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Feb 7, 2023

Brian Greene: Quantum Gravity, The Big Bang, Aliens, Death, and Meaning | Lex Fridman Podcast #232

Posted by in categories: alien life, quantum physics

Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors:
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Continue reading “Brian Greene: Quantum Gravity, The Big Bang, Aliens, Death, and Meaning | Lex Fridman Podcast #232” »

Feb 7, 2023

Oldest brain in a backboned animal found in fish fossil

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Very old brain, some ancient philosophy maybe…

A fossilised fish originally dug up more than a century ago in an English coal mine has been shown to hold the world’s oldest brain in a vertebrate animal.

CT scans revealed the new internal features including a brain and cranial nerves about 2 centimetres long.

Continue reading “Oldest brain in a backboned animal found in fish fossil” »

Feb 7, 2023

Clap if you believe in robot fairies

Posted by in category: robotics/AI


“I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we go,” Peter Pan says to Wendy.

In J.M. Barrie’s book, fairies can be brought back to life if enough people believe in them.

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Feb 7, 2023

Echolocation could give small robots the ability to find lost people

Posted by in categories: drones, information science, robotics/AI

Scientists and roboticists have long looked at nature for inspiration to develop new features for machines. In this case, researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland were inspired by bats and other animals that rely on echolocation to design a method that would give small robots that ability to navigate themselves — one that doesn’t need expensive hardware or components too large or too heavy for tiny machines. In fact, according to PopSci, the team only used the integrated audio hardware of an interactive puck robot and built an audio extension deck using cheap mic and speakers for a tiny flying drone that can fit in the palm of your hand.

The system works just like bat echolocation. It was designed to emit sounds across frequencies, which a robot’s microphone then picks up as they bounce off walls. An algorithm the team created then goes to work to analyze sound waves and create a map with the room’s dimensions.

In a paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the researchers said existing “algorithms for active echolocation are less developed and often rely on hardware requirements that are out of reach for small robots.” They also said their “method is model-based, runs in real time and requires no prior calibration or training.” Their solution could give small machines the capability to be sent on search-and-rescue missions or to previously uncharted locations that bigger robots wouldn’t be able to reach. And since the system only needs onboard audio equipment or cheap additional hardware, it has a wide range of potential applications.

Feb 7, 2023

Super-resolution microscopy ditches fluorescent tags for gentler imaging of live cells

Posted by in category: chemistry

Infrared laser technique could deliver benefits for study of cells’ biochemistry.

Feb 7, 2023

Google to release ChatGPT rival named Bard

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Google said Monday it will release a conversational chatbot named Bard, setting up an artificial intelligence showdown with Microsoft which has invested billions in the creators of ChatGPT, the hugely popular language app that convincingly mimics human writing.

ChatGPT, created by San Francisco company OpenAI, has caused a sensation for its ability to write essays, poems or programming code on demand within seconds, sparking widespread fears of cheating or of entire professions becoming obsolete.

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Feb 7, 2023

AI can predict the effectiveness of breast cancer chemotherapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Engineers at the University of Waterloo have developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict if women with breast cancer would benefit from chemotherapy prior to surgery.

The new AI algorithm, part of the open-source Cancer-Net initiative led by Dr. Alexander Wong, could help unsuitable candidates avoid the serious side effects of chemotherapy and pave the way for better surgical outcomes for those who are suitable.

“Determining the right treatment for a given breast cancer patient is very difficult right now, and it is crucial to avoid unnecessary side effects from using treatments that are unlikely to have real benefit for that patient,” said Wong, a professor of systems design engineering.

Feb 7, 2023

Dr Nir Barzilai, MD — Advancing Geroscience & Gerotherapeutics — Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Advancing Geroscience & Gerotherapeutics — Dr. Nir Barzilai, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Nir Barzilai, MD ( is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research and of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. He is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Diabetes Research Center and of the Divisions of Endocrinology & Diabetes and Geriatrics.

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Feb 7, 2023

Monica Medina, Assistant U.S. Secretary, Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs

Posted by in categories: law, policy, security, sustainability

Monica P. Medina ( is Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was also recently appointed as United States Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources.

Previously, Secretary Medina was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She was also a Senior Associate on the Stephenson Ocean Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Co-Founder and Publisher of Our Daily Planet, an e-newsletter on conservation and the environment.

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Feb 7, 2023

Scientists detect molten rock layer hidden under Earth’s tectonic plates

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists have discovered a new layer of partly molten rock under the Earth’s crust that might help settle a long-standing debate about how tectonic plates move.

Researchers had previously identified patches of melt at a similar depth. But a new study led by The University of Texas at Austin revealed for the first time the layer’s global extent and its part in plate tectonics.

The research was published Feb. 6, 2023, in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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