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  • July 2, 2012
  • 04:35 AM

How 16,000 Processors Learned to Actually ‘See’

by United Academics in United Academics

In their search for knowledge on complex data processing, the group has created a huge surrogate neural-like network of 16,000 connected computer processors, which share about one billion connections.... Read more »

Quoc, V. Le, Marc’Aurelio Ranzato, Rajat Monga, Matthieu Devin, Kai Chen, Greg S. Corrado, Jeff Dean, Andrew Y. Ng. (2012) Building High-level Features Using Large Scale Unsupervised Learning. info:/

  • June 29, 2012
  • 04:42 PM

How fireworks light up the sky

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

Many countries/regions will be celebrating their national/independence day over the weekend and into next week, so you’ll likely have a chance to see some fireworks whether in person, on television, [...]... Read more »

  • June 29, 2012
  • 01:00 PM

Is Chaitin proving Darwin with metabiology?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Algorithmic information theory (AIT) allows us to study the inherent structure of objects, and qualify some as ‘random’ without reference to a generating distribution. The theory originated when Ray Solomonoff (1960), Andrey Kolmogorov (1965), and Gregory Chaitin (1966) looked at probability, statistics, and information through the algorithmic lens. Now the theory has become a central [...]... Read more »

Chaitin, G. (2009) Evolution of Mutating Software. EATCS Bulletin, 157-164. info:/

  • June 27, 2012
  • 07:20 AM

Herkent u deze melodie? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Je zit in je auto en draait wat aan de knop van de radio. Je hoort al snel of bepaalde muziek je bevalt of niet. Je herkent een stem, een liedje of zelfs de uitvoering ervan. Iedereen doet het, iedereen kan het. En vaak ook nog eens razendsnel: sneller dan een noot gemiddeld klinkt.Als u gevraagd zou worden om naar een reeks muziekfragmenten van 0,2 seconde te luisteren, zal blijken dat u met gemak aan kan geven welk fragment klassiek, jazz, R&B of pop is (zie luistertest). Een snippertje ge........ Read more »

Gjerdingen, Robert O., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

  • June 25, 2012
  • 09:11 AM

Why does a well-tuned modern piano not sound out-of tune?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Karlheinz Stockhausen is listening."Neue Musik ist anstrengend", wrote Die Zeit some time ago: "Der seit Pythagoras’ Zeiten unternommene Versuch, angenehme musikalische Klänge auf ganzzahlige Frequenzverhältnisse der Töne zurückzuführen, ist schon mathematisch zum Scheitern verurteilt. Außereuropäische Kulturen beweisen schließlich, dass unsere westliche Tonskala genauso wenig naturgegeben ist wie eine auf Dur und Moll beruhende Harmonik: Die indonesische Gamelan-Musik und Indiens Raga........ Read more »

Julia Kursell. (2011) Kräftespiel. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 2(1), 24-40. DOI: 10.4472_zfmw.2010.0003  

  • June 21, 2012
  • 03:21 PM

Neuron-controlled robots: reverse-cyborgs

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

Last post we discussed robotically controlled biology.  In this post we will talk about biologically controlled robots.The Hybrot: a rat neuron controlled robotIn 2001, S. Potter published a paper on the "Animat". A set of cultured neurons on a multi-electrode array (MEA, purple circle in above image) interfaced with a simulated robot.  That is, not a physical moving around robot as pictured above, but a computer program simulating what a robot/animal could do.  They made a v........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2012
  • 11:10 PM

A bright future with self-assembling nanocubes

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

What does the home pregnancy test and stained glass have in common? Both contain nanometer sized particles of metal (nanoparticles) that play a key role in how they work. The [...]... Read more »

  • June 19, 2012
  • 11:29 AM

The Evolution of Music

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

A collaboration between a group in Imperial College and Media Interaction group in Japan yielded a really cool website: The idea is to apply Darwinian-like selection to music. Starting form a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able. Or a Katy Perry tune. Whatever. The selective force being the appeal of the tune to the listener. ... Read more »

Robert M. MacCallum, Matthias Mauchb, Austin Burta, & Armand M. Leroia. (2012) (2012-06-18) Evolution of music by public choice. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203182109  

  • June 19, 2012
  • 10:25 AM

Can artificial music evolve in a Darwinian way?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

This week an interesting study appeared in PNAS (early edition) showing that a simple Darwinian process can produce music. Inspired by cultural transmission theory, the study suggests that the evolution of music can be viewed and analyzed in terms of selection-variation processes, and, as such, may shed light on the evolution of real musical cultures. ... Read more »

Robert M. MacCalluma, Matthias Mauch, Austin Burta, & Armand M. Leroia. (2012) Evolution of music by public choice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203182109  

  • June 19, 2012
  • 01:23 AM

Do I Look Like an Alien to You?

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

I finally got a chance to see Prometheus this weekend and it reminded me why I love both technology and space so much. Without giving too much away for those of you that haven’t yet watched it, one of the more prominent ideas put forth in the movie is that we were created by alien [...]... Read more »

Ehrenfreund P, Spaans M, & Holm NG. (2011) The evolution of organic matter in space. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 369(1936), 538-54. PMID: 21220279  

  • June 17, 2012
  • 12:45 PM

Remote-controlled cyborg insects

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

Cyborgs capture the imagination. Whether human-machine prosthetics or machine-insect spybots, the possibilities for medical advances and for exciting sci-fi novels are virtually endless. Remote controlled beetle from 1909 from Insect Lab A paper in 2009 by Sato et al. made some significant advances in the frontier of remote-controlled cyborg beetles. Specifically they were able to stimulate relatively specific neurons in these beetles to get them to initiate flight........ Read more »

Sato H, Berry CW, Peeri Y, Baghoomian E, Casey BE, Lavella G, Vandenbrooks JM, Harrison JF, & Maharbiz MM. (2009) Remote radio control of insect flight. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 24. PMID: 20161808  

  • June 15, 2012
  • 10:49 AM

Alan Turing Centenary Conference, 22nd-25th June 2012

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Next weekend, a bunch of very distinguished computer scientists will rock up at the magnificent Manchester Town Hall for the Turing Centenary Conference in order to analyse the development of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Alan Turing’s legacy [1].... Read more »

  • June 14, 2012
  • 03:27 PM

Brains are Different on Macs

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Last month, neuroscientists were warned about potential biases in SPM8, a popular software tool for analysis of fMRI data.Now a paper highlights another software pitfall: The Effects of FreeSurfer Version, Workstation Type, and Macintosh Operating System Version on Anatomical Volume and Cortical Thickness MeasurementsFreeSurfer is one of the major image analysis packages and amongst other things, you can use it to measure the size of different parts of the brain. German researchers Ed Gronenschi........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2012
  • 07:37 AM

Molecular Machines for Nanotech Applications

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Enabling bioengineers to design new molecular machines for nanotechnology applications is one of the possible outcomes of a study by University of Montreal researchers that was published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology yesterday (cited below). The scientists have developed a new approach to visualize how proteins assemble, which may also significantly aid our understanding [...]... Read more »

  • June 9, 2012
  • 11:00 AM

Twit-Fight: A Sentiment Analysis Demo using Twitter Data

by Alejandro Mosquera in amsqr

TwitFight is a proof of concept application that uses several Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques such as sentiment analysis or text mining to analyze two sets of "tweets" obtained by querying the Twitter API. ... Read more »

Bo Pang, Lillian Lee, & Shivakumar Vaithyanathan. (2002) Thumbs up? Sentiment Classification using Machine Learning Techniques. Proceedings of the ACL-02 conference on Empirical methods in natural language processing. arXiv: cs/0205070v1

  • June 9, 2012
  • 11:00 AM

Tracking Emotions with Twitter in Realtime with EmotiMeter

by Alejandro Mosquera in amsqr

EmotiMeter is a client-side application that continuously search for emoticons (happy / sad) in Twitter updates and draws a circle in a world map regarding the user location. ... Read more »

Bo Pang, Lillian Lee, & Shivakumar Vaithyanathan. (2002) Thumbs up? Sentiment Classification using Machine Learning Techniques. Proceedings of the ACL-02 conference on Empirical methods in natural language processing. arXiv: cs/0205070v1

  • June 9, 2012
  • 11:00 AM

Android malware classification using NLTK

by Alejandro Mosquera in amsqr

There are already several great Android malware static and dynamic analysis frameworks (,, ) but I still wanted not only testing my first hypothesis about the higher correlation of non-standard Android permissions and malware but to be able to discover the most common permissions that malware authors use when developing these troublesome applications.... Read more »

B. Sanz, I. Santos, C. Laorden, X. Ugarte-Pedrero y P.G. Bringas. (2012) On the Automatic Categorisation of Android Applications. Proceedings of the 9th IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC). info:/

  • June 6, 2012
  • 11:30 AM

Superhero Science: Tomorrow’s caped crusaders

by thesoftanonymous in the.soft.anonymous

Everyone loves a good Hollywood ending. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a masked hero finally dispatch an evil villain. But aren’t flying men with super-strength a bit passé? Maybe it’s time for some new, cutting-edge superheroes…... Read more »

D. D. Stancil, P. Adamson, & M. Alania. (2012) Demonstration of Communication using Neutrinos. Mod. Phys. Lett. A 27 (2012) 1250077. arXiv: 1203.2847v2

  • June 4, 2012
  • 06:01 PM

Journal of Neuroscience Methods paper: "Automated Cognome Construction and Semi-automated Hypothesis Generation"

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

The scientific method begins with a hypothesis about our reality that can be tested via experimental observation. Hypothesis formation is iterative, building off prior scientific knowledge. Before one can form a hypothesis, one must have a thorough understanding of previous research to ensure that the path of inquiry is founded upon a stable base of established facts. But how can a researcher perform a thorough, unbiased literature review when over one million scientific articles are published a........ Read more »

Schmidt M, & Lipson H. (2009) Distilling free-form natural laws from experimental data. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5923), 81-5. PMID: 19342586  

Bowden, D., & Dubach, M. (2003) NeuroNames 2002. Neuroinformatics, 1(1), 43-60. DOI: 10.1385/NI:1:1:043  

Yarkoni T, Poldrack RA, Nichols TE, Van Essen DC, & Wager TD. (2011) Large-scale automated synthesis of human functional neuroimaging data. Nature methods, 8(8), 665-70. PMID: 21706013  

Lein, E., Hawrylycz, M., Ao, N., Ayres, M., Bensinger, A., Bernard, A., Boe, A., Boguski, M., Brockway, K., Byrnes, E.... (2006) Genome-wide atlas of gene expression in the adult mouse brain. Nature, 445(7124), 168-176. DOI: 10.1038/nature05453  

  • June 4, 2012
  • 03:03 PM

Why You Can't Kill a Mosquito with a Raindrop

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Compared to a spindly mosquito, the mass of a raindrop is like a bus bearing down on a human. Yet the delicate insects thrive in wet, rainy climates. To find out how mosquitos live through rain showers, researchers pelted them with water drops while filming them at high speed. They saw that the insects' light weight, rather than being a liability, might be the key to their survival.

David Hu is a professor in both the biology and mechanical engineering departments at Georgia Tech. He's pre........ Read more »

Andrew K. Dickerson, Peter G. Shankles, Nihar M. Madhavan, & David L. Hu. (2012) Mosquitoes survive raindrop collisions by virtue of their low mass. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1205446109

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