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Apr 23, 2024

SpaceX’s Latest Progress in Starship Development and Lunar Exploration

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

SpaceX is making rapid progress in the development of their Starship, with improvements in heat shield tiles, construction of a second launch tower, and multiple successful launches, showcasing their commitment to innovation and progress in space exploration.

Questions to inspire discussion.

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Apr 23, 2024

A National Security Insider Does the Math on the Dangers of AI

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, internet, policy, robotics/AI, security

Jason Matheny is a delight to speak with, provided you’re up for a lengthy conversation about potential technological and biomedical catastrophe.

Now CEO and president of Rand Corporation, Matheny has built a career out of thinking about such gloomy scenarios. An economist by training with a focus on public health, he dived into the worlds of pharmaceutical development and cultivated meat before turning his attention to national security.

As director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the US intelligence community’s research agency, he pushed for more attention to the dangers of biological weapons and badly designed artificial intelligence. In 2021, Matheny was tapped to be President Biden’s senior adviser on technology and national security issues. And then, in July of last year, he became CEO and president of Rand, the oldest nonprofit think tank in the US, which has shaped government policy on nuclear strategy, the Vietnam War, and the development of the internet.

Apr 23, 2024

Significant global variation in COVID-19 guidelines: Most countries recommend at least one treatment that doesn’t work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

National clinical guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 vary significantly around the world, with under-resourced countries the most likely to diverge from gold standard (World Health Organization; WHO) treatment recommendations, finds a comparative analysis published in the open access journal BMJ Global Health.

And nearly every recommends at least one treatment proven not to work, the analysis shows.

Significant variations in national COVID-19 have been suspected since the advent of the pandemic, but these haven’t been formally quantified or studied in depth, note the researchers.

Apr 23, 2024

Liquid droplets shape how cells respond to change, shows study

Posted by in category: futurism

Healthy cells respond appropriately to changes in their environment. They do this by sensing what’s happening outside and relaying a command to the precise biomolecule in the precise domain that can carry out the necessary response.

Apr 23, 2024

Unveiling the Hidden World of Granular Materials: MIT Engineers Probe the Mechanisms of Landslides and Earthquakes

Posted by in categories: engineering, food

Granular materials, those made up of individual pieces, whether grains of sand or coffee beans or pebbles, are the most abundant form of solid matter on Earth. The way these materials move and react to external forces can determine when landslides or earthquakes happen, as well as more mundane events such as how cereal gets clogged coming out of the box.

Yet, analyzing the way these flow events take place and what determines their outcomes has been a real challenge, and most research has been confined to two-dimensional experiments that don’t reveal the full picture of how these materials behave.

Now, researchers at MIT have developed a method that allows for detailed 3D experiments that can reveal exactly how forces are transmitted through granular materials, and how the shapes of the grains can dramatically change the outcomes. The new work may lead to better ways of understanding how landslides are triggered, as well as how to control the flow of granular materials in industrial processes. The findings are described in the journal PNAS in a paper by MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering Ruben Juanes and Wei Li SM ’14, PhD ’19, who is now on the faculty at Stony Brook University.

Apr 23, 2024

Revolutionizing Brain Health: Rice University Unveils Tiny, Implantable Brain Stimulator

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, health, neuroscience

Rice University engineers have developed the smallest implantable brain stimulator demonstrated in a human patient. Thanks to pioneering magnetoelectric power transfer technology, the pea-sized device developed in the Rice lab of Jacob Robinson in collaboration with Motif Neurotech and clinicians Dr. Sameer Sheth and Dr. Sunil Sheth can be powered wirelessly via an external transmitter and used to stimulate the brain through the dura ⎯ the protective membrane attached to the bottom of the skull.

The device, known as the Digitally programmable Over-brain Therapeutic (DOT), could revolutionize treatment for drug-resistant depression and other psychiatric or neurological disorders by providing a therapeutic alternative that offers greater patient autonomy and accessibility than current neurostimulation-based therapies and is less invasive than other brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).

Apr 23, 2024

Peering Into the Abyss: AI and Physics Unite to Unveil a Black Hole Flare in 3D

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, robotics/AI

Using AI and ALMA data, scientists create a groundbreaking 3D video of flares around our galaxy’s central black hole, offering new insights into its dynamic environment.

Scientists believe the environment immediately surrounding a black hole is tumultuous, featuring hot magnetized gas that spirals in a disk at tremendous speeds and temperatures. Astronomical observations show that within such a disk, mysterious flares occur up to several times a day, temporarily brightening and then fading away. Now a team led by Caltech scientists has used telescope data and an artificial intelligence (AI) computer-vision technique to recover the first three-dimensional video showing what such flares could look like around Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced sadge-ay-star), the supermassive black hole at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy.

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Apr 23, 2024

Breakthrough in Bioinformatics: AI Predicts Cell Type Transformations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

Advances in gene sequencing technology and computing power have significantly increased the availability of bioinformatic data and processing capabilities. This convergence provides an ideal opportunity for artificial intelligence (AI) to develop methods to control cellular behavior.

In a new study, Northwestern University researchers have reaped fruit from this nexus by developing an AI-powered transfer learning approach that repurposes publicly available data to predict combinations of gene perturbations that can transform cell type or restore diseased cells to health.

The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Apr 23, 2024

Formation of memory assemblies through the DNA-sensing TLR9 pathway

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Learning results in persistent double-stranded DNA breaks, nuclear rupture and release of DNA fragments and histones within hippocampal CA1 neurons that, following TLR9-mediated DNA damage repair, results in their recruitment to memory circuits.

Apr 23, 2024

How spicy does mustard get depending on the soil?

Posted by in category: futurism

Serious wine drinkers often have their preferences: Some prefer sweet hints of chocolate in a Malbec from Argentina, while others are drawn to a spicy and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Wine connoisseurs firmly believe that the soil in which grapes are grown determines how it tastes.

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