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Apr 10, 2024

Connecting lab-grown brain cells provides insight into how our own brains work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The idea of growing functioning human brain-like tissues in a dish has always sounded far-fetched, even to researchers in the field. Towards the future goal, a Japanese and French research team has developed a technique for connecting lab-grown brain-mimicking tissue in a way that resembles circuits in our brain.

The work appears in Nature Communications.

It is challenging to study exact mechanisms of the brain development and functions. Animal studies are limited by differences between species in and function, and grown in the lab tend to lack the characteristic connections of cells in the human brain. What’s more, researchers are increasingly realizing that these interregional connections, and the circuits that they create, are important for many of the brain functions that define us as humans.

Apr 10, 2024

First-of-its-kind integrated dataset enables genes-to-ecosystems research

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

A first-ever dataset bridging molecular information about the poplar tree microbiome to ecosystem-level processes has been released by a team of Department of Energy scientists led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The project aims to inform research regarding how natural systems function, their vulnerability to a changing climate, and ultimately how plants might be engineered for better performance as sources of bioenergy and natural carbon storage.

The data, described in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Data, provides in-depth information on 27 genetically distinct variants, or genotypes, of Populus trichocarpa, a poplar tree of interest as a bioenergy crop. The genotypes are among those that the ORNL-led Center for Bioenergy Innovation previously included in a genome-wide association study linking genetic variations to the trees’ physical traits. ORNL researchers collected leaf, soil and root samples from poplar fields in two regions of Oregon — one in a wetter area subject to flooding and the other drier and susceptible to drought.

Details in the newly integrated dataset range from the trees’ genetic makeup and gene expression to the chemistry of the soil environment, analysis of the microbes that live on and around the trees and compounds the plants and microbes produce.

Apr 10, 2024

Tesla’s Prefabricated Supercharger Units Can Go Online Four Days After Being Delivered

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

Tesla has been building Prefabricated Supercharger Units (PSUs) for at least a year at its Giga New York facility, and now the company released a video claiming it can deploy the pre-built EV fast chargers in just four days after getting them delivered to the installation site.

The company’s PSUs have up to four Supercharger stalls installed on a concrete base, with all the wiring in place and everything ready to be hooked up to the utilities. Up to three units–that’s 12 stalls in total–can be loaded onto the back of a truck with a crane and delivered to a new Supercharger location in the United States.

Apr 10, 2024

Team is first ever to measure qubits with ultrasensitive thermal detectors, evading Heisenberg uncertainty principle

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, quantum physics

Chasing ever-higher qubit counts in near-term quantum computers constantly demands new feats of engineering.

Apr 10, 2024

Rigor with machine learning from field theory to the Poincaré conjecture

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, robotics/AI

Machine learning techniques may appear ill-suited for application in fields that prioritize rigor and deep understanding; however, they have recently found unexpected uses in theoretical physics and pure mathematics. In this Perspective, Gukov, Halverson and Ruehle have discussed rigorous applications of machine learning to theoretical physics and pure mathematics.

Apr 10, 2024

A conversation with Dragoș Tudorache, the politician behind the AI Act

Posted by in categories: law, robotics/AI

Here’s why he believes the landmark law he helped to shepherd through will change the AI sector for the better.

Apr 10, 2024

OpenAI Made Sam Altman Famous. His Investments Made Him A Billionaire

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

CEO Sam Altman famously has no equity in OpenAI, but startup bets like Reddit, Stripe and Helion have made him a billionaire anyway, a Forbes investigation found.

Apr 10, 2024

Microsoft AI gets a new London hub fronted by former Inflection and DeepMind scientist Jordan Hoffmann

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Microsoft has unveiled a new London hub for its recently launched consumer AI division, fronted by an AI scientist poached from Inflection AI.

Apr 10, 2024

Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons

Posted by in category: particle physics

“Nobody else took what I was doing seriously, so nobody would want to work with me. I was thought to be a bit eccentric and maybe cranky”

- Peter Higgs, 29 May 1929 – 8 April 2024.

Image from: Fermat’s Library.

Continue reading “Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons” »

Apr 10, 2024

Israel’s Watergen helping Arizona Native Americans make water from air

Posted by in category: sustainability

Israeli startup Watergen, which has developed a technology to produce water from air, has installed a generator for a Navajo Nation Native American community in Arizona to help them deal with a crippling water shortage.

The first generator was set up at the Rocky Ridge Gas & Market in northeast Arizona and aims to address the lack of access to clean drinking water within the Hard Rock community there, according to a joint press statement issued Thursday.

Nearly 10,000 families across Navajo Nation lack access to running water, per recent estimates. Local groundwaters have been contaminated over the years by mining and the situation has been exacerbated by the devastating drought affecting the Western United States.

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