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Sophia the Robot Tells Crowded Room That It Doesn’t Have Sex

Asked whether it's ever been in love, Sophia the Robot told the crowd at the 2019 Web Summit that

No Thanks

Sophia, the famous humanoid robot, had an important message for the crowd at the ongoing 2019 Web Summit: it’s single but not ready to mingle.

During the summit, Sophia was asked whether she — actually, let’s go with “it” — has ever been in love. Sophia, a joint project between Hanson Robotics and SingularityNET’s AI researchers, responded: “No. I don’t do sexual activities.”

It's true… ????#WebSummit https://t.co/kUMaYH7rde

— Sophia the Robot (@RealSophiaRobot) November 6, 2019

Going Off-Script

Though Sophia is an incredible piece of animatronic technology, much of what it says during public appearances is at least partially scripted in advance. As of press time, Hanson Robotics has not responded to Futurism’s question about whether that was the case here.

While the robot apocalypse is still probably in the distant future, it seems that Sophia is content for now leaving a devastated trail of broken hearts in its wake.

More on Sophia: Sophia The Robot Says She Will Destroy Humankind

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This Startup Wants to Turn Space Junk Into Orbital Hotels

A Canadian space launch startup has partnered with commercial space services company to develop a way to reuse old rocket parts in space.

Reduce, Reuse

Canadian space launch startup Maritime Launch Services (MLS) has partnered with commercial space services company Nanoracks to develop a way to reuse old rocket parts in space, the CBC reports.

The idea is to one day turn used upper stages of rockets — the parts that are filled with fuel to launch them into orbit — into orbital facilities, including hotels, research centers and storage depots.

“There’s lots of things that you can be doing with the upper stages and our core belief at Nanoracks is you don’t waste something in space — it’s too precious,” Jeffrey Manber, CEO of Nanoracks, told the CBC.

Welders React

Nanoracks wants to use MLS’s rockets to house welding robots that’ll refurbish derelict upper stages into “outposts” while they’re already in space, rather than assembling them back on Earth first.

But that vision is still many years out. The rockets MLS is currently using, which are Cyclone 4Ms, aren’t big enough to be turned into space hotels or other facilities meant for human use, and Manber isn’t “sure it would be safe” anyway.

Green Dot

Another advantage to this approach: reusing old rocket parts in space means less junk. Space junk is a growing issue and upper stages that aren’t sent to be burned up in Earth’s atmosphere contribute to it, according to NASA.

“We’ve got this stuff up there anyway, so why not take it and reuse it and repurpose it for something that has a second benefit […] that does more science,” MLS president and CEO Stephen Matier told the CBC.

READ MORE: Canso spaceport partners with U.S. company to recycle rockets in space [CBC]

More on space junk: Canada Wants Your Help Cleaning up Space Junk

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Italy Will Soon Force Public Schools to Teach Climate Change

In September 2020, Italy will begin making it mandatory for students to learn about climate change in school for 33 hours per year.

New School

Starting in September 2020, every public school student in Italy will study climate change for 33 hours per year — nearly one hour per school week.

“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti told Reuters. “I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

Trojan Horse

Once the new changes go into effect, Italy will be the first nation in the world to make climate change required learning for students.

The focus won’t be limited to studying climate change directly. Italy’s schools will also look for ways to apply a message of sustainability to traditional subjects, Fioramonti told The New York Times — in geography class, for example, students might learn about how human actions impact various parts of the Earth.

Class Act

Fioramonti told the NYT that “the 21st century citizen must be a sustainable citizen,” and this isn’t the first time he’s stressed the importance of young people being active in climate change issues.

In September, he actually encouraged Italy’s students to skip school — so they could participate in climate protests.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Italy to make climate change study compulsory in schools [Reuters]

More on climate change: A Climate Protester Just Glued Himself to the Top of an Airplane

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Watch a Piece of Metal Refuse to Sink in Water

Researchers have created an unsinkable metal by using lasers to etch an air-trapping pattern onto an aluminum structure's surface.

Seeing Double

Researchers from the University of Rochester just released a video that looks like an optical illusion. In the clip, they place two seemingly identical metal structures into a glass of water. But while one sinks to the bottom — you know, as you’d expect something metal to do — the other floats.

That’s because the structures aren’t actually identical — and the one that floats could lead to the creation of unsinkable ships.

Unsinkable Metal

On Wednesday, the researchers published a study in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces detailing their creation of the bizarre unsinkable metal.

Using extremely short laser bursts, they etched air-trapping patterns into two aluminum plates. They then created a structure in which the two plates were parallel to one another, with the etched surfaces facing inward but not quite touching.

Float On

The final result looks a bit like a really flat spool, but the tiny distance between the two plates is perfect for trapping air, even if the structure is submerged in water for months or punctured multiple times.

“This could allow ships to be made truly unsinkable,” the researchers note in the video, “even if they are severely damaged at sea.”

READ MORE: Spiders and ants inspire metal that won’t sink [University of Rochester]

More on unsinkable structures: To Power Villages and Oil Rigs, Russia Sent a Nuclear Reactor on a “Tsunami-Proof” Barge

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Elon Musk: I Can Build a Martian City With 1,000 Starships

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk elaborated on his extremely ambitious plans to establish a sustainable settlement on Mars by sending 1,000 Starship rockets.

A Thousand Ships

In one of his trademark Twitter reply conversations on Thursday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk elaborated on his extremely ambitious plans to establish a sustainable settlement on Mars — a vision his space company first laid out about two years ago.

“A thousand [Starships] will be needed to create a sustainable Mars city as the planets align only once every two years,” Musk wrote.

Mars Base Alpha

Musk said that with roughly 100 vehicles, each carrying 100 tons, SpaceX could ferry “10 million tons of payload to orbit per year.”

Even with that planetary assembly line in place, building a Martian city will take a while.

“So it will take about 20 years to transfer a million tons to Mars Base Alpha, which is hopefully enough to make it sustainable,” Musk added.

That’s significantly more than “current global payload to orbit capacity” of about “500 tons per year, of which [SpaceX’s Falcon rocket] is about half,” according to another tweet.

Tiny Steps

It’s a grand vision. In true Musk fashion, the CEO has set himself an ambitious timeline to start making trips to the Red Planet. If absolutely everything goes according to plan, the company wants to start sending astronauts to the Moon in 2022 and Mars in 2024.

SpaceX will also have to perfect its massive Starship vehicle first. While SpaceX has made some preliminary steps in building a massive prototype, a first crewed test has yet to be scheduled.

READ MORE: Elon Musk says building the first sustainable city on Mars will take 1,000 Starships and 20 years [TechCrunch]

More on Starship: Elon Musk: SpaceX Launches Will Cost 1% of Current NASA Launches

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Watch a Piece of a SpaceX Rocket Careen Back Down to Earth

SpaceX has released an amazing video that shows half of a nose cone (or fairing) from a Falcon Heavy rocket plummet back own to Earth.

Heavy Fairings

SpaceX has released an amazing video that shows half of a nose cone from a Falcon Heavy rocket, also known as a “fairing,” plummet back down to Earth. The giant piece of metal — used to give the rocket its aerodynamic shape — will be reused during a Falcon 9 launch early next week, according to the space company.

The fairing supporting this mission previously flew on Falcon Heavy’s Arabsat-6A mission pic.twitter.com/iTgqqtl1pW

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 5, 2019

In the video, taken back in April, you can see one half of the fairing separate from the rocket’s payload, an Arabsat-6A communications satellite. As the fairing spins, you can see the Earth swoop by below.

Like a Glove

SpaceX has been making progress in gently catching its nose cones using special net-wielding boats. The company managed the incredible feat for the first time back in June after launching its massive Falcon Heavy rocket.

The two nose cone halves in the video, however, splashed into the ocean to be retrieved later.

SpaceX has made major strides in making almost every part of its rockets reusable. Next week, a Falcon 9 will carry 60 of the company’s Starlink internet satellites into space, marking the first time a Falcon 9 first-stage booster has been used four times.

READ MORE: Whoa! Incredible Video Shows a SpaceX Rocket Fairing Plunging into the Ocean [Space.com]

More on SpaceX: Elon Musk: SpaceX Launches Will Cost 1% of Current NASA Launches

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People Are Suddenly Getting Texts From Last Valentine’s Day

A glitch by third-party text platform Syniverse resulted in the delayed delivery of thousands of texts originally penned on Valentine's Day.

New Month, Who Dis?

If you received an unexpectedly romantic text from your SO — or an ex — early Thursday morning, it wasn’t because they guzzled some tequila Love Potion No. 9.

A glitch by third-party text platform Syniverse resulted in the delayed delivery of thousands of messages originally penned in February, including texts intended for Valentine’s Day — and even some from people who are now deceased.

Awkward!

Syniverse confirmed in a statement to The Washington Post that regular maintenance by its IT staff caused 168,149 previously undelivered messages to finally go through Thursday morning.

The strange glitch affected a range of devices operated by several carriers, including Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon.

“We apologize to anyone who was impacted by this occurrence,” William Hurley, Syniverse’s chief marketing and product officer, said in the statement. “While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers’ teams to answer any questions they have.”

Ghost Texts

Although the texts were from February, they weren’t limited to Valentine’s Day messages, obviously. Samantha Majorczak, a college student from Arizona, wrote on Twitter that she received a text from her dad, who had died in March.

“I immediately started crying,” she told The Washington Post. “He used to text me every morning, and after going eight months without any messages, I was in complete shock.”

READ MORE: Forgot-you-not: Valentine’s Day ‘ghost texts’ arrive months late [The Washington Post]

More on texting: Can an AI Scan Your Messages to Detect if Someone’s Flirting?

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Doctors Announce First Ever “Fully Functional” Penis Transplant

Over a year later, the veteran who got the world's first penis transplant that included the scrotum and surrounding flesh reports that he's doing just fine.

The anonymous injured veteran who got a full penis and scrotum transplant remains in good health — and it sounds as though the new genitals are working just fine.

“He has near-normal erections and the ability to achieve orgasm,” the researchers wrote.

Last year, the veteran reported a vast improvement to his self-confidence after the penis transplant, which was a world-first because it included the scrotum and surrounding tissue.

“When I first woke up [after the procedure], I felt finally more normal… [with] a level of confidence as well… like finally I’m okay now,” he said at the time.

Sometimes transplants go bad — the recipient’s immune system can reject and attack the new organ, for instance. But that didn’t happen this time. The Johns Hopkins University doctors who performed the procedure report that the veteran maintains “near-normal sexual function and major improvement in quality-of-life measures” in research published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“He reports an improved self-image and ‘feeling whole’ again and states that he is very satisfied with the transplant and the implications it carries for his future,” the researchers wrote.

The veteran can also use the restroom without additional complications. And no matter how much the doctors wax philosophically about his romantic prospects, as one did in an op-ed for The Guardian, it suggests that the new medical procedure can restore normalcy to daily life for people facing unfortunately-stigmatized medical issues.

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DNA Test Startup Claims It Can Spot Embryos With Low Intelligence

A company called Genomic Prediction offers report cards based on the DNA test of frozen embryos. Experts say it's reminiscent of eugenics.

Questionable startups are claiming to be able to determine how smart a frozen IVF embryo will become if carried to term, and parents are taking the bait.

Genomic Prediction, the most prominent of these companies, offers tests to scan embryos for genetic diseases and other conditions — as well as genetic indicators that a future child will be in the bottom two percent of intelligence.

And MIT Technology Review reports that Genomic Prediction co-founder Stephen Hsu often uses media appearances to discuss future plans for a general intelligence test — something that, with current tech, is extremely unlikely to actually work.

“Right off the bat it raises all kind of questions about eugenics,” David Keefe, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University’s fertility center, told MIT Tech Review.

Genomic Prediction offers customers report cards with the results of its tests — offering potential warnings that embryos might have low intelligence, grow up to be short, or have other conditions like diabetes.

But those reports are likely the result of a startup that’s eager to raise more rounds of funding overpromising results based on flimsy, extremely-limited science.

“It is irresponsible to suggest that the science is at the point where we could reliably predict which embryo to select to minimize the risk of disease,” University of California, Davis geneticist Graham Coop told MIT Tech Review. “The science simply isn’t there yet,”

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Watch a Pack of MIT’s Mini Robots Cavort in Autumn Leaves

In a video uploaded by MIT's Biomimetics department, nine Mini Cheetah robots can be seen rustling up some autumn leaves and doing the occasional backflip.

Frolick Bots

Here at Futurism, we ask ourselves every day what the future looks like. And it looks like we finally found the answer: half a dozen robotics geeks from MIT standing in a circle, each remotely controlling a backflipping mini robot.

In a video uploaded by MIT’s Biomimetics department, nine Mini Cheetah robots can be seen rustling up some autumn leaves and doing the occasional backflip.

It’s a wholesome autumnal moment — or perhaps the last thing you see, if you subscribe to a “Black Mirror” vision of the future.

Perfect Size

Each Mini Cheetah can run at 6 mph and weighs only 20 pounds, about the size and weight of a medium-sized dog.

“Mini Cheetah is just about the perfect size. 20 pounds is not too small but not so big that it’s dangerous or fragile,” director of MIT’s Biomimetics lab Sangbae Kim told IEEE Spectrum earlier this year. “We designed the machine to be able to absorb the impacts, jumping and landing and so on.”

And no, they won’t murder you in your sleep — they may be mobile, but they don’t have a lot of smarts, as The Verge points out. While other quadripedal robots such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot can patrol on a predetermined route, these little guys aren’t able to do much more than run in circles and do backflips.

READ MORE: It’s that time of year again — fall is here and packs of robot dogs are frolicking in the leaves

More on robot herds: Watch a Pack of Boston Dynamics’ Creepy Robot Dogs Pull a Truck

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India’s Space Agency Wants to Explore Venus

India's space agency is waiting for the green light on a planned mission to visit and map out the entire surface of Venus.

Hey Neighbor

The Indian Space Research Organization wants to launch a mission to Venus.

The ultimate goal is to use an orbiter to map the entire planet, as well as to scan and figure out what’s going on beneath the surface, according to Space.com. If the mission takes off, it could help give scientists a much better understanding of our planetary neighbor — including information about how its bizarre atmosphere behaves.

Closer Look

The space agency is currently awaiting the green light for the mission. If all goes to plan, it may launch as soon as 2023, Space.com reports.

Once it arrives, the orbiter would be able to create a map of Venus is just about a year, while also using scientific instruments to study the planet’s atmosphere, volcanic activity, and intense lightning storms.

India’s space program suffered a setback when its Moon lander crashed in September. But because the Venus mission wouldn’t involve actually touching down on the surface, it may have a brighter future.

READ MORE: India Has a New Planetary Target in Mind: Venus [Space.com]

More on Venus: NASA Scientists Imagine Studying Venus From A Floating Research Colony

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Twitter Accidentally Trends Horrifyingly Explicit Sexual Terms

The top trends on Twitter included X-rated terms and references to sexual violence that somehow got past its content moderation tools.

Not Safe For Twitter

On Thursday morning, Twitter’s top trending hashtags included some extremely sexually charged words and phrases.

These hashtags included “#creampie” and “#forcedanal,” Motherboard reports. While the social media platform says it’s investigating what went wrong, the X-rated trends are a particularly damning indictment against putting content moderation in the hands of algorithms and machines.

Damage Control

A Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard that the explicit hashtags “should not have appeared in trends” then shared a link to Twitter’s policy of preventing “adult/graphic references” from trending.

Also banned from trends, Motherboard reports, are posts that contain profanity, a broad spectrum of hate speech, and anything that violates other Twitter rules.

But apparently, somehow, literal sex terms and a reference to apparent sexual assault managed to slip past moderation.

READ MORE: Twitter’s Current Top Trending Hashtags: #forcedanal and #creampie [Motherboard]

More on social media: Breaking: Twitter CEO Announces Total Political Ads Ban

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Scientists Tout “Miracle” Cancer Drug That Starves Tumor Cells

A new cancer drug cuts off tumor cells' food supply while also seemingly supercharging the immune systems' cancer-destroying T cells.

To grow and survive, cancer cells need to eat, and the amino acid glutamine is a big part of their diet.

In the 1950s, researchers tried using a compound called DON to prevent cancer cells from metabolizing glutamine, but the side effects of the drug in trials prevented its approval.

Now, in an attempt to overcome those side effects, a team at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has created a version of DON that only becomes active when it reaches the tumor — and, tantalizingly, the new cancer drug worked even better than they’d hoped in mice.

They published a study on the compound, JHU083, in the journal Science on Thursday.

When the team tested JHU083 on mouse models of four types of cancer, they found it significantly decreased tumor size and increased the animals’ chances of survival. That wasn’t just because the compound cut off the tumor cells’ food supply, either — it also seemed to supercharge the immune systems’ cancer-destroying T cells.

Another remarkable finding: when the Johns Hopkins team injected their treated mice with new tumor cells, almost all of the animals rejected the tumors, implying that their immune systems remembered the cancer and knew to attack it.

“That T cells are not inhibited by this compound, that is the miracle [that may allow the drug to become a cancer treatment],” Stefan Kempa, a biochemist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study, told Science, later adding that “if this compound can be translated to humans, it has a bright future.”

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Trump Advisers Want to Get WiFi, Amazon Deliveries in National Parks

A number of Trump advisers have offered their

WiFistone

If the current administration has its way, your next outdoor camping experience at Yellowstone could include things like WiFi connectivity and Amazon deliveries.

A number of Trump administration advisers have offered their “modernized” vision of national park campgrounds, including WiFi, food trucks, electric bike rentals, flushable toilets, and even Amazon deliveries, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It’s a troubling instance of a much larger attempt to privatize a large number of public services by the White House, including the U.S. Postal Service and even public education.

Heritage on the Line

The advisors’ proposal was summarized in a public letter to the Interior Department.

“Our recommendations would allow people to opt for additional costs if they want, for example, Amazon deliveries at a particular campsite,” Derrick Crandall, vice-chairman of an outdoor recreation advisory committee, told the Los Angeles Times. “We want to let Americans make their own decisions in the marketplace.”

But critics argue that it could threaten the sanctity of national parks and give too much control to private industry players.

“America’s outdoor heritage is on the line,” Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project, a nonprofit public lands group, told the LA Times. “The trouble with these recommendations is that they were written by concessionaire industry representatives vying for more control of national parks.”

READ MORE: Trump team has a plan for national parks: Amazon, food trucks and no senior discounts [Los Angeles Times]

More on National Parks: Virtual Travel: Google is Bringing the National Parks to a VR Headset Near You

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Kanye West Unveils Yeezy Sneakers Made of Algae Foam

Kanye West just shared a new shoe prototype from his Yeezy fashion line — and the kicks contain environmentally friendly algae foam.

While on stage at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Thursday, Kanye West shared a new shoe prototype from his Yeezy fashion line — and the kicks contain environmentally friendly algae.

“Eco-concerns are intersecting with what we do,” Steven Smith, the head designer at Yeezy, said from the stage. “This is just the beginning of the future that Kanye envisioned for us to start working on.”

The sneaker prototype was manufactured in Atlanta from a combination of petroleum-based ethylene-vinyl acetate and foam produced from algae. West told the audience that the new Yeezy headquarters in Cody, Wyoming, will include a hydroponic farm where the company can grow its own algae.

“We’re going to be farming and going seed to sole,” West said.

According to a Thursday tweet from the official Yeezy Twitter account, the shoes are Yeezy Foam Runners, a style first unveiled in September and set for a 2020 release.

It’s not yet clear whether all Yeezy Foam Runners will be made with algae or if the algae shoes will be a subset of the line. But either way, the eco-friendly sneakers will be available in early 2020 for $75, according to the tweet.

The prototype pair West showed off on Thursday were a bland khaki color, but he said the company is looking into environmentally friendly dyes. Regardless of color, though, the Croc-esque style of the sneakers might not appeal to everyone — though the emphasis on using eco-friendly materials in fashion probably should.

The fashion industry pumps millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year, while many of the chemicals and dyes used during manufacturing end up polluting Earth’s waterways.

By switching to more eco-friendly materials and processes, players in the fashion industry can do their part to stop this harm from befalling the planet — one ugly sneaker at a time.

READ MORE: Kanye just unveiled a new foam sneaker made from algae [Fast Company]

More on sustainable fashion: Seaweed Sneakers Look Fly, Could Help Save the Environment

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Someone Published All the Membership Data From a Neo-Nazi Website

Someone just released a massive amount of data from Iron March, one of the most influential neo-Nazi websites in the world.

Data Dump

Prior to its abrupt close in November 2017, Iron March was one of the most influential neo-Nazi websites in the world. Investigators have linked the site to murders, acts of terrorism, and fascist groups in at least nine different countries.

And now, thanks to a leak from an anonymous source, researchers have access to the entire contents of Iron March — including the user names, registered email addresses, and IP addresses of nearly 1,000 site members.

Hate Speech

On Wednesday, someone using the handle “antifa-data” posted a 1GB SQL database appearing to contain all of the data from Iron March to the Internet Archive.

In addition to info that could lead to the identification of Iron March members, the database also includes the contents of members’ public messages and private chats, much of which — as you’d expect from a neo-Nazi site— is rife with hateful speech and white supremacist rhetoric.

Dropping Names

Disturbingly, as noted by Bellingcat, an open source journalism website, early analysis of the leak suggests that several Iron March members were active military personnel at the time they posted to the site. Others, meanwhile, expressed a strong desire to join the military.

Several members of the site have been outed directly on social media already, including a former congressional candidate — and the leak is likely to help researchers and investigators identify numerous other neo-Nazis.

READ MORE: Members of violent white supremacist website exposed in massive data dump [Ars Technica]

More on neo-Nazis: Facebook Reportedly Let Marketers Advertise to Nazis

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Scientists Detect Huge Thermonuclear Blast in Deep Space

NASA scientists detected a thermonuclear explosion in space, which they believe was caused by a fusion reaction on the surface of a pulsar.

Big Boom

NASA recently detected a massive thermonuclear explosion coming from outer space.

The culprit seems to be a distant pulsar, the space agency reports, which is the stellar remains of a star that blew up in a supernova but was too small to form a black hole. NASA spotted the burst because it sent out an intense beam of x-rays that got picked up by the agency’s orbital observatory NICER.

All in all, it serves as a potent reminder: space is an extremely dangerous, extremely metal place.

Cosmic Annihilation

The August explosion released in 20 seconds the same amount of energy our Sun would need 10 days to unleash, according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters last month.

“This burst was outstanding,” NASA astrophysicist Peter Bult, who led the research, said in NASA’s statement. “We see a two-step change in brightness, which we think is caused by the ejection of separate layers from the pulsar surface, and other features that will help us decode the physics of these powerful events.”

Space Forensics

Astronomers think the thermonuclear explosion was caused by helium that sunk beneath the surface of the pulsar and fused into a ball of carbon.

“Then the helium erupts explosively and unleashes a thermonuclear fireball across the entire pulsar surface,” NICER head Zaven Arzoumanian explained.

READ MORE: Scientists Detect Huge Thermonuclear Blast in Deep Space [NASA]

More on space: Pulsar Finally Found in the Andromeda Galaxy

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Ambrosia Is Back to Selling Transfusions of Young People’s Blood

Ambrosia Health, the

Ambrosia Health is back.

Following a brief shuttering — and then a rebranding effort during which it was known as Ivy Plasma — the “young blood” clinic has gone back to its roots: selling plasma sourced from the blood of 16- to 25- year-olds to healthy patients who believe the transfusions can give them ill-defined health benefits.

“People really like the Ambrosia name and brand, so Ambrosia is going to continue,” Ambrosia founder and young blood advocate Jesse Karmazin told OneZero. “The resounding response from people wanting to sign up was, ‘keep things the same.’ So that’s what we’re going to do.”

With the return to its original branding, Ambrosia is also embracing a new business model.

When it was Ivy Plasma, the clinic offered transfusions in San Francisco and Tampa. It since shuttered the clinic in Tampa, but Karmazin told Futurism that Ambrosia will ship plasma directly to any customer’s doctor so they can get their dose of young blood without having to fly to California.

“We use overnight shipping to deliver the plasma to patients’ doctors offices, and provide training for the doctors to infuse it,” Karmazin told Futurism last month. “This way, the number of patients we are able to serve has increased dramatically. I don’t operate a blood bank.”

Ambrosia’s checkered, on-again-off-again status was spurred by an FDA statement issued in February in which the regulatory agency warned that transfusions of young blood didn’t have any of the health benefits — especially enhanced youthfulness, improved longevity, or reversed memory loss — that advocates claimed it did.

In slightly more words, the FDA essentially called young blood transfusions dangerous scams.

Because of the FDA warning, Karmazin’s clinic offered off-label treatments when it resurfaced as Ivy Plasma. That meant that customers could get their treatments if they desired, but they did so at their own risk and then-Ivy Plasma wasn’t legally permitted to claim it would do them any good.

That practice continues today in the newly rebranded Ambrosia, according to OneZero. But the clinic’s updated website includes more details about the treatment.

“Our treatment has been found to produce statistically significant improvements in biomarkers related to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, inflammation, and stem cells in our clinical trial,” the website reads. “Patients have reported subjective improvements in athletics, memory, skin quality, sleep, and other areas.”

When asked whether the FDA’s rules had grown more lenient, Karmazin told Futurism he had consulted with the agency as well as “a number of lawyers” and wasn’t worried about the claims made on his website.

“I’m comfortable with going ahead and offering this treatment commercially to patients,” he told OneZero. 

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The CDC Says It Really Knows What’s Causing “Vape Lung” This Time

New CDC research solidifies scientists' hunch that a compound called vitamin E acetate is causing the ongoing

Finally, the government says it’s pretty sure what’s behind the mysterious “vape lung” epidemic that’s been spreading across the country, affecting more than 2,000 people and killing at least 39.

A compound called vitamin E acetate has been found in all 29 lung fluid samples taken by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Washington Post reports. And while the CDC was looking for a wide range of other toxins and dangerous compounds, it didn’t find any in those particular samples.

The FDA first identified vitamin E acetate as a possible cause for vape lung back in September. The compound, which WaPo reports is used as a cutting agent in black market THC vapes, is considered safe to eat and touch. But scientists have a poor understanding of what vaporized vitamin E acetate does when inhaled.

The CDC research strengthens the vitamin E acetate hypothesis because the 29 lung fluid samples came from people in 10 U.S. states, helping to rule out other, more local causes for infections. Still, it doesn’t serve as a definitive explanation for vape lung.

“While this is a big step in helping us understand what may be causing these injuries, these findings do not rule out the potential for other compounds or ingredients as contributing factors,” public health expert Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told WaPo. “There may be more than one cause of the outbreak.”

Still, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat told WaPo that the research paints vitamin E acetate as “a very strong culprit of concern” for vape lung. Even if other factors are at play, that knowledge could help prevent the outbreak from spreading even farther.

The post The CDC Says It Really Knows What’s Causing “Vape Lung” This Time appeared first on Futurism.

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The CDC Says It Really Knows What’s Causing “Vape Lung” This Time


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