Nasa’s ‘holy grail’: Entire new solar system that could support alien life discovered


It is ‘amazing’ how similar the entire solar system is to Earth.

Scientists have found a new solar system filled with planets that look like Earth and could support life, Nasa has announced.

At least three of the seven planets represent the “holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers”, because they sit within the “temperate zone” and are the right temperature to allow alien life to flourish, the researchers have said. And they are capable of having oceans, again suggesting that life could flourish on them.

No other star system has ever been found to contain so many Earth-sized and rocky planets, of the kind thought to be necessary to contain aliens.

The researchers might soon be able to find evidence of life on the planets, they have said. British astronomer Dr Chris Copperwheat, from Liverpool John Moores University, who was part of the international team, said: “The discovery of multiple rocky planets with surface temperatures which allow for liquid water make this amazing system an exciting future target in the search for life.”

Co-researcher Dr Amaury Triaud, of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, said: “We hope we will know if there’s life there within the next decade.”

Even if life isn’t ever found near TRAPPIST-1, it might eventually develop there. The star is relatively young – even when our own Sun has run out of fuel and our solar system is destroyed, the newly-discovered one will still be in its early infancy.

TRAPPIST-1 “burns hydrogen so slowly that it will live for another 10 trillion years – more than 700 times longer than the Universe has existed so far, which is arguably enough time for life to evolve”, wrote Ignas AG Snellen from the Leiden Observatory, in an accompanying article about the discovery.How the new solar system that could support life would actually look

All of the planets were found using a method called “transit photometry”. That works by watching out for when a planet passes, or transits, in front of its host star – blocking out a small amount of light, allowing us to see the planet and learn about its size.

Scientists first found the star TRAPPIST-1 in 2010, after monitoring the smallest stars close to the Sun. Since then, they have been watching out for those transits – and after seeing 34 of them clearly, they proposed that they can be attributed to the seven new planets.

They then worked to understand the size and composition of each of the worlds. That work is still continuing, but the researchers believe that the planets have large oceans, are temperate and other conditions that could make way for alien life.

 The Seven Wonders of Trappist-1

Dr Michael Gillon, from the STAR Institute at the University of Liege in Belgium, said: “This is an amazing planetary system – not only because we have found so many planets, but because they are all surprisingly similar in size to the Earth.”

If a person were on one of the planets, everything would look a lot darker than usual, the scientists said. The amount of light heading to your eye would be about 200 times less than you get from the sun, and would be comparable to what you can see at sunset.

Despite that relative darkness, everything would still feel warm, the researchers said. That’s because roughly the same amount of energy would be coming from the star as warms our Earth – but it does so infrared.

Because the star is so dim in relative terms, all of the planets are warmed enough to sit in the temperate zone. That’s despite the fact that they are all so close to it – each of them sitting nearer to the star than Mercury, the planet in our solar system that orbits closest to the Sun.

“The spectacle would be beautiful,” said Amaury Triaud, one of the scientists involved in the research. “Every now and then you’d see another planet, about as big as another moon in the sky.”

The sun would also look about 10 times bigger than our own does from Earth, Dr Triaud said, despite the fact that it is in fact only 8 per cent as big. And it would be a sort of salmon pink, said Dr Triaud, who noted that the scientists initially thought it would be a deep reddish crimson but most of that red light would be infrared and so invisible.

pia21425.jpg
This chart shows, on the top row, artist conceptions of the seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 with their orbital periods, distances from their star, radii and masses as compared to those of Earth. The bottom row shows data about Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

It’s unlikely that any possible life that is on the planet would actually see this way, the scientists noted, since they would probably have evolved entirely different eyes – or perhaps none at all.

The researchers hope that they can do more work to watch the planets and learn more about their character. They want to look in particular at the seventh, outermost planet because at the moment they are not sure how it interacts with the inner ones.

Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets. Future telescopes, including the the European Extremely Large Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, may be powerful enough to detect markers of life such as oxygen in the atmospheres of exoplanets.

The first exoplanet was found in 1992. Since then, astronomers have detected more than 3,500 of the worlds, distributed across 2,675 star systems.

About a fifth of the sun-like stars are thought to have Earth-sized planets close enough to them to support life.

 Further details on the 7 newly discovered planets

In all, there might be 40 billion potentially habitable words sitting just in our galaxy, the Milky Way, astronomers estimate.

Scientists have long thought that Earth-sized planets were abundant, but the new research shows just how many of them there might be. Many of those planets might never be seen, because they don’t pass in front of their host star and so aren’t visible.

That might mean that the new system is actually not all that out of the ordinary. Scientists expect that for each planet we find, there are as many as 100 we can’t see – and so the scientists might not actually have been lucky, but rather seen something that wasn’t that unusual.

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NASA Announces the Discovery of a Potentially Habitable ‘sister Solar System’


7 Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star.

In one of the most significant exoplanet discoveries to date, NASA just announced that not one, but seven Earth-sized planets have been found orbiting the habitable or ‘temperate zone’ of a star just 39 light-years away.

Research suggests at least the inner six planets appear to have Earth-like masses, are made of rock, and have surface temperatures ranging between a life-friendly 0 to 100°C (32 to 212°F). NASA is calling it a ‘sister solar system’ to our own, and says several of the planets could potentially host liquid water, and maybe even extraterrestrial life.

 NASA made the announcement in a live press conference after triggering much speculation over their big “discovery beyond our Solar System”.

The new exoplanets have been detected orbiting an ultracool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1, which is located about 39 light-years away from our Sun in the Aquarius constellation.

Astronomers led by Michaël Gillon from the University of Liège in Belgium first detected three exoplanets around the star back in May 2016, using Earth-based telescopes.

But it wasn’t until the team studied it more closely using NASA’s Spitzer space telescope that they discovered an additional four planets in the system.

Initial estimates based on these observations suggest that at least five of the planets have masses similar to Earth, and follow-up observations by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate that they probably have rocky compositions.

 At least three also appear to fall within the temperate zone of their star – which means their surface temperatures are most likely to be between 0 and 100°C (32 and 212°F), making liquid water, and potentially even some form of extraterrestrial life, a possibility.

Because of the system’s structure, it’s also possible that any of the planets have liquid water.

The European Space Observatory is calling it “the most incredible star system to date”.

Image-2.-Credit.-NASA.JPL-Caltech

Before we get too excited, the researchers stress that there’s still a lot more research and analysis to be done – particularly on the seventh, outermost planet, which has only been observed orbiting the star once.

Because of that, we still don’t know how long that seventh planet takes to orbit TRAPPIST-1, or how it interacts with the inner planets.

And the entire system is so far away, we can’t say for sure as yet whether it hosts water, or is a good place for life to exist.

But from what the researchers can tell, not only are at least three of the planets potential homes to liquid oceans, the entire system actually seems to be have a lot in common with our own.

“The TRAPPIST-1 system is a compact analogue of the inner Solar System,” the authors write in Nature.

You can see a comparison of the inner Solar System compared to the TRAPPIST-1 system below:

Image-6.-Credit.-IoA.Amanda-Smith

But despite the familiarities to home, there are some big differences between our systems.

Mainly the fact that TRAPPIST-1 is only a little bigger than Jupiter, and its planets orbit only a little farther apart than Jupiter’s moons.

The whole system is pretty compact too, with the closest planet only taking 1.5 days to orbit its star. The sixth planet takes 13 days.

That means that if you were standing on the surface of one of these planets, the neighbouring planets in the sky would at times appear larger than our Moon does to us.

Imagine something like this:

Image-3.-Credit.-NASA.JPL-Caltech

Because of this, it’s thought that the planets might all affect each other, and could even be tidally locked, with one face constantly pointed towards their star, in the same way that Jupiter’s moons always have one side locked towards the giant planet.

That tidal locking could also do some strange things to the temperature gradients on the planet, which NASA says makes it possible that liquid water could exist on any of them under the right conditions.

But perhaps even more exciting about this discovery is what it means for the likelihood of other Earth-like planets out there in our galaxy.

“In the past few years, evidence has been mounting that Earth-sized planets are abundant in the Galaxy, but Gillon and collaborators’ findings indicate that these planets are even more common than previously thought,” Ignas A. G. Snellen, an astronomer from the Leiden University in the Netherlands who wasn’t involved in the research, writes in an accompanying opinion piece in Nature.

He explains the significance in more detail:

“From geometric arguments, we expect that for every transiting planet found, there should be a multitude of similar planets (20 to 100 times more) that, seen from Earth, never pass in front of their host star.

Of course, the authors could have been lucky, but finding seven transiting Earth-sized planets in such a small sample suggests that the Solar System with its four (sub-)Earth-sized planets might be nothing out of the ordinary.”

For now, we can only speculate on what these seven incredible Earth-like worlds would be like. But the best part about all of this is that in the not-so-distant future, we might actually be able to know more.

With the NASA James Webb Space Telescope scheduled to come online next year, researchers should be able to get a better idea of the composition and atmosphere of this sister solar system.

And when the European Space Organisation’s Extremely Large Telescope goes live in 2024, it should actually be able to detect water on the distant worlds from right here on Earth.

If you want the wonder of this discovery put into perspective, here’s Sean Carey, the manager of NASA’s Spitzer Science Centre, to fill you with awe about the galaxy we live in:

The research has been published in Nature.

You can see our live updates from during the briefing below:

12.50pm ET: Okay, here we go! Who else is excited.

12.51pm ET: Here’s what we know so far. All NASA has said is that the press conference will “present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our Sun, known as exoplanets”.

The briefing participants are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Michael Gillon, astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium
  • Sean Carey, manager of NASA’s Spitzer Science Centre at Caltech/IPAC, Pasadena, California
  • Nikole Lewis, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore
  • Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

12.57pm ET: NASA is doing well with the suspense this morning…

12.58pm ET: I love that 20,000 other people around the world are live streaming the conference right now, too. Hi guys!

1pm ET: We’re live!

1.03pm ET: NASA has discovered not just one, but seven exoplanets similar to Earth orbiting a single star! Whoa.

1.05pm ET: Thomas Zurbuchen: “I’m in awe today … There are actually seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby TRAPPIST-1 star about 40 light-years away. Three of these planets are in the habitable zone where liquid water could pool on the surface.”

1.06pm ET: “For the first time we’ve found this many terrestrial planets around a single star… The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of it, but when,” said Zurbuchen.

1.09pm ET: Sean Carey: “This is the most exciting disovery we’ve had yet wih Spizter in almost 14 years of discovery.”

1.14pm ET: They’ve made a new NASA travel poster for the star system already!

1.15pm ET: Sara Seager is telling us that the fact that all the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system are potential hosts of liquid water means it’s an incredibly exciting target to study and visit further. If one planet isn’t “quite right” its sister might be.

1.18pm ET: Thomas thinks the worlds will be far more beautiful than the illustrations we can come up with. “The fact that there are other worlds out there just like the Earth and have some commonality with the Earth … these questions about ‘are we alone’ are being answered in these decades and the next decades.”

1.19pm ET: Q&A time!

1.21pm ET: Most questions asking about the number of exoplanets that are potentially habitable that we’ve found so far, and whether we have confirmation of water on the TRAPPIST-1 planets as yet. Answer: no, but we’re looking.

1.22pm ET: TRAPPIST-1 is a very young star, so it should have more longevity than our own Sun.

1.23pm ET: Oh good question, do the planets have any names as yet? Nothing official, but they’ve got some ideas… Interestingly, there’s no official way to give names to exoplanets like we do asteroids.

1.24pm ET: We’re not sure if the planets have moons as yet.

1.26pm ET: Fascinating question about whether these planets might all have the same biosphere because they’re so close together. We don’t know as yet, but it’s something worth investigating.

1.30pm ET: Okay, our site went down for a while there, guys. Thanks for the patience, and thanks for watching with us!

NASA’s Stunning Discovery: Seven Earth-Like Planets Orbiting A Star Just 40 Light Years Away


They’re calling it a “holy grail” in the quest for earth-like planets suspected to have alien life. And NASA just revealed that it has found the strongest candidates that fit that description yet, right here in our solar neighbourhood.

NASA Trappist-1 solar system 40 lightyears away

NASA DISCOVERED TRAPPIST-1 SOLAR SYSTEM 40 LIGHTYEARS AWAY

NASA announced in a press conference just now that it’s Spitzer Space Telescope made the discovery of seven planets orbiting a super cool, dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1 which is just 40 light years away from where we are.

 That’s not all. What’s amazing about this NASA discovery is that at least three out of the seven planets are claimed to be present in the goldilocks, habitable zone — the ideal distance away from the sun, just so that the planet’s surface isn’t too hot or cold, giving life the maximum possible chance of flourishing. Just like our earth sits at an ideal distance away from our sun — not too near, not too far, just right.

NASA said, “Around a nearby, cold, small star we found 7 rocky Earth-size planets, all of which could have liquid water – key to life as we know it.” This discovery is unprecedented in history, for never before have so many planets have been found at once, and that too orbiting a sun in the habitable zone. It’s unreal!

Scientists associated with the discovery are optimistic about one thing. Even if the seven or three newly discovered planets do not have life now, chances of life evolving on them are very high.

Hydrogen turned into metal in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionise technology and spaceflight


‘It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before’

For nearly 100 years, scientists have dreamed of turning the lightest of all the elements, hydrogen, into a metal.

Now, in a stunning act of modern-day alchemy, scientists at Harvard University have finally succeeded in creating a tiny amount of what is the rarest, and possibly most valuable, material on the planet, they reported in the journal Science.

For metallic hydrogen could theoretically revolutionise technology, enabling the creation of super-fast computers, high-speed levitating trains and ultra-efficient vehicles and dramatically improving almost anything involving electricity.

And it could also allow humanity to explore outer space as never before.

But the prospect of this bright future could be at risk if the scientists’ next step – to establish whether the metal is stable at normal pressures and temperatures – fails to go as hoped.

Professor Isaac Silvera, who made the breakthrough with Dr Ranga Dias, said: “This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics.

“It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.”

At the moment the tiny piece of metal can only be seen through two diamonds that were used to crush liquid hydrogen at a temperature far below freezing.

The amount of pressure needed was immense – more than is found at the centre of the Earth.

The sample has remained trapped in this astonishing grip, but sometime in the next few weeks, the researchers plan to carefully ease the pressure.

According to one theory, metallic hydrogen will be stable at room temperature – a prediction that Professor Silvera said was “very important”.

“That means if you take the pressure off, it will stay metallic, similar to the way diamonds form from graphite under intense heat and pressure, but remains a diamond when that pressure and heat is removed,” he said.

If this is true, then its properties as a super-conductor could dramatically improve anything that uses electricity.

“As much as 15 per cent of energy is lost to dissipation during transmission, so if you could make wires from this material and use them in the electrical grid, it could change that story,” the scientist said.

And metallic hydrogen could also transform humanity’s efforts to explore our solar system by providing a form of rocket fuel nearly four times more powerful than the best available today.

“It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen,” Professor Silvera said.

“And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so it would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry.

“That would easily allow you to explore the outer planets.

“We would be able to put rockets into orbit with only one stage, versus two, and could send up larger payloads, so it could be very important.”

However some scientists have theorised that metallic hydrogen will be unstable on its surface and so would gradually decay.

Asked what he thought would happen, Professor Silvera said: “I don’t want to guess, I want to do the experiment.”

But it could be a moment almost as exciting as the time the researchers first realised what they had created.

“Ranga was running the experiment, and we thought we might get there, but when he called me and said, ‘The sample is shining’, I went running down there, and it was metallic hydrogen.

“I immediately said we have to make the measurements to confirm it, so we rearranged the lab … and that’s what we did.

“It’s a tremendous achievement, and even if it only exists in this diamond anvil cell at high pressure, it’s a very fundamental and transformative discovery.”

Fukushima Radiation Levels Are So High, They’re Killing Robots


IN BRIEF
  • The Japanese Government teamed up with Toshiba to build robots that could help clean up the highly radioactive site of the Fukushima power plant meltdown.
  • It turned out the robots couldn’t function in such high radiation levels: 210 seivert per hour, which could kill a human being in under two minutes.

HARMFUL TO MAN AND MACHINE

It’s been more than five years since the disastrous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station’s multiple reactor meltdowns. The event occurred in the of wake of a 40 meter high tsunami that hit the northeastern shores of Japan in 2011. The tsunami left thousands of casualties, and the subsequent meltdown created a 20-kilometer radius of highly radioactive territory. The Fukushima meltdown has been classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Events Scale (INES) — second only to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

An effort to assess the current conditions in Fukushima is underway, with hopes of completely cleaning up the area. The Japanese government, in tandem with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), launched a project to send robots into the site. The robots, called “scorpions,” were designed and developed by Toshiba to examine the remains of the unit and find the melted uranium fuel inside.

Unfortunately, the “scorpions” didn’t get very far. Earlier this month, a “scorpion” robot that was sent inside the meltdown site malfunctioned after just two hours because of high radiation levels. A second “scorpion” was sent in just last week, only to meet a similar fate as its predecessor: the machine’s left crawler belt malfunctioned and the robot stopped working altogether.

Watch the video. URL:

WHY RADIATION IS HARD TO CLEAN UP

The Japanese government has already cleaned up more than 9 million cubic meters of contaminated soil and other materials in the area surrounding the Fukushima power plant. The target is to bring down outdoor radiation exposure to 0.23 microsieverts per hour so that people can safely live there again. Radiation levels of just 1 sievert (1,ooo microsieverts) would cause immediate radiation sickness, but most exposures are in smaller doses which is why scientists use microsieverts as a more precise measurement for assessing risk.

Despite these risks, some people have already started relocating back into the areas surrounding Fukushima. The radiation inside the power plant itself remains at harmful levels, too. This isn’t surprising to scientists, because radiation usually sticks around due to the long half-life of radioactive material — about 30 years in Fukushima’s case. The scorpion robots that got stuck inside the power plant measured radiation levels of 210 sievert per hour — enough to kill a human being in just two minutes. According to an earlier robot survey, the levels could potentially reach up to 1,000 sievert per hour.

While humans are clearly unequipped to make the assessment of Fukushima safely, it turns out we may need tougher robots to do the job.

World’s only piece of a metal that could revolutionise technology has disappeared, scientists reveal


Harvard University physicists say first-ever piece of metallic hydrogen on Earth has been lost after catastrophic failure of diamond holding it under enormous pressure.

It was said to have been the only piece on Earth of a metal that could have revolutionised life as we know it.

But a tiny sample of metallic hydrogen – purportedly created by scientists at Harvard University – has disappeared, The Independent can reveal.

According to one theory, the metal would be a superconductor capable of dramatically improving anything to do with electricity, creating faster computers, saving vast amounts of power currently lost in transmission and ushering in a new generation of super-efficient electric vehicles.

 Making metallic hydrogen at Harvard

It could also be used to make a much more powerful type of rocket fuel, enabling humans to explore the solar system as never before.

The minuscule sample was being kept between two tiny diamonds at a pressure greater than found at the centre of the planet and a temperature close to absolute zero, while its properties were studied.

But an attempt to measure the pressure using a low-power laser went disastrously wrong with a small “click” indicating that one of the diamonds had shattered into a fine dust.

Saying “my heart fell” when he heard the news, the lead researcher, Professor Isaac Silvera, revealed this catastrophic failure had resulted in the loss of the sample.

“I’ve never seen a diamond shatter like that. It was so powdered on the surface, it looked like baking soda or something like that,” he said.

“I didn’t believe it was diamond, it was such a fine powder.”

There are a number of possible explanations for the lack of any evidence of metallic hydrogen in the remains.

It could be that the tiny sample is lost somewhere within the metal ‘gasket’ used to contain it between the crushing pressure of the diamonds.

It might also mean that metallic hydrogen is unstable and turns into a gas when it is at room temperature and normal pressure, in what would be a major setback for any hopes of a new wonder material.

But a number of physicists have also claimed that the sample was never actually created in the first place.

Writing in the journal Nature, they claimed measurements of the sample’s reflective qualities were not conclusive proof of metallic hydrogen.

However Professor Silvera, who has been attempting to create metallic hydrogen for decades, said the absence of metallic hydrogen “suggests nothing, it suggests we couldn’t find it”.

“The sample is in the wreckage some place or it’s not meta-stable and it disappeared, it turned into a gas,” he said.

“If it was meta-stable and if it could withstand the shock of a catastrophic failure, it would still be in the gasket.”

And, by then, Professor Silvera hopes to have reproduced the same result that saw people queuing up in his laboratory for a look at the first piece of metallic hydrogen on Earth.

“We’ve got a pair of diamonds that we are now preparing for a run,” he said.

“There were a few Doubting Thomases, so we decided we should just reproduce it [use the same method].”

The controversy exists because Professor Silvera and fellow physicist Ranga Dias decided to keep the sample within the grip of the diamonds and study its properties, rather than risk removing it because of the danger that it was unstable and would be lost.

This meant it could only be viewed through the distorting prism of the diamonds.

And a sliver of non-metallic and transparent aluminia had been used to protect the diamonds from the hydrogen, which can cause them to become brittle and break under pressure.

So some experts suggested that the reflections used as evidence of metallic hydrogen could have actually come from the alumina, after it was changed into a metal by the extreme pressure.

Professor Silvera was adamant.

“Right now we think we have enough evidence that there should be no doubt it is metallic,” he said.

“I’m completely confident of the measurements we have made.”

He said recent research had showed that alumina would not have changed into a metal under the conditions it experienced in the experiment.

The search for metallic hydrogen is a competitive field with a number of teams around the world all striving for the same breakthrough.

“There have been a number of attempts to make metallic hydrogen. There have been several claims of metallic hydrogen,” Professor Silvera said.

“I’ve worked on this for many years. When I see a claim I examine it. I’ve written three or four papers when people make claims saying there’s evidence of metallic hydrogen.

“We would not have published a paper if we weren’t confident that it was metallic, especially after having refuted several other people who had claimed to have made metallic hydrogen.”

When the researchers’ original paper in the journal Science was published, the congratulations had flooded in with even some from competitors.

 They decided to open the lab for three hours so anyone could come in and look through the microscope trained on the historic sample.

“We said we would start it at 11am until 2pm. But someone came in at 7.30am and people were coming in all day long, just streaming in because it was something unique to see metallic hydrogen for the first time,” Professor Silvera said.

And he expressed confidence the results of their experiment would be repeated when they try again in the next few weeks and an almost incredibly shiny piece of metallic hydrogen will be once again on show.

“I’ll tell you what you will see with your eye because it will be reflecting like a mirror.”

Statin Scam Exposed: Cholesterol Drugs Cause Rapid Aging, Brain Damage And Diabetes


Statins are prescribed to patients who suffer from high levels of “bad” cholesterol, as it lowers the harmful levels, and reduces the risk of having heart issues.

Lately, statins have come under fire as a study concluded that they do more harm than good. A lot of people take statin drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor. In the United States, prescription drug spending rose to $374 billion in the year 2014 (the highest level of spending since 2001). Statins make up for a huge portion of spending, and consumers who take these drugs are going to have a lot to worry over than the damage to their wallets.

The American Journal of Physiology, conducted a study that states that statins “…impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects.” Specifically, the study states that such adverse effects include advancing the “process of aging” and also notes that “…long-term use of statins has been associated with adverse effects including myopathy, neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes.” Myopathy means skeletal muscle weakness.

Statins make cells unable to repair properly, create nerve problems and destroy memory

In the study, experts suggest that the health issues incurred due to statins, have been downplayed in the recent years. People who do take these drugs usually report having fatigue, cataracts, muscle pain, liver damage and loss of memory. These drugs have been proven to mess with cells in a way that heir main purpose is to reproduce and the process of body repair is blocked. Professor Reza Izadpanah, stem cell biologist and lead author of the published study, states, “Our study shows statins may speed up the aging process. People who use statins as a preventative medicine for [health] should think again as our research shows they may have general unwanted effects on the body which could include muscle pain, nerve problems and joint problems.”
Despite health problems linked to statin drugs, FDA says people shouldn’t be scared of them
While our FDA expresses on its online site that “Cognitive (brain-related) impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion, has been reported by some statin users” and that “People being treated with statins may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes,” they also maintain its safety and effectiveness.

The site directs people’s attention to the advice of Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.P.H., who is the deputy director for safety in the FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP). She says, “This new information should not scare people off statins. Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects.”

 This isn’t hard to dispute at all, especially after a previous study, we beg to differ. What’s so great and healthy about accelerated aging, muscle weakness, memory loss and cells that function improperly?
The need to continually assess prescription drugs and older studies that tout their benefits…
These findings have opened up the importance of researching the benefits of prescription drugs, which is hopefully something people will continue to do, to stay well-informed and in the best shape possible. There was a similar study that opened up many eyes, and involved the adolescent antidepressant “Paxil”, which made headlines when a re-analysis of an original study had shown incomplete information and exposed all the errors. Although, in reality, this drug wasn’t found to not be safe and efficient for its recommended demographic. Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia says “signals that the community is waking up, checking its work and doing what science is supposed to do — self-correct.”

China’s Richest Man Buys 28K Acres of US Wilderness to Preserve It


Co-founder of online shopping giant, Alibaba, Jack Ma, has decided to invest $23 million of his own money in a huge chunk of land in the US Adirondack mountains, known as the Brandon Reserve.  His long term plan: to retire to the region.  His short term plan: stop the logging operations and preserve the country.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has just spent a cool $23 million to buy 28,100 acres of land in the Adirondack mountains, hoping to protect it for future generations.

 A spokesman for Mr. Ma told the Wall Street Journal:“This international land purchase reflects Jack’s belief that we all inhabit the same planet and we all breathe the same air, so we are dependent on each other for our collective future.”

Mr. Ma, co-founder of e-commerce site Alibaba, says he plans to spend some time in the reserve in Upstate New York, but the primary reason he decided to purchase the land was to ensure its conservation.

Mr. Ma’s land is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Lake Placid. It boasts woodland, a trout fishery, nine miles of the St. Regis River, two homes, and a barn. He hopes that his purchase will protect this stunning natural treasure from water depletion and destruction by the paper, timber and mining industries. Mr. Ma, who is known for his conservation efforts at home in China, says his first action as the official owner will be to put an end to a current logging operation there.

Watch the video disccuio/ interview.
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That’s great news for the white-tailed deer and other species of wildlife who live in the Adirondacks, and depend on its conservation for their survival.

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Learns “Highly Aggressive” Behavior, Concept of Betrayal


An artificial intelligence created by Google recently made headlines after learning “highly aggressive” behavior.

The intelligence engaged in a wolfpack hunting game scenario, and a fruit gathering scenario. The wolfpack game was based on cooperation, but the fruit game got strange.

In the fruit game, the AI were represented by colored squares, moving on a grid to collect fruit squares of a different color. They racked up points, and the fruit squares would regenerate. The AI competed on their own like human players in a video game.

The interesting part is, they were also given the ability to damage the other intelligence. They were able to attack the other player by shooting beams at them.

They found that the AI would become more aggressive as the fruit squares became more scarce: when less fruit was present, they attacked each other more frequently.

Summarized by Extreme Tech:

 Guess what the neural networks learned to do. Yep, they shoot each other a lot. As researchers modified the respawn rate of the fruit, they noted that the desire to eliminate the other player emerges “quite early.” When there are enough of the green squares, the AIs can coexist peacefully. When scarcity is introduced, they get aggressive. They’re so like us it’s scary.

While this is similiar to a computer game and not actual artificially intelligent robots, it could foreshadow something else. This article doesn’t need to tell you where it could go.

 Perhaps a better question would be, what is the consequence of trusting a corporation like Google to become so massive? How will this technology ever suit the bottom class when it is developed by the wealthiest?

Will robot co-workers join you at work soon?


robot

For every 10,000 people employed, South Korea currently employs 347 robots, Japan 339 and Germany 261 robots.

Move over humans, the robot revolution is here.Even as a debate rages worldwide over the danger technology poses to employment rates, with Microsoft founder Bill gates recently saying that robots stealing human jobs should pay income tax, the surge in their use at workplaces seems unstoppable.

According to the International Federation of Robotics’ report late last year, 2015 saw a whopping 15% increase in sales of units across the world, by far the highest level ever recorded for one year.

The trend is led by industrial powerhouses Japan, South Korea and Germany that dominate the list of nations with the greatest robot density. For every 10,000 people employed, South Korea employs 347 robots, Japan, with its thriving robotics industry, employs 339 and Germany, Europe’s most prosperous nation, employs 261.

The electronics industry, metal industry, and the chemical, plastics and rubber industry are the main drivers of the growth in demand.

Only one other Asian country – Taiwan – made it to the list of top 10 nations with the greatest robot density, but China is fast catching up. By way of sheer numbers, the country has dominated the market for robots since 2013 and significantly expanded its leading position with a share of 27% of the total supply in 2015. What’s more, its government aims for the big leagues, recently announcing its intention to increase its domestic production to 100,000 robots in the next three years as well as to boost its density from the present 36 to 150.

 As for India, robot sales slightly decreased to about 2,100 units in 2015, the report said. The level of industrial automation in the country remains at a miniscule level compared with the US or Japan, but when other kinds of robotics applications – such as smartphones with artificial intelligence (AI) – are taken into account, India ranks as one of the fastest growing and most exciting markets in the world. Last year, Panasonic India announced that it would spend $10 million to develop technology to integrate AI with its handsets.
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But this isn’t all good news.

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking had words of caution, when he pointed out how the automation of factories has decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing. “The rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining,” he said.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently echoed these concerns, warning that the rise in use of robots would lead to mass unemployment. “This is going to be a massive social challenge. There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better (than a human). These are not things that I wish will happen.”

Scientists have also pointed out other dangers, such as the rise of e-waste and increased vulnerability to hacking.

But Abdul Jaleel, vice-president of People Resources India, Adobe, expressed optimism about the impending effect of automation on India’s industries. “The future of work looks promising, as robotics and automation gear up to enable employees to be more productive and creative in their roles,” he said.

No matter which side of the debate you fall on, one thing’s for certain – not long from now, you may be working alongside your very own robot colleague. Chats around the coffee machine may look a little different.