December 05, 2015

ISIS is not contained but is one thousandth of the overall US murder rate

The United States has "not contained" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the nation's top military officer said Tuesday, contradicting President Obama's remarks last month about the terror group.

"We have not contained" ISIS, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

The comment runs counter to what the president said days before ISIS launched a string of attacks across Paris...

and then ISIS affiliates attack Mali ... and then the two who swore allegiance to ISIS who attacked San Bernadino, California.

George W Bush was not a good President but ISIS is contained ?

Academic experts fear that American support for radical Islamism has reached “unprecedented” levels, even while it stays well below the support for the extremists seen in other countries.

Academics at George Washington University’s program on extremism found that the types of Americans drawn to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) vary widely in terms of race, age, education and family background. Yet they are largely all united by their use of social media, which ISIS has been able to master as its reach has grown.

According to the GWU data, 71 Americans have been arrested for crimes linked to the extremist group since March 2014. Of those, 86 percent were male, 27 percent were involved in plots to launch attacks on U.S. soil and the average age was 26. Roughly half attempted to travel abroad or succeeded in doing so, and the vast majority were U.S. citizens or permanent residents. More than half were arrested in a sting operation involving an undercover agent or an informant.

The US ISIS levels are not as high as in many other Western countries. ISIS-related mobilization in the United States has been unprecedented. As of the fall of 2015, U.S. authorities speak of some 250 Americans who have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria/Iraq to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and 900 active investigations against ISIS sympathizers in all 50 states.

ISIS still only one thousandth of the overall murders in the USA

In 2014, the estimated number of murders in the USA was 14,249. This was a 0.5 percent decrease from the 2013 estimate, a 3.2 percent decrease from the 2010 figure, and a 14.9 percent drop from the number in 2005.

$1000 whole genome sequencing with interpretation and analysis

Veritas Genetics announced that the company is making it possible for participants in the Personal Genome Project (PGP) to be among the first to get their whole genome sequenced and interpreted for less than a $1,000.

Led by Veritas Genetics Co-Founder Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Personal Genome Project, PGP is a long-term effort to sequence thousands of complete genomes to enable research into personal genomics and personalized medicine. PGP has more than 16,000 participants worldwide.

The "$1,000 Genome" has long been considered the tipping point when sequencing and interpreting the human genome becomes commonplace and begins to rapidly increase what is known and to dramatically impact healthcare. The catchphrase underscores how far science has come since the actual cost of the Human Genome Project, estimated at $2.7 billion spent over a decade.

China will be at half US defense spending in 2020 and equal annual spending in 2030

China’s defense budget is expected to almost double by the close of this decade. In 2010, China spent an estimated $134 billion on defense. By 2020, that figure is forecast to almost double to $260 billion. Across this decade, China is expected to spend almost $2 trillion on defense.

China is now the third largest importer of defense equipment. “In 2014, China rose from fifth to third place, overtaking the UAE and Taiwan, in the global list of top defense spenders,” said Ben Moores, senior analyst at IHS Jane’s.

Assuming similar growth in defense spending China will match US defense spending in 2030.

360 degree Videos that change viewing angle as you move your smartphone

Google’s Youtbue streaming video service serves up videos that let you look in any direction

Clash of clans has a 360 video which changes viewing orientation as you move your smartphone.

China's Navy will soon have two domestic aircraft carriers to go with current modern fighters and submarines

Here is a Congressional report on China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities.

China is building two aircraft carriers in the 60,000-70,000 ton class.

Currently, the submarine force consists of five nuclear attack submarines, four nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and 53 diesel attack submarines. In reference to the submarine force, the term “modern” applies to second generation submarines, capable of employing anti-ship cruise missiles or submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles. By 2015 approximately 70 percent of China’s entire submarine force will be modern. By 2020, 75 percent of the conventional force will be modern and 100 percent of the SSN force will be modern.

Naval Mines

China has a robust mining capability and currently maintains a varied inventory estimated at over 50,000 mines. China also has developed a robust infrastructure for naval mine related research, development, testing, evaluation, and production. China has a robust mine inventory consisting of a large variety of mine types including moored, bottom, drifting, rocket propelled and intelligent mines. China will continue to develop more advanced mines in the future, possibly including extended-range propelled-warhead mines, anti-helicopter mines, and bottom influence mines equipped to counter minesweeping efforts.

Over the next decade, China will complete its transition from a coastal navy to a navy capable of multiple missions around the world. Current acquisition patterns, training, and operations provide a window into how the PLA(N) might pursue these objectives. Given the pace of PLA(N) modernization, the gap in military capability between the mainland and Taiwan will continue to widen in China’s favor over the coming years.

Potential 40,000 ton Type 081 Amphibious Ship for China

The U.S. Navy has about a dozen 45,000 ton LHD/LHA-type amphibious assault ships.

Users of Botox and HGH will be early adopters of antiaging Metformin, Rapamycin and gene therapy in attempt to look good for a longer time

Many hollywood stars turn to injectable HGH (human growth hormone) and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) amid the ever-competitive world of looking great at any age.

With its fountain-of-youth promise, HGH quietly has become the substance of choice for Tinseltown denizens looking to quickly burn fat, boost energy and even improve complexion. The drug costs up to $3,000 a month. Taken along with steroids ($50 to $150 per month), to help build muscle, the results can be startling.

Hollywood trainer Happy Hill, who has helped sculpt Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Phillippe, estimates that some 20 percent of actors use PEDs to bulk up and define.

In 2007, Sylvester Stallone was busted for bringing 48 vials of HGH into Australia. Tyler Perry and 50 Cent were among a group of celebrities whose names surfaced in connection with a steroid investigation in New York in 2008. The Albany Times Union reported that Perry and 50 Cent allegedly ordered performance-enhancing drugs from doctors and pharmacists who were targeted in a statewide probe.

A 2012 study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that teens are using steroids and muscle-enhancing substances at higher rates than previously thought. Nearly 6 percent of boys in the survey reported using steroids, while the rate among girls was 4.6 percent.

Botox is a $2.5 billion a year industry. There are over 4 million botox patients worldwide.

Stallone has credited a combination of prescription testosterone and HGH with adding 41-pounds

Antiaging could deliver more youthful appearance and actual increased youth

In 2013, longevity studies showed that
* Metformin increases lifespan in Mice by 5.83% when started in middle age mice
* Reveratrol improves health but is not showing a significant increase in lifespan
* Rapamycin suppresses cancer tumors, Rapamycin life extension is because the mice do not die early from cancer

Rapamycin inhibited age-related weight gain, decreased aging rate, increased lifespan (especially in the last survivors) and delayed spontaneous cancer. 22.9% of rapamycin-treated mice survived the age of death of the last mouse in control group.

Metformin seems to have some life extending effects but now much in humans is not known. Metformin is available in the Canary Islands without prescription.

Clearly millions to tens of millions of people will try to use Metformin, Rapamycin and gene therapy in attempts to have longer lives or just to look more youthful for longer.

New Delhi has worse air pollution than Beijing

The U.S. Embassy's reading of Beijing's air pollution on Monday found a measure of more than 600, it measured an off the charts 999 in New Delhi on its air quality index just two days prior. Further while Beijing's smog has since blown away, Delhi's air quality measure on Friday is still in the "very unhealthy" range at 224.

Indian cities don’t get as much attention as Chinese cities do with respect to air pollution, said Anmol Vanamali, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute. Yet, it is clear that Indian cities are just as, if not more, polluted.

According to the World Health Organization's data from 2014, Delhi was ranked as having the highest PM 2.5 levels in the world. Smaller than 2.5 microns in width, PM 2.5 particles are particularly dangerous to human health because they are small enough that they can lodge into a person's lungs. This specific type of pollution has been linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease and to heart attacks.

n the year 2012, ambient air pollution was responsible for 3.7 million deaths, representing 6.7% of the total deaths. Worldwide, ambient air pollution is estimated to cause about 16% of the lung cancer deaths, 11% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, more than 20% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and about 13% of respiratory infection deaths.

December 04, 2015

Personal choice and actions on life extension and genetic engineering for cognitive, performance enhancement of life extension

Genome sequencing costs are dropping below $1000 and heading to $10 per genome.

Here is a corrected version of information from George Church

George Church, a researcher at Harvard University and a proponents of CRISPR, says that, considering the lack of clear regulatory frameworks for genetic engineering use, we must expect those interested in genetic augmentation to use the tool.

Church noted in a speech Tuesday that athletes and others interested in body augmentation have already taken advantage of just about every technology we’ve developed. Those in the transhumanist movement (many of whom are seeking immortality, or at the very least a long extension of natural human lifespans) see CRISPR as a potential tool they could use to augment themselves.

Genetic modification of sperm has been done with 100% accuracy in animals.

Corrected slide human genome sequencing

In September, 2016, Veritas Genetics announced that the company is making it possible for participants in the Personal Genome Project (PGP) to be among the first to get their whole genome sequenced and interpreted for less than a $1,000. Led by Veritas Genetics Co-Founder Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Personal Genome Project, PGP is a long-term effort to sequence thousands of complete genomes to enable research into personal genomics and personalized medicine. PGP has more than 16,000 participants worldwide.

Currently it appears that their are a lot of side effect negative epigenomic changes being passed down via lifestyle of parents. Obesity and smoking cause epigenomic changes.

Controlled enhancement

Those interested in enhancement are gung-ho about experimenting on themselves. There are athletes who take stem cell injections to get over injury faster; Silicon Valley types who use nootropics and other “smart drugs” not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to potentially increase their brain function; and people who try things like transcranial direct current stimulation, which uses low electrical currents applied to the head to stimulate neuron function.

About ten million people worldwide use steroids. Most of them are not competing in pro sports and do it for appearance or just the desire for greater strength and performace. There are millions that inject poison (Botox) into their face to smooth wrinkles.

When it comes to people using CRISPR to augment themselves or their children, “some people say ‘I can’t imagine it happening’ And George Church says, ‘You have to imagine it happening.’”

Church and some others who work with CRISPR believe that it’s already safe enough for additional research in humans, but, in the only known test of the technology on human embryos, CRISPR was largely ineffective in editing the desired genes. A breakthrough announced earlier this week enhances CRISPR’s accuracy and may be key to future human studies. As those eventual studies are conducted and as the technology becomes more consistent, Church believes somatic gene therapies, which target adult body cells (and could in theory be used by adults to alter themselves) will inevitably come next.

“Enhancement will creep in the door,” Church said. “The point is that [human enhancements] will come after very serious diseases and they will be spread by somatic gene therapies.”

Metformin is an antidiabetic drug which might have life extension properties and is now available without prescription in the Canary Islands

Kern Pharma's in the Canary Islands is apparently offering Metformin without prescription. There are doctors and researchers who have chosen to personally get into Metformin and other antiaging medications.

The most common adverse effect of metformin is gastrointestinal irritation, including diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and increased flatulence; metformin is more commonly associated with gastrointestinal side effects than most other antidiabetic drugs. The most serious potential side effect of metformin use is lactic acidosis; this complication is very rare, and the vast majority of these cases seem to be related to comorbid conditions, such as impaired liver or kidney function, rather than to the metformin itself.

Metformin has also been reported to decrease the blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone in people with hypothyroidism, The clinical significance of this is still unknown.

Millions are ordering Viagra and Cialis from overseas Pharmacies for enhanced sexual performance or overcome erectile dysfunction.

Researchers will begin testing Metformin, a medication used to treat diabetes, as an anti-aging drug in a clinical trial next year.

When it's used for treatment for type 2 diabetes, the drug reduces the amount of glucose produced in the liver, but researchers believe that it may also have the ability to slow down the aging process in individual cells by increasing oxygen released into each cell.

Reducing the biological effects of aging would mean the possibility of increasing lifespans, staving off aging-related diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and perhaps allowing humans to live into their 110s or 120s, the research suggests.

Electric Centrifugal gun could fire 240,000 rounds per minute in bursts of 20 to 40 rounds

A centrifugal gun is a type of rapid-fire projectile accelerator, like a machine gun but operating on a different principle. Centrifugal guns use a rapidly rotating disc to impart energy to the projectiles, replacing gunpowder with centrifugal force.

Weapon for centrifugal propulsion of projectiles Patent US 6520169 B1 The Dread gun was discussed in 2005 but does not appear to have been developed.

A weapon for centrifugally discharging projectiles at a rapid rate comprising a housing in which is rotatably mounted a disc having a multiplicity of feed channels extending radially therein. Each of the feed channels receives a multiplicity of projectiles and is configured to orient the projectiles in a single file adjacent the disc periphery of the disc projectile locking means. Each of the channels has located adjacent the periphery disc a multiplicity of stops movable between a first position within the channel to preclude movement of the outermost projectile outwardly of the channel and a second position removed from the channel to permit movement of a projectile thereby. Locking cams move the stops between the first and second positions, and other came actuate the locking cams as the disc rotates to move the outermost stop into the second position and release the outermost projectile while the adjacent stop restrains the adjacent projectile, which is thereafter released to move outwardly until restricted by the first stop. The projectiles are released into a guide rail extending substantially about the periphery of the disc and the guide having a discharge opening therein.

Conventional machine guns using conventional cartridge cases can fire from 800 to 6000 rounds per minute in small bursts to save the ammunition and limit the time the barrels are actually in use to prevent rapid overheating of the barrels. Therefore, they are not able to engage what is known as sustained or saturation fire upon any target.

The present invention delivers more mass to the target in less time than conventional machine guns. When firing conventional rounds, there is a distance of approximately 100 feet between each projectile during flight. By using 20 discharge positions on the disc, this invention closes the gap from 100 feet to as little as four inches. Therefore, assuming the flight length of 20 rounds is six feet, eight inches, the combined mass of the 20 rounds exceeds the combined mass of the two rounds fired having a distance of some 100 feet.

Since heating is not a problem with this invention, it is capable of firing rates up to 240,000 rounds per minute in controlled bursts of 20 to 40 rounds.

Because the projectile released from the feed channel into the guide rail travels a relatively short distance, there is relatively little impact on the guide rail and it will have a relatively long life. In fact, engineering grade resins can be utilized for most of the assembly to facilitate manufacture and reduce cost and weight.

Thus, it can be seen from the foregoing detailed description and attached drawings that the weapon of the present invention provides rapid fire of projectiles using centrifugal force. There is no powder flash to expose the crew position and a large total projectile mass may be concentrated on the target in a highly controlled pattern.

The projectiles travel at around 300 meters per second upon release from the weapon, about the same speed as a handgun round. He claims a fully developed DREAD gun would be quieter than a conventional gun, less prone to malfunction, and could contain more ammunition.

December 03, 2015

Thirty genes with significant longevity impact have been found and they could significantly lengthen human lives

Out of a 'haystack' of 40,000 genes from three different organisms, scientists at ETH Zurich and a research consortium in Jena have found genes that are involved in physical ageing. If you influence only one of these genes, the healthy lifespan of laboratory animals is extended – and possibly that of humans, too.

Driven by the quest for eternal youth, humankind has spent centuries obsessed with the question of how it is exactly that we age. With advancements in molecular genetic methods in recent decades, the search for the genes involved in the ageing process has greatly accelerated.
Until now, this was mostly limited to genes of individual model organisms such as the C. elegans nematode, which revealed that around one percent of its genes could influence life expectancy. However, researchers have long assumed that such genes arose in the course of evolution and in all living beings whose cells have a preserved a nucleus – from yeast to humans.

Combing through 40,000 genes
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the JenAge consortium from Jena have now systematically gone through the genomes of three different organisms in search of the genes associated with the ageing process that are present in all three species – and thus derived from the genes of a common ancestor. Although they are found in different organisms, these so-called orthologous genes are closely related to each other, and they are all found in humans, too.

In order to detect these genes, the researchers examined around 40,000 genes in the nematode C. elegans, zebra fish and mice. By screening them, the scientists wanted to determine which genes are regulated in an identical manner in all three organisms in each comparable ageing stage – young, mature and old; i.e. either are they upregulated or downregulated during ageing.

A trans-species screening approach to identify aging-associated genes.

Nature Communications -Branched-chain amino acid catabolism is a conserved regulator of physiological aging

China plans Ultracritical coal and coal plant retrofits to reduce coal plant emissions by 60% by 2020

China’s cabinet announced Wednesday that it would try to cut pollution from coal-fired power plants by 60 percent by 2020 through upgrades to plants, according to a report by Xinhua, the state news agency. If successful, the plan for upgrades would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from such plants by 180 million metric tons, the report said.

The announcement formalizes a step China is taking to try to reach broader coal-use and emissions goals to decrease some of the world’s worst levels of air pollutants and to help in limiting climate change. China is by far the world’s largest coal consumer and emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

In parts of Beijing, levels of deadly, fine particulate matter called PM 2.5 were 40 times as high as the recommended daily exposure limit set by the World Health Organization.

Upgrades to coal-fired power plants would mean a reduction in raw coal use of around 100 million metric tons.

Newer power plants in China emit less pollution and carbon dioxide than older ones. Plants in the power industry are less polluting on average than those that produce heavy commodities like steel and cement, as well as heating boilers for wintertime warmth in north China.

In November 2014, Mr. Xi announced that China would try to reach a carbon emissions peak by around 2030, and China has said it is setting a cap on coal use in 2020 of 4.8 billion tons. China’s coal consumption was flat in 2014 compared with 2013 when measured by energy generation, and some scientists say China may already be reaching its peak in coal use.

This year, China has been releasing numbers that adjust its coal consumption of the past decade upward.

There is an IEA paper on reducing emissions by upgrading coal plants (58 pages)

Coal ranks second only to oil as the world’s leading energy source and is the world’s principal fuel for the generation of electrical power. Today, coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 1 700 gigawatts (GWe) produce over 41% of the world’s electricity. Looking to the future, if no new policies are implemented, global demand for coal used in power generation is projected to rise by more than one-third by 2035 – and in China by almost 50%.

The global average efficiency of coal-fired power plants currently in operation is roughly 33%, much lower than for power plants that rely on other fossil fuel sources and significantly lower than the 45% efficiency possible with modern, ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants. Over the operational lifetime of a typical coal-fired power generation unit, each percentage point increase in efficiency results in reduced CO2 emissions totalling many millions of tonnes. If coal-fired units currently in operation around the world could be upgraded to operate at an average of 42% efficiency, annual CO2 emissions would fall by more than 2 billion tonnes

India has a possibly lengthy journey to become the third largest world economy

India’s economy has been growing by 7.3 per cent in FY2015 as against 6.9 per cent in FY2014. The size of the Indian economy is estimated to be at Rs 129.57 trillion (US$ 2.01 trillion) for the year 2014 compared to Rs 118.23 trillion (US$ 1.84 trillion) in 2013.

India's currency the rupee has been weak for the last 4 years. The currency has moved from 45 rupees to 1 US dollar to 66 rupees to 1 US dollar.

On an exchange rate basis the Indian economy has lost ground with currency weakness offsetting all of its economic growth.

India is the third largest economy on a purchasing power parity basis.

For India to become the third largest economy on a nominal GDP (exchange rate) basis then the currency would have to hold steady or strengthen against the other currencies. India would have to pass Japan, Germany, UK and France to get to third place.

The IMF is projecting no nominal GDP growth for Japan and Germany and a 50% improvement for India from 2014 to 2019. If those trends were to happen and continue then India would be in the range of third largest world economy on a nominal basis in the 2025-2030 timeframe. The IMF projects the UK to continue to grow on a nominal basis.

Russia and Turkey have started a geopolitical cold war and an economic war

Russia's President Putin indicates that Russia will have revenge on Turkey at some appropriate time.

Mr. Putin did, however, threaten further, unspecified actions beyond the scattered measures already announced.

“If someone thinks they can commit war crimes, kill our people and get away with it, suffering nothing but a ban on tomato imports, as well as a few restrictions in construction or other industries, they’re delusional,” he said.

Alexander Novak, the energy minister, announced soon after the speech that Moscow was halting talks with Ankara over the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, a $10 billion construction project meant to funnel Russian gas to Europe.

BBC News reports that Russian president Putin said Turkey "will regret" the downing of one of its fighter jets near the Syrian border last week

DARPA has been working on hand held Magnetic jet guns and China is copying it

DARPA has been working on the MAgneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition (MAHEM) since about 2008.

Explosively formed jets (EFJ) and fragments and self-forging penetrators (SFP) are used for precision strike against targets such as armored vehicles and reinforced structures. Current technology uses chemical explosive energy to form the jets and fragments [rocket propelled grenades]. This is highly inefficient and requires precise machining of the metal liners from which the fragments and jets are formed. The Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition (MAHEM) program offers the potential for higher efficiency, greater control, and the ability to generate and accurately time multiple jets and fragments from a single charge.

The MAHEM program will demonstrate compressed magnetic flux generator (CMFG)-driven magneto hydrodynamically formed metal jets and SFP with significantly improved performance over EFJ. Generating multiple jets or fragments from a single explosive is difficult, and the timing of the multiple jets or fragments cannot be controlled. MAHEM offers the potential for multiple targeted warheads with a much higher EFJ velocity, than conventional EFJ/SFP. This will increase lethality precision. MAHEM could also be packaged into a missile, projectile or other platform, and delivered close to target for final engagement.

Explosive warheads have worked in pretty much the same way since Henry Shrapnel's 1784 artillery shell, which was designed to explode and throw out musket balls in all directions. The shaped charge was a 20th century refinement in which the force of the explosion blasted a hollow metal cone into an armor-piercing jet, enabling low-velocity weapons like the bazooka to knock out heavy tanks. Then came the Explosively Formed Projectile. Here, the explosion folds metal into an aerodynamic slug that is less penetrating than a shaped charge but able to do more damage against lightly-armored targets. (It's a larger mass at a lower velocity, and makes a bigger hole.)

Carnival of Space 234

1. Universe Today - Orion Gets Beefed Up, Silver-Metallic Thermal Protection Coating for Next Flight on EM-1

On future missions, a silver, metallic-based thermal control coating will be bonded to the Orion crew module’s back shell tiles. Credit: NASA

2. Universe Today - Earth May Be “Hairy” with Dark Matter

This illustration shows Earth surrounded by filaments of dark matter called “hairs. A hair is created when a stream of dark matter particles goes through the planet. A new study proposes that Earth and the other planets are filled with “hair”. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Russian plans manned mission to Moon and moon base around 2030

Russia plans manned mission to the Moon will require from four to six launches of the Angara-A5V heavy-lift carrier rocket from the Plesetsk and Vostochny spaceports.

a manned flight to the moon is possible under a scheme envisaging two coupled launches. First, a lunar take-off and landing complex is placed on a low Earth orbit, and then the upper stage with effective cryogenic propellants is orbited. The third launch orbits a manned spacecraft, and the fourth - another upper stage. After docking of the lunar take-off and landing complex with the manned spacecraft on the lunar orbit, the crew descends to the Moon surface inside the lunar take-off and landing complex, carries out the research program and returns to orbit. After that the spaceship returns to Earth.

Also, another coupled Angara-A5V launch will be needed before the manned flight to deliver and deploy the first expeditionary unit of the lunar base on the Moon.

Under the proposed scheme, after the orbit placement, the complex with a total weight up to 70 tonnes will be docked with the manned spacecraft, after which it will fly to the Moon. A payload of 18-20 tonnes will be delivered to the lunar orbit by the end of the mission.
According to a preliminary plan, Russia’s first manned flight to the Moon is possible in 2029. One year ahead of that it is planned to conduct a flight around the Moon, the testing and qualification of space systems for the future manned landing. However, this project may become a reality only if the work to create a new-generation manned transport spacecraft, the Angara-A5 rocket, lunar boosters and other needed rocket and space technology and infrastructure is included in the draft Federal Space Program for 2016-2025.

Russia is developing a new generation Advanced Crew Transportation System. Its first flight to the Moon is planned for 2028. Infographics by TASS

Brillouin Energy has 35 page third party verification report that the Brillouin Energy HHT™ prototype repeatedly produced lab-scale excess heat from LENR

Brillouin Energy Corp., developer of renewable energy technologies capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy (heat) based on controlled low energy nuclear reactions (“LENR”), announced today that its Hydrogen Hot Tube™ (HHT™) Boiler System reactor core modules, were the subject of a recently completed independent Technical Validation Report.

The 35-page Report was prepared as technical due diligence by Michael Halem, a third party technical investigator. The Technical Validation Report summarizes the investigation into Brillouin Energy's HHT™ single tube core prototypes at Brillouin's Berkeley laboratory and at its research partner SRI International. The results are drawn from a series of calibrated tests of both systems. Mr. Halem personally designed tests on the HHT™ systems and then directed the technical staff of Brillouin Energy and SRI to execute the test plans. The tests, in which 95 channels of data were recorded and then investigated, included multiple technical changes to validate the thermodynamic results.

In all cases, the results were consistent: the data demonstrate with very high confidence that the Brillouin Energy HHT™ prototype repeatedly produced lab-scale excess heat from LENR.

"I was given full access to the experiments," said Mr. Halem. "I was able to confirm, with a high degree of confidence, excess energy output above chemical and likely due to a nuclear reaction." The Technical Validation Report affirms that Brillouin Energy’s HHT™ technology "is scalable by assembling multiple HHT™ tubes" in a reactor system. The Report was peer reviewed by Mr. Halem’s technical colleague, Dr. Antoine Guillemin who holds his Masters in Nuclear Physics and Ph.D. in Building Physics. Brillouin Energy’s Technical Validation Report is available upon request to qualified interested parties under a customary non-disclosure agreement.

George Church confident of reversing some aging in humans by 2022

George Church has expressed confidence that in just five or six years he will be able to reverse the aging process in human beings.

George Church is among those who can claim at least partial credit for the innovation of CRISPR gene editing

George Church says that there are more important things in the balance than [Nobel] prizes. There are cures for human diseases.

George Church indicated that his team is already reversing aspects of aging in mice in the laboratory. The best way to predict the future, he said, is to predict things that have already happened.

"A scenario is, everyone takes gene therapy - not just curing rare diseases like cystic fibrosis, but diseases that everyone has, like aging," he said. He noted that mice die after 2.5 years but bowhead whales can live to be 180 or 200. "One of our biggest economic disasters right now is our aging population. If we eliminate retirement, then it buys us a couple of decades to straighten out the economies of the world. If all those gray hairs could go back to work and feel healthy and young, then we've averted one of the greatest economic disasters in history. Someone younger at heart should replace you, and that should be you. I'm willing to. I'm willing to become younger. I try to reinvent myself every few years anyway."

December 02, 2015

Gene drive one of many ways to prevent ocean suffocation Doomsday scenario

University of Leicester researchers reveal how Earth’s oxygen could dramatically fall due to change in ocean temperature of just several degrees. A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester’s Department of Mathematics, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans of around six degrees Celsius – which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 [but most do not show the temperature effect for hundreds of years later] - could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.

The team developed a new model of oxygen production in the ocean that takes into account basic interactions in the plankton community, such as oxygen production in photosynthesis, oxygen consumption because of plankton breathing and zooplankton feeding on phytoplankton.

Several technological mitigations exist already - so we could let trucks hit everyone in a few hundred years or we could get out of the way

In July, geneticists showed that one gene drive system was almost 100% effective in spreading a mutated pigmentation gene through a population of lab fruit flies, fueling fears about the power of gene drive. Gene drive combined with CRISPR gene editing has being discussed as a means to eliminate malaria mosquitos. Such a plan is technologically feasible now.

An extremophile is an organism that thrives in physically or geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to most life on Earth.

A thermophile is an organism — a type of extremophile — that thrives at relatively high temperatures, between 41 and 122 °C (106 and 252 °F). Many thermophiles are archaea. Thermophilic eubacteria are suggested to have been among the earliest bacteria.

Some Thermophile genes could be used to make phytoplankton more heat resistant.

Boyalife CEO plans to clones Woolly Mammoths and possibly humans after getting cloning factory scaled to million cows per year by 2020

The Chinese scientist who led the development of the world's first cloning factory says his technology is ready to clone humans.

Boylife cloning factory will clone 1 million cows a year by 2020. Other animals to be cloned include racehorses, pets and police dogs.

The Boyalife group, which is behind the factory, is collaborating with a company from South Korea, Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

Sooam has already been developing the cloning of woolly mammoths, and is also recreating dead pets for their owners. The latter is quite a lucrative market, with some people reportedly prepared to pay up to $ 100,000 for bringing a deceased pet back to life as a clone.

Boyalife is also working with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to develop primate cloning.

And this would mean just one step further - from monkeys - to human cloning, Xu Xiaochun said.

"The technology is already there. If this is allowed, I do not think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology," he said.

However, hampering the project are ethical issues: the company says it has to be "self-restrained" to avoid a possible public backlash.

December 01, 2015

China's Type 022 catamaran missile boats

China has catamaran hull missile boat called the Type 022 Houbei class. The first boat was launched in April 2004. The boats incorporate stealth features and are based on an Australian-designed wave-piercing catamaran hulls that are more stable than other fast missile craft in high sea conditions. Approximately 83 of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas having been produced over a span of seven years.

The Type 022 Houbei PCFG appears to be building at a rate of about 10 units per year.

The ships are 20 long tons (224 t) full load and are 42 meters long.

They have a top speed of 36 knots

80 of the ships would be able to launch 640 missiles. (8 a piece)

Cost estimates vary from $14.3 million to $50 million. China could make 260-800 for the cost of one $13 billion aircraft carrier.

Russia adding second airbase in Syria

Russia has expanded its military operations in Syria to include a second airbase as well as other posts, according to a U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence from the region – even as President Obama expresses muted optimism that Russian President Vladimir Putin eventually will “shift” his strategy and work with the West.

Moscow’s presence has grown to a total of four forward operating bases, including recently added bases in Hama and Tiyas. But the most concerning to the Pentagon is the second airbase in Shayrat which can support fixed-wing aircraft, greatly expanding Russia’s capability for airstrikes, which began on Sept. 30.

Since September, Russia has based its warplanes and helicopters at Basel al-Assad airbase in Latakia, one of the last remaining Assad strongholds along the Mediterranean coast. While the Pentagon cannot confirm any Russian military jets have landed at Shayrat, there are reports Russia has landed aircraft in the past few hours.

Russia’s two other forward operating bases are used to land its attack helicopters employed to defend the Assad regime against Syrian rebels.

But when asked if the move to expand to a second airbase was defensive in nature in case Syrian rebels succeed in destroying the Latakia base, one of the U.S. officials pushed back.

“This is an expansion, not a defensive move at all,” the official said. He said Syrian rebels were nowhere close to taking the Russian airbase in Latakia.

Russia's air fleet in Syria could increase from 38 up to 100 war planes. Russia could also add 1,000 ground troops.

Prior Latakia deployment

Kuwait-based Alrai Mediagroup claims that Russia has sent ground troops to Syria to support its operations in the country.

According to the Alrai report, members of the Russian army have been acting as protection for the T-90 tanks on the ground protecting the airbase at Latakia and elsewhere.

MIT boosts 3D imaging resolution 1,000-fold which will help 3D printing and driverless cars

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light — the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems — they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices as much as 1,000 times.

The technique could lead to high-quality 3-D cameras built into cellphones, and perhaps to the ability to snap a photo of an object and then use a 3-D printer to produce a replica.

Further out, the work could also abet the development of driverless cars.

“Today, they can miniaturize 3-D cameras to fit on cellphones,” says Achuta Kadambi, a PhD student in the MIT Media Lab and one of the system’s developers. “But they make compromises to the 3-D sensing, leading to very coarse recovery of geometry. That’s a natural application for polarization, because you can still use a low-quality sensor, and adding a polarizing filter gives you something that’s better than many machine-shop laser scanners.”

By combining the information from the Kinect depth frame in (a) with polarized photographs, MIT researchers reconstructed the 3-D surface shown in (c). Polarization cues can allow coarse depth sensors like Kinect to achieve laser scan quality (b). Courtesy of the researcher

Here is the paper - Polarized 3D: High-quality depth sensing with polarization cues

Solar Probe Plus Spacecraft will get 8 times closer to the Sun than Mercury and will orbit three times faster than any other spacecraft

NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission — which will fly closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has before — reached a major milestone last month when it successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR).

An independent NASA review board met at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, from March 16 to 20 to review all aspects of the mission plan; APL has designed and will build and operate the spacecraft for NASA. The CDR certifies that the Solar Probe Plus mission design is at an advanced stage and that fabrication, assembly, integration and testing of the many elements of the mission may proceed.

It will approach to within 8.5 solar radii (0.034 astronomical units or 5.9 million kilometers or 3.67 million miles, roughly 1/8 of the perihelion of Mercury) to the 'surface' (photosphere) of the Sun

The mission is designed to survive the harsh environment near the Sun, where the incident solar intensity is approximately 520 times the intensity at Earth orbit, by the use of a solar shadow-shield. The solar shield, at the front of the spacecraft, is made of reinforced carbon-carbon composite. The spacecraft systems, and the scientific instruments, are located in the umbra of the shield, where direct light from the sun is fully blocked. The primary power for the mission will be by use of a dual system of photovoltaic arrays. A primary photovoltaic array, used for the portion of the mission outside 0.25 AU, is retracted behind the shadow shield during the close approach to the Sun, and a much smaller secondary array powers the spacecraft through closest approach. This secondary array uses pumped-fluid cooling to maintain operating temperature.

As the probe passes around the Sun, it will achieve a velocity of up to 200 km/s (120 mi/s) at that time making it the fastest manmade object ever, almost three times faster than the current record holder, Helios II.

Artist rendering of Solar Probe Plus, solar panels folded into the shadows of its protective shield, as it gathers data on its approach to the Sun. (Credit: NASA/JHUAPL)

Researchers hope to drill through crust to the Mantle at the crusts thinnest point

In early December, the drill ship JOIDES Resolution will depart Colombo, Sri Lanka, and head for a spot in the southwestern Indian Ocean known as Atlantis Bank. There, it will lower a drill bit and try to screw it through 1.5 kilometres of rock, collecting a core sample as it goes. If all goes well, future expeditions — not yet scheduled or funded — will return and finalize the push into the mantle

Normally, the crust–mantle boundary is thought to be marked by a feature known a.s the Mohorovičić discontinuity, or ‘Moho’, at which seismic waves change velocity. But at Atlantis Bank, the mantle is thought to bubble up as far as 2.5 kilometers above the Moho, making it easier to reach

Beneath continents, the Moho lies 30–60 kilometers down. But beneath oceans it is close enough to be reached with ship-borne drilling equipment. In the drilling campaign — dubbed the Slow Spreading Ridge Moho, or ‘SloMo’ Project — Dick hopes to reach the crust–mantle transition at Atlantis Bank, then one day return with a state-of-the-art Japanese vessel to reach the Moho itself at a depth of 5 kilometers or more

Dick knows that it is possible to reach his preliminary goal of 1.5 kilometres, because he has done it before. In 1997, he led an expedition to Atlantis Bank that got that deep before disaster struck: the pipe snapped off in high winds, corkscrewed down inside the hole and plugged it up. “We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen this time,” he says.

Along the way, researchers hope to explore not just geology, but biology, too. Geological mapping suggests that seawater may have percolated several kilometres deep at Atlantis Bank, triggering chemical reactions that turn the rock into a type known as serpentinite. These reactions generate methane, a gas that sub-sea-floor microbes often munch for energy. JOIDES Resolution scientists will be checking the rock cores for microorganisms, says Virginia Edgcomb, a microbiologist at Woods Hole who will be on the cruise.

China Railway group wins contract for Belgrade to Serbia high speed rail

A consortium led by China Railway Group (CRG) has been awarded a 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) contract to build the Hungarian section of a railway linking Budapest with Serbia's Belgrade, in China's first high-speed rail win in the European Union.

Three firms - CRG's China Railway International Group, a subsidiary of national operator China Railway Corporation and the Hungarian State Railways - will form a consortium to construct the 160 kilometre route, CRG said in a statement on Wednesday.

The railway, which will be 350 kilometres long with the Serbian portion, will be completed in two years and will be able to accommodate trains travelling up to 200 kilometres per hour, it said. The Chinese firms will account for 85 percent of the consortium, it said, without providing further details.

The Budapest-Belgrade-Skopje-Athens railroad is a planned project of a high-speed railroad track which will start in Budapest, via Belgrade and Skopje to Athens. The Budapest-Belgrade railway will be finished in two years. Planned speed is 160 km/h between Budapest and Belgrade, current line between Thessaloniki and Athens is 200 km/h with upgrades to 250 km/h ongoing.

The rail upgrade fits with a Chinese plan to turn Greece's main port of Piraeus -- where Chinese shipping giant Cosco Pacific holds a 35-year concession to upgrade and run two container cargo piers -- into a regional hub for trade with Europe.

China sees the region, comprising some of the EU's newest members and others in the Western Balkans that are trying to join the bloc, as a potentially lucrative market and bridgehead to the wider EU, drawn by relatively low wages, educated workforces and scope for development on the EU's fringes.

Israel requested Squadron of F15 silent eagles with increased air launch weapons and conformal fuel tanks

Israel has requested a squadron of the latest F15 Silent Eagle-standard aircraft. They would also be equipped with Israeli-developed systems. Enhancements introduced with the advanced strike asset include the ability to carry an increased number of air-launched weapons and the addition of conformal fuel tanks for extended-range performance.

The F-15SE concept included conforming internal weapons bays, V-shaped tails, radar baffles over its engine-fan faces, radar absorbent coatings, along with other enhancements used to lower the jet’s radar signature, especially from the forward hemisphere. It also would feature many of the options found on the latest F-15 Strike Eagle derivatives today, including fly-by-wire controls, a wide-screen cockpit, updated electronic warfare and radar warning systems, an infrared search and track system (IRST) and the most powerful fighter-based AESA radar in the world.

An F-15SE could be outfitted in a stealthy configuration with conforming weapons bays for “first days of war” operations. Once the enemy’s air defense have been degraded, the jet can be quickly reconfigured to the hard-hitting enhanced Strike Eagle configuration with many external stores configurations. This flexibility is an enticing capability mix for what is already a highly proven and low-risk platform.

F15 Strike Eagle

US Air Force denies plans for new F-16s and says it is F-35s all the way

The US Air Force has denied any plans to purchase another tranche of Lockheed Martin F-16 or Boeing F-15 combat jets following reports it could seek bids for up to 72 new aircraft.

According to comments attributed to a senior US Air Combat Command official at an international fighter conference in London last week, the current Lockheed F-35 procurement plan could prove unaffordable, and another fighter wing of F-15s, F-16s or perhaps even F/A-18s is being considered to supplement the current fleet – which will serve into the 2040s as F-35s are delivered.

The air force is seeking 1,763 F-35As through 2038, and in the interim it intends to modernise and upgrade its F-16s and F-15s with new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and electronic warfare systems.

The conventional take-off and landing F35A-model costs just shy of $100 million per aircraft, but LaPlante says the F-35 joint programme office and the Lockheed industry team are trying to reduce that to $85 million as the manufacturing process matures.

The air force has budgeted for 44 F-35s in fiscal year 2016 and 48 in 2017, and is building toward a production cadence of 60 jets per year by 2018 and then 80 beyond 2020.


F-15 2040C

November 30, 2015

Israel plans to integrate unmanned ground, air, ships and submarine vehicles into joint military operations

Israel’s Ministry of Defense is eyeing new autonomous operating concepts and a spectrum of unmanned air, ground and sea systems, several of which could become functional within a decade.

In a rare public presentation earlier this month, Brig. Gen. Nir Halamish, head of the military research and development unit of the Ministry’s MAFAT Research and Development Bureau, outlined Israel’s unmanned vehicles blueprint through 2025.

Speaking at a conference of Israel Defense and the local chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Halamish cited MoD’s interest in unmanned flight, unmanned surface ships and autonomous underwater systems for countering mines.

He said MoD started a five-year program to advance civilian unmanned gliders for military missions, insisting the ministry and local industrial partners do not intend to “reinvent the wheel,” but rather are focusing on injecting military-grade robustness for maneuvering forces.

A key future vector for land warfare is use of unmanned systems as a type of “robotic advance guard,” whereby armed UGVs would team with manned units for joint operations in high-threat theaters.

Israel already has border patrol robotic vehicles

“This advance guard is to be deployed hundreds of meters ahead of the manned force. We hope to get there in the coming years,” he said.

Unmanned logistics convoys are another future vector, as are small unmanned submersibles, both of which Halamish said Israel can achieve “relatively easily” in the coming five years.

the USA has been testing military robotic convoys

Also within reach, he said, are two new UAV systems, one involving small hovercraft built to carry up to 40 kilos for escorting tactical-echelon ground forces and the other heavy-lift drones capable of transporting several hundred kilograms.

DARPA also plans to integrate unmanned vehicles with military squads and platoons

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