KurzweilAI » News
13 Nov 2016
  • Brain scan better than polygraph in spotting lies
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:26:34 +0000
    Scanning people’s brains with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was significantly more effective at spotting lies than a traditional polygraph test, researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. When someone is lying, areas of the brain linked to decision-making are activated, [...]
  • Researchers restore leg movement in primates using wireless neural interface
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 08:09:02 +0000
    An international team of scientists has used a wireless “brain-spinal interface” to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring nearly normal intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg. The finding could help in developing a similar system to rehabilitate humans who have had spinal cord injuries. The system uses signals [...]
  • Could these three brain regions be the seat of consciousness?
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 06:40:23 +0000
    An international team of neurologists led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has identified three specific regions of the brain that appear to be critical components of consciousness: one in the brainstem, involved in arousal; and two cortical regions involved in awareness. To pinpoint the exact regions, the neurologists first analyzed 36 patients with [...]
  • A super-high-resolution snapshot of RNA folding
    Sat, 05 Nov 2016 03:17:05 +0000
    Northwestern University engineers have invented a tool to make a super-high-resolution representation of RNA folding as it is being synthesized. It could potentially lead to future discoveries in basic biology, gene expression, RNA viruses, and disease. Made up of long chains of nucleotides, RNA is responsible for many tasks in the cellular environment, including making [...]
  • New antimicrobial peptide kills strains resistant to existing antibiotics
    Fri, 04 Nov 2016 07:06:54 +0000
    A team of researchers at MIT, the University of Brasilia, and the University of British Columbia has engineered an antimicrobial peptide to wipe out many types of bacteria, including some that are resistant to most antibiotics. A recent study from a U.K. commission on antimicrobial resistance estimated that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections will kill [...]
  • Neuroscience review reframes ‘mind-wandering’ and mental illness
    Fri, 04 Nov 2016 04:35:24 +0000
    In a review of neuroscience literature from more than 200 journals, published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, a University of British Columbia-led team has proposed a radical new framework for understanding “mind wandering” and mental illness. Within this framework, spontaneous thought processes — including mind-wandering, creative thinking, and dreaming — arise when thoughts are relatively free from [...]
  • ‘Passive haptic learning’ (PHL) system teaches Morse code without trying
    Thu, 03 Nov 2016 09:24:31 +0000
    Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a “passive haptic learning” (PHL) system that teaches people Morse code within four hours, using a series of vibrations felt near the ear. Participants wearing Google Glass learned it without paying attention to the signals —they played games while feeling the taps and hearing the corresponding letters. [...]
  • Scientists find key protein for spinal cord repair in zebrafish
    Thu, 03 Nov 2016 05:50:53 +0000
    Duke University | Spinal Cord Injury and Regeneration in Zebrafish Duke University scientists have found a protein that’s important for the ability of the freshwater zebrafish’s spinal cord to heal completely after being severed. Their study, published Nov. 4  in the journal Science, could generate new leads for what is a paralyzing and often fatal [...]
  • ‘Nanobionic’ spinach plants detect explosives, pollution, drought
    Thu, 03 Nov 2016 02:40:10 +0000
    MIT engineers have implanted spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, resulting in a hybrid electronic system that they call “plant nanobionics” for detecting dangerous (and other) chemicals. Two years ago, in the first demonstration of plant nanobionics, MIT engineer Michael Strano, PhD, used nanoparticles to enhance plants’ photosynthesis ability and turn them into sensors for nitric oxide, a [...]
  • New study challenges consensus that math abilities are innate
    Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:22:25 +0000
    A new theory on how the brain first learns basic math could alter approaches to identifying and teaching students with math-learning disabilities, according to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers. The widely accepted “sense of numbers” theory suggests people are born with a “sense of numbers,” an innate ability to recognize different quantities, and [...]
  • Electroacupuncture lowers hypertension by activating natural opioids
    Wed, 02 Nov 2016 02:01:39 +0000
    A study led by researchers at UC Irvine’s Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine suggests electroacupuncture can effectively reduce hypertension in rats. The team led by cardiology researcher Zhi-Ling Guo published evidence in Nature’s Scientific Reports (open access) to show how electroacupuncture remediates high blood pressure “by increasing the gene expression of enkephalin, one of [...]
  • How to 3D-print your own baby universe
    Tue, 01 Nov 2016 05:44:47 +0000
    Researchers have created a 3D-printed cosmic microwave background (CMB) — a map of the oldest light in the universe — and have provided the files for download. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the “glow” that the universe had in the microwave range. It maps the oldest light in the universe and tells astronomers more [...]
  • New MIT technique reveals the basis for machine-learning systems’ hidden decisions
    Mon, 31 Oct 2016 23:22:53 +0000
    MIT researchers have developed a method to determine the rationale for predictions by neural networks, which loosely mimic the human brain. Neural networks, such as Google’s Alpha Go program, use a process known as “deep learning” to look for patterns in training data. An ongoing problem with neural networks is that they are “black boxes.” [...]
  • Neurons from stem cells replace damaged neurons, precisely rewiring into the brain
    Sat, 29 Oct 2016 01:32:39 +0000
    Embryonic neural stem cells transplanted into damaged areas of the visual cortex of adult mice were able to differentiate into pyramidal cells — forming normal synaptic connections, responding to visual stimuli, and integrating into neural networks — researchers at LMU Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have [...]
  • Boosting levels of antioxidant may help resist age-related decline
    Sat, 29 Oct 2016 00:50:12 +0000
    Researchers at Oregon State University have found evidence in a rat study* that levels of glutathione, which helps resist the toxic stresses of everyday life, decline with age, and this sets the stage for a wide range of age-related health problems, they suggest. The new study, published in the journal Redox Biology, also highlighted a [...]
  • A deep-learning system to alert companies before litigation
    Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:39:25 +0000
    Imagine a world with less litigation. That’s the promise of a deep-learning system developed by Intraspexion, Inc. that can alert company or government attorneys to forthcoming risks before getting hit with expensive litigation. “These risks show up in internal communications such as emails,” said CEO Nick Brestoff. “In-house attorneys have been blind to these risks, [...]
  • Ultra-low-power transistors could function for years without a battery
    Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:51:03 +0000
    Devices based on a new ultra-low-power thin-film transistor design by University of Cambridge engineers could function for months or even years without a battery, by operating on scavenged energy from their environment — ideal for the Internet of Things and for wearable or implantable electronics. The transistors can be produced at low temperatures and can be printed on [...]
  • ‘Bits & Watts’: integrating inexpensive energy sources into the electric grid
    Wed, 26 Oct 2016 01:06:05 +0000
    Stanford University and DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory launched today an initiative called “Bits & Watts” aimed at integrating low-carbon, inexpensive energy sources, like wind and solar, into the electric grid. The interdisciplinary initiative hopes to develop “smart” technology that will bring the grid into the 21st century while delivering reliable, efficient, affordable power to homes [...]
  • Will AI replace judges and lawyers?
    Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:39:09 +0000
    An artificial intelligence method developed by University College London computer scientists and associates has predicted the judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) with 79% accuracy, according to a paper published Monday, Oct. 24 in PeerJ Computer Science. The method is the first to predict the outcomes of a major international court by automatically [...]
  • ‘Atomic sandwich’ computing material uses 100 times less energy
    Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:26:12 +0000
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have developed a new “magnetoelectric multiferroic*” material that could lead to a new generation of computing devices with more computing power while consuming a fraction of the energy that today’s electronics require. Electronics could be half of our total global energy consumption by 2030 “Electronics are the fastest-growing consumer of [...]
  • Will we kill (or contaminate) microbial life on Mars?
    Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:29:27 +0000
    Recent evidence of water, complex organic molecules, and methane in the Martian environment, combined with findings from the 1976 Viking mission, have led to the conclusion that existing microbial life on Mars is a possibility that must be considered, according to the authors of a paper in the journal Astrobiology (open-access until November 15, 2016). Coauthors Gilbert [...]
  • Bendable electronic color ‘paper’ invented
    Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:30:53 +0000
    Chalmers University of Technology researchers have developed the basic technology for a new kind of reflective electronic “paper” that is micrometer-thin and bendable. It can display all colors displayed on an LED display, but with one tenth the energy required with a Kindle tablet. The technology is based on electrically controllable optical absorption of a [...]
  • Zapping deep tumors with microwave-heated photosensitizer nanoparticle
    Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:42:30 +0000
    Physicists at The University of Texas at Arlington have invented a new photosensitizer  nanoparticle called copper-cysteamine (Cu-Cy) that when heated by microwave energy can precisely zap cancer cells deep in the body . Photodynamic therapy kills cancer cells when a photosensitizer* nanoparticle introduced into tumor tissue is stimulated by (typically) near-infrared light, generating toxic reactive [...]
  • Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent graphene neural sensors
    Sat, 15 Oct 2016 03:33:53 +0000
    In an open-access paper published Thursday (Oct. 13, 2016) in the journal Nature Protocols, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers have published details of how to fabricate and use neural microelectrocorticography (ÎŒECoG) arrays made with transparent graphene in applications in electrophysiology, fluorescent microscopy, optical coherence tomography, and optogenetics. Graphene is one of the most promising candidates for transparent neural [...]
  • Mars-bound astronauts face brain damage from galactic cosmic ray exposure, says NASA-funded study
    Fri, 14 Oct 2016 07:39:07 +0000
    A NASA-funded study of rodents exposed to highly energetic charged particles — similar to the galactic cosmic rays that will bombard astronauts during extended spaceflights — found that the rodents developed long-term memory deficits, anxiety, depression, and impaired decision-making (not to mention long-term cancer risk). The study by University of California, Irvine (UCI) scientists* appeared [...]
  • Zapping undifferentiated stem cells with light to prevent tumors
    Fri, 14 Oct 2016 07:37:38 +0000
    Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) could be the key to a host of regeneration therapies because they can differentiate (develop) into basically any tissue type. But some PSCs in a culture dish can remain undifferentiated, and those could form teratomas — a type of tumor — if transplanted into patients. Now a new light-based technology could [...]
  • Berkeley Lab announces first transistor with a working 1-nanometer gate
    Tue, 11 Oct 2016 23:36:33 +0000
    The first transistor with a working 1-nanometer (nm) gate* has been created by a team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists. Until now, a transistor gate size less than 5 nanometers has been considered impossible because of quantum tunneling effects. (One nanometer is the diameter of a glucose molecule.) The breakthrough was [...]
  • First human clinical trial for nicotinamide riboside
    Tue, 11 Oct 2016 06:53:33 +0000
    In the first controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide riboside (NR), a newly discovered form of Vitamin B3, researchers have shown that the compound is safe for humans and increases levels of a cell metabolite called NAD+ that is critical for cellular energy production and protection against stress and DNA damage. Levels of NAD+ (first discovered [...]
  • Coming soon: a 3-D computer model of a cell
    Fri, 07 Oct 2016 07:02:03 +0000
    Advances in molecular biology and computer science may soon lead to a three-dimensional computer model of a cell, heralding a new era for biological research, medical science, and human and animal health, according to the authors of a paper recently published in the Journal of Molecular Biology. “Cells are the foundation of life,” said Ilya Vakser, [...]
  • A carbon-nanotube trap for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification
    Fri, 07 Oct 2016 05:57:01 +0000
    Penn State researchers have developed a new portable microdevice that uses a forest-like array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes to selectively trap and concentrate viruses by their size. It could improve detection of viruses and speed the process of identifying newly emerging viruses. The research, by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Penn State, was published [...]
  • “ANA AVATAR” selected as a top-prize concept at XPRIZE Visioneers 2016 Summit
    Thu, 06 Oct 2016 22:19:07 +0000
    A concept for remote-controlled “avatar” humanoid robots, presented by ANA, Japan’s largest airline, was named one of the three “top prize concept” finalists at XPRIZE’s recent inaugural Visioneers event. The ANA AVATAR Team, led by scientist Harry Kloor, PhD, presented an ambitious vision of a future in which human pilots would hear, see, talk, touch, [...]
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 awarded to three pioneers of molecular machines
    Wed, 05 Oct 2016 19:53:13 +0000
    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded today to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, PhD, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart,PhD, and Bernard L. Feringa, PhD, for their design and production of molecular machines. They have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added. The first step towards a molecular machine was taken by Jean-Pierre [...]
  • New catheter lets doctors see inside arteries for first time
    Wed, 05 Oct 2016 05:24:02 +0000
    A new safer catheter design that allows cardiologists to see inside arteries for the first time and remove plaque from only diseased tissue has been used by interventional cardiologists at UC San Diego Health. The new image-guided device, Avinger’s Pantheris, allows doctors to see and remove plaque simultaneously during an atherectomy — a minimally invasive [...]
  • Genetically engineered peptides on 2D nanosheets form bio-nano interfaces
    Wed, 05 Oct 2016 03:51:32 +0000
    Engineers at the University of Washington have created genetically engineered peptides that self-assemble into arrays of nanowires on two-dimensional nanosheets (single-layer graphene and molybdenum disulfide) to relay information across a bio-nano interface — a first step towards fully self-assembled future biomedical and electro-optical bionanoelectronic devices. Arrays of peptides could provide organized scaffolds for functional biomolecules, [...]
  • Synapse-like memristor-based electronic device detects brain spikes in real time
    Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:34:59 +0000
    A bio-inspired electronic device called a memristor could allow for real-time processing of neuronal signals (spiking events), new research led by the University of Southampton has demonstrated. The research could lead to using multi-electrode array implants for detecting spikes in the brain’s electrical signals from more than 1,000 recording channels to help treat neurological conditions, [...]
  • How to send secure passwords through your body instead of air
    Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:42:10 +0000
    University of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body, using benign, low-frequency transmissions already generated by fingerprint sensors and touchpads on consumer devices. “Let’s say I want to open a door using an electronic smart lock,” said Merhdad Hessar, a UW electrical engineering doctoral [...]
  • Graphene crowd-surfs on a lipid monolayer
    Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:26:26 +0000
    “Crowd-surfing” on a smooth, supportive lipid monolayer, graphene could provide a versatile new platform for biosensors and drug delivery systems, researchers at Leiden University in The Netherlands have discovered. Graphene is typically supported or sandwiched with other two-dimensional materials to promote higher mobility, ensure consistent electrical performance, and prevent environmental contamination. But combining graphene with [...]
  • IBM announces AI-powered decision-making
    Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:23:54 +0000
    IBM today announced today Watson-based “Project DataWorks,” the first cloud-based data and analytics platform to integrate all types of data and enable AI-powered decision-making. Project DataWorks is designed to make it simple for business leaders and data professionals to collect, organize, govern, and secure data, and become a “cognitive business.” Achieving data insights is increasingly complex, [...]
  • Elon Musk unveils plans for Mars civilization
    Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:45:04 +0000
    In a talk on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk laid out engineering details to establish a permanent, self-sustaining civilization of a million people on Mars, with an initial flight as soon as 2024. SpaceX is designing a massive reusable Interplanetary Transport System spacecraft with cabins. The trip would [...]
  • D-Wave Systems previews 2000-qubit quantum processor
    Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:14:14 +0000
    D-Wave Systems announced Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2016) a new 2000-qubit processor, doubling the number of qubits over the previous-generation D-Wave 2X system. The new system will enable larger problems to be solved and performance improvements of up to 1000 times. D-Wave’s quantum system runs a quantum-annealing algorithm to find the lowest points in a virtual [...]
  • A thought-controlled robotic exoskeleton for the hand
    Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:21:45 +0000
    Scientists at ETH Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory in Switzerland have invented a robotic system that they say could fundamentally change the daily lives of stroke patients. According to the ETH scientists, one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime; two thirds of those affected suffer from paralysis of the arm. Intensive clinical training, [...]
  • Smoking leaves ‘footprint’ in DNA
    Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:10:46 +0000
    Smoking leaves its “footprint” on the human genome in the form of DNA methylation, a process that affects what genes are turned on, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, an American Heart Association journal. The new findings could provide researchers with potential targets for new therapies. “These results are important because methylation, as [...]
  • How to watch the US presidential debates in VR
    Sun, 25 Sep 2016 06:20:20 +0000
    NBC has teamed with AltSpaceVR to stream the U.S. presidential debate Monday night Sept. 26 live in virtual reality for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR devices. Or as late-night comic Jimmy Fallon put it, “If you’re wearing a VR headset, it will be like the candidates are lying right to your face.” [...]
  • How to detect emotions remotely with wireless signals
    Fri, 23 Sep 2016 07:12:23 +0000
    MITCSAIL | EQ-Radio: Emotion Recognition using Wireless Signals MIT researchers from have developed “EQ-Radio,” a device that can detect a person’s emotions using wireless signals. By measuring subtle changes in breathing and heart rhythms, EQ-Radio is 87 percent accurate at detecting if a person is excited, happy, angry or sad — and can do so [...]
  • Someone is learning how to take down the Internet
    Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:28:25 +0000
    “Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet,” according to a blog post by security expert Bruce Schneier. “These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would [...]
  • Self-powered ‘materials that compute’ and recognize simple patterns
    Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:50:04 +0000
    University of Pittsburgh researchers have modeled the design of a “material that computes” — a hybrid material, powered only by its own chemical reactions, that can recognize simple patterns. The material could one day be integrated into clothing and used to monitor the human body, or developed as a skin for “squishy” robots, for example, according [...]
  • These six plant extracts could delay aging
    Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:06:46 +0000
    Six previously identified plant extracts can delay aging by affecting different signaling pathways that set the pace of growing old, researchers from Concordia University and Idunn Technologies have found, in a study recently published (open-access) in Oncotarget. Using yeast — a favored cellular aging model — Vladimir Titorenko, a biology professor and the study’s senior author, and his colleagues [...]
  • DARPA’s plan for total surveillance of low-flying drones over cities
    Fri, 16 Sep 2016 08:23:38 +0000
    DARPA’s recently announced Aerial Dragnet program is seeking innovative technologies to “provide persistent, wide-area surveillance of all unmanned aerial systems (UAS), such as quadcopters, operating below 1,000 feet in a large city. UAS devices can be adapted for terrorist or military purposes, so U.S. forces will “increasingly be challenged by the need to quickly detect [...]
  • Highest-resolution map of the entire human brain created
    Fri, 16 Sep 2016 06:56:31 +0000
    The Allen Institute for Brain Science has published the highest-resolution atlas of the human brain to date in a stand-alone issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. This digital human brain atlas allows researchers to investigate the structural basis of human brain function and is freely available as part of the suite of Allen Brain Atlas [...]
  • Engineering ‘backup’ mitochondrial genes to restore power to cells
    Fri, 16 Sep 2016 06:27:36 +0000
    A new study by SENS Research Foundation, published in an open-access paper in the journal Nucleic Acids Research, explores the possibility of re-engineering mutated mitochondrial genes, which can otherwise lead to incurable disorders* and contribute to aging. Mitochondria have their own DNA, allowing them to create proteins to supply nutrients and energy to cells. But [...]