If NASA Had the Budget of the U.S. Military

All the cool stuff NASA could do


Tue, Jan 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, Second Thought fantasises as to what NASA could do if it had a budget of 600 billion dollars every year to play with.

In this video we do a little speculating! What could NASA do with the US military's massive 600 billion dollar annual budget?


"People can pay $8,000 to have their veins pumped with blood plasma from teenagers."

Plasma from young people may reverse aging


Mon, Jan 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit the science community still isn't in agreement about whether this works or not, California-based Ambrosia allows people to be injected with the plasma of young people for the mere cost of $8,000, giving them significant health improvements. Above, a TED talk by Tony Wyss-Coray who seems convinced that young blood "might help reverse aging." It sounds like a big might right now.

Jesse Karmazin is the entrepreneur who made the practice possible, by launching a clinical trial on the potential of "young blood" through his startup Ambrosia. He says that within a month, most participants "see improvements" from the one-time infusion of a two-liter bagful of plasma, which is blood with the blood cells removed.

Several scientists and clinicians say Karmazin's trial is so poorly designed it cannot hope to provide evidence about the effects of the transfusions.…


Building a Smartphone for $50

The Pi-powered Zerophone


Sun, Jan 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Using open-source software running on Raspbian, with parts easily obtainable on eBay for about $50, you too can build yourself a smartphone. Arsenijs explains how.

It's Linux, and the apps running on it are open-source (therefore more likely to be secure and not privacy-invading). If you don't like a feature because it's a privacy/security concern, you can just disable it. If an app you're using has any unwanted code, you can just remove it. It doesn't depend on any butt^W cloud services - not if you don't want it to be. Since, again, it's Linux, it's got many security-related software available, and you can install it - be it a firewall, I2P/Tor node or a secure messenger of your choice.

As a bonus, the software is meant to allow you to fully utilise all the features the hardware supports - including some manufacturers don't usually include in software…


“Salmonella suddenly acquires an insatiable taste for brain tumors.”

Salmonella genetically engineered to eat brain tumors


Sat, Jan 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Because of the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium's ability to navigate through dense tissue, biomedical engineers at Duke University have genetically modified it to seek out brain tumors and “express tumor killing proteins in those sites.”

By adapting it to make it deficient in an essentially building block for its survival, an organic compound called purine, salmonella suddenly acquires an insatiable taste for brain tumors.

Why? Because Purines are enriched in tumors, so this way the bacteria only finds a good supply of its much-needed foodstuff in enriched tumor regions.

“Next we engineered the tumor-killing cargo of these bacteria only to be expressed and released when the oxygen tension was low,” Bellamkonda continued. “It turns out because tumors grow rapidly, most of them have low oxygen tension. So the tumor killing proteins were only released by the bacteria in tumor regions. With this approach, we show a 20 percent cure…


The Car Wheel Bicycle

Giving car wheels to a bicycle


Fri, Jan 13th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this Instructables article, Mr-Mash teaches you welding with a simple 8-step guide on creating a bicycle with car tyres. Judging from the comments, "it rides just fine."

This whole thing started off with me finding rusty holes in my car and I figured for the cost of paying someone to fix it I could buy a welder and do it myself, seems logical, right?

I was speaking to a friend about needing to learn how to weld and he said why not build a bike (we originally met while I was working in a bike shop and he came in looking for parts for a chopper he was building) he lent me a couple of books by Atomic Zombie, who you should check out, that dude builds some cool stuff.


Review of a World-War-II-Era Breakfast

Unboxing and reviewing of a 1945 K-ration breakfast for U.S. soldiers


Thu, Jan 12th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, Stevie1989 takes us on a detailed review of an eggs and pork K-Ration breakfast issued to soldiers during World War II. And it is still edible — somewhat.

This was the typical breakfast for a U.S. Soldier during WW2 - check out this amazing look at what parts held up, and what bit the dust!


"A way to alter any organism's DNA much like a computer user can edit a Word document."

The future of CRISPR and genetic engineering


Wed, Jan 11th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video from Singularity Lectures, Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley, looks at how CRISPR was developed and the possibilities the technology will offer for health care in the next decade.


“If there’s any kind of future for 'designer babies', it might look something like this.”

Still too soon for them, but designer babies will be unavoidable in our future


Tue, Jan 10th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While "we just don't know enough" when it comes to gene editing to create designer babies, bioethicist Ronald Green of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire believes "it is unavoidably in our future." If anything, considering the risks of not knowing what "serious errors" could happen from editing our genome, embryo selection may a more viable alternative — for what that's worth.

There are thousands of mostly rare and nasty genetic diseases that can be pinpointed to a specific gene mutation. Most more common diseases or medical predispositions – for example, diabetes, heart disease or certain types of cancer – are linked to several or even many genes, can’t be predicted with any certainty, and depend also on environmental factors such as diet.

When it comes to more complex things like personality and intelligence, we know very little. Even if they are strongly inheritable – it’s estimated that up to…


“Only people with postgraduate levels of education could properly understand Instagram’s terms and conditions.”

Instagram's Privacy Policy explained as if you were a kid


Mon, Jan 9th, 2017 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Quartz's Jenny Anderson looks at a report released by the UK's Children's Commissioner where Instagram's terms and conditions have been rewritten in a child-friendly language. Reportedly, with ~50% of British children using Instagram, 0% of them understand "what they signed when they joined."

“…[I]f they made it more easy then people would actually read it and think twice about the app,” said another 13-year-old girl after being shown the revised policy. “One-third of internet users are children, but the internet wasn’t created for children,” Afia points out.


Afia thinks that once people become more aware of what they are giving up, they will demand better terms. But will they? Plenty of adults, after all, are signing similar terms and conditions without demanding that they be changed. Afia explains her optimism thus: “They don’t know what is being done, so no one is saying can it be…


“Nissan’s R&D chief believes the truly driverless car [...] is an unreachable short-term goal.”

Call centres operated by humans to assist stuck self-driving cars


Sun, Jan 8th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Wired, Nissan does not believe the self-driving car will have the level of cognition needed to figure itself out of some situations. In those cases a call for help will connect the car to a teleoperator that, using a modified version of the software used by NASA to operate rovers on Mars, will assess the situation and then give instructions to the car on how to proceed.

Now, Nissan’s cubicle-based drivers aren’t emergency backups. If the car hits black ice, it’s in charge of staying on the road. There’s no feasible way to get the human into the loop in time to act. But they can help out when the car encounters conditions it’s unsure how to handle. If a Nissan happened upon the construction scene from Sierhuis’ photo, it would stop and ping its control center. A human operator would look around using the car’s cameras…

Dec 16"It could allow people to live until more than 100 years old." #Health
Dec 10"Many people are now spending huge portions of their lives at work that, they know, is not benefitting society." #Workplace
Dec 11"Only one activity is known to trigger the birth of those new neurons: vigorous aerobic exercise." #Health
Dec 12When AI Decides It's Time to Kill #Video
Dec 14"There is a really powerful connection from children's early beginnings to where they end up." #Data
Dec 17"Making curved cars wasn't an entirely novel idea — it had just largely gone out of fashion." #Driving
Dec 18Bioengineering the End of Ageing #Health
Dec 23"Over the next couple decades, driverless cars could eliminate jobs in up to 128 industries." #Technology
Dec 26CIA Cartography #History
Dec 21What Happens When Your Phone is Stolen? #Crime
Dec 13"Essentially, we ended up with an antacid for the stratosphere." #Environment
Dec 15CRISPR Trials on Humans Have Already Begun #Health
Jan 15Building a Smartphone for $50
Jan 17If NASA Had the Budget of the U.S. Military
Jan 16"People can pay $8,000 to have their veins pumped with blood plasma from teenagers."
Jan 09“Only people with postgraduate levels of education could properly understand Instagram’s terms and conditions.”
Jan 14“Salmonella suddenly acquires an insatiable taste for brain tumors.”
Jan 13The Car Wheel Bicycle
Jan 09CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form
Jan 08“Nissan’s R&D chief believes the truly driverless car [...] is an unreachable short-term goal.”
Jan 12Review of a World-War-II-Era Breakfast
Jan 11"A way to alter any organism's DNA much like a computer user can edit a Word document."
Jan 10“If there’s any kind of future for 'designer babies', it might look something like this.”
Jun 03Recycled Vacuum Lamps