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May 23, 2018

Amazon and Google Are Cultivating Quiet Ties With Police and Military. That’s Becoming a Big Problem

Posted by in category: military

Amazon, like Google, is coming under fire from the ACLU for providing sensitive tech to those who might use it to violate people’s rights.

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May 23, 2018

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell sees satellites as bigger market than rockets

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, satellites

SpaceX is taking a commanding role in the rocket business — but Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president and chief operating officer, expects the satellite business to be more lucrative.

Shotwell sized up SpaceX’s road ahead in a CNBC interview that aired today in connection with the cable network’s latest Disruptor 50 list. For the second year in a row, the space venture founded by billionaire Elon Musk leads the list.

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May 23, 2018

Google and Coursera launch a new machine learning specialization

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Over the last few years, Google and Coursera have regularly teamed up to launch a number of online courses for developers and IT pros. Among those was the Machine Learning Crash course, which provides developers with an introduction to machine learning. Now, building on that, the two companies are launching a machine learning specialization on Coursera. This new specialization, which consists of five courses, has an even more practical focus.

The new specialization, called “Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform,” has students build real-world machine learning models. It takes them from setting up their environment to learning how to create and sanitize datasets to writing distributed models in TensorFlow, improving the accuracy of those models and tuning them to find the right parameters.

As Google’s Big Data and Machine Learning Tech Lead Lak Lakshmanan told me, his team heard that students and companies really liked the original machine learning course but wanted an option to dig deeper into the material. Students wanted to know not just how to build a basic model but also how to then use it in production in the cloud, for example, or how to build the data pipeline for it and figure out how to tune the parameters to get better results.

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May 23, 2018

Bioprinting is the next medical revolution — C2 Montreal

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical

Erik Gatenholm is Co-Founder and CEO here at CELLINK. In 2017, he founded CELLINK to revolutionize the way that we conduct medical research worldwide. He led a workshop at the C2 Montreal conference called “Need a tissue, Bioprinting is the next Medical Revolution”

At C2 Montreal – There was a presentation on bioprinting and Cellink technology. Then there was an activity where people in groups looked at a sample of bioprinted tissue and people worked on exercises of what people thought was possible or preposterous in the future.

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May 23, 2018

The Hallmarks of Aging: Loss of Proteostasis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Today, as part of our series of articles that cover the Hallmarks of Aging, we are going to take a look at the role of proteins in cellular function and how they play a key role in aging.

Proteins are essential for cellular function

Proteins are large, complex molecules that regulate almost everything in your body, either directly or indirectly. They do the majority of the work in cells and are critical for the function, regulation, and structure of tissues and organs.

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May 23, 2018

Urban food from vertical farming

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Your local supermarket and favourite restaurant could soon be growing their own food, thanks to an EU-funded project that has completely redesigned the food supply chain to develop the concept of in-store farming.

Our busy, modern lives demand that fresh produce be available 365 days a year, even though some varieties may only be seasonal and/or produced on the other side of the world. The result is a system centred on quantity, low prices and efficiency rather than on quality, sustainability and traceability.

The EU-funded INFARM (The vertical farming revolution, urban Farming as a Service) project reflects a growing desire for highly nutritious locally grown food, which is free of herbicides and pesticides and addresses the lack of accountability in the current food system. “By growing produce directly where people eat and live, we can cut out the lengthy supply chain, significantly reduce food waste, offer nutrient-dense food without any chemical pesticides and improve the environmental ‘foodprint’ of our ,” says the INFARM’s Chief Technical Officer and co-founder, Guy Galonska.

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May 23, 2018

Single-system solar tech cuts clean energy costs in half

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

Generating power from the sun isn’t the problem. The technology has been there for decades. Storing that power efficiently, however, has been a challenge.

That’s why the Department of Energy has awarded $3 million to engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin to overcome the Achilles’ heel of the story since Day One: how to store its energy.

To date, most major systems are bulky and expensive, with inefficient storage capacity. Energy coming from existing must be housed in storage systems outside of the generators that create the power. In other words, two separate systems are required to ensure successful operation.

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May 23, 2018

New robots set to transform farming

Posted by in categories: food, health, robotics/AI

The Robots are Coming!

European consumers expect a clean supply chain and biodiversity to be conserved. Therefore, reducing the inputs of pesticides and chemical fertilisers to a minimum and/or replacing them by agro-ecological or robot solutions is required. Furthermore, the average age of European farmers is among the highest of all sectors, thus farming needs to attract young people with attractive working opportunities.

This is where the new agricultural robot solution for precision farming developed within the context of the EU Flourish (Aerial Data Collection and Analysis, and Automated Ground Intervention for Precision Farming) project can play a part. Use of robots in precision farming has the potential not only to increase yield, but also to reduce the reliance on fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides through selectively spraying individual plants or through weed removal.

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May 23, 2018

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Wind and solar energy are growing rapidly in the U.S. As these energy sources become a bigger part of the electricity mix, their growth raises new questions: How do solar and wind influence energy prices? And since power plants last for decades, what should policymakers and investors think about to ensure that investments in power infrastructure pay off in the future?

Our research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory decided to look at what effect a higher share of and solar will have on these questions. In our latest study, we found that high shares of these energy resources lead to several profound changes in electric systems.

In particular, our study shows how solar and wind tend to lower energy prices, but they add new complexity for operating the grid, which has big implications for regulators. For consumers, this research is a reminder that making the grid cleaner with wind and solar is an evolving process that requires significant changes to how the power grid is currently run—but one that offers large opportunities, if we as a country can become more flexible when we use electricity.

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May 23, 2018

Novel organ-on-chip platform for drug screening

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

Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies, presents this week at its technology forum ITF 2018 (Antwerp, May 23–24), a novel organ-on-chip platform for pharmacological studies with unprecedented signal quality. It fuses imec’s high-density multi-electrode array (MEA)-chip with a microfluidic well plate, developed in collaboration with Micronit Microtechnologies, in which cells can be cultured, providing an environment that mimics human physiology. Capable of performing multiple tests in parallel, the new device aims to be a game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry, offering high quality data in the drug development process.

Every year a handful of new drugs make it to the market, but in their wake tens of thousands of candidate drugs didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, this journey will have taken a decade and costs billions. The fact that is so time-consuming and costly, is because of the insufficiency of the existing methodologies for screening assays. These current assays are based on poor cell models that limit the quality of the resulting data, and result in inadequate biological relevance. Additionally, there is a lack of spatial resolution of the assays, resulting in the inability to screen single cells in a cell culture. Imec’s novel organ-on-chip platform aims to address these shortcomings and challenges.

Imec’s solution packs 16,384 electrodes, distributed over 16 wells, and offers multiparametric analysis. Each of the 1,024 electrodes in a well can detect intracellular action potentials, aside from the traditional extracellular signals. Further, ’s chip is patterned with microstructures to allow for a structured cell growth mimicking a specific organ.

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