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    Beoordeel dit blog
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    The purpose of  this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and  free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category.
    Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
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    UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld
    In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch... Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels. MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen. MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity... Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder Ze geven een maandeliiks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal. Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Bionic Contacts: Goodbye Glasses. Hello Vision That’s 3x Better Than 20/20

    Bionic Contacts: Goodbye Glasses. Hello Vision That’s 3x Better Than 20/20

    Eye, Iris, Algae, Macro, Blur, Natural, Girl, Eyebrows 
    The Ocumetics Bionic Lens essentially replaces a person's natural eye lens, given them the ability to see three times better than 20/20 vision. Though not yet available to the public, human trials are expected to begin on the lenses in July 2017.


    Most of us take our vision for granted. As a result, we take the ability to read, write, drive, and complete a multitude of other tasks for granted. However, unfortunately, sight is not so easy for everyone.

    For many people, simply seeing is a struggle. In fact, more than 285 million people worldwide have vision problems, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Cataracts account for about a third of these. The National Eye Institute reports that more than half of all Americans will have cataracts or will have had cataract surgery by the time they are 80, and in low- and middle-income countries, they’re the leading cause of blindness.

    But now, people with vision problems may have new hope.


    Soon, cataracts may be the thing of the past, and even better, it may be possible to see a staggering three times better than 20/20 vision. Oh, and you could do it all without wearing glasses or contacts.

    So what exactly does having three times better vision mean? If you can currently read a text that is 10 feet away, you would be able to read the same text from 30 feet away. What’s more, people who currently can’t see properly might be able to see a lot better than the average person.

    This development comes thanks to the Ocumetics Bionic Lens. This dynamic lens essentially replaces a person’s natural eye lens. It’s placed into the eye via a saline-filled syringe, after which it unravels itself in under 10 seconds.

    It may sound painful, but Dr. Garth Webb, the optometrist who invented the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, says that the procedure is identical to cataract surgery and would take just about eight minutes. He adds that people who have the specialized lenses surgically inserted would never get cataracts and that the lenses feel natural and won’t cause headaches or eyestrain.

    The Bionic Lens may sound like a fairy tale (or sci-fi dream), but it’s not. It is actually the end result of years and years of research and more than a little funding — so far, the lens has taken nearly a decade to develop and has cost US$3 million.

    There is still some ways to go before you will be able to buy them, but if the timeline Webb offered in an interview with Eye Design Optometry holds up, human studies will begin in July 2017, and the bionic lenses will be available to the public in March 2018. }

    20-08-2017 om 23:45 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Infinite Solar Power Technology Could Completely Change Our Future

    Infinite Solar Power Technology Could Completely Change Our Future

    Land Art Generator Initiative
    • According to an energy expert, the proliferation of solar energy is going to allow for cheap and effectively infinite energy, with prices plummeting to as little as a penny per kW.
    • Solar energy is slowly being integrated into major infrastructure projects, which will only help speed it along the path to energy dominance.


    Last 2016, solar power saw a resurgence — from cheaper solar panels to innovative roofing for houses and cars, to solar powered roads, and even to powering an entire island. It seems we have entered a new age in solar energy. Well, it doesn’t end there. In the years to come, we may see the rise of solar power, according to Thierry Lepercq, French energy company Engie SA’s head of research, technology, and innovation.

    “The promise of quasi-infinite and free energy is here,” Lepercq declares, in an interview with Bloomberg. His arguments aren’t based on any environmental concern. Rather, he takes the perspective of price.

    “Solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices are in a ‘J’ curve,” Lepercq said. “Hydrogen is the missing link in a 100 percent renewable-energy system, but technological bricks already exist.” Lepercq believes that the price of solar power will probably fall below $10 per megawatt-hour (roughly 1¢/kWh) in the world’s sunniest places.

    As a consequence of the rise of renewables, oil prices are expected to plummet. “Even if oil demand continues to climb until 2025, its price could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand,” he said.

    “As carmakers offer more electrical vehicles with a range exceeding 500 kilometers, charging stations being progressively deployed and more cities banning gasoline and diesel cars, a shift will progressively take place,” Lepercq added.

    Indeed, gone are the days when people viewed renewable energy sources as too expensive. Instead, we are moving away from conventional coal-based sources, which could even be more expensive in the future.


    Lepercq isn’t alone in seeing the price potential of renewables, particularly solar energy. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently published a report showing how solar power now costs cheaper than fossil fuels.

    [R]enewable energy technology, especially solar and wind, has made exponential gains in efficiency in recent years, enough to achieve economic competitiveness and, in an increasing number of cases, grid parity. For instance, the unsubsidized, levellized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility scale solar photovoltaic, which was highly uncompetitive only five years ago, has declined at a 20% compounded annual rate, making it not only viable but also more attractive than coal in a wide range of countries.

    This is all because, as mentioned above, we have seen an increased use of solar energy. Innovations thrived. Nations and private corporations were both in on it, too. We are seeing the construction of large-scale solar energy infrastructure.


    We now have a farm that uses seawater and solar power to grow crops, we’ve built the largest solar desalination plant, and we’ve even managed to have supercomputers that run on solar power. And the ways that solar power is being used will only get better in the next couple of years.

    Indeed, quasi-infinite and free energy is well on its way.

    18-08-2017 om 13:45 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Get Ready for a Real Flying DeLorean

    Get Ready for a Real Flying DeLorean

    Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

    As a fan of Back to the Future and Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine as well as someone who still stops and stares longingly when a brushed stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 drives by, this is the kind of news that makes one want to yell “Great Scott!”. The nephew of the famous car guru John DeLorean announced that the DeLorean Aerospcae DR-7 – a real flying car using the same kind of futuristic technology that went into the DMC-12 – is just months away from traveling the skies … and perhaps time? Where does the line start?

    Paul DeLorean is the CEO and chief designer of DeLorean Aerospace, a company in Laguna Beach, California, with a mission John DeLorean and Doc Brown would both be proud of:

    To bring the freedom and exhilaration of personal air transportation to the masses. With superior design and engineering, our advanced architecture provides a practical, elegant, and extremely safe alternative to conventional aircraft, with the convenience of airport-free access.

    Credit: DeLorean Aerospace

    DeLorean’s biggest asset is his DNA. His uncle John started at the Packard Motor Company but became famous at General Motors, where he designed the Pontiac GTO muscle car, the Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac Grand Prix and (proving he was human) the Chevrolet Vega subcompact. Then he became infamous by starting his own car company to make the gull-winged DMC-12. John’s father and Paul’s grandfather, Zachary DeLorean, emigrated to the United States from Romania and eventually worked at the Ford Motor Company factory in Highland Park, Michigan, where he was also a union organizer. Needless to say, transmission fluid is in Paul DeLorean’s blood.

    DeLorean Aerospace was founded in 2012 to build a flying car or, in somewhat Doc Brown-ish technical terms, a two-seat vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) personal air transport vehicle. Accrdoing to the website, the DR-7 combines a “zero-emission modern electric power system with a lightweight yet highly stable platform” and will contain a wide variety of futuristic innovations. Not to mention good looks, or as Doc Brown might say, “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a ‘flying’ machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

    The DR-7 has been designed with a number of unique technologies for improved safety and overall functionality. With an industry-first centerline twin vectoring propulsion system, stall-resistant canard wing, and multiple patent-pending features, our aircraft is intrinsically safer. With an incredibly low drag coefficient, the DR-7 maximizes range under fully electric power.

    The DR-7 will be 20 feet (6 meters) long and 18.5 feet (5.5 meters) wide with wings that fold in so it can be parked in a large garage. A one-third scale model has already been built and DeLorean is now working on a full-sized, fully-functional prototype that he claims will have a range of 120 miles per charge and be ready within a year.

    At DeLorean Aerospace, we are actualizing the dream of practical and accessible air mobility with our DR-7 aircraft.

    As Marty McFly would say … “Whoa!” All that’s left to answer is when and how much. The prototype is expected to be flying sometime in 2018. And the price? For now, you’ll need Doc Brown’s DeLorean to find that out. }

    16-08-2017 om 22:29 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Computers Made of Genetic Material Will Revolutionize Our World

    Computers Made of Genetic Material Will Revolutionize Our World

    Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
    • Researchers have been able to create tiny structures for conducting electricity by using DNA and gold plating.
    • This new nanostructure could be the foundation of future electronics as soon as improvements are made on this breakthrough development.


    Nanostructures made using DNA origami are fascinating. The ability to use DNA as a construction material, capable of holding scaffolds of molecules and atoms was one huge step in developing modern nanostrutures. Most recent of these developments are gold-plated nanowires constructed by scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and from Paderborn University, which independently assembled themselves from single DNA strands, as published in the journal Langmuir.

    These nanowires, due to their gold-plating, were able to conduct electricity. “Our measurements have shown that an electrical current is conducted through these tiny wires,” explains Artur Erbe of the Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research. The nano-sized structures were connected by two electrical contacts.

    Even more fascinating is how these were made using modified DNA strands — stable double strands combined through their base pairs, from long single strands of genetic material and DNA segments. These allowed for the structures to independently take on their desired forms, complex structures developed by molecules through a self-assembling processes.


    “With the help of this approach, which resembles the Japanese paper folding technique origami and is therefore referred to as DNA-origami, we can create tiny patterns. Extremely small circuits made of molecules and atoms are also conceivable here,” says Erbe.

    Usually, developing nano circuits use what is known as the “top-down” method, where the base material is chiseled until the desired structure is formed. This will become increasingly difficult as electronics continue miniaturization. The new “bottom-up” method changes how these electronic components are usually made.

    Credits: B. Teschome, A. Erbe, et al.
    Credits: B. Teschome, A. Erbe, et al.

    There is one problem, though. “Genetic matter doesn’t conduct a current particularly well,” Erbe points out, which explains why the nanowires were gold-plated. But even with this, there was still difficulty with conducting current at room temperatures. Better melding of conductive materials need to be further developed, plus the option of using cheaper, more standard wire coating than gold.

    Still, the research is promising. This nanowire that’s made partially out of genetic material could be the future of electronics. Smaller wires allow for more compact designs, which together with smaller transistors, can be used to make more powerful computers.

    14-08-2017 om 23:01 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Een printer waar levende wezens uitrollen: het begin is er...

    13-08-2017 om 21:25 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.New Breakthrough Material: Graphene Elastomer is More Sensitive Than Human Skin

    New Breakthrough Material: Graphene Elastomer is More Sensitive Than Human Skin

    This new material is remarkably soft, and it could revolutionize robotics and prosthetics.

    Researchers from the Monash University have discovered a new sponge-like material called graphene elastomer. This revolutionary material is expected to be used for robots designed to help take care of elderly people.

    The graphene-based elastomer is exteremely sensitive to pressure and vibrations. Also called G-elastomer, the material has the ability to bounce back despite the pressure given to it. It is described to be very soft and elastic compared to other substances such as rubber or foam.


    Revolutionary new graphene elastomer exceeds sensitivity of human skin

    Professor Dan Li and Dr. Ling Qiu from the Monash Center for Atomically Thin Materials (MCATN) were excited the discovery and potential of this material.

    “This graphene elastomer is a flexible, ultra-light material which can detect pressures and vibrations across a broad bandwidth of frequencies. It far exceeds the response range of our skin, and it also has a very fast response time, much faster than conventional polymer elastomer.,” explained Dr. Qiu in the press release.

    “Although we often take it for granted, the pressure sensors in our skin allow us to do things like hold a cup without dropping it, crushing it, or spilling the contents. The sensitivity and response time of G-elastomer could allow a prosthetic hand or a robot to be even more dexterous than a human, while the flexibility could allow us to create next generation flexible electronic devices,” he added.

    Professor Li, the director at MCATN, admitted that they are still in the early stages of studying the full potential of the G-elastomer.

    However, he is positive that “this research is an excellent breakthrough. What we do know is that graphene could have a huge impact on Australia’s economy, both from a resources and innovation perspective, and we’re aiming to be at the forefront of that research and development.”

    The research can be found in the latest edition of the journal “Advanced Materials”. It is protected by a suite of patents.

    13-08-2017 om 20:23 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Paralyzed Monkeys Able to Walk Again With Brain Implant. Human Trials Are Next

    Paralyzed Monkeys Able to Walk Again With Brain Implant. Human Trials Are Next

    Jemere Ruby
    • Using a system of electrodes, transmitters, receivers, scientists were able to restore leg function in a primate, completely bypassing damaged nerves.
    • While this remarkable feat may be decades away from human use, it is a promising development for the hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. with spinal cord injuries


    Electrodes implanted in the brain and spine have helped paralyzed monkeys walk. The neurologists behind the study reported that the implants restored function in the primates’ legs almost instantaneously. The findings are detailed in Nature

    The spinal cord of the subject monkey was partially cut, so the legs had no way of communicating with the brain. To mend the brain-spine interface, electrodes were placed on key parts of the monkey’s body. Implants were placed inside the monkey’s brain at the part that controls leg movement, together with a wireless transmitter sitting outside the skull. Electrodes were also placed along the spinal cord, below the injury.

    A computer program decoded brain signals indicative of leg movement and transmitted the signals to the electrodes in the spine. Within just a few seconds, the monkey was moving its leg. In a few days, it was walking on a treadmill.

    Alain Herzog/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

    “The primate was able to walk immediately once the brain-spine interface was activated. No physiotherapy or training was necessary,” said Erwan Bezard, one of the authors of the study.


    This study is a massive breakthrough—it’s the first time implants have helped a primate walk. There has been much research to develop tech for paralyzed patients, but most lab trials were done on rodents. “It seems the principles learned in rats are now translating into primates,” said Jen Collinger, a University of Pittsburgh bioengineer.

    The results were astoundingly positive, but the researchers say that it will take at least a decade to fine-tune the technology for use in humans. Still, our bodies are greatly similar to that of monkeys, and the researchers believe transition could be quick.

    Exciting news about the study is that the components that the researchers used are legal for human use in Switzerland. The Swiss group of the study have started clinical trial with eight people with partial leg paralysis.

    We’re all eager for further development in the study—an innovation that could greatly change the lives of approximately 282,000 people in the U.S. with spinal cord injuries. }

    12-08-2017 om 00:19 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Scientists Prove That Cryogenically Frozen Life Can Be Reanimated
    cryogenic cryonic freezing

    To survive the 90-year-long journey between Earth and the far-off planet Homestead II, humans on the ship in the 2016 sci-fi bomb Passengers were cryogenically frozen, suspending them in the throes of youth. The assumption is that thawing will bring their bodies and minds back to their normal, living states, and then life will resume where it left off. It’s wishful thinking: While scientists have figured out how to thaw and unthaw individual cells, whether it’s possible to reanimate life has remained a mystery.

    But a new discovery puts them well on their way to finding out.

    In a recent article in the journal ACS Nano, researchers reported that they’d successfully frozen zebrafish embryos, thawed them, and brought them back to life. Reanimation efforts on the tiny tropical fish, prized among scientists because their translucent embryos are easy to study, have been ongoing for 60 years, but none have been successful because of issues during the thawing process. This time around, the American team tweaked their defrosting strategy in order to speed it up.

    When scientists preserve an embryo using cryogenic freezing, they drain some of its regular fluids, replacing them with an antifreeze-like substance to prevent the formation of damaging ice crystals, which can puncture a cell from the inside out. For the most part, scientists have figured out this process of “vitrification” — making fluids ice-free and thus glass-like — using a cryoprotectant solution of various sugar and alcohol molecules, like glycerol and propylene glycol (the major ingredient in car antifreeze). Previous studies have shown that dropping cryoprotected zebrafish embryos into a liquid nitrogen tank that cools them at 90,000 degrees Celsius per minute to a final temperature of −196 degrees Celsius results in perfectly frozen embryos. The problem is what happens as they are thawing.

    “[The] large size of the yolk still impedes rapid cooling and warming, thereby yielding lethal ice crystal formation during cryopreservation,” the researchers write. When the defrosting process is too gradual, sometimes an event called devitrification occurs, in which the liquid “[reverts] from glass to ice.” For these scientists, thawing frozen embryos involved shining a 1064-nm laser pulse on them, which raised their temperature to 1.4 × 107 degrees Celsius per minute, but even this was too slow to create the perfect thaw.

    zebrafish embryo
    Once thawed, 10 percent of the sample zebrafish embryos survived for 24 hours.

    But they finally managed to achieve it by adding a substance to the cryoprotectant solution that would heat up quickly and move the thawing process along faster — namely, tiny bits of metal. Adding gold nanorods, which conducted the laser’s heat efficiently, sped up the warming process so that there was no chance for damaging devitrification to take place.

    In this way, zebrafish embryos that had been flash-frozen for a few minutes were rapidly unfrozen, and about 10 percent of those embryos stayed alive and developed for the next 24 hours.

    These aren’t survival odds that any freezer-happy human would bank on, but they’re a start — and proof that a developing embryo’s mechanisms can continue after being briefly frozen, at least in a zebrafish. Future research will probably focus on figuring out how to extend the amount of time those embryos can stay frozen before they’re thawed, as well as pinpointing what causes them to die so soon after they’re unfrozen.

    cryogenic freezing passengers
    In theory, living cells can be unfrozen, but there's no guarantee that what's left will constitute life. 

    It’s too early to say how this research could be applied to long-term human hibernation, but the scientists behind the study are hoping it will lead to a way to freeze the embryos of endangered water-bound species so they can repopulate future lifeless seas. In a way, their objectives aren’t too different from those laid out in Passengers, in which the spacefaring ship was laden with libraries of frozen human embryos waiting for a new habitat to populate.

    As cryogenics science hurtles forward, it’s likely that the film’s promise that bodies can be viably frozen and thawed will increasingly seem less like a fantasy and more of a possibility. Whether those defrosted bodies will constitute conscious life, however, will be up to future humans to decide.

    Photos via Khosla et al./ACS Nano, Passengers

    07-08-2017 om 23:09 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.This 3D-Printed Human Heart Can Do Everything a Real One Can

    This 3D-Printed Human Heart Can Do Everything a Real One Can

    The artificial heart imitates a human heart as closely as possible
    Photo: ETH Zurich
    Soft robotics and 3D printing have allowed a team of researchers from Switzerland to develop an artificial heart that works like the real thing. This proof of concept design was successfully tested in the lab, but it may take a while before it will be ready.

    Scientists have been developing artificial hearts for quite some time now. However, many of the current designs are unfortunately clunky, which presents difficulties in successfully integrating them into human tissue. To approach this issue, a team of researchers from ETH Zürich decided to take a cue from the biological human heart.

    Instead of using separate parts, the Swiss team, led by Nicholas Cohrs, 3D-printed an artificial heart using a soft, flexible material. The material was molded into a single part (or a “monoblock”) which allowed the team to design a complex inner structure complete with pumping mechanisms able to be triggered by silicon ventricles. This method imitates a realistic human heartbeat.

    “[O]ur goal is to develop an artificial heart that is roughly the same size as the patient’s own one and which imitates the human heart as closely as possible in form and function,” Cohrs said in a press release. The team successfully tested this artificial heart, pumping blood-like fluid at human body-like pressures. The team published their research in the journal Artificial Organs.

    However, this design is still a proof of concept, which means it’s yet to be ready for actual implantation. The materials used are, as of right now, unable to last more than half an hour or some few thousand heartbeats, though that could vary a bit depending on a person’s heart rate. It’s a limitation the team will continue to work on, as new materials and design improvements advance. Once perfected, this design could potentially improve the lives and health of around 26 million people worldwide who suffer from various heart conditions. }

    07-08-2017 om 00:52 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.First U.S. Human Embryo Gene Editing Experiment Successfully “Corrects” a Heart Condition

    First U.S. Human Embryo Gene Editing Experiment Successfully “Corrects” a Heart Condition

    A study published today in the journal Nature confirms earlier reports of the first-ever successful gene-editing of embryos in the U.S. Though controversial, the treatment could one day be used to address any of the 10,000 disorders linked to just a single genetic error.


    Last week, reports circulated  that doctors had successfully edited a gene in a human embryo — the first time such a thing had been done in the United States. The remarkable achievement confirmed the powerful potential of CRISPR, the world’s most efficient and effective gene-editing tool. Now, details of the research have been published in Nature.

    The procedure involved “correcting” the DNA of one-cell embryos using CRISPR to remove the MYBPC3 gene. That gene is known to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that affects 1 out of 500 people. HCM has no known cure or treatment as its symptoms don’t manifest until the disease causes sudden death through cardiac arrest.

    The researchers started with human embryos created from 12 healthy female donors and sperm from a male volunteer who carried the MYBOC3 gene. The defective gene was cut out using CRISPR around the time the sperm was injected into the eggs.

    As a result, as the embryos divided and grew, many repaired themselves using the non-edited genes from the genetic materials of the female donors, and in total, 72 percent of the cells that formed appeared to be corrected. The researchers didn’t notice any “off-target” effects on the DNA, either.

    The researchers told The Washington Post that their work was fairly basic. “Really, we didn’t edit anything, neither did we modify anything,” explained Shoukhrat Mitalipov, lead author and a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University. “Our program is toward correcting mutant genes.”


    Basic or not, the development is remarkable.“By using this technique, it’s possible to reduce the burden of this heritable disease on the family and eventually the human population,” Mitalipov said in an OHSU press release.

    However, gene editing is a controversial area of study, and the researchers’ work included changes to the germ line, meaning the changes could be passed down to future generations. To be clear, though, the embryos were allowed to grow for only a few days and none were implanted into a womb (nor was that ever the researchers’ intention).

    In fact, current legislation in the U.S. prohibits the implantation of edited embryos. The work conducted by these researchers was well within the guidelines set by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the use of CRISPR to edit human genes.

    University of Wisconsin-Madison bioethicist Alta Charo thinks that the benefits of this potential treatment outweigh all concerns. “What this represents is a fascinating, important, and rather impressive incremental step toward learning how to edit embryos safely and precisely,” she told The Washington Post. “[N]o matter what anybody says, this is not the dawn of the era of the designer baby.”

    Before the technique could be truly beneficial, regulations must be developed that provide clearer guidelines, according to Mitalipov. If not, “this technology will be shifted to unregulated areas, which shouldn’t be happening,” he explained.

    More than 10,000 disorders have been linked to just a single genetic error, and as the researchers continue with their work, their next target is BRCA, a gene associated with breast cancer growth.

    Mitalipov hopes that their technique could one day be used to treat a wide-range of genetic diseases and save the lives of millions of people. After all, treating a single gene at the embryonic stage is far more efficient that changing a host of them in adults. }

    04-08-2017 om 00:24 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Diamond Batteries Made of Nuclear Waste Can Generate Power For Thousands of Years

    Diamond Batteries Made of Nuclear Waste Can Generate Power For Thousands of Years

    • Scientist have developed an ingenious means of converting nuclear power plant waste (76,430 metric tons in the US alone) into sustainable diamond batteries.
    • These long-lasting batteries could be a clean and safe way to power spacecraft, satellites, and even medical devices.


    Scientists from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute are hitting two birds with one stone, thanks to their lab-made diamond that can generate electricity and is made from upcycled radioactive waste.

    In nuclear power plants, radioactive uranium is split in a process called nuclear fission. When the atoms are split, heat is generated, and that heat then vaporizes water into steam that turns electricity-generating turbines.

    A severe downside of this process is the creation of dangerous radioactive waste, which ultimately deposits in the graphite core that it is housed in. Today, this nuclear contamination is safely stored away until it stops being radioactive…and with a half-life of 5,730 years, that takes quite a while.

    The scientists found a way to heat the radioactive graphite to release most of the radioactivity in a gaseous form. The gas is subjected to high temperature and low pressures that turn it into a man-made diamond.

    When these diamonds are placed near a radioactive field, they generate a small electrical current. The developers enclosed the diamond battery in another non-radioactive diamond to absorb the harmful emissions, which in turn allowed for the generation of even more electricity, making the battery nearly 100 percent efficient.


    The nuclear diamond battery has an incredible lifetime, and will only be half used up by the year 7746. This makes it an ideal power solution for “situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries,” said Tom Scott, a materials science professor at Cabot Institute.

    Flight times of planes, satellites, or spacecraft could increase with such a lasting battery. Medical devices like pacemakers and the artificial pancreas could become more reliable, empowering users to live their lives more fully.

    The development also presents an incredibly efficient way to treat radioactive waste. Within the past 40 years, the US has amassed 76,430 metric tons (84,250 tons) of this waste.

    Supplying the Earth with electricity is a daunting task even without a focus on sustainability. Now, it looks like experts are on the right track with this nuclear-powered diamond battery. It’s almost like the holy grail of electricity generation, or as Scott puts it, “no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation.” }

    04-08-2017 om 00:09 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.How Automation is Going to Redefine What it Means to Work

    How Automation is Going to Redefine What it Means to Work

    The time for machines to take over most of humanity's work is rapidly approaching. The world is woefully unprepared to deal with the implications that automation will have over the coming decades. Universal basic income is just beginning to be discussed, and automation has the potential to displace much of the world's workforce. Many decisions have to be made, and quickly, if we hope to keep pace with innovation.

    On December 2nd, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words.

    Now, something new has occurred that, again, quietly changed the world forever. Like a whispered word in a foreign language, it was quiet in that you may have heard it, but its full meaning may not have been comprehended. However, it’s vital we understand this new language, and what it’s increasingly telling us, for the ramifications are set to alter everything we take for granted about the way our globalized economy functions, and the ways in which we as humans exist within it.

    The language is a new class of machine learning known as deep learning, and the “whispered word” was a computer’s use of it to seemingly out of nowhere defeat three-time European Go champion Fan Hui, not once but five times in a row without defeat. Many who read this news, considered that as impressive, but in no way comparable to a match against Lee Se-dol instead, who many consider to be one of the world’s best living Go players, if not the best. Imagining such a grand duel of man versus machine, China’s top Go player predicted that Lee would not lose a single game, and Lee himself confidently expected to possibly lose one at the most.

    What actually ended up happening when they faced off? Lee went on to lose all but one of their match’s five games. An AI named AlphaGo is now a better Go player than any human and has been granted the “divine” rank of 9 dan. In other words, its level of play borders on godlike. Go has officially fallen to machines, just as Jeopardy did before it to Watson, and chess before that to Deep Blue.

    “AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic.

    So, what is Go? Very simply, think of Go as Super Ultra Mega Chess. This may still sound like a small accomplishment, another feather in the cap of machines as they continue to prove themselves superior in the fun games we play, but it is no small accomplishment, and what’s happening is no game.

    AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic. Advances in technology are now so visibly exponential in nature that we can expect to see a lot more milestones being crossed long before we would otherwise expect. These exponential advances, most notably in forms of artificial intelligence limited to specific tasks, we are entirely unprepared for as long as we continue to insist upon employment as our primary source of income.

    This may all sound like exaggeration, so let’s take a few decade steps back, and look at what computer technology has been actively doing to human employment so far:

    Source: St. Louis Fed

    Let the above chart sink in. Do not be fooled into thinking this conversation about the automation of labor is set in the future. It’s already here. Computer technology is already eating jobs and has been since 1990.


    All work can be divided into four types: routine and nonroutine, cognitive and manual. Routine work is the same stuff day in and day out, while nonroutine work varies. Within these two varieties, is the work that requires mostly our brains (cognitive) and the work that requires mostly our bodies (manual). Where once all four types saw growth, the stuff that is routine stagnated back in 1990. This happened because routine labor is easiest for technology to shoulder. Rules can be written for work that doesn’t change, and that work can be better handled by machines.

    Distressingly, it’s exactly routine work that once formed the basis of the American middle class. It’s routine manual work that Henry Ford transformed by paying people middle class wages to perform, and it’s routine cognitive work that once filled US office spaces. Such jobs are now increasingly unavailable, leaving only two kinds of jobs with rosy outlooks: jobs that require so little thought, we pay people little to do them, and jobs that require so much thought, we pay people well to do them.

    If we can now imagine our economy as a plane with four engines, where it can still fly on only two of them as long as they both keep roaring, we can avoid concerning ourselves with crashing. But what happens when our two remaining engines also fail? That’s what the advancing fields of robotics and AI represent to those final two engines, because for the first time, we are successfully teaching machines to learn.


    I’m a writer at heart, but my educational background happens to be in psychology and physics. I’m fascinated by both of them so my undergraduate focus ended up being in the physics of the human brain, otherwise known as cognitive neuroscience. I think once you start to look into how the human brain works, how our mass of interconnected neurons somehow results in what we describe as the mind, everything changes. At least it did for me.

    As a quick primer in the way our brains function, they’re a giant network of interconnected cells. Some of these connections are short, and some are long. Some cells are only connected to one other, and some are connected to many. Electrical signals then pass through these connections, at various rates, and subsequent neural firings happen in turn. It’s all kind of like falling dominoes, but far faster, larger, and more complex. The result amazingly is us, and what we’ve been learning about how we work, we’ve now begun applying to the way machines work.

    One of these applications is the creation of deep neural networks – kind of like pared-down virtual brains. They provide an avenue to machine learning that’s made incredible leaps that were previously thought to be much further down the road, if even possible at all. How? It’s not just the obvious growing capability of our computers and our expanding knowledge in the neurosciences, but the vastly growing expanse of our collective data, aka big data.


    Big data isn’t just some buzzword. It’s information, and when it comes to information, we’re creating more and more of it every day. In fact we’re creating so much that a 2013 report by SINTEF estimated that 90% of all information in the world had been created in the prior two years. This incredible rate of data creation is even doubling every 1.5 years thanks to the Internet, where in 2015 every minute we were liking 4.2 million things on Facebook, uploading 300 hours of video to YouTube, and sending 350,000 tweets. Everything we do is generating data like never before, and lots of data is exactly what machines need in order to learn to learn. Why?

    Imagine programming a computer to recognize a chair. You’d need to enter a ton of instructions, and the result would still be a program detecting chairs that aren’t, and not detecting chairs that are. So how did we learn to detect chairs? Our parents pointed at a chair and said, “chair.” Then we thought we had that whole chair thing all figured out, so we pointed at a table and said “chair”, which is when our parents told us that was “table.” This is called reinforcement learning. The label “chair” gets connected to every chair we see, such that certain neural pathways are weighted and others aren’t. For “chair” to fire in our brains, what we perceive has to be close enough to our previous chair encounters. Essentially, our lives are big data filtered through our brains.


    The power of deep learning is that it’s a way of using massive amounts of data to get machines to operate more like we do without giving them explicit instructions. Instead of describing “chairness” to a computer, we instead just plug it into the Internet and feed it millions of pictures of chairs. It can then have a general idea of “chairness.” Next we test it with even more images. Where it’s wrong, we correct it, which further improves its “chairness” detection. Repetition of this process results in a computer that knows what a chair is when it sees it, for the most part as well as we can. The important difference though is that unlike us, it can then sort through millions of images within a matter of seconds.

    This combination of deep learning and big data has resulted in astounding accomplishments just in the past year. Aside from the incredible accomplishment of AlphaGo, Google’s DeepMind AI learned how to read and comprehend what it read through hundreds of thousands of annotated news articles. DeepMind also taught itself to play dozens of Atari 2600 video games better than humans, just by looking at the screen and its score, and playing games repeatedly. An AI named Giraffe taught itself how to play chess in a similar manner using a dataset of 175 million chess positions, attaining International Master level status in just 72 hours by repeatedly playing itself. In 2015, an AI even passed a visual Turing test by learning to learn in a way that enabled it to be shown an unknown character in a fictional alphabet, then instantly reproduce that letter in a way that was entirely indistinguishable from a human given the same task. These are all major milestones in AI.

    However, despite all these milestones, when asked to estimate when a computer would defeat a prominent Go player, the answer even just months prior to the announcement by Google of AlphaGo’s victory, was by experts essentially, “Maybe in another ten years.” A decade was considered a fair guess because Go is a game so complex I’ll just let Ken Jennings of Jeopardy fame, another former champion human defeated by AI, describe it:

    Go is famously a more complex game than chess, with its larger board, longer games, and many more pieces. Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence team likes to say that there are more possible Go boards than atoms in the known universe, but that vastly understates the computational problem. There are about 10¹⁷⁰ board positions in Go, and only 10⁸⁰ atoms in the universe. That means that if there were as many parallel universes as there are atoms in our universe (!), then the total number of atoms in all those universes combined would be close to the possibilities on a single Go board.

    Such confounding complexity makes impossible any brute-force approach to scan every possible move to determine the next best move. But deep neural networks get around that barrier in the same way our own minds do, by learning to estimate what feels like the best move. We do this through observation and practice, and so did AlphaGo, by analyzing millions of professional games and playing itself millions of times. So the answer to when the game of Go would fall to machines wasn’t even close to ten years. The correct answer ended up being, “Any time now.”


    Any time now. That’s the new go-to response in the 21st century for any question involving something new machines can do better than humans, and we need to try to wrap our heads around it.

    We need to recognize what it means for exponential technological change to be entering the labor market space for nonroutine jobs for the first time ever. Machines that can learn mean nothing humans do as a job is uniquely safe anymore. From hamburgers to healthcare, machines can be created to successfully perform such tasks with no need or less need for humans, and at lower costs than humans.

    Amelia is just one AI out there currently being beta-tested in companies right now. Created by IPsoft over the past 16 years, she’s learned how to perform the work of call center employees. She can learn in seconds what takes us months, and she can do it in 20 languages. Because she’s able to learn, she’s able to do more over time. In one company putting her through the paces, she successfully handled one of every ten calls in the first week, and by the end of the second month, she could resolve six of ten calls. Because of this, it’s been estimated that she can put 250 million people out of a job, worldwide.

    Viv is an AI coming soon from the creators of Siri who’ll be our own personal assistant. She’ll perform tasks online for us, and even function as a Facebook News Feed on steroids by suggesting we consume the media she’ll know we’ll like best. In doing all of this for us, we’ll see far fewer ads, and that means the entire advertising industry — that industry the entire Internet is built upon — stands to be hugely disrupted.

    A world with Amelia and Viv — and the countless other AI counterparts coming online soon — in combination with robots like Boston Dynamics’ next generation Atlas portends, is a world where machines can do all four types of jobs and that means serious societal reconsiderations. If a machine can do a job instead of a human, should any human be forced at the threat of destitution to perform that job? Should income itself remain coupled to employment, such that having a job is the only way to obtain income, when jobs for many are entirely unobtainable? If machines are performing an increasing percentage of our jobs for us, and not getting paid to do them, where does that money go instead? And what does it no longer buyIs it even possible that many of the jobs we’re creating don’t need to exist at all, and only do because of the incomes they provide? These are questions we need to start asking, and fast.


    Fortunately, people are beginning to ask these questions, and there’s an answer that’s building up momentum. The idea is to put machines to work for us, but empower ourselves to seek out the forms of remaining work we as humans find most valuable, by simply providing everyone a monthly paycheck independent of work. This paycheck would be granted to all citizens unconditionally, and its name is universal basic income. By adopting UBI, aside from immunizing against the negative effects of automation, we’d also be decreasing the risks inherent in entrepreneurship, and the sizes of bureaucracies necessary to boost incomes. It’s for these reasons, it has cross-partisan support, and is even now in the beginning stages of possible implementation in countries like SwitzerlandFinland, the Netherlands, and Canada.

    The future is a place of accelerating changes. It seems unwise to continue looking at the future as if it were the past, where just because new jobs have historically appeared, they always will. The WEF started 2016 off by estimating the creation by 2020 of 2 million new jobs alongside the elimination of 7 million. That’s a net loss, not a net gain of 5 million jobs. In a frequently cited paper, an Oxford study estimated the automation of about half of all existing jobs by 2033. Meanwhile self-driving vehicles, again thanks to machine learning, have the capability of drastically impacting all economies — especially the US economy as I wrote last year about automating truck driving — by eliminating millions of jobs within a short span of time.

    And now even the White House, in a stunning report to Congress, has put the probability at 83 percent that a worker making less than $20 an hour in 2010 will eventually lose their job to a machine. Even workers making as much as $40 an hour face odds of 31 percent. To ignore odds like these is tantamount to our now laughable “duck and cover” strategies for avoiding nuclear blasts during the Cold War.

    All of this is why it’s those most knowledgeable in the AI field who are now actively sounding the alarm for basic income. During a panel discussion at the end of 2015 at Singularity University, prominent data scientist Jeremy Howard asked “Do you want half of people to starve because they literally can’t add economic value, or not?” before going on to suggest, ”If the answer is not, then the smartest way to distribute the wealth is by implementing a universal basic income.”

    AI pioneer Chris Eliasmith, director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, warned about the immediate impacts of AI on society in an interview with Futurism, “AI is already having a big impact on our economies… My suspicion is that more countries will have to follow Finland’s lead in exploring basic income guarantees for people.”

    Moshe Vardi expressed the same sentiment after speaking at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science about the emergence of intelligent machines, “we need to rethink the very basic structure of our economic system… we may have to consider instituting a basic income guarantee.”

    Even Baidu’s chief scientist and founder of Google’s “Google Brain” deep learning project, Andrew Ng, during an onstage interview at this year’s Deep Learning Summit, expressed the shared notion that basic income must be “seriously considered” by governments, citing “a high chance that AI will create massive labor displacement.”

    When those building the tools begin warning about the implications of their use, shouldn’t those wishing to use those tools listen with the utmost attention, especially when it’s the very livelihoods of millions of people at stake? If not then, what about when Nobel prize winning economists begin agreeing with them in increasing numbers?

    No nation is yet ready for the changes ahead. High labor force non-participation leads to social instability, and a lack of consumers within consumer economies leads to economic instability. So let’s ask ourselves, what’s the purpose of the technologies we’re creating? What’s the purpose of a car that can drive for us, or artificial intelligence that can shoulder 60% of our workload? Is it to allow us to work more hours for even less pay? Or is it to enable us to choose how we work, and to decline any pay/hours we deem insufficient because we’re already earning the incomes that machines aren’t?

    What’s the big lesson to learn, in a century when machines can learn?

    I offer it’s that jobs are for machines, and life is for people. }

    03-08-2017 om 23:58 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.A Team of Scientists Just Made Food From Electricity — and it Could be the Solution to World Hunger

    A Team of Scientists Just Made Food From Electricity — and it Could be the Solution to World Hunger

    A Finnish research team has taken a step towards the future of food by developing a method for producing food from electricity. If scaling it up proves to be successful, it could be a tool in the fight against world hunger and climate change.


    Finnish researchers have created a batch of single-cell protein that is nutritious enough to serve for dinner using a system powered by renewable energy. The entire process requires only electricity, water, carbon dioxide, and microbes. The synthetic food was created as part of the Food From Electricity project, which is a collaboration between Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

    After exposing the raw materials to electrolysis in a bioreactor, the process forms a powder that consists of more than 50 percent protein and 25 percent carbohydrates — the texture can also be changed by altering the microbes used in the production.

    Image Credit: Laurie Nygren
    Image Credit: Laurie Nygren

    The next stage, according to Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, principal scientist at VTT, is to optimize the system because, currently, a bioreactor the size of a coffee cup takes around two weeks to produce one gram of the protein. Pitkänen said in a LUT press release, “We are currently focusing on developing the technology: reactor concepts, technology, improving efficiency, and controlling the process.”

    He predicted that it would take about a decade before a more efficient incarnation of the system would be widely available — “Maybe 10 years is a realistic timeframe for reaching commercial capacity, in terms of the necessary legislation and process technology.”


    The potential impact of food produced using electricity and other widely available raw materials is enormous. Currently, there are two main ways that it could be used.

    First, as a means of feeding starving people and providing a source of food in areas that are not suited to agricultural production. Pitkänen said that, in the future, “the technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine,” providing a source of cheap and nutritious food to those who need it most.

    The machine also works independently of environmental factors, meaning that it could feed people consistently — Jero Ahola, a Professor at LUT, said in the press release that it “does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type.”

    Second, as a means of decreasing global emissions by reducing the demand for food livestock and the crops necessary to feed them. Currently, the meat industry accounts for between 14 and 18 percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as taking up swarths of land that could be applied for other ends.

    The food from electricity project could decrease the amount of unsustainable farming needed to fill our bellies as it provides us with a smaller, cheaper, and renewable method of getting our nutrients. Other solutions to this problem include lab-grown meat or turning to insect farming, which produces less waste and requires less energy.

    27-07-2017 om 23:59 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.A Real Life, All-Electric Flying Car Just Took Off

    A Real Life, All-Electric Flying Car Just Took Off

    The Lilium Jet – The world's first all-electric VTOL jet

    Your flying car might finally be on the way as the all-electric, two-seater Lilium Jet took its first test flight this week. Lilium Aviation's prototype consumes around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft and could be the transportation mode of the future.


    If you’ve been begging the universe for a flying car for your entire life, you may soon be able to stop asking (sort of). This week, Germany-based company Lilium Aviation took its new all-electric, two-seater vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype for its first test flight. The jet was piloted remotely during the tests, but its creators say the vehicle’s first manned flight will happen soon.

    Thirty-six separate jet engines mounted on 12 movable flaps on the Lilium Jet’s 10-meter-long wings power the craft. The flaps point down at take-off to provide vertical lift, and then they tilt gradually into a horizontal position for forward thrust. Lilium says that its electric battery enables the aircraft to reach a maximum cruising speed of 300 kph (183 mph) and achieve a range of 300 kilometers (183 miles), all while it “consumes around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft,” according to a recent press release.


    The startup plans to build a five-passenger version of the jet eventually, and Lilium envisions its product being used in an on-demand capacity in dense, urban areas — the Uber of flying cars (though Uber itself is working on its own flying model). Patrick Nathen, co-founder and head of calculation and design for Lilium Jet, told The Verge that the company’s ultimate goal is to make the technology accessible for everyone, replacing expensive ground taxi trips in urban areas with flights at a fraction of the cost.

    Click to View Full Infographic

    Although electric-powered aviation is not yet highly developed, this prototype’s design makes it far more efficient in terms of power consumption than other electric aircraft. And although electric cars with the same 1,000-pound batteries used in this aircraft are typically limited to a range of about 482 kilometers (300 miles) per charge, Nathen says that’s enough for their jet.

    This jet and virtually all other innovative vehicles in development right now will run on renewables. This is more than a trend — it is simply the way of the future. Tesla vehicles will soon be as affordable as standard vehicles, and their semi trucks and pickups are on the way. This kind of electric-powered aircraft is the next step in truly getting clean energy off the ground while leaving fossil fuels in it.

    27-07-2017 om 00:30 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Microbotjes halen bacteriën uit het water }

    01-07-2017 om 21:51 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Scientists create AI which can READ MINDS

    Scientists create AI which can READ MINDS

    RESEARCHERS have developed artificial intelligence which has the ability to ‘READ MINDS’, according to a new study.

    mind reading


    AI created which can read minds

    Scientists from the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are now able to use brain activation patterns to identify complex thoughts and their roots.

    The ‘mind reading’ technology shows that the brain forms complex thoughts through various sub-systems and are not word-based.

    The research carried out by CMU’s Marcel Just offers fresh evidence that the basics of concept representation are universal and not specific to language.

    Professor Just said: "One of the big advances of the human brain was the ability to combine individual concepts into complex thoughts, to think not just of 'bananas,' but 'I like to eat bananas in evening with my friends’.



    The computer predicted the brain activity

    "We have finally developed a way to see thoughts of that complexity in the fMRI signal. 

    “The discovery of this correspondence between thoughts and brain activation patterns tells us what the thoughts are built of.”

    The study revealed that the brains coding of complex sentences, such as "The witness shouted during the trial”, uses an alphabet of 42 meaning components and triggers activity in the brain relating to person, setting, size, social interaction and physical action of the items involved in a given sentence.

    mind reading


    "This advance makes it possible for the first time to decode thoughts containing several concepts."

    Each bit of information is processed in a different region of the brain which allowed the computer, which used machine learning algorithms, to predict what type of thoughts are being conjured.

    The scientists used seven adult participants and asked them to think of 240 pre-agreed sentences.

    By monitoring the brains using fMRI scans the machine was able to predict with 89 per cent accuracy what features were being left out of a sentence.

    Prof Just added: "Our method overcomes the unfortunate property of fMRI to smear together the signals emanating from brain events that occur close together in time, like the reading of two successive words in a sentence. 

    "This advance makes it possible for the first time to decode thoughts containing several concepts. That’s what most human thoughts are composed of."

    "A next step might be to decode the general type of topic a person is thinking about, such as geology or skateboarding. 

    “We are on the way to making a map of all the types of knowledge in the brain." }

    30-06-2017 om 15:54 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.‘Biological Teleportation’ Edges Closer With Craig Venter’s Digital-to-Biological Converter

    ‘Biological Teleportation’ Edges Closer With Craig Venter’s Digital-to-Biological Converter

    The year is 2030. In a high-security containment lab, scientists gathered around a towering machine, eagerly awaiting the first look at a newly discovered bacterium on Mars.

    With a series of beeps, the machine—a digital-to-biological converter, or DBC—signaled that it had successfully received the bacterium’s digitized genomic file. Using a chemical cocktail comprised of the building blocks of DNA, it whirled into action, automatically reconstructing the alien organism’s genes letter-by-letter.

    Within a day, scientists had an exact replica of the Martian bacterium.

    To Craig Venter, the genetics maverick who created the first synthetic life form in 2016, beaming aliens back to recreate on Earth may sound like science fiction, but is “potentially real.”

    Recently, working with Daniel Gibson, vice president of DNA technology at Synthetic Genomics, Venter published a prototype DBC capable of downloading digitized DNA instructions and synthesizing biomolecules from scratch.

    Not only did the futuristic machine pump out functional bits of DNA, vaccines, and proteins, it also automatically synthesized viral particles from scratch.

    Teleporting alien life to Earth is just one role Venter envisions for the DBC. Working the other way, we may be able to send Earth’s extremophile bacteria to a printer on Mars. If genetically enhanced to pump out oxygen, the bacteria may slowly change the Martian landscape, making it more habitable to humans before we ever set foot on the Red Planet.

    More close to home, the DBC could allow instant, on-demand access to life-saving medicine or vaccines during an outbreak or finally enable access to personalized medicine.

    “We are excited by the commercial prospects of this revolutionary tool, as we believe the DBC represents a major leap forward in advancing new vaccines and biologics,” says Venter in a press release.

    All life is code

    At the basis of Venter’s foray into “biological teleportation” is the idea that all life forms—at least on Earth—are essentially DNA software systems. DNA directs and creates the more tangible biological “hardware” made of proteins, cells, and tissues.

    Because DNA contains all the necessary information to boot up a life form, by hacking its code and writing our own, we now have the power to create living organisms never before seen on Earth.

    Back in 2010, Venter inserted a bacterial genome completely synthesized from chemicals in the lab into a single-cell recipient. The synthetic genome booted up the living bacterium, allowing it to replicate into a large colony of artificial organisms. Six years later, his team ventured even further into the realm of science fiction, creating a new bacteria species with just 437 genes—the absolute known minimum amount of genetic code needed to support life.

    These studies and others clearly show we now have a new set of tools that allow scientists to manufacture new living species to join “our planet’s inventory of life.” But why stop there? If life is nothing but code that can be packaged, emailed, downloaded, and copied, why not use the same technology to transmit life?

    Digital-to-Biological Converter

    The DBC is Venter’s attempt to transfer and manufacture life.

    Standing at eight feet long and six feet tall, the machine is a Frankenstein beast of mechanical blocks and wires splayed out across a double-deck table. “We’re working on the portability of the machine using new technologies such as microfluidic chips and microarrays,” explained the authors.

    Equipped with an ethernet hub, the DBC downloads DNA files from the internet and prints the code using the four chemical bases of DNA—adenosine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine (A, G, T, C).

    “It’s packaging complex biology that each of our tiny cells do remarkably well at a much, much smaller scale,” explains Venter.

    While automated DNA printers have already hit the market, the DBC takes it one step further. The machine is capable of building proteins from the genetic code (printing biological hardware, so to speak), bringing it one step closer to building living cells from scratch.

    At the heart of the system is Archetype, proprietary software that optimally breaks down the input DNA sequence into more manageable short sequences to synthesize in parallel. This massively increases efficiency and reduces sequencing errors that increase with longer DNA strands.

    Once assembled, the machine scans the strands for any errors before “pasting” the bits back into complete DNA assembles. From there, a series of robotic arms transfer the DNA from module to module, automatically adding reagents that turn the synthetic genes into functional proteins.

    Synthetic Medicine

    In one proof-of-concept study, the machine pumped out green fluorescent protein, an algae protein that often serves as an experimental canary in the lab. Following the DBC run, the resulting product glowed bright green as expected, and subsequent analysis found that over 70 percent of all synthesized molecules were error-free.

    While impressive, the team acknowledges that future models need to do better.

    “All it takes is one DNA base to be incorrect for a protein not to work, or a therapeutic to not do what it’s supposed to, or for a cell to not be functional,” warns Gibson.

    In another experiment, the DBC successfully produced functional flu viral particles, RNA vaccines, and bacteriophages—viruses that infect bacteria that can be used to combat infections or even cancer.

    That’s huge. “If there is a pandemic, everyone around you is dying and you cannot go outdoors, you can download the vaccine in a couple of seconds from the internet,” says Venter. A machine like this in hospitals, homes, and remote areas could revolutionize medicine.

    Venter also has his eye on personalized medicine. In the future, if you have an infection you get its genome sequenced in minutes, he says. The doctor could then cross-reference your bug with an online database, download and print the available phage treatments in office and send you on your way.

    Space Travel

    Venter’s ambition doesn’t stop there. He imagines combining the DBC with technologies from his synthetic organisms to construct a “blank slate” recipient cell capable of producing food, oxygen, and fuel—the perfect workhorse to send around the world or into space.

    In theory, the cell would be capable of receiving any synthetic genome designed to produce life-supporting molecules. These cells have to be engineered, says Venter, but stresses that it can be done.

    Having a DBC on board means a crew hurtling through space would no longer rely on supply ship rendezvous—and we’ll never have a real life Mark Watney starved and stranded on Mars.

    But that’s looking way far ahead.

    According to Gibson, before we get too distracted with fanciful thoughts of space, a lot more work still has to be done. For one, the DBC needs to shrink down to a more manageable size. For another, current DNA synthesis technologies are incredibly inefficient and wasteful—“about 99.999 percent of the raw materials go to waste,” he says—a problem further magnified as the team moves on to larger DNA constructs.

    These aren’t small challenges, but the DBC shows that biological teleportation for biological materials is feasible. So why not aim high?

    “Mine is not a fantasy look at the future,” says Venter. “The goal isn’t to imagine this stuff. We are the scientists actually doing this.”

    Stock Media provided by Science_Video / Pond5 }

    29-06-2017 om 00:58 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.De vliegende auto: het transportmiddel van de toekomst? Nee! }

    26-06-2017 om 01:11 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.The world's first hoverbike is officially for sale

    The world's first hoverbike is officially for sale

    Published on Feb 23, 2017

    The Event Is Coming Soon - The World’s First Hoverbike is Ready to Ride

    byPaul Seaburn

    Start saving your bitcoins (or whatever it is you do to accumulate a sizeable pile of them). If your bucket list includes being the first on your block to own an operational and really cool hoverbike, your wait is over. The Russian startup company Hoversurf announced it has achieved its goal of …
    Making flying as easy as riding a bike.
    OK, a really dangerous bike, but that’s why you want one, right? The Scorpion-3 was unveiled this week by Hoversurf in a warehouse at its headquarters in San Francisco. The company – whose motto is “Aim high” (with an implied “Kids, don’t try this at home”) – began as a manufacturer of heavy-lift cargo drones with carrying capacities ranging from 90 to 2,500 kg. (198 to 5511 lbs.). That should be good news for the ‘bigger biker’, right?

    Not quite. While based on the same platform as the cargo drones, the Scorpion-3 has a weight limit of 266 pounds of “amateur and professional navigators.” That’s a code phrase for ‘extreme sports enthusiasts’ and other adrenaline addicts who can ride a fast bike AND deal with it being 33 feet (10 meters) off the ground – the current restricted altitude limit.

    Well, “fast” is relative – the top speed of the Scorpion-3 is currently restricted to 33 mph (53 kmph) but that undoubtedly seems a lot faster when flying. Hoversurf says its engineers used a standard motorbike design to make it easy for riders with cycle experience to handle the Scorpion-3. For lift and thrust, an electric motor powers the quadcopter propellers taken from the drone platform and can reportedly keep the Scorpion-3 aloft for 27 minutes – more than enough time to generate enough excitement to require a change of pants.

    See hoverbike here:


    Dope: Russian Company Unveils The First Commercial Hover Bike "Scorpion 3"!

    8 REAL HoverBoards and HoverBikes That Actually Hover }

    24-06-2017 om 17:44 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.This Gatorade Ad Made a Human Using Water and Photos Instead of CGI

    This Gatorade Ad Made a Human Using Water and Photos Instead of CGI

    This incredibly creative ad from Gatorade uses a “liquid printer” and precision-timed strobe photography to create a stop-motion athlete from drops of water. What’s more, it was created entirely in-camera, according to the company.

    The video starts off with a human figure being pumped out of a water printer. Okay, that’s pretty cool, but water printers are nothing new. But then the figure jogs over to a box and starts doing box jumps, with water splashing as its feet hit the box.

    The figure stands and starts kicking a punching bag, which recoils with each strike. The ad would be pretty impressive on its own, but Gatorade says that the entire thing was created in-camera.

    The water printer itself comprises over 20,000 parts, and took over 5,000 man hours to construct. The printer they built had 2,048 individual nozzles, which turned on and off within 2 milliseconds. The strobes were then set to freeze the droplets mid-air. James Medcraft, the project’s director of photography explains:

    We’re using the flash to freeze the water droplets at a very precise moment in space, and we’re having to do that with millimetre and microsecond accuracy.

    To create the motion, the nozzles were driven by motion capture data of a real athlete who ran, jumped, and kicked while wearing sensors. The water rig would then drop a frame-by-frame animation, which was frozen with each flash.

    The result is the very impressive ad, that you can watch in full at the top. The one thing we can’t figure out – how did they create the punching bag scene without CGI?

    Gatorade has shared a behind the scenes video, which you can watch below. How do you think they did it?

    (via Gatorade via Fstoppers)

    { }

    24-06-2017 om 16:56 geschreven door peter

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