Posts Tagged ‘Science’

The World of the Matrix begins

The super-sensation is the artificial womb exists. In Tokyo, researchers have developed a technique called EUFI — extrauterine fetal incubation. They have taken goat fetuses, threaded catheters through the large vessels in the umbilical cord and supplied the fetuses with oxygenated blood while suspending them in incubators that contain artificial amniotic fluid heated to body temperature.

Doctors are developing artificial wombs in which embryos can grow outside a woman’s body. The work has been hailed as a breakthrough in treating the childless.

Scientists have created prototypes made out of cells extracted from women’s bodies. Embryos successfully attached themselves to the walls of these laboratory wombs and began to grow. However, experiments had to be terminated after a few days to comply with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) regulations.

Yoshinori Kuwabara, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Juntendo University in Tokyo, has been working on artificial placentas for a decade. His interest grew out of his clinical experience with premature infants, and as he writes in a recent abstract, ”It goes without saying that the ideal situation for the immature fetus is growth within the normal environment of the maternal organism.”

Kuwabara and his associates have kept the goat fetuses in this environment for as long as three weeks. But the doctor’s team ran into problems with circulatory failure, along with many other technical difficulties. Pressed to speculate on the future, Kuwabara cautiously predicts that ”it should be possible to extend the length” and, ultimately, ”this can be applied to human beings.”

Read more We don’t need women either

An ET Colony on the Moon?

The unusual object photographed by NASA’s Clementine spacecraft, launched in 1994 has been found on the Moon. Using the actual Google Moon coordinates of the object — 22º42’38.46″N and 142º34’44.52″E — Huffington Post checked it out for ourselves. The other objects were found by HuffPost while maneuvering around the moon’s surface with the Google Moon viewer. While not as perfectly symmetrical as the original object’s seven lights, these others are, nonetheless, as intriguing to look at.

First pilotless F-16

The US air force has test flown an F-16 fighter jet without a pilot on board for the first time in the latest sign of the military’s increasing reliance on drones.

The robotic F-16 flew for 55 minutes with an empty cockpit from a Florida base last week as part of a programme that would see the converted fighter jet used as a target for pilots in training, manufacturer Boeing said.

“It was really amazing to see an F-16 take off with nobody in it,” said Michelle Shelhamer from Boeing, which has adapted the plane for the US military.

The aircraft is one of six “retired” F-16 jets that would be used as aerial targets for fighter pilots training for air-to-air combat, she said.

“They’re basically built to be shot down,” she said. “It’s full-scale, real world, real life, combat training – not with a simulator or anything else.”

NASA awards grant for 3-D food printer

Thtat’s just fantastic age we’re living on! “One of the major advantages of a 3-D printer is that it provides personalized nutrition,” Contractor told. “If you’re male, female, someone is sick—they all have different dietary needs. If you can program your needs into a 3-D printer, it can print exactly the nutrients that person requires.”

NASA is certainly a believer: The six-month grant comes to $125,000. The agency specifically interested in using the 3-D printer to feed astronauts on long space voyages.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life,” Contractor said to Quartz. “The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.”

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The home we’ve ever known

We succeeded taking that picture (Voyager 1, in 1990 (NASA)from deep space), and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

From Dr. Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot