Video games and piano lessons improve cognitive functions in seniors, researchers find

December 13, 2017

(credit: Nintendo)

AlphaZero’s ‘alien’ superhuman-level program masters chess in 24 hours with no domain knowledge

Like a robot building a Ferrari from thousands of metal bits and parts, but no knowledge of a combustion engine
December 11, 2017

AlphaZero vs. Stockfish chess program | Round 1 (credit: Chess.com)

3D-printing biocompatible living bacteria

Applications include skin transplants and nanofilters that break down toxic substances
December 8, 2017

Printing Bacteria ft

New technology allows robots to visualize their own future

December 6, 2017

robot imagines future

Why (most) future robots won’t look like robots

Plus: soft robots get superpowers (equivalent to a duck lifting a car)
December 4, 2017

Material-enabled robotics. A future robot’s body may combine soft actuators and stiff structure, with distributed computation throughout. (credit: Nikolaus Correll/University of Colorado)

Using light instead of electrons promises faster, smaller, more-efficient computers and smartphones

December 1, 2017

Trapped light (credit: Imperial College London)

New nanomaterial, quantum encryption system could be ultimate defenses against hackers

November 29, 2017

Physically unclonable cryptographic primitive ft

Space dust may transport life between worlds

A hypervelocity bioparticle from Earth could have reached identified potential habitable planets
November 26, 2017

Imagine what this microscopic (0.2 to 0.7 millimeter) milnesium tardigradum animal could evolve into on another planet (credit: Wikipedia)

Using microrobots to diagnose and treat illness in remote areas of the body

November 24, 2017

Spirulina algae coated with magnetic particles to form a microrobot. Devices such as these could be developed to diagnose and treat illness in hard-to-reach parts of the body. (credit: Yan et al Science Robotics 2017)

Take a fantastic 3D voyage through the brain with immersive VR system

Plus a "journey to the center of the cell" with 360 VR movies
November 23, 2017

lightsheet brain

Disturbing video depicts near-future ubiquitous lethal autonomous weapons

The technology described in the film already exists, says UC Berkeley AI researcher Stuart Russell
November 18, 2017

slaughterbots

How to open the blood-brain-barrier with precision for safer drug delivery

November 17, 2017

controlled ultrasound ... ft

Consumer Technology Association inducts Ray Kurzweil, 11 other visionaries into the 2017 Consumer Technology Hall of Fame

November 16, 2017

Gary Shapiro (left) and Ray Kurzweil (right) (credit: CTA)

Nearly every job is becoming more digital — Brookings study

"Not everybody needs to go to a coding boot camp but they probably do need to know Excel"
November 15, 2017

The shares of U.S. jobs that require substantial digital knowledge rose rapidly between 2002 and 2016 --- mostly due to large changes in the digital content of existing occupations. (source: Brookings analysis of O*Net, OES, and Moody's data)

Mapping connections of single neurons using a holographic light beam

New technique triggers individual neurons for mapping precise connections in real time
November 13, 2017

The researchers used an opsin protein called CoChR, which generates a very strong electric current in response to light, and fused it to a small protein that directs the opsin into the cell bodies of neurons and away from axons and dendrites, which extend from the neuron body, forming “somatic channelrhodopsin” (soCoChR). This new opsin enabled photostimulation of individual cells in mouse cortical brain slices with single-cell resolution and with less than 1 millisecond temporal (time) precision --- achieving connectivity mapping on intact cortical circuits without crosstalk with neurons. Regions of stimulation are highlighted by magenta circles. Scale bar: 20 micrometers.  (credit: Or A. Shemesh et al./Nature Nanoscience)

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