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  • May 17, 2017
  • 05:20 AM
  • 380 views

Carbon nanotubes, what are they good for?

by kylius wilkins in It Ain't Magic

Kylius Wilkins talks to Urs Frey and his paper that described his recent success manufacturing carbon nanotubes (CNTs).... Read more »

  • May 1, 2017
  • 07:30 PM
  • 508 views

Sharing the Future with Artificial Intelligence

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

Artificial intelligence has reached a buzzword utopia as it seems everyone is talking about self-driving cars, delivery drones and virtual assistants with human-like "intelligence." Some believe this new era of AI will make the American Dream universally accessible, enabling early retirement in bucolic settings. Others are concerned about a greater inequality created by a jobless future.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2017
  • 02:01 PM
  • 643 views

Using Discourse Analysis to Assess Cognitive Decline

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Figure from Gauthier et al. (2005).

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other dementias are progressive neurodegenerative conditions that unfold over time. Subtle symptoms such as forgetfulness and word finding problems may progress to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and then escalate to full-blown dementia. Recent efforts to classify prodromal states have included automated analysis of spontaneous... Read more »

Fraser, K., Meltzer, J., & Rudzicz, F. (2015) Linguistic Features Identify Alzheimer’s Disease in Narrative Speech. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 49(2), 407-422. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-150520  

Thomas, C., Keselj, V., Cercone, N., Rockwood, K., . (2005) Automatic detection and rating of dementia of Alzheimer type through lexical analysis of spontaneous speech. IEEE International Conference, 1569-1574. info:/10.1109/ICMA.2005.1626789

  • February 12, 2017
  • 12:10 PM
  • 636 views

More than Meets the Eye

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

Eyeglasses are almost as old as the civilization itself. They have not changed much since Benjamin Franklin's bifocals in the 18th century. Nor were they made obsolete by laser surgery and contacts. Still, eyeglass technology leaves much to be desired. But new technologies are unfolding before our eyes. ... Read more »

Gudlavalleti VS, Allagh KP, & Gudlavalleti AS. (2014) Self-adjustable glasses in the developing world. Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.), 405-13. PMID: 24570581  

Hasan N, Banerjee A, Kim H, & Mastrangelo CH. (2017) Tunable-focus lens for adaptive eyeglasses. Optics express, 25(2), 1221-1233. PMID: 28158006  

  • December 27, 2016
  • 03:04 PM
  • 939 views

Why we have not met Aliens yet?

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

A huge of number of people keeps on thinking about the existence of some other intelligent beings in the universe but still we have not met any aliens. Why?

Earth is rare

Earth is special planet

One of the reasons that we have not met aliens is that Earth is rare and there is nothing just like Earth in the universe. In this regard, Paleontologist Peter Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee presented the Rare Earth Hypothesis about 17 years ago.

According to the Rare Earth Hypothesis, the planets having Earth-like complex (animal) life, according to our knowledge, are very rare in the universe. Moreover, the chains of events that occurred on this planet and that were important for the development of life are so complex that they would not occur anywhere in the universe; thereby, making it highly improbable to meet aliens from other planets.

Picture showing wreckage

Every intelligent life may face some disasters after reaching a sufficiently advanced technology

Even though some alien life exists in the universe, Great Filter Theory suggests that it is probably difficult for the alien or intelligent life in the universe to reach such a technologically advancing stage that they start long-distance space travel or communication.

On the Earth, we know that some natural disasters often occur taking the life many years back; thereby, causing the people to start the life from somewhat beginning. For example, our advancements in nuclear technology could take us to nuclear war finally leading to mass destruction, and loss of advanced technology and many important human beings, i.e. great filter. Similar events, i.e. cataclysmic natural disasters, could also occur on other planets having some alien lives causing them to start their life from zero, and finally, making it almost impossible for them to go somewhere in the universe.

Another similar concept is that of the Medea Hypothesis, noted by paleontologist Peter Ward that suggests the concept of self-destruction. This hypothesis shows that the internal suicidal clock of living beings runs out before making any connection with aliens.

Technology at small scale

Why move outward when inward has much to give?

John Smart’s Transcension Hypothesis suggests that intelligent life in our universe started advancements in an inward direction rather than an outward direction in space. This concept can be compared to the miniaturization concept such as that of computers. Initially, computers were large in size but with the passage of time, their size decreased but power increased. Similarly, intelligent alien life progresses towards more denser and efficient use of space, time, energy, and matter, i.e. STEM. Eventually, the intelligent life in space started living in a black hole that is outside of this space-time continuum. Smart and other such researchers are of opinion that black holes are ideal for computation, energy generation, time travel, and more such processes for any kind of intelligent living beings.

Best place

Perhaps Earth is not a super-habitable place…

Science fiction often shows that intelligent alien life was searching for fuel or some other things such as food etc and they found Earth, but reality could be very different from that. May be Earth is not a super-habitable place in the universe. It is quite possible that if aliens are more intelligent than human beings they would not require the resources of Earth. They may think that the Earth and the living beings on this planet are of no use in regards to their highly advanced technologies. Moreover, if we leave the concept of super-habitable worlds, there are more than 8 billion Earth like planets in the universe, and intelligent aliens could go there, if they want.

Virtual Reality

Perhaps we are living in an artificial universe

Planetarium Hypothesis by Stephen Baxter suggests that we are perhaps living in an “artificial universe” or “virtual reality ‘planetarium’” that is giving us an illusion of empty universe. Supporters of this idea are also of opinion that we are living in a computer simulation that has been designed by some advanced aliens who are able to work on matter and energy on large scale. This is also showing that the intelligent life has not designed the program in such a way that we would be able to find any aliens in the universe.

Perhaps Earth is far far away from other inhabitable planets

Perhaps Earth is at a very large distance from other inhabited planets

Alien life might exist in the universe but still we have not met them, and one of the important reasons is that the Earth is at a very large distance away from them. In this case, Percolation theory suggests that some areas in the universe show large clustered growth, whereas some areas of growth have outlier positions. Other intelligent beings in the universe are perhaps living in that large clustered growth, and the Earth is in the outlier position.

Perhaps aliens have some unknown signals

We are unable to understand their signals

It is quite possible that alien life exists and they are also sending signals to us, but due to the difference in nature of signals we are unable to understand their signals. Perhaps, aliens have completely different senses as compared to human beings. Perhaps they are using the communication methods that are highly advanced in comparison to our communication methods.

As Lord Rees, cosmologist and astrophysicist, noted, “They could be staring us in the face, and we just don’t recognize them. The problem is that we’re looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology. I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive.”

Via: John Smart, Montana State University, Robin Hanson, Planetarium Hypothesis, Percolation theory, Medea Hypothesis, ListVerse, Heller, R., & Armstrong, J. (2014). Superhabitable Worlds Astrobiology, 14 (1), 50-66 DOI: 10.1089/ast.2013.1088... Read more »

Heller, R., & Armstrong, J. (2014) Superhabitable Worlds. Astrobiology, 14(1), 50-66. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2013.1088  

  • December 18, 2016
  • 06:45 AM
  • 850 views

Fusion and sex in protocells & the start of evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1864, five years after reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Pyotr Kropotkin — the anarchist prince of mutual aid — was leading a geographic survey expedition aboard a dog-sleigh — a distinctly Siberian variant of the HMS Beagle. In the harsh Manchurian climate, Kropotkin did not see competition ‘red in tooth and claw’, […]... Read more »

Sinai, S, Olejarz, J, Neagu, IA, & Nowak, MA. (2016) Primordial Sex Facilitates the Emergence of Evolution. arXiv. arXiv: 1612.00825v1

  • October 10, 2016
  • 02:59 PM
  • 784 views

Doc versus machine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Increasingly powerful computers using ever-more sophisticated programs are challenging human supremacy in areas as diverse as playing chess and making emotionally compelling music. But can digital diagnosticians match, or even outperform, human physicians? The answer, according to a new study, is "not quite."

... Read more »

Semigran, H., Levine, D., Nundy, S., & Mehrotra, A. (2016) Comparison of Physician and Computer Diagnostic Accuracy. JAMA Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6001  

  • October 9, 2016
  • 04:07 PM
  • 811 views

New sensor material could enable more sensitive readings of biological signals

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

High-tech prosthetics, computers that are controlled by thought, the ability to walk or even move again, these are just a few of the promises of technology. Unfortunately, while the tech is -- mostly -- up to the challenge, getting the biology side of things to cooperate has been difficult at best, but that could change. Now, scientists have created a material that could make reading biological signals, from heartbeats to brainwaves, much more sensitive.

... Read more »

Giovannitti, A., Nielsen, C., Sbircea, D., Inal, S., Donahue, M., Niazi, M., Hanifi, D., Amassian, A., Malliaras, G., Rivnay, J.... (2016) N-type organic electrochemical transistors with stability in water. Nature Communications, 13066. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13066  

  • October 8, 2016
  • 03:31 PM
  • 840 views

Concentrating on the social billions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using online social media does not lead to long-term problems with our ability to concentrate, according to new research. We are social animals, so it is really no surprise that billions of us now use online tools to communicate, educate and inform each other. The advent of social media and social networking has nevertheless been phenomenally rapid.

... Read more »

Doss, S., Carstens, D., & Kies, S. (2016) Episodic social media impact on users. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 4(3), 273. DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2016.079505  

  • October 7, 2016
  • 02:57 PM
  • 781 views

First demonstration of brain-inspired device to power artificial systems

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research has demonstrated that a nanoscale device, called a memristor, could be used to power artificial systems that can mimic the human brain. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) exhibit learning abilities and can perform tasks which are difficult for conventional computing systems, such as pattern recognition, on-line learning and classification.

... Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 04:57 PM
  • 920 views

The blur doesn't cut it: AI can identify people in blurred images

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A trio of researchers has found off-the-shelf AI software can be used to identify people in blurred or pixilated images. The researchers have uploaded a paper describing the experiments they carried out with AI software identification of people or other items in blurred out images, what they found and reveal just how accurate they found it could be.

... Read more »

Richard McPherson, Reza Shokri, & Vitaly Shmatikov. (2016) Defeating Image Obfuscation with Deep Learning. arXiv. arXiv: 1609.00408v2

  • September 14, 2016
  • 04:48 PM
  • 998 views

Food waste could store solar and wind energy, or there's the obvious...

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Saving up excess solar and wind energy for times when the sun is down or the air is still requires a storage device. Batteries get the most attention as a promising solution although pumped hydroelectric storage is currently used most often. Now researchers are advancing another potential approach using sugar alcohols—an abundant waste product of the food industry—mixed with carbon nanotubes.

... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 04:09 PM
  • 876 views

Social connectedness can increase suicide risk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists who examined clusters in a single town. The study illustrates how the homogeneous culture and high degree of social connectedness of a community can increase suicide risk, particularly among teenagers.

... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 06:55 AM
  • 1,213 views

Quantum Information Encoded in Spinning Black Holes

by Ovidiu Racorean in United Academics

Spinning black holes are capable of complex quantum information processes encoded in the X-ray photons. ... Read more »

  • September 6, 2016
  • 02:26 PM
  • 910 views

Body heat as a power source

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Chinese scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat by introducing a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.

... Read more »

Yang, P., Liu, K., Chen, Q., Mo, X., Zhou, Y., Li, S., Feng, G., & Zhou, J. (2016) Wearable Thermocells Based on Gel Electrolytes for the Utilization of Body Heat. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201606314  

  • September 3, 2016
  • 04:04 PM
  • 878 views

The Genesis Project: New life on exoplanets

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Can life be brought to celestial bodies outside our solar system, which are not permanently inhabitable? A new essay that has been published is trying to deal with this question. Over the last several years, the search for exoplanets has shown that very different types exist leading to new questions and a variety of possible answers.

... Read more »

Claudius Gros. (2016) Developing Ecospheres on Transiently Habitable Planets: The Genesis Project. Astrophysics and Space Science. arXiv: 1608.06087v2

  • September 2, 2016
  • 12:48 PM
  • 1,003 views

The Search for (Extra)Terrestrial Signals

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

What exactly are SETI signals?... Read more »

  • September 1, 2016
  • 05:22 AM
  • 894 views

Music from Your Brain

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The journal Brain has a new review on the history of converting the electroencephalogram (EEG) into sound (Lutters & Koehler, 2016). The translation of data into sound, known as sonification, has been applied to brain waves since the 1930s. In addition to early scientific and medical applications, sonification of the EEG has been used in the field of experimental music.In 1965, physicist Edmond Dewan and composer Alvin Lucier collaborated on Music for the Solo Performer:Sitting on a chair, eyes closed, Lucier’s brainwaves were recorded from his scalp, amplified and channelled to numerous loudspeakers scattered around the room. As the amplified alpha rhythm was below the human audible range, the loudspeakers were put ‘right up against’ various percussion instruments, which were then activated by means of vibration. While Lucier attempted to refrain from mental activity, percussion sounds slowly started to fill the room, which were suddenly disrupted when he opened his eyes, engaged in mental exercise, or when his attention was drawn towards sounds from the audience (Kahn, 2013).The article also reviews more contemporary translations of EEG activity into music:By the end of the century, advances in EEG and sound technology ultimately gave rise to brain–computer music interfaces (BCMIs), a multidisciplinary achievement that has enhanced expressive abilities of both patients and artists (Miranda, 2014).Image credits:Edmond Dewan and his brainwave control system (1964). From Kahn D. Earth sound Earth signal: Energies and Earth magnitude in the arts. Los Angeles: University of California Press; 2013. p. 96. Image courtesy of Brian Dewan.Lucier practicing brainwave control in the Brandeis Music Studio (1965). From Kahn D. Earth sound Earth signal: Energies and Earth magnitude in the arts. Los Angeles: University of California Press; 2013. p. 91. Image courtesy of Alvin Lucier. ReferenceLutters, B., & Koehler, P. (2016). Brainwaves in concert: the 20th century sonification of the electroencephalogram. Brain DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww207

... Read more »

  • August 23, 2016
  • 12:11 AM
  • 902 views

Measuring altitude — with clocks?

by Jens Wilkinson in It Ain't Magic

Measuring altitude using atomic clocks seems like a crazy idea, but it’s already being done at RIKEN in Japan.... Read more »

Takano, T., Takamoto, M., Ushijima, I., Ohmae, N., Akatsuka, T., Yamaguchi, A., Kuroishi, Y., Munekane, H., Miyahara, B., & Katori, H. (2016) Geopotential measurements with synchronously linked optical lattice clocks. Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2016.159  

  • August 20, 2016
  • 06:45 PM
  • 874 views

'I miss you so much': How Twitter is broadening the conversation on death and mourning

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes. But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular -- with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal expression -- is widening the conversation around death and mourning.

... Read more »

Nina Lyn Cesare, & Jennifer Lynn Branstad. (2016) Dying and Mourning in the Twittersphere. American Sociological Association. info:/

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