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NSA Google search tips

May 20, 2013

NSA

A book Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research (PDF) produced by the The National Security Agency to uncover intelligence hiding on the web has just been released by the NSA, following a FOIA request, Wired reports.

It offers advice for using search engines, the Internet Archive, and other online tools. But the most interesting is the chapter titled “Google Hacking.” For example: to… read more

Thought experiment: build a supercomputer replica of the human brain

May 17, 2013

Neocortical column in Henry Markram's Blue Brain project (Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Henry Markram’s Human Brain Project (HBP), backed by 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) funding Jan. 2013 from the European Commission, plans to integrate findings from the Allen Brain Atlas, the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Connectome Project, and the Brain (“Brain Activity Map”) project, Wired reports.

The HBP is an ambitious attempt to build a complete model of a human brain using predictive reverse-engineering and simulate it… read more

A paper-thin wearable pulse sensor

May 17, 2013

This flexible skin-like heart monitor is small enough to wear under a bandage (credit:

Engineers combine layers of flexible materials into pressure sensors to create a wearable heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill. The skin-like device could one day provide doctors with a safer way to check the condition of a patient’s heart.

Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, has developed a heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill and no wider than… read more

Brain rewires itself after damage or injury, life scientists discover

May 17, 2013

connectome_brain_wiring

When the hippocampus, the brain’s primary learning and memory center, is damaged, complex new neural circuits — often far from the damaged site — arise to compensate for the lost function, say life scientists from UCLA and Australia who have pinpointed the regions of the brain involved in creating those alternate pathways.

The researchers found that parts of the prefrontal cortex take over when the hippocampus is… read more

Cells as living calculators

May 17, 2013

MIT engineers have created synthetic biology circuits that can perform analog computations such as taking logarithms and square roots in living cells (credit:

By combining existing genetic “parts,” or engineered genes, in novel ways, MIT engineers have transformed bacterial cells into living calculators that can compute logarithms, divide, and take square roots, using three or fewer genetic parts.

The circuits perform those calculations in an analog fashion by exploiting natural biochemical functions that are already present in the cell rather than by reinventing them with digital logic.… read more

Google and NASA launch Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab

May 17, 2013

dwave.quantumx

Google, in partnership with NASA and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has launched an initiative to investigate how quantum computing might lead to breakthroughs in machine learning, a branch of AI that focuses on construction and study of systems that learn from data..

The new lab will use the D-Wave Two quantum computer.A recent study (see “Which is faster:read more

Which is faster: conventional or quantum computer?

D-Wave quantum computer much faster for specific problems
May 17, 2013

The D-Wave Systems Fridge with Cryogenic Packaging (credit:

A computer science professor at Amherst College has conducted experiments to test the speed of a quantum computing system (from D-Wave) against conventional computing methods.

“Ours is the first paper to my knowledge that compares the quantum approach to conventional methods using the same set of problems,” says Catherine McGeoch, the Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society (Computer Science) at Amherst.

McGeoch,… read more

Human stem cells created by cloning

May 16, 2013

cloning_stem_cells

It was hailed some 15 years ago as the great hope for a biomedical revolution: production of patient-specific embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from cloning to create perfectly matched tissues that would someday cure ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

Since then, the approach has been enveloped in ethical debate. A paper published by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive biology specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton,… read more

Wireless signals could transform brain-trauma diagnostics

May 16, 2013

University of California, Berkeley researchers have developed a device that uses wireless signals to provide real-time, non-invasive diagnoses of brain swelling or bleeding.

The device analyzes data from low energy, electromagnetic waves, similar to the kind used to transmit radio and mobile signals. It could potentially become a cost-effective tool for medical diagnostics and to triage injuries in areas where access to medical care, especially medical imaging, is… read more

Google escalates the competition in map services

May 16, 2013

New Google maps: search results appear

On Wednesday, Google unveiled a new Google Maps, by far the biggest redesign since it introduced Maps eight years ago, The New York Times reports.

When users who are logged into Google visit Maps, they will see the places they frequently visit highlighted, like restaurants, museums and their home. Google learns the places they go by drawing information from all of Google’s services — including search and… read more

Google Introduces new search tools to try to read our minds

May 16, 2013

(Credit: Google)

Google revealed some new search tools on Wednesday at I/O, its annual developers conference, The New York Times reports. Taken together, they are another step toward Google’s trying to become the omnipotent, human-like “Star Trek” search engine that its executives say they want it to be.

When people ask Google certain questions, it will now try to predict the person’s follow-up questions and answer them, too. Ask… read more

Engineered biomaterial prevents body’s attack on medical implants

May 16, 2013

These images show differences in collagen build-up in two tissue samples. Collagen is labeled in blue. The left image shows a thick collagen wall forming in the presence of a material that’s widely used for implantable devices. In contrast, collagen in the right image is more evenly dispersed in the tissue after the UW-engineered hydrogel has been implanted. (Credit: Lei Zhang/University of Washington)

 

University of Washington engineers have demonstrated in mice a way to prevent failure of implants and prostheses, using a synthetic hydrogel biomaterial that fully resists the body’s natural attack response to foreign objects.

Medical devices such as artificial heart valves, prostheses and breast implants could be coated with this polymer to prevent the body from rejecting an implanted object.

Howread more

Salk scientists develop drug that slows Alzheimer’s in mice

May 15, 2013

Salk scientists developed J147, a synthetic drug shown to improve memory and prevent brain damage in mice with Alzheimer's disease

A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer’s disease in aged mice following short-term treatment.

The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

“J147 is an exciting new compound because it really has strong potential to be an Alzheimer’s disease therapeutic by slowing disease progression… read more

Brain frontal lobes not sole center of human intelligence

May 15, 2013

brain_lobes

The frontal lobes in humans vs. other species are not — as previously thought — disproportionately enlarged relative to other areas of the brain, according to a study by Durham and Reading universities.

It concludes that the size of our frontal lobes — an area in the brain of mammals located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere — cannot solely account for humans’ superior cognitive… read more

Clinical trial supports use of Kava to treat anxiety

May 15, 2013

Piper_methysticum

A world-first completed clinical study by an Australian team has found Kava, a medicinal South Pacific plant, significantly reduced the symptoms of people suffering anxiety.

The study, led by the University of Melbourne, revealed Kava could be an alternative to pharmaceutical products for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who suffer from generalized anxiety disorders (GAD)

“In this study we’ve been able to show… read more

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