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Oct 17, 2015

Have researchers really discovered a ‘new miracle drug to cure nine in 10 cancers’? No, but the research is fascinating

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Unfortunately, the answer is no. At least for now. But that’s not to say this isn’t important, promising new research.

The reports centre on the supposedly serendipitous discovery of a link between an experimental malaria vaccine for pregnant women and a molecule that sits on the surface of cancer cells.

So what did the study – published in the journal Cancer Cell – actually show?

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Oct 17, 2015

Beachgoer Discovers 10,000-Year-Old Spearhead That May Hold Clues to Prehistoric Life in NJ

Posted by in category: education

While walking along the Jersey Shore, a woman recently stumbled upon a rare spearhead about 10,000 to 11,000 years old, according to experts who believe the ancient artifact may hold clues into prehistoric life in the Americas.

The projectile point was examined this past Tuesday by curators at the New Jersey State Museum after Audrey Stanick — a 58-year-old resident of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey — made the discovery on Oct. 6 while walking along a Seaside Heights beach with her sister looking for sea glass after a recent storm.

“I noticed it because it was very dark and shiny, and my sister from Florida who likes to collect sharks’ teeth taught me to always look out for dark and shiny things at the beach,” Stanick said. “Then, I remembered a boy made a similar discovery last year, so I got in contact with the museum.”

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Oct 17, 2015

Humans will be able to use augmented intelligence to compete with robots

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, robotics/AI, virtual reality

In January this year Microsoft announced the HoloLens, a technology based on virtual and augmented reality (AR).

HoloLens supplements what you see with overlaid 3D images. It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate relevant information depending on the situation the wearer is in. The information is then augmented to your normal vision using virtual reality (VR).

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Oct 17, 2015

Interesting Mathematics Animation

Posted by in category: mathematics

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Oct 17, 2015

Scientists Say Lab-Grown Burgers Will Be Available to the Public in Five Years

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

When a team of Dutch scientists unveiled the world’s first stem cell beef burger in 2013, it carried a $300,000 price tag. Worse, it was dry and tasteless. But since the initial lackluster reviews, Mark Post and his colleagues have been hard at work. Now, they say they hope to have a commercially saleable cow-less patty on the market in five years.

Until very recently, lab-grown beef sounded like science fiction. But rapid advances in molecular biology and stem cell technology have placed the futuristic concept within reach. And the arguments for removing animals from the meat equation are practically endless: The meat industry as it exists today swallows an enormous fraction of our land and natural resources, produces vast quantities of greenhouse gases, has contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistant infections, and in many cases, is downright cruel. If test tube burgers can eliminate or diminish even a fraction of these problems, then this seems like one crazy idea worth pursuing.

And pursue it scientists have. In addition to Mark Post’s stem cell burger effort, a team of Israeli researchers under the banner Future Meat are now trying to grow whole chicken breasts in the lab. Meanwhile, efforts to culture fish protein have cropped up intermittently over the years.

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Oct 17, 2015

Software Lets Someone Else Control Your Face

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers created expression transferring software that projects mouth, eye, and other facial movements onto another face in real time. http://voc.tv/1cRrjAQ

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Oct 17, 2015

Changing The Pace: Your Circadian Rhythm Can Make You Age Faster

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

We all have different circadian rhythms but they slow down during aging, and we may be able to do something about it.

Your body is in a state of constant flux and the circadian rhythm is its master regulator, controlling everything from sleep cycles to appetite and beyond. Jet lag is a side effect of a confused internal cycle as it adjusts to a new timetable. Shift work and irregular patterns of activity can also potentially cause some serious problems if sustained for a long period, including raising risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia and all cause mortality.

When researchers studied aging mice, they saw a progressive decline in levels of molecules called polyamines. These are involved with a number of processes, but particularly in cell growth and circadian rhythm. The drop in polyamines also coincided with a slowing of their circadian cycle — which increased disease risk.

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Oct 17, 2015

Stanford researchers make artificial skin that senses touch

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, engineering, genetics

A team from Stanford University might have made a breakthrough that could change the lives of people with missing limbs. Researchers have developed an artificial substitute for skin that is capable of sensing when it is being touched and sending that data to the nervous system. It’s hoped that technology like this could be used to build futuristic prostheses that could be wired into the nervous systems of amputees. In addition, not only will these people be able to know if they’re touching something, they’ll also know how much pressure is being used.

Put very simply, the skin is comprised of two layers of rubbery plastic skin with a flexible circuit printed on, courtesy of the folks at Xerox Parc. Sandwiched between the two is a run of carbon nanotubes, which conduct electricity when they’re pushed closer together. The harder the compression, the more current passes between them, which is how the skin can understand differences in pressure.

That, however, isn’t enough, since that data would still have to be transmitted somehow into the user’s brain. In the end, the team opted to harness a field of science called optogenetics, which involves genetically-engineering cells so that they react to specific frequencies of light. By creating optogenetic neurons that are capable of sensing light patterns, the team proved that it’s possible to make this technology work in a person.

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Oct 17, 2015

How Tesla is ushering in the age of the learning car

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s new autopilot system is relying on the cutting edge of machine learning, connectivity and mapping data.

While Tesla’s new hands-free driving is drawing a lot of interest this week, it’s the technology behind-the-scenes of the company’s newly-enabled autopilot service that should be getting more attention.

At an event on Wednesday Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk explained that the company’s new autopilot service is constantly learning and improving thanks to machine learning algorithms, the car’s wireless connection, and detailed mapping and sensor data that Tesla collects.

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Oct 16, 2015

Experts Warn UN Panel About the Dangers of Artificial Superintelligence

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI, security

During a recent United Nations meeting about emerging global risks, political representatives from around the world were warned about the threats posed by artificial intelligence and other future technologies.

The event, organized by Georgia’s UN representatives and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), was set up to foster discussion about the national and international security risks posed by new technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials.

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