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Alternative Medicine | Fox News

82-year-old polio survivor Mona Randolph uses one of only three “iron lungs” known to still be in use in the U.S. The iron lung, which was invented in 1920s, was often used on polio patients who were unable to breathe after the virus paralyzed muscle groups in the chest. Six nights a week, Randolph sleeps up to her neck in a noisy, airtight, 75-year-old iron tube.

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Alternative Medicine | Fox News

Category:Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Alternative medicine encompasses methods used in both complementary medicine and alternative medicine, known collectively as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These methods are used in place of (“alternative to”), or in addition to (“complementary to”), conventional medical treatments. The terms are primarily used in the western world, and include several traditional medicine techniques practiced throughout the world.

If you add something to this category it should also be added to list of forms of alternative medicine.

This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.

The following 106 pages are in this category, out of 106 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

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Category:Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

UC San Diego NanoEngineering Department

The NanoEngineering program has received accreditation by the Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. UC San Diego’s NanoEngineering program is the first of its kind in the nation to receive this accreditation. Our NanoEngineering students can feel confident that their education meets global standards and that they will be prepared to enter the workforce worldwide.

ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public. Please visit the ABET website for more information on why accreditation matters.

Congratulations to the NanoEngineering department and students!

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UC San Diego NanoEngineering Department

The NSET Subcommittee | Nano

The Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee coordinates planning, budgeting, program implementation, and review of the NNI. The NSET Subcommittee, which is composed of representatives from the 20 Federal departments and independent agencies, is a Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC), Committee on Technology, under the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Subcommittee has established twoWorking Groupsto support key NNI activities that will benefit from focused interagency attention. To learn more about this organizational and reporting structure, see Coordination of the NNI.

NSET Subcommittee Co-ChairsAntti Makinen, DODLloyd Whitman, OSTP

NSET Subcommittee Executive SecretaryGeoff Holdridge, NNCO

NNCO DirectorLisa Friedersdorf

NNCO Deputy DirectorVacant

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)Lloyd Whitman

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)Danielle JonesJames KimEmily Mok

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)Treye A. Thomas

Department of Commerce (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Kelly Gardner

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Vacant

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Heather Evans Ajit Jillavenkatesa R. David Holbrook

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Gladys Corcoran Jesus Hernandez Jerry Lorengo Peter Mehravari

Department of Defense (DOD)John BeattyJeffrey DePriestEric W. ForsytheMark H. GriepAkbar KhanAntti MakinenHeather MeeksBrian D. PateGernot S. PomrenkeDavid M. Stepp

Department of Education (DOEd)Vacant

Department of Energy (DOE)David R. ForrestHarriet KungGeorge MaracasAndrew R. Schwartz

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Deborah Burgin Candis M. Hunter Custodio Muianga

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Anil Patri

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/CDC) Charles L. Geraci Vladimir V. Murashov

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Piotr Grodzinski Lori Henderson

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Kumar BabuAngela Ervin

Department of the Interior (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patricia Bright Michael Focazio Jeffery Steevens

Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) Joseph Heaps

Department of Labor (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Janet Carter

Department of State (DOS)Meg FlanaganAndrew Hebbeler

Department of Transportation (DOT)Peter ChipmanJonathan R. Porter

Department of the Treasury (DOTreas)John F. Bobalek

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Jeffrey B. FrithsenJeff Morris

Intelligence Community (IC)National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Matthew Cobert

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Michael A. MeadorLanetra C. Tate

National Science Foundation (NSF)Khershed CooperFred KronzLynnette MadsenMihail C. RocoNora SavageCharles Ying

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)Brian Thomas*

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) James Lindsay

Forest Service (FS) World L.S. Nieh

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)Hongda Chen

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)Elizabeth R. Nesbitt*

*denotes nonvoting member

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The NSET Subcommittee | Nano

NanoEngineering (NANO) Courses

[ undergraduate program | graduate program | faculty ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog 201819, please contact the department for more information.

The department website is http://nanoengineering.ucsd.edu/undergrad-programs

All students enrolled in NanoEngineering courses or admitted to the NanoEngineering major are expected to meet prerequisite and performance standards, i.e., students may not enroll in any NanoEngineering courses or courses in another department that are required for the major prior to having satisfied prerequisite courses with a C or better. (The department does not consider D or F grades as adequate preparation for subsequent material.) Additional details are given under the program outline, course descriptions, and admission procedures for the Jacobs School of Engineering in this catalog.

NANO 1. NanoEngineering Seminar (1)

Overview of NanoEngineering. Presentations and discussions of basic knowledge and career opportunities in nanotechnology for professional development. Introduction to campus library resources. P/NP grades only. Prerequisites: none.

NANO 4. ExperienceNanoEngineering(1)

Introduction to NanoEngineering lab-based skills. Hands-on training and experimentation with nanofabrication techniques, integration, and analytical tools. This class is for NANO majors who are incoming freshmen, to be taken their first year.This class is for NanoEngineering majors who are incoming freshmen, to be taken their first year. P/NP grades only. Prerequisites: department approval required.

NANO 15. Engineering Computation Using Matlab (4)

Introduction to the solution of engineering problems using computational methods. Formulating problem statements, selecting algorithms, writing computer programs, and analyzing output using Matlab. Computational problems from NanoEngineering, chemical engineering, and materials science are introduced. The course requires no prior programming skills. Cross-listed with CENG 15. Prerequisites: none.

NANO 100L. Physical Properties of Materials Lab (4)

Experimental investigation of physical properties of materials such as: thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity, glass transitions in polymers, resonant vibrational response, longitudinal and shear acoustic wave speeds, Curie temperatures, UV-VIS absorption and reflection. Prerequisites: NANO 108.

NANO 101. Introduction to NanoEngineering (4)

Introduction to NanoEngineering; nanoscale fabrication: nanolithography and self-assembly; characterization tools; nanomaterials and nanostructures: nanotubes, nanowires, nanoparticles, and nanocomposites; nanoscale and molecular electronics; nanotechnology in magnetic systems; nanotechnology in integrative systems; nanoscale optoelectronics; nanobiotechnology: biomimetic systems, nanomotors, nanofluidics, and nanomedicine. Priority enrollment given to NanoEngineering majors. Prerequisites: Chem 6B, Phys 2B, Math 20C, and CENG 15 or MAE 8 or NANO 15. Department approval required.

NANO 102. Foundations in NanoEngineering: Chemical Principles (4)

Chemical principles involved in synthesis, assembly, and performance of nanostructured materials and devices. Chemical interactions, classical and statistical thermodynamics of small systems, diffusion, carbon-based nanomaterials, supramolecular chemistry, liquid crystals, colloid and polymer chemistry, lipid vesicles, surface modification, surface functionalization, catalysis. Priority enrollment given to NanoEngineering majors. Prerequisites: Chem 6C, Math 20D, NANO 101, PHYS 2D, and NANO 106. Restricted to NanoEngineering majors or by department approval.

NANO 103. Foundations in NanoEngineering: Biochemical Principles (4)

Principles of biochemistry tailored to nanotechnologies. The structure and function of biomolecules and their specific roles in molecular interactions and signal pathways. Detection methods at the micro and nano scales. Priority enrollment will be given to NanoEngineering majors. Prerequisites: BILD 1, Chem 6C, NANO 101, and NANO 102. Department approval required.

NANO 104. Foundations in NanoEngineering: Physical Principles (4)

Introduction to quantum mechanics and nanoelectronics. Wave mechanics, the Schroedinger equation, free and confined electrons, band theory of solids. Nanosolids in 0D, 1D, and 2D. Application to nanoelectronic devices. Priority enrollment given to NanoEngineering majors Prerequisites: Math 20D, NANO 101. Department approval required.

NANO 106. Crystallography of Materials (4)

Fundamentals of crystallography, and practice of methods to study material structure and symmetry. Curie symmetries. Tensors as mathematical description of material properties and symmetry restrictions. Introduction to diffraction methods, including X-ray, neutron, and electron diffraction. Close-packed and other common structures of real-world materials. Derivative and superlattice structures. Prerequisites: Math 20F.

NANO 107.Electronic Devices and Circuits for Nanoengineers (4)

Overview of electrical devices and CMOS integrated circuits emphasizing fabrication processes, and scaling behavior. Design, and simulation of submicron CMOS circuits including amplifiers active filters digital logic, and memory circuits. Limitations of current technologies and possible impact of nanoelectronic technologies.Prerequisites: NANO 15, NANO 101, Math 20B or Math 20D, and Phys 2B.

NANO 108. Materials Science and Engineering (4)

Structure and control of materials: metals, ceramics, glasses, semiconductors, polymers to produce useful properties. Atomic structures. Defects in materials, phase diagrams, micro structural control. Mechanical, rheological, electrical, optical and magnetic properties discussed. Time temperature transformation diagrams. Diffusion. Scale dependent material properties. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

NANO 110. Molecular Modeling of Nanoscale Systems (4)

Principles and applications of molecular modeling and simulations toward NanoEngineering. Topics covered include molecular mechanics, energy minimization, statistical mechanics, molecular dynamics simulations, and Monte Carlo simulations. Students will get hands-on training in running simulations and analyzing simulation results. Prerequisites: Math 20F, NANO 102, NANO 104, and NANO 15 or CENG 15 or MAE 8. Restricted to NanoEngineering majors or by department approval.

NANO 111. Characterization of NanoEngineering Systems (4)

Fundamentals and practice of methods to image, measure, and analyze materials and devices that are structured at the nanometer scale. Optical and electron microscopy; scanning probe methods; photon-, ion-, electron-probe methods, spectroscopic, magnetic, electrochemical, and thermal methods. Prerequisites: NANO 102.

NANO 112. Synthesis and Fabrication of NanoEngineering Systems (4)

Introduction to methods for fabricating materials and devices in NanoEngineering. Nano-particle, -vesicle, -tube, and -wire synthesis. Top-down methods including chemical vapor deposition, conventional and advanced lithography, doping, and etching. Bottom-up methods including self-assembly. Integration of heterogeneous structures into functioning devices. Prerequisites: NANO 102, NANO 104, NANO 111.

NANO 114. Probability and Statistical Methods for Engineers (4)

Probability theory, conditional probability, Bayes theorem, discrete random variables, continuous random variables, expectation and variance, central limit theorem, graphical and numerical presentation of data, least squares estimation and regression, confidence intervals, testing hypotheses. Cross-listed with CENG 114. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 114 and CENG 114. Prerequisites: Math 20F and NANO 15 or CENG 15 or MAE 8.

NANO 120A. NanoEngineering System Design I (4)

Principles of product design and the design process. Application and integration of technologies in the design and production of nanoscale components. Engineering economics. Initiation of team design projects to be completed in NANO 120B. Prerequisites: NANO 110.

NANO 120B. NanoEngineering System Design II (4)

Principles of product quality assurance in design and production. Professional ethics. Safety and design for the environment. Culmination of team design projects initiated in NANO 120A with a working prototype designed for a real engineering application. Prerequisites: NANO 120A.

NANO 134. Polymeric Materials (4)

Foundations of polymeric materials. Topics: structure of polymers; mechanisms of polymer synthesis; characterization methods using calorimetric, mechanical, rheological, and X-ray-based techniques; and electronic, mechanical, and thermodynamic properties. Special classes of polymers: engineering plastics, semiconducting polymers,photoresists, and polymers for medicine. Cross-listed with CENG 134.Students may not receive credit for bothCENG134 andNANO134. Prerequisites:Chem 6Cand Phys2C.

NANO 141A. Engineering Mechanics I: Analysis of Equilibrium (4)

Newtons laws. Concepts of force and moment vector. Free body diagrams. Internal and external forces. Equilibrium of concurrent, coplanar, and three-dimensional system of forces. Equilibrium analysis of structural systems, including beams, trusses, and frames. Equilibrium problems with friction. Prerequisites:Math 20C and Phys 2A.

NANO 141B.Engineering Mechanics II: Analysis of Motion (4)

Newtons laws of motion. Kinematic and kinetic description of particle motion. Angular momentum. Energy and work principles. Motion of the system of interconnected particles.Mass center. Degrees of freedom. Equations of planar motion of rigid bodies. Energy methods. Lagranges equations of motion. Introduction to vibration. Free and forced vibrations of a single degree of freedom system. Undamped and damped vibrations. Application to NanoEngineering problems.Prerequisites:Math 20D and NANO 141A.

NANO 146. Nanoscale Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy (4)

Fundamentals in optical imaging and spectroscopy at the nanometer scale. Diffraction-limited techniques, near-field methods, multi-photon imaging and spectroscopy, Raman techniques, Plasmon-enhanced methods, scan-probe techniques, novel sub-diffraction-limit imaging techniques, and energy transfer methods. Prerequisites: NANO 103 and 104.

NANO 148. Thermodynamics of Materials (4)

Fundamental laws of thermodynamics for simple substances; application to flow processes and to non-reacting mixtures; statistical thermodynamics of ideal gases and crystalline solids; chemical and materials thermodynamics; multiphase and multicomponent equilibria in reacting systems; electrochemistry. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

NANO 150. Mechanics of Nanomaterials (4)

Introduction to mechanics of rigid and deformable bodies. Continuum and atomistic models, interatomic forces and intermolecular interactions. Nanomechanics, material defects, elasticity, plasticity, creep, and fracture. Composite materials, nanomaterials, biological materials. Prerequisites: NANO 108.

NANO 156. Nanomaterials (4)

Basic principles of synthesis techniques, processing, microstructural control, and unique physical properties of materials in nanodimensions. Nanowires, quantum dots, thin films, electrical transport, optical behavior, mechanical behavior, and technical applications of nanomaterials. Cross-listed with MAE 166. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

NANO 158. Phase Transformations and Kinetics (4)

Materials and microstructures changes. Understanding of diffusion to enable changes in the chemical distribution and microstructure of materials, rates of diffusion. Phase transformations, effects of temperature and driving force on transformations and microstructure. Prerequisites: NANO 108 and NANO 148.

NANO 158L.Materials Processing Laboratory(4)

Metal casting processes, solidification, deformation processing, thermal processing: solutionizing, aging, and tempering, joining processes such as welding and brazing. The effect of processing route on microstructure and its effect on mechanical and physical properties will be explored.NanoEngineering majors have priority enrollment. Prerequisites:NANO 158.

NANO 161. Material Selection in Engineering (4)

Selection of materials for engineering systems, based on constitutive analyses of functional requirements and material properties. The role and implications of processing on material selection. Optimizing material selection in a quantitative methodology. NanoEngineering majors receive priority enrollment. Prerequisites: NANO 108. Department approval required. Restricted to major code NA25.

NANO 164. Advanced Micro- and Nano-materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (4)

Materials for energy storage and conversion in existing and future power systems, including fuel cells and batteries, photovoltaic cells, thermoelectric cells, and hybrids. Prerequisites: NANO 101, NANO 102, NANO 148.

NANO 168. Electrical, Dielectric, and Magnetic Properties of Engineering Materials (4)

Introduction to physical principles of electrical, dielectric, and magnetic properties. Semiconductors, control of defects, thin film, and nanocrystal growth, electronic and optoelectronic devices. Processing-microstructure-property relations of dielectric materials, including piezoelectric, pyroelectric and ferroelectric, and magnetic materials. Prerequisites: NANO 102 and NANO 104.

NANO 174. Mechanical Behavior of Materials (4)

Microscopic and macroscopic aspects of the mechanical behavior of engineering materials, with emphasis on recent development in materials characterization by mechanical methods. The fundamental aspects of plasticity in engineering materials, strengthening mechanisms, and mechanical failure modes of materials systems. Prerequisites: NANO 108.

NANO 174L. Mechanical Behavior Laboratory (4)

Experimental investigation of mechanical behavior of engineering materials. Laboratory exercises emphasize the fundamental relationship between microstructure and mechanical properties, and the evolution of the microstructure as a consequence of rate process. Prerequisites: NANO 174.

NANO 199. Independent Study for Undergraduates (4)

Independent reading or research on a problem by special arrangement with a faculty member. P/NP grades only. Prerequisites: upper division and department stamp.

NANO 200. Graduate Seminar in Chemical Engineering (1)

Each graduate student in NANO is expected to attend three seminars per quarter, of his or her choice, dealing with current topics in chemical engineering. Topics will vary. Cross-listed with CENG 205. S/U grades only. May be taken for credit four times. Prerequisites: graduate standing.

NANO 201. Introduction to NanoEngineering (4)

Understanding nanotechnology, broad implications, miniaturization: scaling laws; nanoscale physics; types and properties of nanomaterials; nanomechanical oscillators, nano(bio)electronics, nanoscale heat transfer; fluids at the nanoscale; machinery cell; applications of nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 201 and CENG 211. Prerequisites: graduate standing.

NANO 202. Intermolecular and Surface Forces (4)

Development of quantitative understanding of the different intermolecular forces between atoms and molecules and how these forces give rise to interesting phenomena at the nanoscale, such as flocculation, wetting, self-assembly in biological (natural) and synthetic systems. Cross-listed with CENG 212. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 202 and CENG 212. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 203. Nanoscale Synthesis and Characterization (4)

Nanoscale synthesistop-down and bottom-up; chemical vapor deposition; plasma processes; soft-lithography; self-assembly; layer-by-layer. Characterization; microscopy; scanning probe microscopes; profilometry; reflectometry and ellipsometry; X-ray diffraction; spectroscopies (EDX, SIMS, Mass spec, Raman, XPS); particle size analysis; electrical, optical. Cross-listed with CENG 213. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 203 and CENG 213. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 204. Nanoscale Physics and Modeling (4)

This course will introduce students to analytical and numerical methods such as statistical mechanisms, molecular simulations, and finite differences and finite element modeling through their application to NanoEngineering problems involving polymer and colloiod self-assembly, absorption, phase separation, and diffusion. Cross-listed with CENG 214. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 204 and CENG 214. Prerequisites: NANO 202 or consent ofinstructor.

NANO 205. Nanosystems Integration (4)

Scaling issues and hierarchical assembly of nanoscale components into higher order structures which retain desired properties at microscale and macroscale levels. Novel ways to combine top-down and bottom-up processes for integration of heterogeneous components into higher order structures. Cross-listed with CENG 215. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 205 and CENG 215. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 208. Nanofabrication (4)

Basic engineering principles of nanofabrication. Topics include: photo-electronbeam and nanoimprint lithography, block copolymers and self-assembled monolayers, colloidal assembly, biological nanofabrication. Cross-listed with CENG 208. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 208 and CENG 208. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 210. Molecular Modeling and Simulations of Nanoscale Systems (4)

Molecular and modeling and simulation techniques like molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo, and Brownian dynamics to model nanoscale systems and phenomena like molecular motors, self-assembly, protein-ligand binding, RNA, folding. Valuable hands-on experience with different simulators.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 212. Computational Modeling of Nanosystems (4)

Various modeling techniques like finite elements, finite differences, and simulation techniques like molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo to model fluid flow, mechanical properties, self-assembly at the nanoscale, and protein, RNA and DNA folding.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 227. Structure and Analysis of Solids (4)

Key concepts in the atomic structure and bonding of solids such as metals, ceramics, and semiconductors. Symmetry operations, point groups, lattice types, space groups, simple and complex inorganic compounds, structure/property comparisons, structure determination with X-ray diffraction. Ionic, covalent, metallic bonding compared with physical properties. Atomic and molecular orbitals, bands verses bonds, free electron theory. Cross-listed with MATS 227, MAE 251 and Chem 222.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 230. Synchrotron Characterization of Nanomaterials (4)

Advanced topics in characterizing nanomaterials using synchrotron X-ray sources. Introduction to synchrotron sources, X-ray interaction with matter, spectroscopic determination of electronic properties of nanomagnetic, structural determination using scattering techniques and X-ray imaging techniques. Cross-listed with CENG 230. Students may not receive credit for both NANO 230 and CENG 230. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 234. Advanced Nanoscale Fabrication (4)

Engineering principles of nanofabrication. Topics include: photo-, electron beam, and nanoimprint lithography, block copolymers and self-assembled monolayers, colloidal assembly, biological nanofabrication. Relevance to applications in energy, electronics, and medicine will be discussed.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 238. Scanning Probe Microscopy (4)

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) detectors, imaging, image interpretation, and artifacts, introduction to lenses, electron beam-specimen interactions. Operating principles and capabilities for atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning optical microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 239. Nanomanufacturing (4)

Fundamental nanomanufacturing science and engineering, top-down nanomanufacturing processes, bottom-up nanomanufacturing processes, integrated top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication processes, three-dimensional nanomanufacturing, nanomanufacturing systems, nanometrology, nanomanufactured devices for medicine, life sciences, energy, and defense applications.Prerequisites: department approval required.

NANO 241. Organic Nanomaterials (4)

This course will provide an introduction to the physics and chemistry of soft matter, followed by a literature-based critical examination of several ubiquitous classes of organic nano materials and their technological applications. Topics include self-assembled monolayers, block copolymers, liquid crystals, photoresists, organic electronic materials, micelles and vesicles, soft lithography, organic colloids, organic nano composites, and applications in biomedicine and food science. Cross-listed with Chem 241.Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

NANO 242. Biochemisty and Molecular Biology (4)

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NanoEngineering (NANO) Courses

Google and The UN Team Up To Study The Effects of Climate Change

Google agreed to work with UN Environment to create a platform that gives the world access to valuable environmental data.

WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED… The United Nations’ environmental agency has landed itself a powerful partner in the fight against climate change: Google. The tech company has agreed to partner with UN Environment to increase the world’s access to valuable environmental data. Specifically, the two plan to create a user-friendly platform that lets anyone, anywhere, access environmental data collected by Google’s vast network of satellites. The organizations announced their partnership at a UN forum focused on sustainable development on Monday.

FRESHWATER FIRST. The partnership will first focus on freshwater ecosystems, such as mountains, wetlands, and rivers. These ecosystems provide homes for an estimated 10 percent of our planet’s known species, and research has shown that climate change is causing a rapid loss in biodiversity. Google will use satellite imagery to produce maps and data on these ecosystems in real-time, making that information freely available to anyone via the in-development online platform. According to a UN Environment press release, this will allow nations and other organizations to track changes and take action to prevent or reverse ecosystem loss.

LOST FUNDING. Since President Trump took office, the United States has consistently decreased its contributions to global climate research funds. Collecting and analyzing satellite data is neither cheap nor easy, but Google is already doing it to power platforms such as Google Maps and Google Earth. Now, thanks to this partnership, people all over the world will have a way to access information to help combat the impacts of climate change. Seems the same data that let’s you virtually visit the Eiffel Tower could help save our planet.

READ MORE: UN Environment and Google Announce Ground-Breaking Partnership to Protect Our Planet [UN Environment]

More on freshwater: Climate Change Is Acidifying Our Lakes and Rivers the Same Way It Does With Oceans

The post Google and The UN Team Up To Study The Effects of Climate Change appeared first on Futurism.

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Google and The UN Team Up To Study The Effects of Climate Change

This Wearable Controller Lets You Pilot a Drone With Your Body

PUT DOWN THE JOYSTICK. If you’ve ever tried to pilot a drone, it’s probably taken a little while to do it well; each drone is a little different, and figuring out how to use its manual controller can take time. There seems to be no shortcut other than to suffer a crash landing or two.

Now, a team of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have created a wearable drone controller that makes the process of navigation so intuitive, it requires almost no thought at all. They published their research in the journal PNAS on Monday.

NOW, PRETEND YOU’RE A DRONE. To create their wearable drone controller, the researchers first needed to figure out how people wanted to move their bodies to control a drone. So they placed 19 motion-capture markers and various electrodes all across the upper bodies of 17 volunteers. Then, they asked each volunteer to watch simulated drone footage through virtual reality goggles. This let the volunteer feel like they were seeing through the eyes of a drone.

The researchers then asked the volunteers to move their bodies however they liked to mimic the drone as it completed five specific movements (for example, turning right or flying toward the ground). The markers and electrodes allowed the researchers to monitor those movements, and they found that most volunteers moved their torsos in a way simple enough to track using just four motion-capture markers.

With this information, the researchers created a wearable drone controller that could relay the user’s movements to an actual drone — essentially, they built a wearable joystick.

PUTTING IT TO THE TEST. To test their wearable drone controller, the researchers asked 39 volunteers to complete a real (not virtual) drone course using either the wearable or a standard joystick. They found that volunteers wearing the suit outperformed those using the joystick in both learning time and steering abilities.

“Using your torso really gives you the feeling that you are actually flying,” lead author Jenifer Miehlbradt said in a press release. “Joysticks, on the other hand, are of simple design but mastering their use to precisely control distant objects can be challenging.”

IN THE FIELD. Mehlbradt envisions search and rescue crews using her team’s wearable drone controller. “These tasks require you to control the drone and analyze the environment simultaneously, so the cognitive load is much higher,” she told Inverse. “I think having control over the drone with your body will allow you to focus more on what’s around you.”

However, this greater sense of immersion in the drone’s environment might not be beneficial in all scenarios. Previous research has shown that piloting strike drones for the military can cause soldiers to experience significant levels of trauma, and a wearable like the EPFL team’s has the potential to exacerbate the problem.

While Miehlbradt told Futurism her team did not consider drone strikes while developing their drone suit, she speculates that such applications wouldn’t be a good fit.

“I think that, in this case, the ‘distance’ created between the operator and the drone by the use of a third-party control device is beneficial regarding posterior emotional trauma,” she said. “With great caution, I would speculate that our control approach — should it be used in such a case —  may therefore increase the risk of experiencing such symptoms.”

READ MORE: Drone Researchers Develop Genius Method for Piloting Using Body Movements [Inverse]

More on rescue drones: A Rescue Drone Saved Two Teen Swimmers on Its First Day of Deployment

The post This Wearable Controller Lets You Pilot a Drone With Your Body appeared first on Futurism.

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This Wearable Controller Lets You Pilot a Drone With Your Body

Alphabet Will Bring Its Balloon-Powered Internet to Kenya

Alphabet has inked a deal with a Kenyan telecom to bring its balloon-powered internet to rural and suburban parts of Kenya

BADASS BALLOONS. In 2013, Google unveiled Project Loon, a plan to send a fleet of balloons into the stratosphere that could then beam internet service back down to people on Earth.

And it worked! Just last year, the project provided more than 250,000 Puerto Ricans with internet service in the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The company, now simply called Loon, was the work of X, an innovation lab originally nestled under Google but now a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. And it’s planning to bring its balloon-powered internet to Kenya.

EYES ON AFRICA. On Thursday, Loon announced a partnership with Telkom Kenya, Kenya’s third largest telecommunications provider. Starting next year, Loon balloons will soar high above the East African nation, sending 4G internet coverage down to its rural and suburban populations. This marks the first time Loon has inked a commercial deal with an African nation.

“Loon’s mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies,” Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth told Reuters. Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse added,“We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon’s balloon-powered internet in Africa.”

INTERNET EVERYWHERE. The internet is such an important part of modern life that, back in 2016, the United Nations declared access to it a human right. And while you might have a hard time thinking about going even a day without internet access, more than half of the world’s population still can’t log on. In Kenya, about one-third of the population still lacks access.

Thankfully, Alphabet isn’t the only company working to get the world connected. SpaceX, Facebook, and SoftBank-backed startup Altaeros have their own plans involving satellites, drones, and blimps, respectively. Between those projects and Loon, the world wide web may finally be available to the entire world.

READ MORE: Alphabet to Deploy Balloon Internet in Kenya With Telkom in 2019 [Reuters]

More on Loon: Alphabet Has Officially Launched Balloons that Deliver Internet In Puerto Rico

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Alphabet Will Bring Its Balloon-Powered Internet to Kenya

This New Startup Is Making Chatbots Dumber So You Can Actually Talk to Them

A Spanish tech startup decided to ditch artificial intelligence to make its chatbot platform more approachable

Tech giants have been trying to one-up each other to make the most intelligent chatbot out there. They can help you simply fill in forms, or take the form of fleshed-out digital personalities that can have meaningful conversations with you. Those that have voice functions have come insanely close to mimicking human speech — inflections, and even the occasional “uhm’s” and “ah’s” — perfectly.

And they’re much more common than you might think. In 2016, Facebook introduced Messenger Bots that businesses worldwide now use for simple tasks like ordering flowers, getting news updates in chat form, or getting information on flights from an airline. Millions of users are filling waiting lists to talk to an “emotional chatbot” on an app called Replika.

But there’s no getting around AI’s shortcomings. And for chatbots in particular, the frustration arises from a disconnect between the user’s intent or expectations, and the chatbot’s programmed abilities.

Take Facebook’s Project M. Sources believe Facebook’s (long forgotten) attempt at developing a truly intelligent chatbot never surpassed a 30 percent success rate, according to Wired — the remaining 70 percent of the time, human employees had to step in to solve tasks. Facebook billed the bot as all-knowing, but the reality was far less promising. It simply couldn’t handle pretty much any task it was asked to do by Facebook’s numerous users.

Admittedly, takes a a lot of resources to develop complex AI chatbots. Even Google Duplex, arguably the most advanced chatbot around today, is still limited to verifying business hours and making simple appointments. Still, users simply expect far more than what AI chatbots can actually do, which tends to enrage users.

The tech industry isn’t giving up. Market researchers predict that chatbots will grow to become a $1 billion market by 2025.

But maybe they’re going about this all wrong. Maybe, instead of making more sophisticated chatbots, businesses should focus on what users really need in a chatbot, stripped down to its very essence.

Landbot, a one-year-old Spanish tech startup, is taking a different approach: it’s making a chatbot-builder for businesses that does the bare minimum, and nothing more. The small company landed $2.2 million in a single round of funding (it plans to use those funds primarily to expand its operations and cover the costs of relocating to tech innovation hub Barcelona).

“We started our chatbot journey using Artificial Intelligence technology but found out that there was a huge gap between user expectations and reality,” co-founder Jiaqi Pan tells TechCrunch. “No matter how well trained our chatbots were, users were constantly dropped off the desired flow, which ended up in 20 different ways of saying ‘TALK WITH A HUMAN’.”

Instead of creating advanced tech that could predict and analyze user prompts, Landbot decided to work on a simple user interface that allows businesses to create chat flows that link prompt and action, question and answer. It’s kind of like a chatbot flowchart builder. And the results are pretty positive: the company has seen healthy revenue growth, and the tool is used by hundreds of businesses in more than 50 countries, according to TechCrunch.

The world is obsessed with achieving perfect artificial intelligence, and the growing AI chatbot market is no different. So obsessed in fact, it’s driving users away — growing disillusionment, frustration, and rage are undermining tech companies’ efforts. And this obsession might be doing far more harm than good. It’s simple: people are happiest when they get the results they expect. Added complexity or lofty promises of “true AI” will end up pushing them away if it doesn’t actually end up helping them.

After all, sometimes less is more. Landbot and its customers are making it work with less.

Besides, listening to your customers can go a long way.

Now can you please connect me to a human?

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This New Startup Is Making Chatbots Dumber So You Can Actually Talk to Them

Malta Plans to Create the World’s First Decentralized Stock Exchange

Malta has announced plans to created the world's first decentralized stock exchange

BLOCKCHAIN ISLAND. The tiny European nation of Malta is truly living up to its nickname of “Blockchain Island.” On Thursday, MSX (the innovation arm of the Malta Stock Exchange) announced a new partnership with blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund and Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges). Their goal: create the first global stock exchange that’s both regulated and decentralized.

THE NEW SCHOOL. There are a lot of complex concepts at play here, so let’s break them down.

First, tokens. In the realm of cryptocurrency, a token is a digital asset on a blockchain, a ledger that records every time two parties trade an asset. A token can represent practically anything, from money to a vote in an election. Today, many blockchain startups raise funds by selling “equity tokens” through initial coin offerings (ICO).

When a person buys one of these equity tokens, they are essentially buying a percentage ownership of the startup. They can later use an online platform known as a cryptocurrency exchange to sell the tokens or buy more from other investors at any time, quickly and fairly cheaply.

Though various governments are starting to look into regulating tokens, the cryptocurrency realm is still largely unregulated, making it an enticing target for scammers.

THE OLD SCHOOL. Equity securities, also known as stocks, are similar to equity tokens. A person who buys stock in a company owns a percentage of that company. However, securities are not traded via 24-hour online exchanges — they’re bought and sold via stock exchanges, which are only open during certain hours. Navigating them often requires the help of middleman, such as a broker or lawyer, which could be costly.

A government agency typically regulates a nation’s securities and stock exchanges — in the United States, that agency is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This regulation can protect investors from scams and ensure companies don’t try to swindle them.

TOKENIZED SECURITIES. Tokenized securities are a melding of these two worlds. They’re securities, and when they’re traded, a blockchain records the transaction. This combines the fast, cheap transactions associated with tokens with the protective oversight of securities.

Right now, there’s not a government-regulated, global platform hosting the trading of tokenized securities, and that’s the void the Malta team plans to fill with their decentralized stock exchange.

“We are thrilled to announce the partnerships with Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, that will ensure high liquidity to equity tokens issued on Neufund,” Zoe Adamovicz, CEO and Co-founder at Neufund, said in a press release. “It is the first time in history that security tokens can be offered and traded in a legally binding way.”

Experts estimate that the value of the world’s equity tokens could soar as high as $1 trillion by 2020. Malta’s project is still in the pilot stages, but if all the pieces for its decentralized stock exchange fall into place, the tiny European island could find itself at the center of that incredibly fruitful market.

READ MORE: Malta Paves the Way for a Decentralized Stock Exchange [TechCrunch]

More on tokens: Tokens Will Become the Foundation of a New Digital Economy

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Malta Plans to Create the World’s First Decentralized Stock Exchange

WhatsApp Updates Controls in India in an Effort to Thwart Mob Violence

WhatsApp has announced plans to update how users forward content, presumably in an effort to address mob violence in India.

CHANGE IS COMING. Today, more than 1 billion people use the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp to share messages, photos, and videos. With the tap of a button, they can forward a funny meme or send a party invite to groups of friends and family. They can also easily share “fake news,” rumors and propaganda disguised as legitimate information.

In India — the nation where people forward more WhatsApp content than anywhere else — WhatsApp-spread fake news is inciting mob violence and literally getting people killed. On Thursday, WhatsApp announced in a blog post that it plans to make several changes in an effort to prevent more violence.

Some of the changes will only apply to users in India. They will no longer see the “quick forward” button next to photos and videos that made that content particularly easy to send along quickly, without incorporating information about where it came from. They’ll also no longer be able to forward content to more than five chats at a time. In the rest of the world, the new limit for forwards will be 20 chats. The previous cap was 250.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. Over the past two months, violent mobs have attacked two dozen people in India after WhatsApp users spread rumors that those people had abducted children. Some of those people even died from their injuries.

The Indian government has been pressuring WhatsApp to do something to address these recent bouts of violence; earlier on Thursday, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology threatened the company with legal action if it didn’t figure out some effective way to stop the mob violence.

The WhatsApp team, however, never mentions that violence is the reason for the changes in its blog post, simply asserting that the goal of the control changes is to maintain the app’s “feeling of intimacy” and “keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.”

TRY, TRY AGAIN. This is WhatsApps’ third attempt in the last few weeks to address the spread of fake news in India. First, the company added a new label to the app to indicate that a message is a forward (and not original content from the sender). Then, they published full-page ads in Indian newspapers to educate the public on the best way to spot fake news.

Neither of those efforts has appeared to work, and it’s hard to believe the latest move will have the intended impact either. Each WhatsApp chat can include up to 256 people. That means a message forwarded to five chats (per the new limit) could still reach 1,280 people. And if those 1,280 people then forward the message to five chats, it’s not hard to see how fake news could still spread like wildfire across the nation.

READ MORE: WhatsApp Launches New Controls After Widespread App-Fueled Mob Violence in India [The Washington Post]

More on fake news: Massive Study of Fake News May Reveal Why It Spreads so Easily

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WhatsApp Updates Controls in India in an Effort to Thwart Mob Violence

China Is Investing In Its Own Hyperloop To Clear Its Crowded Highways

Chinese state-backed companies just made huge investments in U.S. based Hyperloop startups. But will it solve China's stifling traffic problems?

GRIDLOCK. China’s largest cities are choking in traffic. Millions of cars on the road means stifling levels of air pollution and astronomical commute times, especially during rush hours.

The latest move to address this urban traffic nightmare: Chinese state-backed companies are making heavy investments in U.S. hyperloop startups Arrivo and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, lining up $1 billion and $300 million in credit respectively. It’s substantial financing that could put China ahead in the race to open the first full-scale hyperloop track.

MAG-LEV SLEDS. Both companies are planning something big, although their approaches differ in some key ways. Transport company Arrivo is focusing on relieving highway traffic by creating a separate track that allows cars to zip along at 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) on magnetically levitated sleds inside vacuum-sealed tubes (it’s not yet clear if this will be above ground or underground).

Arrivo’s exact plans to build a Chinese hyperloop system have not yet been announced, but co-founder Andrew Liu told Bloomberg that $1 billion in funding could be enough to build “as many as three legs of a commercial, citywide hyperloop system of 6 miles to 9 miles [9.5 to 14.4 km] per section.” The company hasn’t yet announced in which city it’ll be built.

Meanwhile, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has already made up its mind as to where it will plop down its first Chinese loop. It’s the old familiar maglev train design inside a vacuum tube, but instead it’s passengers, not their cars, that will ride along at speeds of up to 750 mph (1200 km/h). Most of the $300 million will go towards building a 6.2 mile (10 km) test track in Guizhou province. According to a press release, this marks the third commercial agreement for HyperloopTT after Abu Dhabi and Ukraine from earlier this year.

A PRICEY SOLUTION. Building a hyperloop is expensive. This latest investment hints at just how expensive just a single system could be in the end. But providing high-speed alternatives to car-based transport is only one of many ways to deal with the gridlock and traffic jams that plague urban centers. China, for instance, has attempted to tackle the problem by restricting driving times based on license plates, expanding bike sharing networks, and even mesh ride-sharing data with smart traffic lights.

And according to a recent report by Chinese location-based services provider AutoNavi, those solutions seem to be working: a Quartz analysis of the data found that traffic declined by 12.5 and 9 percent in Hangzhou and Shenzhen respectively, even though the population grew by 3 and 5 percent.

MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS. There are more hurdles to overcome before hyperloop can have a significant impact in China. There is the cost of using the hyperloop system — if admission is priced too high (perhaps to cover astronomical infrastructure costs), adoption rates may remain too low to have a significant effect.

The capacity of a maglev train system would also have to accommodate China’s  growing population centers. That’s not an easy feat HyperloopTT’s capusles have to squeeze through a four meter (13 feet) diameter tube and only hold 28 to 40 people at a time, and there are 3 million cars in Shenzhen alone.

We don’t know yet whether China’s hyperloop investments will pay off and significantly reduce traffic in China’s urban centers. But bringing new innovations to transportation in massive and growing cities — especially when those new innovations are more environmentally friendly — is rarely a bad idea.

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Federal Agencies Propose Major Changes to Endangered Species Act

A PROPOSAL. Species on the brink of extinction in the U.S. could soon have their government protections stripped from them.

On Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (the government agency that manages the U.S.’s fish, wildlife, and natural habitats) and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (a scientific government agency that studies the world’s oceans, major waterways, and atmosphere) proposed revisions to the Endangered Species Act, a law designed to empower the federal government to protect threatened or endangered species.

The agencies propose making changes to three sections of the ESA — Section 4, Section 4D, and Section 7 — and the full explanations of the proposed changes are available to the public via a trio of Federal Register notices. If you don’t have time to sift through all 118 pages of Register notices, though, here’s a breakdown of the changes that could have the biggest impact.

THERE’S ALWAYS MONEY IN THE PROTECTED LAND. One potentially major change centers on removing language designed to ensure regulators make decisions about species/habits solely based on scientific factors, not economic ones.

The agencies propose removing “without reference to possible economic or other impacts of such determination” from the ESA because, they write, “there may be circumstances where referencing economic, or other impacts may be informative to the public.” As pointed out by The New York Times, this could make it easier for companies to obtain approval for potentially damaging construction projects, such as roads or oil pipelines.

Another major change centers on “threatened” species. These are currently defined as “any species which is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.”  But the proposal suggests giving the FWS the ability to define “foreseeable future” on a species-by-species basis. Today, threatened and endangered species receive more or less the same protections, but under the proposed changes, species newly classified as threatened wouldn’t automatically receive those protections.

PRAISE AND BACKLASH. The proposed changes quickly elicited an impassioned response from the public.

“For too long, the ESA has been used as a means of controlling lands in the West rather than actually focusing on species recovery,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, which lobbies on behalf of the oil and gas industry, told The New York Times. She added that she was hopeful the changes would “[help lift restrictions on] responsible economic activities on private and public lands.”

Environmental activists, however, see the changes as undercutting the purpose of the ESA: to protect endangered species.

“These proposals would slam a wrecking ball into the most crucial protections for our most endangered wildlife. If these regulations had been in place in the 1970s, the bald eagle and the gray whale would be extinct today,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit focused on protecting endangered species, said in a statement.

“Allowing the federal government to turn a blind eye to climate change will be a death sentence for polar bears and hundreds of other animals and plants,” he added. “This proposal turns the extinction-prevention tool of the Endangered Species Act into a rubber stamp for powerful corporate interests

Members of the public have 60 days to share their thoughts on the proposed changes with the government, though it’s hard to say what impact that might have. Ultimately, if environmental advocates are right, the U.S. could soon see a dramatic increase in the number of animals that move from endangered to outright extinct.

READ MORE: Law That Saved the Bald Eagle Could Be Vastly Reworked [The New York Times]

More on the Endangered Species Act: The War for Endangered Species Has Begun

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Federal Agencies Propose Major Changes to Endangered Species Act

3 Reasons Why We Might Return to The Moon

we may see manned missions to the moon. Science, politics, and celestial cash grabs are at the forefront of why people want to go back.

Friday marks the 49th anniversary of the first time any human set foot on solid, extraterrestrial ground. The details are probably familiar: on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon. It’s a rare privilege, even now: only ten other people have landed on the Moon and gone out for a stroll.

Just over three years later, humans walked on the Moon for the last time. Changing political and economic priorities meant NASA would no longer focus on sending people to the Moon. After all, we had already planted a flag, confirmed that the Moon wasn’t made of cheese, and played some golf. What else is left?

Well, it just so turns out that we might be heading back out there — and soon. President Trump has insisted on resuming manned Moon missions, despite the fact that it doesn’t match the public or scientific community’s desires for a space program (no one is quite sure where his determination stems from, but it doesn’t seem to have much more substance than a whim).

But there are some other, real reasons that we might want to send someone to the Moon. There’s science to be done, and money to be made. Let’s dig a little deeper and see what might be bringing us back to our lunar neighbor.

1) Trump really wants it to happen.

Last December, President Trump signed a directive indicating that NASA would prioritize human exploration to the Moon and beyond. Just imagine: a human setting foot on the Moon! Accomplishing such an impossible feat would show the rest of the world that America is capable of great things, which would really assert our dominance on the international stage!

So, assuming that President Trump knows we won the space race 43 years ago (he knows, right? right?) there might be other reasons why Trump wants more people to go visit. Maybe it’s a display of national achievement, maybe it’s to develop economic or military advantages. Either way, the White House is pushing hard for that giant leap.

2) Cash money.

A rare isotope called helium-3 could help us produce clean and safe nuclear energy without giving off any hazardous or radioactive waste. And it just so happens that the Moon has loads of the stuff (so does Jupiter, but that’s a bit harder to reach).

While a helium nuclear fusion reactor does not yet exist, many expect that helium-3 could be the missing piece — and whoever secures the supply would unlock riches to rival Scrooge McDuck.

Two years ago, the federal government gave a private company its blessing to land on the Moon for the first time. Moon Express, which also plans to dump human ashes on the Moon (read: litter) for customers who want an unconventional cremation, has the ultimate goal of establishing a lunar mining colony. According to the company’s website, Expedition “Harvest Moon” plans to have a permanent research station up and running by 2021. At that point, it will begin extracting samples and raw materials to send back to Earth.

This could lead to more and (maybe) better research into the moon’s history and makeup, especially since our supply of samples from the Apollo missions is so limited. But helium-3 is what Moon Express is really after. And they’re not the only ones  the Chinese government also has its eyes set on the Moon’s helium-3 supply.

In addition to opening space up to private mining operations, Trump has reached out to NASA in hopes that the agency’s technology could be used to launch mining rigs to the Moon and to asteroids.

But there’s a lot that needs to happen before the spacefaring equivalents of coal barons start selling space rocks. For instance, we need to figure out how to approach and land on an asteroid, and to set up at least semi-permanent bases and mining operations. But still, some companies some companies are forging ahead.

3) Science! slash, practice for Mars.

The government, along with multiple space-interested billionaires, have some well-publicized plans to colonize Mars. Their reasons range from: furthering scientific research, to exploring the cosmos for funsies, to saving humanity from, uh, something.

The Moon could play a vital role in those plans — as practice off-world destination, and as a celestial truck stop along the way.

In February, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that setting up a colony on the Moon will be essential for future space exploration. Especially, he mentioned, so that it can serve as a refueling station. His logic seems to be based on the fact that the Moon exerts less gravitational force than the Earth, so landing and relaunching a refueled rocket would let that rocket explore farther into space.

Some have also proposed using a Moon base as practice for a Martian settlement, since they would be much closer to Earth — Moon-dwellers would only be three days from Earth, while human Martians would be eight months from home.

NASA’s Gateway mission, as Time reported, could give rise to lunar settlements within the next ten years. Gateway would function as a space station in orbit around the Moon, but would be capable of traveling to and from the surface. The expected Gateway timeline is controversial even within NASA, however, as some feel that its far too optimistic about when we might actually see results.

There are still too many unknowns and hazards for people in space settlements for such a program to succeed today. Even trying to simulate a Mars colony on Earth led to several unforeseen mental strains and complications.

But either way, ongoing exploration and research missions continue to radically change our understanding of the Moon.

“Ten years ago we would have said that the Moon was complete dry,” Ryan Zeigler, NASA’s curator of lunar samples from the Apollo missions, told Futurism. “Over the past ten years, new instruments and new scientists have shown this to not be the case, and that has had profound effects on the models that predict how the Earth-Moon system has formed,” he added.

Of course, there are financial reasons at the forefront the recent push for lunar exploration. But even if its just a pleasant side effect, we may get valuable new science out of these missions, too.

Read more about complications with NASA’s lunar plans: NASA Just Canceled Its Only Moon Rover Project. That’s Bad News for Trump’s Lunar Plans.

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Tesla Is Reportedly Asking Suppliers to Refund Payments so It Can Appear Profitable

Tesla's refund request to suppliers is raising eyebrows in the financial world, with some calling it

RETROACTIVE NEGOTIATION. Tesla seems to have a weird understanding of the old adage “You have to spend money to make money.” In order to look like it’s making money, the company is asking for refunds on the money it’s already spent — even though the people paid delivered on their part of the deal.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that it had obtained a memo Tesla sent to one of its suppliers last week. In the memo, Tesla requested a refund on a “meaningful amount” of the money it had paid the supplier since 2016. The author of the memo, one of Tesla’s global supply managers, wrote that the money was “essential” to Tesla’s ability to continue operating and asked that the supplier view the refund as an “investment” that would allow Tesla and the supplier to continue to grow their relationship.

Though the memo claimed that all suppliers were receiving such refund requests, at least some contacted by The WSJ knew nothing about it.

HOW BIZARRE. A Tesla spokesperson doesn’t seem to think Tesla’s refund request is all that noteworthy, telling The WSJ it’s a standard practice. Many of those outside the company, however, think it’s downright bizarre. “I have never heard of that,” finance expert Ron Harbour told Bloomberg. “Suppliers have been asked for reductions, but going back for them in arrears reeks of desperation.”

It’s also a pretty self-centered move, according to manufacturing consultant Dennis Virag. “It’s simply ludicrous, and it just shows that Tesla is desperate right now,” he told The WSJ. “They’re worried about their profitability, but they don’t care about their suppliers’ profitability.”

TESLA’S WOES. Tesla’s current financial woes center on its Model 3, with frequent production issues repeatedly pushing back deliveries of the vehicle. The company currently carries more than $10 billion in debt and has been beset by one controversy after another throughout 2018. Just last month, shareholders even held a vote to decide whether or not to let CEO Elon Musk retain his position as chairman (they ultimately decided to let him stay on in that role).

If the plan behind Tesla’s refund request was to increase faith in the company as it continues to navigate the troubled waters of Model 3 production, it appears to be backfiring; Tesla’s stock dropped by 4 percent Monday morning, even though the first reviews of the Model 3 have started rolling out and have been largely positive (including from the WSJ).

On August 1, Musk will update shareholders on Tesla’s Q2 financial results, so he has just about a week to get the bad taste of Tesla’s refund request out of shareholders’ mouths. If he can’t, it’s not hard to imagine his role as chairman once again in jeopardy.

READ MORE: Tesla Asks Suppliers for Cash Back to Help Turn a Profit [The Wall Street Journal]

More on Model 3 production: In an Effort to Speed up Production, Tesla Is Assembling Model 3s in a Giant Tent

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