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Nov 27, 2022

Research: AI tailors artificial DNA for future drug development

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, food, genetics, robotics/AI

With the help of AI, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in designing synthetic DNA that controls the cells’ protein production. The technology can contribute to the development and production of vaccines, drugs for severe diseases, as well as alternative food proteins much faster and at significantly lower costs than today. How our genes are expressed is a process that is fundamental to the functionality of cells in all living organisms. Simply put, the genetic code in DNA is transcribed to the molecule messenger RNA (mRNA), which tells the cell’s factory which protein to produce and in which quantities.

Researchers have put a lot of effort into trying to control gene expression because it can, among other things, contribute to the development of protein-based drugs. A recent example is the mRNA vaccine against Covid-19, which instructed the body’s cells to produce the same protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. The body’s immune system could then learn to form antibodies against the virus. Likewise, it is possible to teach the body’s immune system to defeat cancer cells or other complex diseases if one understands the genetic code behind the production of specific proteins. Most of today’s new drugs are protein-based, but the techniques for producing them are both expensive and slow, because it is difficult to control how the DNA is expressed. Last year, a research group at Chalmers, led by Aleksej Zelezniak, Associate Professor of Systems Biology, took an important step in understanding and controlling how much of a protein is made from a certain DNA sequence.

“First it was about being able to fully ‘read’ the DNA molecule’s instructions. Now we have succeeded in designing our own DNA that contains the exact instructions to control the quantity of a specific protein,” says Aleksej Zelezniak about the research group’s latest important breakthrough. The principle behind the new method is similar to when an AI generates faces that look like real people. By learning what a large selection of faces looks like, the AI can then create completely new but natural-looking faces. It is then easy to modify a face by, for example, saying that it should look older, or have a different hairstyle. On the other hand, programming a believable face from scratch, without the use of AI, would have been much more difficult and time-consuming. Similarly, the researchers’ AI has been taught the structure and regulatory code of DNA. The AI then designs synthetic DNA, where it is easy to modify its regulatory information in the desired direction of gene expression.

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Nov 27, 2022

Can an AI-powered insect trap solve a $220 billion pest problem?

Posted by in categories: economics, food, robotics/AI

Pests destroy up to 40% of the world’s crops each year, causing $220 billion in economic losses, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Trapview is harnessing the power of AI to help tackle the problem.

The Slovenian company has developed a device that traps and identifies pests, and acts as an advance warning system by predicting how they will spread.

“We’ve built the biggest database of pictures of insects in the world, which allows us to really use modern AI-based computing vision in the most optimal way,” says Matej Štefančič, CEO of Trapview and parent company EFOS.

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Nov 27, 2022

Neuroscience exploration

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Neuroscience playlist.

Share your videos with friends, family, and the world.

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Nov 27, 2022

Photochemistry is confirmed on an exoplanet

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, space

The latest data improves our understanding of how clouds in “hot Jupiter” exoplanets like this might appear up close. They are likely to be broken up, rather than a single, uniform blanket over the planet.

Photochemistry is the result of light triggering chemical reactions. This process is fundamental to life on Earth: it makes ozone, for example, which protects us from harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays.

New observations of WASP-39 b, a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a Sun-like star found 700 light years away, confirm the presence of a never-before-seen molecule in the atmosphere – sulfur dioxide – among other details.

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Nov 27, 2022

Deepmind’s new video game AIs learn from humans

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Deepmind introduces a new research framework for AI agents in simulated environments such as video games that can interact more flexibly and naturally with humans.

AI systems have achieved great success in video games such as Dota or Starcraft, defeating human professional players. This is made possible by precise reward functions that are tuned to optimize game outcomes: Agents were trained using unique wins and losses calculated by computer code. Where such reward functions are possible, AI agents can sometimes achieve superhuman performance.

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Nov 27, 2022

Ubisoft’s New AI: Breathing Life Into Games!

Posted by in category: robotics/AI


❤️ Check out Weights & Biases and sign up for a free demo here:

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Nov 27, 2022

Exclusive: Where’s The Beef? Not In This Steak

Posted by in category: sustainability

TIME got to try the world’s first lab-grown steak, no cows required.

Nov 27, 2022

Microsoft Uses Transfer Learning to Train Autonomous Drones

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

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The model is able to transfer knowledge between a simulated environment and real-world settings.

Nov 27, 2022

Super Intelligent A.I. is Neither Necessary nor Desirable

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A.I. Risk and the dangers of the cult of AGI.

Nov 27, 2022

Researchers are building robots that can build themselves

Posted by in categories: particle physics, robotics/AI

Researchers at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms are working on an ambitious project, designing robots that effectively self-assemble. The team admits that the goal of an autonomous self-building robot is still “years away,” but the work has thus far demonstrated positive results.

At the system’s center are voxels (a term borrowed from computer graphics), which carry power and data that can be shared between pieces. The pieces form the foundation of the robot, grabbing and attaching additional voxels before moving across the grid for further assembly.

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