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2015-07-10 04:20:10 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-10 04:20:10 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-26 20:05:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 30/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/brain-inspired-networking-scene.html 

Brain inspired networking, Scene description, Bacteria vs cancer, Deep learning genetics, Sophisticated DNA origami, Graphene on silicon, Viral immune aging, Stretchy conducting fibers, Biomimicking solar cells, Useful metal foams. 

1. Better Brain-Inspired Networking
New fundamental insights into how the growing brain develops neural networks through variable rates of synaptic pruning have led to the development of algorithms for building efficient computer networking architectures http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=2096. Simulations of such networks suggest that they are more efficient than current computer networks, allowing more direct information flows, multiple paths to reach destinations, and reduced risk of network failure. 

2. Image Recognition and Scene Description
Here’s an interesting and accessible update article on Stanford’s NeuralTalk algorithm that can analyse images, recognise objects in them, and describe the scene in natural language with regards to the relation between different objects and their number http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/17/8985699/stanford-neural-networks-image-recognition-google-study. This work continues to be developed and there are now far more examples of its use; it isn’t perfect and doesn’t yet work in all situations reliably but the results are impressive nonetheless and realtime relevant applications such as for autonomous vehicle operation are also being explored. In related news object recognition for robots takes a step forward http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/object-recognition-robots-0724. 

3. Bacteria that Kill Cancer Cells
An interesting twist on modern cancer immunotherapies involves the use of engineered bacterial strains that attack tumour cells by entering them and subsequently thrive and replicate in the low-oxygen environments that are usually present http://www.newsweek.com/programming-bacteria-kill-cancer-cells-355474. This whole field began with the observation that surgical tumour-removal patients were more likely to recover if they developed post-surgical infection. Engineered bacterial strains are designed to retain efficiency while reducing overall human toxicity. It’s also interesting to think about this in the sense of a lethal form of endosymbiosis. 

4. Deep Learning: Genetics and Sketching
A couple of interesting deep learning advances this week. First, Deep Genomics launches to offer advanced personalised medicine and genome analysis services to better predict the consequences of certain mutations on a person’s health http://www.deepgenomics.com/news/2015/7/22/meet-deep-genomics-a-start-up-bringing-the-power-of-deep-learning-to-genomics. Second, the Sketch-a-Net system demonstrated that it can correctly identify the subject of a line-drawn sketch better than a human can http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/se/159633.html. In related news deep learning can recognise faces from just thermal images http://www.technologyreview.com/view/539656/deep-neural-nets-can-now-recognize-your-face-in-thermal-images/. 

5. Increasing Sophistication of DNA Origami
Improvements in computer aided design of 3D DNA origami structures now make it easier than ever to create custom, atomically-precise, 3D DNA origami materials http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/22/9013851/dna-nanotechnology-origami-3d-printing-automation-bunny. The algorithms will take an arbitrary 3D shape, optimise the interlocking DNA scaffolding to realise the shape at the nanoscale and determine the best DNA sequences that need to be produced in order to form the structures; in the example demonstration these included bunny rabbits, nanotubes, toruses, humanoids, icosahedra and other things. In the same week another group also pushed the boundaries with their 2D and 3D DNA origami patterns http://phys.org/news/2015-07-rare-built-dna-emerge.html.

6. Graphene-on-Silicon Innovations
A new wafer-scale ion-implantation synthesis method has demonstrated a simple and scalable way to produce uniform graphene sheets on silicon, potentially enabling integrated circuits that can more readily dissipate heat http://phys.org/news/2015-07-easy-scalable-method-graphene-silicon.html. In other work graphene on silicon creates a near frictionless surface in which two surfaces can slide past each other smoothly when separated by nanodiamond clusters that encase themselves in graphene nanoscrolls http://phys.org/news/2015-07-simulations-near-frictionless-material.html. 

7. Why Tackle a Virus that Causes No Symptoms
Infection and its recurrence by cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is prevalent throughout most of the population, causes few if any symptoms and so might be innocuous. But chronic life-long infection by this virus activates the immune system on an on-going basis and this leads to aging of the immune system, the accumulation of damage, and contributes to the reduction of immune efficiency with age https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/07/immune-profiling-the-contribution-of-cytomegalovirus-to-aging.php. So there are good reasons for developing therapies and interventions towards such a seemingly harmless virus. 

8. Stretchy, Electrically-Conducting Fibers
A new fiber material has been developed that can reversibly stretch to over 14 times its length while electrical conductivity increases by 200 times when fully stretched http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2015/7/23-31627_Scientists-Stretch-Electrically-Conducting-Fibers-_story-wide.html?WT.mc_id=NewsHomePageCenterColumn. The base fibers consist of a rubber core wrapped in carbon nanotube fibers, and these are engineered with a deliberate buckled structure that helps provide the beneficial properties. The group hope to develop applications in artificial muscles and machine actuators. 

9. Biomimicry Improves Solar Cells
A new solar cell design utilises a surface that mimics the texture and structure of the compound eyes of moths, albeit at much smaller feature sizes of 20nm, in order to exploit anti-reflective properties http://phys.org/news/2015-07-artificial-moth-eyes-silicon-solar.html. The surfaces are self-assembled from block copolymers and effectively reduce light reflections to less than 1% across all visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light. The self-assembly process appears scalable; hopefully this can be applied to commercial grade solar cells and other materials. 

10. Useful Properties for Metal Foams
Lightweight composite metal foam materials are effective at both blocking a range of radiation sources (x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons) and also absorbing high-impact collision energy https://news.ncsu.edu/2015/07/rabiei-foam-rays-2015/. Initial tests were very promising but the group believe further optimisation and improvements are possible, mainly with their lead candidate comprising stainless steel with small amounts of tungsten. Applications include nuclear safety and transportation, space exploration, and medical devices - particularly those that utilise radiation. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/brain-inspired-networking-scene.html___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-07-22 01:09:46 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Hell yeah!! ;)

It all makes sense now!!!___Hell yeah!! ;)

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2015-07-22 00:40:51 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-21 23:06:21 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Next level in Blood Testing - gets nod from the FDA

The Silicon Valley company Theranos has an alternative—instead of a hypodermic needle and multiple vials of blood, Theranos technology uses a finger prick like the one diabetics use to measure their blood sugar. With just a few milliliters of blood Theranos can test for hundreds of things, from cancer biomarkers to cholesterol counts, illegal drugs to infectious diseases. What’s more, many of the tests are cheap. And in at least one state, the system doesn’t require a visit to a doctor’s office or a lab. But Theranos has been slow to deploy its system.

Next level in Blood Testing - gets nod from the FDA

The Silicon Valley company Theranos has an alternative—instead of a hypodermic needle and multiple vials of blood, Theranos technology uses a finger prick like the one diabetics use to measure their blood sugar. With just a few milliliters of blood Theranos can test for hundreds of things, from cancer biomarkers to cholesterol counts, illegal drugs to infectious diseases. What’s more, many of the tests are cheap. And in at least one state, the system doesn’t require a visit to a doctor’s office or a lab. But Theranos has been slow to deploy its system.___

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2015-07-19 08:11:46 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 29/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/gene-therapy-hearing-single-molecule.html 

Gene therapy hearing, Single molecule transistor, Better metamaterials, Crystal light traps, Optofluidic neural probe, Synthetic foods, New particle phenomena, New CRISPR tools, Memory tracking, Regenerating neuronal axons. 

1. Restoring Hearing with Gene Therapy
Deaf mice have had their hearing restored via a gene therapy that used a standard engineered adeno-associated virus to deliver a correct version of a single gene to sensory hair cells in the cochlea http://vector.childrenshospital.org/2015/07/gene-therapy-restores-hearing-in-deaf-mice/. The mechanistic insights into sound perception are equally nice to consider: the gene encodes a channel protein that sits on the microvilli of sensory hair cells whose deformation due to pressure waves causes the channels to open and allow calcium ions to enter the cell. There are a number of different genes that can cause deafness and this platform might be tailored to correct all of them as needed depending on the genetics of each patient. 

2. Single Molecule Transistor
A basic experimental transistor has been demonstrated that consists of a single phthalocyanine molecule surrounded by a hexagon of 12 indium atoms http://phys.org/news/2015-07-transistor-molecule-atoms.html. At this scale structures are hypersensitive to single electron hops and in this case fabricated with a scanning tunnelling microscope; it turns out that electron flow across the molecule is coupled to the orientation of the surface-bound molecule and is capable of generating large conductance gaps. 

3. Improvements in Metamaterial Designs
A few interesting new metamaterial designs this week. First, a new and incredibly thin carpet cloak has been designed to incorporate periodic teflon and ceramic dielectric structures that can effectively bend light to shield anything beneath the cloak to give the appearance of a flat surface http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/materials/a-slender-bright-invisbility-cloak. This is a two-dimensional metamaterial design and now they just need to make the thing to prove that it works. Second, a new metamaterial design is able to accurately preserve the phase of light while guiding it around sharp corners and abrupt bumps http://phys.org/news/2015-07-clever-cloaks-unique-metamaterials-phase.html. Third, progress towards lossless perfect lenses http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2015/july/bringing-back-magic-metamaterials.html. 

4. Trapping Light in Crystal Granules 
Tiny crystals of hexagonal boron nitride can effectively trap light within their structures http://phys.org/news/2015-07-orbits-intriguing-material.html. Incident light becomes trapped within the material in a form known as a phonon polariton, and at certain resonant frequencies the light adopts simple closed orbits and this produces hot spots of electric fields that form elaborate geometric patterns. The resonant frequencies depend on the physical shape of the crystal and this is an instance of storing light inside a tiny piece of material for extended periods. A nice, elegant new phenomena that we’ll have to wait to see applications for. 

5. Tiny Optofluidic Neural Probe
A tiny flexible neural probe has been developed, a tenth the diameter of a human hair, wirelessly controllable, and able to both deliver drugs to deep inside the brain and also turn on LED lights to switch on optogenetically activated neurons http://neurosciencenews.com/optogenetics-device-neurons-2253/. This new device causes far less damage and displacement compared to existing devices. In experiments it was able to effectively deliver multiple different drugs including gene delivery vectors to the brains of mice and was also able to influence and control behaviour via light activation. Seems to be a great new platform tool for pushing this space forward. 

6. Better “Synthetic” Foods
At some point we’re going to have to drop that “synthetic” label for these new food technologies. First this week was presentations about the ongoing development of 3D printing with foods and the economic and personalised sensation benefits that might accrue http://www.ift.org/newsroom/news-releases/2015/july/13/3d-printers-poised-to-have-major-implications-for-food-manufacturing.aspx. Second, the cost of cultured lab-grown burger meat continues to build on the advance announced in 2013 and is currently projected to decline from $300,000 down to $65 per kilogram http://phys.org/news/2015-07-scientist-texture-lab-produced-hamburger.html. 

7. Experimental Confirmation of Weyl Point Phenomena
In a nice reduction of theory to practice massless particles with a single point in their energy spectrum , called Weyl points, have been proven to exist experimentally with the aid of new photonic crystal designs http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/Weyl-points-detected-0716. This work was done with microwave light in order to simplify the crystal fabrication but there is no reason visible light couldn’t be used in future. Possible future applications include optical devices, high-power single-mode lasers, and bulk materials or lenses that only allow a certain angle and a certain frequency of light to pass through. 

8. CRISPR with Non-Homologous Insertions and Light Activation
A new CRISPR system can achieve targeted insertion of genetic sequences up to 5,000 base pairs long into mammalian cells via non-homologous end-joining, i.e. without the need to include lengthy homologous sequence arms on each side of the genetic sequence / gene of interest and DNA cut or insertion site http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/07/over-5000-base-pairs-were-inserted-into.html. Other benefits include simpler, cheaper plasmid vectors and while the efficiency of integration was not high there is scope to improve this if needed in future. Another newly engineered form of CRISPR now allows light-activation of the CRISPR machinery for applications such as regulating genes with light for example http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/43255/title/Optogenetics-Meets-CRISPR/. 

9. Measuring Memory, Improving Memory, and Altering Neuronal Firing
Electrodes implanted into rat brains and measuring activity from place cells in the hippocampus suggest that there are definite gaps in certain types of normal memory, far from the smooth flow that typically characterises memory http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/scientists_watch_rats_string_memories_together. A new type of transcranial direct current stimulation known as transcranial pulsed current stimulation appears to boost neuronal excitability and muscle skill acquisition while transcranial magnetic stimulation appears to show good results in dampening neuronal excitability and associated tinnitus symptoms http://www.kurzweilai.net/could-this-new-electrical-brain-zap-method-help-you-learn-muscle-skills-faster. 

10. Regenerating Neuronal Axons in Severed Spines
I missed this a couple of weeks ago but switching off or deleting one particular gene was sufficient to induce neuronal regeneration and axon growth in the spines of mice with severed spines http://neurosciencenews.com/corticospinal-axon-regeneration-paralysis-2189/. The neurons were able to bridge the site of injury regardless of whether gene inactivation happened immediately, four months post injury, or one year post injury and are able to form tentative synaptic connections. As a candidate treatment the gene inactivation might be targeted to certain neurons or the specific region of interest. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/gene-therapy-hearing-single-molecule.html___#ScienceSunday #Science

2015-07-19 00:19:47 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Coming Soon: An Idea

Coming Soon: An Idea___

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2015-07-13 07:55:43 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#instagram #grindingforsuccess

http://www.Instagram.com/GrindingForSuccess_

#instagram #grindingforsuccess

http://www.Instagram.com/GrindingForSuccess____

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2015-07-13 07:55:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

#instagram #grindingforsuccess

http://www.Instagram.com/GrindingForSuccess_

#instagram #grindingforsuccess

http://www.Instagram.com/GrindingForSuccess____

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2015-07-13 04:01:00 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I need #8. Impaired mitochondria is one of the worst aging factors.

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 28/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/graphene-ultrasound-deepstereo-image.html

Graphene ultrasound, DeepStereo image synthesis, Collaborative smartphone photography, Quantum dot AFM, Gut bacteria computers, Aging repair signals, Multi-brain networking, Mitochondrial gene therapy, Implantable microfluidics, Wireless device charging. 

1. Wideband Ultrasound with Graphene
Tiny ultrasonic wideband microphones have been made with graphene  http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/graphenebased-microphone-provides-rangefinding-capabilities-of-bats. The device represents the first good, scalble, economical, wideband ultrasound transmitter / receiver and was used to create an ultrasonic radio that can be used for wireless communications. Sensitivity is significant, from 20 Hz to 500 kHz (double what a bat can hear) and helped the group accurately record the sounds of bats. Expect applications in imaging, medical, communications, surveillance, remote sensing, drones and robotics. 

2. Google’s DeepStereo Deep Learning Image Synthesis
Google’s latest deep learning advance is an algorithm called DeepStereo that take two images of a scene and synthesise a third image from a different point of view http://www.technologyreview.com/view/539051/googles-deep-learning-machine-learns-to-synthesize-real-world-images/. The system was originally tested for Google Streetview, and worked to synthesise new images in between existing Streetview images in order to create additional frames so that a 25 fps video of Streetview images would run at an acceptable rate and not ridiculously quick; virtually any sequence of images can be turned into smooth running video and it produces images that are difficult to distinguish from originals. Very interesting for producing more complete virtual maps and environments. 

3. Collaborative Photography via Ad Hoc Collections of Smartphones
Possessing a lot of overlap with the DeepStereo item above but worthy of its own entry is the new CamSwarm and PanoSwarm collaborative computational photography software applications for smartphones http://www.technologyreview.com/view/539191/collaborative-photography-app-allows-smartphones-to-record-bullet-time/. This allows one smartphone to easily coordinate an array of other smartphones and their users as a collaborative array of cameras to synchronously capture images and video, for example to generate Matrix-style “bullet-time” videos on the fly. Tools like DeepStereo might help fill in gaps in these ad hoc arrays.

4. Quantum Dot Tips Boost AFM Sensitivity
Scanning Quantum Dot Microscopy is a new imaging technique enabled by attaching a single molecule quantum dot to the tip of an Atomic Force Microscope and allowing ultra-high-resolution sub-nanometer imaging of the electric fields around atoms and molecules http://www.fz-juelich.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/UK/EN/2015/15-07-07prl-sqdm.html. The molecule itself, positioned at the tip, and comprising just 38 atoms, functions like another sensitive balance or cantilever whose tiny movements can be measured as it responds to the tiniest changes in electric field strength of the substrate below. 

5. Engineering Computing Elements into Bacterial Gut Populations
Bacteria have previously been engineered with genetic sensors, memory elements, and circuits but now these tools have been extended to include common gut bacterial species that are present at abundant levels in most people’s intestinal flora, and these have been tested in mice http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/basic-computing-for-bacteria-0709. The bacteria were engineered with an expanded toolkit able to respond to different signals to switch certain genes on and off and to alter specific regions of DNA to record triggered events; in mice the bacteria could be examined to determine what the mice ate. The group will expand to other species of bacteria to account for an even greater proportion of the gut population, aim for establishment of permanent engineered populations in the gut, and help build disease diagnostics and other tools.

6. Signalling Aging and Repair
While introducing new cells is an exciting prospect for repair and rejuvenation therapies, remotely signalling existing cells to do the same preferable in some cases. Examples this week of the latter include (i) isolating vesicles or exosomes secreted by stem cells and introducing these into mice with damaged hearts to significantly boost repair of the heart http://www.templehealth.org/content/newsroom.htm?page_id=11&minor=1&inCtx5pg=0&inCtx5news_id=1375, and (ii) strong evidence that a particular microglobulin molecule plays a major role in cognitive decline and that moving it from circulation in the body would boost neurogenesis and significantly improve cognitive function https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/07/more-on-beta-2-microglobulin-blood-levels-and-aging-resulting-from-parabiosis-research.php. 

7. Collaborative Networking of Brains
Three monkey brains were networked together as part of a demonstration for multiple brains able to cooperate and solve problems together http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27869-animal-brains-connected-up-to-make-mindmelded-computer.html. The three monkeys, with electrodes implanted into their brains, were able to accurately control a robotic arm by synchronising their thoughts, even when each monkey was restricted to controlling a single linear dimension of the arm’s movement; the work was also replicated in a more complex fashion in rats. In related news a live neurofeedback art experiment has collected real-time EEG data from more than 500 adult humans all wearng BCI headbands https://www.baycrest.org/research-news/crowdsourcing-brain-data-overnight-experiment-creates-social-brain-lab-yields-new-insights-about-speed-of-learning-changes-in-the-brain/. 

8. Mitochondrial Gene Therapy
The company Gensight has developed a powerful mitochondrial gene therapy platform for delivering correct genes to defective mitochondria and looks set to pull in significant amounts of funding via an public listing https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/07/gensight-developing-a-mitochondrial-repair-therapy.php. This platform delivers correct genes to the cell nucleus but incorporates a specific tag sequence that causes the cell to transport the mRNA transcript to mitochondria (much like most other mitochondrial genes) for translation to functional protein. In addition to treating mitochondrial diseases this is a great platform for treating one of the seven key causes of aging. Regarding aged immune systems, restoring youthful immune function with the use of implanted engineered thymus organoids is showing promise https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/07/thymus-organoids-restore-immune-function-in-mice.php. 

9. Implantable Microfluidics for Drug Delivery
In conjunction with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Microchips Biotech has developed and will commercialise an implantable microfluidic wireless microchip device able to store and release drugs into the body over extended periods of time https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/implantable-drug-delivery-microchip-device-0629. The chip represents years of complex testing and development and can be programmed to deliver drugs or else activated by an external wireless device, improving patient compliance and convenience over time. I think the main promise is as a platform that others can develop and use, and I’d like to see it incorporate microfluidics able to sense items from blood and synthesise required drugs / compounds from simple feedstocks present in blood. 

10. Advances in Wireless Charging
A new wireless battery charging system can recharge devices up to half a meter away with an energy efficiency of up to 34% and regardless of the orientation of the device itself http://www.gizmag.com/new-wireless-power-tech-can-charge-multiple-devices-at-once-at-a-distance/38361/. The key innovation here is the agnostic orientation for the charged device. Applications aren’t limited to desks that easily charge phones and laptops, but rather this technology would be very useful for remote drones, robots, sensors, and even charging the implanted devices described above. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/07/graphene-ultrasound-deepstereo-image.html___I need #8. Impaired mitochondria is one of the worst aging factors.

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2015-07-12 04:17:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Conservitards haha

This is often what it feels like trying to have a polite, reasoned discussion about climate change on Google+.___Conservitards haha

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2015-07-10 04:20:10 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-10 04:19:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

___

2015-07-10 00:38:34 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

High homocysteine levels associated with all-cause mortality (aging)

A list I've compiled during my molecular biology research:

To reduce homocysteine:
5-MTHF
SAM-e
Riboflavin (vit B2)
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
Taurine
Trimethylglycine (TMG...betaine)
Choline

Note: if you have ALLERGIES, chances are you have High Homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine levels associated with all-cause mortality (aging)

A list I've compiled during my molecular biology research:

To reduce homocysteine:
5-MTHF
SAM-e
Riboflavin (vit B2)
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
Taurine
Trimethylglycine (TMG...betaine)
Choline

Note: if you have ALLERGIES, chances are you have High Homocysteine levels.___

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2015-07-09 21:17:19 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-09 01:01:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-06-25 08:24:28 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-06-21 14:15:22 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #SciTek #Science # Enlightenment

1, 2, 3, 4, 7 look coolest imo

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 25/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/cheap-genomic-sequencer-translating.html

Cheap genomic sequencer, Nuclear batteries, Translating brain signals, Machine learning, Powerful software, Genetic aging programs, Graphene collection, Cellulose 3D printing, Locks control GMOs, Robot hands & legs. 

1. MinION: Quick, Cheap Genome Sequencing
The palm-sized MinION DNA sequencer, which plugs in via USB to a PC and sequences DNA samples using a novel nanopore architecture, continues to make strides with both length and number of sequence reads http://phys.org/news/2015-06-full-genome-technology.html. The device has now passed low-accuracy concerns with better error correction and for the first time can produce complete bacterial genome sequences and should eventually be able to tackle mammalian genomes. 

2. Nuclear D Cell Battery
Some groups are trying to develop 5 watt nuclear-powered regular D-sized batteries that derive their energy from the decay of small amounts of radioisotopes contained within a tungsten casing that provides shielding and generates heat http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/06/developing-5-watt-nuclear-d-cell.html. Applications include power sources for mini-satellites and long-lived remote devices. Energy densities are typically 5 - 6 orders of magnitude bigger than for conventional chemical batteries. 

3. Translating Brain Activity to Speech
A new brain-to-text system has been demonstrated that captures the brain signals from an electrocorticography electrode array placed on the surface of the cortex and can decode these signals and reconstruct the basic phonemes, words, and complete sentences to generate corresponding text http://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2015_063_speech-recognition-from-brain-activity.php. Error rates remain high but this is still a good proof-of-principle; the immediate hope is to develop the device as a means of communication for locked-in patients. Future possibilities include advanced brain-computer interfaces for people, parallels to DARPA’s neocortical modem project come to mind, and I also wonder if the reverse mechanism could be used in input speech as well. 

4. Trio of Machine Learning Developments
First, Google’s DeepMind has a deep learning system that learns to read and develop an “understanding” of the grammatical links and causal relationships between entities in the text and so summarise key points that aren’t explicitly stated by the text http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538616/google-deepmind-teaches-artificial-intelligence-machines-to-read/. Second, a deep learning system can now beat humans in the verbal reasoning component of IQ tests http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538431/deep-learning-machine-beats-humans-in-iq-test/. Third, IBM’s machine learning technology is being open sourced as part of its big push for the Spark cluster computing framework http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/06/ibm-calls-apache-spark-most-important.html. 

5. Duo of Powerful Software Tools
Leading on from the machine learning pieces I had to include these additional tools that look very promising. First, the demonstration of a fact-checking algorithm http://news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2015/06/computational-fact-checker.shtml that was trained on Wikipedia data and automatically generated a knowledge graph complete with truth scores assigned to each factual relationship and was able to consistently match the performance of human fact checkers. Second, a new algorithm provides significant improvements in predicting which mutations in a given genome sequence are likely to have the largest effect on the activity of regulatory elements for genes, providing not just insights for disease but also design possibilities for targeted regulatory control via CRISPR for example http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/vulnerabilities_in_genomes_dimmer_switches_should_shed_light_on_hundreds_of_complex_diseases. 

6. Aging via Genetic Programming
The theory of aging being due to evolutionary selection and associated genetic programming has been getting a bit more coverage lately with a study looking at simple simulated organisms that consistently demonstrated the emergence of a built-in life expectancy that helped preserve species integrity over time under spatial and resource constrained conditions https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/06/yet-more-discussion-of-programmed-aging.php. The result is interesting but not definitive and has attracted critiques and rebuttals from other more mainstream groups such as aging as accumulation of damage. 

7. Graphene NEMS, Dots, & Lights
First up this week we have graphene being demonstrated in the thinnest visible on-chip light source ever http://engineering.columbia.edu/worlds-thinnest-light-bulb%E2%80%94graphene-gets-bright. Second, a graphene coating on the copper wires or traces that connect components on computer chips boosts transmission speed in these connectors by 17% now and possibly 30% in future http://phys.org/news/2015-06-simple-clever-boost-chip.html. Third, graphene electrodes provide significant improvements to piezoelectric MEMS and NEMS resonators http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=40427.php. Finally, graphene quantum dots can produce LED-type displays with brightness exceeding that of standard devices http://phys.org/news/2015-06-graphene-quantum-dot.html. 

8. 3D Printing Cellulose
A new technique allows cellulose (very strong polymer of linked glucose units) from wood to be mixed with a hydrogel and used as a 3D printing material for the first time; drying the final print to remove the water and leave behind the strong scaffold of cellulose is a key step http://phys.org/news/2015-06-cellulose-wood-d.html. This is interesting in the sense of not being a plastics / hydrocarbon based printing material, and mixing other components can produce cellulose inks with a range of properties such as electrical conductivity. In related news 3D printing in colour is set to get better http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538676/solving-the-last-great-3-d-printing-challenge-printing-in-color/, and 3D printing inflatable, flexible, stretchable structures is pretty promising https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmuf_6h7Kl8. 

9. Controlling GMOs with Molecular Locks
 A better lock-and-key mechanism allows for better control of genetically modified organisms http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/06/16/molecular-lock-and-key-control-gmos/. In addition to the genetic modifications of interest one or more of a number of genes that are essential to the survival of cells are also engineered so as to produce proteins whose functional shape is dependent on the presence of a particular non-natural compound; without this compound as an easily available nutrient the cell reverts to its default state: death. This isn’t perfect or foolproof for a number of reasons but does build on similar mechanisms being employed by CRISPR for example to controllably induce the desired genetic activity. 

10. Better Robotic Hands and Legs
The bebionic small prosthetic hand for amputees was announced this week, billed as the “world’s most lifelike hand” and using miniaturised components to mimic the functions of a real hand http://rslsteeper.com/news/first_uk_user_receives_worlds_most_lifelike_bionic_hand. Meanwhile the new Durus robot has demonstrated ultra-efficient walking abilities after a large research project aimed at optimising the efficiency of every possible aspect of robotic walking, and ending up with a far more human-like gait that is 20x more efficient than ATLAS and currently allowing the 80kg robot to walk 10km with just the on-board 2.2 kWh battery http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/durus-sri-ultra-efficient-humanoid-robot. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/cheap-genomic-sequencer-translating.html ___#ScienceSunday #SciTek #Science # Enlightenment

1, 2, 3, 4, 7 look coolest imo

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2015-06-17 04:28:45 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

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2015-06-14 08:22:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

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2015-06-14 08:16:49 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

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2015-06-07 12:35:16 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Contacts

Contacts___

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2015-06-07 09:48:04 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Number 7 is cool.
#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 23/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/immune-system-discoveries-dna-click.html 

Immune system discoveries, DNA click-chemistry, Human reference genome, Metal plating prints, CRISPR vs viruses, Bioengineered limbs, Carbon nanotube RAM, WiFi powers sensors, Amazing robots, Crunching regulatory networks. 

1. Immune System Discoveries & Innovations
Decades of anatomy have been overturned with the discovery that the brain has subtle but direct lymphatic connections to the immune system, throwing up new questions and opportunities for the role this plays in diseases of the brain and therapies that might be developed http://news.virginia.edu/content/researchers-find-textbook-altering-link-between-brain-immune-system. Meanwhile a new blood test costing $25 called VirScan can determine every single virus the person has ever been exposed to http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27659-cheap-blood-test-reveals-every-virus-youve-ever-been-exposed-to.html. Finally, a new immunotherapy retrains the immune system to not attack specific proteins in the body that lead to rheumatoid arthritis and shows promise as a platform for treatment against autoimmune diseases http://www.gizmag.com/early-clinical-trial-success-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/37865/. 

2. Nanostructures from DNA Click-Chemistry
Continuing the strong DNA origami theme in recent weeks we have a modification of DNA building blocks that (i) form interlinked catenane chainmail ring structures and (ii) exploit functionalised oligonucleotides that undergo click-chemistry reactions to lock and stabilise the structure against high temperatures and further chemical / enzymatic modification; this comprises a structural platform for nanostructures with the possibility for non-enzymatic gene synthesis http://phys.org/news/2015-06-dna-bundles-stable-chain-armor-like-nanostructures.html. 

3. A More Sophisticated Human Reference Genome
The human reference genome is getting a significant and overdue boost with the help of graph theory that will combine many thousands of human genomes into a single, annotated reference source able to draw far more accurate and meaningful comparisons to the differences that individual genomes possess http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537916/rebooting-the-human-genome/. 

4. Metal Plating for 3D Prints
The Orbit1 is a tabletop electroplating device for 3D printed objects in which (i) the object is spray-coated with conductive paint, (ii) placed on a rack in the Orbit1, (iii) the device electroplates the object and applies a metallic (copper, nickel, palladium, or gold) coating 0.1mm - 0.2mm thick http://www.springwise.com/personal-electroplater-turns-3d-printed-objects-gold/. Make your own utensils, circuit boards, glasses frames, etc. 

5. CRISPR Suppresses Hepatitis B Virus
A construct comprising a number of distinct CRISPR gene therapy vectors against conserved regions across HepB viral genotypes has proven effective in enabling robust suppression of viral expression and replication in mice http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150602/srep10833/full/srep10833.html. CRISPR is ideal for this purpose and I’ve been waiting to hear someone do this - I also expect this method to deliver effective cures for not only Hepatitis but HSV, HPV, and other genome-integrating viruses. 

6. Transplantable Bioengineered Limbs
The first transplanted bioartificial replacement limb has been demonstrated in a process that took a limb from a rat, decellularised it, incubated the matrix in a bioreactor, added vasculature & muscle progenitor cells, electrically stimulated muscle development, confirmed the development of limb vasculature and muscles, added a skin graft, and then transplanted the limb onto another rat in which blood flow was restored http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1815. Next step is to include bone and nerves. 3D printed hydrogel structures are also getting better and more sophisticated for tissue engineering applications http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/3-d-printing-tough-biogel-0601. 

7. Nantero’s Carbon Nanotube RAM Chips
Nantero claims to have installed its carbon nanotube memory NRAM process in multiple production fabs and promises to be 100s of times faster than NAND, very low power, low cost, scalable down below 5nm and hinting at a range of future device possibilities http://nantero.com/nantero-closes-30m-series-e-round-its-next-generation-memory-nram-now-installed-in-multiple-production-fabs-around-the-world/. Although apparently there are already microSD cards with 512GB of storage http://www.cnet.com/au/news/microdia-will-sell-a-1000-ish-512gb-microsd-come-july/. 

8. Camera Powered by Ambient WiFi
New chip design, signal-processing software, and updates to existing routers result in a system in which low-power sensors and devices can be powered remotely via WiFi http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538031/first-demonstration-of-a-surveillance-camera-powered-by-ordinary-wi-fi-broadcasts/. To prove the concept they wirelessly powered a small surveillance camera that captured images, and also wirelessly recharged a fitness tracker, however all devices currently have to be less than seven or so meters away from the router. 

9. The World’s Best Robots
As you all should know and should already be following, the DARPA Robotics Challenge is on this weekend where we get to see the most advanced robots in the world make their way through a tough obstacle and task course; CMU’s CHIMP robot performed well early on http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/drc-finals-cmu-chimp-gets-up-after-fall-shows-how-awesome-robots-can-be but the final winner and best performer overall was the Korean Hubo team http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/science/korean-robot-makers-walk-off-with-2-million-prize.html?_r=0. Also this week, robots are learning to push and pull heavy objects with their bodies http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/robots-learn-to-push-heavy-objects-with-their-bodies-just-like-you, and Amazon has just run its Warehouse Challenge competition for robots http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/1/8698607/amazon-robot-picking-challenge-results. 

10. Regeneration Model Discovered by Smart Software
The regeneration mechanism of a type of small worm has been reverse engineered by a software system based on evolutionary algorithms http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/planarian-regeneration-model-discovered-artificial-intelligence. Fed a dataset of 16 key regeneration experiments the algorithm discovered and returned the regulatory network that correctly predicted all 16 experiments and is the most comprehensive model of regeneration in this worm to date. I’m thinking systems like these could be a boon to unravelling the complex regulatory networks at play in many human diseases and phenotypes. 

Bonus
I couldn’t pass this one up: Bolt Threads emerges from stealth with a lot of cash to scale production of bacterial synthesised spider silk threads for a range of purposes http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/04/spiderpants/#.rbqzel:4pl6. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/immune-system-discoveries-dna-click.html ___Number 7 is cool.
#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-06-01 07:47:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 22/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/single-molecule-electronics-engineering.html

Single molecule electronics, Engineering DNA origami, Origami robots, Better robot interactions, Implantable active sensors, Base-6 DNA code, Probiotic cancer diagnosis, Automotive deep learning, Mitochondrial aging damage, Greaseless bearings. 

1. Single Molecule Components for Molecular Electronics
New techniques allow the creation of single molecule diodes that perform 50 times better than all other previous designs, with a high rectification >250 and a high “on” current of 100 nAmps http://engineering.columbia.edu/one-step-closer-single-molecule-device-1. The key innovation was to design asymmetric properties around not just the molecule itself but also the immediate electrical environment. In related news single molecule rotaxane architectures (molecular ring around a molecular axle) are being scaled up to be incorporated into metal-organic-frameworks with a demonstrated ability to controllably switch the rotaxane from one state to another http://phys.org/news/2015-05-sold-state-molecular-circuitry-shuttle-metal-organic.html, although nothing on addressability yet. 

2. Dynamic Engineering of DNA Origami Structures
Self-assembled DNA origami technology continues to progress with the development of better DNA origami techniques able to assemble arrays of nanoparticles into controlled geometric configurations http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11728. In the proof of concept octahedral DNA cages bound to nanoparticles further assembled together to produce chains or uniform sheets as needed. In a further extension of DNA origami techniques, ordered arrays of nanoparticles produced by DNA origami assembly can be subsequently reprogrammed, altering the attraction and repulsion between particles and causing a phase change in the lattice structure of the material http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11729, allowing programmable switchable materials that alter their properties depending on the environment. New solvents are also improving DNA origami http://phys.org/news/2015-05-non-aqueous-solvent-dna-nanotechnology.html, and DNA origami rings have been made that self-replicate http://phys.org/news/2015-05-self-replicating-nanostructures-dna.html. 

3.  Self-Folding Origami Robot
On the topic of origami a miniature self-folding origami robot has been demonstrated that walks, swims, carries loads, and dissolves in a solvent http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/origami-robot-folds-itself-up-does-cool-stuff-dissolves-into-nothing. Placed on a heating element the device folds up around a magnet in about a minute and then can be moved around at 4 cm/s under the direction of four electromagnetic coils. The good little demonstration video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0CluQiwLRg shows off a range of tasks and abilities. The end goal of course seems to be creating even smaller devices that might perform useful work inside the body. 

4. Robots Interacting Better with their Surroundings
In additional robotics news we had a couple of interesting announcements this week. First, a new algorithm significantly reduces the planning time incurred by groups of robots working together to optimally perform some task http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/assembly-algorithm-for-autonomous-robots-0527. The proof-of-concept was demonstrated by a team of three robots working together to assemble a chair, and is ultimately hoped to further increase and improve automation in complex manufacturing environments. Second, more advanced robotic manipulators are enabling robots to automate and enter areas of food production that were previously too complex and required humans http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537646/robots-start-to-grasp-food-processing/. 

5. Implantable Sensors and Active Devices
A newly developed biosensor chip measuring one square centimeter is designed to be implanted under the skin where it can be wirelessly charged, wirelessly communicate to your phone, and measure a range of different properties including pH, temperature, metabolic chemicals like glucose, lactate, and cholesterol and even drugs http://actu.epfl.ch/news/a-chip-placed-under-the-skin-for-more-precise-medi/; I’d be keen to know how long this can function before failing but a platform like this that could be modified to measure almost any molecule of interest would be fantastic. In related news artificial pancreas devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/diabetes-has-a-new-enemy-robopancreas. 

6. From Base-4 to Base-6 DNA Codes
In an interesting synthetic biology advance two new nucleotide base-pairs have been successfully introduced into DNA strands, so in addition to the usual sequences of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs, this new DNA has what they term Zs and Ps http://phys.org/news/2015-05-code-life-letters.html. Critically the new DNA retained the standard double helix of DNA, as well as other physical properties, and was apparently able to evolve new sequences. At this stage such a material might have immediate utility in DNA origami applications as mentioned above, by allowing more diverse and more specific binding structures. To be useful in a living biological cell the group would need to alter all of the proteins that interact with DNA and reengineer the genetic code itself to take account of 216 codons instead of the usual 64.

7. Probiotic Bacteria for Diagnosing Cancer
I admit to being surprised to learn that some types of harmless E. coli bacteria can and do at times colonise the liver without any deleterious effects to the animal. In recent work this property was exploited to develop a cancer diagnostic for tumours growing in the liver http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/diagnosing-cancer-with-bacteria-0527. Instead of being injected genetically engineered bacteria were delivered orally via a probiotic formulation, they found their way to the liver, colonised it, penetrated any tumours due to attractive microenvironments, and expressed an enzyme to metabolise a compound produced by tumour cells, one of the by-products of which was secreted and detected in urine to a sensitivity sufficient for tumours one cubic millimeter or more in size. 

8. Deep Learning, Automotive Apps, and Better GPUs
Google revealed details about its new pedestrian detection technology based on analysis of real time video footage by a new deep learning system that is currently designed to complement the other pedestrian-detecting sensors in its autonomous cars http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/new-pedestrian-detector-from-google-could-make-selfdriving-cars-cheaper. The system runs significantly faster than previous deep learning techniques and can accurately identify pedestrians in 0.25 seconds, however this is still slower than the 0.07 seconds required for real time use. So it is interesting to see Nvidia’s recent announcement of its Pascal range of GPU coming out next year that it claims will provide a 10x performance boost to deep learning applications and a big part of their push will be towards the automotive market http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/05/nvidias-pascal-is-ten-times-faster-than.html. 

9. Reversing Mitochondrial Damage in Aging
An intriguing result in cell lines suggests that age-associated mitochondrial respiration defects might not be due to somatic mutations in mitochondrial DNA at all, but rather dependent on nuclear mutations and epigenetic changes https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/05/another-example-of-induced-pluripotency-reversing-mitochondrial-damage-in-aging.php. Taking elderly cell lines, reprogramming them into induced pluripotent stem cells, and then differentiating them back into the cell type they used to be (fibroblasts) resulted in the restoration and rejuvenation of mitochondrial respiration defects; respiration defects were also absent in the presence of mitoDNA mutations or excessive reactive oxygen. Further study suggested that a key factor was reduced glycine production in mitochondria (regulated by nuclear genes), and glycine treatment was also effective in restoring and rejuvenating aged respiration defects. More work and animal studies are needed, probably too early to start supplementing megadoses of glycine, but still tantalising. 

10. Improved Bearing Design
Sometimes the best things are the simplest. Bearing designs and function haven’t been substantially improved for a very long time despite their ubiquity and importance in industrial society. A new bearing design working on quite simple principles is able to spin with 10x less friction compared to conventional designs while at the same time not requiring grease http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/greaseless-bearing-coo-space/. Such a simple thing might lead to substantial benefits for things like robotics, not to mention standard industrial equipment and machines in future. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/single-molecule-electronics-engineering.html___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-06-01 07:42:45 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Project Jacquard: Google reinvents the wearable as stuff you actually wear

For now, the clothes' interactive abilities amount to turning a section of fabric into a touchpad, functionally similar to what you'd find on a laptop. You can tap and swipe, while other gestures (e.g. multi-finger swipe, pinch, etc.) wouldn't be too hard to incorporate.

The touch panel resides in just a small section of a garment. Although you could theoretically weave an entire shirt or pair of pants with the material, all you really need is a chunk of cloth slightly smaller than a smartphone screen. The rest of the garment is just clothing.

Project Jacquard: Google reinvents the wearable as stuff you actually wear

For now, the clothes' interactive abilities amount to turning a section of fabric into a touchpad, functionally similar to what you'd find on a laptop. You can tap and swipe, while other gestures (e.g. multi-finger swipe, pinch, etc.) wouldn't be too hard to incorporate.

The touch panel resides in just a small section of a garment. Although you could theoretically weave an entire shirt or pair of pants with the material, all you really need is a chunk of cloth slightly smaller than a smartphone screen. The rest of the garment is just clothing.___

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2015-05-31 05:37:54 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Google Now + Knowledge Graph + App Linking = The New World Wide Web?

Google Now + Knowledge Graph + App Linking = The New World Wide Web?___

2015-05-30 06:37:24 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

New music strategy shows 70 per cent increase in exercise adherence

The use of personalized music playlists with tempo-pace synchronization increases adherence to cardiac rehab by almost 70 per cent, according to a study.

New music strategy shows 70 per cent increase in exercise adherence

The use of personalized music playlists with tempo-pace synchronization increases adherence to cardiac rehab by almost 70 per cent, according to a study.___

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2015-05-24 08:15:10 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 21/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/yeast-opiate-production-crispr-gmo.html

Yeast opiate production, CRISPR GMO killswitch, Optical computation, Continuous roll graphene, Cell periodic table, Immune evading implants, Wearable muscle sensor, Molecular pumps, Learning robots, Laser scanner. 

1. Engineered Yeast for Opiate Production
After a number of years of effort by multiple groups the final enzymatic synthetic step in the pathway for opiate production (morphine, etc) has been completed and it is now possible to create strains of yeast that produce opiate drugs as part of normal metabolism http://www.nature.com/news/drugs-regulate-home-brew-opiates-1.17563. With such a strain and basic fermentation skills morphine-producing yeast could be grown in a home-brew beer kit, but the original development was intended for cheaper, simpler, production of opiates. I disagree strongly with the alarmist commentary and propaganda around this, including this quote from the linked article “All told, decentralized and localized production would almost certainly reduce the cost and increase the availability of illegal opiates — substantially worsening a worldwide problem.” which I consider myopic; I believe this would substantially improve a worldwide problem. 

2. CRISPR-Based GMO Kill-Switch
CRISPR has now been employed in a novel way to trigger the removal and destruction of modified genes from genetically modified organisms and leaving the original genes intact http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/19/8625623/gmo-crispr-kill-switch-self-destructing-dna. It seems the system can kill the cells directly, inactivate or delete just the modified or introduced genes, or do both. Triggers for activating the system could include light levels, the presence or absence of a particular molecule - useful for controlling crops for example - and others. This seems to be similar in application to Terminator gene technology that was developed to limit the spread of GMO crops by preventing the growth of new seed, but in this case you would still get seed that could only be grow in desired areas. 

3. Optical Computing Developments
We had a trio of advances in optical computing this week. First, the smallest-ever silicon photonic beam-splitter has been demonstrated, designed by novel algorithms, measuring just 2.4 microns on a side, and promising faster on-chip communication and processing http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/silicon-photonics/. IBM announces new CMOS integrated silicon nanophotonics technology and new chips designed to work alongside electrical chips while transferring data at 100 Gbps (full HD movie in 2 seconds), first application in high end servers and data centers http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46839.wss. Layers of 2D graphene and boron nitride allow controlled propagation of confined light pulses (within the layered sheets) when a voltage is applied to the graphene http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/tuning-light-waves-with-2-d-materials-0520. 

4. Continuous Roll Production of Graphene
A new continuous roll-to-roll production method for manufacturing large sheets of graphene and possibly other 2D materials https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/manufacture-continuous-rolls-graphene-0521. At a rate of 2.5cm per minute the sheets are uniform and high-quality single-layer graphene; faster rates, up to 20x, still produce coated sheets but these are lower-quality with defects. While the process doesn’t yet produce sheets equal to the best batch-processing methods, different applications will have different quality requirements. Further improvements should result in improved quality and production speed. In related news a new 60% - 70% graphene ink formulation allows 3D printing of robust structures that retain many of graphene’s useful properties and used these as custom tissue scaffolds seeded with stem cells http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2015/05/printing-3D-graphene-structures-for-tissue-engineering.html. 

5. Towards a Periodic Table of Cells
New microfluidics technology can efficiently isolate single cells from a sample for analysis and when combined with new technology for single cell genomic analysis via cataloguing the mRNA expression profile of single cells is leading to an explosion in data and new knowledeg about different cell types in different tissues http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537416/single-cells-analyzed-at-unprecedented-scale/. This has resulted in identifying cells never seen before and recent studies such as a survey of 466 individual brain cells as a step towards a full cellular brain atlas, and mapping thousands of cells from a mouse brain to identify 47 different types. This is inching towards a periodic table of cells and a complete cellular map for the human body and their functions. In related news microfluidic techniques can now squeeze (immune) cells and force the introduction of desired antigens into them in order to create better and more effective vaccines out of the patient’s own cells http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cell-squeezing-device-vaccines-0522. 

6. Better Implants that Evade the Immune System
New studies indicate that the geometry of implanted devices significantly affects how the body and immune system will tolerate their presence http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/designing-better-medical-implants-0518. While the material is important their results suggest that larger, spherical devices are better able to maintain their function and avoid the buildup of scar tissue. 0.5mm spheres loaded with pancreatic islet cells to treat diabetic mice failed within a month, whereas 1.5mm spheres continued to function past six months. Similar performance improvement were observed in many materials and also in primates. This is a very interesting platform for introducing novel living biosensors and living drug factories into people. 

7. Wearable Muscle Sensors with MyoWare
A new muscle sensor designed to be temporarily stuck on to your skin above the muscle group that you want to use can be used to trigger commands in various electronic devices and is currently available via kickstarter http://www.coolwearable.com/myoware-muscle/. This is related to the Myo gesture control armband that I’ve been keen to try out and I’d be tempted to back the kickstarter myself if the device came with bluetooth and could interface with my phone. I’m looking forward to further miniaturisation that allows these sensors and their wireless transmitters to be implanted and to take higher resolution readings. 

8. Designing a New Molecular Pump
The first entirely artificial molecular pump has been designed in which molecules pump other molecules http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/05/nature-inspires-first-artificial-molecular-pump-.html. The pump works via simple chemical reactions, driving molecules step by step up higher energy states and away from a natural equilibrium. The basic architecture involves a ring-shaped molecule that moves along a molecular thread or chain, storing energy as it does so by moving multiple rings towards one end. An interesting research novelty for now the ultimate goal is to have these little molecular machines power nanoscale devices, muscles, and perhaps perform computational operations. 

9. Learning Robots & Machines with Complex Goals
New deep learning algorithms enable some robots to learn new tasks via trial and error without pre-programmed details about the environment http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/05/21/deep-learning-robot-masters-skills-via-trial-and-error/. A variety of tasks were successfully tested including putting a hanger on a rack, assembling a toy, screwing a cap on a bottle, and others, with learning times averaging 10 minutes to 3 hours depending on the level of complexity. In related news a reinforcement learning approach has demonstrated game-playing software that is capable of creating a hierarchy of goals while working towards a delayed reward http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/05/keen-software-house-makes-ai-that-can.html. 

10. Non-Mechanical Laser Scanner
DARPA has demonstrated its SWEEPER technology for enabling drastically improved LIDAR applications http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2015/05/21.aspx. Unlike conventional LIDAR devices SWEEPER does not require mechanical components and instead exploits silicon-based on-chip optical phased array technology that can sweep a laser beam back and forth 100,000 times per second. This is expected to enable LIDAR systems that are drastically miniaturised and extremely low-cost. Given LIDAR systems in autonomous vehicles are one of the most expensive components in an autonomous vehicle the benefits for a diverse array of applications are immense. A future version of Project Tango could even have one of these devices. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/yeast-opiate-production-crispr-gmo.html ___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-05-23 05:11:58 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-04-19 13:15:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 16/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/bigger-immune-responses-probabilistic.html 

Bigger immune responses, Probabilistic computer vision, Self-powered camera, Quantum bits in silicon, CRISPR controls epigenetics, Laser perovskites, Multi-cameras, Metamaterial energy harvesting, Lots of robots, Accessible cell therapies. 

1. Engineering a Broader Immune Response Against Cancer.
A new discovery allows a much broader immune response to be generated against different types of cancer than was previously possible http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/using-entire-immune-system-halts-tumor-growth-0414. This works by activating both the adaptive and the innate immune systems at the same time by conjugating interleukin 2 molecules to antibodies that target specific cancer cells. In tests tumours disappeared completely in up to 90% of mice and when tumour cells were reintroduced they were quickly destroyed by the immune system. 

2. Computer Vision with Probabilistic Programming.
New probabilistic programming techniques can in many cases produce effective code that accomplishes in 50 lines of code what normally takes many thousands of lines of code http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/better-probabilistic-programming-0413. This is a result of making machine learning applications easier to build - probabilistic programming was developed to quickly utilise machine learning techniques that have worked elsewhere. Example applications include taking 2D pictures of faces and accurately reproducing 3D models of those faces. 

3. A Self-Powered Camera.
A self-powered camera has been developed that, as the name implies, doesn’t require any power to function via a photodiode image sensor that also harvests light energy http://www.cs.columbia.edu/CAVE/projects/self_powered_camera/. This is essentially combining the functions of a solar panel and image sensor into one device that switches operation - capturing energy at one point in time in order to power the device to capture image information the next. Check out the videos - this camera can currently record an image per second. Imagine passive cameras saturating the environment that record events and never need to be recharged or connected to power. 

4. Electrical Control of Quantum Information in Silicon. 
Quantum information has been encoded in silicon using electrical pulses for the first time https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/breakthrough-opens-door-affordable-quantum-computers. This group has been working in the space for a while now and has steadily improved the technology; from the first single atom qubits in silicon to improved control to long qubit lifetimes and now to control via electric fields. Using existing silicon-based chip fabrication methods might just enable manufacturing quantum computers in future. 

5. Using CRISPR to Control Epigenetics.
CRISPR can now be used to directly target and modify epigenetic changes in the genome http://pratt.duke.edu/news/pulling-strings-our-genomic-puppetmasters. To accomplish this the Cas9 enzyme was modified to remove the DNA-cutting region, which was replaced with another enzyme for transferring acetyl groups to DNA. This allows precise targeting and control of specific gene promoters and enhancers to control gene activity; remember each cell contains the same genome, it’s just a matter of which genes are switched on or off that give rise to differences. For the first time promoters and enhancers can be probed and characterised in such an effective way. 

6. Perovskites Now Made into Lasers.
Perovskite compounds are one of the most exciting materials in solar photovoltaics at the moment, and the same properties that make them effective in this application apparently also make them promising for lasers http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/devices/perovskite-leads-to-100percent-efficient-nanowire-lasers. A simple method can make perovskite crystals that function as high-efficiency, ultra-small nanowire lasers. Under testing these lasers demonstrate some of the best performance criteria of any lasing material, including near 100% efficiency in which every photon that the material absorbs is used to produce a photon of laser light. 

7. NextGen Photography with Multi-Camera Modules.
A company called Light is launching new camera modules comprised of multiple lenses and image sensors that all fire simultaneously to produce images that are combined into a higher-resolution, higher-quality final image with adjustable focus http://www.technologyreview.com/news/536816/a-way-to-get-much-higher-resolution-selfies/. The first Light cameras are expected in smartphones by 2016, boasting a resolution of 52-megapixels, and along with other improvements hopefully squeeze the quality of an expensive DSLR camera into smaller, cheaper devices. This is like advanced space telescopes that combine images from multiple devices to produce much clearer images; I think it is a great idea. 

8. Metamaterial Energy Harvesting from Light.
New metamaterial designs have resulted in surfaces that are able to absorb 93% of incident electromagnetic waves they have been tuned to, which is significantly higher than classical antennas http://www.aip.org/publishing/journal-highlights/harvesting-energy-electromagnetic-waves & http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/106/15/10.1063/1.4916232. In this case the light was from the 3 GHz spectrum, but the group hope to extend these capabilities with related designs into the infrared and ultimately visible spectrum. Applications for the current capability includes efficient wireless power transfer for devices and chips. 

9. Lots of Cool New Robots.
We had a whole bunch of new robots this week. First, an innovative robotic kitchen and cooking robot from Moley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnUDhjG95jI. Second, in line with Baxter and others yet another collaborative dual-armed manufacturing robot called YuMi https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=115&v=2KfXY2SvlmQ - lots of competition in this space. Third, a nurse robot able to accurately insert needles into arm veins to inject drugs or take blood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpdTeGPruFA. Four, a taste of things to come for the DARPA robotics trial https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=43&v=L4B5BhDoS9o. Five, solar-powered flying bird-robot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9lIkY74n0. 

10. Accessible Cell Therapies.
RepliCel Life Sciences bill themselves as a regenerative medicine company and are developing - and plan to sell - a couple of cell therapies including treatments for (i) chronic tendinosis to improve healing of tendons, and (ii) baldness to encourage and improve hair growth https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/04/the-low-hanging-fruit-of-cell-therapy-development.php. These areas are considered “low-hanging-fruit” and aim to provide / introduce cells into areas of the body that have become deficient in certain cell types, for example, isolating hair follicles as a cell source, massively amplifying these cells to large numbers, and reintroducing them to the patient via injection to the appropriate areas. In animals the approach caused hair to grow in places it normally doesn’t, or made hair thicker in places it does. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/bigger-immune-responses-probabilistic.html ___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-04-13 09:39:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 15/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/artificial-kidney-membrane-nanoscale-3d.html

Artificial kidney membrane, tissue engineered gonads, nanotube computing, 3D imaging chip, Nanoscale 3D imaging, Simpler CRISPR, Maintaining youthful stem cells, Tactile manipulators, Acoustic cell isolation, Acoustic metamaterials. 

1. Living Artificial Kidney Membrane.
In a similar vein to recent efforts in microfluidics to develop “organs on a chip” artificial membranes can now be produced that are coated by a living monolayer of kidney cells http://phys.org/news/2015-04-kidney-membrane.html. The primary application the group is pursuing relates to kidney transplants and dialysis treatments by ultimately scaling the device up to achieve clinical relevance. One can imaging rolling layers of membranes with relevant cells into tubes to form an artificial kidney or other organ system - artificial organs and tissue engineering needn’t be limited to conventional biological architectures. I also like the idea of controlled cell membranes in general; they might be programmed to mass produce any biological product of interest. 

2. Tissue Engineering: Artificial Testicles.
In related tissue engineering news we had an interesting article this week about the ongoing development of artificial testicles capable of producing functional sperm http://www.vice.com/read/the-science-of-artificial-testicles. The current (complex) device is designed to mimic the complex inner structure of testicles and the primary applications in mind are for aiding men struggling with infertility for a range of reasons to have children via IVF. The key here is engineering the right environment to naturally stimulate stem cells - convincing them that they are part of a testicle - to divide and differentiate into sperm cells, to take tissue engineering to the point of creating a sperm-making machine. 

3. Carbon Nanotube Computing.
Circuits made of carbon nanotubes take another step closer to fruition with a simple, scalable method to remove metallic carbon nanotubes from arrays and leaving the desired semiconducting nanotubes behind to do work http://phys.org/news/2015-04-purify-arrays-single-walled-carbon-nanotubes.html. Making defined arrays of nanotubes into circuits can already be done but until now making these circuits functional by removing metallic carbon nanotubes has not been possible. In related news carbon nanotube and polymer composites, inherently disordered bulk materials, can nevertheless be trained to produce a desired electronic output (mimicking a particular electronic circuit) as part of a process of materials evolution http://phys.org/news/2015-04-single-walled-carbon-nanotube-composites-great.html; understanding how these structures form might be very useful http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2015/0409-engineers-now-understand-how-complex-carbon-nanostructures-form/.   

4. Chip-Based 3D Imaging for Devices.
A new millimeter-scale silicon chip incorporates a nanophotonic coherent imager - in which each pixel is an independent interferometer able to measure both intensity and distance information - that works as part of a LIDAR system to generate 3D images of objects in realtime http://www.caltech.edu/news/new-camera-chip-provides-superfine-3-d-resolution-46425. These are just begging to be incorporated into smartphones, Kinect / Leap Motion devices, and autonomous vehicles to name a few; remember one of the major expenses on an autonomous vehicle is the LIDAR system - chips like this will slash these costs. I wonder if the chip might be used in a different set-up to emit rather than capture 3D images? 

5. Nanoscale Optical 3D Imaging.
In related 3D imaging news, but this time at the nanoscale, a new imaging technology combining cathodoluminescence and tomography allows the use of visible light to generate nanometer resolution three-dimensional images of nanoscale objects http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/april/nano-3d-imaging-040715.html. The technique takes many 2D images at many angles and uses algorithms to stitch these together to generate and identify the 3D structure of the object. There is a nice embedded video overview of the process. This is a nice new imaging platform that I’d expect to see used in many fundamental research investigations over time; the team quote applications in producing optimised and more efficient LEDs and photovoltaic materials. 

6. Simpler Mini CRISPR.
As if CRISPR couldn’t get any easier. The CRISPR gene editing toolkit has been expanded with a new Cas9 enzyme that is encoded by a gene that is only 75% of the size of the conventional Cas9 gene http://www.nature.com/news/mini-enzyme-moves-gene-editing-closer-to-the-clinic-1.17234. This makes the overall genetic package require to be inserted into cells that much smaller and that much easier / more effective to insert. This is particularly important for gene therapy approaches in which you typically need to package genes into a small virus particle. In proof-of-concept experiments the team used the new technique to successfully transfect the livers of mice and get a test gene into 40% of liver cells in one go - a pretty good result for somatic cell genetic modification. 

7. Maintaining Youthful Stem Cell Activity with Age.
New experiments in mice show that removing just two factors known as TIMP1 and TIMP3 (Tissue Inhibitors of MetalloProteinases) was enough to maintain tissue (breast tissue in this demonstration) in a youthful state in aged mice https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/04/loss-of-timp1-and-timp3-maintains-youthful-stem-cell-activity-in-aging-mice.php. With age tissue loses its ability to develop and repair due to a decline in the stem cell population. Removal of TIMP1 & 3 led to an expansion in the pool of stem cells, the maintenance of consistently high levels, and their remaining functional throughout the life of the mice, and all without an increased predisposition to cancer (which was originally predicted). I wonder when we might see the results of, e.g., RNAi knock-down of TIMP1 & 3 in humans?

8. Sensitive Robot Manipulators.
A couple of interesting advances in robotic hands enabling more sensitive manipulations this week. First, engineering new robotic hands that are much more touch sensitive by using touch sensors interacting with myriad different materials to build a “language” of touch that both a computer and human can understand and interpret http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/robotictouch.jsp?WT.mc_id=USNSF_51, with the hope this results in prosthetics that provide a genuine human touch experience to amputees. Second, the use of shape-memory alloys (wires) as muscle fibers in lightweight robotic and prosthetic hands and limbs http://www.kurzweilai.net/an-artificial-hand-that-can-respond-sensitively-thanks-to-muscles-made-of-shape-memory-wires and leveraging useful properties such as the highest energy density of all known drive mechanisms. 

9. Isolating Circulating Tumour Cells with Sound.
Building on work first demonstrated last year a group has developed an even better (20 times faster) microfluidic cell sorting chip powered by two acoustic transducers that produce a standing wave along the microchannel http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/sound-waves-detect-rare-cancer-cells-0406. It turns out that cancer cells and normal cells respond differently to the sound gradient due differences in compressibility and other factors. In tests 83% of cancer cells were isolated samples with as few as 1 cancer cell per 100,000 and blood samples from real cancer patients were successfully analysed. The order-of-magnitude improvement from last year makes the device clinically relevant. 

10. Acoustic Metamaterials.
On the topic of acoustic technology there were two interesting acoustic metamaterial advances this week http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/new-industrial-bubble-wrap-material-and.html. First, a bubble metascreen comprised of a 4mm thick rubber film with embedded bubbles can dampen sound and especially reflected sonar signals by 10,000 times - 100 times better than thought possible. Second, another acoustic metamaterial dubbed a phononic crystal can, when coated onto an object, cause sound waves hitting that object to flow around its surface without being reflected. 

Archive:_ http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/artificial-kidney-membrane-nanoscale-3d.html___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-04-11 01:17:44 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Epic indie movie

ALGORITHM: The Hacker Movie: https://youtu.be/6qpudAhYhpc

Epic indie movie

ALGORITHM: The Hacker Movie: https://youtu.be/6qpudAhYhpc___

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2015-04-08 11:19:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

What music do you hypnotize yourself with?

Recent Song Discoveries

Just a half dozen songs I've discovered relatively recently from artists I've never heard of before and really gotten into. As I've gotten older I've found it becomes quite difficult to discover new music to really get into and so, thinking others might be in the same boat I thought I'd share this little playlist.

As they say, there's no accounting for taste, and it might not be your thing but it'd be great if you could share a few recent (last six months or so) songs from relatively unknown groups that you've also gotten into. And which myself and others might too. 

For those that don't know, my favourite artist of all time is Maynard James Keenan and pretty much everything he turns his hand to. With Eminem in second place. But other than that my musical tastes are all over the place and include everything from Beethoven's Fur Elise through to Fear Factory's Replica. ___What music do you hypnotize yourself with?

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2015-04-08 08:27:48 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"In the Israeli experiment, 10-week-old mice were fed a daily dose of aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. Another cluster of mice were given water laced with one of two natural sugars, glucose or sucrose. After 11 weeks, the mice receiving sugar were doing fine, whereas the mice fed artificial sweeteners had abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) levels, an indication that their tissues were having difficulty absorbing glucose from the blood. Left unchecked, this “glucose intolerance” can lead to a host of health problems, including diabetes and a heightened risk of liver and heart disease. But it is reversible: after the mice were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics to kill all their gut bacteria, the microbial population eventually returned to its original makeup and balance, as did blood glucose control."

“These bacteria are not agnostic to artificial sweeteners,” sayscomputa... more »

"In the Israeli experiment, 10-week-old mice were fed a daily dose of aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. Another cluster of mice were given water laced with one of two natural sugars, glucose or sucrose. After 11 weeks, the mice receiving sugar were doing fine, whereas the mice fed artificial sweeteners had abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) levels, an indication that their tissues were having difficulty absorbing glucose from the blood. Left unchecked, this “glucose intolerance” can lead to a host of health problems, including diabetes and a heightened risk of liver and heart disease. But it is reversible: after the mice were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics to kill all their gut bacteria, the microbial population eventually returned to its original makeup and balance, as did blood glucose control."

“These bacteria are not agnostic to artificial sweeteners,” says computational biologist Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, one of the two scientists leading the study. The investigators also found that the microbial populations that thrived on artificial sweeteners were the very same ones shown—by other researchers—to be particularly abundant in the guts of genetically obese mice."

Calories in do not equal calories out, ever, and the effects of calories vary depending on a number of factors, not least their role in nourishing, or not, our digestive symbionts.___

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2015-04-06 20:53:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Blueberries show promise as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder

Roughly 8 percent of people in the US suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Paxil, are the only currently-approved therapy, but their effectiveness is marginal. Researchers have found that blueberries could be an effective treatment.

Blueberries show promise as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder

Roughly 8 percent of people in the US suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Paxil, are the only currently-approved therapy, but their effectiveness is marginal. Researchers have found that blueberries could be an effective treatment.___

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2015-04-06 20:53:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science
Number 4 is awesome

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 14/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/bacterial-batteries-bacterial-digital.html

Bacterial batteries, Magnetic biosensors, Bacterial digital memory, 3D NAND chips, Magnetic BCI compass, DNA-protein lattice, Engineering chlorophylls, Machine vision advances, Brain function imaging, Molecular membrane transport. 

1. Bacterial Magnetic Batteries
Interesting new work on iron metabolising bacteria show that they use microscopic magnetite particles as a type of battery, loading and unloading electrons during the course of metabolism http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150326151654.htm. The cycle was repeated many times with iron-oxidising bacteria removing electrons during the day and iron-reducing bacteria adding electrons during the night to recharge the particles. The group speculate whether such a system might be used for toxic environmental cleanup, and whether other (industrially useful) bacteria might be engineered to do the same. I wonder whether this system can be co-opted as an implantable bio-battery for various devices? 

2. Magnetic Biosensors
On the topic of intersecting biology and magnetism a new biosensor has been developed that comprises a cylinder of hydrogel sandwiched between two small magnets in a device measuring only two micrometers http://www.nist.gov/pml/electromagnetics/20150327_gem_biochemical_sensor.cfm. The hydrogel is chemically altered to be sensitive to the parameter you wish to measure; in this example the hydrogel contracted or expanded depending on the pH. The expansion and contraction alters the distance between the two magnetic disks and this produced a change in the magnetic profile that was able to be determined via NMR or MRI readouts from anywhere - even deep within - the body. Future work will explore a range of functionalised hydrogels that respond to different parameters as well as different magnetic disk materials that produce different magnetic profiles and so might be used simultaneously with other sensors. 

3. Bacterial Digital Memory
This recent synthetic biology development involved engineering bacteria to be able to record data of events by writing and later reading DNA http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cbic.201500061/abstract. Using a DNA recombinase enzyme to power this cellular memory system integrates single stranded DNA into the bacterial genome in response to external signals, which can be read at a later time to determine whether and how often those signals - such as light in this case - were present. The memory storage was reversible and is a significant improvement over previous efforts. What signals might be useful to record inside your own cells for later read-out? 

4. High Density 3D NAND Memory Moves into Production
Intel and Micron announced that they are moving their new 3D NAND memory chip architecture into production this year http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/intel-and-micron-move-3d-nand-into-production. The architecture is based on a 32-layer design that should enable the equivalent of flash storage USB drives with 3.5 terabytes of storage or a standard 2.5 SSD with 10 terabytes of storage. I remember having a 4MB memory stick for on of my first digital cameras. Similar 3D chip efforts from Samsung, Toshiba, and SanDisk suggest that 3D memory chips are a reality and will soon be found in our devices. 

5. Brain Computer Interface Compass
Blind rats, which had a geomagnetic compass and microstimulator plugged into their brains via a brain-computer-interface, were able to incorporate this new location information and navigate a maze nearly as well as normal sighted rats http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-04/cp-wgc032615.php. The research team quoted that: this demonstrated that the mammalian brain is flexible even in adulthood--enough to adaptively incorporate a novel, never-experienced, non-inherent modality into the pre-existing information sources. In related news yet another brain computer interface allowed a man to control a prosthetic hand via thought http://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2015/March/0331BionicHand.php. 

6. DNA Self-Assembled Protein Lattice
Building on work for self-assembling nanoparticle lattices via complementary DNA binding the same group has demonstrated the ability to self-assemble protein lattices made out of one or two different proteins http://phys.org/news/2015-04-dna-protein-lattice.html. In the proof-of-concept study DNA was attached to two well-studied enzymes via click chemistry; with DNA radiating from their surfaces the enzymes maintained their normal structure and active enzymatic sites. When formed into a lattice the enzymes maintained their activity albeit with an expected reaction rate reduction due to the reactivity of the core of the lattice being dependent on molecular diffusion through the lattice. This is a pretty exciting platform for further development of new materials and applications.

7. Synthesising Molecules to Absorb any Solar Wavelength
One of the most thorough studies of chlorophyll molecules aimed at understanding from first principles how these structures absorb particular wavelengths of light has resulted in new capabilities in designing and synthesising new molecules able to absorb any desired visible wavelength http://phys.org/news/2015-04-scientists-molecules-absorb-sunlight-oranges.html. Give the group a compound found in a plant or bacterium and they can predict what wavelength it absorbs; tell the group you need a chlorophyll-like molecule able to absorb a specific wavelength and they can design and synthesise it for you. A next, but more complex step, would be to alter the synthetic enzymes in bacteria or plants to have them produce the modified pigments. 

8. Machine Vision Technology Moves into Ever-More Areas
Machine vision technology is being cast into an ever-wider net of applications and in just this week alone we had another three interesting examples. First, the adaptation of machine vision systems developed for autonomous driving to home security applications able to distinguish between your pet (for example) and an intruder http://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/consumer-electronics/gadgets/autonomous-vehicle-technologies-migrate-to-the-internet-of-things. Second, the adaptation of machine vision systems to identify key anatomical features to assist surgeons in the near term (and robotic surgeons in the long?) http://www.wired.com/2015/03/google-robot-surgery/. Finally, the power of machine vision in studying and classifying galaxies http://www.technologyreview.com/view/536411/how-machine-vision-is-reinventing-the-study-of-galaxies/. 

9. Rapid Imaging of Brain Function
A new photoacoustic microscopy method is able to detect and record blood flow, blood oxygenation, and oxygen metabolism inside living brains orders of magnitude faster than ever before https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/rapid-imaging-living-brain.aspx. Spatial resolution also gets a big boost; in the study a mouse brain was mapped blood vessel by blood vessel and the team believe in future the technique will allow analysis of individual cells and complement fMRI. In related brain news a wikipedia of sorts for neurons has been launched http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2015/march/wikipedia-for-neurons.html. 

10. Molecular Membrane Transport
I like this approach to transporting water molecules across membranes using modular molecules termed “aquafoldamers” that form a regular helix through the membrane and creat a channel through which individual water molecules can flow through http://phys.org/news/2015-04-powered-proton-gradient-world-first-helical.html. This system is driven by a proton gradient that significantly lowers the pressure difference required to move water through the channels. While the team quote next generation water filtration and desalination membranes as applications I’m wondering whether the basic building blocks can be chemically altered to be selective for a range of small molecules and not just water. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/04/bacterial-batteries-bacterial-digital.html___#ScienceSunday #Science
Number 4 is awesome

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2015-03-29 19:47:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-03-29 19:22:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

A new phylum is born

> For the BionicANTs, Festo has not only transferred the delicate anatomy of ants, but also their cooperative behaviour to the world of technology. Like their natural role models, they communicate with each other and work together according to clear rules to solve a common task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFsMMToxxls More: http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/14252.htm
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-festo-bionicants-tasks.html

via +Jeff Earls and +Phys.org ___A new phylum is born

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2015-03-29 19:18:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science
3, 8, and 9 are interesting to me

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 13/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/nanoparticles-stimulating-neurons.html

Nanoparticles stimulating neurons, Nanotubes stimulating neurons, Bioprocessing aptamer hydrogels, Controlling circadian rhythms, Making CRISPR better, DNA nanofabrication, Festo’s insect robots, Magnetic heat & sound, Nanolasers & photonic guides, Plasma shielding. 

1. Stimulating Neurons with Gold Nanoparticles.
A promising new technique for precisely stimulating neurons has been developed that involves coupling gold nanoparticles to other molecules that specifically bind to neuronal sodium channels without blocking them http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/03/12/new-technique-uses-light-take-genetics-out-optogenetics. When irradiated with light of a specific wavelength the gold nanoparticles heat up and this causes the channels to open up and initiate a signalling cascade; antibodies were also used to bind the particles to different neuronal channels. The particles also remained bound to the cell surface and the neurons didn’t suffer reduced signalling efficacy after prolonged and repeated artificial activation. Referred to as optogenetics without the genetics, future applications might include artificial vision restoration. A very flexible platform with different nanoparticles perhaps responding to different wavelengths of light and so potentially allowing simultaneous addressable signals; I wonder if they can signal output in a similar fashion too? Other nanoparticles sensitive to radio waves have also been shown to open up the blood brain barrier http://www.nouvelles.umontreal.ca/udem-news/news/20150325-nanorobotic-agents-open-the-blood-brain-barrier-offering-hope-for-new-brain-treatments.html. 

2. Carbon Nanotube Fibers Interface with the Brain.
In related neuronal stimulation news, carbon nanotube fibers have been developed that allow for intimate two-way brain stimulation and measurement and have proven superior to metal electrodes http://news.rice.edu/2015/03/25/carbon-nanotube-fibers-make-superior-links-to-brain-2/. The fibers measure one quarter the width of a human hair, terminate at a functional tip about the width of a neuron, and are made by wet-spinning millions of carbon nanotubes together. The strength and conductivity of the fibers are certainly attractive, but what convinced the group to pursue this avenue was their flexibility, softness, and biocompatibility. The plan is to develop the platform into deep-brain-stimulation applications at first before exploring other possibilities. 

3. Bioprocessing with Hydrogels and DNA Aptamers.
A new microfluidic system comprises flexible fins capped with DNA aptamers that are embedded in a hydrogel able to respond to different stimuli https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2015/03/catching-and-releasing-tiny-molecules. When a biological solution is run through the chip, the aptamers bind to the target molecule they were designed for, and when the stimulus is applied the hydrogel moves the aptamers into a different environment to release the molecules; thus specific molecules can be quickly sorted and separated from a complex solution. The proof-of-concept involved pulling the thrombin enzyme from a mixture of proteins. The hydrogel can be made sensitive to temperature, light, electric/magnetic fields, ionic gradients, etc while the aptamers can be specifically targeted and respond to pH, temperature, and salt. Seems like a nice, modular, and extensible technology with lots of applications. 

4. Controlling Circadian Rhythms and Improving Sleep Cycles.
A couple of interesting studies this week provided insights into the control of circadian rhythms in the brain and improving sleep, a summary of both can be found here http://www.kurzweilai.net/neuroscientists-identify-key-cell-type-in-the-brain-that-controls-body-clock. First, a key group of neurons were identified in the suprachiasmatic nucleus that produce a signalling neuropeptide called neuromedin S, which is both necessary and sufficient for the control of circadian rhythms in the animal; this provides an interesting target to hack. Second, the latest evidence for artificial light, particularly blue light, having a negative impact on our sleep and health has been demonstrated and makes a strong case for limiting the exposure of such light before sleep. 

5. Increasing CRISPR Efficiency Eightfold.
A new development of the CRISPR genetic engineering system results in the system being eight times more efficient at inducing genetic modifications in cells https://www.mdc-berlin.de/44343169/en/news/2015/20150325-mdc_researchers_greatly_increase_precision. The advance was made possible by introducing genetic elements that inhibit one of two methods of DNA strand repair, which are (i) homology-directed repair in which introduced genetic elements contain flanking DNA used as a template to splice the cut, and (ii) non-homologous end-joining in which free DNA ends are joined without a template and tiny deletions occur. Basically, the new system inhibits (ii) from occurring and so making it far more likely that (i) will work to incorporate your genetic change of interest. In tests up to 60% of all cells were modified in one go with the new system, something that holds promise for effective and widespread somatic cell engineering at some point. 

6. DNA Origami & DNA Modular 3D Building Units.
DNA origami and DNA as a programmable molecular building material took another important step forward this week with a new approach to joining and modular 3D DNA building units by snapping together complementary shapes http://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/short/article/32303/. This group has been a powerhouse in pushing DNA origami technology over the years. The new work programs DNA to self-assemble into 3D building blocks that are precisely shaped to fit together by incorporating the short-range binding mechanism known as nucleobase stacking that can snap multiple blocks together; currently the platform allows three different binding mechanisms to be used. The team used this platform to build micrometer sized filaments and nanoscale machines with moving parts, including nanoscale actuators able to switch or cycle between states orders of magnitude more often and more stably than any prior DNA origami technology. 

7. Festo Robotics Continue to Impress.
Festo is an incredible innovative company that continually produces amazing robots that have previously included a kangaroo, seagull, dragonfly, air jellies, and others. This week it showed off its latest insectoid additions, cooperative ant robots with 3D printed bodies and electronics are able to operate autonomously or work together to achieve goals, and truly elegant butterfly robots that really have to be seen to be appreciated http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/festo-bionic-ants-and-butterflies - be sure to check the videos. In related robotics news a new Amazon contest hopes to spur faster and more efficient robotics automation in warehouses http://www.technologyreview.com/news/536086/amazon-robot-contest-may-accelerate-warehouse-automation/. 

8. Controlling Heat and Sound with Magnets.
Vibrations through 3D materials, known as acoustic phonons that propagate both heat and sound, have been shown for the first time to possess magnetic properties that allow them to be manipulated with magnetism http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/for-first-time-reseachers-demonstrate-heat-and-sound-are-magnetic. In one proof-of-concept the team demonstrated they could reduce the amount of heat flowing through a semiconductor by 12%. Using the technique heat and sound waves can be steered magnetically, which is an interesting result and a new phenomenon to manipulate. But the experimental setup was precise and it isn’t obvious how immediate applications might be developed. 

9. Nanolasers and Photonic Guides.
One of the most efficient, easy to build, and compatible nanolasers ever build has been fabricated out of a monolayer sheet of tungsten diselenide atop a standard optical cavity base that is hoped to enable the device to more easily integrate and speed-up modern electronics http://www.kurzweilai.net/a-nanolaser-and-a-bendable-light-material-promise-to-speed-up-microelectronic-devices. Also, mentioned in the same article in related news is the fabrication of a 3D printed spatially-variant photonic crystal able to bend light around tight 90 degree corners without the losses that would occur in conventional fibers and other materials; yet another enabling photonic feature able to benefit improvements in modern electronics. 

10. Dynamically Generated Plasma to Dampen Shockwaves.
Boeing has developed (or at least filed a patent on) a technology able to dynamically generate plasmas able to mitigate or prevent damage from shockwaves caused by nearby explosive blasts for example http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/military/boeing-files-patent-for-electromagnetic-arc-generator-to-protect-against-explosive-shockwaves. The system detects an explosion nearby and calculates when and where-from the shockwave will arrive, then uses an electromagnetic arc generator (and a LOT of energy) to heat a specific region of air in the path of the shockwave into a plasma able to attenuate or absorb the shockwave. Patents don’t get granted without demonstrating enablement and I do wonder if we’ll get to see this system successfully demonstrated. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/nanoparticles-stimulating-neurons.html___#ScienceSunday #Science
3, 8, and 9 are interesting to me

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2015-03-27 23:27:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Google To Build Robotic Surgery Platform With Johnson & Johnson

Google and Johnson & Johnson have announced that the will team up to develop an advanced, robot-assisted surgery platform. The team effort will involve “capabilities, intellectual property and expertise” from both companies, and will involve Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, maker of medial devices.

#google  
#robotics  

Google To Build Robotic Surgery Platform With Johnson & Johnson

Google and Johnson & Johnson have announced that the will team up to develop an advanced, robot-assisted surgery platform. The team effort will involve “capabilities, intellectual property and expertise” from both companies, and will involve Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, maker of medial devices.

#google  
#robotics  ___

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2015-03-22 18:38:55 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

The Future Of Voice-Activated AI Sounds Awesome

Voice recognition gets freakishly good. It used to be that voice recognition always fell short of our expectations, but there have been some recent major technology breakthroughs that have cracked the code on speech recognition. In the past 18 months, commercial speech recognition technologies have seen a dramatic 30 percent improvement. To put that into perspective, that’s a bigger gain in performance than we’ve seen in the past 15 years combined. These improvements are in part being driven by deep learning approaches combined with massive data sets.

Today however,  due to the emergence of a small but growing number of cloud based APIs like MindMeld, it’s now possible for developers to build an intelligent voice interface for any app or website without requiring an advanced degree in natural language processing.

The Future Of Voice-Activated AI Sounds Awesome

Voice recognition gets freakishly good. It used to be that voice recognition always fell short of our expectations, but there have been some recent major technology breakthroughs that have cracked the code on speech recognition. In the past 18 months, commercial speech recognition technologies have seen a dramatic 30 percent improvement. To put that into perspective, that’s a bigger gain in performance than we’ve seen in the past 15 years combined. These improvements are in part being driven by deep learning approaches combined with massive data sets.

Today however,  due to the emergence of a small but growing number of cloud based APIs like MindMeld, it’s now possible for developers to build an intelligent voice interface for any app or website without requiring an advanced degree in natural language processing.___

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2015-03-22 18:20:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Here comes the age of the Sun

Solar Electricity will generate $5 trillion of cumulative revenue by 2035 and break into industrial markets per Deutsch Bank

Deutsch Bank expects solar electricity to become competitive with retail electricity in an increasing number of markets globally due to declining solar panel costs as well as improving financing and customer acquisition costs. Unsubsidized rooftop solar electricity costs between $0.08-$0.13/kWh, 30-40% below retail price of electricity in many markets globally. In markets heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation, the ratio of coal based wholesale electricity to solar electricity cost was 7:1 four years ago. This ratio is now less than 2:1 and could likely approach 1:1 over the next 12-18 months.

#solar  
#solar_power  ___Here comes the age of the Sun

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2015-03-22 18:11:53 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

YouTube's 360-degree video could mean big things for VR

YouTube just got way more dimensional. The world's most popular video site now supports 360-degree videos, allowing users to click through scenes — or just tilt a mobile device — to get a broader look at what's happening around the focal point.

#virtualreality  

YouTube's 360-degree video could mean big things for VR

YouTube just got way more dimensional. The world's most popular video site now supports 360-degree videos, allowing users to click through scenes — or just tilt a mobile device — to get a broader look at what's happening around the focal point.

#virtualreality  ___

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2015-03-22 18:10:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Heading toward an app free experience

But a more open Google Now has the potential to make your phone more than just an okay personal assistant. It could put everything you care about in your digital life on a single screen instead of spread across dozens of disparate apps.

Heading toward an app free experience

But a more open Google Now has the potential to make your phone more than just an okay personal assistant. It could put everything you care about in your digital life on a single screen instead of spread across dozens of disparate apps.___

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2015-03-22 18:06:12 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Moving from the Era of Mobile to the Age of Context?

Looking forward to the next 5 year though, I personally believe we will move from the Era of Mobile to the Age of Context.

Moving from the Era of Mobile to the Age of Context?

Looking forward to the next 5 year though, I personally believe we will move from the Era of Mobile to the Age of Context.___

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2015-03-22 17:28:26 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday #Science

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 12/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/consciousness-is-global-clip-3d.html

Consciousness is global, CLIP 3D printing, Neuromorphic optical computing, Silicon photonic switches, DNA molecular transport, Magnetised graphene, More drone advances, Robotic arms, Targeted nucleic acids, Nanoparticles click. 

1. Network Theory and Global Consciousness.
Recent brain imaging studies strongly suggest that consciousness, our rich conscious experience, is indeed a global rather than local phenomenon in the brain http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/213466/. Network or graph theory was used in this case to examine the links between various parts of the brain that were related to conscious awareness; in this case subjects reported when they were aware of a small disk flashed briefly on a screen while an fMRI scanner imaged the activity of their brains. The data suggested that the whole of the brain became more functionally connected following reports of awareness. This would also appear to provide experimental support for Tononi’s Integrate Information Theory of Consciousness. 

2. CLIP Optical 3D Printing Technology.
If you missed this one this week you were living under a rock - everyone was sharing and watching the amazing new 3D printing technology unveiled by Carbon3D this week http://3dprint.com/51566/carbon3d-clip-3d-printing. CLIP stands for Continuous Liquid Interface Production and involves the use of a projector to programmably solidify discrete regions of a UV-curable liquid resin as the growing part is pulled out of the resin bath. This is forming solid structures in three dimensions continuously, without a print-head, and is 25x to 100x faster than conventional approaches on the market. A potentially transformative technological evolution, only now emerging from stealth-mode after heavy venture backing. Oh, and it does 1 micron resolution too; be sure to watch the videos if you haven’t already. In related news commercial interests develop open-source algorithms for better 3D printing https://www.llnl.gov/news/america-makes-taps-lawrence-livermore-ge-develop-open-source-algorithms-3d-printing. 

3. Brain-Like Computing with Light.
Microofibers produced from chalcogenide glasses possess a range of optical properties that allow them to be used to replicate a range of equivalent neuron and brain functions and signal protocols http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2015/mar/15_45.shtml#.VQo1Qv4mmyc. These can be thought of as photonic neurons that might one day enabled neuromorphic hardware with ultrafast signal transmission speeds, higher bandwidth and lower power consumption than their biological and electronic counterparts. The paper concluded: “we implemented an optical axon in an amorphous metal-sulphide microfiber that enables photonic synapses to perform analogues of fundamental neurophysiological functions of the mammalian central nervous system.” 

4. Large-Scale Silicon Photonic Switches.
In related photonics news the largest-ever silicon photonic switch has been developed, which enables higher bandwidth and lower energy losses http://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2015/largest-scale_silicon_photonic_switch_to_be_presen/. Previous photonic switches incorporated just 64 switching elements but the new design manages 2,500 and 10k should be feasible. Existing architectures would never be able to scale to this level due to optical losses, but the new architecture circumvents this problem by incorporating new MEMS switching element that can switch states 1,000 times faster than existing MEMS switches. Applications include computing, networking, data transmission and routing. 

5. Tethered DNA Origami for Molecular Transport.
Advancing on the work of DNA origami “walkers” to transport molecular cargo across a surface this latest work simplifies and accelerates the process by using a tethered DNA origami molecule that is free to swing around and facilitate rapid molecular transport across surfaces in conjunction with natural diffusions processes http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=39476.php. The concept here is to use partial compartmentalisation that is able to rectify and utilise brownian motion to advantage, and the embodiment was a 30nm atomically-precise DNA arm swinging a molecular cargo around on a 90nm x 60nm platform.  Future hurdles to overcome include interfacing with the outside world and other applications include structured DNA sensing and computing arrays. 

6. The Benefits of Magnetised Graphene.
A simple and robust method for magnetising graphene with hydrogen has been developed http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2015/nrl-researchers-pattern-magnetic-graphine. The magnetism can be controlled by adding or limiting the amount of hydrogenation, and a commercial electron-beam process can then etch away hydrogen to produce precisely defined magnetic patterns on the graphene. Applications include magnetic data storage of course, but it will be quite a stretch to see if they can actually achieve the million-fold improvement over current hard drives that they claim as “possible”. Tightly packed magnetic graphene might also make for much more powerful permanent magnets and this would also be worth exploring. In related news graphene quantum dots get better http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/optoelectronics/new-production-twist-for-graphene-quantum-dots-opens-up-applications. 

7. More Drone Advancements.
A few of interesting drone developments this week. First, drones can now be used to build high-resolution 3D scans of landmarks and larger areas http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535596/high-resolution-3-d-scans-built-from-drone-photos/, and as drone traffic and capabilities increase this might lead to high resultion 3D maps of the entire planet. Second, a new hybrid gas-electric drone has 13 times the range of a battery electric drone http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/03/hybrid-gas-electric-drone-has-13-times.html, with a flight time of 2.5 hours and a range of 100 miles, which is pretty damn amazing when you think about it. Finally, leading on from last week’s cockroaches, other researchers are flying beetles via remote control http://www.gizmag.com/remote-control-giant-flower-beetles/36588/. 

8. Easy-to-Program Robotic Arms Take Another Step.
A couple of important robot arm advances this week. First, Universal Robotics launched its new UR3 robotic arm in three different sizes http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/universal-robots-ur3-robotic-arm. This is an easy to program multi-articulated robotic arm for a wide range of repetitive tasks that is safe to work near humans. Rethink Robotics also followed up its previous Baxter robot by launching the new Sawyer Robot which is again an easy to program multi-articulated robotic arm (unlike Baxter’s two) that incorporates a range of improvements to make it smaller, faster, stronger, and more precise http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/sawyer-rethink-robotics-new-robot. It’s great to see competition heating up in this area and ongoing technical improvements delivering ever-better robotic capabilities. 

9. Targeted Nucleic Acid Drugs.
Nanoparticles (of gold or lipid in this case) that are coated with 100+ strands of DNA of specific sequence have been termed “spherical nucleic acids” and recently demonstrated very effective immunomodulatory properties http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/03/spherical-nucleic-acids-set-stage-for-new-paradigm-in-drug-development.html. The DNA is designed to target different cell receptors and in the this “spherical” form proves to be one of the most simple, efficient, and potent immunomodulators to be developed, with significant promise against cancer and autoimmune disorders. And also this week we had specific microRNAs being used in tissue regeneration, effectively - and temporarily - boosting cell proliferation to take the place of damaged tissue http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2015/03/morrisey/. 

10. Nanoparticulate Click Chemistry.
A tough choice for number ten this week, but I went with the deceptively simple and innocuous click chemistry technique developed for easily and controllably joining nanoparticles together and to other surfaces http://phys.org/news/2015-03-click-modern-chemistry-bonds-nanoparticles.html. Click-chemistries are usually used to precisely control the chemical connection of one molecule to another as part of a defined synthetic step, but in this work the concept was adapted to nanoparticles and allowing the quick and permanent bonding of nanoparticles together and to solid substrates. Think ordered arrays of different nanoparticles, even quantum dots, in defined patterns working to perform some function. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/consciousness-is-global-clip-3d.html ___#ScienceSunday #Science

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2015-03-18 02:35:29 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

NVIDIA Propels Deep Learning with 7 TeraFLOP flagship GPU TITAN X

NVIDIA CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang showcased three new technologies that will fuel deep learning during his opening keynote address to the 4,000 attendees of the GPU Technology Conference: 

* NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X – the most powerful processor ever built for training deep neural networks. 

* DIGITS Deep Learning GPU Training System – a software application that makes it far easier for data scientists and researchers to quickly create high-quality deep neural networks. 

* DIGITS DevBox – the world’s fastest deskside deep learning appliance — purpose-built for the task, powered by four TITAN X GPUs and loaded with the intuitive-to-use DIGITS training system. 

NVIDIA Propels Deep Learning with 7 TeraFLOP flagship GPU TITAN X

NVIDIA CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang showcased three new technologies that will fuel deep learning during his opening keynote address to the 4,000 attendees of the GPU Technology Conference: 

* NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X – the most powerful processor ever built for training deep neural networks. 

* DIGITS Deep Learning GPU Training System – a software application that makes it far easier for data scientists and researchers to quickly create high-quality deep neural networks. 

* DIGITS DevBox – the world’s fastest deskside deep learning appliance — purpose-built for the task, powered by four TITAN X GPUs and loaded with the intuitive-to-use DIGITS training system. ___

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2015-03-16 12:02:49 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-03-16 05:39:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 11/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html

Editing mammalian memories, Clearing sensecent cells, Interesting nanobacteria, Better cyborg cockroaches, Printing custom molecules, AFM neuron imaging, Magnetic brain stimulation, Flexible colour changes, Silicon fullerane, Farm in a box.

1. Editing Memories While Animals Sleep.
This week researchers demonstrated how to controllably modify certain memories stored in the brains of mice while they sleep http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/bionics/how-to-insert-a-memory-into-the-brain-of-a-sleeping-mouse. They accomplished this by (i) implanting electrodes into the hippocampus of the mouse and measuring the electrical activity while the mouse explored a new environment, correlating particular patterns of... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 11/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html

Editing mammalian memories, Clearing sensecent cells, Interesting nanobacteria, Better cyborg cockroaches, Printing custom molecules, AFM neuron imaging, Magnetic brain stimulation, Flexible colour changes, Silicon fullerane, Farm in a box.

1. Editing Memories While Animals Sleep.
This week researchers demonstrated how to controllably modify certain memories stored in the brains of mice while they sleep http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/bionics/how-to-insert-a-memory-into-the-brain-of-a-sleeping-mouse. They accomplished this by (i) implanting electrodes into the hippocampus of the mouse and measuring the electrical activity while the mouse explored a new environment, correlating particular patterns of activity with particular locations in the environment, and (ii) when the mouse slept and these particular patterns were again activated as part of sleep activity, the researchers stimulated another set of electrodes in another part of the brain responsible for reward and pleasure. This directly modified the memory and resulted in the mouse seeking out only those areas of the environment that were now associated with reward and pleasure. 

2. Senolytic Drugs for Clearing Senescent Cells.
Senescent cells that have stopped dividing accumulate with age and accelerate aging and healthspan in many animal models is enhanced by removing these cells. Two compounds - the cancer drug dasatinib and and natural compound quercetin - have been tested for this purpose in mice and resulted in a significant boost to healthspan http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2015/20150309agingcell.html. The mice benefited from a range of benefits including improved cardiovascular function, better exercise endurance, reduced osteoporosis, lower frailty, and typically with just a single dose - and with the benefits lasting seven months. Very keen to see this tested in humans as soon as possible. 

3. Confirming the Existence of Nanobacteria.
For the first time the existence of nanobacteria has been conclusively proven with demonstration of nanobacteria isolation, imaging, and sequencing http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/27/ultra-small-bacteria/. These functional bacterial species, which probably rely on other organisms for nutrients to some extent, were isolated from groundwater and found to measure just 200nm or less across; 150 of these could fit inside an E. Coli bacterial cell, and over 100,000 or more might fit inside a human cell. I read this and think of 100,000 little DNA computers churning along in just one of my cells; incidentally the genomes of the nanobacteria measure about one million basepairs in length. Might be a nice little hardware template for engineering to perform other functions within our bodies, entering and exiting cells - also wonder what overlap there is to Craig Venter’s minimal cell? 

4. Improved Interfacing and Control of Cyborg Cockroach Robots.
The development of cyborg insects took another step this week with a new system that improves over the method of inserting electrodes into insect antennae http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/105/20141363. The system still utilises a “backpack” containing communications, power, and computation, but now involves inserting electrodes far more intimately into the prothoracic ganglia of the prototype cockroaches, and allows remote operation and locomotion control. Limitations include line-of-sight operation but the group hopes to overcome this by incorporating additional sensors and on-board directional error-correction. 

5. 3D Printing Customised Small Molecules.
A new automated 3D printer is able to synthesise small molecules in a modular fashion - such devices are also known as chemputers or chemprinters http://www.hhmi.org/news/3d-printer-small-molecules-opens-access-customized-chemistry. As part of the proof-of-concept the team used a common set of chemical building blocks to controllably synthesise 14 distinct classes of small molecules. The work drew inspiration from cellular synthesis processes, and resulted in collection of hundreds of different, simple chemical building blocks that can be combined together repeatedly to produce more complex molecules; a company has been founded to commercialise. The promise is to one day have a chemical printer in your house able to synthesise any molecule on demand. In related news another new set of chemistries may expand these possibilities even further http://phys.org/news/2015-03-meta-technique-possibilities-molecular.html. 

6. Dynamic Imaging of Neurons with AFM.
A new long-tip atomic force microscopy technique has been developed for live-cell imaging at extremely high resolutions http://phys.org/news/2015-03-scientists-atomic-microscopy-imaging-nanoscale.html. The new device was used to produce images and movies of nanometer-scale morphological changes occurring in living cells, and showing structural changes in cells after exposure to insulin, as well as growing protrusions from hippocampal neuronal cells. Pretty mind-blowing stuff - movies of phenomena I never expected to be able to see. 

7. Stimulating the Brain with Magnetic Nanoparticles.
A new brain stimulation technique involves injecting iron oxide nanopaticles measuring 22 nm in diameter into the brain and then exposing specific regions to focused alternating magnetic fields http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/magnetic-brain-stimulation-0312. The applied magnetic field causes the nanoparticles to heat up, which quickly leads to activation of nearby neurons. This was a basic proof-of-concept study that originally emerged from cancer research that was using the nanoparticles to kill cancer cell in related regions; the nanoparticles can be heated to an amount sufficient to activate the neurons without harming them, and indeed have been used as MRI contrast enhancement agents for many years. A lot more work to be done however. 

8. Precise Forces on New Materials Produce Precise Colour Changes.
A new flexible materials reflects different wavelengths of light depending on how it is stretched and flexed http://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2015/engineers_create_chameleon-like_artificial_%E2%80%98skin%E2%80%99/. Taking inspiration from how some insects are coloured via nanoscale structural features that reflect certain wavelengths of light, this new material is a thin layer of silicon etched with rows of ridges that has been embedded into a silicone film. The ridges only reflect certain wavelengths of light and by flexing the material the distance between the ridges changes, as does the wavelength of light reflected - with 83% efficiency and able to convert green light to red for example. Further developments should improve this and allow for some pretty interesting applications. 

9. Mimicking Carbon Structures with Silicon: Fullerane.
The two-dimensional silicon analogue of graphene - known as silicene - has been previously demonstrated and is a hot area of research. Now silicon analogues of other three-dimensional carbon molecules have been demonstrated http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/materials/carbon-buckyballs-have-a-new-silicon-rival. Christened “fullerane” this molecule is comprised of a lone chlorine ion inside a cage of 20 silicon atoms that are attached to and surrounded by a halo of 12 other silicon atoms that are linked to a trio of chlorine atoms. The interesting thing here is that the chlorine-silicons provide functionalisation sites that can allow linking of other molecules or indeed to joining the silicon cages together in two- and three-dimensional arrays.

10. Latest Farm in a Box.
The latest farm-in-a-box builds on other farm-in-a-shipping container projects to create a very attractive unit http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/farm-box-produces-acres-worth-crops-shipping-container.html. The system uses 90% less water and 80% less fertiliser in a complete hydroponic growing and monitoring system that houses 2,800 growing spots in its 30 square meters, which might produce as much food as an entire acre of farmland. I’ve long been a fan of modular, automated food growing solutions such as this that, with the help of a few more technological iterations and cost reductions might really take off to enable more distributed, decentralised, and personal food production.  

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html ___

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