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Apr 1, 2016

The Luxury Airplane Of The Future

Posted by in category: transportation

With the open-space interior design, that’s one plane we’d love to take.

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Apr 1, 2016

This neural network ‘hallucinates’ the right colors into black and white pictures

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, robotics/AI

The machine overlords of the future may now, if it pleases them, eliminate all black and white imagery from the history of their meat-based former masters. All they’ll need is this system from Berkeley computer scientist Richard Zhang, which allows a soulless silicon sentience to “hallucinate” colors into any monochrome image.

It uses what’s called a convolutional neural network (several, actually) — a type of computer vision system that mimics low-level visual systems in our own brains in order to perceive patterns and categorize objects. Google’s DeepDream is probably the most well-known example of one. Trained by examining millions of images of— well, just about everything, Zhang’s system of CNNs recognizes things in black and white photos and colors them the way it thinks they ought to be.

Grass, for instance, has certain features — textures, common locations in images, certain other things often found on or near it. And grass is usually green, right? So when the network thinks it recognizes grass, it colors that region green. The same thing occurs for recognizing certain types of butterflies, building materials, flowers, the nose of a certain breed of dog and so on.

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Apr 1, 2016

Successfully Engineering Water-loving Nanoparticle Diodes

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, engineering

Nanoparticle diodes and devices that work when wet.

“Groundbreaking” research by Prof. Bartosz Grzybowski (School of Natural Science).
Nanoparticle Diodes and Devices That Work When Wet.

A new study by an international team of researchers, affiliated with UNIST has found a new way to produce electronic devices, such as diodes, logic gates, and sensors without the need of semiconductors.

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Apr 1, 2016

A programming language for living cells

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

MIT biological engineers have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain . They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

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Mar 31, 2016

Tesla finally unveils the Model 3: Its first car for the masses

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

At long last, here’s our first look at the Tesla Model 3, the company’s debut mass-market electric car starting at $35,000 and (perhaps) launching next year.

Telsa CEO Elon Musk unveiled the vehicle to the press and relentless devotees during an event at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California this evening.

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Mar 31, 2016

Tesla Model 3 announced: release set for 2017, price starts at $35,000

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

After ten years of waiting, Tesla has revealed the Model 3, the vehicle that CEO Elon Musk hopes will take the electric car to the masses.

At the unveiling of the Model 3 this evening at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car will deliver at least 215 miles of range beginning at just $35,000 — that’s a bold claim, and an important one for Tesla to meet. Musk is “fairly confident” that deliveries will begin by the end of 2017, and “you will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000, even with no options.”

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Mar 31, 2016

Why Did The U.S. Spend 1.5 Million To Make Robotic Bats?

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

This bat-inspired drone has a longer battery life than drones with propellers, giving it the possibility of expanding into drone package delivery and beyond.

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Mar 31, 2016

On/off button for passing along epigenetic ‘memories’ to our children discovered

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The duration of epigenetic responses underpinning transgenerational inheritance is determined by an active mechanism relying on the production of small RNAs and modulation of RNAi factors, dictating whether ancestral RNAi responses would be memorized or forgotten (credit: Leah Houri-Ze’evi et al./Cell)

According to epigenetics — the study of inheritable changes in gene expression not directly coded in our DNA — our life experiences may be passed on to our children and our children’s children. Studies on survivors of traumatic events have suggested that exposure to stress may indeed have lasting effects on subsequent generations.

But exactly how are these genetic “memories” passed on?

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Mar 31, 2016

Reports of Planet Earth’s Death Have Been Greatly … Underestimated

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Are you really surprised?

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Mar 31, 2016

5 Questions For E.T

Posted by in category: alien life

Kind of a light-hearted end of week meditation on what questions we might first pose to an extraterrestrial intelligence, if they were willing to sit for an interstellar town hall. Hope you enjoy.

If extraterrestrial (E.T.) intelligent civilizations are out there, given the age of the cosmos they stand a chance of being millions, or even billions of years ahead of us in almost every way. Assuming that we were even able to start a cosmic dialogue with them, I’ve often wondered what humanity should first ask such an advanced civilization.

Here are five sample questions:

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