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Teaching Bacteria to Behave

October 2, 2008

Single-celled organisms could be “trained” through associative learning to deliver drugs by employing molecular circuits to build stronger associations between stimuli applied simultaneously, according to a multidisciplinary team from Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom.

Research on genetically engineering remote-controlled bacteria to release drugs is already under way.

Teaching computers to read minds

August 30, 2007

Microsoft researchers are developing a mass-market EEG system with a small number of electrodes affixed to a person’s head.

It will communicate wirelessly with software on a PC, in hopes of turning electrodes into meaningful input devices for computers.

Teaching Computers to Read No Simple Task

January 30, 2005

Two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professors who are trying to build a machine that can learn by reading basic texts, like algebra and astronomy, in three years.

Funding by a DARPA grant, they hope to create a machine that can read sections of textbooks and answer questions based on the material. They believe that in the future, such AI machines might be able to take in all the relevant cultural,… read more

Teaching computers to recognize objects better

September 23, 2013


Object-recognition software (which tries to identify objects in digital images) is still fairly limited.

So, in an attempt to improve it, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a system that, in effect, allows humans to see the world the way an object-recognition system does.

The system takes an ordinary image, translates it into the mathematical representation used… read more

Teaching Computers to Work in Unison

July 15, 2003

This month, grid computing moved further toward the commercial mainstream when the Globus Project released new software tools that blend the grid standards with a programming technology called Web services, developed mainly in corporate labs, for automated computer-to-computer communications.

Enthusiasm for grid computing is also broadening among scientists. A report this year by a National Science Foundation panel, “Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure,” called for new financing of… read more

Teaching household robots to manipulate objects more efficiently

New algorithms could help household robots work around their physical shortcomings
February 26, 2013


At this year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, students in the Learning and Intelligent Systems Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will present a pair of papers showing how household robots could use a little lateral thinking to compensate for their physical shortcomings.

Many commercial robotic arms perform what roboticists call “pick and place” tasks: The arm picks… read more

Teaching robot dogs linguistic tricks

June 22, 2006

Researchers led by the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology in Italy are developing robots that evolve their own language.

The technology, dubbed Embedded and Communicating Agents, has allowed researchers at Sony’s Computer Science Laboratory in France to add a new level of intelligence to the AIBO dog.

The AIBOs learned to distinguish between objects and how to interact with them over the course of several hours or… read more

Teaching robots some manners

May 18, 2010

Roboticists are attempting to program robots with socially acceptable behavior.

University of Washington researchers have developed an algorithm that allows a virtual robot to navigate a crowd like a human instead of plowing directly through.

Teaching Robots to Herd Cats

April 22, 2004

Researchers are working on software to allow small robots to coordinate their actions, carry out commands from a single human operator, or take directions from a larger, smarter robot when performing complex tasks such as emergency rescue work.

The team is working on tiny robots called Scouts, equipped with a video camera, three infrared range finders, two light sensors and a pyroelectric sensor (for sensing body heat) — plus… read more

Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats

January 14, 2008

University of Minnesota researchers created a beating rat heart in a laboratory by using the valves and outer structure of a dead rat’s heart as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats.

Scientists should be able to grow a human heart by taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and placing them in a cadaver heart prepared as a scaffold.

Team demos ‘first quantum crypto prototype machine’

July 19, 2002

The “first fully integrated quantum cryptography prototype machine” has exchanged encryption keys across a 67km fiber optic network.

The advance was achieved by a team from the University of Geneva and Swiss electronics company id Quantique. In contrast to methods based on codes, the keys formed by quantum cryptography can, in principle, be completely uncrackable because the legitimate receiver of a message can test whether it has been intercepted… read more

Team develops energy-efficient microchip

February 5, 2008

MIT and Texas Instruments researchers have unveiled a new chip design for portable electronics that can be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than present technology.

The design could lead to cell phones, implantable medical devices and sensors that last far longer when running from a battery.

One future goal for implantable medical devices is to make the power requirements so low that they could be powered by… read more

Team finds genetic link between immune and nerve systems

September 22, 2008

Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered genetic links between the nervous system and the immune system in a well-studied worm, and the findings could illuminate new approaches to human therapies.

They found that NPR-1, a worm cell receptor linked to proteins that are similar to mammalian neuropeptide Y, functions to suppress the activity of specific neurons that block immune responses, but when the flawed receptor didn’t work, the… read more

‘Team Frankenstein’ launch bid to build a human brain within decade

May 18, 2011


Dr. Henry Markram, a neuroscientist at the École Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, has assembled a team of nine top European scientists to build a computer model of a human brain in 12 years.

The Human Brain Project is in discussion with the EU for a £1 billion grant. The project has already created an artificial neocortical column that is unique to mammals, digitally… read more

Team Hopeful in Its Effort to Recreate Primal Life

September 9, 2004

Scientists analyzing the genomes of microbes believe that they have reconstructed the pivotal event — the merger of two primitive bacterial-type cells into a eukaryote — that created the one-celled organism from which all animals and plants are descended, including people.

Because all living creatures are part of the single tree of life, it should in principle be possible to trace their lineages from the tree’s very root, the… read more

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