Science


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US House rejects Trump’s 2024 Moon landing plan

The House budget committee today told NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine it would not fund the administration’s efforts to change the Moon landing timeline from 2028 to 2024. The reason? NASA won’t put a final price tag on the program. The project is called the Artemis Program. Originally it was slated to launch a crewed mission to the Moon in 2028, but President Trump demanded that not only should the timeline be moved up to 2024, but that NASA should skip the Moon and go straight to Mars. Now, it’s un...
Tags: Politics, Science, Space, Tech


In the Accelerator over the Sea

In our oceans the scale of disasters is measured in millions, billions, and trillions, while solutions amount to single digits: individuals or institutions working to impact a chosen issue with approaches often both brilliant and quixotic. Putting such individuals in close contact with both whales and billionaires is the strange alchemy being attempted by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s Accelerator at Sea. I and a few other reporters were invited to observe said program, a five-day excursion in...
Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Biotech, Funding, Gadgets, GreenTech, Hardware, Robotics, Science, Startups, TC, Conservation, Ocean Solutions Accelerator, Sustainable Ocean Alliance


How scientists detected water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time

With more than 4,000 exoplanets – planets orbiting stars other than our sun – discovered so far, it may seem like we are on the cusp of finding out whether we are alone in the universe. Sadly though, we don’t know much about these planets – in most cases just their mass and their radius. Understanding whether a planet could host life requires a lot more information. At the moment, one extremely important piece of information that is missing is the presence, composition, and structure of their at...
Tags: Science, Space, Syndication


The rate of the universe’s expansion is in dispute – but a new kind of measurement offers hope

Advances in astronomical observation over the past century have allowed scientists to construct a remarkably successful model of how the cosmos works. It makes sense – the better we can measure something, the more we learn. But when it comes to the question of how fast our universe is expanding, some new cosmological measurements are making us ever more confused. Since the 1920s we’ve known that the universe is expanding – the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it is moving away from us. In fa...
Tags: Science, Space, Syndication, World


Disgusting DNA app falsely claims it can tell how gay you are

In what’s an obvious scam, a developer going by the name Joel Bellenson who allegedly works for a company called Insolent AI, created and developed a DNA analysis app that can supposedly tell “how gay” you are. Of course it cannot. According to science – and the app’s own description on the marketplace it’s sold – there is no one gay gene. The only thing the “How Gay Are You” app can tell you about yourself, if you buy it, is that you make very poor purchasing decisions. You cannot tell how gay ...
Tags: Apps, Insider, Science, Tech


NASA engineer says Viking missions discovered life on Mars in the 1970s

Gilbert Levin, a NASA engineer who worked on the Viking missions, says he’s “convinced we found evidence of life of Mars in the 1970s.” In a Scientific American article published today, Levin explains how two separate craft landed on the surface of the red planet and conducted a series of tests to determine if there were was life. One particular test, based on the same experiment Louis Pasteur conducted to prove the existence of microbes, came back positive. The results were confirmed in a repli...
Tags: Science, Space, Tech


Scientists are taking zero-gravity flights to understand the brain’s function in space

More than 500 people have traveled into space to date and, while we know a little about how life without gravity affects our physical health, we know almost nothing about how it affects our minds.So, my colleagues and I have been launching ourselves, rigs of equipment, and our participants into “zero-gravity flight” to perform experiments. It’s a thrilling – and sometimes extremely nauseating – life, but it’s opening new windows into how we think and perceive differently in space. This is no dou...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Syndication


How finding the first exoplanet changed our perception of the universe

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for “contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos.” Half the prize went to cosmologist Jim Peebles, and the other half was awarded jointly to Michel Mayor and my colleague Didier Queloz for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star. As someone who has spent a decade studying exoplanets, I know that this award marks a long-awaited recognition of one of the greatest revolutions in ...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz, Syndication, Jim Peebles


How AI could help dementia patients live more independently

You might already have what’s often called a “smart home,” with your lights or music connected to voice-controlled technology such as Alexa or Siri. But when researchers talk about smart homes, we usually mean technologies that use artificial intelligence to learn your habits and automatically adjust your home in response to them. Perhaps the most obvious example of this are thermostats that learn when you are likely to be home and what temperature you prefer, and adjust themselves accordingly w...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Alexa, Syndication


Science needs myths and stories to keep it ethical

I can still remember the horror of discovering that everything I had worked on was wrong. I was a PhD candidate just starting my second year, and my supervisor and I had developed a test for rheumatoid arthritis which seemed a revelation. We wrote a paper for a prestigious journal but just before we sent it off, we decided to do one more experiment to check we were correct. We weren’t. Everything that I had done in the last year was ruined and I had to start an entirely new research topic. It wa...
Tags: Startups, Science, Syndication


Real estate firm offers free paranormal investigation for prospective homeowners

Bungalo, a real-estate firm, earlier this week debuted a new, inclusive marketing campaign aimed at giving peace of mind to prospective homeowners afraid of buying a haunted house. Because “buying a home shouldn’t be scary,” Bungalo’s gone through the trouble of having all of its home listings in the Charlotte, North Carolina area inspected by professional paranormal investigators. We checked through a bunch of Bungalo’s online home listings and, sure enough, once you sign up for an account to g...
Tags: Startups, Science, Charlotte North Carolina, Distract, Bungalo


Why migrating to another planet is a stupid and implausible idea

Swiss astrophysicist Michel Mayor, whose work detecting exoplanets recently earned him a share in the Nobel prize for physics, says humans will never migrate beyond our own solar system. Maybe it’s time we started taking this whole “climate change” thing seriously. The first exoplanet with the potential to host life as we know it, meaning it was orbiting a star similar to the one we call ‘the sun,’ was discovered by Mayor and fellow Nobel winner Didier Queloz in 1995. In the time since, research...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Tech, Mayor, Insider, Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz


How do you weigh a whale without bothering it? Drones

Whales are the largest animals on the planet and important predators in the marine ecosystem. As a marine biologist I have been lucky enough to see them up close. It’s an amazing experience to watch a whale mother, 14 meters long and weighing nearly 40 tonnes, gently push her “tiny” five-meters baby, already weighing nearly one tonne at birth, up to the surface to breathe. But how do I actually know that whale weighed 40 tonnes? After all, we can’t exactly capture an animal the size of a bus and...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, World, Syndication


Scientists are looking for dark matter to understand the universe’s ‘hidden web’

After counting all the normal, luminous matter in the obvious places of the universe – galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the intergalactic medium – about half of it is still missing. So not only is 85 percent of the matter in the universe made up of an unknown, invisible substance dubbed “dark matter,” we can’t even find all the small amount of normal matter that should be there. This is known as the “missing baryons” problem. Baryons are particles that emit or absorb light, like protons, neutr...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, World, Syndication


Want to run more efficiently? Tie your feet together, say scientists

It used to be that tying someone’s shoes together was a nasty prank, but now it’s a performance-enhancing feat of bio-mechanical engineering. A team of researchers and engineers at Stanford University have developed a radical new method to increase the running efficiency of humans: they put a rubber band between a pair of shoes. This might not sound like a feat of modern technology, but the science behind it is actually quite interesting. According to the team’s research paper, we’re poorly engi...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Stanford University, Distract


Saturn declared most moonfluential planet after follower count reaches 82

A team of researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science recently announced the discovery of 20 new planets surrounding Saturn. This moves the ringed planet past Jupiter as the most ‘moonfluential’ denizen of our solar system. The new moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. After careful observation, the team determined that the new moons were similar in size and, with the exception of three, orbiting the planet backwards. According to a press release from Carnegie: Ea...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Tech, Hawaii, Jupiter, Carnegie Institution For Science


Research: Bacteria can change shape inside humans to avoid antibiotics

Widespread antibiotic use is largely to blame for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is currently one of the biggest threats to global health. Not only does antibiotic resistance already cause an estimated 700,000 deaths a year, it’s also made numerous infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea, harder to treat. Without knowing how to stop bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance, it’s predicted that preventable diseases could cause 10m deaths a year by...
Tags: Startups, Science, Syndication


How Earth’s changing climate can benefit aspiring Mars colonizers

In a rare instance of environmental success, the United Nations has just announced it believes the damage to the Earth’s protective ozone layer will be fully restored by the year 2050. This stands in stark contrast to the increasing alarm over the climate emergency, caused by an increasing greenhouse effect. Both the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect ultimately help control how much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun reaches the Earth’s surface, and how much infrared (IR) radiation esca...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Earth, Artificial Intelligence, United Nations, Syndication


This startup just raised $8 million to help busy doctors assess the cognitive health of 50 million seniors

All over the globe, the population of people who are aged 65 and older is growing faster than every other age group. According to United Nations data, by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 right now. Meanwhile, in Europe and North America, by 2050, one in four people could be 65 or over. Unsurprisingly, startups increasingly recognize opportunities to cater to this aging population. Some are developing products to sell to individuals and their family memb...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Europe, Science, Aging, Neuroscience, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, United Nations, Medicare, Fda, Houston, North America, David Eagleman, HIPAA


Researchers discover quantum vibrations at room temperature

A team of researchers from MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have successfully coaxed a single quantum vibration from a diamond at room temperature. This breakthrough represents yet another giant chip in the veneer separating the classical universe we see from the quantum one beneath. Another way of putting it: The hippies were right about quantum vibrations and the power of crystals. Under normal circumstances, in order to observe quantum phenomena, scientists have to work with ...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Mit, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


Nuclear fusion won’t save us from the climate crisis

The UK’s governing Conservative Party has announced a new package of climate policies, including £220m for research into nuclear fusion reactors to provide clean energy “by 2040”. Although additional funding is welcome news to fusion researchers like me, it isn’t an effective response to climate change. It’s easy to see why such a pledge is appealing though. Nuclear fusion is the process that powers stars like our sun. Unlike current nuclear power plants – which split atoms in a process called f...
Tags: Startups, UK, Science, Tech, Conservative Party, Syndication


An engineer explains how supercharged racing yachts go so fast

Sailing used to be considered as a rather sedate pastime. But in the past few years, the world of yacht racing has been revolutionized by the arrival of hydrofoil-supported catamarans, known as “foilers”. These vessels, more akin to high-performance aircraft than yachts, combine the laws of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to create vessels capable of speeds of up to 50 knots, which is far faster than the wind propelling them. An F50 catamaran preparing for the Sail GP series recently even broke t...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Syndication


Here’s how science fiction could save us from bad technology

The short film “Slaughterbots” depicts a near future in which swarms of micro drones assassinate thousands of people for their political beliefs. Released in November 2017 by academics and activists warning of the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence (AI), it quickly went viral, attracting over 3 million views to date. It helped spark a public debate on the future of autonomous weapons and put pressure on diplomats meeting at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons. But this...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Syndication


Orangutans can play the kazoo – here’s what this tells us about speech evolution

A kazoo might seem a world away from the spoken word. But our ability to produce its buzzing, Donald Duck-like sound at will was key in us ever developing the ability to speak at all. And while our capacity for speech is unique, my colleague Robert Shumaker and I have used the novelty instrument to show that great apes aren’t far behind. Speech is one of the defining marks of humanhood. It is the interface of our social and societal relationships, and the baton through which individuals and gene...
Tags: Startups, Science, Syndication


An ant colony has memories its individual members don’t have

Like a brain, an ant colony operates without central control. Each is a set of interacting individuals, either neurons or ants, using simple chemical interactions that in the aggregate generate their behavior. People use their brains to remember — but can ant colonies do that too? This question leads to another question: what is memory? For people, memory is the capacity to recall something that happened in the past. We also ask computers to reproduce past actions – the blending of the idea of t...
Tags: Startups, Science, Syndication


Study: Ocean ecosystems take 2 million years to recover after mass extinction

Around 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid struck the Earth, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, ammonites, and many other species. The asteroid was equally devastating at a microscopic level, driving ocean plankton to near-extinction. This crippled the base of the marine food chain and shut down important ocean functions, such as the absorption and delivery of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean floor. Given the real threat of a sixth mass extinction event brought about by h...
Tags: Startups, Science, Earth, Ocean, Syndication


Why scientists believe Godzilla’s fictional growth is cause for real concern

A pair of scientists from prestigious Dartmouth University recently published research postulating why Godzilla has more than doubled in size since 1954. If you guessed a gym membership and a high-protein diet: you’re wrong. The King of the Monsters’ incredible evolution in fiction is, arguably, due to real-world global anxiety over increasing nationalism and the US military’s continued nuclear aggression. Yeah, that old chestnut. The research argues that Godzilla’s appearance changes, while sur...
Tags: Startups, Politics, Science, Distract


Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky just raised another $200 million for his newest company, Tempus

When serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky grows a company, he puts the pedal to the metal. When in 2011 his last company, the Chicago-based coupons site Groupon, raised $950 million from investors, it was the largest amount raised by a startup, ever. It was just over three years old at the time, and it went public later that same year. Lefkofsky seems to be stealing a page from the same playbook for his newest company, Tempus. The Chicago-based genomic testing and data analysis company was foun...
Tags: Startups, TC, Science, Groupon, Tech, Biotech, Revolution Growth, Baillie Gifford, Eric Lefkofsky, Drug Development, Tempus, Recent Funding


Groupon cofounder Eric Lefkofsky just raised another $200 million for his newest company, Tempus

When serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky grows a company, he puts the pedal to the metal. When in 2011 his last company, the Chicago-based coupons site Groupon, raised $950 million from investors, it was the largest amount raised by a start-up, ever. It was just over three years old at the time, and it went public later that same year. Lefkofsky seems to be stealing a page from the same playbook for his newest company Tempus. The Chicago-based genomic testing and data analysis company was foun...
Tags: Startups, TC, Science, Groupon, Tech, Biotech, Revolution Growth, Baillie Gifford, Eric Lefkofsky, Drug Development, Recent Funding


Slimy fish mucus can help chemists develop new antibiotics — here’s how

One day in the future, you may take a pill to treat an illness – and owe your recovery to the tiny microbes that flourish in the slippery layer of mucus that coats fishes. It is critically important to find the next generation of antibiotics. The incidence of bacterial infections resistant to current antibiotics continues to climb. The World Health Organization has warned that this issue will only become more serious, and a recent study anticipates that by 2050 drug-resistant infections will aff...
Tags: Startups, Science, World, World Health Organization, Syndication



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