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Feb 26, 2024

I, Robot

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

“God looked upon his world and called it good, but Man was not content. He looked for ways to make it better and built machines to do the work. But in vain we build the world, unless the builder also grows.” Tinged with earthbound authenticity and verbal courtroom sparring straight out of “Perry Mason,” this classic episode finds a robot — Adam Link — on trial for the murder of the scientist who created him. “Star Trek’s” Leonard Nimoy turns in a fine performance as the cock-sure reporter who coaxes a crusty lawyer, Thurman Cutler (Howard Da Silva), out of retirement to defend the accused automaton. Based on the classic “Adam Link” stories first published in 1939’s “Amazing Stories” magazine, “I, Robot” asks the question: In the race for more complex technology, are we creating beneficial machinery…or futuristic Frankenstein monsters? In 1995, Nimoy will return to this story in the revival series of “The Outer Limits,” this time as the District Attorney.

Feb 26, 2024

Super Weapons

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

Our history has been one of inventing ever more devastating and unstoppable weapons, and yet they may pale in comparison to those made to wreck whole galaxies or tear asunder reality itself.
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Feb 26, 2024

Researchers hack a 3D printer to speed up fabrication of bioelectronics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, cybercrime/malcode, wearables

The speed of innovation in bioelectronics and critical sensors gets a new boost with the unveiling of a simple, time-saving technique for the fast prototyping of devices.

A research team at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University reported a simple way to fabricate electrochemical transistors using a standard Nanoscribe 3D micro printer. Without cleanroom environments, solvents, or chemicals, the researchers demonstrated that 3D micro printers could be hacked to laser print and micropattern semiconducting, conducting, and insulating polymers.

Anna Herland, professor in Micro-and Nanosystems at KTH, says the printing of these polymers is a key step in prototyping new kinds of electrochemical transistors for medical implants, wearable electronics and biosensors.

Feb 26, 2024

What math tells us about social dilemmas

Posted by in categories: economics, mathematics

Human coexistence depends on cooperation. Individuals have different motivations and reasons to collaborate, resulting in social dilemmas, such as the well-known prisoner’s dilemma. Scientists from the Chatterjee group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) now present a new mathematical principle that helps to understand the cooperation of individuals with different characteristics. The results, published in PNAS, can be applied to economics or behavioral studies.

A group of neighbors shares a driveway. Following a heavy snowstorm, the entire driveway is covered in snow, requiring clearance for daily activities. The neighbors have to collaborate. If they all put on their down jackets, grab their snow shovels, and start digging, the road will be free in a very short amount of time. If only one or a few of them take the initiative, the task becomes more time-consuming and labor-intensive. Assuming nobody does it, the driveway will stay covered in snow. How can the neighbors overcome this dilemma and cooperate in their shared interests?

Scientists in the Chatterjee group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) deal with cooperative questions like that on a regular basis. They use to lay the mathematical foundation for decision-making in such social dilemmas.

Feb 26, 2024

Resurrecting niobium for quantum science

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, science

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 take advantage of niobium’s superior qualities.

When it comes to , 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.

Feb 26, 2024

New research suggests explosive ‘axion stars’ could pinpoint where and what dark matter is

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

We could be closer to understanding the mystery behind what dark matter is, following new research from physicists at King’s College London.

First theorized in 1977, axions are a hypothetical, light-mass particle that have been suggested as a possible contender for , due to the heat they give off. However, due to the range of sizes and masses they could possibly be, their conclusive identification has been difficult.

In a series of papers in Physical Review D, Liina Chung-Jukko, Professors Malcolm Fairbairn, Eugene Lim, Dr. David Marsh and collaborators have suggested a new approach to locate this ‘wonder particle’ that could explain both and dark matter.

Feb 26, 2024

How neurotransmitter receptors transport calcium, a process linked with origins of neurological disease

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

A new study from a team of McGill University and Vanderbilt University researchers is shedding light on our understanding of the molecular origins of some forms of autism and intellectual disability.

For the first time, researchers were able to successfully capture atomic resolution images of the fast-moving ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) as it transports calcium. iGluRs and their ability to transport calcium are vitally important for many brain functions such as vision or other information coming from sensory organs. Calcium also brings about changes in the signaling capacity of iGluRs and nerve connections, which are key cellular events that lead to our ability to learn new skills and form memories.

IGluRs are also key players in and their dysfunction through has been shown to give rise to some forms of autism and intellectual disability. However, basic questions about how iGluRs trigger biochemical changes in the brain’s physiology by transporting calcium have remained poorly understood.

Feb 26, 2024

A machine learning predictor enhances capability for solving intricate physical problems

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, robotics/AI

In a recent development at Fudan University, a team of applied mathematicians and AI scientists has unveiled a cutting-edge machine learning framework designed to revolutionize the understanding and prediction of Hamiltonian systems. The paper is published in the journal Physical Review Research.

Named the Hamiltonian Neural Koopman Operator (HNKO), this innovative framework integrates principles of mathematical physics to reconstruct and predict Hamiltonian systems of extremely-high dimension using noisy or partially-observed data.

The HNKO framework, equipped with a unitary Koopman structure, has the remarkable ability to discover new conservation laws solely from observational data. This capability addresses a significant challenge in accurately predicting dynamics in the presence of noise perturbations, marking a major breakthrough in the field of Hamiltonian mechanics.

Feb 26, 2024

Use of decimal point is 1.5 centuries older than historians thought

Posted by in categories: innovation, mathematics

A mathematical historian at Trinity Wester University in Canada, has found use of a decimal point by a Venetian merchant 150 years before its first known use by German mathematician Christopher Clavius. In his paper published in the journal Historia Mathematica, Glen Van Brummelen describes how he found the evidence of decimal use in a volume called “Tabulae,” and its significance to the history of mathematics.

The invention of the decimal point led to the development of the decimal system, and that in turn made it easier for people working in multiple fields to calculate non-whole numbers (fractions) as easily as whole numbers. Prior to this new discovery, the earliest known use of the decimal point was by Christopher Clavius as he was creating astronomical tables—the resulting work was published in 1593.

The new discovery was made in a part of a manuscript written by Giovanni Bianchini in the 1440s—Van Brummelen was discussing a section of trigonometric tables with a colleague when he noticed some of the numbers included a dot in the middle. One example was 10.4, which Bianchini then multiplied by 8 in the same way as is done with modern mathematics. The finding shows that a decimal point to represent non-whole numbers occurred approximately 150 years earlier than previously thought by math historians.

Feb 26, 2024

Research combines two leading theories to better explain how and why people cooperate with one another

Posted by in category: futurism

A team of economists from Switzerland and Germany has found, via model testing, that two leading theories created to explain why humans engage in cooperation with one another tend to fail under scrutiny. In their paper published in the journal Nature the group describes how further model and field testing showed that it was only when the two theories were combined that they proved able to describe scenarios where humans cooperated.

Humans cooperate with one another on a variety of levels and in different kinds of situations. Research suggests that the reason humans have evolved in a way that promotes cooperation is that it leads to an eventual payoff for both parties. Such research has also shown that it is much easier to explain how and why reciprocity works when it is clear that the person performing the first act is reasonably sure they will see the other person again, likely leading them to reciprocate.

Much more difficult to explain is why humans sometimes engage in behaviors that would normally be seen as a first move in cooperation, when there is no assurance they will see the recipient again, and thus may not reap a reward. In this new study, the research team tested theories that have attempted to explain such behavior.

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