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Jul 25, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

University of Rochester researchers are setting a new standard when it comes to producing ultrafast laser pulses over a broader range of wavelengths than traditional laser sources.

In work published in Physical Review Letters, William Renninger, an assistant professor of optics, along with members of his lab, describe a new device, called the “stretched-pulse soliton Kerr resonator,” that enhances the performance of ultrafast laser pulses. The work has important implications for a range of engineering and biomedical applications, including spectroscopy, frequency synthesis, distance ranging, pulse generation, and others.

The device creates an ultrafast laser pulse—on the order of femtoseconds, or one quadrillionth of a second—that’s freed from the physical limits endemic to sources of laser light—what laser scientists call laser gain—and the limits of the sources’ wavelengths.

Jul 25, 2020

Unique Insights Into How We Change as We Age

Posted by in category: futurism

Summary: A study that has been ongoing for thirty-five years sheds light on several transitions throughout our lifespans.

Source: University of Alberta

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the differences between generations and the sociological forces defining their worldviews and behavior. Stereotypes abound: the Silent Generation is inflexibly conventional, the boomers narcissistic, Gen X lazy. And millennials just take too long to grow up.

Jul 25, 2020

How About a Space Station at the Bottom of the Ocean?

Posted by in categories: health, materials

Jacques Cousteau’s grandson is pushing for the construction of a real-life Sealab 2021. The proposed undersea laboratory is so foreign to our idea of marine studies that it’s being likened to a space station that’s also under the ocean.

The station is named Proteus, not for the changing nature of matter (like a new uncuttable material with the same name), but for the shepherd of the sea. By placing a station 60 feet underwater around the Caribbean island of Curacao, sponsoring Northeastern University says it can reduce divers’ high amount of overhead time and reduce the danger of nitrogen-induced health effects.

Jul 25, 2020

Novel Liver Cancer Mechanism Controls Development of Disease

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Cholangiocarcinoma may not be a household word unless, of course, you happen to be a pathologist studying hepatic cancers. Still, it does affect a fair number of individuals, typically over the age of 50. Cholangiocarcinoma is a group of cancers that begin in the bile ducts, which carry digestive fluid to the small intestine. Cholangiocarcinomas are classified by their location in relation to the liver and typically grouped in with other types of liver cancer. Now, a team of investigators at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre (CNIC) believe they have uncovered a mechanism that controls the development of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Findings from the new study—published recently in PNAS through an article entitled “JNK-mediated disruption of bile acid homeostasis promotes intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma”—identified a protein that, when blocked, dramatically reduces the impact and progression of the cancer.

Spanish scientists have designed an animal model to study the development of liver cancer caused by bile acids, whcih could speed drug discovery.

Continue reading “Novel Liver Cancer Mechanism Controls Development of Disease” »

Jul 25, 2020

Germany’s coronavirus response is a master class in science communication

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, science

What changed things for Germany? A handful of prominent scientists communicating regularly and openly with the public. (via CNBC)…and a leader who is a scientist.

Germany, like many other countries, had a contingent of people who fought lockdowns and argued that Covid-19 was a hoax. But it also had a handful of prominent scientists communicating regularly and openly with the public. That played a huge role in drowning out rumors and misinformation, locals tell CNBC.

“We have a great educational system and everyone has access to it,” said Dennis Traub, a tech worker in Hamburg, Germany. “So I believe that many people and the majority listened to both sides and one of those sides sounded much more reasonable.”

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Jul 25, 2020

Scientists Discover Antarctica’s First Active Methane Seep

Posted by in category: futurism

A team of marine ecologists from Oregon State University has described the formation and development of a new methane seep — a location where methane escapes from an underground reservoir and into the ocean — in the Ross Sea, the High Antarctic.

Jul 25, 2020

Why the Brain Never Processes the Same Input in the Same Way

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Depending on the network state, certain neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex can be more or less excitable, which shapes stimulus processing in the brain.

Source: Max Planck Institute

Rustling leaves, light rain at the window, a quietly ticking clock – muffled sounds, just above the threshold of hearing. One moment we perceive them, the next we don’t, even if we, or the sounds, don’t seem to change. Many studies have shown that we never process an incoming stimulus, be it a sound, an image, or a touch, in the same way. This is true, even if the stimulus is exactly the same. This occurs because the impact a stimulus makes, on the brain regions that process it, depends on the momentary state of the networks those brain regions belong to. However, the factors that influence and underlie the constantly fluctuating momentary state of the networks and whether these states are random or follow a rhythm, was previously unknown.

Jul 25, 2020

MapperIdea: A new way to think about Software Development — Part 1 — First things first

Posted by in category: futurism

In this post, we will cover the initial experience of using mapperidea.

Mapperidea CLI requires Node installed into your machine, as well as the nvm utility, so check the requisites first:

The original creator and inventor of that development concept and methodology: Clovis Wichoski, currently Skalena’s CTO. That solution has more than 15 years. In 2014, Clovis met Edgar Silva, back on that time working for WSO2 as the Latin American Head, and working together for a customer with a low budget and very short time to get the project done, they had decided to use bacalhau(codfish) the first way that Edgar had named that project on that time. In 2018, Edgar invited Clovis to be part of a new project in 2019 (Skalena), where one of the goals was to make mapperidea a real product, and not only in Brazil, but helping the whole world in how to develop software better, faster and to be a key enabler for a pragmatic and definitive Digital Transformation.

Jul 25, 2020

Content-based features predict social media influence operations

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers have developed an automated machine learning system they say can detect social media posts involved in coordinated political influence campaigns—such as Russia’s alleged efforts to sway the results of the 2016 elections in the United States—regardless of platform and based only on the content of the posts.

Read more in Science Advances.

We study how easy it is to distinguish influence operations from organic social media activity by assessing the performance of a platform-agnostic machine learning approach. Our method uses public activity to detect content that is part of coordinated influence operations based on human-interpretable features derived solely from content. We test this method on publicly available Twitter data on Chinese, Russian, and Venezuelan troll activity targeting the United States, as well as the Reddit dataset of Russian influence efforts. To assess how well content-based features distinguish these influence operations from random samples of general and political American users, we train and test classifiers on a monthly basis for each campaign across five prediction tasks. Content-based features perform well across period, country, platform, and prediction task. Industrialized production of influence campaign content leaves a distinctive signal in user-generated content that allows tracking of campaigns from month to month and across different accounts.

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Jul 25, 2020

Applying new Innovation to make better humanity

Posted by in category: innovation

Guest: David Shumaker, USA