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Aug 15, 2015

An Entire Nervous System Captured On Film For The First Time

Posted by in category: neuroscience

While smaller organisms such as nematode worms have been imaged before, a entire central nervous system has now been recorded for the first time in the fruit fly, drosophila melanogaster.

The video shows neural activity (yellow/red) throughout the entire central nervous system (grey) of a Drosophila larva.

Credit: Keller et al. Nature Communications See More.

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Aug 15, 2015

The Void will use reality to transport you to a virtual world

Posted by in category: virtual reality

The Void is an ambitious project that seeks to combine virtual reality headsets with custom-built physical playgrounds.

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Aug 15, 2015

The Void’s creator details his vision for unleashing virtual reality’s full potential

Posted by in category: virtual reality

A Utah man is developing a virtual-reality experience unlike anything the world has seen before.

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Aug 15, 2015

Temperature-controlled hydrogel can walk

Posted by in category: materials

Scientists have developed a new hydrogel that stretches and contracts just like an artificial muscle. The team created an L-shaped object made out of the hydrogel and immersed it in a water bath. When the water’s temperature was varied, it slowly “walked” forward.

The researchers at the Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan got the hydrogel to move by tweaking its properties. Polymers like hydrogels carry large amounts of water within their structure which gives them the capacity to respond to variations in environmental factors such as acidity, voltage and temperature. Typically, this response time is quite slow, as the hydrogel must excrete or absorb water to correspondingly shrink or expand.

The Japanese scientists altered the new hydrogel to enable it to contract only in one dimension while expanding in another. Since the hydrogel doesn’t contract equally in every direction, it’s able to alter its shape without absorbing or excreting any water. To test the hydrogel’s properties, the team created an L-shaped polymer and changed the temperature repeatedly to observe its response.

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Aug 15, 2015

The Toil Toward Quantum Computers Just Turned Into a Sprint

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, electronics, quantum physics, supercomputing

A new optical chip that can process photons in a dizzying number of infinite ways has been developed by two research teams. Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in Japan (NTT) are behind the breakthrough in quantum computing. The means to solve daunting problems such as the ability to design new life-saving drugs; perform advanced calculations that are a step or two beyond even supercomputers; and analyze weather patterns for more accurate forecasting has just received a major boost.

A group of researchers have pulled off a staggering feat; they’ve developed a silicon-based optical chip that is fully reprogrammable and can process photons in every way imaginable and then some, reports Phys.org.

Prof. Jeremy O’Brien, the Director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics at Bristol University where researchers masterminded the development of the chip, said:

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Aug 15, 2015

Computers are really, really good at recognizing faces…

Posted by in categories: computing, privacy

Computers are really, really good at recognizing faces… For people who don’t want to be found, or just enjoy the previously unquestioned ability to travel without being tracked, facial recognition poses a risk. As a solution, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NIII) created glasses that make faces unreadable to machines.

Image Credit: flickr/Steve Jurvetson.

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Aug 15, 2015

Company in Canada gets U.S. patent for space elevator

Posted by in categories: energy, space, virtual reality

Exploring space while seated on Earth, gazing up on screens in museum theaters or at home via VR headsets. is exciting but the top imagination-grabber is the very idea of finding a way to access space. This is the present-day realm of creative thinking over space elevators, in the use of a giant tower to carry us to space.

Scientists working on space elevators are thinking about materials and designs that can be used to access space as an alternative to rocket technology. A sign of the times is the upcoming Space Elevator Conference 2015 which takes place this month in Seattle.

Imagine, said The Spaceward Foundation, the , serving as a track on which electric vehicles called “climbers” can travel up and down carrying about 10 tons of payload.“There are no intense gravity-loads during the trip, no acoustic vibration, no onboard fuel, nor any of the rest of the drama (and cost) associated with rocket launches,” it added.

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Aug 14, 2015

Google’s New Alphabetical Order — By Vauhini Vara | The New Yorker

Posted by in categories: big data, business, innovation, internet

Vara-Google-Alphabet-Announcement-690

“In one sense, Page and Brin are just formalizing an arrangement that has evidently existed at Google for the past several years—the two of them at the helm of a company largely occupied with seeking out new and strange areas of innovation. The bet, it seems, is that this arrangement will improve the chances that Page and Brin’s unconventional investments will pan out—and that, if they don’t, the rest of the company will be better insulated from its founders’ mistakes. Until then, Sundar Pichai can focus on the boring, plodding business of actually making money.”

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Aug 14, 2015

First 3D-Printed Drug Ushers in Era of Downloadable Medicine — Singularity HUB

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, neuroscience, singularity

Last week, the FDA approved the first 3D-printed prescription drug, essentially validating the technology as a new heavyweight player in big pharma. “This may be the first truly mass manufactured product made by 3D printing,” said Dr. Michael Cima, a professor at MIT who helped invent the pill-printing technology back in 1997, in an email to Singularity Hub. “It’s revolutionary.”

The printed pill, SPRITAM levetiracetam, is a drug that fights many kinds of epileptic seizures. The brainchild of a little-known Ohio-based company Aprecia, SPRITAM is essentially an old drug ingredient packaged into a brand new, more effective delivery system. Unlike current formulations of the same drug, SPRITAM immediately dissolves upon contact with water and bursts into effect — a property obviously beneficial when trying to curtail sudden-onset seizure episodes.

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Aug 14, 2015

The Dutch ‘Basic Income’ Experiment Is Expanding

Posted by in category: economics

Utrecht announced that it would give no-strings-attached money to some of its residents. Now other Dutch cities are considering similar plans.

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