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Sep 21, 2016

Wireless at the Fringe – Of Human Intranets, Brain-Machine Interfaces and Enhanced Humans

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

Alan gatherer, editor in chief, comsoc technology news

After their article a couple of months ago, I asked the good folks at BWRC to expand on the work they are doing in implantable electronics, as well as its potential health implications. BWRC’s approach focuses not only on functionality but on battery-free, extreme miniaturization and wireless access for very specific quantification of the host health. They also point us toward a future where such devices might link up and literally talk about you behind (as well as under and inside) your back. Hope you enjoy, and comments as always are welcome.

Jan M. Rabaey and Rikky Muller, BWRC.

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Sep 21, 2016

Synthego Announces First-of-its-kind CRISPR Kit

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Synthego, the stealthy genome engineering startup, has announced its release of the world’s first single guide RNA (sgRNA) kit for use in CRISPR/Cas9 editing. The kit is one of several CRISPR genome editing products in the company’s flagship portfolio, known as CRISPRevolution, that was debuted in August of this year.

The importance of the kits within the larger scope of CRISPR genome editing was emphasized by Synthego CEO Paul Dabrowski in his comments on the announcement. “Our kits make world-class genome engineering tools accessible to all scientists,” he said. “They accelerate research and adoption of CRISPR to help make it a standard lab technique. By drastically reducing the time to begin a CRISPR experiment with our rapid turnaround, improving gene editing quality and consistency, and bringing the cost down, we’re closing the gap between CRISPR’s full potential and what’s possible in the lab today.”

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Sep 21, 2016

How ‘superforecasters’ think about the future — Faye Flam

Posted by in category: futurism

SEPTEMBER 15 — When it comes to making forecasts — whether it’s predicting the outcome of an election or determining whether a marriage will last — what good is intuition? Can our gut instincts guide us to correct outcomes, or are they too unreliable to be useful in a world ruled by data?

People can use intuition to make remarkably accurate predictions, social scientists have shown. In an experiment published earlier this year, for example, psychologists found that call-centre employees speaking with registered voters a week before an election could foresee with surprising accuracy which ones would flake out on their plans to vote. “It’s surprising to me because it’s such a short exchange for callers to be able to make useful inferences about whether respondents are actually going to do what they say,” the lead researcher, Todd Rogers, told me when the study was published. He cited other studies where ordinary people showed extraordinary abilities to intuit others’ personality traits, sexual orientation and racial attitudes.

At the same time, unconscious judgments can be contaminated with biases. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman laid out many of the perils of gut instinct in his 2011 best-seller “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Among them are anchoring (being overly influenced by the first information you receive), hindsight bias (wrongly believing past events were predictable or predetermined), and the availability heuristic (giving too much weight to what you already know and not enough to what you know you need to look up).

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Sep 21, 2016

$600M Chan Zuckerberg ‘Biohub’ led by UCSF, UC Berkeley announced

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Interesting for sure.

Two UCs and Stanford partner in a new research center focused on biotechnology and life sciences innovation.

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Sep 21, 2016

Passive Liquid Flow Can Aid Nanotechnology Development, Study Suggests

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nanotechnology, particle physics

Again organic nature teaches technology.

A new study, inspired by water’s movement from roots to leaves in tall trees, shows that a certain kind of passive liquid flow, where liquids naturally move in response to surface atomic interactions instead of being driven by external forces like pumps, is remarkably strong. By virtually modeling the way atoms interact at a solid surface, College of Engineering and Computer Science researchers suggest that passive liquid flow could serve as a highly efficient coolant-delivery mechanism without the need for pumps. The results, published in Langmuir, also have implications for the development of new nanoscale technology.

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Sep 21, 2016

Diamond microdisk “with huge potential” for quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

The diamond microdisk made by Paul Barclay and his team of physicists could lead to huge advances in computing, telecommunications, and other fields.

Barclay and his research group — part of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and the National Institute of Nanotechnology — have made the first-ever nano-sized optical resonator (or optical cavity) from a single crystal of diamond that is also a mechanical resonator.

The team also measured — in the coupling of light and mechanical motion in the device — the high-frequency, long-lasting mechanical vibrations caused by the energy of light trapped and bouncing inside the diamond microdisk optical cavity.

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Sep 21, 2016

Quantum Internet Moves Closer Thanks To Researchers

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

A team of physicists has successfully carried out the teleportation of a proton in research that could lead to a quantum internet.

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Sep 21, 2016

Microsoft is reprogramming cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

Microsoft is thinking about cancer in terms of computer software.

Microsoft wants to “solve” cancer, and is doing it by thinking about the body like a computer.

The technology giant may be more closely associated with malware than malignant diseases, but researchers working for the company’s “biological computation” unit in Cambridge are showing the former isn’t entirely separate from the latter.

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Sep 21, 2016

Not Content With Silencing Human Critics, Russia Has Now Arrested A Robot

Posted by in categories: government, internet, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

1st Robot has been arrested this year; guess Kurzweil’s request for Robots to have Constitutional Rights may have a need.

You might be forgiven if you were under the impression that the Russian government is a bit behind the times when it comes to modern technology and its never ending desire to stifle every last bit of dissent possible. Between the bouts its had with internet censorship and some strange claims about how binge-watching streaming services are a form of United States mind-control, it would be quite easy to be left with the notion that this is all for comedy. Alas, blunders and conspiracy theories aside, much of this technological blundering is mere cover for the very real iron grip the Russians place upon free speech, with all manner of examples in technology used as excuses to silence its critics.

And now it’s no longer just human beings that need fear the Russian government, it seems. Just this past week, a robot was arrested at a political rally. And, yes, I really do mean a robot, and, yes, I really do mean arrested.

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Sep 21, 2016

China, Russia space war weapons on fast track

Posted by in categories: government, military, robotics/AI, satellites

The nominee to lead the U.S. Strategic Command warned Congress this week that China and Russia are rapidly building space warfare capabilities and the United States is lagging behind in efforts to counter the threat.

Both Beijing and Moscow are developing anti-satellite missiles and laser guns and maneuvering killer space robots that could cripple strategic U.S. communications, navigation and intelligence satellites, the backbone of American high-technology warfare.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, picked to be the next Stratcom commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Chinese and Russian space weapons pose “an emerging challenge” and that the Pentagon is accelerating its efforts to counter the threat.

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