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Malware detection technology identifies malware without examining source code

January 19, 2015


Hyperion, new malware detection software that can quickly recognize malicious software even if the specific program has not been previously identified as a threat, has been licensed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to R&K Cyber Solutions LLC (R&K).

Hyperion, which has been under development for a decade, offers more comprehensive scanning capabilities than existing cyber security methods, said one of its inventors, Stacy Prowellread more

Automated method beats critics and Academy Awards in picking great movies

Data analysis trumps critics, wisdom of crowds, and number of movie awards
January 19, 2015

Subgraph of film connections network. Films are ordered chronologically, based on year of release, from bottom to top (not to scale). A connection between two films exists if a sequence, sentence, character, or other part of the referenced film has been adopted, used, or imitated in the referencing film. For example, there is a connection from 1987’s Raising Arizona (22) to 1981’s The Evil Dead (23) (second column from left) because the main characters of both films drive an Oldsmobile Delta 88. Values represent the time lag of the connection, measured in years. (credit: Wasserman et al/NU)

According to a new Northwestern University study, the best predictor of a movie’s significance is how often a movie is referenced by other movies.

In other words, a movie’s significance is decided by today’s and tomorrow’s film directors — not the critics.

“Movie critics can be overconfident in spotting important works, and they have bias,” said Luís Amaral, the leader of the study and… read more

Huge ultra-realistic outdoor 3D displays without glasses planned for next year

The boundaries of reality are about to dissolve
January 19, 2015

Billboards of the future could show astonishing 3D effects - due to a new technology developed in Austria. (Credit: TriLite)

Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) physicists have designed a radical autostereoscopic (“glasses-free”) laser display that will send different ultrathin laser beams directly to individual viewers’ eyes, with full sunlight readability. The objective: create a realistic 3D illusion that changes as viewers walk or fly around the virtual object, with up to several thousand 3D viewing zones — each zone displaying a different view.

TU Vienna spinoff… read more

How the brain controls fat burning

January 16, 2015

(Credit: Monash University)

In case the “imaginary meal” approach to burning fat doesn’t work, now there’s a backup.

Monash University researchers have discovered that two naturally occurring hormones stimulate neurons in the brain’s hypothalamus, causing them to send signals through the nervous system that promote the conversion of white fat into brown fat. This leads to burning off excess fat.

The findings, published Thursday (Jan.… read more

Expanding the brain achieves super-resolution with ordinary confocal microscopes

January 16, 2015

expansion microscopy -ft

Engineers at the MIT-based Center for Brains, Minds and Machines have developed a way to make a brain expand to about four and a half times its usual size, allowing nanoscale structures to appear sharp with an ordinary confocal microscope.

The new “expansion microscopy” technique uses an expandable polymer and water to  enable researchers to achieve “super-resolution” to resolve details down to… read more

Planets outside our solar system more hospitable to life than thought

January 16, 2015

Exoplanet, artist's impression

A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than we thought.

Scientists have thought that exoplanets behave in a manner contrary to that of Earth — that is, they always show their same side to their star.

If so, exoplanets would rotate in sync… read more

‘Methuselah fly’ created by selecting best cells

Could open new possibilities in human anti-aging research
January 16, 2015

A deceased Drosophila melanogaster. (Credit: Institute for Cell Biology, University of Bern)

University of Bern researchers have prolonged the lifespan of flies by activating a gene that destroys unhealthy cells. The results could also open new possibilities in human anti-aging research.

The researchers at the Institute of Cell Biology from the University of Bern in Switzerland, led by Eduardo Moreno, developed a new method to extend the lifespan of flies, based on improved selection of… read more

BPA and BPS plastics affect embryonic brain development in zebrafish, linked to hyperactivity

"Our results show that BPA-free products are not necessarily safer and support the removal of all bisphenols from consumer merchandise"
January 15, 2015

Plastic bottles (credit: Kyle LeBoeuf/Creative Commons)

University of Calgary have found evidence that both BPA in bottles (and elsewhere) and its substitute, BPS, cause alterations in brain development leading to hyperactivity in zebrafish.

Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is produced in massive quantities around the world for use in consumer products, including household plastics. BPA is a ubiquitous endocrine disruptor that is present in many household products.

It has been… read more

Programmable 3D-printed tissues and organs using DNA ‘smart glue’

January 15, 2015

DNA glue holds together this 3-D printed gel, a precursor step to building tissues. (Credit: American Chemical Society)

University of Texas at Austin researchers  have created “smart glue” based on DNA that could one day be used to 3D-print tissues to repair injuries or even create organs.

They coated plastic (polystyrene or polyacrylamide) microparticles with 40 base pairs of DNA, forming gel-like materials that they could extrude from a 3D printer* to form solid shapes (up to centimeters in size). These were used as scaffolds… read more

Elon Musk donates $10M to ‘keep AI beneficial’

January 15, 2015


Elon Musk has decided to donate $10M to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to run a global research program aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity.

Musk, who warned last August that “we need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes,” said there is now a “broad consensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society… read more

Machine learning helps Stanford physicists predict dangerous solar flares earlier

January 14, 2015

This solar flare was captured Jan. 14 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Stanford physicists are using artificial intelligence techniques in an attempt to predict such flares. (Credit: NASA/SDO and the AIA; EVE; and HMI science teams)

Using artificial intelligence techniques to forecast solar flares*, Stanford solar physicists have automated the analysis of the largest-ever set of solar observations, using data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Solar physicists identify which features are most useful for predicting solar flares, which requires processing more data — some 1.5 terabytes a day — than any other satellite in NASA history, according to solar physicists… read more

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

Could revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine, say Duke University researchers
January 14, 2015

A microscopic view of lab-grown human muscle bundles stained to show patterns made by basic muscle units and their associated proteins (red), which are a hallmark of human muscle. (Credit: Duke University)

In a laboratory first that could “revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine,” Duke researchers have grown human skeletal muscle that contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals.

The lab-grown tissue should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body, according to study leader Nenad Bursac, associate… read more

Energy-harvesting discovery generates 200 times higher voltage to power wearables, other portable devices

January 13, 2015

Left: Zink oxide nanogenerator (gray: top electrode; gold: zink oxide layer; blue: bottom electrode; lime: substrate). Right: aluminum oxide insulating interlayer (purple) added, improving voltage up to 200 times and other characteristics. (Credit: Eunju Lee et al./Applied Physics Letters)

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers have discovered how to radically improve conversion of ambient energy (such as body movement) to electrical energy for powering wearable and portable devices.

As has been noted on KurzweilAI, energy-harvesting devices can convert ambient mechanical energy sources — including body movement, sound, and other forms of vibration — into electricity. The energy-harvesting devices or “nanogenerators” typically use piezoelectric materials… read more

Solar at grid parity in most of the world within 2 years

January 13, 2015

solar capacity adds ft

In their 2015 solar outlook, investment bank Deutsche Bank is predicting that solar systems will be at grid parity (when an alternative energy source cost is lower or equal to that of electricity from the electrical grid) in up to 80 per cent of the global market within 2 years, Renew Economy notes.

That’s because grid-based electricity prices are rising across the world… read more

How to create the world’s most complex 3D-motion nanomachines from DNA

New technique uses DNA origami; allows for new biomedical applications
January 12, 2015

A machine design (left) made with DNA "origami" (image: right) (Credit: The Ohio State University)

Mechanical engineers at The Ohio State University have designed and constructed complex nanoscale mechanical parts using “DNA origami” — proving that the same basic design principles that apply to typical full-size machine parts can now also be applied to DNA — and can produce complex, controllable components for future nanorobots.

In a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the engineers… read more

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