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Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium aims to tackle neurodegenerative disease

July 27, 2012

NeuronsandTangles-NIA2

A coalition of academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and state government is coming together to confront the challenge of curing neurodegenerative disease.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. For most, diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s attack slowly and lead us down a slope of gradually deteriorating mental or physical function that current scientific methods are able to diagnose only after debilitating symptoms have set in, and not… read more

Multi-party quantum communication now possible, physicists demonstrate

March 26, 2014

u_waterloo_quantum_nonlocality

Physicists at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo have demonstrated the distribution of three entangled photons at three different locations (Alice, Bob, and Charlie) several hundreds of meters apart for the first time, proving quantum nonlocality for more than two entangled photons.

The findings of the experiment, Experimental Three-Particle Quantum Nonlocality under Strict Locality Conditions, are published in… read more

Using large-scale brain simulations for machine learning and AI

June 27, 2012

unsupervised_icml2012_cat_and_face

The Google research team has been working on some new approaches to large-scale machine learningGoogle Official Blog reports.

Today’s machine learning technology takes significant work to adapt to new uses. For example, say we’re trying to build a system that can distinguish between pictures of cars and motorcycles.

In the standard machine learning approach, we first have to collect tens of thousands of pictures that have already been

read more

New Fox science fiction show Almost Human features androids

November 17, 2013

Almost human poster

Almost Human is a new Fox TV series set in 2048 when humans in the Los Angeles Police Department are paired up with lifelike androids. It features a detective with a bionic leg paired with an android capable of emotion.

The series premiered November 17, 2013 on Fox. Full episodes are also viewable here.

Executive-produced by J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost, and the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises),… read more

Desktop-printing electronic circuits, other nanofabricated devices

To replace multibillion-dollar centralized facilities with desktop printers for nanofabrication of electronic and biotech devices in two years
July 23, 2013

Inductors, capacitors and a SAW sensor created by actuated BPL. The scale bar is 1 mm.

A much-anticipated, low-cost, high-resolution desktop nanofabrication tool promises to revolutionize fabrication of electronic circuits and other nanofabricated devices, according to a new study by Northwestern University researchers.

“With this breakthrough, we can construct very high-quality materials and devices, such as processing semiconductors over large areas, said Chad A. Mirkin, senior author of the study and a world-renowned pioneer in the field of nanoscience.

And… read more

Capturing black hole spin could further understanding of galaxy growth

August 1, 2013

black hole spin courtesy of nasa-jpl-caltech

Durham University Astronomers have found a new way of measuring the spin in supermassive black holes, which could lead to better understanding about how they drive the growth of galaxies.

The astronomers observed a black hole — with a mass 10 million times that of our Sun — at the center of a spiral galaxy 500 million light years from Earth while it was feeding on the… read more

The amazing trajectories of life-bearing meteorites from Earth

April 12, 2012

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The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago (10 km in diameter, mass greater than 1 trillion tons) must have ejected billions of tons of life-bearing meteorites into space. Now Kyoto Sangyo University physicists have calculated this could have seeded life in the solar system and even as far as Gliese 581,  Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

Their results contain a number of surprises:

  • As

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Skilled work, without the worker

August 19, 2012

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A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution, The New York Times reports.

Factories like a Philips Electronics factory in the Netherlands, where 128 robot arms do the same work  as hundreds of workers in  sister factory, are a striking counterpoint to those used by… read more

You’re far less in control of your brain than you think

When your eyes tell your hands what to think
October 1, 2012

haptic_torque_perception

You’ve probably never given much thought to the fact that picking up your cup of morning coffee presents your brain with a set of complex decisions. You need to decide how to aim your hand, grasp the handle and raise the cup to your mouth, all without spilling the contents on your lap.

A new Northwestern University study shows that, not only does your brain… read more

Breakthrough may lead to large-scale quantum computing

October 21, 2012

Nanowire-double quantum dot (DQD) device stores spin qubits (credit:

In a key step toward creating a working quantum computer, Princeton University researchers have developed a method that may allow for quick, reliable transfer of quantum information throughout a computing device.

The finding, by a team led by Princeton physicist Jason Petta, could eventually allow engineers to build quantum computers consisting of millions of quantum bits, or qubits. So far, quantum researchers have only been able to… read more

Solve for X: celebrating moonshot thinking

February 15, 2013

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Last week, Google hosted its 2013 Solve for X event, where they gathered 50 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world who are taking on moonshots — proposals that address a huge problem, suggest a radical solution that could work, and use some form of breakthrough technology to make it happen, Megan Smith and Astro Teller, co-hosts/creators of… read more

Meta’s AR headset lets you play with virtual objects in 3D space

February 4, 2013

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A new augmented reality headset from Meta puts a full twin-display digital environment — controlled by two-hand 3D tracking — in front of the user, Slashgear reports.

The prototype headset uses Epson Moverio BT-100 see-through glasses with a low-latency 3D camera mounted on top.

Both components reportedly feed into custom electronics in a separate wearable computer, which can track individual fingertips and… read more

Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe

May 8, 2014

illustris-simulation

Astronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called “Illustris.”

Illustris can recreate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution.

“Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” says lead author Mark Vogelsberger (MIT/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics),… read more

Building block of a programmable neuromorphic substrate: a digital neurosynaptic core

June 22, 2012

Neurosynaptic core (credit: IBM)

The Cornell – IBM SyNAPSE team has fabricated a key building block of a modular neuromorphic architecture: a neurosynaptic core, IBM Almaden scientist Dr. Dharmendra S Modha’s Cognitive Computing Blog reports.

The core incorporates central elements from neuroscience, including 256 leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, 1024 axons, and 256x1024 synapses using an SRAM crossbar memory. It fits in a 4.2mm square area, using a 45nm SOI process.

A design prototype of the… read more

Why your memory is like the telephone game

Each time you recall an event, your brain distorts it
September 21, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Remember the telephone game where people take turns whispering a message into the ear of the next person in line? By the time the last person speaks it out loud, the message has radically changed. It’s been altered with each retelling.

Turns out your memory is a lot like that, according to a new Northwestern University Medicine study.

Every time you remember an event from the… read more

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