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Jun 15, 2024

Beyond Binary: Exploring a Spectrum of Artificial Sentience

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

Envision AI evolving beyond mere imitation, surpassing human intelligence to redefine the boundaries of consciousness and ethics.

Jun 15, 2024

‘Supercharged rhino’ black holes may have formed and died a second after the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, futurism

Related: If the Big Bang created miniature black holes, where are they?

The research team thinks that super-color-charged black holes may have impacted the balance of fusing nuclei in the infant universe. Though the exotic objects ceased to exist in the first moments of the cosmos, future astronomers could potentially still detect this influence.

“Even though these short-lived, exotic creatures are not around today, they could have affected cosmic history in ways that could show up in subtle signals today,” study co-author David Kaiser, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said in a statement.

Jun 15, 2024

Human missions to Mars in doubt after astronaut kidney shrinkage revealed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Future missions to Mars were not ruled out, though the scientists said that measures to protect the kidneys would need to be developed to avoid serious harm to astronauts. Methods of recovery could also be introduced onboard spacecraft, such as dialysis machines.

“We know what has happened to astronauts on the relatively short space missions conducted so far, in terms of an increase in health issues such as kidney stones,” said Dr Keith Siew, first author of the study from the London Tubular Centre, based at the UCL Department of Renal Medicine.

What we don’t know is why these issues occur, nor what is going to happen to astronauts on longer flights such as the proposed mission to Mars. If we don’t develop new ways to protect the kidneys, I’d say that while an astronaut could make it to Mars they might need dialysis on the way back.

Jun 15, 2024

Deep model predictive control of gene expression in thousands of single cells

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

Gene expression is inherently dynamic, due to complex regulation and stochastic biochemical events. Here the authors train a deep neural network to predict and dynamically control gene expression in thousands of individual bacteria in real-time which they then apply to control antibiotic resistance and study single-cell survival dynamics.

Jun 15, 2024

Going smaller to gain more

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Nanotechnology has arrived in the turfgrass industry. What will the presence of tiny particles mean for fertility and plant protectant applications?

Jun 15, 2024

CRISPR Gene Drives and the Future of Evolution

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

Immunizing enormous numbers of wild mice, however, is prohibitively difficult. By using genetic engineering, researchers could create white-footed mice that produced these antibodies from birth and could pass this ability on to their offspring. But did the island residents want to live with genetically engineered mice?

The answer was perhaps, but with caveats. In consulting with communities on this technology development, researchers found that community members preferred a cisgenic approach: They wanted white-footed mice that were engineered with DNA only from other white-footed mice.18 This would make the project more difficult for the researchers, and meant that a CRISPR-based gene drive, even one with limited spread, could not be used, since no white-footed mouse naturally has this gene-editing system. However, said Esvelt, “It’s their environment, so it’s their call.”

“We’re potentially causing an irreversible change to the environment,” said Telford. “We need to think about informed consent of the community as a proxy for informed consent of the environment. That’s been a real advance and something [that Esvelt] has pioneered—involving the communities from the very start.”

Jun 15, 2024

The oral microbiome: a double face in health and disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Find out more about the link between how oral bacteria can alter the balance between health and disease beyond the oral cavity.

Jun 15, 2024

A new theory linking evolution and physics has scientists baffled — but is it solving a problem that doesn’t exist?

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, physics

‘Assembly theory’ aims to explain evolution without biology. Is it a dazzling breakthrough or an attempt to answer questions nobody asked?

Jun 15, 2024

New concrete can turn your home into a giant battery

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discovered that adding a highly conductive substance called carbon black to a water and cement mixture created a construction material that could also serve as a supercapacitor.

Supercapacitors can charge and discharge extremely efficiently but are typically not capable of storing energy for long amounts of time. So while they lack the functionality of traditional lithium-ion batteries – which are found in everything from smartphones to electric cars – they are a useful method of storing excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

Since first unveiling the technology last year, the team has now built a working proof-of-concept concrete battery, the BBC reported. The MIT researchers are now hoping to build a 45-cubic-metre (1,590-cubic-feet) version capable of meeting the energy needs of a residential home.

Jun 15, 2024

Researchers wonder what if you just put a robot in the driver’s seat instead of automating the car?

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

A team of roboticists at the University of Tokyo has taken a new approach to autonomous driving—instead of automating the entire car, simply put a robot in the driver’s seat. The group built a robot capable of driving a car and tested it on a real-world track. They also published a paper describing their efforts on the arXiv preprint server.

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