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Jan 29, 2019

Quantum Computing Research at NASA

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, supercomputing

A participation in the annual Supercomputing conference taking place in Salt Lake City, UT, USA from November 14–17, 2016.

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Jan 29, 2019

Lowering blood pressure could cut risk factor for dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

(CNN) — Intensive lowering of blood pressure, to a less than 120 mm Hg level, can have a measurable impact on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — a well-established precursor of dementia, a new study finds.

Previous studies have suggested high blood pressure could be a risk factor for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, leading US researchers to explore whether lowering pressure could reduce this risk in a large randomized trial on more than 9000 people.

Lowering blood pressure did not significantly reduce dementia risk, but the secondary results showed a significant reduction in MCI, according to the study published Monday.

Continue reading “Lowering blood pressure could cut risk factor for dementia” »

Jan 29, 2019

Breakthrough flexible material transforms WiFi signals into electricity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet

Researchers are always looking for new materials that can help power electronics and medical devices in the future. MIT has made a breakthrough with a new material that makes that goal closer to reality. The breakthrough is thanks to a fully flexible device that can convert WiFi signals into electricity that could power devices.

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Jan 29, 2019

Quantum structure of buckyballs

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Buckyballs! We love them.

JILA researchers have measured hundreds of individual quantum energy levels in the buckyball, a spherical cage of 60 carbon atoms. It’s the largest molecule that has ever been analyzed at this level of experimental detail in the history of quantum mechanics. Fully understanding and controlling this molecule’s quantum details could lead to new scientific fields and applications, such as an entire quantum computer contained in a single buckyball.

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Jan 29, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and the Starship

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, transportation

The imperative of developing artificial intelligence (AI) could not be more clear when it comes to exploring space beyond the Solar System. Even today, when working with unmanned probes like New Horizons and the Voyagers that preceded it, we are dealing with long communication times, making probes that can adapt to situations without assistance from controllers a necessity. Increasing autonomy promises challenges of its own, but given the length of the journeys involved, earlier interstellar efforts will almost certainly be unmanned and rely on AI.

The field has been rife with speculation by science fiction writers as well as scientists thinking about future missions. When the British Interplanetary Society set about putting together the first serious design for an interstellar vehicle — Project Daedalus in the 1970s — self-repair and autonomous operation were a given. The mission would operate far from home, performing a flyby of Barnard’s Star and the presumed planets there with no intervention from Earth.

We’re at an interesting place here because each step we take in the direction of artificial intelligence leads toward the development of what Andreas Hein and Stephen Baxter call ‘artificial general intelligence’ (AGI), which they describe in an absorbing new paper called “Artificial Intelligence for Interstellar Travel,” now submitted to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. The authors define AGI as “[a]n artificial intelligence that is able to perform a broad range of cognitive tasks at similar levels or better than humans.”

Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence and the Starship” »

Jan 29, 2019

Artificial skin could give superhuman perception

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, health

For a long time, biohackers have been playing with magnets by embedding then under their skin as a novelty extra-sensation. I, personally, don’t see the point, but morphological, taxonomic, and cladic freedom are at work so I celebrate their actions.

Our skin’s ability to perceive pressure, heat, cold, and vibration is a critical safety function that most people take for granted. But burn victims, those with prosthetic limbs, and others who have lost skin sensitivity for one reason or another, can’t take it for granted, and often injure themselves unintentionally.

Chemists Islam Mosa from UConn, and James Rusling from UConn and UConn Health, along with University of Toronto engineer Abdelsalam Ahmed, wanted to create a sensor that can mimic the sensing properties of skin. Such a sensor would need to be able to detect pressure, temperature, and vibration. But perhaps it could do other things too, the researchers thought.

“It would be very cool if it had abilities human skin does not; for example, the ability to detect magnetic fields, sound waves, and abnormal behaviors,” said Mosa.

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Jan 29, 2019

Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, internet, wearables

Device made from flexible, inexpensive materials could power large-area electronics, wearables, medical devices, and more.

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Jan 29, 2019

How dirty air could be affecting our gut health

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

The gut microbiome is made up of billions of bacteria, and scientists have been trying to understand exactly how they affect our health, contribute to our risk of contacting diseases and how they interact with the vital organs and systems in the body, including the brain. It is quite a lot to unpick.

As countries industrialise, their air becomes dirtier – and this could have some far-reaching effects on the beneficial bacteria inside us.

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Jan 29, 2019

UK shows leadership on anti-microbial resistance

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

This is not hyperbole. AMR already leads to at least 700,000 deaths every year. But the impact goes further — resistant genes in people and animals cross ecological, species and geographical borders. Progress against diseases including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis is threatened globally. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that nearly half a million people developed drug-resistant tuberculosis. Even cancer patients are more at risk as most treatments suppress the immune system and would, along with several routine surgical operations, become too risky without effective antibiotics.

The world urgently needs a new financing model for antibiotics.

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Jan 28, 2019

A Magnetically Controlled Soft Microrobot Steering a Guidewire in a Three-Dimensional Phantom Vascular Network

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Magnetically actuated soft robots may improve the treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Significant progress has been made in the development of soft robotic systems that steer catheters. A more challenging task, however, is the development of systems that steer sub-millimeter-diameter guidewires during intravascular treatments; a novel microrobotic approach is required for steering. In this article, we develop a novel, magnetically actuated, soft microrobotic system, increasing the steerability of a conventional guidewire.

Soft RoboticsAhead of PrintFree AccessSungwoong Jeon, Ali Kafash Hoshiar, Kangho Kim, Seungmin Lee, Eunhee Kim, Sunkey Lee, Jin-young Kim, Bradley J. Nelson, Hyo-Jeong Cha, Byung-Ju Yi, and…

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