Scientists a Step Closer to Fusion Harnessing

Physicists have discovered a possible solution to a mystery that has long baffled researchers working to harness fusion. If confirmed by experiment, the finding could help scientists eliminate a major impediment to the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for producing electric power. Read More →

When Cellular Automata Come to Life

Cellular automata are probably the closest things to machine life that most people have gotten an opportunity to experiment with in recent years. John Conway invented a piece of software titled the Game of Life in 1970. He carefully set up the rules to create a balanced world. While this might sound like old news, it has allowed scientists to actually simulate certain real world systems. Read More →

Robotic Telesurgery in Space

Telemedicine is a field that uses telecommunications technology to provide healthcare at a distance. Certain computer systems can be linked to a physician’s office for diagnostic purposes. Different clinics and hospitals can be linked together. In the future, telemedicine could be used to perform robotic surgeries in space. Read More →

The Struggle of Early Life on Earth

Tracing the tree of life back to a single ancestral form
A study published in PLoS Computational Biology maps the development of life-sustaining chemistry to the history of early life. Researchers Rogier Braakman and Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute traced the six methods of carbon fixation seen in modern life back to a single ancestral form.

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Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) sits high atop ancient volcanic boulders, four hours from Cape Town. The telescope, billed as Africa’s giant eye on the universe, is a time-domain spectroscopy allowing astronomers to take photos of stars in very quick succession by using its $600,000 digital camera, known as the salticam. Read More →

Who is Elon Musk?

Space Exploration Technology, more commonly known as Space X, is owned by Elon Musk. The company has recently announced that it is considering building vertical launch and control areas in far south Texas. Space X already uses Cape Canaveral, Florida. They are also constructing a launch pad and control area at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company is operated by Paypal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk. Read More →

Superintelligence Must be Carefully Tapped

I’m of the opinion that if we’re ever going to achieve long-range space exploration/colonization, human engineering of some sort will be required. This not only applies to space exploration however, but most likely the long-range survival of humanity in general. The common fear in this topic seems to always conjure up a ‘rise of the machines’ scenario when I’m discussing this with others. So I thought that today I’d post a few thoughts on how these fears might be alleviated in the future. Read More →

The Merging of Biology and Electronics [Research]

The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine.

A multi-institutional research team led by Andrei Kholkin of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, used a combination of experiments and modeling to identify and explain the presence of ferroelectricity, a property where materials switch their polarization when an electric field is applied, in the simplest known amino acid—glycine (referenced below). Read More →

A Look at Technocapitalism

Capitalism and socialism have been the primary economic theories that nations have modeled themselves after in the modern era. Throughout history, other economic models have also been used. Feudalism and various forms of command economies have defined much of the human experience. Trade and barter systems were used by the most primitive societies. However, continued exploration of space and the development of new machines might lead to the rise of societal technocapitalism. Read More →

The Road Ahead for Space Travel

With yesterday’s retirement of Discovery, perhaps it’s time for Russia to resurrect their Buran space shuttle program. With recent NASA cutbacks announced and no new shuttle plans in the works here at home, perhaps Russia or other partner countries can benefit from the technologies developed and used in the defunct U.S. shuttle program. Either way, it will be interesting to watch if Russia or other countries create their own shuttle programs in the years ahead. Read More →