Breaking: New semi-synthetic organism can make molecules we’ve never seen before


Breaking: New Semi-Synthetic Organism Can Make Molecules We’ve Never Seen Before

We have expanded the DNA.


29 NOV 2017

Scientists have expanded the building blocks of DNA to create a stable semi-synthetic organism that can produce biological compounds entirely new to nature.

The DNA that makes up essentially all living things on Earth consists of arrangements of four basic amino acids, but the new life-form developed by researchers in the US makes use of six – and that’s where things get interesting

This crazy twist on black holes says there was no Big Bang

(Jurik Peter/Shutterstock)

This Crazy Twist on Black Holes Says There Was No Big Bang

We could be living in a bouncy Universe.


29 NOV 2017

A physicist from the University of Campinas in Brazil isn’t a big fan of the idea that time started with a so-called Big Bang.

Instead, Juliano César Silva Neves imagines a collapse followed by an expansion, one that could even still carry the scars of a previous timeline

AEMC confirms 5-minute settlement to begin in 2021 : RenewEconomy

A major rule change that will change the settlement periods on Australia’s electricity markets and offer major incentive to fast acting technology such as battery storage and demand management has been confirmed.

The Australian Energy Market Commission on Tuesday confirmed a “final” rule change to change the settlement period for the electricity spot price from 30 minutes to five minutes, starting in 2021.

It described it as a “fundamental change” will provide a better price signal for investment in fast response technologies, such as batteries, new generation gas peaker plants and demand response and enable the power system to operate in a more dynamic way.

William Blake’s Most Beautiful Letter: A Searing Defense of the Imagination and the Creative Spirit – Brain Pickings

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way… As a man is, so he sees.”

William Blake’s Most Beautiful Letter: A Searing Defense of the Imagination and the Creative Spirit

“The genius,” Schopenhauer wrote in his timeless distinction between genius and talent, “lights on his age like a comet into the paths of the planets, to whose well-regulated and comprehensible arrangement its wholly eccentric course is foreign.” Unlike the person of talent, whose work simply exceeds in excellence the work of their contemporaries and is therefore easily appreciated by them, Schopenhauer argued that person of genius produces work which differs not in mere degree of excellence but in kind of vision. It is therefore often ridiculed or, worse yet, entirely ignored by the creator’s contemporaries, to be rediscovered and appreciated only by posterity.

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness – Brain Pickings

The science behind the “tortured genius” myth and what it reveals about how the creative mind actually works.

“I think I’ve only spent about ten percent of my energies on writing,” Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Katherine Anne Porter confessed in a 1963 interview. “The other ninety percent went to keeping my head above water.” While art may be a form of therapyfor the rest of us, Porter’s is a sentiment far from uncommon among the creatively gifted who make that art. Why?

NT backs 50% renewables plan, to boost home solar and batteries : RenewEconomy

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The Northern Territory government has given broad support to a plan to transition the territory to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and announced new funding for rooftop solar and grid upgrades, after the release of a Roadmap to Renewables report on Monday.

The report’s 11 recommendations – including the use of reverse auctions to contract new large-scale renewables, and the gradual, long-term replacement of the territory’s gas power fleet with large-scale battery storage – have all been given support, or “in-principle” support, by the NT government.

UQ moves up influential ranking table – UQ News – The University of Queensland, Australia

17 October 2017

The University of Queensland has continued its climb in one of the world’s most respected university ranking systems.

UQ is placed 41st in the global Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities released this week, up from 43rdlast year and from 72nd five years ago.

The University remains in Australia’s top three, along with the universities of Melbourne and Sydney.

Acting Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Aidan Byrne said it was gratifying to see researchers’ hard work leading to global recognition for UQ.

Professor Aidan Byrne

“The National Taiwan University’s ranking is among the most influential and closely watched by researchers and future students around the world,” said Professor Byrne (pictured left).

“It’s a source of much pride for UQ to be acknowledged by our global peers as one of Australia’s top universities, and to be ranked as Australia’s best in several fields and subject areas.”

Neuroscientist Christof Koch on Free Will – Brain Pickings

“Freedom is always a question of degree rather than an absolute good that we do or do not possess.”

Neuroscientist Christof Koch on Free Will

“I want to be free,” seventeen-year-old Sylvia Plath declared in a letter to her mother — a yearning that hurled her in the inevitable logical direction of the larger question of what freedom really means and to what extent it is in our possession at all. Several months later, Plath contemplated that question in her diary: “As for free will, there is such a narrow crack of it for man to move in, crushed as he is from birth by environment, heredity, time and event and local convention.”

A Mysterious Bacterium May Be a Critical Part of Cancer


A new study proves that a kind of bacteria normally found in the mouth can inhabit most of the tumor cells in human colon cancer. The bacteria can also travel with the cells during metastasis. But, like most bacteria, it’s susceptible to antibiotics.


In 2011, two researchers stumbled upon an intriguing find. In separate studies, Dr. Matthew Meyerson from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Robert A. Holt from the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia found bacteria that’s normally in the mouth, called Fusobacteria, in human colon cancers.

Parallel Universes May Be the Only Hope of Surviving the Death of the Cosmos


As a featured host on YouTube channel Big Think, Dr. Michio Kaku takes a moment to discuss the death of the universe, how long we have, and how we might be able to hitch a ride into a neighboring, parallel universe.

While the little that we know about the universe usually leads us to more questions than answers, the philosophy governing the universe is full of so much intrigue that we can’t seem to help ourselves. Renowned futurist, physicist, and bestselling author Dr. Michio Kaku takes a moment to explain the end of the universe on Big Think’s YouTube channel.

Buddhist Economics: How to Start Prioritizing People Over Products and Creativity Over Consumption – Brain Pickings

“Work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure.”

Much has been said about the difference between money and wealth and how we, as individuals, can make more of the latter, but the divergence between the two is arguably even more important the larger scale of nations and the global economy. What does it really mean to create wealth for people — for humanity — as opposed to money for governments and corporations?