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Jan 2, 2017

Incidence of thyroid cancer on the rise

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

The incidence of thyroid cancer has tripled in the past three decades, yet the reason for this is not clear.

Dr. David Goldenberg, chief of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, notes the diagnostic tools are better, but he can’t get behind recent talk of over-diagnosis as the sole cause for the increase.

“The press that has been given to this is an oversimplification,” Goldenberg said. “What we should be concentrating on is not only why we are discovering more of it, but also which of these newly discovered thyroid cancers are the ones that will kill someone.”

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Jan 2, 2017

Let’s cut to the chase – there have never been times as uncertain as these in the world of business

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, singularity

There is no written rule-book to follow when it comes to career survival. The “Future of Work” is about making ourselves employable in a workforce where the priority of business leaders is to invest in automation and digital technology, more than training and developing their own workforces.

As our soon-to-be-released State of Operations and Outsourcing 2017 study, conducted in conjunction with KPMG across 454 major enterprise buyers globally, shows a dramatic shift in priorities from senior managers (SVPs and above), where 43% are earmarking significant investment in robotic automation of processes, compared with only 28% placing a similar emphasis on training and change management. In fact, the same number of senior managers are as focused on cognitive computing as their own people … yes, folks, this is the singularity of enterprise operations, where cognitive computing now equals employees’ brains when it comes to investment!

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Jan 2, 2017

Microtargeting of low-information voters

Posted by in category: futurism

A very seductive hypothesis: did Cambridge Analytica use its psychographics profiles to find the audience for our post-truth world? Did they target gullible voters on behalf of Trump’s campaign? Why is a Cambridge Analytica employee reading about the Need for Cognition Scale?

In a remarkable paper (summarised here), Fording and Schram analysed some survey results from January 2016 and highlighted the disproportionate support for Trump among “low-information voters”. They define those as voters who either score low in political knowledge or low on the so-called Need for Cognition Scale. The latter criterion means that they tend to make decisions based on heuristics rather than by thinking through the issue methodically. Of course, the two factors correlate: if you don’t think much about politics, you are unlikely to know a lot about it and vice-versa.[1]

Fording and Schram went on to assess the preference for Trump or Clinton segmented through those criteria. Because the data was collected in January, this is not expressed as a vote preference, but as a “warmth index” (or a difference of warmth), in the Y-axis.

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Jan 2, 2017

How To Use Your Brain’s ‘Delete Button’ And Improve Your Learning Skills

Posted by in category: neuroscience

There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, “practice makes perfect”. The more you practice piano, or speaking a language, or juggling, the stronger those circuits get.

Scientists have known this for years. However, nowadays researchers learn another part of the truth: In order to learn something, even more important than practicing is the ability to unlearn, or to break down the old neural connections. This is called “synaptic pruning”.

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Jan 2, 2017

10 Things That Would Happen if Everyone Was a Literal Genius

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Wonder how much this would be really true.

What would happen if everyone in the world had an IQ score over 200 points? This is a type of intelligence that only comes along every so often. An IQ level of 200 is as high, or higher, than the theoretical IQs of history’s greatest minds like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton.

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Jan 2, 2017

Scientists find new path in brain to ease depression

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In recent research published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, Northwestern Medicine scientists identified a new pathway in the brain that can be manipulated to alleviate depression.

The pathway offers a promising new target for developing a drug that could be effective in individuals for whom other antidepressants have failed.

New antidepressant options are important because a significant number of patients don’t adequately improve with currently available antidepressant drugs.

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Jan 2, 2017

Slime Mold Doesn’t Have A Brain But Researchers Say It Can Learn And Teach

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Slime mold, a unicellular organism living in forest litter, offers a curious case of learning without a brain. This blob-like creeping organism learns from experience and imparts the knowledge to peers.

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Jan 2, 2017

US Government Escalates Push for Post-Quantum Cryptography

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, government, information science, privacy, quantum physics

Federal agencies of the US government are expanding their calls for quantum computing resistant encryption methods. In effect, the National Institute of Standards (NIST) recently announced a request for public-key post-quantum algorithms. This action follows warnings from the National Security Agency (NSA) about the risks of potential quantum-based cyberattacks and the NSA’s appeal for developing post-quantum algorithms.

Also read: New Developments in Quantum Computing Impact Bitcoin

Moreover, in the near future, it might possible for anyone to manipulate the awesome power of quantum computing. The astronomical price of a quantum computer would not be a limitation because, for example, IBM is offering to the general public quantum computing via the cloud.

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Jan 2, 2017

Diamonds might power the next generation of Quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

It already is


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Jan 2, 2017

World’s First Synthetic Stem Cells Were Just Successfully Implanted

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

For the first time since the advent of stem cell therapy, a team of scientists from the North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, was able to implant synthetic cardiac stem cells which effectively repaired muscle tissue that got damaged by a heart attack. Typically, heart muscles that get scarred from a heart attack will either stay as is or get worse, but not improve. With the synthetic stem cell implant done, however, the result was a remarkable contradiction. Details about this new technique that is supposedly less risky than traditional stem cell procedures were recently published in the ‘Nature Communications’ journal.

Stem cell therapy works by helping damaged tissue repair itself. Although this type of treatment can be effective, it comes with certain types of risks, most notably, immune system rejection and cancerous growths. And, the process itself is very delicate because natural stem cells are quite fragile, have to be stored carefully, and must undergo a series of typing and matching prior to being used.

It is these limitations that have prompted scientists to come up with a different approach to make stem cell therapy work better. And what they developed was a procedure involving synthetic stem cells.

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