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Nov 13, 2019

Elon Musk says Neuralink could bring A.I. ‘superintelligence’ to the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, existential risks, robotics/AI, singularity

Beyond cortical and limbic systems, the company Neuralink could add a third layer of digital superintelligence to humans and avoid artificial intelligence enslavement, its founder Elon Musk claimed Tuesday. The brain-computer linkup firm is working to treat medical conditions using its implanted chip as early as next year, but during a podcast appearance, Musk reiterated his belief that the technology could avoid some of the worst consequences of advanced machines.

“It’s important that Neuralink solves this problem sooner rather than later, because the point at which we have digital superintelligence, that’s when we pass the singularity and things become just very uncertain,” Musk said during an interview with MIT professor Lex Fridman.

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Nov 13, 2019

Unknown virus discovered in humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

An international team based in Austria has unearthed a previously unknown type of virus in samples of human bodily fluids. The researchers were looking for viruses that infect bacteria, known as bacteriophages, with an emphasis on those that attack the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium found in the human gut. The team identified a total of 43 bacteriophages in samples of human bodily fluids, particularly in blood samples. The discovery of such phages in the human body is especially significant because they can pass antibiotic resistance genes on to bacteria. Consequently, information about the prevalence and frequency of phages in humans, as well as the relationships between them, is urgently needed. The findings of a team from Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences under the lead of University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, which have now been published in an international journal, will make a major contribution in this regard.

The is teeming with countless fungi, bacteria and viruses. Bacteriophages are one of the great unknowns in this human ecosystem. Interest in them has grown rapidly in light of research carried out in Austria, which highlighted the prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. A team of researchers from Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL Krems), the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the University of Lisbon has now isolated 43 bacteriophages from samples of human bodily fluids, including one which is thought to be a previously unknown type.

“We examined 111 samples of blood, urine and other human fluids to see if they contained phages. And we found them in almost one in seven samples,” explained Dr. Cátia Pacífico, scientist at KL Krems and lead author of the study. “We also found a new kind of from the Tunavirinae subfamily. The presence of phages in so many samples and the discovery of a new form show just how little we know about phages in the human body.”

Nov 13, 2019

New spin directions in pyrite an encouraging sign for future spintronics

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

A Monash University study revealing new spin textures in pyrite could unlock these materials’ potential in future spintronics devices.

The study of pyrite-type provides new insights and opportunities for selective spin control in topological spintronics devices.

Nov 13, 2019

Modern apes smarter than pre-humans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

New research from the University of Adelaide suggests living great apes are smarter than our pre-human ancestor Australopithecus, a group that included the famous “Lucy.”

The study, conducted in partnership with the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand and published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, challenges the long-held idea that, because the of Australopithecus was larger than that of many modern apes, it was smarter.

The new research measured the rate of blood flow to the cognitive part of the brain, based on the size of the holes in the skull that passed the supply arteries. This technique was calibrated in humans and other mammals and applied to 96 skulls and 11 Australopithecus fossil skulls.

Nov 13, 2019

What is 5G and how does it work?

Posted by in category: internet

Are you excited about super-fast 5G internet?

Nov 13, 2019

New nanoparticles can deliver drugs to brain tumors

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

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Nov 13, 2019

Should Free Internet Be a Basic Human Right? There’s a Strong Case For It

Posted by in categories: ethics, internet, open access

You might take it for granted that you can load up Twitter or browse through Reddit whenever you like, but around half of the 7.7 billion people living on the planet right now aren’t yet able to get online.

And that’s a big problem, according to one researcher. Merten Reglitz, a philosopher and global ethics lecturer from the University of Birmingham in the UK says internet access should be established as a basic human right that everyone is entitled to.

“Internet access is a unique and non-substitutable way for realising fundamental human rights such as free speech and assembly,” he writes in a new paper.

Nov 13, 2019

This futuristic grocery store uses AI to notify employees when items run out

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Walmart has transformed an ordinary grocery store into a 50,000-square-foot AI lab that tests new retail technologies in a real-world setting. The Intelligent Retail Lab is located in Levittown, New York, and is equipped with AI-powered sensors that keep track of the inventory and the freshness of the produce.

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Nov 13, 2019

Paralyzed US Veteran Uses Exoskeleton to Complete a Marathon

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

The 65-year-old is the first paralyzed American to finish a marathon.

Nov 13, 2019

Could cytotoxic T-cells be a key to longevity?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Science (IMS) and Keio University School of Medicine in Japan have used single-cell RNA analysis to find that supercentenarians—meaning people over the age of 110—have an excess of a type of immune cell called cytotoxic CD4 T-cells.

Supercentenarians are a unique group of people. First, they are extremely rare. For example, in Japan in 2015 there were more than 61,000 people over the age of 100, but just 146 over the age of 110. And studies have found that these individuals were relatively immune to illnesses such as infections and cancer during their whole lifetimes. This led to the idea that it might be that they have a particularly strong immune system, and the researchers set out to find out what might explain this.

To answer the question, they looked at circulating from a group of supercentenarians and younger controls. They acquired a total of 41,208 cells from seven supercentenarians (an average of 5,887 per subject) and 19,994 cells for controls (an average of 3,999 per subject) from five controls aged in their fifties to eighties. They found that while the number of B-cells was lower in the supercentenarians, the number of T-cells was approximately the same, and in particular, the number of one subset of T-cells was increased in the supercentenarians. Analyzing these cells, the authors found that the supercentenarians had a very high level of cells that are cytotoxic, meaning that they can kill other cells, sometimes amounting to 80 percent of all T-cells, compared to just 10 or 20 percent in the controls.