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Jun 11, 2024

New brain implant breaks record for turning thoughts into text

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

Stanford researchers have developed a speech brain-computer interface (BCI) they say can translate thoughts into text at a record-breaking speed — putting us closer to a future in which people who can’t talk can still easily communicate.

The challenge: “Anarthria” is a devastating condition in which a person can’t speak, despite being able to understand speech and knowing what they want to say. It’s usually caused by a brain injury, such as a stroke, or a neurological disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease or ALS.

Some people with anarthria write or use eye-tracking tech to communicate, but this “speech” is far slower than the average talking speed. People with anarthria due to total paralysis or locked-in syndrome can’t even move their eyes, though, leaving them with no way to communicate.

Jun 11, 2024

Four-legged, dog-like robot ‘sniffs’ hazardous gases in inaccessible environments

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Nightmare material or truly man’s best friend? A team of researchers equipped a dog-like quadruped robot with a mechanized arm that takes air samples from potentially treacherous situations, such as an abandoned building or fire. The robot dog walks samples to a person who screens them for potentially hazardous compounds, says the team that published its study in Analytical Chemistry. While the system needs further refinement, demonstrations show its potential value in dangerous conditions.

Jun 11, 2024

NASA Invites Media to Rollout Event for Artemis II Moon Rocket Stage

Posted by in categories: policy, space

NASA will roll the fully assembled core stage for the agency’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket that will launch the first crewed Artemis mission out of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans in mid-July. The 212-foot-tall stage will be loaded on the agency’s Pegasus barge for delivery to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Media will have the opportunity to capture images and video, hear remarks from agency and industry leadership, and speak to subject matter experts with NASA and its Artemis industry partners as crews move the rocket stage to the Pegasus barge.

NASA will provide additional information on specific timing later, along with interview opportunities. This event is open to U.S. and international media. International media must apply by June 14. U.S. media must apply by July 3. The agency’s media credentialing policy is available online.

Jun 11, 2024

In a world first, China installs an 18 MW offshore wind turbine

Posted by in category: sustainability

China has installed an 18-megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine – the world’s largest by power rating – in Guangdong province.

State-owned power generator manufacturer Dongfang Electric Corporation completed the installation of the massive wind turbine at a coastal test base in Shantou on June 5.

China’s 18-MW offshore wind turbine has a 260-meter (853-foot) rotor diameter and a swept area of 53,000 square meters (570,487 square feet) – equivalent to 7.4 standard football fields.

Jun 11, 2024

Supercapacitors Are About To Blow Past Batteries as the Kings of Power

Posted by in category: energy

A new model lets scientists run ions through thousands of supercapacitor pores instead of just one at a time.

Jun 11, 2024

UChicago to partner on $12 million NSF project to ‘decarbonize’ computing

Posted by in category: computing

Led by UMass Amherst, goal is to explore grid decarbonization and reduce carbon in computing.

Jun 10, 2024

Apple Bursts Onto the AI Stage with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT, and Multimodal Siri

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI

Apple also announced a ton of other home-grown AI innovations during Monday’s show. This includes AI-generated emojis called Genmoji, a feature that prioritizes important messages, another that summarizes group chats, and Safari will also create AI summaries of webpages.

The financials of Apple’s deal with OpenAI were not disclosed on Monday, and that element remains unclear. While Google has paid Apple billions of dollars for default privileges on Apple products, OpenAI may require an investment to provide computing of this magnitude. Processing AI requests for billions of people is anything but cheap. If Apple pays OpenAI for this, Microsoft may ultimately benefit from this deal.

Jun 10, 2024

Every Single Cell in Your Body Could Be Conscious, Scientists Say. That Could Rewrite Everything We Know About Human Evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

If trillions of tiny bits of consciousness are floating around inside you, it could change how we think about life.

Jun 10, 2024

New chip-scale erbium-based laser offers broad wavelength tunability

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

Lasers have revolutionized the world since the 60s and are now indispensable in modern applications, from cutting-edge surgery and precise manufacturing to data transmission across optical fibers.

Jun 10, 2024

New study reveals brain’s fractal-like structure near phase transition, a finding that may be universal across species

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, neuroscience, physics

While researchers have long studied brain dynamics using imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalograms (EEG), advances in neuroscience have only recently provided massive datasets for the brain’s cellular structure. These data opened possibilities for Kovács and his team to apply statistical physics techniques to measure the physical structure of neurons.

For the new study, Kovács and Ansell analyzed publicly available data of 3D brain reconstructions from humans, fruit flies and mice. By examining the brain at nanoscale resolution, the researchers found the samples showcased hallmarks of physical properties associated with criticality.

One such property is the well-known, fractal-like structure of neurons. This nontrivial fractal-dimension is an example of a set of observables, called “critical exponents,” that emerge when a system is close to a phase transition.

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