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The Science & Technology News Thread 
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:00 pm
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Post Re: The Physics & Technology News Thread
Arioch wrote:
The CRISPR gene-editing technique has been used in a human subject for the first time.

http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene- ... me-1.20988

CRISPR is a breakthrough technique that makes gene-editing quick and inexpensive to use.


Eugenics war countdown: 3-2-1...

Yes I am a Star Trek fan to.


Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:45 am
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Post Re: The Physics News Thread
Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
Suederwind wrote:
Not sure if those two articles fit here or in that real aerospace thread. However, as they are about nuclear batteries, their safety and plutonium, I think its more fitting to post them here.

NASA’s Plutonium Problem Could End Deep-Space Exploration

and

Titanium Bullets, Rocket Sleds, and C-4: How the U.S. Tested the Safety of Nuclear Batteries

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/november/diamond-power.html
British scientists have developed a means of generating small amounts of power from nuclear waste in a safe manner. It probably won't replace RTGs, but it could make an excellent power source for cubesats or small probes and rovers.
I suspect that it will become a form of battery-backup, but it doesn't yet sound compelling as a primary powersource for anything high-power... and a lot of medium-power stuff too. If my math is right, then their 1 gram example would produce around 0.173611...e-3 watts if used in a continuous mode. The PIC10LF320/322 has numbers like 0.000036e-3 watts (sleep) to 0.025e-3 watts (at 1 MHz) consumption, so this could be used pretty directly, but for e.g. a rover, we find that the Sojourner (https://mars.nasa.gov/MPF/rover/descrip.html) used around 10 watts to move: roughly 50,000 times as much. You could just increase the amount that you use, but Sojourner only weighed 11,500 grams itself, so you wouldn't even equal the production of Sojourner's solar cells, which could peak-out around 15 watts.

So: very useful, but this isn't for rovers. Might be interesting to power FEEP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-emi ... propulsion) thrusters on deep-space missions.

I was thinking rovers further out, like on the moons of the gas giants or Ceres. Places where solar power won't give you enough. At the very least such a power source might be useful for tiding systems over during night periods.

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Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:33 pm
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Post Re: The Physics News Thread
A 1 g rechargeable lithium ion battery would be capable of the same output for around a month (self discharge aside). Even a supercapacitor should be able to manage a few days. High energy density/low power density power supplies can have some uses in spacecraft, but this one's a bit too low in power density.

I really don't see it being useful for any sort of ion thrusters. Those are quite power hungry, and you'd probably get more delta-v from a 1 g solar sail than such a system would provide over its operational lifetime. You might be able to use a beta emitter to directly produce the high voltages for a FEEP...you'd just want something with a shorter half-life than C-14.

Some medical implants can use such low levels of power. Or things like wireless sensors scattered throughout a building or other large structure where wired power would be inconvenient/failure prone and there's no light for photovoltaics. These might see use on a spacecraft, but not as any part of its overall power systems.


Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:06 pm
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Post Re: The Science & Technology News Thread
Well, back again.
I present some posts on Nuclear shaped charges and Casaba howitzers from the blog ToughSF. While not exactly "Science", it does present a fascinating (and pretty well written perspective):
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2016/06/the ... itzer.html
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2017/05/nuc ... -heat.html


Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:56 pm
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Post Re: The Science & Technology News Thread
Blowing things up is the best science.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:34 pm
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Post Re: The Science & Technology News Thread
hi hi

Here's an interesting one. Babylonian Tablet shows trigonometric tables 1000 years older than Hipparchus, and more accurate, with advantages over modern trigonometry.


Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:12 pm
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Post Re: The Physics & Technology News Thread
Sweforce wrote:
Arioch wrote:
The CRISPR gene-editing technique has been used in a human subject for the first time.

http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene- ... me-1.20988

CRISPR is a breakthrough technique that makes gene-editing quick and inexpensive to use.


Eugenics war countdown: 3-2-1...

Yes I am a Star Trek fan to.

Eugenics? What?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics
That is precisely opposite of genetics. Also. In canon (old canon, 1960's-1990's) TV Star Trek, it took centuries and a secret Asian cabal to create Khan. Why so long? Because they were BREEDING people to get Khan. Not genetically altering.

Also. If you fucking read the article about CRISPR you would see that CRISPR is an Outside Context Problem for us. Why? Because in fifty or so years, once CRISPR is perfectly understood, someone could make a retrovirus plasmid plague with CRISPR with which they could change ANYONE in a Superman like Khan..minus the arrogance and egoism. CRISPR is a game changer on par with fire. It completely rewrites how the future will be like because..unlike now in obsolete dystopian fiction..we could give everyone an ideal human body with it.

Because "when everyone is super, no one will be". :twisted:

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Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:41 am
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Post Re: The Science & Technology News Thread
hi hi

Genetics is not the precise opposite of Eugenics. And even if it wasn't a parallel, depending on which definition you use, it's not even a concept that can be boiled down into a dichotomy to begin with. Frederick Osborn originally proposed it as a philosophy that is subject to advances in science and technology.

Also. This is not a work of fiction, and literary tropes are not being used to propel a narrative. Once CRISPR is fully understood, it wouldn't be an Outside Context Problem anymore, because we would then understand the context.

Successful traits are dependent on the environment the life-form is inhabiting, all genetic traits come with an opportunity cost, and therefore it is impossible to have a single perfect life form that is superior in all environments. CRISPR has the potential to do a lot of things, helpful and harmful.

It always seemed to me that when the villain in The Incredibles said the noteworthy line "when everyone is super, no one will be," it was done to illustrate the depths of his madness. Maybe it makes sense when one is an Objectivist, with a captial O, but in reality, people don't need to compare themselves to others in order to establish self-worth and capability. Comparing a condition to its opposite is not required to define and measure the condition.


Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:56 am
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