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Jan 19, 2017

Brain atlas advances MRI exploration

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

January 20, 2017 — Researchers have developed a high-resolution, interactive anatomic brain-mapping atlas they say can overcome the limitations of functional MRI (fMRI) and expand the modality’s value to conventional MR brain imaging and standard MRI applications.

The Gibby-Cvetko atlas is designed to segment the brain into finite anatomic regions with a resolution of 1 mm or less to correct for variations in the brain sizes of patients and better delineate the location of cortical structures and skull morphology.

“Having a high-resolution, interactive, quantitative brain atlas that we warp to fit the patient and run inside a PACS improves accuracy and speed of reading fMRI studies,” said co-developer Dr. Wendell Gibby, an adjunct professor of radiology at the University of California, San Diego. “It is a big step toward routine utilization of fMRI in clinical practice.”

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Jan 19, 2017

Brain Computer Interface: The End of Keyboards & Mice?

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, virtual reality

It was when we tried virtual reality (VR) for the first time that we realized our method of controlling computers is likely to change. When you realize your VR headset is acting as a pointer in virtual reality, and you begin using your head like a mouse without even thinking about it, you start to grasp that there are much easier ways to control computers. Take foveated rendering (eye tracking) as an example. Soon computers will know exactly where you are looking – blink twice for double click!

Last November 2016, we posted an article, “Brain Implants that Augment the Human Brain Using AI” where we talked about exploring the hippocampus to solve brain disorders associated with memory loss. Much work has been done by Dr. Theodore W. Berger into neurobiological issues related to the hippocampus, primarily around implants to explore signal processing of hippocampal neurons. As it turns out, the hippocampus is the storage for our short-term memory working much like the RAM does in your computer. This is the motivation behind Bryan Johnson’s $100 million investment into his brain augmentation startup Kernel.

A Brain Computer Interface (BCI) or Brain Machine Interface (BMI) has numerous definitions, but the common elements found among all the definitions are as follows:

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Jan 19, 2017

In Mumbai: 35.3% premature deaths were results of stroke because of air pollution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Most premature deaths in Mumbai and Delhi over two decades were caused by stroke (a medical condition that occurs when blood supply to the brain is cut off), due to inhalation of ultrafine suspended particles, revealed a study by the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IITB).

The three-member IITB team attributed 35.3% premature deaths to cerebrovascular disease – arteries supplying blood to the brain is affected – as a result of being exposed to high levels of particulate matter of size less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) between 1991 and 2015. Additionally, premature deaths due to ischemic heart disease (it falls under the group of cardiovascular diseases) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) stood at 33.3% and 22.9% during the same period.

A dangerous pollutant, PM2.5 can lodge deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, giving rise to a host of problems from damage to lung tissue, sneezing, asthma attacks, migraines, headaches to even cancer and heart attacks. The elderly, children, and those with chronic lung disease, influenza, or asthma, are especially sensitive to the effects of PM2.5.

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Jan 19, 2017

Is the Default Mode of the Brain to Suffer?

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

It underscores the fact that not all minds that wander are lost. University of British Columbia philosopher Evan Thompson, author of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy, says the DMN’s mental meanderings are “the baseline state of you as a cognitive system.” It’s tremendously pragmatic: being able to remember the past, plan for the future, and happen upon creative insights are all essential tools for navigating life. While he was hesitant to mix the word “suffering,” which is so loaded in ancient Asian religious traditions, with the “default mode,” which is of a contemporary neural vintage, the two connect in the way that suffering arises when people concretize the fleeting swirls of thought, especially around conceptions of self. Still, he says, there’s “particular kind of stickiness” that can come when DMN activity grows overly self-centered.

Default-mode content involves an image of self, one that’s easy to become attached to. These self-conceptions are “affectively charged,” he says; they carry lots of emotional weight. “We constantly think that it’s not just another thought, that [the image of self] is something real, not just an mental image.”

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Jan 19, 2017

Brain stimulation used like a scalpel to improve memory

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Precise memory, rather than general memory, is critical for knowing details such as the specific color, shape and location of a building you are looking for, rather than simply knowing the part of town it’s in. This type of memory is crucial for normal functioning, and it is often lost in people with serious memory disorders.

“We show that it is possible to target the portion of the brain responsible for this type of memory and to improve it,” said lead author Joel Voss, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “People with brain injuries have problems with precise memory as do individuals with dementia, and so our findings could be useful in developing new treatments for these conditions.”

By stimulating the brain network responsible for spatial memory with powerful electromagnets, scientists improved the precision of people’s memory for identifying locations. This benefit lasted a full 24 hours after receiving stimulation and corresponded to changes in brain activity.

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Jan 19, 2017

New ‘smart’ fibers curb fires in lithium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, transportation

Hoverboards and certain cell phones powered by lithium-ion batteries occasionally go up in flames. Scientists now have a new plan for squelching these fires before they flare out of control: incorporating a flame retardant in the battery that’s released if temperatures get too toasty.

Within lithium-ion batteries, ions travel between positive and negative electrodes through a liquid called an electrolyte. But commonly used electrolytes are highly flammable. And if a short circuit in the battery produces enough heat, the electrolyte can ignite.

Source: New ‘smart’ fibers curb fires in lithium-ion batteries | Science News.

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Jan 19, 2017

Irish College Student Created A Quantum Computing-Resistant Encryption System

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics

A sixteen-year-old student from Terenure College has created a highly-encrypted solution that is resistant against quantum computers.

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Jan 19, 2017

New DARPA Technology Could Simplify Secure Data Sharing

Posted by in category: futurism

Can’t wait to see it.


SHARE aims to create a system where secure information could be processed on a handheld device without needing to route traffic through secure data centers. a href=” http://science.dodlive.mil/2017/01/19/new-darpa-technology-c…a-sharing/

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Jan 19, 2017

Harvard’s Hidden Exosuit Powers the Mech March to Relevance

Posted by in category: cyborgs

‘Avatar’ and ‘Aliens’ didn’t contend with the potential for mass adoption.

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Jan 19, 2017

Smart Dust – The Future of Involuntary Treatment of the Public

Posted by in categories: computing, military, particle physics

Smart dust; himm I see many uses for this some good and some truly bad when in the wrong hands.


Pedro Aquila, Staff Writer Waking Times

Smart dust is a name given to extremely small computing particles, RFID chips, or other very small technologies.

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