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Species explorers propose steps to map uncharted biosphere

April 9, 2012

plant

An ambitious goal to describe 10 million species in less than 50 years is achievable and necessary to sustain Earth’s biodiversity, according to an international group of 39 scientists, scholars and engineers who provided a detailed plan, including measures to build public support.

“Earth’s biosphere has proven to be a vast frontier that, even after centuries of exploration, remains largely uncharted,” wrote the authors, who include biodiversity crusaders Edward… read more

Species loss ‘bad for our health’

April 24, 2008

Conservation scientists are warning that a new generation of medical treatments could be lost because species go extinct before researchers have had the chance to examine and understand their potential health benefits.

They give the example of the southern gastric brooding frog, which raised its young in the females’ stomachs. It went extinct in the 1980′s, and could have held clues to preventing and treating stomach ulcers in humans.

Spectrum clash builds around bionic implants

November 25, 2011

Next week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will consider whether four sets of frequencies between 413MHz and 457MHz can be used by networks of sensors implanted in patients who suffer from various forms of paralysis.

One intended purpose of these MMNS (medical micropower network systems) is to transmit movement commands from a sensor on a patient’s spinal cord, through a wearable MCU (master control unit), to implants that electrically… read more

‘Spectrum of empathy’ found in the brain

September 19, 2006

Our ability to empathise with others seems to depend on the action of “mirror neurons” in the brain, according to a new study of neurons in humans that fire when sounds are heard.

In other words, if you hear the noise of someone eating an apple, some of the same neurons fire as when you eat the apple yourself.

Spectrum Wars

September 6, 2001

The promise of ubiquitous wireless Internet access is on hold as TV broadcasters, the military, telecom companies and others secretly squabble over scarce spectrum space. Congress wants to auction off some of the prime spectrum used by the Pentagon. The Pentagon wants to take broadcasters’ HDTV spectrum, while broadcasters want to auction it off and use the money for developing digital television.

The public knows little about this; even… read more

Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source

September 15, 2004

IBM announced it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups.

After decades of research and development, speech recognition is moving toward mainstream use. Advances in statistical modeling, pattern-matching algorithms and processing power have enabled speech recognition to interpret a far broader vocabulary of words and phrases than in the past, though glitches remain.

The software for speech-recognition applications once had to be custom… read more

Speech Recognition Follies

August 16, 2002

Speech recognition software is stymied by word combinations that sound alike (homophones), says columnist David Pogue.

Speech recognition in silicon

September 14, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University and University of California and Berkeley researchers have received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to move automatic speech recognition from software into hardware.

The goal is to create a radically new silicon chip architecture that does speech recognition up to 1,000 times more efficiently than a conventional computer and that can be incorporated in portable devices like cell phones and PDAs.… read more

Speech Recognition Systems Must Get Smarter, Professor Says

August 6, 2010

Great strides have been made in both voice recognition and natural language processing over the past few decades, but they have seemingly brought mostly frustration to their users. Two elements are missing from the modern systems: The ability to analyze what the speaker is saying and the ability to converse with the speaker to learn more about what the speaker intends to say.

Researchers at the University of Rochester… read more

Speech-classifier program is better at predicting psychosis than psychiatrists

100% accurate
August 31, 2015

This image shows discrimination between at-risk youths who transitioned to psychosis (red) and those who did not (blue). The 'convex hull' polyhedron contains all the at-risk youth who did NOT develop psychosis (blue). All of the at-risk youth who DID later develop psychosis (red) are outside the polyhedron. Thus the speech classifier had 100 percent discrimination or accuracy. The speech classifier consisted of 'mínimum semantic coherence' (the flow of meaning from one sentence to the next), and indices of reduced complexity of speech, including phrase length, and decreased use of 'determiner' pronouns ('that', 'what', 'whatever', 'which', and 'whichever'). (credit: npj Schizophrenia and Cheryl Corcoran et al./Columbia University Medical Center)

An automated speech analysis program correctly differentiated between at-risk young people who developed psychosis over a later two-and-a-half year period and those who did not.

In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center found that the computerized analysis provided a more accurate classification than clinical ratings.  The study was… read more

Speech-related gene helps wire developing brain

July 8, 2011

Foxp2, a gene involved in speech and language, helps regulate the wiring of neurons in the brain, researchers at the The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford have determined.

Foxp2 codes for a regulatory protein that provides a window into unusual aspects of brain function. In 2001, scientists discovered that mutations of the human gene cause a rare form of speech… read more

Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution, Biologists Say

November 3, 2009

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a theoretical model that provides quantitative predictions for the speed of evolution on various “fitness landscapes,” the dynamic and varied conditions under which bacteria, viruses and even humans adapt.

A major conclusion of the work is that for some organisms, possibly including humans, continued evolution will not translate into ever-increasing fitness.

Speed of brain signals clocked

July 6, 2011

Two studies featuring research from Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered details have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons — a dance of chemical messages so delicate that missteps often lead to neurological dysfunctions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Speed of vesicle recovery
The first study… read more

Speed of light broken with basic lab kit

September 16, 2002

Electric signals can be transmitted at least four times faster than the speed of light using only basic equipment, Tennessee State University physicists have discovered.

However, signals also get weaker and more distorted the faster they go, so in theory no useful information can get transmitted at faster-than-light speeds.

Speed of light may have changed recently

July 1, 2004

The speed of light may have been lower as recently as two billion years ago on Earth, based on measurements of the fine structure constant, or alpha, which dictates the strength of the electromagnetic force.

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