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Battle Against Dementia – Clearing Zombie Brain Cells

Zombie cells, aka senescent cells, have been found to accumulate in the brain ahead of the...
Zombie cells, aka senescent cells, have been found to accumulate in the brain ahead of the toxic protein build-ups that are generally implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia(Credit: Mayo Clinic)

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have identified a new target in the battle against dementia and age-related cognitive decline – zombie cells. More formally known as senescent cells, these are cells that have stopped dividing but don’t die, and tend to accumulate with age. The new research reveals that many pathological signs of neurodegenerative disease can be eliminated by removing these cells from the brain. read more

Is Nuclear Pasta the Strongest Material?

Computer simulations have found that "nuclear pasta" – strange material found inside neutron stars – may...
Computer simulations have found that “nuclear pasta” – strange material found inside neutron stars – may just be the strongest material in the universe(Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

Forget steel, forget diamond and even forget everyone’s favorite wonder material graphene – “nuclear pasta” may be the strongest material in the universe. This strange substance is formed in the intense pressures inside neutron stars, and researchers have now run computer simulations to test just how strong it is. read more

OPod Tube House

The OPod Tube House comprises a total floorspace of 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m)
The OPod Tube House comprises a total floorspace of 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m)(Credit: James Law Cybertecture)

Here’s one of the more unusual housing ideas we’ve come across in a while. The OPod Tube House, by James Law Cybertecture, is a micro house made from concrete water piping that measures just 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in diameter. Its snug interior features an apartment-style layout suitable for one or two people. read more

Archaeologists Discover Oldest Beer

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of beer-brewing dating back around 13,000 years – making it the oldest...

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of beer-brewing dating back around 13,000 years – making it the oldest evidence of manmade alcohol(Credit:https://depositphotos.com/5703…belchonock/Depositphotos)

Beer was one of the very first drinks humans ever produced – and it may be much older than we previously thought. The brew is generally thought to be about 7,000 years old, but now archaeologists have found clues that could date beer-making to almost twice that age, meaning it predates agriculture and represents the oldest record of man-made alcohol. read more

Urwerk’s New Watch Design

The Urwerk UR111C showing its linear display
The Urwerk UR111C showing its linear display(Credit: Urwerk)

Urwerk can always be counted on to surprise, and its latest UR111C wristwatch is absolutely true to form. Designed by co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, the self-winding UR111C does pretty well everything it can to subvert the traditional wristwatch form, including an analog/digital readout that sits to the side of the case rather than on the face. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Are Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems a Good Idea?

Salon Eurosatory 2018

GETTY IMAGESCHRISTOPHE MORIN/IP3

As the power of artificial intelligence grows, the likelihood of a future war filled with killer robots grows as well. Proponents suggest that lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWs) might cause less “collateral damage,” while critics warn that giving machines the power of life and death would be a terrible mistake.

Last month’s UN meeting on ‘killer robots’ in Geneva ended with victory for the machines, as a small number of countries blocked progress towards an international ban. Some opponents of such a ban, like Russia and Israel, were to be expected since both nations already have advanced military AI programs. But surprisingly, the U.S. also agreed with them. read more

BMW Driverless Motorcycle

The self-driving BMW makes its way around the track
The self-driving BMW makes its way around the track(Credit: BMW Motorrad)

Yamaha’s Motobot is not alone, it seems. Behind closed doors, BMW has also been working on autonomous motorcycle technology for the last couple of years. And yesterday, BMW Motorrad released footage of a self-driving R1200GS negotiating its own way around a test track. read more

Ultrasound Blood Pressure Patch

The ultrasound patch's island-bridge structure allows it to be deformed without damage to the electronics
The ultrasound patch’s island-bridge structure allows it to be deformed without damage to the electronics(Credit: Chonghe Wang/Nature Biomedical Engineering)

Earlier this year, we heard how scientists from the University of California San Diego had developed a flexible ultrasound patch that allows users to see the inner structure of irregular-shaped objects. Well, now they’ve made one that measures a patient’s blood pressure from deep within the body. read more