming hand shapes within its field.
China-based Dr. Ren Xiaoping is looking into the possibility of performing a full body transplant — the "scientifically impossible" procedure of transferring the head of a patient from one body to another — once a team was build and research was ready. Some are calling it "at best premature and at worst reckless."
Dr. Ren has experimented with head transplants on mice, but they have lived only for a day. He said he had also begun practicing on human cadavers, but declined to give details.
The doctor and his supporters say the operation could help people with potentially fatal diseases affecting body function, such as spinal muscular atrophy, as well as those with paralysis like Mr. Wang.
Some aspects of the plan are technically possible, said Dr. Abraham Shaked, a professor of surgery and the director of the Penn Transplant Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. He said it…
Japanese Donald Trump Commercial created by Mike Shafia has all the right ingredients to look legit.231More
According to Popular Mechanics, researchers were able to use the thoughts of one person in order to control the physical actions of another, making a future where brain-to-brain communication will be entirely possible.
They recorded 100 neurons firing at once in the brain of a monkey. Believing they might be able to take this data and use it to perform a task, the team connected a probe into the area of the monkey's brain that controlled for arm movement. Then they gave the monkey a game to play: Using a joystick, the monkey moved a dot around on a screen until it entered a circle in the center. When the monkey moved the dot into the correct location, she received a reward of juice. Once they recorded the brain patterns that resulted from the movement, the team took the joystick away.…
According to MarketWatch, Pizza Hut has begun testing humanoid robots that allow customers to place their orders and pay without having to interact with another human. While the robot can't prepare the food or bring it to the table a human is still required at this point demands in wage increase may eventually mean that automation will entirely replace workers in the food service industry.
SoftBank’s robot is named Pepper. It has a face and can even respond to human customers with some emotional intelligence, said John Sheldon, the senior vice president of innovation management at MasterCard Labs. For example, if a customer seems more tentative to interact with a robot, Pepper will be more reserved, whereas if a customer is more energetic, Pepper will be, too, Sheldon said. It looks like an alien, with eyes…
According to Stars and Stripes, former U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp is predicting that the collapse of North Korea will happen "sooner than many of us think." The downfall of the regime may begin with attacks from the Hermit country, until its eventual collapse due to instability.
There’s long been speculation about how long the regime can continue to hold power in a country riddled with serial famines, drought, draconian punishments, poor medical care and an ever-increasing regimen of United Nations sanctions. Some analysts believe the North needs only one more jolt before it tumbles, while others say it has muddled through worse times in the past.
According to Space.com, Canadian-based space company Thoth Technology Inc. has obtained a patent for an inflatable space elevator. The idea is to bring equipment and astronauts 20 kilometers above the earth's surface, from which "space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit".
[...] Reaching 20 km above the planet, it would stand more than 20 times the height of current tall structures and be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.
The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket.
“Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” said Dr. Brendan Quine, the inventor.
In this TED video, Jennifer Kahn looks at how the CRISPR gene editing tool could allow to change DNA sequences not just temporarily but forever, and asks what humanity may do with this new power.
CRISPR gene drives allow scientists to change sequences of DNA and guarantee that the resulting edited genetic trait is inherited by future generations, opening up the possibility of altering entire species forever. More than anything, the technology has led to questions: How will this new power affect humanity? What are we going to use it to change? Are we gods now? Join journalist Jennifer Kahn as she ponders these questions and shares a potentially powerful application of gene drives: the development of disease-resistant mosquitoes that could knock out malaria and Zika.
Harvard Professor of Energy Daniel G. Nocera announced a genetically engineered bacteria which, when combined with his artificial leaf — a solar-powered device which continuously splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen — consumes the hydrogen, inhales CO2, resulting in the creation of alcohol fuel.
A one-liter reactor full of Nocera’s bacteria can capture 500 liters of atmospheric CO2 per day, he said. For every kilowatt hour of energy they produce, they’ll remove 237 liters of CO2 from the air.
But much of that will return to the air when the alcohol is burned.
“This isn’t solving your CO2 problem,” he said. ”I’m taking CO2 out of the air, you burn it and you put the CO2 back. So it’s carbon neutral. I’m not going to reverse 400 ppm of CO2. But you’re not going to use any more stuff out of the ground.”
The Kids Should See This website looks at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a giant storage area located in the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, containing seeds from all over the world.
On the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault protects around 865,000 seed samples from all over the world. Most of those seeds are of staple crops. “There are nearly 160,000 samples of wheat, and approaching 150,000 samples of rice.” The Guardian also explains that “the site was built to be disaster-proof: 130 metres up the mountain in case of sea-level rise, earthquake resistant, and with a natural insulation of permafrost to ensure the contents were kept frozen for decades to come.”
We tested the theory with Kelli, and even we were surprised by what we found and saw.
Kelli enabled the microphone feature and talked about her desire to go on safari, right down to her mode of transportation. “I’m really interested in going on an African safari. I think it’d be wonderful to ride in one of those jeeps,” she said aloud, phone in hand.
Less than 60 seconds later, the first post on her Facebook feed was a safari story that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Turns out, it was a story that had been posted three hours earlier. And, after mentioning a jeep, a car ad also appeared on her page.…