Space Life Underground

Just a few years ago we used to wonder what was inside the core of the Earth that kept spinning and rotating around the axis. What was it that the Earth was made from? Through expeditions, research, and more it was found that it was lava. Similarly now, scientists have said that they can find out what is beneath the surface of the moon and even Mars. However, it will be very technically challenging.

Scientists from Harvard have claimed that they have found a way to see whether or not there is life living underground on Mars. They believe that drilling down to the center would be worth the effort if they were to find proof of life.

The teams of scientists at the Astrophysics department believe that only finding water on the surface of the plant is not enough, there needs to be more thorough research done. This drilling expedition will help with that, and the human race may finally be able to find evidence of life on another planet.

They believe that the climate on the surface of Mars and the moon could indicate life or pre-existing life that can only be found through drilling and digging deep within. Even though these searches will be challenging and will require a lot more progress in technological, they still cannot be ruled out as impossible.

Scientists claim that for a liquid to exist on a surface or within a planet, there is a certain atmosphere that is required and that a finite pressure is maintained. If this were to not happen, there would be no existence of liquid on that surface. This is why they believe that there could be sub-surface lakes in Mars as the upper layer can exert the right amount of pressure leading to the existence of liquid.

Life could be thriving beneath the surface even though the exterior of the planet does not seem provide livable conditions. By digging where higher temperatures could be found and drilling through geological material, they may be able to figure out the existence of life.

The team is so enthusiastic that they believe that within the decade there could be some work done on this and the process can at least begin. They believe robots and other AI will be digging deep in space to find the concept of life on another planet.

Mushroom Clothing

Most of us like the idea of going environmentally friendly. However, clothing is never one of our focal points. We keep focus on food, shelter, and even water, but never on what we wear. Going green is not an easy job especially when it comes to your clothing and still being able to dress the way you want. This is because there are not many options available on the market and those are can be overpriced.

There is now a new collaboration between Adidas and Lululemon and they have begun to acquire suitable and environmentally friendly fabric that will not only look chic and modern, but also help save the world at the same time. A start-up called Bolt fabrics has begun to create a special kind of fiber which is made up of mycelium, which is a threadlike root of a mushroom which creates a sort of faux leather or vegan leather material.

Some of the most well-known and most followed brands all over the world have decided to partner with Bolt for their fabric. The two names included in this list are Adidas and Lululemon. They have invested a lot of money in the company just to create hundreds of millions of square yards of the sustainable fabric. The first few products that are made from this material are due to go on sale sometime next year.

To create the fabric, the creators grow mushrooms over a bed of sawdust for approximately 10 days. The results of that are that the mushroom root can be dyed, colored, and shaped just like real leather. The process is also much faster than obtaining real leather and is much easier too.

They believe that this fabric has the same supple and warmth that a natural leather does. Through this natural feeling, the company aims to get more and more famous brands involved. This is because using leather was always questioned. People always believed that using leather was cruel to animals and many even protested against it. However, the look that leather could achieve was incomparable, until now.

With brands like Adidas trying to be as environmentally friendly, for example, creating sneakers from seaweed, this fabric created from mushrooms will help boost their message as well as help them attain sales due to the appearance of the fabric.

If big brands like Lululemon and Adidas come forth and sign with the company, chances are that many other brands that are smaller in size or larger in nature will also be interested. This is because all these brands like to compete with one another and being environmentally friendly has now become a trend most brands want to follow as it sells.

Hacking Dreams

What if you could hack into another person’s dreams and find out what they like, or what if doctors could hack into a PTSD patient’s dreams to see how to find a way to fix it? Hacking into dreams seems like a very interesting concept, however, it also seems very far-fetched. Can it be a reality or is it just a faux rumor being spread around?

A group of researchers at MIT Dream Lab, which was launched in 2017, has developed a device that can help you hack into dreams. In reality, it is a device that needs to be worn and it interacts with your dreams in various ways. This includes giving you a sense of control over your dream.

The goal behind developing this device was to prove to the world that dreams are not just useless gibberish we experience while we sleep, rather that they hold some sort of meaning and importance. They also wanted to show that dreams can easily be changed, influenced, and modified according to will at ease.

On average we spend a third of our life asleep. The researchers at MIT believe that we could structure this time better and modify it to benefit us in the future. The device is called Dormio and it is created with so many sensors that they can detect the type of sleep that has been induced and the state of sleep a person is in. When the wearer of the device goes into a hypnagogic state of sleep, where he or she is between consciousness and sub-consciousness, the device begins to play an audio cue that has been pre-set, usually just a word.

Researchers believe hypnagogic imagery or hypnagogic hallucinations are very common in the state of consciousness where one is moving between sleep and wakefulness. Some have reported having vivid auditory and visual hallucinations.

The workings of this device were shown through an experimental study conducted by Dream Lab which consisted of 50 people who were given the audio cue of the tiger within their state of hypnagogic sleep. They all ended up having a tiger in their dream.

A similar device was created previously by a member of Dream Lab which relied on smell rather than relying on audio cues. It was targeted for that part of sleep where the body begins to heal and regenerate. In this test, they used smells to consolidate the idea.

Robot Energy Reserves

In today’s world, everything is slowly advancing towards automation so there is no doubt that one day in the near future we would have robots doing everything for us, maybe even chores. But to perform all these tasks, robots need to be constructed more reliably, not only in the sense of technology but also in the sense of functioning capacity or in other words; a bigger battery is required.

A robot is a machine that obeys instructions fed into it, while on the front it may seem very easy that a robot obliges to your commands but in the back end, complex algorithms and sophisticated programming is operating the machine. To function effectively and efficiently, a reliable battery is crucial.

And that is exactly the scientists’ concern at the University of Michigan. They believe that by just redesigning the robot’s exterior, a better battery life can be obtained. To understand how that is possible we to look at how human bodies in contrast store energy. We humans do not need to carry large batteries with us throughout the day to keep us energized and get us through the tasks of the day. Instead we store energy in fats throughout our body. And when we do something challenging or exhausting, we derive energy required to complete the task, from the fats and then restore it through our diet.

But robots cannot do that, so they only derive energy from the batteries capacity of which can be limited depending on the size of the battery or the placement location on the robot.

The scientists at the University of Michigan suggest that robotic performance can be increased tenfold by redistributing the batteries location throughout the exterior. Nearly 20% of a robot’s design is occupied by batteries. However, by mimicking the human energy derivation from fat from all over the body, placing batteries in different parts of the robot’s exterior can not only save space and allow it to be used for other purposes, but also allow the robot itself to operate more efficiently. How much more efficient exactly? Nearly 72 times.

Furthermore, scientists suggest that such a large efficiency is possible by replacing lithium-ion batteries with zinc batteries. However, there is only one drawback, zinc batteries only retain high capacity until 100 charge cycles. To compensate for that, zinc batteries are not only cheaper, but also easier to replace as compared to lithium-ion batteries. Similarly, zinc batteries apart from being efficient are also eco-friendly. The battery is designed in a way that it passes ions between a zinc electrode and air through a membrane. All the essential components of a zinc battery are non-toxic in nature. Therefore, zinc batteries are not only eco-friendly but also recyclable, and could be the answer to longer lasting robot batteries.

Flying Cars

As a child, most of us would watch science fiction movies and believed the future was filled with hover boards and flying cars. Well, hover boards have become very popular and flying cars have begun to be built. So were all those predictions correct?

The Japanese government has decided to invest heavily into the development of flying car technology to make this a reality. They want to be the first country to have such a futuristic transportation system and even believe they can start commercializing these cars by 2023.

Even though Japan is actively working towards flying cars and their development, all over the world such technology is also being worked on by industry giants such as Uber, Airbus, and Boeing.

The dream of being able to cover a small distance in vehicles that have a vertical takeoff is very much alive and is close to being fulfilled in Japan due to the strides they are making in this technology.

Image: http://www.skydrive2020.com

The country’s newest set up that specializes in flying cars is SkyDrive and has recently also revealed a model for people to feast their eyes upon. Their SD-XX is a two-seat vehicle that is meant to fly and is about the size of a car. It comes with an average speed of 62mph. According to Japanese media, the company wants to start testing the model this year.

They believe they want to start slow and small and do not want to risk too many people. This is why they have chosen to start an air taxi service in either Tokyo or Osaka, and decided that the initial flight would be over the sea. This would minimize the risk of too many people being hurt if there was a malfunction.

The media has reported that fast progress is being made because of the backing of many people, investing their money as well as their talent and skills to make the dream a reality.

The startup plans to introduce round trips all over Japan, mainly focusing around attractions like Universal Studios. They believe that the model will be flown on autopilot, but will require a pilot should an emergency situation arise.

The setup aims to create at least 100 vehicles by the end of 2028 and believe that the cost of these cars should not be more than what an expensive branded car would cost. If this were to work out, it would revolutionize the transportation industry and could lead to rapid advances in flying vehicles for the future. This startup shows lots of potential and by 2028 we could begin to see flying cars all over Japan.

Fusion Reactor

Fusion reactors were a huge technological advancement when they were created. They are a form of power generation used all over the world to create electricity for the masses. The way they work is that two lighter nuclei combine to create a heavier nucleus which then releases energy. The devices that are created to hold this energy or to facilitate the reaction are called fusion reactors.

Even though many countries in the world have fusion reactors, scientists have now decided to build the world’s largest fusion reactor to generate electricity. The project has been started in the South of France and is now in the planning stages, while the actual building is meant to begin by 2025.

Editorial credit: Aerovista Luchtfotografie / Shutterstock.com

The project is not facilitated by just one country rather it a union of 35 countries who have come together. The project is called ITER and is said to be very ambitious. On their website, they believe they want to try and create fusion energy with the help of a gigantic magnetic device called tokamak.

One thing to keep in mind is that fusion energy is clean and good for the environment. It, unlike fossil fuels, does not harm the environment and is a much better and more powerful alternative. ITER’s director-general believes that the project will be a miracle for the environment as it could enable the exclusive use of clean energy.

If the energy produced is more than what has been used to start the project, soon enough countries can rely solely on clean energy with massive benefits for the environment. It is also better than the nuclear fission power currently used as there is no nuclear waste or a risk of a meltdown.

Yet if we were to focus on the research done on fusion reactors and the way they function, it shows that the reactions within are very unpredictable and very difficult to control. This is why it may be difficult for ITER to create a structure that could control and predict the fusion reaction well.

To counter this, ITER plans to create a reactor weighing approximately 23,000 tons while having 3000 tons of magnets that are connected to superconducting cables totaling 200 kilometers long. All of which will need to be kept at a very low temperature of -269 degrees.

Building this machine will not be an easy task and has been compared to the precision of a Swiss watch and 3D puzzle that will need to put together intricately like a timeline by the Director-General.

The team, however, behind the project is optimistic about the results. The fusion reactor is meant to produce self-heating plasma which is said to produce about 10 times the heat of the input amount. If this project is completed successfully, it could create a new world for us.