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An excerpt from the published article on NYMag:
One day when I was still very young, I asked my father about his parents. I knew my maternal grandparents intimately, but I wanted to know why I had never met his parents.
“Because they died,” he said wistfully.
“Will you ever see them again?” I asked.
He considered his answer carefully. Finally, he said that there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again, but that he had no reason — and no evidence — to support the idea of an afterlife, so he couldn’t give in to the temptation.
Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true.
Triple Threat for Cancer
Delivering chemotherapy drugs in nanoparticle form could help reduce side effects by targeting the drugs directly to the tumors. In recent years, scientists have developed nanoparticles that deliver one or two chemotherapy drugs, but it has been difficult to design particles that can carry any more than that in a precise ratio.
Now MIT chemists have devised a new way to build such nanoparticles, making it much easier to include three or more different drugs. In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers showed that they could load their particles with three drugs commonly used to treat ovarian cancer.
The scientists envision the ability to reliably produce large quantities of multidrug-carrying nanoparticles will enable large-scale testing of possible new cancer treatments.
Magnetic-levitation technology works by creating magnetic fields with onboard superconducting magnets, which interact with ground coils in the rail, allowing a whole train to “float” just above the ground (about 10 centimetres). And go really fast: speeds of 310 mph / 500 kph.
The Maglev technology was designed by the Japanese rail operator JR Tokai and promises New York to D.C. in an hour flat. That would be an hour and 40 minutes faster than today’s 150-mph Amtrak Acela trains, which are at this point the fastest in the United States. In most cases, it would also be significantly faster than flying.
Whilst JR Tokai is offering the license up for free to the US it also aims to bring a maglev line connecting Tokyo and Nagoya onstream in 2027.
Move over Dave Grohl - the cyborg is playing now
Jason lost part of one arm in an accident. Here he demonstrates that his loss is a gain: his robotic prosthesis lets him to do things ordinary drummers can’t.
It’s always an incredibly emotional moment to see your work in print. I wrote the foreword for this gorgeous looking book: Lighting up the future - The emergence of OLED.
To find out why designers, architects and futurist predict OLED to be a new disruptive technology you can buy the book or just read my post from a few months ago, when I wrote about the death of the lightbulb and the dawn of a brighter future.
Altaeros Energies will launch its high-altitude floating wind turbine south of Fairbanks to bring more affordable power to a remote community like far-flung villages, military bases, mines, or disaster zones.
Altaeros’ Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) is an inflatable, helium-filled ring with a wind turbine suspended inside. It will float at a height of 300 meters, where winds tend to be far stronger than they are on the ground. The altitude of the BAT is about double the hub height of the world’s largest wind turbine.
Why it matters
The technology can be set up in under 24 hours, because it does not require cranes or underground foundations. Instead it uses high-strength tethers, which hold the BAT steady and allow the electricity to be sent back to the ground.
It is expected to provide power at about $0.18 per kilowatt-hour, about half the price of off-grid electricity in Alaska.
Professor Hawking won his bet with director of the Perimeter Institute in Canada Neil Turok after wagering that gravitational waves from the first fleeting moments after the big bang would be detected.
Turok is said to be needing more evidence before conceding the bet. He said the bet rested on results from the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope, which last year failed to spot any signs of gravitational waves.
Hawking is well known for making bets with other scientists. He recently lost $100 to Gordon Kane at the University of Michigan after betting that scientists at Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, would not find the Higgs boson. They discovered the particle in July 2012.
The Big Bang surprise…
A beautiful moment captured on video as Andrei Dmitriyevich Linde—one of the main authors of the inflationary universe theory is surprised with the news of the evidence that supports a whole life of theoretical work.
Thank you, NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team. It is breathtaking.
When you subscribe to NASA’s newsletter then you will get sent images like this one: a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close. It is aptly called: 'Black hole caught in a stellar homicide'
Emotion detectors to protect you from yourself…err, make for a safer ride
With many models of self-driving cars already in the making we know the near future has chauffeured rides in store for everyone. But what if you love driving too much to give it up to a robot car and still be just as safe?
Technology now allows us to read facial expressions and identify which of the seven universal emotions a person is feeling: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise or suspicion. We know that in addition to fatigue, the emotional state of the driver is a risk factor. Irritation, in particular, can make drivers more aggressive and less attentive. EPFL researchers, in collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën, have developed an on-board emotion detector based on the analysis of facial expressions. Tests carried out using a prototype indicate that the idea could have promising applications.
Detecting emotions is only one indicator for improving driver safety and comfort. In this project, it was coupled with a fatigue detector that measures the percentage of eyelid closure.
The next steps?
Works are also being done on detecting other states on drivers’ faces such as distraction, and on lip reading for use in vocal recognition.
A conservation group in Australia is calling on knitting enthusiasts to donate small woolly jumpers for sick penguins.
Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation uses the jumpers to help rehabilitate birds that have been affected by oil spills or similar leaks from fishing boats.
Knits for Nature, a program run by the foundation, has created up to 300 different designs over the years thanks to its team of dedicated volunteers but is always in need of more.
The jumpers help to keep the penguins warm and also prevent them trying to clean the toxic oil away with their beaks.