Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years

April 21, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk must not be busy enough with his Boring company , Space X and Tesla , because he just became CEO of another company, and this one has a goal of turning us all into cyborgs .  Neuralink,  a  San Francisco -based startup says they are “developing ultra high bandwidth brain -machine interfaces to connect humans and computers ” and Musk says he hopes to start delivering by 2021. Musk hinted that he was working on neural lacing last year , though details were scant, but he has never been shy about his opinion that we should be connecting our brains to computers. According to TechCrunch, Musk wants to make that leap with Neuralink. He wants to integrate our brains and computers, or allow us to connect cloud-based artificial intelligence computing with our selves. This could allow humans to communicate directly with each other, instead of having to compress thoughts into language. Related: Elon Musk says new company will start drilling under LA next month It sounds like science fiction. Musk explained it in detail to Tim Urban of Wait But Why . Musk said we already are cyborgs; we’ve “already kind of merged” with smartphones and laptops. He added, “You’re already digitally superhuman. The thing that would change is the interface – having a high-bandwidth interface to your digital enhancements. The thing is that today, the interface all necks down to this tiny straw, which is, particularly in terms of output, it’s like poking things with your meat sticks, or using words – either speaking or tapping things with fingers. And in fact, output has gone backwards. It used to be, in your most frequent form, output would be ten-finger typing. Now, it’s like, two-thumb typing. That’s crazy slow communication. We should be able to improve that by many orders of magnitude with a direct neural interface.” Neuralink’s product probably won’t be ready for the public any time soon – it could be eight to 10 years for people without disabilities, according to Musk, who said the timeline depends both on regulatory approval and how well the devices could work for disabled people. If you want to dig more into the project, Urban wrote a 36,000-word explanation . About the piece, Musk said on Twitter , “Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.” Via Wait What Why ,  The Next Web and TechCrunch Images via OnInnovation on Flickr and Max Pixel

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Tel Aviv’s Gran Mediterraneo Tower blooms with with a lush vertical garden

April 21, 2017 by  
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This curvy new skyscraper envisioned for Tel Aviv is a lush oasis that combines modern, sustainable living with plenty of nature. The skyscraper is filled with Mediterranean and Dead Sea flora and features an automated car park, farms, electric charging stations and public gardens. The mixed-use Gran Mediterraneo tower, designed by French architect David Tajchman , is wrapped in mirrored glass and white concrete conceived using the latest construction and digital technologies. Gran Mediterraneo combines different programs, including apartments, a hotel, an automated car park , a public charging station, farming and public gardens , co-working spaces and spas. The automated public car park will operate as the first induction charging station for public and shared electric driverless vehicles in the city. Related: Bordeaux’ Canopia tower will be one of the tallest timber frame structures in the world The tower aims to renew Tel Aviv’s skyline with its vertical form, generated using state-of-the-art digital tools . “Innovative with its topological geometry giving a spiral effect to the high-rise, the Gran Mediterraneo breaks with the global and usual stacking of horizontal slabs wrapped with mirrored glass ,” said Tajchman. + David Tajchman Via Archdaily

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Tel Aviv’s Gran Mediterraneo Tower blooms with with a lush vertical garden

Dangerous air pollution particles found in human brain tissue

September 7, 2016 by  
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Air pollution is known to cause respiratory problems, and a recent report gives us something new to worry about: researchers discovered large quantities of toxic nanoparticles in human brain tissue. Scientists are concerned the presence of these particles in the brain could possibly be linked Alzheimer’s disease. Professor David Allsop commented how inhaling air pollution through the nose leads the particles straight to the brain. From there they can spread “to other areas of the brain, including the hippocampus and cerebral cortex – regions affected in Alzheimer’s disease.” The study , published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , examined brain tissue from 37 different people and found copious quantities of an iron oxide called magnetite. Lancaster University professor Barbara Maher led the study, and she described her shock at the findings to The Guardian : “You are talking about millions of magnetite particles per gram of freeze-dried brain tissue – it is extraordinary,” The most unsettling thing about the presence of magnetite in the brain is its potential connection to Alzheimer’s disease, as previous research indicates a direct link between the element and the kind of structural damage seen in brains with the condition. The particles were also found to have a “rounded nanosphere” shape, which happens as a result of burning fuel . Related: Science confirms traffic jams are bad for your health While the findings are still very preliminary in terms of proving a link, the team hopes that further research will determine how strong the correlation between magnetite and Alzheimer’s disease actually is and that the work can influence future policies. Maher reminds the public, “[I]f there’s at least a possibility that exposure to traffic pollution is having even worse health impacts than were previously known, then take the steps you can to reduce your dose as far as you can.” Via The Guardian Images via Pexels , Flickr

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Researchers have successfully 3D-printed brain tissue for the first time

August 13, 2015 by  
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Studying the brain is, as one might imagine, a fairly complex task—and it’s not tremendously often that scientists get to study the brain in all its three-dimensional glory. Instead, neuroscientists often rely on in vitro brain cell or tissue samples from animals. But when it comes to understanding the complex nature of the brain and its 86 billion nerve cells, those flat lab samples have limitations. But breakthrough research from researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science ( ACES ) in Australia has created 3D-printed layered structure that incorporates neural cells to mimic the structure of brain tissue, and it could have major consequences in studying and treating conditions such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Read the rest of Researchers have successfully 3D-printed brain tissue for the first time

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Researchers have successfully 3D-printed brain tissue for the first time

Majestic church is transformed into a gorgeous modern family home in Chicago

August 13, 2015 by  
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Boost your productivity by getting a potted plant, say scientists

November 22, 2013 by  
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Research has shown that having a few plants around your office space or work space has a restorative effect on your brain.

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Gorgeous high-res map shows Earth’s wind patterns in amazing detail

November 22, 2013 by  
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The movement of air around the planet is fascinating, and has never been more clear thanks to this map. The modeling system used to make it can simulate worldwide weather at remarkable detail.

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Did Removing Lead From Gasoline Cause Violent Crime to Plummet?

January 18, 2013 by  
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Research in recent years has uncovered a strong connection between reductions in lead pollution and the decline in violent crime in the U.S. Writing in Mother Jones this month, Kevin Drum discusses the research of Rick Nevin , a consultant who began researching lead pollution during the 1990s for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Nevin’s research has shown that the rise and fall of atmospheric lead produced by leaded gas closely corresponds to a similar rise and fall of violent crime. Violent crime rates, writes Drum, “followed the same upside-down U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the ’60s through the ’80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early ’90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.” In a paper published in Environmental Research in May 2000, Nevin demonstrated, Drum says, that “if you add a lag time of 23 years, lead emissions from automobiles explain 90 percent of the variation in violent crime in America. Toddlers who ingested high levels of lead in the ’40s and ’50s really were more likely to become violent criminals in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.” In a 2007 Environmental Research paper , Nevin used worldwide data to support the same conclusion in country after country. In a working paper published in 2007 by the National Bureau of Economic Research , Jessica Wolpaw Reyes used state-by-state data to show that “the reduction in childhood lead exposure in the late 1970s and early 1980s is responsible for significant declines in violent crime in the 1990s” and that that reduction “may cause further declines into the future.” This year, a paper in Science Direct by researchers from Tulane and Colorado State universities established the same correlation in six U.S. cities. Drum writes, “Groups of children have been followed from the womb to adulthood, and higher childhood blood lead levels are consistently associated with higher adult arrest rates for violent crimes.” Violent crime used to be disproportionately high in large cities compared with small ones. Big cities typically have a lot of cars in a small area. In the post-World War II era, that meant high concentrations of lead in the atmosphere. But as atmospheric lead decreased, so did the disconnect in violent crime between large and small cities. Now the rates are similar. Neurological research has now proven the connection between lead and brain damage. Drum writes that “it turns out that childhood lead exposure at nearly any level can seriously and permanently reduce IQ.” According to the EPA , “there currently is no demonstrated safe concentration of lead in blood, and adverse health effects can occur at lower concentrations.” Research has shown that high lead exposure during childhood results in damage to the part of the brain that controls aggression. Even very small blood levels have been connected to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, writes Drum, lead is still a danger today. Much of the lead that was emitted during the postwar period persists in the soil and can be reintroduced into the atmosphere through dust. Also, many older buildings still contain old lead paint. Cleanup of lead from soil and old window frames (the most dangerous location) would cost about $20 billion yearly for the next 20 years, Drum estimates. That sounds like a lot, but he also estimates the benefits at up to $150 billion per year. + Rick Nevin Via Mother Jones Photo credits: Tailpipe by Ruben de Rijcke via Wikimedia Commons; Handcuffs by .v1ctor. via Flickr

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Scientists Crack Code That Would Allow Bionic Eyes to Send Signals to the Brain

August 16, 2012 by  
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Two researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have ‘cracked’ a mouse’s retina’s neural code and they believe that this information could be used to create a prosthetic device to restore sight to blind mice. The team have also done the same for a monkey retina — which is essentially identical to that of a human. In short, the researchers think that they can now design and create a bionic device that would allow the blind to see! Read the rest of Scientists Crack Code That Would Allow Bionic Eyes to Send Signals to the Brain Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bionic eyes , blind mice , blindness , neural code , prosthetic device , retina prosthetics , star trek , visor , weill cornell medical college

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Bill Nye Explains Irene’s Link to Climate Change, Battles Fox News (Video)

August 30, 2011 by  
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You’ve got to give Bill Nye an enormous amount of credit: He endures the brain-dead climate skepticism of Fox News anchors with level-headed aplomb. And while I’m still hard-up to explain Fox’s game i… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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