Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Oct 3, 2022

BI 103 Randal Koene and Ken Hayworth: The Road to Mind Uploading

Posted by in categories: biological, cryonics, life extension, neuroscience, robotics/AI

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Oct 3, 2022

Plants evolved even earlier than we thought, exquisite 3D fossils suggest

Posted by in category: biological

The oldest three-dimensional green algae fossil ever found dates back more than half a billion years and may reveal that plants are older than believed.

Oct 2, 2022

Biology Inspires a New Kind of Water-Based Circuit That Could Transform Computing

Posted by in categories: biological, particle physics, robotics/AI

The future of neural network computing could be a little soggier than we were expecting.

A team of physicists has successfully developed an ionic circuit – a processor based on the movements of charged atoms and molecules in an aqueous solution, rather than electrons in a solid semiconductor.

Since this is closer to the way the brain transports information, they say, their device could be the next step forward in brain-like computing.

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Oct 2, 2022

Wiggling toward bio-inspired machine intelligence

Posted by in categories: biological, mathematics, robotics/AI

Juncal Arbelaiz Mugica is a native of Spain, where octopus is a common menu item. However, Arbelaiz appreciates octopus and similar creatures in a different way, with her research into soft-robotics theory.

More than half of an octopus’ nerves are distributed through its eight arms, each of which has some degree of autonomy. This distributed sensing and information processing system intrigued Arbelaiz, who is researching how to design decentralized intelligence for human-made systems with embedded sensing and computation. At MIT, Arbelaiz is an applied math student who is working on the fundamentals of optimal distributed control and estimation in the final weeks before completing her PhD this fall.

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Oct 1, 2022

Scientists Created Artificial Neurons That Can Make a Venus Flytrap Snap

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, space

Crucially, they showed that the synapses were capable of Hebbian learning, the process by which the strength of the connection between two neurons increases or decreases based on activity. This is key to the way information is encoded into the brain, with the strengths of connections between neurons controlling the function of different brain circuits.

In biological neurons this ability to alter the strength of connections—known as plasticity—operates at two distinct timescales. Over shorter timescales, regular firing of the neuron leads to a buildup of ions that temporarily increase the ease with which signals pass across. In the long term though, regular activity can cause new receptors to grow at a synapse, resulting in more durable increases in the strength of the connection.

With the artificial synapses, short-term plasticity operates in much the same way due to a buildup of ions. But boosting the connection strength in the long term relies on using voltage pulses to essentially grow new material out of a soup of chemical precursors at the synapse, which increases its conductivity.

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Sep 30, 2022

New Infectious Threats Are Coming. The U.S. Probably Won’t Contain Them

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, health, nanotechnology, singularity

There needs to be a radical change to biological wetware in order to handle viruses. What is needed is either nanoparticles or an immunity to all diseases. Crispr is the main path for the biological singularity but it needs to be perfected first as the human body is still a black box due to restrictions. I do believe that mass spectrometry will essentially be key to see the inner world of human biology. Then crispr can make new parts essentially to evolve past our current limits. But either way the biological singularity is needed for survival of human beings for better health.

The coronavirus revealed flaws in the nation’s pandemic plans. The spread of monkeypox shows that the problems remain deeply entrenched.

Sep 30, 2022

Bioinspired robots walk, swim, slither and fly

Posted by in categories: biological, food, health, information science, robotics/AI

Such robotic schools could be tasked with locating and recording data on coral reefs to help researchers to study the reefs’ health over time. Just as living fish in a school might engage in different behaviours simultaneously — some mating, some caring for young, others finding food — but suddenly move as one when a predator approaches, robotic fish would have to perform individual tasks while communicating to each other when it’s time to do something different.

“The majority of what my lab really looks at is the coordination techniques — what kinds of algorithms have evolved in nature to make systems work well together?” she says.

Many roboticists are looking to biology for inspiration in robot design, particularly in the area of locomotion. Although big industrial robots in vehicle factories, for instance, remain anchored in place, other robots will be more useful if they can move through the world, performing different tasks and coordinating their behaviour.

Sep 30, 2022

Chernobyl black frogs reveal evolution in action

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics, nuclear energy

The accident at reactor four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 generated the largest release of radioactive material into the environment in human history. The impact of the acute exposure to high doses of radiation was severe for the environment and the human population. But more than three decades after the accident, Chernobyl has become one of the largest nature reserves in Europe. A diverse range of endangered species finds refuge there today, including bears, wolves, and lynxes.

Radiation can damage the genetic material of living organisms and generate undesirable mutations. However, one of the most interesting research topics in Chernobyl is trying to detect if some species are actually adapting to live with radiation. As with other pollutants, radiation could be a very strong selective factor, favoring organisms with mechanisms that increase their survival in areas contaminated with radioactive substances.

Sep 28, 2022

Engineering robust and scalable molecular qubits

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

The concept of “symmetry” is essential to fundamental physics: a crucial element in everything from subatomic particles to macroscopic crystals. Accordingly, a lack of symmetry—or asymmetry—can drastically affect the properties of a given system.

Qubits, the quantum analog of computer bits for quantum computers, are extremely sensitive—the barest disturbance in a qubit system is enough for it to lose any it might have carried. Given this fragility, it seems intuitive that would be most stable in a symmetric environment. However, for a certain type of qubit—a molecular qubit—the opposite is true.

Researchers from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME), the University of Glasgow, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that molecular qubits are much more stable in an asymmetric environment, expanding the possible applications of such qubits, especially as biological quantum sensors.

Sep 27, 2022

Scientists bring cultured meat closer to your kitchen table

Posted by in categories: biological, particle physics

Researchers at UCLA have created an edible particle that helps make lab-grown meat, known as cultured meat, with more natural muscle-like texture using a process that could be scaled up for mass production.

Led by Amy Rowat, who holds UCLA’s Marcie H. Rothman Presidential Chair of Food Studies, the researchers have invented edible particles called microcarriers with customized structures and textures that help precursor grow quickly and form muscle-like tissues. Edible microcarriers could reduce the expense, time, and waste required to produce cultured with a that appeals to consumers. The results are published in the journal Biomaterials.

“Animal cells that can be coaxed to form tissues similar to meats could offer a protein source to a world facing caused by threats ranging from epidemics to ,” said Rowat, who is an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at the UCLA College. “Cultured are not yet on the market in the U.S. and strategies to enable are still emerging.”

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