science + technology news

Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak

August 14, 2012

738px-Three_Surveillance_cameras

It sounds like something from the film Minority Report: a CCTV surveillance system that recognizes people from their face or walk and analyzes whether they might be about to commit a terrorist or criminal act, The Guardian reports.

According to documents released online by WikiLeaks last week, Trapwire is being used in a number of countries to try to monitor people and threats.

Founded by former… read more

The Holy Grail: Machine Learning + Extreme Robotics

September 3, 2015

SXSW

Two experts on robotics and machine learning will reveal breakthrough developments in humanlike robots and machine learning at the annual SXSW conference in Austin next March, in a proposed* panel called “The Holy Grail: Machine Learning + Extreme Robotics.”

Participants will interact with Hanson Robotics’ forthcoming state-of-the-art female Sophia robot as a participant on the panel as she spontaneously tracks human faces, listens to… read more

Android smartphone to control satellite in orbit

February 27, 2013

surrey_sat_tech

A satellite with an Android Google Nexus One smartphone at its heart is now orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 785 kilometers.

Called STRaND-1,  the UK’s first cubesat, the satellite’s incorporation of a phone is a bold attempt to test how well cheap, off-the-shelf consumer electronics handle the harsh temperature variations and microchip-blasting cosmic radiation of space, New Scientist reports.

The shoebox-sized satellite… read more

Why human genome editing research is essential

“Restricting research ... is premature and dangerous"
September 10, 2015

Genome with mutation (credit: NIH)

Research involving editing the human genome, including research with human embryos, is essential to gain basic understanding of biology and germ cells and should be permitted, according to one of the first global meetings to debate the controversial new techniques.

The bold statement was published today (Thursday, Sept. 10) by the Hinxton Group, a global network of stem cell researchers, bioethicists, and experts on policy and scientific… read more

Support cells found in human brain make mice smarter

March 8, 2013

brain_mice_human_astrocytes

Glial cells — a family of cells found in the human central nervous system and, until recently, considered mere “housekeepers” — now appear to be essential to the unique complexity of the human brain.

Scientists reached this conclusion after demonstrating that when transplanted into mice, these human cells could influence communication within the brain, allowing the animals to learn more rapidly.

The study suggests that the… read more

Print your own life-size robot for under $1,000

January 28, 2013

InMoov

Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and model-maker, has created a life-size, 3D-printed robot.called InMoov, CNN reports.

Langevin’s animatronic creation can be made by anyone with access to little more than a basic 3D printer, a few motors, a cheap circuit board, and about $800.

A work in progress, the robot boasts a head, arms, and hands — the torso is not far off. On… read more

Flying cars are here, almost

August 15, 2012

terrafugia

Cars will finally fly this year, BBC Future reports.

The Transition is $300,000 aircraft that can fold its wings, allowing it to also operate as a street-legal road vehicle, says Terrafugia.

The PAL-V (personal air and land vehicle), also $300,000, is an autogyro, with a propeller at the rear to provide forward thrust and a free-spinning rotor to give it lift. On the ground, it… read more

Neuroscientists pinpoint cell type in the brain that controls body clock

Could lead to treatments for jet lag, neurological problems, and metabolism issues, but one simple solution is to not use electronic devices before sleep
March 24, 2015

Suprachiasmatic nucleus controls sleep-wake cycles (credit: National Institute of General Medical Sciences)

UT Southwestern Medical Center neuroscientists have identified key cells in the brain that control 24-hour circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycles) as well as functions such as hormone production, metabolism, and blood pressure.

The discovery may lead to future treatments for jet lag and other sleep disorders and even for neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as metabolism issues and psychiatric disorders such as depression.

It’s been… read more

Machines will achieve human-level intelligence in the 2028 to 2150 range: poll

April 26, 2011

Probability density of human-level AI by date -- the blue represents skew Gaussian fits, the red represents triangular fits.(credit: Anders Sandberg)

Machines will achieve human-level intelligence by 2028 (median estimate: 10% chance), by 2050 (median estimate: 50% chance), or by 2150 (median estimate: 90% chance), according to an informal poll at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) Winter Intelligence conference on machine intelligence in January.

“Human‐level machine intelligence, whether due to a de novo AGI (artificial general intelligence) or biologically inspired/emulated systems, has a macroscopic probability to occurring… read more

A 360-degree view of the world

Paranoids alert
December 13, 2012

FlyViz

Have you ever dreamed of having eyes in the back of your head?

Yeah, we haven’t either, but FlyVIZ, designed by French engineers, lets you experience a real-time 360° vision of your surroundings. It combines a panoramic image acquisition system (positioned on top of the your head) with a head-mounted display (HMD) and a laptop for transforming the fly-eye images in real time into something humans can… read more

Practical artificial intelligence tools you can use today

December 30, 2015

(credit: KurzweilAI)

By Bob Gourley
Courtesy of
CTOvision.com

Practical artificial intelligence has made its way out of the labs and into our daily lives. And judging from the pace of activity in the startup community and the major IT powerhouses, it will only grow in its ability to help us all get things done.

Most AI solutions today are fielded by the big players in IT.  For example, … read more

Dramatic remissions in blood cancer in immunotherapy treatment trial

"We are at the precipice of a revolution in cancer treatment based on using immunotherapy." --- Stanley Riddell, MD
March 10, 2016

T cells ft

*****UPDATE JULY 12, 2016*****

Juno Therapeutics, Inc. announced July 7 that it has received notice from the FDA that it has placed a clinical hold on an immune-cell cancer treatment known as the “ROCKET” trial, which was reported on KurzweilAI on Mar. 10, 2016.

The clinical hold was initiated after two patient deaths, which followed the recent addition of fludarabine to the pre-conditioning regimen. Juno has… read more

Hierarchies exist in the brain because of lower connection costs, research shows

Findings may also improve artificial intelligence and robotics systems
June 10, 2016

heirarchical network ft

New research suggests why the human brain and other biological networks exhibit a hierarchical structure, and the study may improve attempts to create artificial intelligence.

The study, by researchers from the University of Wyoming and the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA, in France), demonstrates that the evolution of hierarchy — a simple system of ranking — in biological networks may arise because of the… read more

Real Jurassic World not far from reality?

June 9, 2015

Jurassic_World_poster-ft

Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the successful film series, in theaters June 12, will take viewers back to a world in which dinosaurs have been revived.

It’s not just be a movie, says Andrew Torrance, professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. We are close to “de-extinction” — reviving extinct creatures, he suggests.

While dinosaur fossils are too old and… read more

New graphene-based supercapacitors rival lead-acid batteries

August 5, 2013

graphene_ionic_1

Monash University researchers have developed a completely new strategy to engineer graphene-based supercapacitors (SC), making them viable for widespread use in renewable energy storage, portable electronics and electric vehicles.

SCs are generally made of highly porous carbon impregnated with a liquid electrolyte to transport the electrical charge. Known for their almost indefinite lifespan and the ability to re-charge in seconds, the drawback of existing SCs… read more

close and return to Home