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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 6

US Marine Corps testing futuristic autonomous base defense system

The United States Marine Corps and U.S. Army are now testing the Mobile Detection Assessment Response System (MDARS), a futuristic automated intrusion system for use by the Department of Defense.

 

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Moving objects are detected via onboard radar system, with multiple laser systems used to autonomously drive the vehicle during security patrol. Infrared and color cameras help the MDARS identify friendly forces and enemy combatants.

 

"We are trying to use it to its full capabilities and (further improve) our defense," said Sgt. Timothy Hanla, Platoon Sergeant, Air Base Guard Force. "It will help reinforce certain areas and catch things our eyes can't catch."

 

Starting in October 2010, there has been continued MDARS testing on U.S. military bases, offering a continued security presence at an affordable price. These systems could also provide an additional layer of defense when used in overseas combat regions, aiding manned and automated defenses.

Google engineering boss says we'll have nanobots in our body by 2035

It feels like something right out of the NBC show Revolution, but Google engineering director Ray Kurzweil has said that by the 2030s, we'll have "millions, billions of blood cell-sized computers in our bloodstream... keeping us healthy, augmenting our immune system, also going into the brain and putting our neocortex onto the cloud".

 

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The nanobots in your brain will give you instant access to the cloud, where Kurzweil explains: "In 2035, I see somebody approaching me and I want to impress them and I want to think of something clever... I'll be able to access additional neocortex and think of something clever".

 

Kurzweil believes that over the next 30 or so years, we'll see technology reach a point where we are capable of immortality.


Age reversing process in mice successful, next step is human trials

Scientists have been working for years on the age reversing process, but it looks like we're very close to it being a reality. Scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in mice, according to a new study.

 

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The next step? Human trials, something that will begin possibly before 2014 wraps up. The study itself was published in the peer reviewed science journal, Cell, after US and Australian scientists made the breakthrough discovery. David Sinclair of the University of New South Wales, and lead researcher, says he's hopeful that the results can be duplicated in human trials.

 

Where this gets amazing, is that not only could the aging process be slowed down, but a measurable reversal. The study showed that after administering a certain compound to the mice, muscle degeneration and diseases caused by aging were reversed. Sinclair was amazed at the results, saying they had exceeded his expectations, he explained: "I've been studying aging at the molecular level now for nearly 20 years and I didn't think I'd see a day when ageing could be reversed. I thought we'd be lucky to slow it down a little bit. The mice had more energy, their muscles were as though they'd be exercising and it was able to mimic the benefits of diet and exercise just within a week. We think that should be able to keep people healthier for longer and keep them from getting diseases of ageing".

Continue reading 'Age reversing process in mice successful, next step is human trials' (full post)

Fight against veteran brain injury going high tech to change lives

Medical researchers and military veterans are increasingly teaming up to study traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that U.S. personnel are dealing with after returning home from the battlefield. An estimated 15 to 23 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer TBI, which equates to about 300,000 to 460,000 soldiers in need of various levels of medical treatment.

 

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Researchers are developing new objective imaging testing methods that provide better insight of brain scans and cognitive testing - and while progress is accelerating - there are a large number of veterans that aren't receiving proper medical treatment. However, using a new diffusion tensor imaging helps indicate nerve track fiber damage and provides better guidance to detect mild-TBI episodes that can be more easily corrected if discovered quickly.

 

"Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress is a different kind of wound," noted Arnold Fisher, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund staff member. "It's unseen. Apparently, because it's unseen, very many people don't understand it."

 

A new medical research facility focused on treating brain injuries and post-combat mental and physical injuries recently broke ground at Fort Bragg. There are a limited number of TBI research centers, so some veterans can end up waiting months, or years, before they are able to begin receiving proper medical treatment.

Smartphone usage at night can tire you out the next day, study says

A smartphone "hangover" plaguing people that check their smartphones after 9:00 p.m. revealed users tend to be more exhausted the next day, according to a new study from Michigan State University. The drop in energy and productivity level is similar to a drinking hangover suffered the morning after partaking too much at the local pub.

 

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"It can be a double-edged sword," said Russell Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management, in a statement. "The night-time use of smartphones appears to have both psychological and physiological effects on people's ability to sleep and on sleep's essential recovery functions."

 

How everyone feels each day is strongly correlated to healthy sleeping habits, with sleep quality - and quantity - impacting personal health. As more people begin to look for ways to improve sleep, a custom sensor-based inference algorithm is being tested to help educate sleepers and help develop better habits. There also are a growing collection of wearables and accessories that help study - and improve - sleep habits.

 

Smartphones - and other technologies - tend to force users to engage in activities instead of leaving time for the brain to mentally unwind.

Scientists develop 'space cops', satellites that patrol Earth's orbit

US researchers and scientists have developed the Space-Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris, or STARE, which is basically a bunch of small satellites that orbit the Earth, helping satellites avoid collisions with space junk - so, really, space cops.

 

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These 'space cops' have the researchers seeing a future of deploying countless satellites into Earth's orbit, with the space cops then relaying information about potential collisions between satellites and space debris back to Earth, which would then send alternative coordinates to the satellites that are in trouble.

 

A ground-based satellite was used to refine the orbit of the NORAD 27006 satellite, which was based on the first four observations made within 24 hours. The team managed to predict NORAD's satellite trajectory to within 50m, in under 36 hours. Considering that current technology is only capable of working out the pace of a space object within a 1km range, which gives ground operators the hard time of weeding through thousands of false alarms, for that one rock that might cause trouble.

Continue reading 'Scientists develop 'space cops', satellites that patrol Earth's orbit' (full post)

HIV vaccine could happen thanks to a free, crowdfunded project

A research team completely crowdfunded, is using a machine learning algorithm to examine the cells of rare individuals who are immune to HIV, and are looking to make a vaccine from their efforts.

 

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The team is known as The Immunity Project, which promises a revolutionary method to reach its goals, vowing to revolutionize how we look at vaccines in general, too. Pharmaceutical companies projects can, and do cost billions of dollars - but this project could solve a very large problem, and is simply crowdfunded.

 

The Immunity Project is run by researchers out of Harvard, Stanford and MIT, with some big names on the roster: the creators of the Internet's first spam filter, an artificial intelligence and machine learning specialist at Microsoft, and the founder of Flow Pharma and drug delivery system specialist.

Continue reading 'HIV vaccine could happen thanks to a free, crowdfunded project' (full post)

Bright super nova appears in M82, 12 million light years from earth

The past few days have been quite exciting for scientist and astronomers world wide due to a very bright super nova appearing in the galaxy M82. While a super nova appearing is not a rare event, one happening in a galaxy as close as M82 is quite the rarity indeed.

 

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M82 is just 12 million light years away making this one of the closest nova events recorded by modern science. Furthermore, this event is quite special for amateur astronomers as well as causal star gazers as the super nova is bright enough for viewing with binoculars and is quite spectacular in even the most modest amateur telescopes. The super nova is expected to brighten to about the 8th magnitude which would last for a few days.

 

In the image above you can see the super nova appear in the bottom image. Nothing is known about the star that exploded, but one thing is for sure... anything orbiting the star pre-nova was vaporized in the blink of an eye. With the galaxy being roughly 12 million light-years away, the star actually went super nova about 12 million years ago, and we are just now begging to see the photons emitted from the explosion. Some scientist say that with a super nova this close, we could even see neutrinos from the event making their way to Earth.

Continue reading 'Bright super nova appears in M82, 12 million light years from earth' (full post)

US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'

It seems that the United States military is investing in some next-gen firearms, which feature an internal computer, sensors that gauge environmental factors to help soldiers aim, and more, according to tech startup, Tracking Point.

 

 

Tracking Point has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. The smart rifles feature technology so advanced that the initial investment should pay itself off over and over again in the future. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.

 

Oren Schauble, a Marketing Official for the company: "Rifles can communicate with each other. We can enable a more information-driven combat in the sense that you can tag targets. You can pass off those targets to someone else with a scope. There's a whole layer of communication that comes with having a rifle that can designate and track targets."

Continue reading 'US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'' (full post)

Brain-computer interface shows great potential over next 12 years

Intel and other established tech companies are showing interest in the blossoming brain-computer-interface (BCI) market, according to Mind Solutions. BCI is a dedicated communication pathway between the human brain and a device - with early focus on helping medical patients recover from severe physical injuries.

 

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With the help of Intel and other companies, Mind Solutions hopes to see BCI become more common place over the next few years. As the number of transistors powering PCs and mobile devices increases, especially as technology surpasses neurons in the human brain, there is great potential for long-term development.

 

"We will finally remove the fiction from the science fiction," said Mooly Eden, Intel head of perceptual computing, during CES. It will be possible to "open a car door with our finger, receive constant information about our health" along with using devices that "interface directly with your brain."

 

Ultimately, Mind Solutions hopes a major tech company enters the market and hopes to acquire the smaller boutique firm.

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