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Jun 28, 2018

The State of Brain-Machine Interfaces

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

Maryam shanechi, university of southern california.

With recent technological advances, we can now record neural activity from the brain, and manipulate this activity with electrical or optogenetic stimulation in real time. These capabilities have brought the concept of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) closer to clinical viability than ever before. BMIs are systems that monitor and interact with the brain to restore lost function, treat neurological disorders, or enhance human performance.

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Jun 28, 2018

Dark Matter ‘Test’ Will Either Prove Its Existence or Modify Gravity

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology

For something that supposedly takes up 80 percent of the total mass of the universe, we don’t know a whole lot about dark matter. Sometimes the lightless stuff reveals hints about its shape; other times it completely thwarts any evidence supporting its existence. Since we can’t observe it first-hand, we rely on indirect means to suss out information about it, like watching the interactions between other forms of matter. Now, scientists have developed a new “test” to make those investigations more definitive, leading us closer to answering the question: Is dark matter even real? And if it’s not, then is everything we know about gravity wrong?

In a study, published Monday in Physical Review Letters, a team of scientists from the University of Bonn that also includes Hubble Fellow Marcel S. Pawlowski, Ph.D. of the University of California, Irvine, introduce a computer model that can simulate how certain small galaxies should move if dark matter exists. Though dark matter does not absorb or emit light, it still interacts with visible matter through gravity, so it’s expected to make the stars around galaxies move in specific ways.

Pawlowski explains to Inverse in an email that within the little galaxies in question — satellite “dwarf” galaxies, crowding around the edges of big galaxies like the Milky Way — the acceleration of stars speeding around the galaxy’s center is described by a term called the radial acceleration relation, or RAR. “With the new study, we simulate such dwarf galaxies under the assumption of the ‘standard’ dark matter model, [to] determine what kind of behavior would be expected for the dwarfs,” he says. “We find that the simulated dwarf galaxies largely continue the RAR to lower accelerations.” Now that they know how those dwarf galaxies are supposed to move if dark matter exists, they can compare the simulations to real-life data on the movement of those galaxies.

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Jun 28, 2018

Niantic will offer AR platform to third-parties, including AI object recognition

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, robotics/AI

Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore may have multi-million-user installed bases, but so does Niantic’s Pokémon Go, the first hit augmented reality game. Now Niantic plans to offer its custom AR software to other developers as the Real World Platform, and is teasing advanced features that go beyond the capabilities of Apple’s and Google’s development kits.

Already used in Pokémon GO, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the Real World Platform is an evolving software engine that adds digital characters and shared social experiences to real-world map data. Niantic has recently bolstered the AR platform’s development team by acquiring computer vision specialist companies Escher Reality and Matrix Mill, the latter with machine learning expertise.

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Jun 28, 2018

A Flu Drug May Be Poised to Upend Treatment in U.S.

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The medication can reduce the duration of symptoms.

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Jun 28, 2018

Once-Dreaded Poliovirus Could Treat Brain Cancer

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

Polio was a devastating disease before the development of the polio vaccine. But now, this once-feared virus might help treat another deadly illness — brain cancer.

In a new study, some patients who had an aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma and who received a genetically modified poliovirus lived much longer than typical for these patients.

The study found that about 21 percent of the brain cancer patients who received the poliovirus therapy were alive three years later. In contrast, among a group of previously treated patients who had the same cancer but received standard therapies (such as chemotherapy), just 4 percent were alive after three years.

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Jun 28, 2018

Zoltan Istvan: It Goes beyond Human

Posted by in categories: employment, geopolitics, policy, robotics/AI, security, transhumanism

I’m excited to share my interview with Jakub Dymek on #transhumanism in the new edition of The Aspen Institute (Eastern Europe) quarterly Aspen Review magazine.

Let’s think about this: what happens when sometime in the future the whole generation of Chinese kids have higher IQs than their American peers, because they’re technologically hardwired for that? Will this be a national security issue? This is a global security issue—says Zoltan Istvan in an interview with Jakub Dymek.

JAKUB DYMEK: You are a transhumanist—member of a movement endorsing technologically augmented advancement of human species and using technology to extend our capabilities. What does transhumanist thinking bring into the world of policy debate in the US and worldwide and how politically influential it is?

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Jun 28, 2018

Free voice and text chat for gamers

Posted by in categories: entertainment, singularity

Want a place to discuss science, futurism, technology and the impact of their applications on society? Join the ‘Singularity’ Discord server:

Step up your game with a modern voice & text chat app. Crystal clear voice, multiple server and channel support, mobile apps, and more. Get your free server now!

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Jun 28, 2018

Common Gene Variants Found Among Psychiatric Disorders

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Does anyone have an opinion on this latest finding?

In the largest-ever study of its kind, researchers combined genomic data from nearly 900,000 patients and healthy individuals to identify commonalities among 10 mental illnesses.

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Jun 28, 2018

Uniform Iron Nanoparticles Key to Potential Cancer Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Sandia Laboratories is developing iron nanoparticles as tracer elements to track metastasized cancer tumors…

It’s taken 15 years to devise a way to make iron nanoparticles all the same size, but the rewards could be timeless.

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Jun 28, 2018

Is ‘Oumuamua an Interstellar Asteroid or Comet?

Posted by in category: space travel

Scientists have confirmed ′Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system, got an unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory as it passed through the inner solar system last year. Examine what scientists found:

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