Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 130

Jun 24, 2020

An analysis of the system-wide costs and benefits of using engineered nanomaterials on crop-based agriculture

Posted by in categories: biological, food, nanotechnology

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has conducted an analysis of the system-wide costs and benefits of using engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) on crop-based agriculture. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the group describes their analysis and what they found.

As scientists have come to realize that vast improvements in agricultural practices are needed if future generations are going to be able to grow enough food to feed the expected rise in population. They have increasingly turned to technology-based solutions, rather than just looking for biological advances. One such approach involves the design and use of ENMs on crops as a means of improving pest control and fertilizer efficiency. Prior research has shown that some ENMs can be mixed into the soil as a form of pest control or as a means of diverting fertilizer directly to the roots, reducing the amount required. In a similar vein, some prior research has shown that ENMs can be applied to parts of the plant above-ground as a means of pest control. What has been less well studied, the researchers note, is the overall impact of ENMs on crops and the environment.

Jun 24, 2020

Can synthetic biology help deliver an AI brain as smart as the real thing?

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

To create artificial general intelligence, we need to study the brain.

Jun 18, 2020

Simple gene technique changes sex of a mouse

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, sex


The battle of the sexes is a never-ending war waged within ourselves as male and female elements of our own bodies continually fight each other for supremacy. This is the astonishing implication of a pioneering study showing that it is possible to flick a genetic switch that turns female ovary cells into male testicular tissue.

For decades, the battle of the sexes has been accepted by biologists as a real phenomenon with males and females competing against each other — when their interests do not coincide — for the continued survival of their genes in the next generation. Now scientists have been able to show that a gender war is constantly raging between the genes and cells of one individual.

One of the great dogmas of biology is that gender is fixed from birth, determined by the inheritance of certain genes on the X and Y sex chromosomes. But this simplistic idea has been exploded by the latest study, which demonstrated that fully-developed adult females can undergo a partial sex change following a genetic modification to a single gene.

Jun 15, 2020

Cutting-edge research shows that making art benefits the brain

Posted by in categories: biological, health, media & arts, neuroscience

In other words, practicing the arts can be used to build capacity for managing one’s mental and emotional well-being.

Neuroesthetics — With recent advances in biological, cognitive, and neurological science, there are new forms of evidence on the arts and the brain. For example, researchers have used biofeedback to study the effects of visual art on neural circuits and neuroendocrine markers to find biological evidence that visual art promotes health, wellness, and fosters adaptive responses to stress.

Jun 13, 2020

Chris Guest — Quantum Logic & the Rise of the Memes

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics

Fascinating talk on a fun topic.

How does quantum logic differ from classical logic? How do we live in a universe that accommodates both?
Is it possible to observe quantum logic at work in our macroscopic world?
Surprisingly a little bit of quantum logic can disentangle some of our clumsy everyday conceptualisations of biology, language and culture.

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Jun 10, 2020

What Is The Relation Between Artificial And Biological Neuron?

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

We have heard of the latest advancements in the field of deep learning due to the usage of different neural networks. Most of these achievements are simply astonishing and I find myself amazed after reading every new article on the advancements in this field almost every week. At the most basic level, all such neural networks are made up of artificial neurons that try to mimic the working of biological neurons. I had a curiosity about understanding how these artificial neurons compare to the structure of biological neurons in our brains and if possibly this could lead to a way to improve neural networks further. So if you are curious about this topic too, then let’s embark on a short 5-minute journey to understand this topic in detail…

Jun 8, 2020

Researchers develop 3D-printable material that mimics biological tissues

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biological

Biological tissues have evolved over millennia to be perfectly optimized for their specific functions. Take cartilage as an example. It’s a compliant, elastic tissue that’s soft enough to cushion joints, but strong enough to resist compression and withstand the substantial load bearing of our bodies: key for running, jumping, and our daily wear and tear.

Jun 8, 2020

Artificial brains may need sleep too

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

No one can say whether androids will dream of electric sheep, but they will almost certainly need periods of rest that offer benefits similar to those that sleep provides to living brains, according to new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“We study spiking , which are systems that learn much as living brains do,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory computer scientist Yijing Watkins. “We were fascinated by the prospect of training a neuromorphic processor in a manner analogous to how humans and other biological systems learn from their environment during childhood development.”

Watkins and her research team found that the simulations became unstable after continuous periods of unsupervised learning. When they exposed the networks to states that are analogous to the waves that living brains experience during sleep, stability was restored. “It was as though we were giving the neural networks the equivalent of a good night’s rest,” said Watkins.

Jun 7, 2020

Physicists create quantum-inspired optical sensor

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, quantum physics, space

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, joined by a colleague from Argonne National Laboratory, U.S., have implemented an advanced quantum algorithm for measuring physical quantities using simple optical tools. Published in Scientific Reports, their study takes us a step closer to affordable linear optics-based sensors with high performance characteristics. Such tools are sought after in diverse research fields, from astronomy to biology.

Maximizing the sensitivity of measurement tools is crucial for any field of science and technology. Astronomers seek to detect remote cosmic phenomena, biologists need to discern exceedingly tiny organic structures, and engineers have to measure the positions and velocities of objects, to name a few examples.

Until recently, no measurement could ensure precision above the so-called shot noise limit, which has to do with the statistical features inherent in classical observations. Quantum technology has provided a way around this, boosting precision to the fundamental Heisenberg limit, stemming from the basic principles of quantum mechanics. The LIGO experiment, which detected for the first time in 2016, shows it is possible to achieve Heisenberg-limited sensitivity by combining complex optical interference schemes and quantum techniques.

Jun 7, 2020

Richard Dawkins on scientific truth, outgrowing God and life beyond Earth

Posted by in category: biological

Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s most famous atheists. An evolutionary biology at Oxford and best-selling author of The God Delusion — his new book ‘Outgrowing God — A Beginner’s Guide’ aims to inform young people about religion and atheism. He talks to Krishnan about why he wrote it, his passion for scientific truth and whether he thinks there’s life outside of Earth.


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