Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 9

Aug 3, 2019

Exclusive: Lux Capital Raises More Than $1 Billion Across Two New Funds to Invest in Companies Building a Sci-Fi Future

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, finance, nuclear energy

Lux Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm, has raised more than $1 billion across two new funds to back companies on “the cutting edge of science.” The firm raised $500 million for its sixth flagship early-stage fund and another $550 million for an opportunity fund focused on growth-stage investments. Limited partners include global foundations, university endowments, and tech billionaires.

Lux also announced a new hire: Deena Shakir, formerly of GV (Google Ventures), has joined as an investment partner.

To the regular person, Lux’s investments are considered moonshot. The firm has backed entrepreneurs that are working on everything from neurostimulation to nuclear energy to synthetic biology. During my last interview with co-founder and managing partner Josh Wolfe, I actually called one of his portfolio companies “freaking crazy.”

Aug 2, 2019

Two-dimensional (2-D) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with a microfluidic diamond quantum sensor

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics, space

Quantum sensors based on nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond are a promising detection mode for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy due to their micron-scale detection volume and noninductive-based sample detection requirements. A challenge that exists is to sufficiently realize high spectral resolution coupled with concentration sensitivity for multidimensional NMR analysis of picolitre sample volumes. In a new report now on Science Advances, Janis Smits and an interdisciplinary research team in the departments of High Technology Materials, Physics and Astronomy in the U.S. and Latvia addressed the challenge by spatially separating the polarization and detection phases of the experiment in a microfluidic platform.

They realized a of 0.65±0.05 Hz, an order-of-magnitude improvement compared with previous diamond NMR studies. Using the platform, they performed 2-D correlation spectroscopy of liquid analytes with an effective detection volume of ~40 picoliters. The research team used diamond as in-line microfluidic NMR detectors in a major step forward for applications in mass-limited chemical analysis and single-cell biology.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful and well-established technique for compositional, structural and functional analysis in a variety of scientific disciplines. In conventional NMR spectrometry the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is strongly dependent on the external field strength (B0). As the spectral resolution increased, the B0 increased as well, motivating the development of increasingly large and expensive superconducting magnets for improved resolution and SNR, resulting in a two-fold increase in field strength within the past 25 years.

Aug 2, 2019

The next step in AI? Mimicking a baby’s brain

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

The phrase “positive reinforcement,” is something you hear more often in an article about child rearing than one about artificial intelligence. But according to Alice Parker, Dean’s Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a little positive reinforcement is just what our AI machines need. Parker has been building electronic circuits for over a decade to reverse-engineer the human brain to better understand how it works and ultimately build artificial systems that mimic it. Her most recent paper, co-authored with Ph.D. student Kun Yue and colleagues from UC Riverside, was just published in the journal Science Advances and takes an important step towards that ultimate goal.

The AI we rely on and read about today is modeled on traditional computers; it sees the world through the lens of binary zeros and ones. This is fine for making complex calculations but, according to Parker and Yue, we’re quickly approaching the limits of the size and complexity of problems we can solve with the platforms our AI exists on. “Since the initial deep learning revolution, the goals and progress of deep-learning based AI as we know it has been very slow,” Yue says. To reach its full potential, AI can’t simply think better—it must react and learn on its own to events in . And for that to happen, a massive shift in how we build AI in the first place must be conceived.

To address this problem, Parker and her colleagues are looking to the most accomplished learning system nature has ever created: the . This is where comes into play. Brains, unlike computers, are analog learners and biological memory has persistence. Analog signals can have multiple states (much like humans). While a binary AI built with similar types of nanotechnologies to achieve long-lasting memory might be able to understand something as good or bad, an analog brain can understand more deeply that a situation might be “very good,” “just okay,” “bad” or “very bad.” This field is called and it may just represent the future of artificial intelligence.

Jul 25, 2019

Transforming biology to design next-generation computers, using a surprise ingredient

Posted by in categories: biological, computing

Purdue University researchers turned to biology to help in the design of next-generation computers. Credit: Purdue University/Shelley Claridge WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Moore’s law — which says the number of components that could be etched onto the surface of a silicon wafer would double every two years — has been the subject of recent debate. The quicker pace of computing advancements in the past decade have led some experts to say Moore’s law, the brainchild of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in the 1960s, no longer applies. Particularly of concern, next-generation computing devices require features smaller than 10 nanometers — driving unsustainable.

Jul 24, 2019

Towards a light driven molecular assembler

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, nanotechnology, physics

A team of chemists built the first artificial assembler, which uses light as the energy source. These molecular machines are performing synthesis in a similar way as biological nanomachines. Advantages are fewer side products, enantioselectivity, and shorter synthetic pathways since the mechanosynthesis forces the molecules into a predefined reaction channel.

Chemists usually synthesize molecules using stochastic bond-forming collisions of the reactant molecules in solution. Nature follows a different strategy in biochemical synthesis. The majority of biochemical reactions are driven by machine-type protein complexes that bind and position the reactive molecules for selective transformations. Artificial “molecular assemblers” performing “mechanosynthesis” have been proposed as a new paradigm in chemistry and nanofabrication. A team of chemists at Kiel University (Germany) built the first artificial assembler, that performs synthesis and uses light as the energy source. The system combines selective binding of the reactants, accurate positioning, and active release of the product. The scientists published their findings in the journal Communications Chemistry.

The idea of molecular assemblers, that are able to build molecules, has already been proposed in 1986 by K. Eric Drexler, based on ideas of Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics. In his book “Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology” and follow-up publications Drexler proposes molecular machines capable of positioning reactive molecules with atomic precision and to build larger, more sophisticated structures via mechanosynthesis. If such a molecular nanobot could build any molecule, it could certainly build another copy of itself, i.e. it could self-replicate. These imaginative visions inspired a number of science fiction authors, but also started an intensive scientific controversy.

Jul 22, 2019

Molecular assembler finally created

Posted by in category: biological

Ribosomes are the main engines of creation of the proteins on which the body depends. Now, an artificial analog of the biological ribosome has been designed and synthesized by Professor David Leigh FRS and his team in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester.

Jul 17, 2019

Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

Hybrids, once treated as biological misfits, have been the secret saviors of many animal species in trouble. Reconciling that truth with conservation policies poses a challenge for science.

Jul 17, 2019

Regenerative Ecology — Scott Quitel, Founder, LandHealth Institute- ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bees, biological, biotech/medical, complex systems, environmental, geoengineering, health, science, transhumanism

Jul 16, 2019

Intel’s neuromorphic system surfs next wave in brain-inspired research

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

A neuromorphic computer that can simulate 8 million neurons is in the news. The term “neuromorphic” suggests a design that can mimic the human brain. And neuromorphic computing? It is described as using very large scale integration systems with electric analog circuits imitating neuro-biological architectures in our system.

This is where Intel steps in, and significantly so. The Loihi chip applies the principles found in biological brains to computer architectures. The payoff for users is that they can process information up to 1,000 times faster and 10,000 times more efficiently than CPUs for specialized applications, e.g., sparse coding, graph search and constraint-satisfaction problems.

Its news release on Monday read “Intel’s Pohoiki Beach, a 64-Chip Neuromorphic System, Delivers Breakthrough Results in Research Tests.” Pohoiki Beach is Intel’s latest neuromorphic system.

Jul 15, 2019

Human bioacoustic biology: Acoustically anomalous vocal patterns used to detect biometric expressions relating to structural integrity and states of health

Posted by in categories: biological, health, privacy

Computerized analyses of acoustically anomalous vocal patterns are being used as biomarkers for predictive, prediagnostic, and efficient management of individual biological form and function. To da…

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