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July 17th, 2018 at 9:57 am

These anti-aging pills seem to be actually working

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Pills hailed as the first real “anti-aging” drugs inched a little closer to the market after a study found they cut the number of respiratory infections in the elderly by half.

The drugs: The pills act on an aging-related pathway called TORC1. Inhibiting this pathway “has extended life span in every species studies to date,” according to Joan Mannick, who led the study for drug giant Novartis. Those species include mice and worms.

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July 17th, 2018 at 9:49 am

Robots will lead to more human trafficking, slavery, report says

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Tens of millions of workers could lose their jobs to automation, particularly in southeast Asia, over the next 20 years.

Garment workers among those most at risk of losing their jobs, finding few low-skill alternatives and facing exploitation, according to the Verisk Maplecroft report.

The rise of robot manufacturing will dramatically alter the labor market in southeast Asia and result in a spike in human trafficking, slavery and other labor abuses, according to a report released Thursday.

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July 17th, 2018 at 9:39 am

How artificial intelligence could kill capitalism

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If you believe the hype, then Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to change the world in dramatic ways soon. Nay-sayers claim it will lead to, at best, rising unemployment and civil unrest, and at worst, the eradication of humanity. Advocates, on the other hand, are telling us to look forward to a future of leisure and creativity as robots take care of the drudgery and routine.

A third camp – probably the largest – are happy to admit that the forces of change which are at work are too complicated to predict and, for the moment, everything is up in the air. Previous large-scale changes to the way we work (past industrial revolutions) may have been disruptive in the short-term. However, in the long term what happened was a transfer of labor from countryside to cities, and no lasting downfall of society.

However, as author Calum Chace points out in his latest book ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Two Singularities’ this time there’s one big difference. Previous industrial revolutions involved replacing human mechanical skills with tools and machinery. This time it’s our mental functions which are being replaced – particularly our ability to make predictions and decisions. This is something which has never happened before in human history, and no one exactly knows what to expect.

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July 16th, 2018 at 9:38 am

The first Fortnite World Cup with $100 million in prize money is happening in 2019

Qualifiers start later this year, and anyone can participate.

Epic Games announced more details about its e-sports plans for Fortnite, revealing today during its live celebrity-streamer ProAm tournament in Los Angeles during E3 that the competitions will all be part of what’s called the Fortnite World Cup. The prize pool, first announced earlier this year, will be $100 million. It will be spread out over a number of different “organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world,” reads the developer’s blog post.

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July 16th, 2018 at 9:29 am

CERN chip enables first 3D color X-ray images of the human body

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Using CERN technology, Mars Bioimaging has created the first 3D, color X-ray images of the human body.

Medical X-ray scans have long been stuck in the black-and-white, silent-movie era. Sure, the contrast helps doctors spot breaks and fractures in bones, but more detail could help pinpoint other problems. Now, a company from New Zealand has developed a bioimaging scanner that can produce full color, three dimensional images of bones, lipids, and soft tissue, thanks to a sensor chip developed at CERN for use in the Large Hadron Collider.

Mars Bioimaging, the company behind the new scanner, describes the leap as similar to that of black-and-white to color photography. In traditional CT scans, X-rays are beamed through tissue and their intensity is measured on the other side. Since denser materials like bone attenuate (weaken the energy) of X-rays more than soft tissue does, their shape becomes clear as a flat, monochrome image.

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July 16th, 2018 at 9:14 am

Endangered Languages: Why do they face extinction?

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Portrait of a Warrior Asmat tribe in traditional headdress.

By definition, endangered languages are those that are facing extinction in the future. Several languages are not being used and are replaced by languages that are widely spoken in various countries and regions. If the trends are not reversed, the next century will see a few more of them becoming extinct.

Many older languages only have very few speakers since they are no longer taught or learned by younger people. When the last speakers of endangered languages die, the languages die with them, unless there are efforts to revive the language.

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July 15th, 2018 at 11:05 am

Flying trains could be coming your way

French firm has designed an airplane with removable wings.

It’s presenting plane to Boeing, Asia to cut Europe dependence.

It sounds like something Q, the tech guy in James Bond movies, would create: A plane that lands on a runway, shrugs its wings off, turns into a train and rolls on to rails to drop you off at your local station.

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July 15th, 2018 at 8:58 am

The history of a city, as told through its trash

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Today’s garbage is tomorrow’s archaeology.

Humans have been tossing stuff into rivers for thousands of years, whether it’s trash, wished-upon coins, lost items, or dramatically dumped, once-significant objects. That makes the river bed into a microcosm of human history and the development of cities–and a rich source for archaeologists.

A 15-year project to excavate two locations in Amsterdam’s river Amstel, one in the city center and one at the river’s mouth, is currently reaching its conclusion. Prompted by a complex civil engineering project–a north-south metro line that goes underneath the river–archaeologists got the go-ahead to dig two immense holes, each about 100 feet deep, and excavate whatever they could. The fruits of the project, called Below the Surface, are now online, with an interactive photo catalog designed by Netherlands-based firm Fabrique showcasing 20,000 objects uncovered beneath the project. The items range from 1980s cell phones, contemporary ID cards, and a plastic camera film case, to centuries-old coins, pottery, and fishhooks. And that’s just a small fraction of the 700,000 items they found in these two small cross-sections of the riverbed.

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July 15th, 2018 at 8:39 am

Which 7 countries hold half the world’s population?

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People at a water park in China, which is home to the world’s largest population. Half of the world’s population lives in just seven countries. (VCG via Getty Images)

As of this month, the world’s population is 7.63 billion, according to the United Nations, which celebrates World Population Day today. More than half of all people around the globe (3.97 billion) live in just seven countries, according to the UN’s estimates. China has the world’s largest population (1.42 billion), followed by India (1.35 billion). The next five most populous nations – the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Nigeria – together have fewer people than India.

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July 14th, 2018 at 10:10 am

Kroger to bring driverless cars to grocery delivery

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Kroger is partnering with autonomous car company Nuro to introduce driverless cars to its grocery delivery.

Kroger has made a number of investments toward expanding its digital and online delivery business.

“Last mile delivery” is one of the hardest feats in the delivery of fresh food.

Kroger announced plans Thursday to partner with driverless car company Nuro to deliver groceries using its autonomous vehicles.

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