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Aug 27, 2020

Autonomous aircraft startup Reliable Robotics emerges from stealth with $33.5 million

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, robotics/AI, transportation

Reliable Robotics, a startup developing autonomous flight technologies, this week emerged from stealth with $33.5 million in venture capital funding. Cofounder and CEO Robert Rose says the funds will be used to scale production of the company’s products and bring on new engineering talent.

Aviation companies pursuing autonomous transportation include Uber, Boeing, and Honeywell. According to management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, replacing single-pilot operations with autonomous planes could save airlines as much as $60 billion annually. Pandemic headwinds have only reinvigorated the search for cost-cutting opportunities, as Statista estimates airlines will lose at least $314 billion in revenue in 2020.

Looking to expedite their path to market, companies like Xwing, Airbus, and Elroy Air have explored retrofitting existing aircraft rather than developing hardware from scratch. Reliable Robotics, which was founded in 2017 by Rose and VP of engineering Juerg Frefel, aims to develop a platform that imbues any fixed-wing plane with autonomous capabilities.

Aug 27, 2020

FDA authorizes Abbott’s fast $5 COVID-19 test

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 test will cost $5 and take 15 minutes to run. It looks for the protein on the surface of the coronavirus, instead of the genetic sequence of the virus, and doesn’t take any lab equipment. People who test negative can display that result on an app.

Aug 27, 2020

This robot can make a pizza in just 3 minutes

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Robot vending machines designed specifically for pizza is the future we need right now.

Aug 27, 2020

How language shapes the way we think

Posted by in category: neuroscience

You’ll be surprised by how much your language shapes your perspective.


There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. “The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,” Boroditsky says. “Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Aug 27, 2020

Energy Kites Are The Next Level of Wind Power

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Forget windmills: This is an energy kite.

Aug 27, 2020

Scaling Up Fundamental Quantum Chemistry Simulations on Quantum Hardware

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Accurate computational prediction of chemical processes from the quantum mechanical laws that govern them is a tool that can unlock new frontiers in chemistry, improving a wide variety of industries. Unfortunately, the exact solution of quantum chemical equations for all but the smallest systems remains out of reach for modern classical computers, due to the exponential scaling in the number and statistics of quantum variables. However, by using a quantum computer, which by its very nature takes advantage of unique quantum mechanical properties to handle calculations intractable to its classical counterpart, simulations of complex chemical processes can be achieved. While today’s quantum computers are powerful enough for a clear computational advantage at some tasks, it is an open question whether such devices can be used to accelerate our current quantum chemistry simulation techniques.

In “Hartree-Fock on a Superconducting Qubit Quantum Computer”, appearing today in Science, the Google AI Quantum team explores this complex question by performing the largest chemical simulation performed on a quantum computer to date. In our experiment, we used a noise-robust variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) to directly simulate a chemical mechanism via a quantum algorithm. Though the calculation focused on the Hartree-Fock approximation of a real chemical system, it was twice as large as previous chemistry calculations on a quantum computer, and contained ten times as many quantum gate operations. Importantly, we validate that algorithms being developed for currently available quantum computers can achieve the precision required for experimental predictions, revealing pathways towards realistic simulations of quantum chemical systems.

Aug 27, 2020

How Close Are Computers to Automating Mathematical Reasoning?

Posted by in categories: mathematics, robotics/AI

AI tools are shaping next-generation theorem provers, and with them the relationship between math and machine.

Aug 27, 2020

Fungi In The Blood, Fungi In The Brain: Rapamycin To The Rescue?

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

Here’s my latest video!


The incidence of fungi bloodstream infections increases during aging-is that a potential explanation for the presence of fungi in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients? Rapamycin is a known antifungal-is it effective against fungi that are found in the blood and brain?

Aug 27, 2020

Cardiology trial shows potential benefit of genetic testing when selecting blood thinners

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

An international, first-of-its-kind cardiology trial used personalized genetic testing to reduce by 34 percent the number of serious adverse events following balloon angioplasty, a treatment for the most common form of heart disease.

For patients undergoing (PCI)—a non-surgical procedure where physicians inflate a balloon and place a metal stent in narrowed arteries to improve to the heart —the choice of antiplatelet therapy can be critical to post-treatment success, and to minimize the chance of heart attack or stroke.

The TAILOR-PCI trial, co-led by principal investigators Dr. Michael Farkouh, cardiologist and Multinational Clinical Trials Chair at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Dr. Naveen Pereira, Professor of Medicine and cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, studied the effectiveness of genetic-guided therapy in patients that have had PCIs when compared to conventional therapy.

Aug 27, 2020

LG officially announces its battery-powered air purifier mask

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, wearables

LG has officially announced a portable air purifier that you wear on your face like a mask. The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier uses a pair of replaceable filters similar to what you’d find in LG’s range of air purifiers for the home, pairing them with battery-powered fans to help you breathe. LG says the device has sensors to detect when you’re breathing in or out, and adjusts the fans’ speeds accordingly.

Today’s announcement ahead of IFA 2020 doesn’t explicitly mention the COVID-19 pandemic, but it heavily implies that the mask was developed in response to it. The company says the wearable air purifier is designed to replace the “inconsistent” homemade masks worn by some people, as well as the disposable masks that it says have been in short supply.

Back in July, when LG first announced the mask and said it would be donating 2,000 of the devices to a university hospital in Seoul, one executive from the company said they hoped it would help medical staff “amid the protracting COVID-19 pandemic,” The Korea Herald reported. They hoped it would make it easier for medical staff to wear a mask for hours at a time.