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Stalking the wild microbiome

Startup biotech project offers sequencing of your 100 trillion microbes --- indiegogo crowdfunding campaign expires Thurs. Jan. 31 just before midnight
January 31, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

The full microbiome analysis will be available with the $1,337 Delta Five kit (credit: uBiome)

Did you know that foreign microoganisms outnumber our own cells by 10:1, and that we know almost nothing about how they affect our personal health?

Neither did I. But biotech startup µBiome, a UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute spinoff, hopes to fix all that by launching the world’s first citizen science effort to fully map the human “microbiome” (all the microbes in your body),… read more

DIY BioPrinter

January 28, 2013

DIY BioPrinter (credit: BioCurious/Instructables)

Bioprinting is printing with biological materials.

There’s a lot of work being done at research labs and big companies like Organovo on print human tissues and human organs, with an eye towards drug testing, and transplantation into humans.

Check out these amazing TED talks by Anthony Atala, for example:

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs
Anthony Atala: Printing a humanread more

The best tribute to Aaron Swartz

January 15, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

AaronSwartzPIPA

If you are a scientist, you can pay the best and most effective tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz by sharing PDFs of your published work on pdftribute.net via the hashtag #pdftribute on Twitter.

Researchers are now offering open-access versions of their work using this hashtag.

I also suggest to boycott the pay-walled journals of the science mafia and publish on… read more

How to control music and video on the Web with a wave of your hand

December 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

webcam sees

“We are so excited and pleased to release a new version [of Flutter] that allows you to control music & videos in Google Chrome using gestures — just in time for the holiday season. Flutter now supports YouTube, Pandora, Grooveshark & Netflix. We will be updating AppStore version in early 2013. For now direct download the new version.”… read more

Uploaded e-crews for interstellar missions

December 12, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The bright star Alpha Centauri and its surroundings

The awesome 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative by DARPA and NASA proposes to send people to the stars by the year 2100 — a huge challenge that will require bold, visionary, out-of-the-box thinking.

There are major challenges. “Using current propulsion technology, travel to a nearby star (such as our closest star system, Alpha Centauri, at 4.37 light years from the Sun, which also has a a planet with… read more

How bio-inspired deep learning keeps winning competitions

An interview with Dr. Juergen Schmidhuber on the future of neural networks
November 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica, Jürgen Schmidhuber

nn

Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber is Director of the Swiss Artificial Intelligence Lab, IDSIA. His research team’s artificial neural networks (NNs) have won many international awards, and recently were the first to achieve human-competitive performance on various benchmark data sets. I asked him about their secrets of success.… read more

Ask Ray | Asimov’s ‘The Last Question’

November 27, 2012 by Ray Kurzweil

Asimov The Last Question

Dear Ray,

About Asimov’s “The Last Question” — I was captivated by Asimov’s story as a child, and again some 50 years later in reading Ray’s version of the answer in The Singularity Is Near.

Looking forward to getting his new book!

Thank you,
Ron Eckhardt

Dear Ronald,

Thanks. Yes, the evolution of intelligence runs counter to the second law.… read more

Has Facebook made you psychotic?

Looking for something besides politics to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner?
November 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Are you lonely or vulnerable due to the loss of or separation from a loved one? Are you inexperienced with technology?

If so, you might want to read this before logging onto Facebook or Twitter after (or during) your Thanksgiving dinner.

Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University‘s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center presented three in-depth case studies from his own practice linking psychotic… read more

Your future smartphone and tablet will have 48 cores: Intel

But will more power-efficient intelligent neurosynaptic chips replace them?
November 2, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Single-chip cloud computer (credit: Intel)

Intel researchers are working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets — making them many times more powerful than today’s desktop computers within the next five to ten years, reports Computerworld.

Intel is distributing 100 of the experimental 48-core chips so researchers can work on the advanced parallel-computing programming models and software need to support these cores.

Intel says it’s using a prototype of a ”single-chip cloud computer” to… read more

Preserving the self for later emulation: what brain features do we need?

October 30, 2012 by John Smart

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Let me propose to you four interesting statements about the future:

1. As I argue in this video, chemical brain preservation is a technology that may soon be validated to inexpensively preserve the key features of our memories and identity at our biological death.

2. If either chemical or cryogenic brain preservation can be validated to reliably store retrievable and useful individual mental information, these medical… read more

Existence, uplift, and science news

October 26, 2012 by David Brin

existence

After an incredible decade, in which the number of planets known beyond our solar system increased from zero to several thousand, astronomers have detected an Earth-sized world orbiting between the two major stars nearest to our system, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B.

Much too hot to sustain life, it nevertheless will help in narrowing down the search space for others. (“News from Alpha Centauri.” Cool to say that!)

In a related… read more

AI and Ethiopia: an unexpected synergy

October 25, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

Getnet Aseffa explains Ray Kurzweil's exponential growth of computing (credit: Getnet Aseffa)

In February of this year, KurzweilAI.net’s Amara Angelica put me in touch with an enterprising young Ethiopian engineer named Getnet Aseffa, who was interested in advanced technologies and their implications, and especially in their potential application to help Ethiopia and other African nations.

After some email dialogue, Getnet arranged for me to give a talk via Skype to an audience at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology. The themes of… read more

Report from the Alcor-40 conference

October 24, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

Ben_at_Alcor

This past weekend I attended the Alcor 40 conference, hosted by the cryonics organization Alcor to celebrate its 40th year of operation, and I was extremely impressed.

(Full disclosure: I am an Alcor member, signed up in 2005 so that in the unfortunate event my body comes to meet the criteria of legal death, they will preserve it in liquid nitrogen until the advance of… read more

A stylish new brain-sensing headband

October 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Muse

Finally: a brainwave-sensing gadget disguised as a stylish wearable headband that would fit right in with Google Glass … and not make you look like a Fringe experiment run amok.

InteraXon just announced its Muse tonight. It’s available for pre-order now on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo (to raise $150,000) and due out in Spring 2013, the company says.

It’s not clear to me yet how this gadget differs from other EEG… read more

Extend your life span without dieting!

October 18, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: McDonald's)

Woo hoo! 

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that a starvation hormone markedly extends life span in mice without the need for calorie restriction.

Yes! I am sooo ready. I’ve waited years to have  fries!

Restricting food intake has been shown to extend lifespan in several different kinds of animals. But in the UT study, the researchers found transgenic mice that produced… read more

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