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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Science & Technology

Cell Phone

Expert hacker shows how easy it is to hack wireless tech

© Hannah McKay / Reuters
Think your wireless and other technology is safe? Think again. From Blue Tooth to automobile remotes, PCs, and "secure" credit cards, this Hacker shows how nearly every secure system is vulnerable.


'Antibiotic apocalypse': Drug-resistant gene has spread around the world within 2 years

© Aly Song / Reuters
The life-saving antibiotic of "last resort" is in danger of becoming powerless after a drug-resistant gene was found to have spread across the globe in the last two years. Scientists believe it's one of the greatest dangers now facing humanity.

A bacteria containing a gene which carries resistance to the antibiotic colistin has spread around the world at an alarming rate. The gene is mcr-1 and was first discovered in China in 2015, and has since been found in more than 30 other countries.

Colistin is known as the antibiotic of "last resort," because it is used when patients no longer respond to other antibiotics. It has toxic side effects but doctors are increasingly using it as a result of antibiotic resistance.

"The world is facing an antibiotic apocalypse," England's chief medical officer Sally Davies said, the Guardian reports.

Comment: See also: Top unnecessary medical treatments - according to scientists


Thunderbolts Space News: 'Dirty snowballs' falsified - NASA fails to notice

© YouTube/Thunderbolts Project (screen capture)
Today, we explore stunning new developments in comet science that provide remarkable affirmation of the electric comet theory. Scientists using the Hubble telescope recently spotted the most distant active comet ever observed, at the incredible distance of 1.5 billion miles away, or about 16 Astronomical Units. In the same week, the ESA released over 1000 images of the comet 67P nucleus, imaged by the Rosetta probe. On the comet surface, we see undeniably planetary features, including stratified rock. In this episode, we explain why these amazing discoveries are completely expected in the Electric Universe.

Comment: For more information on comets, the Electric Universe model and much more, see Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk's book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection. See also:

Comet 2

Comet 01-ASAS-SN brightens unexpectedly

© ASAS-SN/Twitter
There are countless chunks of icy debris swirling around the Oort cloud on the outskirts of the Solar System. But it's always exciting when one of those comes in our direction for a rare flyby.

In July, astronomers discovered a brand new comet zooming through the inner regions of our space bubble. Since that time it's been steadily getting brighter, and now is about the best time to finally catch a glimpse of it in the night sky.

The comet C/2017 O1 ASAS-SN was first detected on 19 July by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, the same system that brought us new discoveries about the mysterious Tabby's star, massive space explosions, and stars shredded by black holes.

Now, for the first time, the survey has discovered a comet which Northern Hemisphere stargazers can readily spot in the sky with the help of a backyard telescope or even just binoculars.

Comet O1 ASAS-SN is a long-period comet, and it probably takes at least several thousand years to cruise around the Sun and come back - so being able to spot it right now is a wonderful treat.


HIV gene therapy could literally end fatal brain disease

© PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay
Gene therapy could save the lives of patients with ALD.

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare disorder caused by a gene mutation. Children who inherited this gene took part in a new study testing the effectiveness of a new gene therapy that gets some surprising help from HIV.

ALD causes nerve cells in the brain to die. Children with the disorder typically begin to show symptoms at age 7 and afterward stop being able to both walk, talk, eat, see, hear, or even think. After diagnosis, most don't survive more than 5 years. Previous treatment methods include a bone-marrow transplant, which is only possible with a compatible donor, or a cord blood transplant, which is only possible if it was saved at birth. It is significant and promising, then, that for the first time ever, the disease was suppressed using gene therapy.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, included 17 boys between the ages of 4 and 13, as one in every 20,000 boys inherits the disease, and two years after gene therapy, 15 of the boys were functioning without any obvious ALD symptoms.


Is asking whether we live in a simulation scientific?

© Desconocido
Late last month, Science Advances published a study by Zohar Ringel from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Dmitry Kovrizhin of the University of Oxford disproving the idea that humanity exists in a simulated universe inside the hard drive of an uber-advanced super/quantum computer belonging to some being from the future - extraterrestrial or otherwise.

Both Ringel and Kovrizhin have since come out to say they were surprised by the headlines generated by their study on simulation theory because, as Ringel told New Scientist, whether or not we live in a computer simulation is not even a scientific question.

Although versions of it existed earlier, simulation theory was made popular in 2003 by Oxford philosopher Nicholas Bostrom. That year, he published a paper that basically proposed the idea that an extremely powerful computer could model the entire mental history of humankind.

Airplane Paper

Some types of UFOs and mysterious booms may be the secret SR-72

© Lockheed Martin
Have you seen a UFO streaking across the sky far faster than any normal jet is capable of? Heard mysterious booms that no one can explain and government officials refuse to acknowledge? Congratulations! You may be one of the first civilians to have witnessed or experienced the long-rumored SR-72 'Son of Blackbird' spy plane which has been expected for years as the replacement for the legendary SR-71 Blackbird which spied on the Soviet Union, North Korea and North Vietnam and was feared and respected by MiG-25 pilots who could never outpace, out-climb or out-maneuver them.

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report has confirmed sightings of an SR-72 demonstrator or prototype accompanied by two T-38 jets in late July landing at the U.S. Air Force's Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, home of the infamous Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs division. At the SAE International Aerotech Congress and Exhibition in Ft. Worth, Texas, this week, Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, would not discuss the SR-72 specifically, but had this to say about what its capabilities might be:

"Hypersonics is like stealth. It is a disruptive technology and will enable various platforms to operate at two to three times the speed of the Blackbird. Operational survivability and lethality is the ultimate deterrent. Security classification guidance will only allow us to say the speed is greater than Mach 5."


The Vika: Mythical monster rat found in the Solomon Islands

© Tyrone Lavery
Vika rat
A favorite tale among residents of the Solomon Islands is the legend of the mythical monster rat known as Vika, who can climb trees, break open rock-shelled nuts with its teeth and cause cats to die in fright with just a look. That last legend is mine, but the rest are no longer scary campfire tales - the mythical Vika has been discovered alive and well on Vangunu Island.
"When I first met with the people from Vangunu Island in the Solomons, they told me about a rat native to the island that they called vika, which lived in the trees."
Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery reports in the Journal of Mammalology first came to the Solomon Islands in 2010 to look for new species in this isolated country of 900 islands east of Papua New Guinea and best known to most people for the World War II naval battles fought there, especially on Guadalcanal. Lavery immediately heard rumors of a giant tree-climbing nut-cracking rat but he doubted its existence, thinking at first that the native people were making up stories about common black rats.

"If you're looking for something that can live in 30-foot-tall trees, then there's a whole new dimension that you need to search."

For more of this article, go here.


Uncovering deep sleep's role in visual learning

A new study looks into the mechanism behind sleep-dependent neuroplasticity in the process of assimilating new visual information.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have conducted a study in mice to investigate how deep sleep influences visual learning. Brain activity during this phase of sleep is crucial to consolidating new visual information, they found.

An important part of how we relate to the world is perceptual learning, which refers to our ability to "make sense" of various stimuli - visual, auditory, or related to taste, smell, and touch - through repeated exposure to them.

Perceptual learning improves the way in which we relate to stimuli, helping us to unpick ambiguous ones. Research had already shown that for consolidating perceptual learning, immersion in slow-wave - or non-rapid eye movement (NREM) - sleep is required.


Stephen Hawkins vs METI: Is it safe to call Aliens?

© NASA/Paul. E. Alers
Calling All Aliens

As autumn brings with it cooler temperatures and clearer night skies, Douglas Vakoch, president of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), wants you to take the opportunity to survey the glory of our galaxy - and to contemplate the existence of alien life.

"You look at the night sky - virtually all of those stars have planets," Rosenberg said in an exclusive interview with Futurism. "Maybe one out of five has it at just the right zone where there's liquid water. And so we know there are a lot of places that there could be life. Now the big question is, are they actually trying to make contact, or do they want us to try?"