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Feb 21, 2018

DNA data storage system is on the rise — find out how to store yours

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, media & arts

Scientists from the University of Washington and Microsoft are improving their system for preserving digital data in strands of synthetic DNA — and they’re giving you the chance to participate.

The UW-Microsoft team laid out the method in a research paper published this week in Nature Biotechnology.

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Feb 21, 2018

AI being used for ‘malicious purposes’, warn experts

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, military, robotics/AI

From healthcare to warfare, machine-based thinking is revolutionising the way we live, exposing us to the benefits and the risks. Twenty-six world experts in emerging technologies say cybercrime will grow and drones will be misused in the next decade.

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Feb 21, 2018

Will We Ever Be Able to Upload a Mind to a New Body?

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

The Netflix series takes place hundreds of years in the future, but references versions of technology that have been in development for years, like brain mapping, human and AI neural links, and mind uploading to computers. Millions of dollars has been bumped into technological ideas that promise, one day, our brains will be turned digital. That said, there are those who believe the human mind is too complex, and our consciousness too nuanced, to be recreated in a digital product. And none of that even goes into what would happen if someone’s digitized mind was placed into real human flesh.

Will we ever be able to upload our minds into other bodies? Furthermore, should we? And honestly, if we ever achieved such a feat, could we even call ourselves human anymore? On this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to experts in neuroscience, philosophy and futurism.

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Feb 20, 2018

Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, mobile phones, wearables

Although mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones let us communicate, work and access information wirelessly, their batteries must still be charged by plugging them in to an outlet. But engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser.

As the team reports in a paper published online in December in the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable & Ubiquitous Technologies, a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter can deliver charge to a sitting across a room — and can potentially charge a smartphone as quickly as a standard USB cable. To accomplish this, the team mounted a thin power cell to the back of a smartphone, which charges the smartphone using power from the laser. In addition, the team custom-designed safety features — including a metal, flat-plate heatsink on the smartphone to dissipate from the laser, as well as a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser if a person tries to move in the charging beam’s path.

“Safety was our focus in designing this system,” said co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “We have designed, constructed and tested this laser-based charging system with a rapid-response safety mechanism, which ensures that the laser emitter will terminate the charging beam before a person comes into the path of the laser.”

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Feb 20, 2018

Jeff Bezos just shared a new video of a giant $42 million mechanical clock designed to outlast the United States

Posted by in category: futurism

The 500-foot tall clock, which Bezos is funding, is meant to keep time for 10,000 years.

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Feb 20, 2018

This Is the Most Distant Confirmed Supernova Ever Observed

Posted by in category: cosmology

Supernovae are already some of the brightest explosions in the universe—but there’s more mysterious type, called superluminous supernovae, that can shine a hundred times brighter than the usual ones. And on August 22, 2016, astronomers spotted one whose light traveled over 10 billion years to reach us.

The discovery of the event, called DES16C2nm, was exciting enough on its own since it would normally have been invisible to telescopes if not for the fact that the universe is expanding, thus stretching the light from the explosion into wavelengths we can see from Earth. More generally, these flashes can tell the story of our universe, like what kinds of stuff lives between stars in distant galaxies, and other quirks of the cosmos.

“The more distant supernovae we see, the more information we get on those stars.” one of the study’s authors, Charlotte Angus from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, told Gizmodo.

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Feb 20, 2018

Hyundai’s Hydrogen-Powered, Self-Driving SUV Runs on Level 4 Autonomy

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Hyundai recently showcased that their latest autonomous SUV, Nexo, can deliver Level 4 autonomy. Its electric motor runs on hydrogen fuel.

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Feb 20, 2018

False Memories and Artificial Memory Implants

Posted by in category: futurism

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Feb 20, 2018

Add-on clip turns smartphone into fully operational microscope

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, mobile phones, nanotechnology

Australian researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) have developed a 3D printable ‘clip-on’ that can turn any smartphone into a fully functional microscope.

Reported in the research journal Scientific Reports, the smartphone microscope is powerful enough to visualise specimens as small as 1/200th of a millimetre, including microscopic organisms, animal and plant cells, blood cells, cell nuclei and more.

The clip-on technology is unique in that it requires no external power or light source to work yet offers high-powered microscopic performance in a robust and mobile handheld package.

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Feb 20, 2018

Japan has just invented Robo-bees that can legitimately pollinate the earth

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, drones, robotics/AI

In an example of life imitating art, scientists have come up with a technology straight out of an episode of Black Mirror: Bee-like pollinating drones.

A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan engineered the devices using a combination of horsehair, $USD 100 drones and a sticky ion gel.

It’s pretty simple really – first, the drones fly into flowers much like a bee would. Inside the flower, pollen gets stuck to the drone due to the combination of the ion gel and horsehair. That same pollen is then shaken off into the next flower, and so on. It’s just your run of the mill birds and the robots bees.

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