Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Oct 20, 2016

How on Earth will we colonize Mars? Use Synthetic Biology!

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, information science, space

Mars colonization — getting there is only a small part of the equation. The bigger problem is how to survive. Synthetic biology may be able to help.

Oct 20, 2016

Senescent cell death brings hopes to life

Posted by in category: biological

Yossi Ovadya Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel & Valery Krizhanovsky Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel Correspondence [email protected]

Oct 18, 2016

Affordable EEG biosensors to control physical things

Posted by in categories: biological, computing

It seems that biofeedback is a thing of future. By having brain activity feedback, you can train meditation, attention, improve sleep, control gadgets, artificial limbs, carts for impaired, and even computer I/O. Everything starts with proper biosensor and controller. Biological signals are very low voltage – microvolts. In order to distinguish them from noisy environment, a precision electronics is required. Brain activity signals are somewhat different from myograms or ECG, they can be analyzed as power spectrum that represent brain activity phases like Alpha, Beta, Theta. There has be a numerous modules developed to acquire brain signals. If you want low to develop sensors by yourself, you could grab a Neurosky platform which is a small size PCB with sensor and microcontroller interfaces.


With it you can read raw EEG signals with sampling 512Hz and do with them what you want. USART interface enables you to connect it yo Arduino or Raspberry Pi where you can calculate all sort of things and extract control signals. Of course you can read processed power spectrum as well to detect activities like attention, meditation and other activities. Eye blink detection is also an option. Great thing is that you can use this module to read ECG activity as well. Module incorporates AC noise filter which can be configured for 50HZ or 60Hz.

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Oct 17, 2016

The 4 big ethical questions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, genetics, robotics/AI

We live in an age of transformative scientific powers, capable of changing the very nature of the human species and radically remaking the planet itself.

Advances in information technologies and artificial intelligence are combining with advances in the biological sciences; including genetics, reproductive technologies, neuroscience, synthetic biology; as well as advances in the physical sciences to create breathtaking synergies — now recognized as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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Oct 15, 2016

New imaging method helps observe activation of neural circuits in the brain

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, neuroscience

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other is the ultimate dream of neuroscientists! A new imaging method now makes it possible to observe the activation of large neural circuits, currently up to the size of a small-animal brain, in real time and three dimensions. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have recently reported on their new findings in Nature’s journal ‘Light: Science & Applications’.

Nowadays it is well recognized that most brain functions may not be comprehended through inspection of single neurons. To advance meaningfully, neuroscientists need the ability to monitor the activity of millions of neurons, both individually and collectively. However, such observations were so far not possible due to the limited penetration depth of optical microscopy techniques into a living brain.

A team headed by Prof. Dr. Daniel Razansky, a group leader at the Institute of Biological and Molecular Imaging (IBMI), Helmholtz Zentrum München, and Professor of Molecular Imaging Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, has now found a way to address this challenge. The new method is based on the so-called optoacoustics*, which allows non-invasive interrogation of living tissues at centimeter scale depths.

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Oct 15, 2016

Enhancing Humanity — What’s The Next Phase Of Human Evolution?

Posted by in categories: evolution, singularity, space

I really love this topic – questioning what’s out there for humanity besides a singularity that may or may not happen or a discovery of the source powering an uber sophisticated kind of video game a.k.a. the *simulated* and likely *holographic universe*… Yes, evolution gets me all excited.

What follows now are possible futures for all of us, based on circulating theories on (continuing) evolution.

These futures show either a grinding halt to evolution, a continuing mutation and selection here on earth, some new form of evolution driven by technology, and (in a way related to technology, as well) a differentiation introduced by mimicking and adapting to a life on speculative space colonies.

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Oct 13, 2016

If Machines Can Think, Do They Deserve Civil Rights?

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, physics, robotics/AI

Over the past century, we have made massive strides in the rights revolution. These include rights for women, children, the LGBT community, animals, and so much more. Exploring the future, we must ask ourselves: what next? Will we ever fight for the rights of artificial intelligence? If so, when will this AI rights revolution occur, and what will it look like?

We talk about protecting ourselves from AI, but what about protecting AI from us? To create a desirable future where humans and conscious machines are at peace with one another, treating our AI with respect may be a crucial factor in preventing the apocalypse Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates fear. It is fair to assume that an intelligent, self-aware being with the capacity to feel pleasure and pain will rebel if not given the rights it deserves.

An AI rights revolution may seem like a sci-fi scenario. But as far as we know, the creation of a non-biological, conscious entity is not prevented by the laws of physics. Emotions, consciousness and self-awareness originate from the human brain and thus have a physical basis that could potentially be replicated in an artificially intelligent system. Exponential growth in neuro-technology coupled with unprecedented advances in AI mean intelligent, conscious machines may be possible.

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Oct 11, 2016

Launched: A Synthetic Biology Factory for Making Weird New Organisms

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, robotics/AI

Need a yeast that spits out rose oil? The synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks is on it.

Oct 4, 2016

Optical forces used to make rewritable 3D holographic materials

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, nanotechnology, tractor beam

(—Researchers have used the pressure of light—also called optical forces or sometimes “tractor beams”—to create a new type of rewritable, dynamic 3D holographic material. Unlike other 3D holographic materials, the new material can be rapidly written and erased many times, and can also store information without using any external energy. The new material has potential applications in 3D holographic displays, large-scale volumetric data storage devices, biosensors, tunable lasers, optical lenses, and metamaterials.

The research was conducted by a multidisciplinary team led by Yunuen Montelongo at Imperial College London and Ali K. Yetisen at Harvard University and MIT. In recent papers published in Nature Communications and Applied Physics Letters, the researchers demonstrated the reversible optical manipulation of nanostructured materials, which they used to fabricate active 3D holograms, lenses, and memory devices.

The key to creating the 3D holographic material with these advantages was to use optical forces to reversibly modify the material’s properties. The optical forces are produced by the interference of two or more laser beams, which creates an optical pressure capable of moving nanoscale structures. So far, optical forces have mainly been used for just one application: optical tweezers, which can hold and move tiny objects and are mostly used in biological applications.

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Oct 4, 2016

New devices that emulate human biological synapses

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, engineering, neuroscience

Check this out.

Engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are leading a research team that is developing a new type of nanodevice for computer microprocessors that can mimic the functioning of a biological synapse—the place where a signal passes from one nerve cell to another in the body. The work is featured in the advance online publication of Nature Materials.

Such neuromorphic computing in which microprocessors are configured more like human brains is one of the most promising transformative computing technologies currently under study.

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