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Mar 1, 2024

Stanford’s Tiny Accelerator Promises Giant Leaps for Medical and Physics Breakthroughs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

A new advance by Stanford engineers could lead to particle accelerators being widely available in science, medicine, and industry.

Stanford researchers are getting closer to building a tiny electron accelerator based on “accelerator-on-a-chip” technology with broad potential applications in studying physics as well as medical and industrial uses.

The researchers have demonstrated that a silicon dielectric laser accelerator, or DLA, can now both speed up and confine electrons, creating a focused beam of high-energy electrons. “If the electrons were microscopic cars, it’s as if, for the first time, we’re steering and we have our foot on the gas,” said Payton Broaddus, PhD ’23 in electrical engineering and the lead author on a paper published on February 23 detailing the breakthrough in Physical Review Letters.

Mar 1, 2024

Anything-in anything-out: A new modular AI model

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers at EPFL have developed a new, uniquely modular machine learning model for flexible decision-making. It is able to input any mode of text, video, image, sound, and time-series and then output any number, or combination, of predictions.

We’ve all heard of , or LLMs—massive scale trained on huge amounts of text that form the basis for chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Next-generation multimodal models (MMs) can learn from inputs beyond text, including video, images, and sound.

Creating MM models at a smaller scale poses significant challenges, including the problem of being robust to non-random missing information. This is information that a model doesn’t have, often due to some biased availability in resources. It is thus critical to ensure the model does not learn the patterns of biased missingness in making its predictions.

Mar 1, 2024

Researchers using pulsar measurements to probe dark matter find Milky Way galaxy is highly dynamic

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Dark matter comprises more than 80% of all matter in the cosmos but is invisible to conventional observation, because it seemingly does not interact with light or electromagnetic fields. Now Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti, the Pei-Ling Chan Endowed Chair in the College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), along with lead author Dr. Tom Donlon, a UAH postdoctoral associate, have written a paper to help illuminate just how much dark matter there is in our galaxy and where it resides by studying the gravitational acceleration of binary pulsars.

Chakrabarti gave a plenary talk on this work and other methods to measure galactic accelerations at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in New Orleans in January. The findings are also posted on the arXiv preprint server.

Pulsars are rapidly rotating that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds. A binary pulsar is a pulsar with a companion that allows physicists to test general relativity because of the strong gravitational fields accompanying these objects. “Pulsars are fantastic galactic clocks that have a timing stability that rivals atomic clocks,” Chakrabarti explains.

Mar 1, 2024

Alzheimer’s Might Not Actually Be a Brain Disease, Expert Reveals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasingly competitive and contentious quest with recent years witnessing several important controversies.

In July 2022, Science magazine reported that a key 2006 research paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, which identified a subtype of brain protein called beta-amyloid as the cause of Alzheimer’s, may have been based on fabricated data.

One year earlier, in June 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration had approved aducanumab, an antibody-targeting beta-amyloid, as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, even though the data supporting its use were incomplete and contradictory.

Mar 1, 2024

Einstein Couldn’t Solve Quantum Gravity’s Code. Scientists Just Got One Step Closer

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Levitating magnets at sub-zero temperatures could lead to revolutionary cosmic insights.

Mar 1, 2024

Quantum Resurrection: High-Performance Niobium Superconducting Qubits

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

For years, niobium was considered an underperformer when it came to superconducting qubits. Now scientists supported by Q-NEXT have found a way to engineer a high-performing niobium-based qubit and so take advantage of niobium’s superior qualities.

When it comes to quantum technology, niobium is making a comeback.

For the past 15 years, niobium has been sitting on the bench after experiencing a few mediocre at-bats as a core qubit material.

Mar 1, 2024

Daily Cannabis Use Linked to Increased Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, law

“Cannabis use is increasing in both prevalence and frequency, while conventional tobacco smoking is declining,” said Salomeh Keyhani, MD, MPH. “Cannabis use by itself might, over time, become the more important risk factor.”


Can smoking cannabis bring the same risk of heart attack and stroke as smoking cigarettes? This is what a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association hopes to address as a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) investigated the likelihood that cannabis use would lead to a heart attack and/or stroke. This study comes as recreational cannabis use is slowly becoming legal across the United States and holds the potential to help researchers, medical professionals, legislators, and the public better understand the long-term health risks associated with cannabis use, specifically smoking cannabis.

For the study, the team compared data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey between 2016 and 2020 across 27 American states and 2 territories and 434,104 survey participants between ages 18 and 74 to ascertain a link between their cannabis use and likelihood for heart problems. The team classified cannabis use as the number of times a participant smoked cannabis within a previous 30 days while accounting for self-reported heart issues and tobacco use, as well.

Continue reading “Daily Cannabis Use Linked to Increased Heart Attack and Stroke Risk” »

Mar 1, 2024

Elon Musk sues OpenAI for abandoning its mission to benefit humanity

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, health, information science, law, robotics/AI

Elon Musk claims OpenAI is using GPT-4 to ‘maximize profits’ instead of ‘for the benefit of humanity.’


The lawsuit claims that the GPT-4 model OpenAI released in March 2023 isn’t just capable of reasoning but is also actually “better at reasoning than average humans,” having scored in the 90th percentile on the Uniform Bar Examination for lawyers. The company is rumored to be developing a more advanced model, known as “Q Star,” that has a stronger claim to being true artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Altman was fired (and subsequently rehired five days later) by OpenAI in 2023 over vague claims that his communication with the board was “hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” The lawsuit filed by Musk alleges that in the days following this event, Altman, Brockman, and Microsoft “exploited Microsoft’s significant leverage over OpenAI” to replace board members with handpicked alternatives that were better approved of by Microsoft.

Continue reading “Elon Musk sues OpenAI for abandoning its mission to benefit humanity” »

Mar 1, 2024

How scientists are using quantum squeezing to push the limits of their sensors

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, quantum physics

Fuzziness may rule the quantum realm, but it can be manipulated to our advantage.

Mar 1, 2024

Google DeepMind’s new generative model makes Super Mario–like games from scratch

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Genie learns how to control games by watching hours and hours of video. It could help train next-gen robots too.

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