Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Oct 18, 2020

Elon Musk’s Neuralink May Offer us Symbiosis With AI — Part 2

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, existential risks, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Elon Musk has warned many times about the dangers of AI. He sees strong artificial intelligence as an existential risk. Musk therefore wants to develop a brain machine interface or BMI device so we can merge with AI and hopefully develop a symbiotic relationship with artificial intelligence thus solve the AI control problem. Elon Musk has founded the neurotechnology company Neuralink. the company is focused on developing implantable brain machine interfaces. Neuralink has made recent headlines for its newest BMI device presented by Elon Musk.

In the short term, Neuralink’s BMI may be used to fix neurological problems and disorders. As Elon Musk has pointed out, over time, virtually everyone who gets old will suffer at least one if not multiple common neurological issues such as: Memory loss, hearing loss, seizures, strokes, brain damage etc.

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Oct 16, 2020

Holo-UNet: hologram-to-hologram neural network restoration for high fidelity low light quantitative phase imaging of live cells

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

Intensity shot noise in digital holograms distorts the quality of the phase images after phase retrieval, limiting the usefulness of quantitative phase microscopy (QPM) systems in long term live cell imaging. In this paper, we devise a hologram-to-hologram neural network, Holo-UNet, that restores high quality digital holograms under high shot noise conditions (sub-mW/cm2 intensities) at high acquisition rates (sub-milliseconds). In comparison to current phase recovery methods, Holo-UNet denoises the recorded hologram, and so prevents shot noise from propagating through the phase retrieval step that in turn adversely affects phase and intensity images. Holo-UNet was tested on 2 independent QPM systems without any adjustment to the hardware setting. In both cases, Holo-UNet outperformed existing phase recovery and block-matching techniques by ∼ 1.8 folds in phase fidelity as measured by SSIM. Holo-UNet is immediately applicable to a wide range of other high-speed interferometric phase imaging techniques. The network paves the way towards the expansion of high-speed low light QPM biological imaging with minimal dependence on hardware constraints.

Oct 12, 2020

Tetrahedra may explain water’s uniqueness

Posted by in category: biological

Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo sifted through experimental data to probe the possibility that supercooled water has a liquid-to-liquid phase transition between disordered and tetrahedrally structured forms. They found evidence of a critical point based on the cooperative formation of tetrahedra, and show its minor role in water’s anomalies. This work shows that water’s special qualities—which are essential for life—originate predominantly from the two-state feature.

Liquid is indispensable for life as we know it, yet many of its properties do not conform with the way other fluids behave. Some of these anomalies, such as water’s maximum density at 4°C and its large heat capacity, have important implications for living organisms. The origin of these features has sparked fierce debates in the scientific community since the time of Röntgen.

Now, researchers at The University of Tokyo have utilized a two-state model that posits the dynamical coexistence of two types of molecular structures in . These are the familiar disordered normal-liquid structure and a locally favored tetrahedral structure. As with many other , there may be a “critical point” at which the correlation between tetrahedra takes on a power-law form, which means there will no longer be any “typical” length scale.

Oct 8, 2020

Amazon unveils its new electric delivery vans built by Rivian

Posted by in categories: biological, transportation

Amazon unveiled the electric delivery van that is being built by Michigan-based EV startup Rivian. The delivery giant aims to have 10,000 vehicles on the road by 2022 and 100,000 by 2030.

Oct 8, 2020

Aerodynamicists reveal link between fish scales and aircraft drag

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, sustainability, transportation

The team’s findings have been published in Nature: Scientific Reports: “Transition delay using biomimetic fish scale arrays,” and in the Journal of Experimental Biology: “Streak formation in flow over biomimetic fish scale arrays.”

Reducing drag means faster aircraft speeds and less fuel consumption—an important area of study for aerodynamicists such as Professor Bruecker, City’s Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Nature-Inspired Sensing and Flow Control for Sustainable Transport, and City’s Sir Richard Oliver BAE Systems Chair for Aeronautical Engineering.

Through their biomimetic study, Professor Bruecker’s team has discovered that the fish-scale array produces a zig-zag motion of fluid in overlapping regions of the surface of the fish, which in turn causes periodic velocity modulation and a streaky flow that can eliminate Tollmien-Schlichting wave induced transition to reduce by more than 25 percent.

Oct 5, 2020

Giant electrochemical actuation in a nanoporous silicon-polypyrrole hybrid material

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing, cyborgs, sustainability

The absence of piezoelectricity in silicon makes direct electromechanical applications of this mainstream semiconductor impossible. Integrated electrical control of the silicon mechanics, however, would open up new perspectives for on-chip actuorics. Here, we combine wafer-scale nanoporosity in single-crystalline silicon with polymerization of an artificial muscle material inside pore space to synthesize a composite that shows macroscopic electrostrain in aqueous electrolyte. The voltage-strain coupling is three orders of magnitude larger than the best-performing ceramics in terms of piezoelectric actuation. We trace this huge electroactuation to the concerted action of 100 billions of nanopores per square centimeter cross section and to potential-dependent pressures of up to 150 atmospheres at the single-pore scale. The exceptionally small operation voltages (0.4 to 0.9 volts), along with the sustainable and biocompatible base materials, make this hybrid promising for bioactuator applications.

An electrochemical change in the oxidation state of polypyrrole (PPy) can increase or decrease the number of delocalized charges in its polymer backbone (1). Immersed in an electrolyte, this is also accompanied by a reversible counter-ion uptake or expulsion and thus with a marcroscopic contraction or swelling under electrical potential control, making PPy one of the most used artificial muscle materials (15).

Here, we combine this actuator polymer with the three-dimensional (3D) scaffold structure of nanoporous silicon (68) to design, similarly as found in many multiscale biological composites in nature (9), a material with embedded electrochemical actuation that consists of a few light and abundant elemental constituents (i.e., H, C, N, O, Si, and Cl).

Oct 5, 2020

The Secret is Out: Scientists Figured Out How Tardigrades Became Immune to Radiation

Posted by in category: biological

Japanese researchers have discovered the secret to one of the tardigrade’s most impressive abilities. Tardigrades are immune to high levels of radiation and it’s all because of a protein. It turns out, human biology may be capable of developing it, too.

Oct 4, 2020

A New Chemical ‘Tree of The Origins of Life’ Reveals Our Possible Molecular Evolution

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, evolution

One of the greatest mysteries in our Universe is right here on our own doorstep. No, closer — it’s in every fibre of our being.

At least 3.7 billion years ago, a few simple molecules worked together to create something new. Then a few more. And, somehow, these snowballing combinations eventually produced the first very basic living organisms that would evolve and branch out to become all life on Earth.

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Oct 4, 2020

DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, terrorism, transportation

On a blustery winter day last December, a car carrying radioactive material approached one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs. As the car got closer, an alarm flashed and sounded on a large monitor in the police operations center, identifying on a digital map the exact location of the vehicle and the specific radioactive isotope radiating from the car – Cesium-137. Within minutes, officers in the Port Authority Police Department – equipped with vehicle-mounted and pocket-sized radiation sensors displaying the same real-time digital map – tracked the vehicle and apprehended the suspects in a parking lot. Thankfully, the potential terrorists and radiation-emitting isotope were not a threat, as the scenario was only a drill.

The December exercise marked the capstone for DARPA’s SIGMA program, culminating a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring. The transition of the radiation-detection system took place prior to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In the eight months since the SIGMA transition, DARPA has been developing and testing additional sensors under its SIGMA+ effort to detect chemical, biological and explosive threats as well.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for their outstanding support throughout the SIGMA program and their continued support as we test SIGMA+ sensors,” said Mark Wrobel, DARPA program manager in the Defense Sciences Office. “Being able to test and refine the system in the country’s largest metropolitan region was invaluable in taking SIGMA from a research project to an operationally deployed system in just five years.”

Oct 3, 2020

Synthetic biology brings the hard science of engineering to the basics of life

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, computing, science

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.

What’s happening: SynBioBeta, synthetic biology’s major commercial conference, launched on Tuesday, virtually bringing together thousands of scientists, entrepreneurs, VCs and more to discuss the state of the field.

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