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Genetic Mutation Enables Less Sleep 272

reporter writes to tell us that researchers are claiming to have discovered a genetic mutation that allows people to manage with much less sleep. One of the researchers hopes that this could lead to artificially reducing the amount of sleep required in your average human. "Although the mutation has been identified in only two people, the power of the research stems from the fact that the shortened sleep effect was replicated in mouse and fruit-fly studies. As a result, the research now gives scientists a clearer sense of where to look for genetic traits linked to sleep patterns."
The Military

The Unmanned Air Force 352

coondoggie writes "How important have unmanned aircraft become to the US military? Well how's this: the Air Force says next year it will acquire more unmanned aircraft than manned. Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman Seip this week said the service is 'all in' when it comes to developing unmanned systems and aircraft. 'Next year, the Air Force will procure more unmanned aircraft than manned aircraft,' the general said. 'I think that makes a very pointed statement about our commitment to the future of [unmanned aircraft] and what it brings to the fight in meeting the requirements of combatant commanders.'"
Power

Distributed "Nuclear Batteries" the New Infrastructure Answer? 611

thepacketmaster writes "The Star reports about a new power generation model using smaller distributed power generators located closer to the consumer. This saves money on power generation lines and creates an infrastructure that can be more easily expanded with smaller incremental steps, compared to bigger centralized power generation projects. The generators in line for this are green sources, but Hyperion Power Generation, NuScale, Adams Atomic Engines (and some other companies) are offering small nuclear reactors to plug into this type of infrastructure. The generator from Hyperion is about the size of a garden shed, and uses older technology that is not capable of creating nuclear warheads, and supposedly self-regulating so it won't go critical. They envision burying reactors near the consumers for 5-10 years, digging them back up and recycling them. Since they are so low maintenance and self-contained, they are calling them nuclear batteries."

First All-Drone USAF Air Wing 242

bfwebster writes "Strategy Page reports that the United States Air Force has announced its first air wing that will consist entirely of unmanned craft. The 174th Fighter Wing has flown its last manned combat sorties; its F-16s will be entirely replaced by MQ-9 Reapers. Reasons cited include costs (maintenance and fuel) and the drone's ability to stay in the air up to 14 hours, waiting for a target to show itself."

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