Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 11

Aug 14, 2023

IBM Researchers Introduce an Analog AI Chip for Deep Learning Inference: Showcasing Critical Building Blocks of a Scalable Mixed-Signal Architecture

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

The ongoing AI revolution, set to reshape lifestyles and workplaces, has seen deep neural networks (DNNs) play a pivotal role, notably with the emergence of foundation models and generative AI. Yet, the conventional digital computing frameworks that host these models hinder their potential performance and energy efficiency. While AI-specific hardware has emerged, many designs separate memory and processing units, resulting in data shuffling and reduced efficiency.

IBM Research has pursued innovative ways to reimagine AI computation, leading to the concept of analog in-memory computing, or analog AI. This approach draws inspiration from neural networks in biological brains, where synapse strength governs neuron communication. Analog AI employs nanoscale resistive devices like Phase-change memory (PCM) to store synaptic weights as conductance values. PCM devices transition between amorphous and crystalline states, encoding a range of values and enabling local storage of weights with non-volatility.

A significant stride towards making analog AI a reality has been achieved by IBM Research in a recent Nature Electronics publication. They introduced a cutting-edge mixed-signal analog AI chip tailored for various DNN inference tasks. This chip, fabricated at IBM’s Albany NanoTech Complex, features 64 analog in-memory compute cores, each housing a 256-by-256 crossbar array of synaptic unit cells. Integrated compact, time-based analog-to-digital converters facilitate seamless transitions between analog and digital domains. Moreover, digital processing units within each core handle basic neuronal activation functions and scaling operations.

Aug 12, 2023

Daniel Dennett on Consciousness, Virtual Immortality, and Panpsychism | Closer To Truth Chats

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

Daniel Dennett discusses the nature of consciousness, if consciousness is an illusion, artificial intelligence and virtual immortality, and how he covers all of this in his book, Just Deserts: Debating Free Will, co-authored with Gregg D. Caruso.

Just Deserts: Debating Free Will…atfound-20
Read an excerpt

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Aug 10, 2023

Technology advance could expand the reach of 3D nanoprinting

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, augmented reality, biological, computing, nanotechnology

Researchers have developed an easy-to-build, low-cost 3D nanoprinting system that can create arbitrary 3D structures with extremely fine features. The new 3D nanoprinting technique is precise enough to print metamaterials as well as a variety of optical devices and components such as microlenses, micro-optical devices and metamaterials.

“Our system uses a two-step process to realize 3D printing with accuracy reaching the nanometer level, which is suitable for commercial manufacturing,” said research team leader Cuifang Kuang from the Zhejiang Lab and Zhejiang University, both in China. “It can be used for a variety of applications such as printing micro or nanostructures for studying biological cells or fabricating the specialized optical waveguides used for virtual and augmented reality devices.”

Conventional high-resolution 3D nanoprinting approaches use pulsed femtosecond lasers that cost tens of thousands of dollars. In Optics Letters, Kuang and colleagues describe their new system based on an integrated fiber-coupled continuous-wave diode that is not only inexpensive but also easy to operate.

Aug 10, 2023

Small-molecule autocatalysis may have paved the way for the emergence of evolution by natural selection

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, evolution, genetics

The discipline of systems chemistry deals with the analysis and synthesis of various autocatalytic systems and is therefore closely related to the study of the origin of life, since it investigates systems that can be considered as a transition between chemical and biological evolution: more complex than simple molecules, but simpler than living cells.

Tibor Gánti described the theory of self-replicating microspheres as early as 1978. These still lacked , but concealed within their membranes an autocatalytic metabolic network of small molecules, isolated (compartmentalized) within their membranes.

As the autocatalytic process takes place, the membrane-building material is also produced, leading to the division of the sphere. This system may appear to be a , and although it lacks genetic material, this can only be verified experimentally. These microspheres can be considered as “infrabiological” , since they do not reach the level of biological organization, but they exceed the complexity of normal chemical reactions.

Aug 7, 2023

Single-particle photoacoustic vibrational spectroscopy using optical microresonators

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, particle physics

Pythagoras first discovered that the vibrations of strings are drastically enhanced at certain frequencies. This discovery forms the basis of our tone system. Such natural vibrations ubiquitously exist in objects regardless of their size scales and are widely utilized to derive their species, constituents, and morphology. For example, molecular vibrations at a terahertz rate have become the most common fingerprints for the identification of chemicals and the structural analysis of large biomolecules.

Recently, natural vibrations of particles at the mesoscopic scale have received growing interest, since this category includes a wide range of functional particles, as well as most and viruses. However, natural vibrations of these mesoscopic particles have remained hidden from existing technologies.

These particles with sizes ranging from 100 nm to 100 μm are expected to vibrate faintly at megahertz to gigahertz rates. This frequency regime could not be resolved by current Raman and Brillouin spectroscopies, however, due to strong Rayleigh-wing scattering, while the performances of piezoelectric techniques that are widely exploited in macroscopic systems degrade significantly at frequencies beyond a few megahertz.

Aug 5, 2023

Turtles Use Earth’s Magnetic Fields And “Quantum Biology” To Get Their Bearings

Posted by in categories: biological, food, quantum physics

Turtles migrate thousands of miles out in the open ocean, charting epic courses in search of food, mates, and nesting grounds. Exactly how they find where they’re going has long puzzled scientists who suspected magnetic fields were involved, but were unsure of the exact mechanism through which turtles were sensing it.

We’ve since learned that turtles appear to recognize magnetic signatures of locations, such as the beach on which they hatched where females will later return to lay their own eggs. We know the magnetosphere is in constant flux, and turtle nesting sites have been found to shift in tandem, so how is it that they’re able to make sense of this invisible force?

Some answers to this question were revealed in a study that looked at the way snapping turtles can tell north from south, in a phenomenon known as spontaneous magnetic alignment. It was once thought to be a rare trait in the animal kingdom, but as Professor John Phillips from the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech told IFLScience, this is no longer the case.

Aug 5, 2023

CDC detects coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis and herpes at unlicensed California lab

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, law, life extension

Local and federal authorities spent months investigating a warehouse in Fresno County, California, that they suspect was home to an illegal, unlicensed laboratory full of lab mice, medical waste and hazardous materials.

The Fresno County Public Health Department has been “evaluating and assessing the activities of an unlicensed laboratory” in Reedley, the health department’s assistant director, Joe Prado, said in a statement Thursday. All of the biological agents were destroyed by July 7 following a legal abatement process by the agency.

“The evaluation required coordination and collaboration with multiple federal and state agencies to determine and classify biological and chemical contents onsite, in addition to assessing jurisdictional authority under this unique situation,” Prado said.

Aug 5, 2023

Dr. Joshua Tewksbury, Ph.D. — Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, education, sustainability

Is the Ira Rubinoff Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI, part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. He oversees more than 400 employees, with an annual budget of $35 million. Headquartered in Panama City, Panama, with field sites around the world, STRI furthers the understanding and public awareness of tropical biodiversity and its importance to human welfare. In addition to its resident scientists and support staff, STRI’s facilities are used annually by some 1,400 visiting scientists, pre-and postdoctoral fellows and interns from around the world.

Dr. Tewksbury is an ecologist with more than two decades of research in conservation and biodiversity, as well as nearly a decade of executive leadership experience at international research institutes.

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Aug 5, 2023

Exploring the self-organizing origins of life

Posted by in category: biological

Catalytic molecules can form metabolically active clusters by creating and following concentration gradients—this is the result of a new study by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS). Their model predicts the self-organization of molecules involved in metabolic pathways, adding a possible new mechanism to the theory of the origin of life.

The results can help to better understand how participating in complex biological networks can form dynamic functional structures, and provide a platform for experiments on the origins of life.

One possible scenario for the is the spontaneous organization of interacting molecules into cell-like droplets. These molecular would form the first self-replicating metabolic cycles, which are ubiquitous in biology and common throughout all organisms. According to this paradigm, the first biomolecules would need to together through slow and overall inefficient processes.

Aug 2, 2023

Quantum-enhanced non-interferometric quantitative phase imaging

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Optical phase retrieval and imaging appear in a wide variety of science fields, such as imaging of quasi-transparent biological samples or nanostructures metrological characterization, for example, in the semiconductor industry. At a fundamental level, the limit to imaging accuracy in classical systems comes from the intrinsic fluctuation of the illuminating light, since the photons that form it are emitted randomly by conventional sources and behave independently of one another.

Quantum correlation in light beams, in which photons show certain cooperation, can surpass those limits. Although obtained in phase estimation through first-order interference is well understood, interferometric schemes are not suitable for multi-parameter wide-field imaging, requiring raster scanning for extended samples.

In a new paper published in Light Science & Application, a team of scientists from the Quantum Optics Group of the Italian National Metrology Institute (INRiM), Italy, and from the Imaging Physics Dept. Optics Research Group, Faculty of Applied Sciences of Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, has developed a technology exploiting quantum correlations to enhance imaging of phase profiles in a non-interferometric way.

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