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May 15, 2018

How Microsoft is using location data to map the future (VB Live)

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The power of the cloud, artificial intelligence, and machine learning is making smart cities and data-based Location of Things navigation a reality. Join the Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Azure Maps and others and learn how advanced location technology will revolutionize everything from autonomous cars to connected cities. Don’t miss this VB Live event!

Register here for free.

Location data is the foundation of technology: It’s what binds a device and a user, a user and the environment they’re in. And as location data moves to the cloud and gets smarter, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the number of potential applications for smart location data is exploding, says Chris Pendleton, Principal PM for Azure Maps. We’re on the threshold of creating a smarter society, built on the hundreds of millions of connected devices that together create The Location of Things.

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May 15, 2018

Israeli Scientists Uncover Therapy That Converts Cancer Cells Into Normal Ones

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Cancer cells, by definition, are abnormal cells that divide with abandon and have the potential to spread throughout and wreak havoc on your vital organs and tissues. But what if you could tell those same troublesome cells to stop misbehaving? Israeli scientists think they’ve found a way to do just that.

A group of researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, led by Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz, PhD, have developed a molecule that prevents cancer cells from growing and turns them into normal, non-cancerous cells. This unique approach is based on siRNA (small interfering ribonucleic acid), a molecule that turns off a protein, VDAC1, that helps get energy to malignant cells. By targeting VDAC1, Shoshan-Barmatz and her team have essentially figured out how to make cancer cells start acting like regular ones.

So far, in vitro and mice models have suggested that this treatment might be effective for lung cancer, triple negative breast cancer, and glioblastoma (the type of brain tumor that John McCain is currently battling). But the applications might be even broader, and similar treatments might be one day used to combat an even wider variety of cancers.

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May 15, 2018

CDC Map Shows Every State Affected by the Salmonella Egg Outbreak

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, sustainability

If someone tells you to go suck an egg, you might want to think twice about it if you live on the east coast. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that a Salmonella outbreak affecting hundreds of millions of eggs had been traced back to a farm in Hyde County, North Carolina. Public health officials have traced consumers’ illnesses in nine different states to the outbreak. Last week, the CDC released a map showing the outbreak’s spread.

Rose Acre Farms, the company responsible for the outbreak, distributes eggs all over the US, to both grocery stores and restaurants. As a result of contamination on the North Carolina farm, over 206 million eggs were exposed to Salmonella braenderup, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea. The outbreak began in mid-April and appears to be slowing down, but in a multi-state outbreak like this, officials at the CDC may not hear about people getting sick right away. Therefore, the data on the case continues to evolve as reports roll in. The most recent numbers count 35 illnesses, 11 hospitalizations, and no deaths. Here’s a map of the outbreak’s current extent:

Article continues below.

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May 15, 2018

Facing a future of ethical dilemmas

Posted by in category: transhumanism

A new article out by Vicki Larson at the Marin Independent Journal that explores some #transhumanism.

I visited my parents’ grave on Mother’s Day, as I have every year since my mom died in 2010. I’ll be back on the 23rd, the fifth anniversary of my dad’s death.

I was fortunate to be able to tell them how much I loved them and appreciated everything they did for me before they died, so there are no regrets, nothing left unsaid. I miss them. A lot. But would I want to bring them back to life?

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May 15, 2018

This Insect-Sized Flying Robot Is Powered by Lasers

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

It’s the first robo-fly that doesn’t need to be tethered to a power supply.

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May 15, 2018

Researchers hope to debut flying car at Tokyo Olympics

Posted by in categories: business, economics, finance, transportation

Asia-focused English-language publication that brings you insights about business, finance, economic and political newsand analysis for Asia, by Asia on

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May 15, 2018

The Astana Global Challenges Summit 2018

Posted by in categories: economics, government, life extension, security, sustainability

The Astana Global Challenge Summit 2018 will host a series of panels and talks on longevity and rejuvenation.

As it has every year since 2008, the Astana Economic Forum (AEF) is about to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan. AEF, now also known as the Global Challenges Summit (GCS), is an international and regional non-profit platform for public discourse on topics such as economics, globalization, security, global risks, energy efficiency, innovation, and, more generally, matters concerning the future of our world and society. It was jointly created by the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association and the Kazakhstan government back in 2008, and over the years, it has hosted innumerable talks and presentations by scientists, economists, world leaders, entrepreneurs, Nobel laureates, and other key people.

In our rapidly changing world, where we sometimes struggle to keep up the pace with progress, initiatives like this are greatly needed and welcome. In order to address the global issues we will face in the coming decades, cooperation, dialogue, information sharing, and networking will be pivotal, and events like the GCS are instrumental in achieving success. The themes of the 2018 event, which will be held on May 17–19, will include global strategy, sustainability, the future of money, clean energy, a unified economy, and many others. Around 500 speakers from all over the world will be on stage to discuss these important topics, sharing visions and insights to build a brighter and safer future together.

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May 15, 2018

These Army Graphic Novels Predict the Future of Cyber Warfare

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, military, robotics/AI, terrorism

In “Engineering a Traiter,” the year is 2027, and a former military officer named Jay Roberts has just engineered a missile attack in downtown Houston — except he doesn’t know that it’s his fault.

This sombre graphic novel tells the story of Roberts, an army engineer working in Texas who’s been targeted by a militia eager to gain access to building codes in order to orchestrate a terrorist attack. With sophisticated A.I., the militia manipulate everything in Roberts’s life. The news he sees is curated to instil hopelessness and despair, and family members’ social media accounts are hijacked to distance Roberts from loved ones. Frustrated and alone, he eventually confesses security information to a “friend” he’s made online, allowing the militias the access they’ve been hoping for. Once they have what they want, Roberts’ social media is manipulated to make him look like a radicalized terrorist. When the attack occurs, he takes the fall.

The narrative may be science fiction, but it paints a realistic — if not paranoid — vision of the future. That bleakness is exactly what Brian David Johnson wanted when he began penning a series of graphic novels for the Army Cyber Institute at West Point.

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May 15, 2018

Scientists inject one snail’s memories into another’s brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Learning new things would be so much easier if we could just download them into our brains, like in The Matrix. Now, biologists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have pulled off something similar – at least on a gastropod level – by effectively transferring a memory from a trained snail into the mind of an untrained one. The experiment could eventually lead to new treatments for restoring memory in Alzheimer’s patients or to reduce traumatic memories.

The researchers studied a species of marine snail known as Aplysia. These are commonly used as animal models for neuroscience because the cellular and molecular processes at work are relatively similar to humans, but they have a far more manageable number of neurons – about 20,000, compared to our 100 billion.

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May 15, 2018

This DeepMind AI Spontaneously Developed Digital Navigation ‘Neurons’ Like Ours

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, space

When Google DeepMind researchers trained a neural network to tackle a virtual maze, it spontaneously developed digital equivalents to the specialized neurons called grid cells that mammals use to navigate. Not only did the resulting AI system have superhuman navigation capabilities, the research could provide insight into how our brains work.

Grid cells were the subject of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, alongside other navigation-related neurons. These cells are arranged in a lattice of hexagons, and the brain effectively overlays this pattern onto its environment. Whenever the animal crosses a point in space represented by one of the corners these hexagons, a neuron fires, allowing the animal to track its movement.

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