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Cool science shit

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blogs.technet.com/b/ne... would love this as a coffee table

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China to develop prototype super, super computer in 2017

China plans to develop a prototype exascale computer by the end of the year, state media said Tuesday, as it seeks to win a global race to be the first to build a machine capable of a billion, billion calculations per second.

Read more at: ys.org/news/2017-01-ch...

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Zero-G Experiments on Earth: The Bremen Drop Tower

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AI Software Learns to Make AI Software

"Progress in artificial intelligence causes some people to worry that software will take jobs such as driving trucks away from humans. Now leading researchers are finding that they can make software that can learn to do one of the trickiest parts of their own jobs—the task of designing machine-learning software.

In one experiment, researchers at the Google Brain artificial intelligence research group had software design a machine-learning system to take a test used to benchmark software that processes language. What it came up with surpassed previously published results from software designed by humans.

In recent months several other groups have also reported progress on getting learning software to make learning software. They include researchers at the nonprofit research institute OpenAI (which was cofounded by Elon Musk), MIT, the University of California, Berkeley, and Google’s other artificial intelligence research group, DeepMind."

www.technologyreview.c...

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New organisms have been formed using the first ever 6-letter genetic code

"Scientists have engineered the first ever 'semi-synthetic' organisms, by breeding E. coli bacteria with an expanded, six-letter genetic code.

While every living thing on Earth is formed according to a DNA code made up of four bases (represented by the letters G, T, C and A), these modified E. coli carry an entirely new type of DNA, with two additional DNA bases, X and Y, nestled in their genetic code.

The team, led by Floyd Romesberg from the Scripps Research Institute in California, engineered synthetic nucleotides - molecules that serve as the building blocks of DNA and RNA - to create an additional base pair, and they’ve successfully inserted this into the E. coli’s genetic code.

Now we have the world’s first semi-synthetic organism, with a genetic code made up of two natural base pairs and an additional 'alien' base pair, and Romesberg and his team suspect that this is just the beginning for this new form of life."

www.sciencealert.com/n...

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Hydrogen turned into metal in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionise technology and spaceflight

‘It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before’

www.independent.co.uk/...

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Physicists doubt bold report of metallic hydrogen

Many researchers are sceptical of a paper claiming to have compressed hydrogen to a metallic state.

www.nature.com/news/ph...

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Fuck. This is pretty bonkers

It's real: Metallic hydrogen has been created for the first time

www.sciencealert.com/h...

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Does it stay as solid metal at room temp? That would be the real breakthrough.

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"Oddly enough, Silvera says that it's also likely that metallic hydrogen could be metastable - which means that even if you release the pressure it will remain metallic."

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Andy, from what I've read, that's the next step. Release the pressure and see if it stays as a metal.

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Commentators reexamine physicist Alan Sokal’s purposeful 1996 parody paper

ysicstoday.scitation.o...

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These Incredible Pictures From Space Will Help Us Predict Deadly Storms

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'Startling' dinosaur protein discovery

Ancient proteins dating back 195 million years have been found inside a dinosaur bone. The discovery pushes back the oldest evidence for preserved proteins by 100 million years.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/sci...

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Bad craic...

Malaria drugs fail for first time on patients in UK

"A key malaria treatment has failed for the first time in patients being treated in the UK, doctors say. The drug combination was unable to cure four patients, who had all visited Africa, in early signs the parasite is evolving resistance. A team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it was too early to panic. But it warned things could suddenly get worse and demanded an urgent appraisal of drug-resistance levels in Africa."

www.bbc.co.uk/news/hea...

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This scary, alien-like specimen trapped in amber represents a brand new order of insect

"Researchers have discovered two 100-million-year old insects trapped in amber that are so unusual, they represent an entire new order of insect.

Finding a whole new order of insect is an extremely rare event, and it brings the total amount of known orders within the class to 32.

The insect, which is now known as Aethiocarenus burmanicus, has alien-like eyes, a triangular head, a long and flat body, and slender legs."

www.sciencealert.com/t...

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the war on FAKE science
www.theguardian.com/sc...

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Physicists propose football-pitch-sized quantum computer

"Physicists have sketched a blueprint for building a quantum computer using existing technology that would be powerful enough to crack important and currently unsolvable problems, such as factoring enormous numbers.

Such a machine would need to be larger than a football pitch and would cost at least £100 million (US$126 million) to make, its designers say.

“Yes it will be big, yes it will be expensive — but it absolutely can be built right now,” says quantum physicist Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex, UK"

www.nature.com/news/ph...

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they have 2 in the NRO offices and 1 in the NSA's

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Intermediate axis theorem demonstrated by spinning a t-handle in zero gravity - imgur.com/gallery/bXxD8Ek
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Intermediate axis theorem demonstrated by my daughter's chew toy in normal gravity - imgur.com/topic/Scienc...

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Electromagnetic Levitation Quadcopter

"Obviously this "quadcopter" is a demonstration device, showing how moving magnets over a conducting surface can generate levitation. It has not been optimized to minimize losses or be an efficient mode of transport. I still think it's pretty cool. I'm used to seeing light things levitated by induced currents but not a 100+ lb machine."

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not so cool science shit...

eintercept.com/2017/02...

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Watch A Lava 'Fire Hose' Stream Into Pacific Ocean

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When I was on a cruise ship in Hawaii the captain of the ship brought the boat up alongside the coast of the Big Island I think, it was night time and you could see loads of lava rivers snake their way down the hillside of the volcano and all along the coast there where lava waterfalls just like this streaming into the sea, it was a magnificent sight to behold but by fuck did it stink of ratten eggs, practically everyone on the ship came out to see it and where packed alongside one side of the ship

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Cool. I'd love to see a good lava flow. Rock running like liquid is crazy when you think about it. It's amazing what must be going on deep below our feet.

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Overcoming hurdles in CRISPR gene editing to improve treatment

"More and more scientists are using the powerful new gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, a technology isolated from bacteria, that holds promise for new treatment of such genetic diseases as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and hemophilia. But to work well, the new gene-clipping tool must be delivered safely across the cell membrane and into its nucleus, a difficult process that can trigger the cell's defenses and "trap" CRISPR/Cas9, greatly reducing its treatment potential.

Now, researchers in nanochemistry expert Vincent Rotello's laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have designed a delivery system using nanoparticles to assist CRISPR/Cas9 across the membrane and into the cell nucleus while avoiding entrapment by cellular machinery."

Read more at: ys.org/news/2017-02-hu...

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More in depth info on the above video:

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That potential sample of metallic hydrogen appears to have disappeared.

www.independent.co.uk/...

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The Blood Of Dragons Could Destroy Antibiotic Resistance

www.iflscience.com/pla...

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VX nerve agent

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Scientists SMASH five of the biggest mysteries of modern physics

It’s five theories for the price of one. One of the most ambitious physics theories in recent times claims to have solved five of the biggest head-scratchers in particle physics – each of them likely worthy of a Nobel prize in their own right.

Crazy as the idea sounds, the paper describing it has managed to get past peer-review at Physical Review Letters – a prestigious journal that has catalogued many of the most groundbreaking moments in physics history, such as the discovery of gravitational waves last year.

The new theory adds six new particles to the standard model’s current 17, and so ties up the mysteries of:

What is dark matter?
What caused inflation?
Why is the neutrino so light?
Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe.
AND they threw in a solution to problem with asymmetry in the strong force to boot.

cosmosmagazine.com/phy...

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Some balancing done on this yoke...

This is what a CT scan looks like without the guards

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A Giant Neuron Has Been Found Wrapped Around the Entire Circumference of the Brain

This could be where consciousness forms.

For the first time, scientists have detected a giant neuron wrapped around the entire circumference of a mouse's brain, and it's so densely connected across both hemispheres, it could finally explain the origins of consciousness.

Using a new imaging technique, the team detected the giant neuron emanating from one of the best-connected regions in the brain, and say it could be coordinating signals from different areas to create conscious thought.

This recently discovered neuron is one of three that have been detected for the first time in a mammal's brain, and the new imaging technique could help us figure out if similar structures have gone undetected in our own brains for centuries.

At a recent meeting of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative in Maryland, a team from the Allen Institute for Brain Science described how all three neurons stretch across both hemispheres of the brain, but the largest one wraps around the organ's circumference like a "crown of thorns".

www.sciencealert.com/a...

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Maybe TJ can find out why he has no neuron.

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Conversely, maybe TJ is poly-neuronic allowing him to juggle multiple competing consiounesses that manifest themselves as alt-forum identities...

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I wouldn't say he has multiple personalities. I think the lack of a neuron is proof of no imigination.

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Identification of mineral formation associated with human activity bolsters case for anthropocene

ys.org/news/2017-03-hu...

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Old video, but still cool

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Earliest evidence of life on Earth 'found'
www.bbc.co.uk/news/sci...

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Carbon Fiber - The Material Of The Future?

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“Cosmic” Jellyfish on “Utu” Seamount, American Samoa

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Cambridge analytica debunked
littleatoms.com/news-s...

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NASA wants to create the coolest spot in the universe

Its instruments are designed to freeze gas atoms to a mere billionth of a degree above absolute zero. That's more than 100 million times colder than the depths of space.

"Studying these hyper-cold atoms could reshape our understanding of matter and the fundamental nature of gravity," said CAL Project Scientist Robert Thompson of JPL. "The experiments we'll do with the Cold Atom Lab will give us insight into gravity and dark energy—some of the most pervasive forces in the universe."

When atoms are cooled to extreme temperatures, as they will be inside of CAL, they can form a distinct state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, familiar rules of physics recede and quantum physics begins to take over. Matter can be observed behaving less like particles and more like waves. Rows of atoms move in concert with one another as if they were riding a moving fabric. These mysterious waveforms have never been seen at temperatures as low as what CAL will achieve.

NASA has never before created or observed Bose-Einstein condensates in space. On Earth, the pull of gravity causes atoms to continually settle towards the ground, meaning they're typically only observable for fractions of a second.

But on the International Space Station, ultra-cold atoms can hold their wave-like forms longer while in freefall. That offers scientists a longer window to understand physics at its most basic level. Thompson estimated that CAL will allow Bose-Einstein condensates to be observable for up to five to 10 seconds; future development of the technologies used on CAL could allow them to last for hundreds of seconds.

ys.org/news/2017-03-na...

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Great story on people who have extremely accurate memory and can remember any day of their lives. It's been called highly superior autobiographical memory, or HSAM.

Total recall: the people who never forget

An extremely rare condition may transform our understanding of memory

Read: www.theguardian.com/sc...

Podcast: www.theguardian.com/ne...

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Hot air?

“It all started with an enquiry from a nurse,” Dr Karl Kruszelnicki told listeners to his science phone-in show on the Triple J radio station in Brisbane. “She wanted to know whether she was contaminating the operating theatre she worked in by quietly farting in the sterile environment during operations, and I realised that I didn't know. But I was determined to find out.”

Dr Kruszelnicki then described the method by which he had established whether human flatus was germ-laden, or merely malodorous. “I contacted Luke Tennent, a microbiologist in Canberra, and together we devised an experiment. He asked a colleague to break wind directly onto two Petri dishes from a distance of 5 centimetres, first fully clothed, then with his trousers down. Then he observed what happened. Overnight, the second Petri dish sprouted visible lumps of two types of bacteria that are usually found only in the gut and on the skin. But the flatus which had passed through clothing caused no bacteria to sprout, which suggests that clothing acts as a filter.

“Our deduction is that the enteric zone in the second Petri dish was caused by the flatus itself, and the splatter ring around that was caused by the sheer velocity of the fart, which blew skin bacteria from the cheeks and blasted it onto the dish. It seems, therefore, that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed. But the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they're similar to the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt.

“Our final conclusion? Don't fart naked near food. All right, it's not rocket science. But then again, maybe it is?”

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Excellent use of the term "splatter ring" there.

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lol was thinking that myself when I read it. It really jumps out of the article.

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The first half of that paragraph is pretty amazing tbh

"Our deduction is that the enteric zone in the second Petri dish was caused by the flatus itself, and the splatter ring around that was caused by the sheer velocity of the fart, which blew skin bacteria from the cheeks and blasted it onto the dish."

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