Scientists: What if black holes had a safe zone where little planets could live? Let’s call them blanets

Every once in a while the scientific community comes up with a discovery so important that it immediately changes the course of human evolution. I’m talking of course about the invention of the word blanet. I think we can all agree that it is the cutest word science has ever created. However, if you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed to know that a blanet is in fact not a tiny little planet covered in soft comfy blankets – it would have had a pillow moon as well. Blanets are actually a theoretical class of planetary bodies proposed by astrophysicists that… This story continues at The Next Web...
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The kids aren’t alright

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, I took a walk on the beach this morning before work. Everyone has a story about what they were going to do in 2020 if COVID-19 hadn’t shown up. Back in late January, when things started going sour, the year was young and full of potential.  We moved to a bungalow right on the beach at the end of February. For a few brief weeks the entire Pacific Ocean was… This story continues at The Next Web...
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How interplanetary migration could impact human evolution

The future of human evolution in space will be driven by challenges both similar — and different — to those that have guided our development for countless generations. Since our species, Homo sapiens, first evolved in Africa roughly 315,000 years ago, we haven’t changed much when it comes to physical characteristics. Globally, our species seen a decrease in the overall body size and brain size, together with reductions in the proportions of our jaws and teeth. Regional populations also show differing physical characteristics, due to climate and lifestyle. “We are now generally shorter, lighter and smaller boned than our ancestors… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Sperm have fooled scientists for 350 years — they spin not swim

Sperm is critical for the fertilization of almost every living organism on our planet, including humans. To reproduce, human sperm have to swim a distance equivalent to climbing Mount Everest to find the egg. They complete this epic journey simply by wiggling their tail, moving fluid to swim forwards. Though over 50 million sperm will fail to reach the egg – the equivalent to more than six times the entire population of London or New York – it only takes one single sperm in order to fertilize an egg that will eventually become a human being. Sperm was first discovered… This story continues at The Next Web...
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How thermal cameras can play a key role in slowing down the coronavirus spread

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the world has rushed to deploy infrared thermal imaging cameras (also known as infrared radiometers) to measure people’s temperature and the technology has become big business. Since the pandemic began, thermal cameras have been deployed in areas of high-density foot traffic such as airports, shopping centers, nursing homes, factories, office buildings, schools, even hairdressers. This is raising questions about their safety and accuracy. And while the accuracy of these devices depends on how they are used, we can say for certain that the technology poses no harm to people and is perfectly safe. How… This story continues at The Next Web...
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The Perseverance rover is our best bet for finding life on Mars

Next spring is going to be a busy time for Mars. In close succession, three spacecraft will arrive at the planet, joining the dozen or so craft already circling Mars. Two of the spacecraft were launched in the past couple of weeks by newcomers to martian exploration: the United Arab Emirates’ Al-Amal (meaning Hope) and China’s Tianwen-1 (which means Question to Heaven). The third vessel will be NASA’s Mars 2020, containing the Perseverance rover, which just took off successfully from Florida. While this rover will be just one of many on the red planet, it is our best bet for… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Quantum physicists say time travelers don’t have to worry about the butterfly effect

What if I told you all your favorite time-travel films and books were actually created by big tech in order to wrest control of the time-travel industry from the proletariat? Think about it. Back to the Future, The Terminator, The Time Machine, all of these stories share a central theme where traveling through time is a dangerous proposition that could destroy the very fabric of our reality. It’s called the butterfly effect. The big idea is that you’d step out of your time travel machine and accidentally step on a bug. Because this bug doesn’t exist… maybe a frog goes… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Researchers use neuromorphic chips and electronic ‘skin’ to give robots a sense of touch

We take our sense of touch for granted. Simple tasks like opening a jar or tying our shoelaces would be a whole lot more complex if we couldn’t feel the object with our hands. Robots typically struggle to replicate this sense, restricting their ability to manipulate objects. But researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) might have found a solution: pairing artificial skin with a neuromorphic “brain.”  The system was developed by a team led by Assistant Professors Benjamin Tee, an electronic skin expert, and Harold Soh, an AI specialist. Together, the duo has created a robotic perception system that combines touch and sight.… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Scientists modified a strain of cannabis to kill cancer cells

It’s well-documented that chemical compounds found in cannabis, especially cannabidiol (CBD), are effective at treating the symptoms of many forms of cancer. But now there’s evidence that it could potentially cure the disease by attacking cancer cells. Cancer researcher Matt Dun, of the University of Newcastle in Australia, recently finished a three-year long study indicating a specific modified strain of cannabis is destructive to certain types of cancer cells while remaining harmless to the human body’s own cells. According to a press release from the University of Newcastle: Laboratory tests conducted at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Blame the neanderthals

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, Sorry we’re late today. My toddler has a stomach bug and we’re out of toilet paper. I had to print out a bunch of copies of Breitbart’s home page to handle the mess. Why the unsolicited jab at Steve Bannon’s propaganda outlet? Because it published a video last night spreading purposely harmful COVID-19 misinformation from a group of medical “experts” called America’s Frontline Doctors composed of several anti-vaxxers and at least one… This story continues at The Next Web...
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