Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 19 Apr 2019
The World for People who Think

Science & Technology


Scientists predict the human brain could be connected to the internet in 'next few decades'

mind physics
© Getty Images
A new research study suggests that human brains could be merged with technology significantly sooner than many expect, perhaps "within decades."

Known as the "Human Brain/Cloud Interface" (B/CI), researchers at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California have suggested that nanorobots could be implanted into the human body and connect to a network in real-time.

"These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier, and precisely autoposition themselves among, or even within brain cells," the study's senior author, Robert Freitas, Jr., said in a statement. "They would then wirelessly transmit encoded information to and from a cloud-based supercomputer network for real-time brain-state monitoring and data extraction."

Comment: It seems lost on materialists that many of the phenomena they're chasing after can be explored in the human condition.


HeH+: Universe's first molecule finally detected in space


1 / 1
Within 100,000 years of the Big Bang the very first molecule emerged, an improbable marriage of helium and hydrogen known as a helium hydride ion, or HeH+
Within 100,000 years of the Big Bang the very first molecule emerged, an improbable marriage of helium and hydrogen known as a helium hydride ion, or HeH+

In the beginning, more than 13 billion years ago, the Universe was an undifferentiated soup of three simple, single-atom elements.

Stars would not form for another 100 million years.

But within 100,000 years of the Big Bang, the very first molecule emerged, an improbable marriage of helium and hydrogen known as a helium hydride ion, or HeH+.

Comment: See also: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Truth Perspective: Unlocking the Secrets of Consciousness, Hyperdimensional Attractors and Frog Brains


Researchers restore partial brain function in pig brains hours after death

Reanimated Pig
© Monika Skolimowska/Picture alliance via Getty Images
There is no threat of reanimated dead pigs terrifying passers-by, at least yet, but porcine brain function has been revived hours after death and decapitation.
Neuroscientists have succeeded in restoring partial function to the brains of decapitated pigs, hours after they were killed.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, researchers led by Zvonimir Vrselja from the Yale School of Medicine in the US report "the restoration and maintenance of microcirculation and molecular and cellular functions of the intact pig brain" up to four hours after death.

The findings, they write, "demonstrate that under appropriate conditions the isolated, intact large mammalian brain possesses an underappreciated capacity" for restoration. The results are at once extraordinary and, legal experts and bioethicists say, deeply concerning.

In effect, Vrselja and colleagues have created the world's first zombie pigs.

They did so by first making a fluid, dubbed BrainEx, which was fed into the vascular system of the brains of the pigs. The animals had earlier been slaughtered for meat production.

The fluid is haemoglobin-based, but contains no cells and does not coagulate. It is propelled through brain veins, arteries and capillaries in a way that mimics the pulsation of proper blood at standard body temperature.

The researchers say BrainEx promotes tissue recovery from anoxia - a lack of oxygen - reduces vascular injury, prevents fluid build-up and "metabolically supports the energy requirements of the brain".

Microscope 2

Testing Behe's Principle that Darwin Devolves

© Robin Davies, via University of Wisconsin-Madison
Did these three undergrads, working with postdoc Steven Bruckbauer, watch “evolution happen in real time”?
As Michael Behe has explained in these pages and in ID the Future podcasts, natural selection can appear to produce benefits to an organism, but at a cost. Most often, organisms carry on by breaking existing genes and proteins. This is the overriding message of his new book, Darwin Devolves. The tendency for existing complex functions to degrade in order to allow an organism to survive swamps any beneficial mutations that might arise de novo.

Occasionally, excited headline writers proclaim that scientists are watching evolution happen in real time. Let's scrutinize some of these claims to see what really happened. Did a new, innovative function arise by a beneficial mutation? Or did something break that provided a benefit in special circumstances?


Scientists to clone 'Ice Age foal' after finding liquid blood preserved inside its 42,000yo body

ice age foal
© North-Eastern Federal University
Liquid blood in Ice Age foal
Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said today: 'The autopsy shows beautifully preserved internal organs.

'Samples of liquid blood were taken from heart vessels - it was preserved in the liquid state for 42,000 years thanks to favourable burial conditions and permafrost.

'The muscle tissues preserved their natural reddish colour.

'We can now claim that this is the best preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world.'

Fireball 2

SpaceX contracted by NASA to attempt to 'redirect' asteroid

© Pixabay

Despite an admission last year that it may be impossible to stop the 8.8 ton asteroid
Bennu from annihilating life on Earth, the perennial optimists at NASA have nevertheless granted SpaceX a $69 million contract to assist in the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), intended to save Earth from interstellar armageddon. The test, tentatively scheduled for June 2021, will have Elon's Musketeers crashing a kinetic impactor - in this case, a spacecraft equipped with cameras and solar panels - into a small moonlet accompanying Didymos, an 800-meter-long near-Earth asteroid. NASA notes that the moonlet, dubbed "Didymoon" by scientists, "is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose a more common hazard to Earth" than its massive chaperone.

The goal, NASA says, is to launch the DART spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will then make its way to Didymos and Didymoon to attempt to alter the latter's trajectory in a rehearsal for what could one day be a high-stakes game of cosmic bumper cars. "By using solar electric propulsion," NASA says, "DART will intercept the asteroid Didymos' small moon in October 2022, when the asteroid will be within 11 million kilometers of Earth." Meanwhile, Earthlings will watch with bated breath.

"The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent," NASA promises, "enough to be measured using telescopes on Earth."


New device creates electricity from snowfall

Falling Snow
© Thom Holmes/Unsplash
UCLA researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

"The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteries," said senior author Richard Kaner, who holds UCLA's Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation. "It's a very clever device - a weather station that can tell you how much snow is falling, the direction the snow is falling, and the direction and speed of the wind."

The researchers call it a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or snow TENG. A triboelectric nanogenerator, which generates charge through static electricity, produces energy from the exchange of electrons.

Findings about the device are published in the journal Nano Energy.

"Static electricity occurs from the interaction of one material that captures electrons and another that gives up electrons," said Kaner, who is also a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of materials science and engineering, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. "You separate the charges and create electricity out of essentially nothing."


Bot-enabled interface between human brains and cloud storage is likely within decades

In not too many decades, where humans stop and the information superhighway begins will be impossible to determine.
Before the century is out, advances in nanotechnology, nanomedicine, AI, and computation will result in the development of a "Human Brain/Cloud Interface" (B/CI), that connects neurons and synapses in the brain to vast cloud-computing networks in real time.

That's the prediction of a large international team of neurosurgeons, roboticists, and nanotechnologists, writingin the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

A Human Brain/Cloud Interface, sometimes dubbed the "internet of thoughts", theoretically links brains and cloud-based data storage through the intercession of nanobots positioned at strategically useful neuronal junctions.

Instant access to information thus becomes possible without the need for external architecture such as computers and internet cables. Search and retrieval exercises will be initiated by thought patterns alone.

If ever fully realised the B/CI will far exceed the imaginative limits of early cyberpunk science fiction authors such as William Gibson, and lead to the realisation of many of the aims of the so-called post-human and cyborg movements.


Water that never freezes

lipid mesophase
© Peter Rüegg / ETH Zurich
Three-dimensional model of the novel lipid mesophase: This cubic motif is repeated regularly in the material.
Can water reach minus 263 degrees Celsius without turning into ice? Yes it can, say researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, if it is confined in nanometre-scale lipid channels.

Making ice cubes is a simple process: you take a plastic ice-cube tray like you'd find in most households, fill it with water and put it in the freezer. Before long, the water crystallises and turns to ice.

If you were to analyse the structure of ice crystals, you'd see that the water molecules are arranged in regular 3-dimensional lattice structures. In water, by contrast, the molecules are unorganised, which is the reason that water flows.

Glassy water

Led by Professors Raffaele Mezzenga and Ehud Landau, a group of physicists and chemists from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich have now identified an unusual way to prevent water from forming ice crystals, so even at extreme sub-zero temperatures it retains the amorphous characteristics of a liquid.


Elon Musk-linked scientists working on brain probes for DARPA

Musk brain probes
Last month a team of scientists affiliated with Elon Musk's Neuralink project published a paper identifying a new technique for inserting probes into brains. The study was published in a journal called BioRxiv, and according to Bloomberg, all five of its authors have been associated with Nueralink. It was noted at the end of the study that the research was funded through a DARPA Contract.

The team is developing this technique in hopes of building technology that is capable of monitoring brain activity. The study has been deemed "the 'sewing machine' for minimally invasive neural recording," since the technique works sort of like a sewing machine.

"Here, we demonstrate the feasibility and scalability of this approach with a system incorporating fine and flexible thin-film polymer probes, a fine and stiff insertion needle, and a robotic insertion machine. Together the system permits rapid and precise implantation of probes, each individually targeted to avoid observable vasculature and to attain diverse anatomical targets," the study says.

Comment: See also: