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Oct 3, 2022

MIT Engineers Build Wireless Underwater Camera That Doesn’t Need Batteries!

Posted by in categories: climatology, space, sustainability

New underwater camera could help scientists explore unknown regions of the ocean, track pollution, or monitor the effects of climate change.

More than 95 percent of Earth’s oceans have never been observed, according to estimates by scientists, which means we have seen less of our planet’s ocean than we have the far side of the moon or the surface of Mars.

Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. It is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars’ surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname “The Red Planet.” Mars’ name comes from the Roman god of war.

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Oct 3, 2022

Plants evolved even earlier than we thought, exquisite 3D fossils suggest

Posted by in category: biological

The oldest three-dimensional green algae fossil ever found dates back more than half a billion years and may reveal that plants are older than believed.

Oct 3, 2022

Tesla Solar Roofs Stand Up To Hurricane Ian, Elon Musk Sending Starlink Satellites To Help Florida

Posted by in categories: climatology, Elon Musk, internet, satellites, sustainability

Known for its electric vehicles, Tesla Inc TSLA also has a solar power division. Customers who bought solar roofs in Florida might be thanking the company after the lingering damage of Hurricane Ian.

What Happened: Hurricane Ian hit landfall in Florida and has caused severe damage to the region. Benzinga previously reported the impact could be $258 billion in replacement costs in one region and another $149 billion in the area of Tampa Bay.

The impact could be hundreds of millions of dollars for insurance companies as well.

Continue reading “Tesla Solar Roofs Stand Up To Hurricane Ian, Elon Musk Sending Starlink Satellites To Help Florida” »

Oct 3, 2022

Life Helps Make Almost Half of All Minerals

Posted by in category: chemistry

A new origins-based system for classifying minerals reveals the huge geochemical imprint that life has left on Earth. It could help us identify other worlds with life too.

Oct 3, 2022

What Can Brain Scans Really Tell Us?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, genetics, neuroscience, robotics/AI, security

Since the infancy of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 1990, people have been fascinated by the potential for brain scans to unlock the mysteries of the human mind, our behaviors and beliefs. Many breathtaking applications for brain scans have been devised, but hype often exceeds what empirical science can deliver. It’s time to ask: What’s the big picture of neuroscience and what are the limitations of brain scans?

The specific aims of any research endeavor depend on who you ask and what funding agency is involved, says Michael Spezio, associate professor of psychology, data science and neuroscience at Scripps College. Some people believe neuroscience has the potential to explain human cognition and behavior as a fully mechanistic process, ultimately debunking an “illusion of free will.” Not all neuroscientists agree that free will is a myth, but it’s a strong current these days. Neuroscience also has applications in finance, artificial intelligence, weapons research and national security.

For other researchers and funders, the specific aim of neuroscience involves focusing on medical imaging, genetics, the study of proteins (proteomics) and the study of neural connections (connectomics). As caring persons who are biological, neurological, physical, social and spiritual, we can use neuroscience to think carefully and understand our humanity and possible ways to escape some of the traps we’ve built for ourselves, says Spezio. Also, brain scans can enhance research into spirituality, mindfulness and theory of mind – the awareness of emotions, values, empathy, beliefs, intentions and mental states to explain or predict others’ behavior.

Continue reading “What Can Brain Scans Really Tell Us?” »

Oct 3, 2022

A $500 Million International Project Will Create the Most Detailed Map of the Brain Ever

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

Our brains are among the most complex objects in the known universe. Deciphering how they work could bring tremendous benefits, from finding ways to treat brain diseases and neurological disorders to inspiring new forms of machine intelligence.

But a critical starting point is coming up with a parts list. While everyone knows that brains are primarily made up of neurons, there are a dazzling array of different types of these cells. That’s not to mention the various kinds of glial cells that make up the connective tissue of the brain and play a crucial supporting role.

That’s why the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative has just announced $500 million in funding over five years for an effort to characterize and map neuronal and other types of cells across the entire human brain. The project will be spearheaded by the Allen Institute in Seattle, but involves collaborations across 17 other institutions in the US, Europe, and Japan.

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Oct 3, 2022

Bruce Willis sells his likeness to a firm so his ‘digital twin’ can star in movies and commercials

Posted by in categories: entertainment, futurism

Update: Bruce Willis’ team shared a statement with the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) that it “has no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company,” denying earlier reports that he had sold his likeness to the firm to be used in future digital ads and movies.

A Deepcake spokesperson also confirmed with THR that Willis’ digital likeness can not be sold and that “the rights to Bruce Willis’s image to his Digital Twin belong to Bruce Willis and him only.” Deepcake also stated that any involvement with their company was set up through Willis’ agency, CAA, and the quotes used on their site were in reference to Willis’ time working on the above digital ad.

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Oct 2, 2022

Michael Levin: Biology, Life, Aliens, Evolution, Embryogenesis & Xenobots | Lex Fridman Podcast #325

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, robotics/AI

Michael Levin is a biologist at Tufts University working on novel ways to understand and control complex pattern formation in biological systems. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors:
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Oct 2, 2022

Scientists sequence the world’s largest pangenome to help unlock genetic mysteries behind finer silk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

BGI Genomics, in collaboration with Southwest University, the State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, and other partners, has constructed a high-resolution pangenome dataset representing almost the entire genomic content in a silkworm.

This research paper, providing genetic insights into artificial selection (domestication and breeding) and ecological adaptation, was published on September 24 in Nature Communications.

Previously, due to the scarcity of wild silkworms and technical limitations of former studies, many trait-associated sites were missing. This is the first research ever to digitize silkworm gene pool and create a “digital silkworm”, greatly facilitating functional genomic research, promoting precise breeding, and thus enabling additional use cases.

Oct 2, 2022

Smart microrobots walk autonomously

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability

A collaborative effort has succeeded in upgrading solar-powered microbots – each of which now has their own built-in, miniature computer – allowing them to walk autonomously and without being externally controlled.

Cornell researchers and others had previously developed microscopic machines able to crawl, swim, walk, and fold themselves up. However, these always had “strings” attached; to generate motion, they needed wires to provide electrical current, or laser beams focused directly onto specific parts of robots.

“Before, we literally had to manipulate these ‘strings’ in order to get any kind of response from the robot,” explained Itai Cohen, Professor at Cornell’s Department of Physics. “But now that we have these brains on board, it’s like taking the strings off the marionette. It’s like when Pinocchio gains consciousness.”

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