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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Oct 18, 2018

Scientists grow functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells

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

A team of Tufts University-led researchers has developed three-dimensional (3D) human tissue culture models for the central nervous system that mimic structural and functional features of the brain and demonstrate neural activity sustained over a period of many months. With the ability to populate a 3D matrix of silk protein and collagen with cells from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions, the tissue models allow for the exploration of cell interactions, disease progression and response to treatment. The development and characterization of the models are reported today in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

The new 3D brain tissue models overcome a key challenge of previous models –the availability of human source neurons. This is due to the fact that neurological tissues are rarely removed from healthy patients and are usually only available post-mortem from diseased patients. The 3D tissue models are instead populated with human induced (iPSCs) that can be derived from many sources, including patient skin. The iPSCs are generated by turning back the clock on cell development to their embryonic-like precursors. They can then be dialed forward again to any cell type, including neurons.

The 3D brain tissue models were the result of a collaborative effort between engineering and the medical sciences and included researchers from Tufts University School of Engineering, Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and the Jackson Laboratory.

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Oct 18, 2018

The data revolution: privacy, politics and predictive policing | The Economist

Posted by in category: engineering

Ms. Powell does not have any easy or obvious ideas for how to address tech’s monoculture. She thinks of her book as starting a conversation. But any solution, she said, will involve “a fundamental, bottoms-up cultural change” — and one that we should not expect to see overnight.


In a satirical new novel, a former Google executive identifies the technology industry’s chief issue: its narrow engineering-focused bubble.

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Oct 17, 2018

Startups in the Aging Sector — Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union in New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.

Dr. Oliver Medvedik, LEAF vice president and Director of the Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Cooper Union, chaired a panel with a focus on starting up biotech companies and dealing with the challenges inherent to launching a company in this industry.

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Oct 15, 2018

Geoengineering will happen, China controlling rain across Tibet

Posted by in category: engineering

The initiation of geoengineering will not involve a global public debate or vote.

Do not bother having debates about if or will we use geoengineering. The best thing is to work out the best combination of approaches to make it work the best way possible and minimize side effects. We will probably end up learning a fair bit after we start implementing.

China controls weather and will not blink before starting geoengineering when they think it is needed.

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Oct 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking Predicted Race of ‘Superhumans’ –“There Will be a Race of Self-Designing Beings”

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, evolution, genetics

“Once such superhumans appear, there are going to be significant political problems with the unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete,” suggests the late physicist and author Stephen Hawking in The Sunday Times. “Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant. Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving themselves at an ever-increasing rate. If the human race manages to redesign itself, it will probably spread out and colonize other planets and stars.”

Hawking has caused an uproar by suggesting a new race of superhumans could develop from wealthy people choosing to edit their DNA. “There is no time to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and better natured. But we are now entering a new phase of what might be called self-designed evolution, in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA. We have now mapped DNA, which means we have read “the book of life”, so we can start writing in corrections.”

Hawking, who died in March, presented the possibility that genetic engineering could create a new species of superhuman that could destroy the rest of humanity. The essays, published in the Sunday Times, were written in preparation for a book that will be published on Tuesday.

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Oct 14, 2018

​Australia gets Women in STEM Ambassador in astrophysicist professor

Posted by in categories: computing, education, engineering, government

The federal government has announced the appointment of Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador, with Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith charged with overseeing the country’s attempt to diversify its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sectors.

An astrophysicist professor, Harvey-Smith will specifically advocate for girls and women in STEM education and careers, aiming also to raise awareness in the male-dominated industry and drive cultural and social change for gender equity.

SEE: The state of women in computer science: An investigative report [PDF download] (TechRepublic cover story)

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Oct 13, 2018

China plan to win AI with lots of money, data and easy regulations

Posted by in categories: economics, engineering, policy, robotics/AI, transportation

China wants to integrate four areas for stronger AI. China will use abundant data, hungry entrepreneurs, many AI scientists, and AI-friendly policy.

29 U.S. states have enacted their own laws regulating autonomous vehicles. And governors in 10 states have issued executive orders curbing testing and use.

In 2018, China adopted national self-driving car guidelines that allow any city to perform tests on self-driving cars. China has started engineering multi-tiered roads and entire cities tailored to incorporate driverless vehicles.

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Oct 12, 2018

The mind-blowing world of tomorrow’s smart materials

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, sustainability

For businesses that want to maintain or increase their bottom line, this means re-engineering the fundamentals of their supply chain by developing or adopting new material solutions that achieve a lot more with a lot less.

“The smart companies, manufacturers and brands are the ones who are starting to invest in sustainable material innovation,” says Caroline Till, co-author of Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future, adding, “There’s a thirst from consumers for this.” It’s clear that tomorrow’s leaders will be those who are brave enough to invest in this research today.

For The Future Laboratory’s new Material Far Futures report, we’ve compiled the most transformative case studies in material innovation into the 10 paradigms that we believe will disrupt industry in the coming decades, each with original visualisations from Studio Brasch. From fabrics that generate power through motion and new forms of kinetic architecture to bio-engineering’s impact on luxury fashion, the materials of tomorrow will be smarter, stronger, more dynamic and, crucially, less ecologically damaging.

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Oct 10, 2018

Invariant Natural Killer T Cells Might Be The Next Step in Cancer Therapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, neuroscience

Invariant natural killer T cells might lead to cheaper and more effective immunotherapy.


Researchers at the Imperial College London have discovered that specifically employing invariant natural killer T cells, rather than generic T cells, in cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptors might lead to significantly more effective, cheaper, and more easily mass-produced treatments [1].

Abstract

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Oct 8, 2018

Engineers build smallest integrated Kerr frequency comb generator

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, engineering, security

Optical frequency combs can enable ultrafast processes in physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as improve communication and navigation, medical testing, and security. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005 was awarded to the developers of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, and microresonator combs have become an intense focus of research over the past decade.

A major challenge has been how to make such comb sources smaller and more robust and portable. In the past 10 years, major advances have been made in the use of monolithic, chip-based microresonators to produce such combs. While the microresonators generating the are tiny—smaller than a human hair—they have always relied on external lasers that are often much larger, expensive, and power-hungry.

Researchers at Columbia Engineering announced today in Nature that they have built a Kerr frequency comb generator that, for the first time, integrates the together with the , significantly shrinking the system’s size and power requirements. They designed the laser so that half of the laser cavity is based on a semiconductor waveguide section with high optical gain, while the other half is based on waveguides, made of , a very low-loss material. Their results showed that they no longer need to connect separate devices in the lab using fiber—they can now integrate it all on photonic chips that are compact and energy efficient.

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