July 28, 2016

Zoltan Istvan is running as Science oriented Presidential candidate

Zoltan Istvan is running as a Transhumanist party candidate. He has a science focus. Here is an email interview with Nextbigfuture

What has the campaign been like for you ? What media attention ?

My campaign has been a whirlwind since it started nearly 20 months ago. The amount of attention given to it has been both wonderful and overwhelming. It turns out no one visible has ever really made a Presidential run entirely based on a science and technology platform. So there has been lots of curiosity from the public as to what type of ideas I have.

The most important concept of my campaign is simple: Science and Technology can best help and fix the problems and issues the United States and the world faces. It’s better to use science and technology to solve issues rather than historic precedence, religious ideals, ethnic propensities, or cultural values.

Please summarize key aspects of your platform ?

The main idea of my Presidential platform is to put science, medicine, and technology at the forefront of US politics. Right now, most politics is about common social issues, like taxes, immigration, and foreign policy. While these issues are important, I don’t think they’re as important as artificial intelligence, designer babies, and eliminating human suffering and hardship using tech innovation.

Some key points of my platform including support for a Universal Basic Income, using radical technology (like nanotechnology) to fix the environmental crisis, the use of chip implants to help personal safety, direct digital democracy, a transhumanist Olympics, and much more government resources for space exploration.

July 27, 2016

Chine J-20 production version spotted

The fourth low production rate copy of the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter has been spotted

The J-20 will fly at up to 1305 mph

The appearance of LRIP aircraft suggests that the type is nearing introduction into service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. A number of J-20s have been seen on satellite imagery at the China Flight Test Establishment base at Xi’an-Yanliang. The latest report to Congress on Chinese defense developments by the U.S. Department of Defense suggests that the J-20 could become operational in 2018.

The J-20 appears to be designed for long-range interception with an emphasis on frontal-aspect low-observability. It has an infrared search and track sensor and possibly also an electro-optical distributed aperture system (EODAS), the latter a Chinese-designed system similar to that on the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. The weapons are carried internally, with a central bay expected to contain four beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs). There is also provision for two short-range AAMs in two separate weapons bays on each side of the fuselage.

The main question that is left for the design is the powerplant, with all J-20s built so far being powered by two Russian Saturn AL-31 engines. China hopes eventually to install 180-kN (40,000-pound-thrust)-rated WS-15 turbofans. But China’s jet engine development program has been stymied by manufacturing and reliability issues. Even the less ambitious WS-10 turbofan is yet to fully enter service with the single-engine Chengdu J-10 fighter, although it has been flying on the twin-engine Shenyang J-11 Flanker since 2010.

<img src="http://www.ainonline.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2016/07/web7-2016-4-chinese-j-20.jpg>Osier to <br /> <br /> <br />

If Spacex Mars missions and colonization succeed then Musk becomes Columnbus, Isabella I

Spacex and Elon Musk plan to spend $300 million on their first Red Dragon mission to Mars in 2018. This will be ten times more than NASA will spend

If this leads to Spacex performing a series of mainly successful unmanned and then a manned mission to Mars around 2024 or 2026 then that manned mission would be like Columbus sending people to the new world.

By funding it Elon Musk would have the role of Isabella the first.

Spacex and whoever are in the mission would be Columbus.

The first permanent colony would be like Spanish colony Isabella.

Permanent colonization of a new planet would be a greater milestone and achievement for humanity.

China now has the current largest seaplane which will be used for firefighting and south Vhina sea operations

China has completed the world's largest seaplane that is currently operating.

The amphibious AG600 is about the size of a Boeing 737 and will be used to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue operations, state-run news agency Xinhua said.

The spruce goose made by Howard Hughes was a larger seaplane. It weighed 180 tons and had a 97 meter wingspan.

With a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons, the AG600 is the largest seaplane in the world, Xinhua said. It has a reported flight range of 4,500 kilometers and can collect 12 tons of water in only 20 seconds.

China has had the 45 ton Harbin SH5 seaplane. The new seaplane is 22% bigger.

The AVIC General Aircraft Company has won 17 orders for the amphibious aircraft AG600, including two at 2014 Zhuhai Air Show.

AVIC expected to deliver 60 AG600 amphibious aircraft in 15 years. The AVIC TA-600, also known as AG-600, is a large amphibious flying boat that is being designed and built in China by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Dutch men are tallest at an average of 6 feet tall

The latest study of population height shows most countries with male and females getting taller. The US used to have the tallest people but the tallest men are now in the Netherlands at an average of 6 feet tall.

Men born in 1996 surpass average heights of 181 cm in the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Denmark, with Dutch men, at 182.5 cm (180.6–184.5), the tallest people on the planet. The gap with the shortest countries – Timor-Leste, Yemen and Laos, where men are only ~160 cm tall – is 22–23 cm, an increase of ~4 cm on the global gap in the 1896 birth cohort. Australia was the only non-European country where men born in 1996 were among the 25 tallest in the world. Women born in 1996 are shortest in Guatemala, with an average height of 149.4 cm (148.0–150.8), and are shorter than 151 cm in the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal. The tallest women live in Latvia, the Netherlands, Estonia and Czech Republic, with average height surpassing 168 cm, creating a 20 cm global gap in women’s height

The tallest women average 5 feet 6 inches.

Greater height in adulthood is both beneficially (cardiovascular and respiratory diseases) and harmfully (colorectal, postmenopausal breast and ovarian cancers, and possibly pancreatic, prostate and premenopausal breast cancers) associated with several diseases, independently of its inverse correlation with BMI

The ~20 cm height range in the world is associated with a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and 20–40% higher risk of various site-specific cancers, in tall versus short countries.

The pace of growth in height has not been uniform over the past century. The impressive rise in height in Japan stopped in people born after the early 1960s. In South Korea, the flattening began in the cohorts born in the 1980s for men and it may have just begun in women. As a result, South Korean men and women are now taller than their Japanese counterparts. The rise is continuing in other East and Southeast Asian countries like China and Thailand, with Chinese men and women having surpassed the Japanese (but not yet as tall as South Koreans). The rise in adult height also seems to have plateaued in South Asian countries like Bangladesh and India at much lower levels than in East Asia, e.g., 5–10 cm shorter than it did in Japan and South Korea.

Increases in European men’s heights in the 19th and 20th century have been highlighted, we found that the largest gains since the 1896 birth cohort occurred in South Korean women and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (17.5–22.7) and 16.5 cm (13.3–19.7) taller, respectively. As a result, South Korean women moved from the fifth shortest to the top tertile of tallest women in the world over the course of a century. Men in South Korea also had large gains relative to other countries, by 15.2 cm (12.3–18.1). There were also large gains in height in Japan, Greenland, some countries in Southern Europe (e.g., Greece) and Central Europe (e.g., Serbia and Poland, and for women Czech Republic). In contrast, there was little gain in height in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

On average the world is about 3 to 4 inches taller. The countries with most gains at 5 to 6 inches taller va low gainers at 1 to 2 inches.

July 26, 2016

DARPA robotic subhunting trimaran successfully meets initial at sea trials

Leidos, a national security, health, and infrastructure solutions company, announced today that on June 22, it completed initial performance trials of the technology demonstration vessel it is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. The at-sea tests took place off the coast of San Diego, California.

The 132-foot trimaran, christened Sea Hunter at a ceremony in April, met or surpassed all performance objectives for speed, maneuverability, stability, seakeeping, acceleration/deceleration, and fuel consumption, as well as establishing confidence in mechanical systems reliability in an open-ocean environment. Sea Hunter is designed to operate for extended periods at sea with no person on board and only sparse supervisory control throughout deployment. While initial vessel tests require a pilot on board the ship, later tests are planned to have no personnel on board.

The completion of Sea Hunter's performance trials is the first milestone in the two-year test program co-sponsored by DARPA and the Office of Naval Research. Testing in upcoming months is scheduled to include testing of sensors, the vessel's autonomy suite, compliance with maritime collision regulations, and proof-of-concept demonstrations for a variety of U.S. Navy missions.

Unlocking the potential for ultra-lightweight and flexible 3D-printed metallic materials

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) engineers have achieved unprecedented scalability in 3D-printed architectures of arbitrary geometry, opening the door to super-strong, ultra-lightweight and flexible metallic materials for aerospace, the military and the automotive industry.

In a study published online July 18 in Nature Materials (link is external), LLNL engineers report building multiple layers of fractal-like lattices with features ranging from the nanometer to centimeter scale, resulting in a nickel-plated metamaterial with a high elasticity not found in any previously built metal foams or lattices.

"With these 3D features we've been fabricating on a nanoscale, you can get some really interesting properties, but people have never been able to scale them up and see how they behave," said lead author Xiaoyu "Rayne" Zheng (link is external), a former LLNL technical staff member who led the study and recently transferred to academia as a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech (link is external). "We've figured out a strategy of hierarchically building them to take advantage of the nanoscale features but use them at a large scale. It turned out better than we could have imagined."

3D printing could make lightweight and stronger material to revolutionize lasers

LLNL researchers are exploring the use of metal 3D printing to create strong, lightweight structures for advanced laser systems - an effort they say could alter the way lasers are designed in the future.

In a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program, physicist Ibo Matthews and his team are experimenting with a new research-based metal 3D printer, one of only four of its kind in the world, using a customized software platform capable of unprecedented design control.
The powder bed laser-melting printer, made by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (link is external) (ILT) and German startup Aconity 3D (link is external), was installed in December 2015. Lab engineers have added diagnostics and high-speed cameras to examine thermal emissions and to image the surface of parts as they're being built. Matthews said the modifications will help the researchers determine how defects or deformations occur during the 3D printing process.

"It's very flexible; it allows us to change any of the parameters we want," he said. "We're developing confidence in what we've built. If any defects occur, it is our aim that the user can have a 3D map available at the end of the build that shows what and where it happened."

Matthews and his team are building on their experience in laser materials processing and interaction gained in support of both the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and directed energy projects to develop new approaches to metal 3D printing. Their work is part of an overall strategy to broaden the NIF & Photon Science (NIF&PS) laser applications portfolio and maintain core competencies in laser-matter interaction science. Moreover, NIF scientists are intrigued by the potential for the metal 3D printing platform to support lasers - not just at NIF, but in airborne systems that need to be extremely lightweight, such as those used for remote sensing and aerial scanning.

July 25, 2016

Hydrogel and nanoparticle surgical microbots

EPFL scientist Selman Sakar teamed up with Hen-Wei Huang and Bradley Nelson at ETHZ to develop a simple and versatile method for building such bio-inspired robots and equipping them with advanced features. They also created a platform for testing several robot designs and studying different modes of locomotion. Their work, published in Nature Communications, produced complex reconfigurable microrobots that can be manufactured with high throughput. They built an integrated manipulation platform that can remotely control the robots’ mobility with electromagnetic fields, and cause them to shape-shift using heat.

A robot that looks and moves like a bacterium
Unlike conventional robots, these microrobots are soft, flexible, and motor-less. They are made of a biocompatible hydrogel and magnetic nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have two functions. They give the microrobots their shape during the manufacturing process, and make them move and swim when an electromagnetic field is applied.

Building one of these microrobots involves several steps. First, the nanoparticles are placed inside layers of a biocompatible hydrogel. Then an electromagnetic field is applied to orientate the nanoparticles at different parts of the robot, followed by a polymerization step to “solidify” the hydrogel. After this, the robot is placed in water where it folds in specific ways depending on the orientation of the nanoparticles inside the gel, to form the final overall 3D architecture of the microrobot.

Once the final shape is achieved, an electromagnetic field is used to make the robot swim. Then, when heated, the robot changes shape and “unfolds”. This fabrication approach allowed the researchers to build microrobots that mimic the bacterium that causes African trypanosomiasis, otherwise known as sleeping sickness. This particular bacterium uses a flagellum for propulsion, but hides it away once inside a person’s bloodstream as a survival mechanism.

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties

The old rules don’t necessarily apply when building electronic components out of two-dimensional materials, according to scientists at Rice University.

The Rice lab of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson analyzed hybrids that put 2-D materials like graphene and boron nitride side by side to see what happens at the border. They found that the electronic characteristics of such “co-planar” hybrids differ from bulkier components.

Their results appear this month in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

Shrinking electronics means shrinking their components. Academic labs and industries are studying how materials like graphene may enable the ultimate in thin devices by building all the necessary circuits into an atom-thick layer.

“Our work is important because semiconductor junctions are a big field,” Yakobson said. “There are books with iconic models of electronic behavior that are extremely well-developed and have become the established pillars of industry.

Nano Letters - Carrier Delocalization in Two-Dimensional Coplanar p–n Junctions of Graphene and Metal Dichalcogenides

Three Dwave 2X quantum computing machines installed outside of Dwave and each has over 1000 qubits

The USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC) based at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI) has been upgraded — to 1,098 qubits from 512. The D-Wave 2X™ processor is enabling QCC researchers to continue their efforts to close the gap between academic research in quantum computation and real-world critical problems.

“Our QCC researchers have been studying and elucidating the capabilities of the D-Wave quantum annealing processors since 2011, starting with the first commercially released model, and we are fortunate to be able to continue this cutting-edge work with this new, third-generation model,” said Daniel Lidar, the scientific director of the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center.

The QCC is hosted at the USC Information Sciences Institute of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The QCC hosts one of two D-Wave systems that currently operate outside of D-Wave’s headquarters; the other, owned by Google, is hosted at NASA’s Ames Research Center. A third is being installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The new processor will be used to study how and whether quantum effects can speed up the solution of tough optimization, machine learning and sampling problems. Machine-learning algorithms are widely used in artificial intelligence tasks.

“Quantum computing has the potential to solve complex engineering problems that classical computers cannot efficiently solve,” said Greg Tallant, Lockheed Martin fellow and lead for the USC-Lockheed Martin QCC. “This emerging technology is expected to achieve things like rapidly debugging millions of lines of software code and solving hard computational problems in the aerospace industry. At its fullest capability, quantum computing could advance the way we solve critical issues and plan for future generations.”

The QCC researchers expect that with continued development, the D-Wave 2X system will enable breakthrough results in quantum optimization.

Stem cell injections reduce scarring during bypass surgery and possibly increase survival of patients with surgery

11 patients were injected with stem cells during bypass surgery. The stem cells injected into their hearts caused a 40% reduction in the size of scarred tissue. Such scarring occurs during a cardiac event such as a heart attack, and can increase the chances of further heart failure. The scarring was previously thought to be permanent and irreversible.

At the time of treatment, the patients were suffering heart failure and had a very high (70%) annual mortality rate. But 36 months after receiving the stem cell treatment all are still alive, and none have suffered a further cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke, or had any readmissions for cardiac-related reasons.

Twenty-four months after participants were injected with the stem cell treatment there was a 30% improvement in heart function, 40% reduction in scar size, and 70% improvement in quality of life, as judged by the Minnesota living with heart failure (MLHF) score.

Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research - Implantation of a Novel Allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cell Type in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: an Open Label Phase IIa Trial

Heart failure is a life-limiting condition affecting over 40 million patients worldwide. Ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) is the most common cause. This study investigates in situ cardiac regeneration utilizing precision delivery of a novel mesenchymal precursor cell type (iMP) during coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (LVEF less than 40 %). The phase IIa safety study was designed to enroll 11 patients. Preoperative scintigraphy imaging (SPECT) was used to identify hibernating myocardium not suitable for conventional myocardial revascularization for iMP implantation. iMP cells were implanted intramyocardially in predefined viable peri-infarct areas that showed poor perfusion, which could not be grafted due to poor target vessel quality. Postoperatively, SPECT was then used to identify changes in scar area. Intramyocardial implantation of iMP cells with CABG was safe with preliminary evidence of efficacy of improved myocardial contractility and perfusion of nonrevascularized territories resulting in a significant reduction in left ventricular scar area at 12 months after treatment. Clinical improvement was associated with a significant improvement in quality of life at 6 months posttreatment in all patients. The results suggest the potential for in situ myocardial regeneration in ischemic heart failure by delivery of iMP cells.

New technique can reveal subcellular details and long-range connections in the brain

MIT researchers have developed a new technique for imaging brain tissue at multiple scales, allowing them to peer at molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons.

This technique, known as magnified analysis of proteome (MAP), should help scientists in their ongoing efforts to chart the connectivity and functions of neurons in the human brain, says Kwanghun Chung, the Samuel A. Goldblith Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and a member of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

“We use a chemical process to make the whole brain size-adjustable, while preserving pretty much everything. We preserve the proteome (the collection of proteins found in a biological sample), we preserve nanoscopic details, and we also preserve brain-wide connectivity,” says Chung, the senior author of a paper describing the method in the July 25 issue of Nature Biotechnology.

The researchers also showed that the technique is applicable to other organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

A new technique called magnified analysis of proteome (MAP), developed at MIT, allows researchers to peer at molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons Courtesy of the researchers.

Nature Biotechnology - Multiplexed and scalable super-resolution imaging of three-dimensional protein localization in size-adjustable tissues

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