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Jun 23, 2021

Deep reinforcement learning will transform manufacturing as we know it

Posted by in categories: economics, information science, robotics/AI, transportation

If you walk down the street shouting out the names of every object you see — garbage truck! bicyclist! sycamore tree! — most people would not conclude you are smart. But if you go through an obstacle course, and you show them how to navigate a series of challenges to get to the end unscathed, they would.

Most machine learning algorithms are shouting names in the street. They perform perceptive tasks that a person can do in under a second. But another kind of AI — deep reinforcement learning — is strategic. It learns how to take a series of actions in order to reach a goal. That’s powerful and smart — and it’s going to change a lot of industries.

Two industries on the cusp of AI transformations are manufacturing and supply chain. The ways we make and ship stuff are heavily dependent on groups of machines working together, and the efficiency and resiliency of those machines are the foundation of our economy and society. Without them, we can’t buy the basics we need to live and work.

Jun 23, 2021

EPA to review part of cancer-linked chemical regulation after industry request

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reconsider decisions underlying a rule governing emissions of a chemical that it has deemed carcinogenic following a request from an industry group.

The agency told stakeholders in letters dated last week that it would reconsider its risk information for ethylene oxide, a chemical the EPA currently says is carcinogenic if it is inhaled.

The EPA also said it would reconsider its prior decision not to use a much lower risk finding from the state of Texas as an alternative risk value.

Jun 23, 2021

How pancreatic cancer cells dodge drug treatments

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The scientists found “biotin paint” on a protein named RSK1, which is part of a complex that keeps a nearby group of proteins, called RAS proteins, dormant. The scientists were surprised to discover that when they inactivated mutant KRAS, the nearby RSK1 complex stopped working as well. This allowed the RAS proteins to activate and take over the work of the missing mutant KRAS.

Cancer cells can become resistant to treatments through adaptation, making them notoriously tricky to defeat and highly lethal. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Cancer Center Director David Tuveson and his team investigated the basis of “adaptive resistance” common to pancreatic cancer. They discovered one of the backups to which these cells switch when confronted with cancer-killing drugs.

KRAS is a gene that drives . Most pancreatic cancers have a mutation in the KRAS protein, causing uncontrolled growth. But, drugs that shut off mutant KRAS do not stop the proliferation. The find a way to bypass the blockage and keep on dividing. Derek Cheng, the lead author of the study and a former Medical Scientist Training Program student in the Tuveson lab, compares this process to backup engines on a ship. He says, “You take away your , you’re kind of on some backup engines. But it’s getting by on those. The ship isn’t sinking yet. It’s still moving at a slower pace. Ultimately what we want to do is sink the ship.”

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Jun 23, 2021

New Research Reveals COVID-19 Leads to Cognitive and Behavioral Problems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, neuroscience

The research also found that one in 5 patients reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with 16% presenting depressive symptoms.

The study, conducted in Italy, involved testing neurocognitive abilities and taking MRI brain scans of patients two months after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. More than 50% of patients experienced cognitive disturbances; 16%% had problems with executive function (governing working memory, flexible thinking, and information processing), 6%… See More.

COVID-19 patients suffer from cognitive and behavioral problems two months after being discharged from hospital, a new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) has found.

Continue reading “New Research Reveals COVID-19 Leads to Cognitive and Behavioral Problems” »

Jun 23, 2021

It’s True: Stress Does Turn Hair Gray (and It’s Reversible)

Posted by in category: futurism

Summary: Study confirms stress can accelerate premature graying of hair, but there is hope. Reducing stress helps to restore some of your natural color.

Source: Columbia University.

Continue reading “It’s True: Stress Does Turn Hair Gray (and It’s Reversible)” »

Jun 23, 2021

Michelin, GM testing airless tires on Chevy Bolt EV for 2024

Posted by in category: transportation

The airless tire isn’t a new concept.
Michelin first introduced its idea for one called.
the Tweel over decade ago, and it started selling.
production versions for small lawn and construction equipment a few years back. But what.

Is new about the tech is its use for actual production cars, and that’s where this new Michelin Uptis tire comes in. The Uptis is designed to handle not just the weight of a real car like the old Tweel, but also be able to provide proper grip and durability at highway speeds, too.

Though the design is now more capable, the Uptis airless tire still uses the same basic idea as the Tweel. Sandwiched between the outer tread and the inner aluminum wheel are a bunch of spokes or ribs that substitute air pressure. These spokes are made of a combination of rubber and fiberglass reinforced resin.

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Jun 23, 2021

Producing methane for energy in underground repositories using solar energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

During the winter months, renewable energy is in short supply throughout Europe. An international project is now considering an unconventional solution: Renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide are pumped into the ground together, where naturally occurring microorganisms convert the two substances into methane, the main component of natural gas.

Underground Sun Conversion technology, patented by the Austrian energy company RAG Austria AG, offers a way to seasonally store renewable energy on a large scale and make it available all year round. In summer, this involves converting surplus renewable energy—, for instance—into hydrogen (H2). This is then stored together with (CO2) in natural underground storage facilities—for example, former natural gas deposits—at a depth of over 1000 meters.

This is where little helpers come into play: Microorganisms from , so-called archaea, convert hydrogen and CO2 into renewable methane (CH4) via their metabolism. Archaea are found all over the world, mainly in anaerobic, i.e. low-oxygen environments; they were responsible for converting biomass into natural gas millions of years ago. By feeding hydrogen and CO2 into suitable porous sandstone deposits, this process can be started all over again. The methane “produced” in the depth can then be withdrawn from the reservoirs during winter and used in a variety of ways as CO2-neutral natural gas.

Jun 23, 2021

Sound-induced electric fields control the tiniest particles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Engineers at Duke University have devised a system for manipulating particles approaching the miniscule 2.5 nanometer diameter of DNA using sound-induced electric fields. Dubbed “acoustoelectronic nanotweezers,” the approach provides a label-free, dynamically controllable method of moving and trapping nanoparticles over a large area. The technology holds promise for applications in the fields ranging from condensed matter physics to biomedicine.

The research appears online on June 22 in Nature Communications.

Precisely controlling nanoparticles is a crucial ability for many emerging technologies. For example, separating exosomes and other tiny biological molecules from blood could lead to new types of diagnostic tests for the early detection of tumors and neurodegenerative diseases. Placing engineered nanoparticles in a specific pattern before fixing them in place can help create new types of materials with highly tunable properties.

Jun 23, 2021

A new study on red dwarf stars could resolve the paradox of alien life

Posted by in category: alien life

Before we send out missions to red dwarf stars, we need to double check their ability to sustain life.

Red dwarf stars are the most abundant in the universe and at the top of the list when searching for habitable planets. Why we don’t live around one?

Jun 23, 2021

Scientists Develop New Gene Therapy Strategy to Delay Aging and Extend Lifespan

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


Cellular senescence, a state of permanent growth arrest, has emerged as a hallmark and fundamental driver of organismal aging. It is regulated by both genetic and epigenetic factors. Despite a few previously reported aging-associated genes, the identity and roles of additional genes involved in the regulation of human cellular aging remain to be elucidated. Yet, there is a lack of systematic investigation on the intervention of these genes to treat aging and aging-related diseases.

How many aging-promoting genes are there in the human genome? What are the molecular mechanisms by which these genes regulate aging? Can gene therapy alleviate individual aging? Recently, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have shed new light on the regulation of aging.

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