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Ward Plunet has been at 4 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google+13,938,621The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates. RSVP to this event to watch the broadcast live.A Morning with Google+2013-10-29 17:30:0033489  
Sarah Hill2,869,331Calling all inhabitants of the Ghost Town.   Let's #HIRL in Austin, TX!!!   (Hangout In Real Life). Hear how ★ Plusketeers are using the +Google+  platform to create their own #humanmedia posse and how 2013 could be the year for + Google +.  Our venue only holds 100 so you *must RVSP* early and email googleplus@vu.com if you'd like to join us for lunch. +Veterans United is picking up the tab for free food and drinks but you're ghosts...so you don't eat much right?  ♥♥♥   #SXSWHIRL  HIRL in Austin, TX2013-03-09 12:00:00242  
Blythe Metz292,713This is a Hangout On Air, 4pm PST or 7pm EST, with +Marc Stevens and +Bradford Lowry . Dr. Marc Stevens will be discussing  ways to stay healthy this holiday. Please feel free to post your questions on this events page, We will be answering those questions during the HOA (hangout On Air). Staying Healthy This Holiday with Nutrition2012-12-18 01:00:0065  
Fraser Cain985,660To celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover - the Mars Science Laboratory - we'll be running a special live hangout.  In conjunction with @106911959181067745693. We'll have all your favorite space/astronomy journalists on hand to discuss the mission in depth, and celebrate the landing live, when it happens. Join Fraser Cain, @109036978092446954908, @108952536790629690817 and @102887292457967781591 for this special event. Over the course of this 4-hour Google+ Hangout on Air, we'll interview members of the Curiosity team live in the hangout, as well as other special guests from the @111419948721791453320 and the @108759765804984663877. @109479143173251353583 and @107051665537162034944 will be on location at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to interview members of the engineering team, and show you what it's like to be at NASA during this amazing moment. We'll update this event as we lock down more of the guests and participants. See you there! You can follow the hashtag #marshangout   (this will replace our regular Sunday night @100902337165997768522)Google+ Hangout - Curiosity Landing Coverage2012-08-06 05:00:004830  

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

9
comments per post
13
reshares per post
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 62

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2017-05-24 15:30:19 (62 comments; 40 reshares; 242 +1s; )Open 

The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation

Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived. In the short term, this might be beneficial – clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

Most reshares: 40

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2017-05-24 15:30:19 (62 comments; 40 reshares; 242 +1s; )Open 

The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation

Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived. In the short term, this might be beneficial – clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

Most plusones: 343

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2017-05-19 16:14:03 (17 comments; 35 reshares; 343 +1s; )Open 

Exercising can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease

The evidence is clear. Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, says a panel of researchers and not-for-profit leaders, led by UBC's Okanagan campus. The researchers also confirmed that regular physical activity may improve the performance of daily activities for people afflicted with Alzheimer's. Their conclusions may have significant implications for the 1.1 million Canadians affected directly or indirectly by dementia. "As there is no current cure for Alzheimer's, there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of developing it and to help manage the symptoms," says study first author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences. "After evaluating all the research available, our panel agrees that... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2017-05-25 16:01:18 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

HTC’s new Link VR headset pairs with its U11 smartphone

HTC is unveiling a new VR headset today, designed to work with the company’s latest U11 smartphone. The new HTC Link includes six degrees-of-freedom tracking, a first for a smartphone-based VR headset, and appears to use an external camera sensor to track its motion controllers with lights (much like Sony’s PlayStation VR). UploadVR reports that both the camera and controllers are bundled in the box, but that the HTC Link will only be available in Japan. While the Link is designed for the U11, the VR headset includes two 3.6-inch 1080 x 1200 LCD displays with a 110 degree field of view and support for 90Hz refresh rate. That means the U11’s display won’t be housed within the Link headset itself, and both devices connect via a USB-C cable. It’s not clear why HTC is limiting this to just the Japanese market, but the companyis not usin... more »

HTC’s new Link VR headset pairs with its U11 smartphone

HTC is unveiling a new VR headset today, designed to work with the company’s latest U11 smartphone. The new HTC Link includes six degrees-of-freedom tracking, a first for a smartphone-based VR headset, and appears to use an external camera sensor to track its motion controllers with lights (much like Sony’s PlayStation VR). UploadVR reports that both the camera and controllers are bundled in the box, but that the HTC Link will only be available in Japan. While the Link is designed for the U11, the VR headset includes two 3.6-inch 1080 x 1200 LCD displays with a 110 degree field of view and support for 90Hz refresh rate. That means the U11’s display won’t be housed within the Link headset itself, and both devices connect via a USB-C cable. It’s not clear why HTC is limiting this to just the Japanese market, but the company is not using the Vive branding on this particular device.___

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2017-05-25 15:58:28 (6 comments; 5 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

Bouldering (a type of rock climbing) envisioned as new treatment for depression

A growing body of research suggests that bouldering, a form of rock climbing, can help build muscle and endurance while reducing stress—and a new study co-led by a University of Arizona doctoral student of psychology suggests that the activity also may be used to effectively treat symptoms of depression. UA researcher Eva-Maria Stelzer and Katharina Luttenberger of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg led a team that involved more than 100 individuals in a bouldering intervention in Germany, where some hospitals have begun to use climbing as a therapeutic treatment.

Bouldering (a type of rock climbing) envisioned as new treatment for depression

A growing body of research suggests that bouldering, a form of rock climbing, can help build muscle and endurance while reducing stress—and a new study co-led by a University of Arizona doctoral student of psychology suggests that the activity also may be used to effectively treat symptoms of depression. UA researcher Eva-Maria Stelzer and Katharina Luttenberger of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg led a team that involved more than 100 individuals in a bouldering intervention in Germany, where some hospitals have begun to use climbing as a therapeutic treatment.___

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2017-05-25 03:25:38 (1 comments; 4 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Russian group delivers the first unhackable quantum-safe blockchain

Quantum computing and the blockchain both get plenty of attention in 2017 but now researchers in Russia have combined the two to create what they claim is an unhackable distributed ledger platform. The new technology, described as the “first quantum-safe blockchain” promises to make it secure for organizations to transfer data without the fear of hacking from even the most powerful computers, in this case, the emerging field of quantum computing. Quantum computers, computers that make use of the quantum states of subatomic particles to store information and long the realm of science fiction, are close to being a reality today be it that some dispute whether we have actually reached that point yet. Companies such as Google Inc. though are promising that true quantum computing is just around the corner.

Russian group delivers the first unhackable quantum-safe blockchain

Quantum computing and the blockchain both get plenty of attention in 2017 but now researchers in Russia have combined the two to create what they claim is an unhackable distributed ledger platform. The new technology, described as the “first quantum-safe blockchain” promises to make it secure for organizations to transfer data without the fear of hacking from even the most powerful computers, in this case, the emerging field of quantum computing. Quantum computers, computers that make use of the quantum states of subatomic particles to store information and long the realm of science fiction, are close to being a reality today be it that some dispute whether we have actually reached that point yet. Companies such as Google Inc. though are promising that true quantum computing is just around the corner.___

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2017-05-25 01:00:25 (4 comments; 19 reshares; 91 +1s; )Open 

Cannabis derivative cannabidiol reduces seizures in severe epilepsy disorder

After years of anecdotal claims about its benefits, the cannabis derivative cannabidiol reduced seizure frequency by 39 percent for patients with Dravet syndrome - a rare, severe form of epilepsy - in the first large-scale randomized clinical trial for the compound. The findings were published online May 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Cannabidiol should not be viewed as a panacea for epilepsy, but for patients with especially severe forms who have not responded to numerous medications, these results provide hope that we may soon have another treatment option," says lead investigator Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. "We still need more research, but this new trial... more »

Cannabis derivative cannabidiol reduces seizures in severe epilepsy disorder

After years of anecdotal claims about its benefits, the cannabis derivative cannabidiol reduced seizure frequency by 39 percent for patients with Dravet syndrome - a rare, severe form of epilepsy - in the first large-scale randomized clinical trial for the compound. The findings were published online May 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Cannabidiol should not be viewed as a panacea for epilepsy, but for patients with especially severe forms who have not responded to numerous medications, these results provide hope that we may soon have another treatment option," says lead investigator Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. "We still need more research, but this new trial provides more evidence than we have ever had of cannabidiol's effectiveness as a medication for treatment-resistant epilepsy."___

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2017-05-25 00:27:02 (20 comments; 17 reshares; 250 +1s; )Open 

Wasted nutrients: The result of widespread food waste

The extent of food waste in America is a cause for serious concern. It is estimated that around 1,217 calories per person per day are squandered. A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looks beyond the caloric value of food waste and focuses on the nutritional value of the food we throw away. Investigators found that discarded food contains large amounts of key nutrients like vitamin D, fiber, and potassium that could help people get the food they need to meet their daily recommended intake. In 2014, 14% of American households suffered from food insecurity and an additional 5% experienced a shortage of resources that forced them to skip meals or reduce their food consumption. Across the population, Americans are not getting the recommended intakes of certain nutrients including dietary fiber; calcium;... more »

Wasted nutrients: The result of widespread food waste

The extent of food waste in America is a cause for serious concern. It is estimated that around 1,217 calories per person per day are squandered. A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looks beyond the caloric value of food waste and focuses on the nutritional value of the food we throw away. Investigators found that discarded food contains large amounts of key nutrients like vitamin D, fiber, and potassium that could help people get the food they need to meet their daily recommended intake. In 2014, 14% of American households suffered from food insecurity and an additional 5% experienced a shortage of resources that forced them to skip meals or reduce their food consumption. Across the population, Americans are not getting the recommended intakes of certain nutrients including dietary fiber; calcium; potassium; and vitamins A, C, D, and E. At the same time, Americans continue to waste food at an alarming rate throughout the food supply chain. It's estimated that 31-40% of the post-harvest food supply is discarded. This study was the first to demonstrate the substantial amount of nutrients, including many under-consumed nutrients, wasted due to food discarded at the retail and consumer levels of the U.S. food supply. Quantifying the loss can motivate related investments and support the case for registered dietitian nutritionist engagement with these efforts. The estimates can additionally serve as a baseline for tracking intervention impacts.
___

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2017-05-24 17:08:37 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

An Up-Close View of the Notorious APT32 Hacking Group in Action

The Notorious APT32: Also called OceanLotus Group, APT 32 is known for sophisticated attacks on private companies, foreign governments, journalists, and activists alike. The group’s known activity goes back to 2012, when the organization started attacking Chinese entities before expanding into hacks across Asia, including in Vietnam and the Philippines. And unlike other notorious groups, which tend to align at least indirectly with major state-sponsored hacking interests, APT32 often doesn’t adhere to the interests of prominent players like Russia or China.

An Up-Close View of the Notorious APT32 Hacking Group in Action

The Notorious APT32: Also called OceanLotus Group, APT 32 is known for sophisticated attacks on private companies, foreign governments, journalists, and activists alike. The group’s known activity goes back to 2012, when the organization started attacking Chinese entities before expanding into hacks across Asia, including in Vietnam and the Philippines. And unlike other notorious groups, which tend to align at least indirectly with major state-sponsored hacking interests, APT32 often doesn’t adhere to the interests of prominent players like Russia or China.___

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2017-05-24 16:51:52 (1 comments; 6 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Understanding and Implementing CycleGAN in TensorFlow

Transferring characteristics from one image to another is an exciting proposition. How cool would it be if you could take a photo and convert it into the style of Van Gogh or Picasso!

Understanding and Implementing CycleGAN in TensorFlow

Transferring characteristics from one image to another is an exciting proposition. How cool would it be if you could take a photo and convert it into the style of Van Gogh or Picasso!___

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2017-05-24 16:10:09 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

Maps for Unity: Location Based Games and Mapbox

This morning’s launch of Maps for Unity brings the full stack of location tools to the world’s most popular game development platform and shows that location and maps are the new building blocks for AR and VR games...Bringing location and maps to game developers is a big deal. Pokemon Go had maps because Niantic, the game’s creators, started as part of Google and the company is run by John Hankey — the former CEO of Google Maps. The maps in Pokemon Go were customized because John secured special access to Google’s proprietary datasets. No one else could have maps like that, until now. Today’s Mapbox release is not about just maps but is about location and how the gameplay matches the real world around you.

Maps for Unity: Location Based Games and Mapbox

This morning’s launch of Maps for Unity brings the full stack of location tools to the world’s most popular game development platform and shows that location and maps are the new building blocks for AR and VR games...Bringing location and maps to game developers is a big deal. Pokemon Go had maps because Niantic, the game’s creators, started as part of Google and the company is run by John Hankey — the former CEO of Google Maps. The maps in Pokemon Go were customized because John secured special access to Google’s proprietary datasets. No one else could have maps like that, until now. Today’s Mapbox release is not about just maps but is about location and how the gameplay matches the real world around you.___

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2017-05-24 15:30:19 (62 comments; 40 reshares; 242 +1s; )Open 

The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation

Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived. In the short term, this might be beneficial – clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation

Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived. In the short term, this might be beneficial – clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.___

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2017-05-24 01:30:48 (5 comments; 14 reshares; 170 +1s; )Open 

Dietary strategy to address obesity uses component in red chili

Scientists have discovered a dietary strategy that may address obesity by reducing endotoxemia, a major contributor to chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI). The researchers uncovered an interaction between dietary capsaicin (CAP), the major pungent component in red chili, and gut microbiota. This novel mechanism for the anti-obesity effect of CAP acts through prevention of microbial dysbiosis.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523124155.htm

Dietary strategy to address obesity uses component in red chili

Scientists have discovered a dietary strategy that may address obesity by reducing endotoxemia, a major contributor to chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI). The researchers uncovered an interaction between dietary capsaicin (CAP), the major pungent component in red chili, and gut microbiota. This novel mechanism for the anti-obesity effect of CAP acts through prevention of microbial dysbiosis.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523124155.htm___

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2017-05-23 17:57:35 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Report: Samsung To Reveal UHD Display Primed For VR Today

It’s going to be years until display resolutions are clear enough for VR to look like real life, but we’re inching ever forward. It looks like Samsung might be announcing the next step in that journey today. Reports from Yonhap News and The Korean Herald state that Samsung is expected to reveal a new 1.96 inch UHD 3840×2160 display at the Society for Information Display 2017 event in Los Angeles. The screen reportedly featured 2250 pixels-per-inch and is designed for VR. Perhaps we could see two of these panels placed inside future headsets from Samsung or Oculus, which has partnered with the company to create the Gear VR. For comparison Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S8, features a 2960×1440 display. Bumping up to 4K will make images inside VR clearer, as the lines between pixels that are magnified when lookingthrough... more »

Report: Samsung To Reveal UHD Display Primed For VR Today

It’s going to be years until display resolutions are clear enough for VR to look like real life, but we’re inching ever forward. It looks like Samsung might be announcing the next step in that journey today. Reports from Yonhap News and The Korean Herald state that Samsung is expected to reveal a new 1.96 inch UHD 3840×2160 display at the Society for Information Display 2017 event in Los Angeles. The screen reportedly featured 2250 pixels-per-inch and is designed for VR. Perhaps we could see two of these panels placed inside future headsets from Samsung or Oculus, which has partnered with the company to create the Gear VR. For comparison Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S8, features a 2960×1440 display. Bumping up to 4K will make images inside VR clearer, as the lines between pixels that are magnified when looking through the lenses of a VR headset will appear even smaller. Don’t expect them to be completely removed, but could still be a big step forward.___

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2017-05-23 15:55:07 (7 comments; 18 reshares; 88 +1s; )Open 

DNA vaccine protects against toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

A new DNA vaccine when delivered to the skin prompts an immune response that produces antibodies to protect against toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease - without triggering severe brain swelling that earlier antibody treatments caused in some patients.

DNA vaccine protects against toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

A new DNA vaccine when delivered to the skin prompts an immune response that produces antibodies to protect against toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease - without triggering severe brain swelling that earlier antibody treatments caused in some patients.___

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2017-05-23 14:15:39 (25 comments; 14 reshares; 98 +1s; )Open 

Breast cancer study finds strong links between lifestyle choices and risk

Cancer experts say they're increasingly confident that at least two lifestyle choices can affect a woman's risk of getting breast cancer: drinking alcohol and exercising. Just one alcoholic drink each day is enough to boost breast cancer risk, according to a comprehensive new report published Tuesday. Vigorous exercise, by contrast, can decrease the risk in both pre- and postmenopausal women.

Breast cancer study finds strong links between lifestyle choices and risk

Cancer experts say they're increasingly confident that at least two lifestyle choices can affect a woman's risk of getting breast cancer: drinking alcohol and exercising. Just one alcoholic drink each day is enough to boost breast cancer risk, according to a comprehensive new report published Tuesday. Vigorous exercise, by contrast, can decrease the risk in both pre- and postmenopausal women.___

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2017-05-23 14:00:34 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 52 +1s; )Open 

Google’s AlphaGo AI defeats world Go number one Ke Jie

Google’s AI AlphaGo has done it again: it’s defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one Go player, in the first game of a three-part match. AlphaGo shot to prominence a little over a year ago after beating Korean legend Lee Se-dol 4-1 in one of the most potent demonstrations of the power of artificial intelligence to date. And its defeat of Ke shows that it was only getting started. “I think everyone recognizes that Ke Jie is the strongest human player,” 9th-dan professional and commentator Michael Redmond said before the match. And despite defeat, Ke’s strategy suggested that the 19-year-old Chinese prodigy has actually learned from AlphaGo’s often unorthodox approach. “This is Master’s move,” said Redmond of one of Ke’s earliest plays, referring to the pseudonym that AlphaGo used for a recent series of onlinematches in which it rac... more »

Google’s AlphaGo AI defeats world Go number one Ke Jie

Google’s AI AlphaGo has done it again: it’s defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one Go player, in the first game of a three-part match. AlphaGo shot to prominence a little over a year ago after beating Korean legend Lee Se-dol 4-1 in one of the most potent demonstrations of the power of artificial intelligence to date. And its defeat of Ke shows that it was only getting started. “I think everyone recognizes that Ke Jie is the strongest human player,” 9th-dan professional and commentator Michael Redmond said before the match. And despite defeat, Ke’s strategy suggested that the 19-year-old Chinese prodigy has actually learned from AlphaGo’s often unorthodox approach. “This is Master’s move,” said Redmond of one of Ke’s earliest plays, referring to the pseudonym that AlphaGo used for a recent series of online matches in which it racked up a 60-game winning streak.___

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2017-05-23 00:46:23 (10 comments; 29 reshares; 117 +1s; )Open 

How the brain 'plays' with predictability and randomness to choose the right time to act

Deciding when to take an action can be as important as deciding what action to take. Even in the best controlled of laboratory settings, the timing of a subject's decisions is impossible to completely predict. And this apparently random component may play an important role in evading competition and exploring options.Now, neuroscientists at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon, Portugal, have shown that the exact moment of the execution of an action is the combination of a predictable and an unpredictable component that are processed by different regions of the brain. Their results are published in the May 17 issue of the journal Neuron. Being able to choose the right time to act is crucial for a successful outcome in many situations. Act too soon or too late, and the target... more »

How the brain 'plays' with predictability and randomness to choose the right time to act

Deciding when to take an action can be as important as deciding what action to take. Even in the best controlled of laboratory settings, the timing of a subject's decisions is impossible to completely predict. And this apparently random component may play an important role in evading competition and exploring options.Now, neuroscientists at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon, Portugal, have shown that the exact moment of the execution of an action is the combination of a predictable and an unpredictable component that are processed by different regions of the brain. Their results are published in the May 17 issue of the journal Neuron. Being able to choose the right time to act is crucial for a successful outcome in many situations. Act too soon or too late, and the target will be missed, an opportunity lost or time wasted. Getting the timing right requires that the one learns from experience and adapts to the current situation. One might think that injecting "noise" in the timing of actions would be counterproductive. But it often pays to be unpredictable. Take soccer—the ability of a skilled shooter to outwit the goalkeeper depends in part on his ability to deliver the ball at an unpredictable time and location. If the same action were performed in the exact same way and at precisely the same moment every time a situation presents itself, organisms would be easily outwitted by competitors. Moreover, there would be no room for exploring better solutions, for creativity.___

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2017-05-22 23:11:42 (3 comments; 7 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Bitcoin surges past $2,000, and no one is really sure why

A little over two months ago, Bitcoin achieved a symbolic milestone: After an intensive period of growth, the price of one Bitcoin surpassed the price of an ounce of gold. That seems like ancient history. The price of Bitcoin has nearly doubled since then and the cryptocurrency is currently trading at about $2,200. Bitcoin's cousin Ethereum is trading at about $180, its price increasing by a cool 1400% in the last three months. But is the rally over, or has it only just begun? And what has propelled the explosive growth in the first place? In the world of cryptocurrencies, answering these questions is anything but easy.

Bitcoin surges past $2,000, and no one is really sure why

A little over two months ago, Bitcoin achieved a symbolic milestone: After an intensive period of growth, the price of one Bitcoin surpassed the price of an ounce of gold. That seems like ancient history. The price of Bitcoin has nearly doubled since then and the cryptocurrency is currently trading at about $2,200. Bitcoin's cousin Ethereum is trading at about $180, its price increasing by a cool 1400% in the last three months. But is the rally over, or has it only just begun? And what has propelled the explosive growth in the first place? In the world of cryptocurrencies, answering these questions is anything but easy.___

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2017-05-22 23:00:26 (3 comments; 3 reshares; 66 +1s; )Open 

Our common ancestor with chimps may be from Europe, not Africa

The last common ancestor we shared with chimps seems to have lived in the eastern Mediterranean – not in East Africa as generally assumed. This bold conclusion comes from a study of Greek and Bulgarian fossils, suggesting that the most mysterious of all ancient European apes was actually a human ancestor, or hominin. However, other researchers remain unconvinced by the claim.

Our common ancestor with chimps may be from Europe, not Africa

The last common ancestor we shared with chimps seems to have lived in the eastern Mediterranean – not in East Africa as generally assumed. This bold conclusion comes from a study of Greek and Bulgarian fossils, suggesting that the most mysterious of all ancient European apes was actually a human ancestor, or hominin. However, other researchers remain unconvinced by the claim.___

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2017-05-22 16:01:59 (3 comments; 37 reshares; 67 +1s; )Open 

The Strange Loop in Deep Learning

Loops are not typical in Deep Learning systems. These systems have conventionally been composed of acyclic graphs of computation layers. However, as we are all now beginning to discover, the employment of ‘feedback loops’ are creating one of the most mind-boggling new capabilities for automation. This is not hyperbole, this is happening today where researchers are training ‘narrow’ intelligence systems to create very capable specialist automation that surpass human capabilities.


The Strange Loop in Deep Learning

Loops are not typical in Deep Learning systems. These systems have conventionally been composed of acyclic graphs of computation layers. However, as we are all now beginning to discover, the employment of ‘feedback loops’ are creating one of the most mind-boggling new capabilities for automation. This is not hyperbole, this is happening today where researchers are training ‘narrow’ intelligence systems to create very capable specialist automation that surpass human capabilities.
___

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2017-05-22 15:56:50 (6 comments; 8 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

When it comes to online security, being paranoid is no longer enough

If things continue as they are now, soon not even maintaining a healthy paranoia — a prerequisite today for online life — will be enough to keep your data secure. A new approach is called for as we barrel blindly toward our shared dark online destiny. The old tricks aren't working: A look at two common pieces of advice for safely traversing the internet wilds, and how quickly they have become outdated, helps to put things into perspective. Let's start with something as non-controversial as the old recommendation to use two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication safeguards your online accounts with a second layer of protection, and is an absolute must these days. In its most common form, 2FA is a random number texted to your phone when you try to log into an online account. You need thatnum... more »

When it comes to online security, being paranoid is no longer enough

If things continue as they are now, soon not even maintaining a healthy paranoia — a prerequisite today for online life — will be enough to keep your data secure. A new approach is called for as we barrel blindly toward our shared dark online destiny. The old tricks aren't working: A look at two common pieces of advice for safely traversing the internet wilds, and how quickly they have become outdated, helps to put things into perspective. Let's start with something as non-controversial as the old recommendation to use two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication safeguards your online accounts with a second layer of protection, and is an absolute must these days. In its most common form, 2FA is a random number texted to your phone when you try to log into an online account. You need that number, plus your password, to get access. Pretty neat, right? There's just one problem: 2FA in its most common form is now completely busted. There's a known exploit in telephone signaling protocols that lets hackers redirect SMS messages to any phone they want. This is not just theoretical. As previously reported by the International Business Times, a group of hackers recently took advantage of this exploit to hijack 2FA text messages and drain individual bank accounts across Europe.___

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2017-05-22 15:52:03 (10 comments; 15 reshares; 160 +1s; )Open 

Sleep loss affects your waistline

Sleep loss increases the risk of obesity through a combination of effects on energy metabolism. This research will highlight how disrupted sleep patterns, a common feature of modern living, can predispose to weight gain, by affecting people’s appetite and responses to food and exercise.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170522081109.htm

Sleep loss affects your waistline

Sleep loss increases the risk of obesity through a combination of effects on energy metabolism. This research will highlight how disrupted sleep patterns, a common feature of modern living, can predispose to weight gain, by affecting people’s appetite and responses to food and exercise.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170522081109.htm___

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2017-05-22 14:59:10 (5 comments; 5 reshares; 54 +1s; )Open 

Germany Breaks A Solar Record — Gets 85% Of Electricity From Renewables

On April 30, Germany established a new national record for renewable energy use. Part of that day (during the long May 1 weekend), 85% of all the electricity consumed in Germany was being produced from renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power. Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende Initiative says a combination of breezy and sunny weather in the north and warm weather in the south saw Germany’s May 1 holiday weekend powered almost exclusively by renewable resources.

Germany Breaks A Solar Record — Gets 85% Of Electricity From Renewables

On April 30, Germany established a new national record for renewable energy use. Part of that day (during the long May 1 weekend), 85% of all the electricity consumed in Germany was being produced from renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power. Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende Initiative says a combination of breezy and sunny weather in the north and warm weather in the south saw Germany’s May 1 holiday weekend powered almost exclusively by renewable resources.___

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2017-05-22 01:15:11 (6 comments; 17 reshares; 90 +1s; )Open 

Researchers take an important step toward an HIV vaccine

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a strategy that can revolutionize vaccine design. The new strategy is used to develop vaccines that can prevent HIV infection and the development of AIDS. Vaccines are an essential tool for preventing and treating serious infectious diseases such as polio, chicken pox and measles. But so far it has not been possible to develop vaccines capable of contributing to the treatment and prevention of chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. This new research paves the way for vaccines that, as opposed to conventional methods, boosting the parts of the immune system attacking the viral genes, which are the least active during the infection. This prolongs the resistance of the immune system to the virus. Traditional vaccines typically cause a strong stimulation of... more »

Researchers take an important step toward an HIV vaccine

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a strategy that can revolutionize vaccine design. The new strategy is used to develop vaccines that can prevent HIV infection and the development of AIDS. Vaccines are an essential tool for preventing and treating serious infectious diseases such as polio, chicken pox and measles. But so far it has not been possible to develop vaccines capable of contributing to the treatment and prevention of chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. This new research paves the way for vaccines that, as opposed to conventional methods, boosting the parts of the immune system attacking the viral genes, which are the least active during the infection. This prolongs the resistance of the immune system to the virus. Traditional vaccines typically cause a strong stimulation of the parts of the immune system, that are most responsive to the specific virus. But the reaction to the vaccine and the infection is often so intense that the immune system 'loses momentum' and consequently is not able to completely eliminate the virus. Researchers have therefore designed a vaccine which boosts the cells of the immune system responsible for the less exposed parts of the virus. As a result, the cells are able to distribute the 'work load' and retain the defense against the virus attack for a longer period of time. This gives the immune system time to build a more efficient defense, which may then defeat the remaining of the virus. "We're presenting an entirely new vaccine solution. Our vaccine supports the work of the immune system in developing an effective combating mechanism against the virus, rather than immediately combating the toughest parts of the virus. In combination with other vaccines, this approach can prove to have a highly efficient effect," says Research Team Leader and Associate Professor Peter Holst of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.
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2017-05-22 00:28:06 (11 comments; 14 reshares; 116 +1s; )Open 

Cockatoos keep their tools safe

Only a few animal species such as New Caledonian crows or some primates have so far been found to habitually use tools. Even fewer can manufacture their own tools. Nevertheless, the Goffin's cockatoo, an Indonesian parrot, exhibit both abilities while seemingly lacking a genetic adaptation for tool use. Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the University of Vienna have now shown yet another tool-related ability in these clever parrots. After a brief learning phase, they keep their tools safe nearby without dropping them while feeding until the last of five difficult-to-obtain food rewards has been retrieved. In order to succeed, they are able to adapt their behavioural routines in a way that allows for feeding and holding the tool both at the same time. This not only highlights the learning abilities of these animals but also... more »

Cockatoos keep their tools safe

Only a few animal species such as New Caledonian crows or some primates have so far been found to habitually use tools. Even fewer can manufacture their own tools. Nevertheless, the Goffin's cockatoo, an Indonesian parrot, exhibit both abilities while seemingly lacking a genetic adaptation for tool use. Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the University of Vienna have now shown yet another tool-related ability in these clever parrots. After a brief learning phase, they keep their tools safe nearby without dropping them while feeding until the last of five difficult-to-obtain food rewards has been retrieved. In order to succeed, they are able to adapt their behavioural routines in a way that allows for feeding and holding the tool both at the same time. This not only highlights the learning abilities of these animals but also suggests the ability to plan their body movements. The study was published in the scientific journal Animal Behaviour.Any craftsman knows that it is much easier to always keep a pair of pliers or a hammer safe at hand inside a belt instead of having to retrieve it every time it is needed. Having to look for tools, to buy or to manufacture them usually involves a much larger effort than keeping them safe to reuse them at any time.
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2017-05-21 16:27:26 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

How AI is used to infer human emotion

Social scientists who have studied how people portray emotions in conversation found that only 7-10% of the emotional meaning of a message is conveyed through the words. We can mine Twitter, for example, on text sentiment, but that only gets us so far. About 35-40% is conveyed in tone of voice—how you say something—and the remaining 50-60% is read through facial expressions and gestures you make. Technology that reads your emotional state, for example by combining facial and voice expressions, represents the emotion AI space. They are the subconscious, natural way we communicate emotion, which is nonverbal and which complements our language. What we say is also very cognitive—we have to think about what we are going to say. Facial expressions and speech actually deal more with the subconscious, and are more unbiased and unfiltered expressions ofemoti... more »

How AI is used to infer human emotion

Social scientists who have studied how people portray emotions in conversation found that only 7-10% of the emotional meaning of a message is conveyed through the words. We can mine Twitter, for example, on text sentiment, but that only gets us so far. About 35-40% is conveyed in tone of voice—how you say something—and the remaining 50-60% is read through facial expressions and gestures you make. Technology that reads your emotional state, for example by combining facial and voice expressions, represents the emotion AI space. They are the subconscious, natural way we communicate emotion, which is nonverbal and which complements our language. What we say is also very cognitive—we have to think about what we are going to say. Facial expressions and speech actually deal more with the subconscious, and are more unbiased and unfiltered expressions of emotion.___

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2017-05-21 16:12:14 (23 comments; 34 reshares; 177 +1s; )Open 

Single cell focus reveals hidden cancer cells

Researchers have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of the tumour is destroyed, by using a new technique that enables them to identify and characterise individual cancer cells. Recent breakthroughs are revolutionising cancer treatment, enabling doctors to personalise chemotherapy for each patient. However, although these new treatments are often highly effective, all too often the cancer grows back, eventually causing relapse. An international research team, led by Professors Adam Mead and Sten Eirik Jacobsen at the University of Oxford and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of the tumour is destroyed, by using a new technique that enables them to identify and characterise individual cancer cells. Professor Adam... more »

Single cell focus reveals hidden cancer cells

Researchers have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of the tumour is destroyed, by using a new technique that enables them to identify and characterise individual cancer cells. Recent breakthroughs are revolutionising cancer treatment, enabling doctors to personalise chemotherapy for each patient. However, although these new treatments are often highly effective, all too often the cancer grows back, eventually causing relapse. An international research team, led by Professors Adam Mead and Sten Eirik Jacobsen at the University of Oxford and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of the tumour is destroyed, by using a new technique that enables them to identify and characterise individual cancer cells. Professor Adam Mead of Oxford University's Radcliffe Department of Medicine, said: 'It is increasingly recognised that tumours contain a variety of different cell types, including so-called cancer stem cells, that drive the growth and relapse of a patient's cancer. These cells can be very rare and extremely difficult to find after treatment as they become hidden within the normal tissue. 'We used a new genetic technique to identify and analyse single cancer stem cells in leukaemia patients before and after treatment. We found that even in individual cases of leukaemia, there are various types of cancer stem cell that respond differently to the treatment. A small number of these cells are highly resistant to the treatment and are likely to be responsible for disease recurrence when the treatment is stopped. Our research allowed us uniquely to analyse these crucial cells that evade treatment so that we might learn how to more effectively eradicate them.___

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2017-05-21 16:09:09 (9 comments; 11 reshares; 85 +1s; )Open 

Researchers find lactose intolerance related to low vitamin D levels

New research from the University of Toronto shows that people genetically intolerant to lactose, the main sugar found in dairy, have lower blood levels of vitamin D than the general population. The researchers found those who had a gene associated with lactose intolerance (called LCT) consumed lower amounts of dairy products than those without that variation. The lactose intolerant also had lower levels of vitamin D in their blood – unsurprisingly, since dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, and most people don't get enough of this vitamin from the sun or from other foods..."These findings speak to the need for greater awareness for those who limit dairy because of lactose intolerance. They need to be mindful of getting enough vitamin D from other fortified foods like certain brands of orange juice, ort... more »

Researchers find lactose intolerance related to low vitamin D levels

New research from the University of Toronto shows that people genetically intolerant to lactose, the main sugar found in dairy, have lower blood levels of vitamin D than the general population. The researchers found those who had a gene associated with lactose intolerance (called LCT) consumed lower amounts of dairy products than those without that variation. The lactose intolerant also had lower levels of vitamin D in their blood – unsurprisingly, since dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, and most people don't get enough of this vitamin from the sun or from other foods..."These findings speak to the need for greater awareness for those who limit dairy because of lactose intolerance. They need to be mindful of getting enough vitamin D from other fortified foods like certain brands of orange juice, or to consider trying lactose-free dairy products."___

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2017-05-21 16:06:50 (7 comments; 8 reshares; 64 +1s; )Open 

Norway to boost climate change defences of 'doomsday' seed vault

Norway plans to better protect a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak. Norway on Saturday said it would boost protection of a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak into its entrance. Situated deep inside a mountain on a remote Arctic island in a Norwegian archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, dubbed the "doomsday" vault, is the largest of its kind and can store up to 2.5 billion seeds. Freezing temperatures inside the vault keep the seeds, sealed in packages and stored on shelves, usable for a long period of time. Permafrost and thick rock should guarantee the seeds are frozen and secured for centuries. But in October 2016, the... more »

Norway to boost climate change defences of 'doomsday' seed vault

Norway plans to better protect a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak. Norway on Saturday said it would boost protection of a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak into its entrance. Situated deep inside a mountain on a remote Arctic island in a Norwegian archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, dubbed the "doomsday" vault, is the largest of its kind and can store up to 2.5 billion seeds. Freezing temperatures inside the vault keep the seeds, sealed in packages and stored on shelves, usable for a long period of time. Permafrost and thick rock should guarantee the seeds are frozen and secured for centuries. But in October 2016, the warmest year on record, melting permafrost caused water to leak about 15 metres (49 feet) into the entrance of a 100-metre tunnel inside the vault. No damage was caused to the seeds and they remain safe inside the vault at the required storage temperature of -18 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit). But the vault's managers are now constructing a waterproof wall inside for additional protection, a Norwegian government spokeswoman told AFP, adding all heat sources would also be removed from inside the vault.

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2017-05-21 15:10:11 (14 comments; 26 reshares; 109 +1s; )Open 

Google’s speech recognition technology now has a 4.9% word error rate

Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced that the company’s speech recognition technology has now achieved a 4.9 percent word error rate. Put another way, Google transcribes every 20th word incorrectly. That’s a big improvement from the 23 percent the company saw in 2013 and the 8 percent it shared two years ago at I/O 2015. The tidbit was revealed at Google’s I/O 2017 developer conference, where a big emphasis is on artificial intelligence. Deep learning, a type of AI, is used to achieve accurate image recognition and speech recognition. The method involves ingesting lots of data to train systems called neural networks, and then feeding new data to those systems in an attempt to make predictions. “We’ve been using voice as an input across many of our products,” Pichai said onstage. “That’s becausecomputers are get... more »

Google’s speech recognition technology now has a 4.9% word error rate

Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced that the company’s speech recognition technology has now achieved a 4.9 percent word error rate. Put another way, Google transcribes every 20th word incorrectly. That’s a big improvement from the 23 percent the company saw in 2013 and the 8 percent it shared two years ago at I/O 2015. The tidbit was revealed at Google’s I/O 2017 developer conference, where a big emphasis is on artificial intelligence. Deep learning, a type of AI, is used to achieve accurate image recognition and speech recognition. The method involves ingesting lots of data to train systems called neural networks, and then feeding new data to those systems in an attempt to make predictions. “We’ve been using voice as an input across many of our products,” Pichai said onstage. “That’s because computers are getting much better at understanding speech. We have had significant breakthroughs, but the pace even since last year has been pretty amazing to see. Our word error rate continues to improve even in very noisy environments. This is why if you speak to Google on your phone or Google Home, we can pick up your voice accurately.”___

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2017-05-21 01:22:47 (5 comments; 6 reshares; 43 +1s; )Open 

Jeff Bezos lays out his vision for building a city on the moon, complete with robots

SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk may have his heart set on building a city on Mars, but Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space vision looks closer to home. He’s gazing at the moon. “I think we should build a permanent human settlement on one of the poles of the moon,” Bezos said today during a Q&A with kids at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. “It’s time to go back to the moon, but this time to stay.” Bezos has talked about moon missions before, and he’s even told NASA that his Blue Origin space venture could make Amazon-like deliveries to the moon, as part of a program called Blue Moon. Today he went into more detail about his space aspirations when students asked him questions at the Museum of Flight’s “Apollo” exhibit. Bezos’ backdrop for the event included the decades-old pieces ofSaturn V rocket engines t... more »

Jeff Bezos lays out his vision for building a city on the moon, complete with robots

SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk may have his heart set on building a city on Mars, but Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space vision looks closer to home. He’s gazing at the moon. “I think we should build a permanent human settlement on one of the poles of the moon,” Bezos said today during a Q&A with kids at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. “It’s time to go back to the moon, but this time to stay.” Bezos has talked about moon missions before, and he’s even told NASA that his Blue Origin space venture could make Amazon-like deliveries to the moon, as part of a program called Blue Moon. Today he went into more detail about his space aspirations when students asked him questions at the Museum of Flight’s “Apollo” exhibit. Bezos’ backdrop for the event included the decades-old pieces of Saturn V rocket engines that he arranged to have recovered from the Atlantic Ocean, plus an intact, never-flown engine of the same type.___

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2017-05-21 01:08:36 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 75 +1s; )Open 

Blind people have brain map for 'visual' observations too

Is what you're looking at an object, a face, or a tree? When processing visual input, our brain uses different areas to recognize faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists at KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium, have now shown that people who were born blind use a 'brain map' with a very similar layout to distinguish between these same categories. Our brain only needs a split second to determine what we're seeing. The area in our brain that can categorize these visual observations so quickly is the so-called ventral-temporal cortex, the visual brain. Like a map, this region is divided into smaller regions, each of which recognizes a particular category of observations—faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists have long wondered whether we're born with this map, or whether itsd... more »

Blind people have brain map for 'visual' observations too

Is what you're looking at an object, a face, or a tree? When processing visual input, our brain uses different areas to recognize faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists at KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium, have now shown that people who were born blind use a 'brain map' with a very similar layout to distinguish between these same categories. Our brain only needs a split second to determine what we're seeing. The area in our brain that can categorize these visual observations so quickly is the so-called ventral-temporal cortex, the visual brain. Like a map, this region is divided into smaller regions, each of which recognizes a particular category of observations—faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists have long wondered whether we're born with this map, or whether its development relies on the visual input that we receive. To answer this question, researchers from the KU Leuven Laboratory for Biological Psychology conducted an experiment with people who were born blind—some of them even without eyeballs—and have therefore never processed any visual information. They asked the blind participants to listen to sounds from four categories: laughing, kissing, and lip smacking for faces; hand clapping and footsteps for body parts; forest and beach sounds for scenes; and a clock, washing machine, and car for objects. Meanwhile, a scanner measured the activity in their visual brain. "We found that blind individuals also use the map in the visual brain," Professor Hans Op de Beeck from the KU Leuven Laboratory of Biological Psychology explains. "Their visual brain responds in a different way to each category. This means that blind people, too, use this part of the brain to differentiate between categories, even though they've never had any visual input. And the layout of their map is largely the same as that of sighted people. This means that visual experience is not required to develop category selectivity in the visual brain."

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2017-05-20 18:51:26 (4 comments; 9 reshares; 61 +1s; )Open 

Mind-Reading Algorithms Reconstruct What You’re Seeing Using Brain-Scan Data

Perceived images are hard to decode from fMRI scans. But a new kind of neural network approach now makes it easier and more accurate...That turns out to be hard. fMRI scans are famously noisy, and the activity in one voxel is well known to be influenced by activity in other voxels. This kind of correlation is computationally expensive to deal with; indeed, most approaches simply ignore it. And that significantly reduces the quality of the image reconstructions they produce. So an important goal is to find better ways to crunch the data from fMRI scans and so produce more accurate brain-image reconstructions. Today, Changde Du at the Research Center for Brain-Inspired Intelligence in Beijing, China, and a couple of pals, say they have developed just such a technique. Their trick is to process the data usingd... more »

Mind-Reading Algorithms Reconstruct What You’re Seeing Using Brain-Scan Data

Perceived images are hard to decode from fMRI scans. But a new kind of neural network approach now makes it easier and more accurate...That turns out to be hard. fMRI scans are famously noisy, and the activity in one voxel is well known to be influenced by activity in other voxels. This kind of correlation is computationally expensive to deal with; indeed, most approaches simply ignore it. And that significantly reduces the quality of the image reconstructions they produce. So an important goal is to find better ways to crunch the data from fMRI scans and so produce more accurate brain-image reconstructions. Today, Changde Du at the Research Center for Brain-Inspired Intelligence in Beijing, China, and a couple of pals, say they have developed just such a technique. Their trick is to process the data using deep-learning techniques that handle nonlinear correlations between voxels more capably. The result is a much better way to reconstruct the way a brain perceives images.___

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2017-05-20 17:07:54 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Another Ransomware Nightmare Could Be Brewing in Ukraine

JUST AS THE reverberations from last week’s WannaCry ransomware outbreak have started to slow, a new threat has already cropped up. A virulent ransomware strain called XData has gained momentum in Ukraine, so far leading to about three times as many infections as WannaCry did in the country. That XData appears to target Ukraine specifically tempers some fears, but were it to spread globally it would potentially leave even more devastation than last week’s WannaCry mess. Discovered on Thursday by MalwareHunter, a researcher with the MalwareHunterTeam analysis group, XData had 94 detected unique infections as of midday Friday, and the number was rising. In contrast, MalwareHunterTeam’s data indicates that there were less than 30 WannaCry infections in Ukraine in all (the total number of infections worldwide was about 200,000). Afew d... more »

Another Ransomware Nightmare Could Be Brewing in Ukraine

JUST AS THE reverberations from last week’s WannaCry ransomware outbreak have started to slow, a new threat has already cropped up. A virulent ransomware strain called XData has gained momentum in Ukraine, so far leading to about three times as many infections as WannaCry did in the country. That XData appears to target Ukraine specifically tempers some fears, but were it to spread globally it would potentially leave even more devastation than last week’s WannaCry mess. Discovered on Thursday by MalwareHunter, a researcher with the MalwareHunterTeam analysis group, XData had 94 detected unique infections as of midday Friday, and the number was rising. In contrast, MalwareHunterTeam’s data indicates that there were less than 30 WannaCry infections in Ukraine in all (the total number of infections worldwide was about 200,000). A few dozen cases may not sound like a lot. But considering that WannaCry infected 200,000 devices out of the billions of devices in the world, rate of infection is an important indicator. An outbreak moving this much faster than WannaCry did, even in an isolated setting, portends deeper troubles if it goes global.___

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2017-05-20 15:33:50 (16 comments; 2 reshares; 94 +1s; )Open 

Can omega-3 help prevent Alzheimer's disease? Brain SPECT imaging shows possible link

The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is expected to triple in the coming decades and no cure has been found. Recently, interest in dietary approaches for prevention of cognitive decline has increased. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids have shown anti-amyloid, anti-tau and anti-inflammatory actions in the brains of animals. In a new article published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers have found that for patients with high omega-3 levels, blood flow in specific areas of the brain is increased. "This study is a major advance in demonstrating the value of nutritional intervention for brain health by using the latest brain imaging," commented George Perry, PhD, Dean and Professor of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Editor-in-Chief of the... more »

Can omega-3 help prevent Alzheimer's disease? Brain SPECT imaging shows possible link

The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is expected to triple in the coming decades and no cure has been found. Recently, interest in dietary approaches for prevention of cognitive decline has increased. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids have shown anti-amyloid, anti-tau and anti-inflammatory actions in the brains of animals. In a new article published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers have found that for patients with high omega-3 levels, blood flow in specific areas of the brain is increased. "This study is a major advance in demonstrating the value of nutritional intervention for brain health by using the latest brain imaging," commented George Perry, PhD, Dean and Professor of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.___

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2017-05-20 01:41:14 (1 comments; 8 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

Reinforcement Learning: The Next Frontier of Gaming with Danny Lange

My guest on the show this week is Danny Lange, VP for Machine Learning & AI at video game technology developer Unity Technologies. Danny is well traveled in the world of ML and AI, and has had a hand in developing machine learning platforms at companies like Uber, Amazon and Microsoft. In this conversation we cover a bunch of topics, including How ML & AI are being used in gaming, the importance of reinforcement learning in the future of game development, the intersection between AI and AR/VR and the next steps in natural character interaction.

Reinforcement Learning: The Next Frontier of Gaming with Danny Lange

My guest on the show this week is Danny Lange, VP for Machine Learning & AI at video game technology developer Unity Technologies. Danny is well traveled in the world of ML and AI, and has had a hand in developing machine learning platforms at companies like Uber, Amazon and Microsoft. In this conversation we cover a bunch of topics, including How ML & AI are being used in gaming, the importance of reinforcement learning in the future of game development, the intersection between AI and AR/VR and the next steps in natural character interaction.___

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2017-05-20 00:33:42 (26 comments; 21 reshares; 91 +1s; )Open 

A classic quantum test could reveal the limits of the human mind

The boundary between mind and matter could be tested using a new twist on a well-known experiment in quantum physics. Over the past two decades, a type of experiment known as a Bell test has confirmed the weirdness of quantum mechanics – specifically the “spooky action at a distance” that so bothered Einstein. Now, a theorist proposes a Bell test experiment using something unprecedented: human consciousness. If such an experiment showed deviations from quantum mechanics, it could provide the first hints that our minds are potentially immaterial.

A classic quantum test could reveal the limits of the human mind

The boundary between mind and matter could be tested using a new twist on a well-known experiment in quantum physics. Over the past two decades, a type of experiment known as a Bell test has confirmed the weirdness of quantum mechanics – specifically the “spooky action at a distance” that so bothered Einstein. Now, a theorist proposes a Bell test experiment using something unprecedented: human consciousness. If such an experiment showed deviations from quantum mechanics, it could provide the first hints that our minds are potentially immaterial.___

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2017-05-19 17:54:12 (1 comments; 6 reshares; 41 +1s; )Open 

Neurala fights poaching in Africa with AI-powered drones

Deep learning startup Neurala Inc. is putting its technology to use in a partnership with the Lindbergh Foundation that aims to combat illegal elephant poaching in Africa with artificial intelligence-powered drones....The idea is simple enough – use drones to spot poachers before they can reach their targets, then send out teams of rangers to intercept them. Air Shepherd’s drones operate at night time, flying silently above the African savanna seeking out their targets. The drones are extremely well equipped for the task, operating with five-hour batteries, infrared cameras, onboard control systems, sensors for finding poachers, and live video feeds. The drones are also powered by Neurala’s AI platform that’s able to “learn” how to identify objects of interest. Its platform sifts through hours of video captured by thedrones in r... more »

Neurala fights poaching in Africa with AI-powered drones

Deep learning startup Neurala Inc. is putting its technology to use in a partnership with the Lindbergh Foundation that aims to combat illegal elephant poaching in Africa with artificial intelligence-powered drones....The idea is simple enough – use drones to spot poachers before they can reach their targets, then send out teams of rangers to intercept them. Air Shepherd’s drones operate at night time, flying silently above the African savanna seeking out their targets. The drones are extremely well equipped for the task, operating with five-hour batteries, infrared cameras, onboard control systems, sensors for finding poachers, and live video feeds. The drones are also powered by Neurala’s AI platform that’s able to “learn” how to identify objects of interest. Its platform sifts through hours of video captured by the drones in real-time, pinpointing animals, poachers and vehicles from the skies. Neurala’s key advantage in this respect is that its drones are able to do all of this without processing data in servers running in the cloud. That’s because the company recently made a key breakthrough in deep learning to enable computing at the network edge, resulting in reduced network latency and better overall performance. “This is a terrific example of how AI technology can be a vital force for good,” said Neurala CEO Max Versace. “We’re thrilled to be working with the Lindbergh Foundation in this unique partnership, contributing our deep learning software to such a worthwhile cause and doing our part to preserve endangered species.___

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2017-05-19 16:14:03 (17 comments; 35 reshares; 343 +1s; )Open 

Exercising can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease

The evidence is clear. Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, says a panel of researchers and not-for-profit leaders, led by UBC's Okanagan campus. The researchers also confirmed that regular physical activity may improve the performance of daily activities for people afflicted with Alzheimer's. Their conclusions may have significant implications for the 1.1 million Canadians affected directly or indirectly by dementia. "As there is no current cure for Alzheimer's, there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of developing it and to help manage the symptoms," says study first author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences. "After evaluating all the research available, our panel agrees that... more »

Exercising can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease

The evidence is clear. Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, says a panel of researchers and not-for-profit leaders, led by UBC's Okanagan campus. The researchers also confirmed that regular physical activity may improve the performance of daily activities for people afflicted with Alzheimer's. Their conclusions may have significant implications for the 1.1 million Canadians affected directly or indirectly by dementia. "As there is no current cure for Alzheimer's, there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of developing it and to help manage the symptoms," says study first author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences. "After evaluating all the research available, our panel agrees that physical activity is a practical, economical and accessible intervention for both the prevention and management of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias." Martin Ginis and her cohort reviewed data from more than 150 research articles about the impact of physical activity on people with Alzheimer's. Some of the work explored how physical activity improves the patient's quality of life and the others examined the risk of developing Alzheimer's based on the amount of activity in which an individual participated. The panel concluded that regular physical activity improves activities of daily living and mobility in in older adults with Alzheimer's and may improve general cognition and balance. They also established that older adults not diagnosed with Alzheimer's who are physically active, were significantly less likely to develop the disease compared to people who were inactive. "This is exciting work," says Martin Ginis. "From here we were able to prepare a consensus statement and messaging which not only has community backing, but is also evidence-based. Now we have the tool to promote the protective benefit of physical activity to older adults. I'm hopeful this will move the needle on this major health concern."

link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-brain-alzheimer-disease.html___

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2017-05-19 14:52:21 (4 comments; 34 reshares; 119 +1s; )Open 

Researchers discover first human antibodies that work against all ebolaviruses

After analyzing the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak, a team of scientists from academia, industry and the government has discovered the first natural human antibodies that can neutralize and protect animals against all three major disease-causing ebolaviruses. The findings, published online today in the journal Cell, could lead to the first broadly effective ebolavirus therapies and vaccines. Ebolaviruses infections are usually severe, and often fatal. There are no vaccines or treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating these viruses. Some two dozen ebolavirus outbreaks have occurred since 1976, when the first outbreak was documented in villages along the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The largest outbreak in history—the 2013-16W... more »

Researchers discover first human antibodies that work against all ebolaviruses

After analyzing the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak, a team of scientists from academia, industry and the government has discovered the first natural human antibodies that can neutralize and protect animals against all three major disease-causing ebolaviruses. The findings, published online today in the journal Cell, could lead to the first broadly effective ebolavirus therapies and vaccines. Ebolaviruses infections are usually severe, and often fatal. There are no vaccines or treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating these viruses. Some two dozen ebolavirus outbreaks have occurred since 1976, when the first outbreak was documented in villages along the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The largest outbreak in history—the 2013-16 Western African epidemic—caused more than 11,000 deaths and infected more than 29,000 people. Monoclonal antibodies, which bind to and neutralize specific pathogens and toxins, have emerged as one of the most promising treatments for Ebola patients. A critical problem, however, is that most antibody therapies target just one specific ebolavirus. For example, the most advanced therapy—ZMappTM, a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies—is specific for Ebola virus (formerly known as "Ebola Zaire"), but doesn't work against two related ebolaviruses (Sudan virus and Bundibugyo virus) that have also caused major outbreaks. "Since it's impossible to predict which of these agents will cause the next epidemic, it would be ideal to develop a single therapy that could treat or prevent infection caused by any known ebolavirus," says study co-leader Zachary A. Bornholdt, Ph.D., director of antibody discovery at Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. "Our discovery and characterization of broadly neutralizing human antibodies is an important step toward that goal," adds study co-leader, Kartik Chandran, Ph.D. , professor of microbiology & immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.___

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2017-05-19 14:06:53 (3 comments; 16 reshares; 91 +1s; )Open 

How RNA formed at the origins of life

A single process for how a group of molecules called nucleotides were made on the early Earth, before life began, has been suggested by a UCL-led team of researchers. Nucleotides are essential to all life on Earth as they form the building blocks of DNA or RNA, and understanding how they were first made is a long-standing challenge that must be resolved to elucidate the origins of life. In a study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Simons Foundation and the Origins of Life Challenge, researchers from UCL, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital suggest a single chemical mechanism by which both classes of nucleotides—purines and pyrimidines—could have formed together. Before now, scientists thought that the two classes of nucleotide must have been madesep... more »

How RNA formed at the origins of life

A single process for how a group of molecules called nucleotides were made on the early Earth, before life began, has been suggested by a UCL-led team of researchers. Nucleotides are essential to all life on Earth as they form the building blocks of DNA or RNA, and understanding how they were first made is a long-standing challenge that must be resolved to elucidate the origins of life. In a study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Simons Foundation and the Origins of Life Challenge, researchers from UCL, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital suggest a single chemical mechanism by which both classes of nucleotides—purines and pyrimidines—could have formed together. Before now, scientists thought that the two classes of nucleotide must have been made separately and under mutually incompatible conditions. This study is the first to show that both purines and pyrimidines can be formed from a common precursor molecule that existed before life began. "We provide a new perspective on how the original RNA molecules were made and suggest a simple chemical solution for delivering both purine and pyrimidine nucleotides at the origins of life," explained corresponding author, Dr Matthew Powner (UCL Chemistry). "RNA is the corner stone of all life on Earth and probably carried the first information at the outset of life, but making RNA requires both purine and pyrimidine nucleotides to be simultaneously available. A solution to this problem has remained elusive for more than 50 years." The team demonstrated how purines and pyrimidine nucleotides can both be assembled on the same sugar scaffold to form molecules called ribonucleotides which are used to construct RNA.___

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2017-05-19 01:02:34 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

SteamVR Home Beta Adds Social Features In Major Update

SteamVR is an essential platform for virtual reality and, starting today, exploring it is about to get a whole lot better. In a community post published today, Valve Software is announcing a major update that will vastly improve the way users can interact with VR content and friends. SteamVR Home is the name of a new beta program that will bring a wealth of new options to users including new environments, avatars and social capabilities.

SteamVR Home Beta Adds Social Features In Major Update

SteamVR is an essential platform for virtual reality and, starting today, exploring it is about to get a whole lot better. In a community post published today, Valve Software is announcing a major update that will vastly improve the way users can interact with VR content and friends. SteamVR Home is the name of a new beta program that will bring a wealth of new options to users including new environments, avatars and social capabilities.___

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2017-05-19 00:59:15 (34 comments; 20 reshares; 110 +1s; )Open 

Even small quantities of opioids prescribed for minor injuries increase risk of long-term use

Overprescribing of opioid medications for pain has contributed to a record-high number of drug-related deaths in the United States in recent years. A significant part of the issue, experts say, is the vast amount of variation in opioid prescribing habits for minor injuries such as ankle sprains - which don't require treatment with such risky drugs in the first place. For example, patients who received their first opioid prescription for an ankle sprain treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) commonly received prescriptions for anywhere from 15 to 40 pills, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Those who received 30 or more pills compared to less than 15 pills were twice as likely to fill an additional opioid prescription within... more »

Even small quantities of opioids prescribed for minor injuries increase risk of long-term use

Overprescribing of opioid medications for pain has contributed to a record-high number of drug-related deaths in the United States in recent years. A significant part of the issue, experts say, is the vast amount of variation in opioid prescribing habits for minor injuries such as ankle sprains - which don't require treatment with such risky drugs in the first place. For example, patients who received their first opioid prescription for an ankle sprain treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) commonly received prescriptions for anywhere from 15 to 40 pills, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Those who received 30 or more pills compared to less than 15 pills were twice as likely to fill an additional opioid prescription within three to six months. The authors say the results point to the urgent need for policies and guidelines to address when opioid medications are indicated for minor injuries and to reduce the number of pills supplied for opioid prescriptions. The study will be presented today during the plenary sessions at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting in Orlando, FL.

link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-small-quantities-opioids-minor-injuries.html___

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2017-05-19 00:47:15 (5 comments; 21 reshares; 139 +1s; )Open 

Exchanging one sugar-sweetened soft drink or beer with water is associated with lower incidence of obesity

New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity shows that replacing one serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink or one beer a day with a glass of water could reduce the risk of becoming obese by 20%. The main researcher of the study was Dr. Ujué Fresán under the supervision of Dr Alfredo Gea and Professors Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez and Maira Bes-Rastrollo from University of Navarra, and CIBERobn (Carlos III Institute of Health), Spain.

link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-exchanging-sugar-sweetened-soft-beer-incidence.html

Exchanging one sugar-sweetened soft drink or beer with water is associated with lower incidence of obesity

New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity shows that replacing one serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink or one beer a day with a glass of water could reduce the risk of becoming obese by 20%. The main researcher of the study was Dr. Ujué Fresán under the supervision of Dr Alfredo Gea and Professors Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez and Maira Bes-Rastrollo from University of Navarra, and CIBERobn (Carlos III Institute of Health), Spain.

link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-exchanging-sugar-sweetened-soft-beer-incidence.html___

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2017-05-18 17:51:28 (7 comments; 16 reshares; 66 +1s; )Open 

Google’s latest platform play is artificial intelligence, and it’s already winning

Google has always used its annual I/O conference to connect to developers in its sprawling empire. It announces new tools and initiatives, sprinkles in a little hype, and then tells those watching: choose us, and together we’ll go far. But while in previous years this message has been directed at coders working with Android and Chrome — the world’s biggest mobile OS and web browser respectively — yesterday, CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that the next platform the company wants to dominate could be even bigger: artificial intelligence. For Google, this doesn’t just mean using AI to improve its own products. (Although it’s certainly doing that). The company wants individuals and small companies around the world to also get on board. It wants to wield influence in the wider AI ecosystem, andto do so has pu... more »

Google’s latest platform play is artificial intelligence, and it’s already winning

Google has always used its annual I/O conference to connect to developers in its sprawling empire. It announces new tools and initiatives, sprinkles in a little hype, and then tells those watching: choose us, and together we’ll go far. But while in previous years this message has been directed at coders working with Android and Chrome — the world’s biggest mobile OS and web browser respectively — yesterday, CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that the next platform the company wants to dominate could be even bigger: artificial intelligence. For Google, this doesn’t just mean using AI to improve its own products. (Although it’s certainly doing that). The company wants individuals and small companies around the world to also get on board. It wants to wield influence in the wider AI ecosystem, and to do so has put together an impressive stack of machine learning tools — from software to servers — that mean you can build an AI product from the ground up without ever leaving the Google playpen. The heart of this offering is Google’s machine learning software TensorFlow. For building AI tools, it’s like the difference between a command line interface and a modern desktop OS; giving users an accessible framework for grappling with their algorithms. It started life as an in-house tool for the company’s engineers to design and train AI algorithms, but in 2015 was made available for anyone to use as open-source software. Since then, it’s been embraced by the AI community (it’s the most popular software of its type on code repository Github), and is used to create custom tools for a whole range of industries, from aerospace to bioengineering.___

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2017-05-18 16:39:40 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Google’s Seurat Aims To Bring ‘Desktop-Level Graphics’ To Mobile VR

Given processing restraints, mobile VR obviously isn’t able to measure up to the kind of visual fidelity we’d expect on PC, but a new development tool from Google is helping to close the gap a little. Today the company is introducing Seurat, named after French painter Georges Seurat. According to the company this tool can render “high-fidelity scenes” on mobile VR headsets in real time. While Google hasn’t divded too deeply into the specifics, it says the system used tricks to deliver “desktop-level graphics” on mobile.

Google’s Seurat Aims To Bring ‘Desktop-Level Graphics’ To Mobile VR

Given processing restraints, mobile VR obviously isn’t able to measure up to the kind of visual fidelity we’d expect on PC, but a new development tool from Google is helping to close the gap a little. Today the company is introducing Seurat, named after French painter Georges Seurat. According to the company this tool can render “high-fidelity scenes” on mobile VR headsets in real time. While Google hasn’t divded too deeply into the specifics, it says the system used tricks to deliver “desktop-level graphics” on mobile.___

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2017-05-18 16:36:11 (1 comments; 10 reshares; 67 +1s; )Open 

Towards more effective therapies to fight breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in Italy and in the world. Today, however, it seems possible to design more selective and effective drugs through numerical simulations. A new study analyzed in detail the mechanisms activating an important pharmacological target involved in female hormone synthesis, exceeding the limits of experimental approaches. This research, funded by AIRC—the Italian Association for Cancer Research, has shown that molecules of different shapes and sizes follow the same pathways within the protein to access the active site i.e. the heart of the protein where female hormones are synthesized and has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. "Cytochromes P450 are enzymes that play a key role in the metabolism of different hormones and drugs. In particular, they arei... more »

Towards more effective therapies to fight breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in Italy and in the world. Today, however, it seems possible to design more selective and effective drugs through numerical simulations. A new study analyzed in detail the mechanisms activating an important pharmacological target involved in female hormone synthesis, exceeding the limits of experimental approaches. This research, funded by AIRC—the Italian Association for Cancer Research, has shown that molecules of different shapes and sizes follow the same pathways within the protein to access the active site i.e. the heart of the protein where female hormones are synthesized and has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. "Cytochromes P450 are enzymes that play a key role in the metabolism of different hormones and drugs. In particular, they are important pharmacological targets for treating breast and prostate cancer" explains Alessandra Magistrato, CNR-IOM / SISSA researcher and first co-author of the work together with Jacopo Sgrignani of the Bellinzona Institute for Research in Biomedicine. "We have known for a long time that these enzymes are characterized by a hidden active site, which can be reached through several of grueling access channels whose real function is not yet known. We chose aromatase as a prototype of the cytochrome P450 family and compared the access paths of two molecules differing in shape, size and hydrophobicity – i.e. the tendency to interact with water". Aromatase is an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of female sex hormones, whose excessive production is among the causes of breast cancer development. In the study, led by Alessandra Magistrato of CNR-IOM/SISSA and Andrea Cavalli of the Bellinzona Institute for Research in Biomedicine and carried out in collaboration with Rolf Krause of the University of Italian Switzerland, the researchers compared a last-generation anti breast cancer drug, an aromatase inhibitor, and a hormone on which the enzyme acts.___

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2017-05-18 16:00:04 (8 comments; 10 reshares; 61 +1s; )Open 

North Sea Wind Power Hub: A giant wind farm to power all of north Europe

The harnessing of energy has never been without projects of monolithic scale. From the Hoover Dam to the Three Gorges—the world's largest power station—engineers the world over have recognised that with size comes advantages. The trend is clear within the wind power industry too, where the tallest wind turbines now tower up to 220m, with rotors spinning through an area greater than that of the London Eye, generating electricity for wind farms that can power whole cities. While the forecast for offshore wind farms of the future is for ever-larger projects featuring ever-larger wind turbines, an unprecedented plan from electricity grid operators in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark aims to rewrite the rulebook on offshore wind development. The proposal is relatively straight-forward: build an artificialisl... more »

North Sea Wind Power Hub: A giant wind farm to power all of north Europe

The harnessing of energy has never been without projects of monolithic scale. From the Hoover Dam to the Three Gorges—the world's largest power station—engineers the world over have recognised that with size comes advantages. The trend is clear within the wind power industry too, where the tallest wind turbines now tower up to 220m, with rotors spinning through an area greater than that of the London Eye, generating electricity for wind farms that can power whole cities. While the forecast for offshore wind farms of the future is for ever-larger projects featuring ever-larger wind turbines, an unprecedented plan from electricity grid operators in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark aims to rewrite the rulebook on offshore wind development. The proposal is relatively straight-forward: build an artificial island in the middle of the North Sea to serve as a cost-saving base of operations for thousands of wind turbines, while at the same time doubling up as a hub that connects the electricity grids of countries bordering the North Sea, including the UK. In time, more islands may be built too; daisy chained via underwater cables to create a super-sized array of wind farms tapping some of best wind resources in the world. “Don’t be mistaken, this is really a very large, very ambitious project—there’s nothing like it anywhere in the world. We’re taking offshore wind to the next level,” Jeroen Brouwers, spokesperson for the organisation that first proposed the plan, Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT, tells Ars Technica. “As we see it, each island could facilitate approximately 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy; but the concept is modular, so we could establish multiple interconnected islands, potentially supporting up to 70 to 100GW.”

link: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/north-sea-wind-power-hub-offshore-wind-farm/___

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2017-05-18 15:47:16 (6 comments; 2 reshares; 60 +1s; )Open 

Orangutan moms breastfeed for eight years

In 2012, a Time magazine cover showing a three-year-old kid breastfeeding caused a ruckus. Well, that photo would have been just fine in the orangutan world: young orangutans keep nursing for eight years or more — longer than any other mammal, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed the teeth of four wild orangutans for an element absorbed from breast milk, barium. The presence of barium suggested that breastfeeding continues in cycles for at least eight years, helping young orangutans get their nutrition even when other food sources like fruits are scarce. The findings, published today in the journal Science Advances, deepen our understanding of these elusive primates — and could help scientists in their efforts to protect them from extinction.

Orangutan moms breastfeed for eight years

In 2012, a Time magazine cover showing a three-year-old kid breastfeeding caused a ruckus. Well, that photo would have been just fine in the orangutan world: young orangutans keep nursing for eight years or more — longer than any other mammal, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed the teeth of four wild orangutans for an element absorbed from breast milk, barium. The presence of barium suggested that breastfeeding continues in cycles for at least eight years, helping young orangutans get their nutrition even when other food sources like fruits are scarce. The findings, published today in the journal Science Advances, deepen our understanding of these elusive primates — and could help scientists in their efforts to protect them from extinction.___

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2017-05-18 15:39:50 (0 comments; 13 reshares; 94 +1s; )Open 

Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, they said...In both studies, the researchers looked for patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults ages 65 to 75. They analyzed the relationship between these nutrient patterns and subjects' brain structure and performance on cognitive tests. This research differs from other such studies, which tend to focus on only one or two polyunsaturated fatty acids, Zamroziewicz said....In a study reported in the journal Nutritional... more »

Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, they said...In both studies, the researchers looked for patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults ages 65 to 75. They analyzed the relationship between these nutrient patterns and subjects' brain structure and performance on cognitive tests. This research differs from other such studies, which tend to focus on only one or two polyunsaturated fatty acids, Zamroziewicz said....In a study reported in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, the researchers looked for relationships between several omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the relative size of structures in the frontal and parietal cortices of the brain, and performance on tests of fluid intelligence in healthy elderly adults. The team found correlations between blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids—ALA, stearidonic acid and ecosatrienoic acid—and fluid intelligence in these adults. Further analyses revealed that the size of the left frontoparietal cortex played a mediating role in this relationship. People with higher blood levels of these three nutrients tended to have larger left frontoparietal cortices, and the size of the frontoparietal cortex predicted the subjects' performance on tests of fluid intelligence. "A lot of research tells us that people need to be eating fish and fish oil to get neuroprotective effects from these particular fats, but this new finding suggests that even the fats that we get from nuts, seeds and oils can also make a difference in the brain," Zamroziewicz said...."These two studies highlight the importance of investigating the effects of groups of nutrients together, rather than focusing on one at a time," Barbey said. "They suggest that different patterns of polyunsaturated fats promote specific aspects of cognition by strengthening the underlying neural circuits that are vulnerable to disease and age-related decline."___

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2017-05-18 00:24:17 (42 comments; 21 reshares; 178 +1s; )Open 

Autism May Be Linked to Cells That Prune Brain Connections

A difference in these trimming cells between the sexes might render males most vulnerable to the disorder. Cells that prune connections between neurons in babies’ brains as they grow are thought to have a role in autism spectrum disorder. Now, a study suggests that the number and behaviour of these cells—called microglia—vary in boys and girls, a finding that could help to explain why many more boys are diagnosed with autism and related disorders. Donna Werling, a neurogeneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues found that genes associated with microglia are more active in male brains than in female brains in the months before birth. “This suggests there is something fundamentally different about male and female brain development,” she says. The research, to be presented on May 13 at theInternati... more »

Autism May Be Linked to Cells That Prune Brain Connections

A difference in these trimming cells between the sexes might render males most vulnerable to the disorder. Cells that prune connections between neurons in babies’ brains as they grow are thought to have a role in autism spectrum disorder. Now, a study suggests that the number and behaviour of these cells—called microglia—vary in boys and girls, a finding that could help to explain why many more boys are diagnosed with autism and related disorders. Donna Werling, a neurogeneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues found that genes associated with microglia are more active in male brains than in female brains in the months before birth. “This suggests there is something fundamentally different about male and female brain development,” she says. The research, to be presented on May 13 at the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California, is still preliminary. Very little is known about how microglial trimming behaviour affects brain development. But the study by Werling’s team “is the kind of work that makes you say ‘Wow, this is really interesting, and we should take it seriously’”, says Kevin Pelphrey, a neuroscientist at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. There are two to five times many males with autism as females. Although the disorder—whose cause remains elusive—is widely acknowledged to be underdiagnosed in girls, psychiatrists agree that there is a significant disparity between the numbers of male and female cases. It suggests that biological differences between the sexes are involved. Werling set out to find the biological reason why males have higher rates of autism than females. To do so, she and her colleagues examined how gene expression in brain tissue varied between men and women. Their initial prediction was that genes previously linked to autism would be expressed at higher levels in the men. But the team found no clear pattern of autism gene expression that separated men from women. However, genes that cause microglia to develop, or are turned on by the cells, were more active in the men. In subsequent analyses, she and other researchers grouped the brain samples by age and found that the biggest difference in microglial gene expression between males and females occurs in the months before birth. Meanwhile, some of her colleagues were part of a group that reported last year in Nature that genes associated with microglia were expressed at higher levels in brain samples from people with autism than in people without the condition.___

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2017-05-18 00:19:41 (11 comments; 22 reshares; 133 +1s; )Open 

Google’s next-generation AI training system is monstrously fast

...the company developed a way to rig 64 TPUs together into what it calls TPU Pods, effectively turning a Google server rack into a supercomputer with 11.5 petaflops of computational power. Even on their own, the second-gen TPUs are capable of “delivering a staggering 180 teraflops of computing power and are built for just the kind of number crunching that drives machine learning today,” says Fei-Fei Li, Google’s chief scientist of AI and machine learning. The edge this gives Google over competitors’ offerings is the speed and freedom to experiment, says Jeff Dean, a senior fellow on the Google Brain team. “Our new large-scale translation model takes a full day to train on 32 of the world's best commercially available GPU's,” Dean told a group of reporters in a press briefing this week. “While oneeighth of a TPU... more »

Google’s next-generation AI training system is monstrously fast

...the company developed a way to rig 64 TPUs together into what it calls TPU Pods, effectively turning a Google server rack into a supercomputer with 11.5 petaflops of computational power. Even on their own, the second-gen TPUs are capable of “delivering a staggering 180 teraflops of computing power and are built for just the kind of number crunching that drives machine learning today,” says Fei-Fei Li, Google’s chief scientist of AI and machine learning. The edge this gives Google over competitors’ offerings is the speed and freedom to experiment, says Jeff Dean, a senior fellow on the Google Brain team. “Our new large-scale translation model takes a full day to train on 32 of the world's best commercially available GPU's,” Dean told a group of reporters in a press briefing this week. “While one eighth of a TPU pod can do the job in an afternoon.”
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