In Don DeLillo’s New Novel Zero K, Cryonics Doesn’t Just Preserve—It Destroys

Wired News - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 3:00pm
Zero K, out this week, is beautiful—but it sees in the advent of cryonic technology a chilling effect that dooms art, happiness, and humanity itself. The post In Don DeLillo's New Novel Zero K, Cryonics Doesn't Just Preserve—It Destroys appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal

Slashdot - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 2:40pm
Anna Hirtenstein, reporting for Bloomberg: Solar power set another record-low price as renewable energy developers working in the United Arab Emirates shrugged off financial turmoil in the industry to promise projects costs that undercut even coal-fired generators. Developers bid as little as 2.99 cents a kilowatt-hour to develop 800 megawatts of solar-power projects for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the utility for the Persian Gulf emirate. That's 15 percent lower than the previous record set in Mexico last month, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The lowest priced solar power has plunged almost 50 percent in the past year. Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power International set a record in January 2015 by offering to build a portion of the same Dubai solar park for power priced at 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. Records were subsequently set in Peru and Mexico before Dubai reclaimed its mantel as purveyor of the world's cheapest solar power. "This bid tells us that some bidders are willing to risk a lot for the prestige of being the cheapest solar developer," said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF. "Nobody knows how it's meant to work."

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The ‘WTF Is That’ Bot Tells You What’s in Your Photos. Well, Sometimes

Wired News - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 2:00pm
When it's right, the WTF Is That bot for Facebook Messenger is impressive. When it's wrong, it's hilarious. The post The 'WTF Is That' Bot Tells You What's in Your Photos. Well, Sometimes appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

This Star Wars Day Is Better Than Every Other Star Wars Day

Wired News - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 2:00pm
We have new Star Wars movies now—and they're great!—and an ever-expanding world of fandom to enjoy. That's why this should be the best May the Fourth ever. The post This Star Wars Day Is Better Than Every Other Star Wars Day appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Life's Too Short For Slow Computers

Slashdot - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 2:00pm
Nilay Patel, the Editor-in-Chief of The Verge looks back the Apple Watch, the company's first wearable device which went on sale roughly a year ago. In the article, Patel notes that Apple Watch, a computing product, is just too slow at doing some of the most basic things such as running apps. He writes: Here's the problem with the Apple Watch: it's slow. It was slow when it was first announced, it was slow when it came out, and it stayed slow when Watch OS 2.0 arrived. When I reviewed it last year, the slowness was so immediately annoying that I got on the phone with Apple to double check their performance expectations before making "it's kind of slow" the opening of the review. [...] The grand ambition of the Apple Watch is to be a full-fledged computer on your wrist, and right now it's a very slow computer. If Apple believes the watch is indeed destined to become that computer, it needs to radically increase the raw power of the Watch's processor, while maintaining its just-almost-acceptable battery life. And it needs to do that while all of the other computers around us keep getting faster themselves.

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Rising carbon dioxide levels will help and hurt crops

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:29pm
Elevated carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may increase water-use efficiency in crops and considerably mitigate yield losses due to climate change, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

'Eve' and descendants shape global sperm whale population structure

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:29pm
Although sperm whales have not been driven to the brink of extinction as have some other whales, a new study has found a remarkable lack of diversity in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA within the species.
Categories: Science

Parkinson's disease pathogenesis reduced in rat model by a cell-signaling inhibitor drug

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:29pm
Researchers report the first documentation that suppressing a key cell-signaling pathway in a rat model of Parkinson's disease reduces pathogenesis. Oral administration of AZD1480 -- one of the JAK/STAT pathway inhibitors generally known as Jakinibs -- lessened the destructive inflammation and nerve cell degradation in the area of the brain affected by Parkinson's.
Categories: Science

Sparing livers: Curing hepatitis C will create transplant opportunities for patients with other illnesses

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:29pm
Recently developed cures for hepatitis C virus will create new opportunities for people with other liver diseases to receive transplanted livers, say researchers.
Categories: Science

Why we steer the way we do

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:29pm
The way we drive could help us understand how animals make their way, new research has found. The work sheds light on how our brains process what we see when at the wheel, as well as giving important insights into why animals take particular paths of travel.
Categories: Science

Survival of the oldest: Why do some species make it when some don't?

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
The oldest surviving species of vertebrates, such as the cane toad and the California sea lion, which have endured past extreme environmental events, will be more likely to adapt to future climate changes than younger species, such as the European hamster, according to a study. These species include those with various color morphs; those which give birth to live young; and/or which live at low latitudes.
Categories: Science

Perceived diversity in neighborhoods is related to more prejudice, study finds

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
People who think they live in diverse neighborhoods are less likely to be accepting of minority ethnic groups, an international research project has found.
Categories: Science

Aggregated protein in nerve cells can cause ALS

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
Persons with the serious disorder ALS, can have a genetic mutation that causes the protein SOD1 to aggregate in motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers at have discovered that, when injected into mice, the SOD1 aggregation spreads rapidly leading to ALS.
Categories: Science

Compact, efficient single photon source that operates at ambient temperatures on a chip

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
Scientists have demonstrated a compact, efficient single photon source that can operate on a chip at ambient temperatures. A highly directional single photon source could lead to compact, cheap, and efficient sources of quantum information bits for future quantum technological applications. The team is working on a new generation of devices to allow production of single photons straight from the chip into optical fibers, without any additional optical components.
Categories: Science

Similarities in species diversity, range in both terrestrial birds, marine bivalves

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
An unusual new study shows that while terrestrial birds and marine bivalves -- animals such as scallops, mussels, cockles, and oysters -- share a common pattern of species richness across latitudes, they arrive there quite differently.
Categories: Science

Faster, cheaper way to produce new antibiotics

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
A novel way of synthesizing a promising new antibiotic has been identified by scientists. By expressing the genes involved in the production of pleuromutilin in a different type of fungus, the researchers were able to increase production by more than 2,000 per cent.
Categories: Science

Expectations can minimize unethical behavior in the powerful

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
Recent research offers new ideas for curbing unethical behavior by those with power -- it all depends on how people in power think about their power. In a series of three experiments, the authors demonstrated that activating prescriptive expectation, or what others believe people should do, leads the powerful to cheat less than the powerless.
Categories: Science

Coastal birds rely on tides and moon phases

Science Daily - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:26pm
Coastal wading birds shape their lives around the tides, and new research shows that different species respond differently to shifting patterns of high and low water according to their size and daily schedules, even following prey cycles tied to the phases of the moon.
Categories: Science

Gliese 581g: Potentially Habitable Planet — If It Exists

Space.com - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:22pm
Gliese 581g is an extra-solar planet that was discovered in 2010, but quickly cast into doubt by other studies. The original discoverers then published a follow-up paper in 2012 defending their find.
Categories: Science

IBM Gives Everyone Access To Its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer

Slashdot - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 1:01pm
An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background -- specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.

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Categories: Science