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Neuroscientists simulate tiny part of rat brain in a supercomputer

82 scientists and engineers simulate 37 million synapses in massive Blue Brain Project
October 8, 2015

A virtual brain slice in the rat neocortex (credit: Henry Markram et al./Cell)

The Blue Brain Project, the simulation core of the European Human Brain Project, released today (Oct. 8) a draft digital reconstruction of the neocortical microcircuitry of the rat brain.

The international team, led by Henry Markram of École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL) and funded in part by the Swiss government, completed a first-draft computer reconstruction of a piece of… read more

Miniature portable device produces biopharmaceuticals on demand at point-of-care

System will use microbes for manufacturing small amounts of vaccines and other therapeutics
August 1, 2016

Microbioreactor, a polycarbonate-PDMS membrane-polycarbonate sandwiched chip with active microfluidic circuits that are equipped for pneumatic routing of reagents, precise peristaltic injection, growth chamber mixing, and fluid extraction. (credit: Pablo Perez-Pinera et al./Nature Communications)

MIT researchers with DARPA funding have developed a portable device for manufacturing a range of biopharmaceuticals on demand, virtually anywhere.

For medics on the battlefield and doctors in remote or developing parts of the world, getting rapid access to the drugs needed to treat patients can be challenging. That’s because biopharmaceutical drugs, which are used in a wide range of therapies including vaccines and treatments… read more

A simplified graphical approach to machine learning

November 14, 2013

graph_theory

An algorithm that extends an artificial-intelligence technique to new tasks could aid in analysis of flight delays and social networks.

Much artificial-intelligence research is concerned with finding statistical correlations between variables: What combinations of visible features indicate the presence of a particular object in a digital image? What speech sounds correspond with instances of what words? What medical, genetic, and environmental factors are correlated with what diseases?

As… read more

Robot hand beats you at rock, paper, scissors 100% of the time

June 27, 2012

scissors_hand

A robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you and wins every single time, IEEE Spectrum Automaton reports.

Created by the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Toyko, it’s one of those high speed hands that works with a high speed vision system.

It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and… read more

Cameras talk to each other to identify, track people

November 13, 2014

tracking subject

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences. The cameras first identify a person in a video frame, then follow that same person across multiple camera views.

“Tracking humans automatically across cameras in a three-dimensional space is new,” said lead researcher Jenq-Neng Hwang,… read more

The ‘Internet of cars’ is approaching a crossroads

June 27, 2013

vehicle2vehicle

Wireless vehicle networks could make driving safer, more efficient, and less polluting, but the cost of deployment will be significant, MIT Technology Review reports.

This week, officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, will see the technology in action, in a demonstration organized by experts from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and various communications equipment and car manufacturers.… read more

Super-fast Google Fiber for Kansas City

July 27, 2012

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Google has announced Google Fiber, to be installed first in Kansas City.

Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband.

Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig.

Google has divided Kansas City into small communities called “fiberhoods.” To get service, each fiberhood needs a critical… read more

Sugar molecules — building blocks of RNA — found around young star

August 30, 2012

Astronomers have for the first time found glycolaldehyde molecules around a young sun-like star. Glycolaldehyde is a an important pre-biotic species, a simple sugar, consisting of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Through observations with ALMA the researchers have shown that the molecules are located within a region with an extent corresponding to our own solar system - and thus exist in the gas from which planets possibly are formed around the young star later in its evolution. (Credit: ESO)

A team of astronomers led by researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, have observed a simple sugar molecule in the gas surrounding a young star, proving that the building blocks of life were already present during planet formation.

They also found other complex organic molecules, including ethylene-glycol, methyl-formate and ethanol.

Sugar around new stars

“In the protoplanetary disc of gas and dust surrounding… read more

Transhuman week: exploring the frontiers of human enhancement

September 5, 2012

Ekso exoskeleton

Wired U.K.‘s Transhuman Week seeks to navigate transhumanist issues through a series of features, galleries and expert guest posts from September 3 to 7.

Transhumanism explores the application of technology and science to enhance human bodies and minds regardless of whether they are perceived to have any disabilities, and extending human life. It  may include low-level biohacking, physical augmentation, performance-enhancing drugs and even genetic modification.

The London 2012… read more

Living power cables discovered

Multicellular bacteria transmit electrons across relatively enormous distances
October 26, 2012

Electrifying_microbial_filaments

A multinational research team has discovered filamentous bacteria that function as living power cables that transmit electrons thousands of cell lengths away.

The Desulfobulbus bacterial cells, which are only a few hundreds of a nanometer long each, are so tiny that they are invisible to the naked eye. And yet, under the right circumstances, they form a multicellular filament that can transmit electrons across a distance as large as 1 centimeter… read more

We’re all living longer, but longevity increases not benefitting everybody

December 21, 2012

Life_expectancy

Global lifespans have risen dramatically in the past 40 years, but the increased life expectancy is not benefitting body equally, say University of Toronto researchers. In particular, adult males from low- and middle-income countries are losing ground.

People are living longer on average than they were in 1970, and those extra years of life are being achieved at lower cost, the researchers, led by U of… read more

Internet activist, a creator of RSS, is dead at 26, apparently a suicide

January 15, 2013

AaronSwartzPIPA

Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and who later became a steadfast crusader to make that information freely available, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment, The New York Times reports.

At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He… read more

Sleep discovery could lead to therapies that improve memory

But a medical study found increased risk of death from taking sleeping pills
March 13, 2013

(credit: iStock)

A team of sleep researchers led by UC Riverside psychologist Sara C. Mednick has confirmed the mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate memory and found that a commonly prescribed sleep aid enhances the process.

Those discoveries could lead to new sleep therapies that will improve memory for aging adults and those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia.

Earlier research found a correlation between sleep spindles —… read more

Light from self-luminous tablet computers can affect evening melatonin, delaying sleep

New research can aid in the development of “circadian-friendly” electronic devices
August 29, 2012

Study participants viewed the tablets without goggles, through orange-tinted goggles capable of filtering out radiation that can suppress melatonin, and through clear goggles fitted with blue LEDs to suppress melatonin (credit: Wood et al, RPI)

Exposure to electronic devices with self-luminous displays causes melatonin suppression, which might lead to delayed bedtimes, especially in teens, a Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute study has found.

The study showed that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent.

Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to… read more

New web-based model for sharing research datasets could have huge benefits

October 15, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A group of researchers have proposed creating a new web-based data network to help researchers and policymakers worldwide turn existing knowledge into real-world applications and technologies and improve science and innovation policy.

Researchers around the world have created datasets that, if interlinked with other datasets and made more broadly available, could provide the needed foundation for policy and decision makers. But these datasets are spread across countries, scientific disciplines… read more

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