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Mar 4, 2016

The world’s biggest source of freshwater is beneath your feet

Posted by in category: food

You might not give it more than a passing thought, but groundwater is a vital freshwater resource. In Australia alone, the reserves of groundwater help to earn the nation a steady A$34 billion a year from mining, food production and manufacturing.

But it’s also a vulnerable resource. Worldwide, about 1.7 billion people live in regions where groundwater is under stress, 60 percent of them in India and China.

US and Canadian researchers recently calculated the total amount of the world’s groundwater and estimated that it is equivalent to a lake 180 metres deep covering the entire Earth. This makes groundwater the largest active freshwater resource on the planet.

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Mar 4, 2016

Virtual Neurons Created by Blue Brain and the Allen Institute

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is releasing new, highly realistic computer models of neurons. The models were developed using tools and expertise from the Blue Brain Project.

The Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Blue Brain Project are deepening their collaboration. Today, the US-based Allen Institute is releasing a set of 40 computer models of neurons from the mouse visual cortex, created using tools developed by the Swiss-based Blue Brain Project at EPFL. Using Blue Brain technology, the researchers were able to reproduce the physiology and electrical activity of the neurons with an extremely high level of detail.

The Blue Brain Project is the simulation core of the Human Brain Project, a huge pan-European initiative. The scientific journal Cell recently published a long paper demonstrating the effectiveness of the Blue Brain Project’s modeling tools, focusing on the high accuracy and predictive power of the models and the discoveries they have already led to, including insight into the unexpected role of calcium. At the same time, the team has made these resources available to researchers around the world on a web-based platform.

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Mar 4, 2016

Researcher develops technique for enhancing gene therapy

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

Using his knowledge of how genes are organized and repaired in human cells, Dr. Graham Dellaire, Dalhousie Medical School’s Cameron Research Scientist in Cancer Biology, has developed a technique that could make gene therapy more effective and safer to use. His work was recently published in Nucleic Acids Research and Nature.

CRISPR, named 2015’s breakthrough discovery of the year, stands for “Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.” It can accurately target and edit DNA, offering the potential to cure genetic diseases and find new treatments for cancer.

To apply CRISPR in non-dividing cells—such as those in muscle and brain tissue—researchers must first make them behave like cells that divide. They do this by turning on a cellular process called homologous recombination, which protects DNA; the recombination allows a cell’s genes to be manipulated and rearranged without the possibility of causing more harm than good.

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Mar 4, 2016

Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

(—Many quantum technologies rely on quantum states that violate local realism, which means that they either violate locality (such as when entangled particles influence each other from far away) or realism (the assumption that quantum states have well-defined properties, independent of measurement), or possibly both. Violation of local realism is one of the many counterintuitive, yet experimentally supported, characteristics of the quantum world.

Determining whether or not multiparticle quantum states violate local realism can be challenging. Now in a new paper, physicists have shown that a large family of multiparticle quantum states called hypergraph states violates local realism in many ways. The results suggest that these states may serve as useful resources for quantum technologies, such as quantum computers and detecting.

The physicists, Mariami Gachechiladze, Costantino Budroni, and Otfried Gühne at the University of Siegen in Germany, have published their paper on the quantum hypergraph states in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.

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Mar 4, 2016

The beginning of the end for encryption schemes? New quantum computer, based on five atoms, factors numbers in a scalable way

Posted by in categories: computing, education, encryption, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Replacing traditional encryption schemes.

What are the prime factors, or multipliers, for the number 15? Most grade school students know the answer — 3 and 5 — by memory. A larger number, such as 91, may take some pen and paper. An even larger number, say with 232 digits, can (and has) taken scientists two years to factor, using hundreds of classical computers operating in parallel.

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Mar 4, 2016

Italy: Meet the humanoid bot made to tackle emergency situations

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

Needs lots and lots of work still.

The humanoid robot Walk-man showed of some of his life-saving capabilities in Genoa Thursday, as the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and University of Pisa develop the hardware for disaster response operations.

The 185-centimetre-high (72 inch) robot is a result of the four-year research program which started in October 2013 aimed at assisting or even replacing humans in civil damaged sites including buildings, such as factories, offices and houses.

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Mar 4, 2016

Argentina builds trash-eating robot with recycled parts

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

An Argentine engineer has used recycled items to create a robot that can find and eat trash, the media reported on Friday.

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Mar 4, 2016

Robot shows off flexible, octopus-like skin

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

TweetScientists from Cornell University have come up with a new form of technology that holds a lot of promise in the field of electronics, where stretchy screens and other products are shaping up to be the wave of the future. Scientists from Cornell University have come up with a new form of technology that holds a lot of promise in the field of electronics, where stretchy screens and other products are shaping up to be the wave of the future.

The Cornell study published yesterday in Science takes a look at a pliable type of “skin” that changes colors and flexes and stretches based on the pressure it senses. This skin is said to be similar to that of squid and octopus, but, according to Cornell Organic Robotics Lab researcher Chris Larson, it’s “much, much, much more stretchable than human skin or octopus skin.” He compared the stretchy skin to something akin to a “rubber band or a balloon.”

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Mar 4, 2016

New method to classify interneurons could lead to better understanding of motor control

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The first step to understanding how any system works is to identify its parts.

In a pair of papers published Thursday in Cell, researchers from the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute announced that they identified 50 different types of inhibitory interneurons—neurons that play an important role in regulating movement—in mice spines. This is the first comprehensive classification of spinal inhibitory interneurons.

The researchers also found that types of interneurons cluster and form connections with motor neuron pools, which are groups of motor neurons tied to the movement of a single muscle. This discovery suggests that different interneuron types have distinct purposes related to movement, which could help researchers better understand motor control in the nervous system.

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Mar 4, 2016

“Internet pioneer”: Interview With Google Vice President Vint Cerf

Posted by in categories: alien life, computing, government, humor, internet

Google’s VP Vint Cerf states in the future that “The brain will be digitally altered by software”.

Considered one of the fathers of Internet, renowned in the computer industry, awarded with the highest award of US government, co-creator of TCP/IP internet and current vice president of Google, the Phd Vint Cerf emerges as one of the most authoritative voices in the world to reflect on new technologies around the world.

The computing Scientific who the United States commissioned along with Bob Khan the creation of a network protocol that will interconnect computers in 1973 in the age of cold war who at the age of 20 will work on F-1 engines used as propellant rocket of Saturn V rocket that “visited” the moon, apart from his academic skills, he can be characterized as a very simple person having fine and good sense of humor and very elegant, like someone from an European royalty party, definitely a different personality and image projecting into the collective imagination a professional of his career.

Reflections about internet of things, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, scanning the brain, space internet and even the possibility that humans can communicate with animals were the subjects Cerf answered who recently toured South America sharing time with inhabitants of end of the world.

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