Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/cheap-genomic-sequencer-translating.html
Cheap genomic sequencer, Nuclear batteries, Translating brain signals, Machine learning, Powerful software, Genetic aging programs, Graphene collection, Cellulose 3D printing, Locks control GMOs, Robot hands & legs.
1. MinION: Quick, Cheap Genome Sequencing
The palm-sized MinION DNA sequencer, which plugs in via USB to a PC and sequences DNA samples using a novel nanopore architecture, continues to make strides with both length and number of sequence reads http://phys.org/news/2015-06-full-genome-technology.html. The device has now passed low-accuracy concerns with better error correction and for the first time can produce complete bacterial genome sequences and should eventually be able to tackle mammalian genomes.
2. Nuclear D Cell Battery
Some groups are trying to develop 5 watt nuclear-powered regular D-sized batteries that derive their energy from the decay of small amounts of radioisotopes contained within a tungsten casing that provides shielding and generates heat http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/06/developing-5-watt-nuclear-d-cell.html. Applications include power sources for mini-satellites and long-lived remote devices. Energy densities are typically 5 - 6 orders of magnitude bigger than for conventional chemical batteries.
3. Translating Brain Activity to Speech
A new brain-to-text system has been demonstrated that captures the brain signals from an electrocorticography electrode array placed on the surface of the cortex and can decode these signals and reconstruct the basic phonemes, words, and complete sentences to generate corresponding text http://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2015_063_speech-recognition-from-brain-activity.php. Error rates remain high but this is still a good proof-of-principle; the immediate hope is to develop the device as a means of communication for locked-in patients. Future possibilities include advanced brain-computer interfaces for people, parallels to DARPA’s neocortical modem project come to mind, and I also wonder if the reverse mechanism could be used in input speech as well.
4. Trio of Machine Learning Developments
First, Google’s DeepMind has a deep learning system that learns to read and develop an “understanding” of the grammatical links and causal relationships between entities in the text and so summarise key points that aren’t explicitly stated by the text http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538616/google-deepmind-teaches-artificial-intelligence-machines-to-read/. Second, a deep learning system can now beat humans in the verbal reasoning component of IQ tests http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538431/deep-learning-machine-beats-humans-in-iq-test/. Third, IBM’s machine learning technology is being open sourced as part of its big push for the Spark cluster computing framework http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/06/ibm-calls-apache-spark-most-important.html.
5. Duo of Powerful Software Tools
Leading on from the machine learning pieces I had to include these additional tools that look very promising. First, the demonstration of a fact-checking algorithm http://news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2015/06/computational-fact-checker.shtml that was trained on Wikipedia data and automatically generated a knowledge graph complete with truth scores assigned to each factual relationship and was able to consistently match the performance of human fact checkers. Second, a new algorithm provides significant improvements in predicting which mutations in a given genome sequence are likely to have the largest effect on the activity of regulatory elements for genes, providing not just insights for disease but also design possibilities for targeted regulatory control via CRISPR for example http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/vulnerabilities_in_genomes_dimmer_switches_should_shed_light_on_hundreds_of_complex_diseases.
6. Aging via Genetic Programming
The theory of aging being due to evolutionary selection and associated genetic programming has been getting a bit more coverage lately with a study looking at simple simulated organisms that consistently demonstrated the emergence of a built-in life expectancy that helped preserve species integrity over time under spatial and resource constrained conditions https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/06/yet-more-discussion-of-programmed-aging.php. The result is interesting but not definitive and has attracted critiques and rebuttals from other more mainstream groups such as aging as accumulation of damage.
7. Graphene NEMS, Dots, & Lights
First up this week we have graphene being demonstrated in the thinnest visible on-chip light source ever http://engineering.columbia.edu/worlds-thinnest-light-bulb%E2%80%94graphene-gets-bright. Second, a graphene coating on the copper wires or traces that connect components on computer chips boosts transmission speed in these connectors by 17% now and possibly 30% in future http://phys.org/news/2015-06-simple-clever-boost-chip.html. Third, graphene electrodes provide significant improvements to piezoelectric MEMS and NEMS resonators http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=40427.php. Finally, graphene quantum dots can produce LED-type displays with brightness exceeding that of standard devices http://phys.org/news/2015-06-graphene-quantum-dot.html.
8. 3D Printing Cellulose
A new technique allows cellulose (very strong polymer of linked glucose units) from wood to be mixed with a hydrogel and used as a 3D printing material for the first time; drying the final print to remove the water and leave behind the strong scaffold of cellulose is a key step http://phys.org/news/2015-06-cellulose-wood-d.html. This is interesting in the sense of not being a plastics / hydrocarbon based printing material, and mixing other components can produce cellulose inks with a range of properties such as electrical conductivity. In related news 3D printing in colour is set to get better http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538676/solving-the-last-great-3-d-printing-challenge-printing-in-color/, and 3D printing inflatable, flexible, stretchable structures is pretty promising https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmuf_6h7Kl8.
9. Controlling GMOs with Molecular Locks
A better lock-and-key mechanism allows for better control of genetically modified organisms http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/06/16/molecular-lock-and-key-control-gmos/. In addition to the genetic modifications of interest one or more of a number of genes that are essential to the survival of cells are also engineered so as to produce proteins whose functional shape is dependent on the presence of a particular non-natural compound; without this compound as an easily available nutrient the cell reverts to its default state: death. This isn’t perfect or foolproof for a number of reasons but does build on similar mechanisms being employed by CRISPR for example to controllably induce the desired genetic activity.
10. Better Robotic Hands and Legs
The bebionic small prosthetic hand for amputees was announced this week, billed as the “world’s most lifelike hand” and using miniaturised components to mimic the functions of a real hand http://rslsteeper.com/news/first_uk_user_receives_worlds_most_lifelike_bionic_hand. Meanwhile the new Durus robot has demonstrated ultra-efficient walking abilities after a large research project aimed at optimising the efficiency of every possible aspect of robotic walking, and ending up with a far more human-like gait that is 20x more efficient than ATLAS and currently allowing the 80kg robot to walk 10km with just the on-board 2.2 kWh battery http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/durus-sri-ultra-efficient-humanoid-robot.
For now, the clothes' interactive abilities amount to turning a section of fabric into a touchpad, functionally similar to what you'd find on a laptop. You can tap and swipe, while other gestures (e.g. multi-finger swipe, pinch, etc.) wouldn't be too hard to incorporate.
The touch panel resides in just a small section of a garment. Although you could theoretically weave an entire shirt or pair of pants with the material, all you really need is a chunk of cloth slightly smaller than a smartphone screen. The rest of the garment is just clothing.
I kind of wish I had a diary of coincidences throughout my life. The number of entries would be in the thousands by now.
The use of personalized music playlists with tempo-pace synchronization increases adherence to cardiac rehab by almost 70 per cent, according to a study.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/06/immune-system-discoveries-dna-click.html
Immune system discoveries, DNA click-chemistry, Human reference genome, Metal plating prints, CRISPR vs viruses, Bioengineered limbs, Carbon nanotube RAM, WiFi powers sensors, Amazing robots, Crunching regulatory networks.
1. Immune System Discoveries & Innovations
Decades of anatomy have been overturned with the discovery that the brain has subtle but direct lymphatic connections to the immune system, throwing up new questions and opportunities for the role this plays in diseases of the brain and therapies that might be developed http://news.virginia.edu/content/researchers-find-textbook-altering-link-between-brain-immune-system. Meanwhile a new blood test costing $25 called VirScan can determine every single virus the person has ever been exposed to http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27659-cheap-blood-test-reveals-every-virus-youve-ever-been-exposed-to.html. Finally, a new immunotherapy retrains the immune system to not attack specific proteins in the body that lead to rheumatoid arthritis and shows promise as a platform for treatment against autoimmune diseases http://www.gizmag.com/early-clinical-trial-success-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/37865/.
2. Nanostructures from DNA Click-Chemistry
Continuing the strong DNA origami theme in recent weeks we have a modification of DNA building blocks that (i) form interlinked catenane chainmail ring structures and (ii) exploit functionalised oligonucleotides that undergo click-chemistry reactions to lock and stabilise the structure against high temperatures and further chemical / enzymatic modification; this comprises a structural platform for nanostructures with the possibility for non-enzymatic gene synthesis http://phys.org/news/2015-06-dna-bundles-stable-chain-armor-like-nanostructures.html.
3. A More Sophisticated Human Reference Genome
The human reference genome is getting a significant and overdue boost with the help of graph theory that will combine many thousands of human genomes into a single, annotated reference source able to draw far more accurate and meaningful comparisons to the differences that individual genomes possess http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537916/rebooting-the-human-genome/.
4. Metal Plating for 3D Prints
The Orbit1 is a tabletop electroplating device for 3D printed objects in which (i) the object is spray-coated with conductive paint, (ii) placed on a rack in the Orbit1, (iii) the device electroplates the object and applies a metallic (copper, nickel, palladium, or gold) coating 0.1mm - 0.2mm thick http://www.springwise.com/personal-electroplater-turns-3d-printed-objects-gold/. Make your own utensils, circuit boards, glasses frames, etc.
5. CRISPR Suppresses Hepatitis B Virus
A construct comprising a number of distinct CRISPR gene therapy vectors against conserved regions across HepB viral genotypes has proven effective in enabling robust suppression of viral expression and replication in mice http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150602/srep10833/full/srep10833.html. CRISPR is ideal for this purpose and I’ve been waiting to hear someone do this - I also expect this method to deliver effective cures for not only Hepatitis but HSV, HPV, and other genome-integrating viruses.
6. Transplantable Bioengineered Limbs
The first transplanted bioartificial replacement limb has been demonstrated in a process that took a limb from a rat, decellularised it, incubated the matrix in a bioreactor, added vasculature & muscle progenitor cells, electrically stimulated muscle development, confirmed the development of limb vasculature and muscles, added a skin graft, and then transplanted the limb onto another rat in which blood flow was restored http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1815. Next step is to include bone and nerves. 3D printed hydrogel structures are also getting better and more sophisticated for tissue engineering applications http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/3-d-printing-tough-biogel-0601.
7. Nantero’s Carbon Nanotube RAM Chips
Nantero claims to have installed its carbon nanotube memory NRAM process in multiple production fabs and promises to be 100s of times faster than NAND, very low power, low cost, scalable down below 5nm and hinting at a range of future device possibilities http://nantero.com/nantero-closes-30m-series-e-round-its-next-generation-memory-nram-now-installed-in-multiple-production-fabs-around-the-world/. Although apparently there are already microSD cards with 512GB of storage http://www.cnet.com/au/news/microdia-will-sell-a-1000-ish-512gb-microsd-come-july/.
8. Camera Powered by Ambient WiFi
New chip design, signal-processing software, and updates to existing routers result in a system in which low-power sensors and devices can be powered remotely via WiFi http://www.technologyreview.com/view/538031/first-demonstration-of-a-surveillance-camera-powered-by-ordinary-wi-fi-broadcasts/. To prove the concept they wirelessly powered a small surveillance camera that captured images, and also wirelessly recharged a fitness tracker, however all devices currently have to be less than seven or so meters away from the router.
9. The World’s Best Robots
As you all should know and should already be following, the DARPA Robotics Challenge is on this weekend where we get to see the most advanced robots in the world make their way through a tough obstacle and task course; CMU’s CHIMP robot performed well early on http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/drc-finals-cmu-chimp-gets-up-after-fall-shows-how-awesome-robots-can-be but the final winner and best performer overall was the Korean Hubo team http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/science/korean-robot-makers-walk-off-with-2-million-prize.html?_r=0. Also this week, robots are learning to push and pull heavy objects with their bodies http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/robots-learn-to-push-heavy-objects-with-their-bodies-just-like-you, and Amazon has just run its Warehouse Challenge competition for robots http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/1/8698607/amazon-robot-picking-challenge-results.
10. Regeneration Model Discovered by Smart Software
The regeneration mechanism of a type of small worm has been reverse engineered by a software system based on evolutionary algorithms http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/planarian-regeneration-model-discovered-artificial-intelligence. Fed a dataset of 16 key regeneration experiments the algorithm discovered and returned the regulatory network that correctly predicted all 16 experiments and is the most comprehensive model of regeneration in this worm to date. I’m thinking systems like these could be a boon to unravelling the complex regulatory networks at play in many human diseases and phenotypes.
I couldn’t pass this one up: Bolt Threads emerges from stealth with a lot of cash to scale production of bacterial synthesised spider silk threads for a range of purposes http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/04/spiderpants/#.rbqzel:4pl6.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/single-molecule-electronics-engineering.html
Single molecule electronics, Engineering DNA origami, Origami robots, Better robot interactions, Implantable active sensors, Base-6 DNA code, Probiotic cancer diagnosis, Automotive deep learning, Mitochondrial aging damage, Greaseless bearings.
1. Single Molecule Components for Molecular Electronics
New techniques allow the creation of single molecule diodes that perform 50 times better than all other previous designs, with a high rectification >250 and a high “on” current of 100 nAmps http://engineering.columbia.edu/one-step-closer-single-molecule-device-1. The key innovation was to design asymmetric properties around not just the molecule itself but also the immediate electrical environment. In related news single molecule rotaxane architectures (molecular ring around a molecular axle) are being scaled up to be incorporated into metal-organic-frameworks with a demonstrated ability to controllably switch the rotaxane from one state to another http://phys.org/news/2015-05-sold-state-molecular-circuitry-shuttle-metal-organic.html, although nothing on addressability yet.
2. Dynamic Engineering of DNA Origami Structures
Self-assembled DNA origami technology continues to progress with the development of better DNA origami techniques able to assemble arrays of nanoparticles into controlled geometric configurations http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11728. In the proof of concept octahedral DNA cages bound to nanoparticles further assembled together to produce chains or uniform sheets as needed. In a further extension of DNA origami techniques, ordered arrays of nanoparticles produced by DNA origami assembly can be subsequently reprogrammed, altering the attraction and repulsion between particles and causing a phase change in the lattice structure of the material http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11729, allowing programmable switchable materials that alter their properties depending on the environment. New solvents are also improving DNA origami http://phys.org/news/2015-05-non-aqueous-solvent-dna-nanotechnology.html, and DNA origami rings have been made that self-replicate http://phys.org/news/2015-05-self-replicating-nanostructures-dna.html.
3. Self-Folding Origami Robot
On the topic of origami a miniature self-folding origami robot has been demonstrated that walks, swims, carries loads, and dissolves in a solvent http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/origami-robot-folds-itself-up-does-cool-stuff-dissolves-into-nothing. Placed on a heating element the device folds up around a magnet in about a minute and then can be moved around at 4 cm/s under the direction of four electromagnetic coils. The good little demonstration video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0CluQiwLRg shows off a range of tasks and abilities. The end goal of course seems to be creating even smaller devices that might perform useful work inside the body.
4. Robots Interacting Better with their Surroundings
In additional robotics news we had a couple of interesting announcements this week. First, a new algorithm significantly reduces the planning time incurred by groups of robots working together to optimally perform some task http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/assembly-algorithm-for-autonomous-robots-0527. The proof-of-concept was demonstrated by a team of three robots working together to assemble a chair, and is ultimately hoped to further increase and improve automation in complex manufacturing environments. Second, more advanced robotic manipulators are enabling robots to automate and enter areas of food production that were previously too complex and required humans http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537646/robots-start-to-grasp-food-processing/.
5. Implantable Sensors and Active Devices
A newly developed biosensor chip measuring one square centimeter is designed to be implanted under the skin where it can be wirelessly charged, wirelessly communicate to your phone, and measure a range of different properties including pH, temperature, metabolic chemicals like glucose, lactate, and cholesterol and even drugs http://actu.epfl.ch/news/a-chip-placed-under-the-skin-for-more-precise-medi/; I’d be keen to know how long this can function before failing but a platform like this that could be modified to measure almost any molecule of interest would be fantastic. In related news artificial pancreas devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/diabetes-has-a-new-enemy-robopancreas.
6. From Base-4 to Base-6 DNA Codes
In an interesting synthetic biology advance two new nucleotide base-pairs have been successfully introduced into DNA strands, so in addition to the usual sequences of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs, this new DNA has what they term Zs and Ps http://phys.org/news/2015-05-code-life-letters.html. Critically the new DNA retained the standard double helix of DNA, as well as other physical properties, and was apparently able to evolve new sequences. At this stage such a material might have immediate utility in DNA origami applications as mentioned above, by allowing more diverse and more specific binding structures. To be useful in a living biological cell the group would need to alter all of the proteins that interact with DNA and reengineer the genetic code itself to take account of 216 codons instead of the usual 64.
7. Probiotic Bacteria for Diagnosing Cancer
I admit to being surprised to learn that some types of harmless E. coli bacteria can and do at times colonise the liver without any deleterious effects to the animal. In recent work this property was exploited to develop a cancer diagnostic for tumours growing in the liver http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/diagnosing-cancer-with-bacteria-0527. Instead of being injected genetically engineered bacteria were delivered orally via a probiotic formulation, they found their way to the liver, colonised it, penetrated any tumours due to attractive microenvironments, and expressed an enzyme to metabolise a compound produced by tumour cells, one of the by-products of which was secreted and detected in urine to a sensitivity sufficient for tumours one cubic millimeter or more in size.
8. Deep Learning, Automotive Apps, and Better GPUs
Google revealed details about its new pedestrian detection technology based on analysis of real time video footage by a new deep learning system that is currently designed to complement the other pedestrian-detecting sensors in its autonomous cars http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/new-pedestrian-detector-from-google-could-make-selfdriving-cars-cheaper. The system runs significantly faster than previous deep learning techniques and can accurately identify pedestrians in 0.25 seconds, however this is still slower than the 0.07 seconds required for real time use. So it is interesting to see Nvidia’s recent announcement of its Pascal range of GPU coming out next year that it claims will provide a 10x performance boost to deep learning applications and a big part of their push will be towards the automotive market http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/05/nvidias-pascal-is-ten-times-faster-than.html.
9. Reversing Mitochondrial Damage in Aging
An intriguing result in cell lines suggests that age-associated mitochondrial respiration defects might not be due to somatic mutations in mitochondrial DNA at all, but rather dependent on nuclear mutations and epigenetic changes https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/05/another-example-of-induced-pluripotency-reversing-mitochondrial-damage-in-aging.php. Taking elderly cell lines, reprogramming them into induced pluripotent stem cells, and then differentiating them back into the cell type they used to be (fibroblasts) resulted in the restoration and rejuvenation of mitochondrial respiration defects; respiration defects were also absent in the presence of mitoDNA mutations or excessive reactive oxygen. Further study suggested that a key factor was reduced glycine production in mitochondria (regulated by nuclear genes), and glycine treatment was also effective in restoring and rejuvenating aged respiration defects. More work and animal studies are needed, probably too early to start supplementing megadoses of glycine, but still tantalising.
10. Improved Bearing Design
Sometimes the best things are the simplest. Bearing designs and function haven’t been substantially improved for a very long time despite their ubiquity and importance in industrial society. A new bearing design working on quite simple principles is able to spin with 10x less friction compared to conventional designs while at the same time not requiring grease http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/greaseless-bearing-coo-space/. Such a simple thing might lead to substantial benefits for things like robotics, not to mention standard industrial equipment and machines in future.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/yeast-opiate-production-crispr-gmo.html
Yeast opiate production, CRISPR GMO killswitch, Optical computation, Continuous roll graphene, Cell periodic table, Immune evading implants, Wearable muscle sensor, Molecular pumps, Learning robots, Laser scanner.
1. Engineered Yeast for Opiate Production
After a number of years of effort by multiple groups the final enzymatic synthetic step in the pathway for opiate production (morphine, etc) has been completed and it is now possible to create strains of yeast that produce opiate drugs as part of normal metabolism http://www.nature.com/news/drugs-regulate-home-brew-opiates-1.17563. With such a strain and basic fermentation skills morphine-producing yeast could be grown in a home-brew beer kit, but the original development was intended for cheaper, simpler, production of opiates. I disagree strongly with the alarmist commentary and propaganda around this, including this quote from the linked article “All told, decentralized and localized production would almost certainly reduce the cost and increase the availability of illegal opiates — substantially worsening a worldwide problem.” which I consider myopic; I believe this would substantially improve a worldwide problem.
2. CRISPR-Based GMO Kill-Switch
CRISPR has now been employed in a novel way to trigger the removal and destruction of modified genes from genetically modified organisms and leaving the original genes intact http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/19/8625623/gmo-crispr-kill-switch-self-destructing-dna. It seems the system can kill the cells directly, inactivate or delete just the modified or introduced genes, or do both. Triggers for activating the system could include light levels, the presence or absence of a particular molecule - useful for controlling crops for example - and others. This seems to be similar in application to Terminator gene technology that was developed to limit the spread of GMO crops by preventing the growth of new seed, but in this case you would still get seed that could only be grow in desired areas.
3. Optical Computing Developments
We had a trio of advances in optical computing this week. First, the smallest-ever silicon photonic beam-splitter has been demonstrated, designed by novel algorithms, measuring just 2.4 microns on a side, and promising faster on-chip communication and processing http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/silicon-photonics/. IBM announces new CMOS integrated silicon nanophotonics technology and new chips designed to work alongside electrical chips while transferring data at 100 Gbps (full HD movie in 2 seconds), first application in high end servers and data centers http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46839.wss. Layers of 2D graphene and boron nitride allow controlled propagation of confined light pulses (within the layered sheets) when a voltage is applied to the graphene http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/tuning-light-waves-with-2-d-materials-0520.
4. Continuous Roll Production of Graphene
A new continuous roll-to-roll production method for manufacturing large sheets of graphene and possibly other 2D materials https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/manufacture-continuous-rolls-graphene-0521. At a rate of 2.5cm per minute the sheets are uniform and high-quality single-layer graphene; faster rates, up to 20x, still produce coated sheets but these are lower-quality with defects. While the process doesn’t yet produce sheets equal to the best batch-processing methods, different applications will have different quality requirements. Further improvements should result in improved quality and production speed. In related news a new 60% - 70% graphene ink formulation allows 3D printing of robust structures that retain many of graphene’s useful properties and used these as custom tissue scaffolds seeded with stem cells http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2015/05/printing-3D-graphene-structures-for-tissue-engineering.html.
5. Towards a Periodic Table of Cells
New microfluidics technology can efficiently isolate single cells from a sample for analysis and when combined with new technology for single cell genomic analysis via cataloguing the mRNA expression profile of single cells is leading to an explosion in data and new knowledeg about different cell types in different tissues http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537416/single-cells-analyzed-at-unprecedented-scale/. This has resulted in identifying cells never seen before and recent studies such as a survey of 466 individual brain cells as a step towards a full cellular brain atlas, and mapping thousands of cells from a mouse brain to identify 47 different types. This is inching towards a periodic table of cells and a complete cellular map for the human body and their functions. In related news microfluidic techniques can now squeeze (immune) cells and force the introduction of desired antigens into them in order to create better and more effective vaccines out of the patient’s own cells http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cell-squeezing-device-vaccines-0522.
6. Better Implants that Evade the Immune System
New studies indicate that the geometry of implanted devices significantly affects how the body and immune system will tolerate their presence http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/designing-better-medical-implants-0518. While the material is important their results suggest that larger, spherical devices are better able to maintain their function and avoid the buildup of scar tissue. 0.5mm spheres loaded with pancreatic islet cells to treat diabetic mice failed within a month, whereas 1.5mm spheres continued to function past six months. Similar performance improvement were observed in many materials and also in primates. This is a very interesting platform for introducing novel living biosensors and living drug factories into people.
7. Wearable Muscle Sensors with MyoWare
A new muscle sensor designed to be temporarily stuck on to your skin above the muscle group that you want to use can be used to trigger commands in various electronic devices and is currently available via kickstarter http://www.coolwearable.com/myoware-muscle/. This is related to the Myo gesture control armband that I’ve been keen to try out and I’d be tempted to back the kickstarter myself if the device came with bluetooth and could interface with my phone. I’m looking forward to further miniaturisation that allows these sensors and their wireless transmitters to be implanted and to take higher resolution readings.
8. Designing a New Molecular Pump
The first entirely artificial molecular pump has been designed in which molecules pump other molecules http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/05/nature-inspires-first-artificial-molecular-pump-.html. The pump works via simple chemical reactions, driving molecules step by step up higher energy states and away from a natural equilibrium. The basic architecture involves a ring-shaped molecule that moves along a molecular thread or chain, storing energy as it does so by moving multiple rings towards one end. An interesting research novelty for now the ultimate goal is to have these little molecular machines power nanoscale devices, muscles, and perhaps perform computational operations.
9. Learning Robots & Machines with Complex Goals
New deep learning algorithms enable some robots to learn new tasks via trial and error without pre-programmed details about the environment http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/05/21/deep-learning-robot-masters-skills-via-trial-and-error/. A variety of tasks were successfully tested including putting a hanger on a rack, assembling a toy, screwing a cap on a bottle, and others, with learning times averaging 10 minutes to 3 hours depending on the level of complexity. In related news a reinforcement learning approach has demonstrated game-playing software that is capable of creating a hierarchy of goals while working towards a delayed reward http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/05/keen-software-house-makes-ai-that-can.html.
10. Non-Mechanical Laser Scanner
DARPA has demonstrated its SWEEPER technology for enabling drastically improved LIDAR applications http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2015/05/21.aspx. Unlike conventional LIDAR devices SWEEPER does not require mechanical components and instead exploits silicon-based on-chip optical phased array technology that can sweep a laser beam back and forth 100,000 times per second. This is expected to enable LIDAR systems that are drastically miniaturised and extremely low-cost. Given LIDAR systems in autonomous vehicles are one of the most expensive components in an autonomous vehicle the benefits for a diverse array of applications are immense. A future version of Project Tango could even have one of these devices.
- LearningGeneralist (life), present
- Unbound Future (current)
- Science & Tech
- Trending and Systemic Changes in Culture & Markets
- My Opinions about Optimizing and Changing our Collective Paradigms
- Sustainability & Health
- Discoverying myself
- a Lateral (divergent) thinker
- a MAVERICK
- an infovore/philomath
- trying to change the world one mind at a time
- INTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perceiving) [Myers-Briggs Personality Type]
- Molecular Biology
- Nutrition - Natural Medicine (I'm biased towards natural vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds rather than pharmaceuticals. I prefer prevention rather than intervention.)
- Nootropics (mind enhancing drugs and nutrients)
- Robotics and Automation
- Quantum Mechanics
- Open Source - Development and Data
- Web 3.0, Semantics, Ontologies
- Artificial Intelligence
- Liquid Fluoride-Thorium Nuclear Reactors
- Quantum Electronics
- Optical Electronics
- Biological Batteries
- CLEAN ENERGY
- Social Reform
- INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES
- COOPERATIVES (United Nations 2012: Year of the Cooperative!)
- SHARED SOURCES (Infrastructures and Services that cut down on redundant waste)
- OPEN SOURCE ECOLOGY
- Occupy Wall Street
- EDUCATION REFORM
- Commercial (feral) Hemp Legalization (paper, cloth, ethanol, food, CO2 reduction, fertilizer and pesticide reduction)
- PROGRESSIVE LIBERTARIAN (Scientific Conservative) [Grassroots-Organized-Anarchist] [Progressive and Participatory-Tiered-Democracy] [Socialist-Free Market] [Peaceful-Post-Scarcity] [Scientific-Accepting] [Fractal-Unionist] (Why? Because the more "networked" a nation is, the better. The U.S. started out pretty good. It can be done better. Authoritarian Regimes are very dangerous. Power should be as diversified and distributed as possible. It promotes humility.)
- * http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy/ (The E-Harmony of Politics!) *
"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -Alice Walker
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller
"Your competitive advantage comes from the accuracy of your interpretation of reality and the way you articulate your life experience." -Jennifer Sertl
"What looks like luck to most people is when preparation meets opportunity." -Oprah Winfrey
"...the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each."
The website continues:
"Integrative thinkers build models rather than choose between them. Their models include consideration of numerous variables — customers, employees, competitors, capabilities, cost structures, industry evolution, and regulatory environment — not just a subset of the above. Their models capture the complicated, multi-faceted and multidirectional causal relationships between the key variables in any problem. Integrative thinkers consider the problem as a whole, rather than breaking it down and farming out the parts. Finally, they creatively resolve tensions without making costly trade-offs, turning challenges into opportunities."
- Wealth without Work
- Pleasure without Conscience
- Science without Humanity
- Knowledge without Character
- Politics without Principle
- Commerce without Morality
- Worship without Sacrifice
Maslow's list of Metaneeds:
- Wholeness (unity)
- Perfection (balance and harmony)
- Completion (ending)
- Justice (fairness)
- Richness (complexity)
- Simplicity ( essence)
- Liveliness (spontaneity)
- Beauty (rightness of form)
- Goodness (benevolence)
- Uniqueness (individuality)
- Playfulness (ease)
- Truth (reality)
- Autonomy (self-sufficiency)
- Meaningfulness (values)
- Impact - Douglas Preston (Aliens)
- The Offsite - Robert H. Thompson (Leadership Fable)
- Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think - Peter H. Diamandis - Steven Kotler (Future Abundance and Prosperity through Technology and Post-Scarcity)
- The Power of Pull - John Hagel (Pull-Based Strategies, Distributed Leadership, and Need-Based Supply Webs and Ecosystems)
- Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government - Glenn Beck (Economics, Government, Progressivism, Conservatism, Freedom, Individual Liberty)
- PERFECT STRANGER
- TRACE BUNDY
- Silversun Pickups - The Royal We
- Linkin Park - The Catalyst
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Manheim Steamroller
- Five Finger Death Punch
- Sysco FoodsOutbound Order Selector, 2015 - present
- UPSPackage Handler, 2014 - 2015
- Real Racing 3
- Alien Creeps TD
- Bird Climb
- VEGA Conflict
- Crossy Road
- The Tower
Elevate - Brain Training – Android Apps on Google Play
Elevate is a brain training program designed to improve focus, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more. Each person
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