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Jun 10, 2020

Aerosol-printed graphene unveiled as low cost, faster food toxin sensor

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food

Researchers in the USA have developed a graphene-based electrochemical sensor capable of detecting histamines (allergens) and toxins in food much faster than standard laboratory tests.

The team used aerosol-jet printing to create the sensor. The ability to change the pattern geometry on demand through software control allowed and efficient optimization of the sensor layout.

Commenting on the findings, which are published today in the IOP Publishing journal 2-D Materials, senior author Professor Mark Hersam, from Northwestern University, said: “We developed an aerosol-jet printable graphene ink to enable efficient exploration of different device designs, which was critical to optimizing the sensor response.”

Jun 10, 2020

Air Force general confirmed as first black chief of a U.S. military service

Posted by in category: military


The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown to be the next Air Force chief of staff.

Jun 10, 2020

Crew Dragon likely to support extended space station stay

Posted by in categories: engineering, health, space travel

WASHINGTON — SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is performing well enough on orbit to give NASA confidence that the mission can last until August, an agency official said June 9.

Ken Bowersox, the acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, told an online meeting of two National Academies committees that NASA had been monitoring the health of the Crew Dragon spacecraft since its launch May 30 on the Demo-2 mission, carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.

NASA, he noted, had not set a length for the mission, saying they wanted to see how the Dragon performed in space. “The Dragon is doing very well, so we think it’s reasonable for the crew to stay up there a month or two,” he told members of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Space Studies Board.

Jun 9, 2020

How the pandemic fast-tracked this multibillion-dollar industry | Make It International

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, education

The coronavirus pandemic has been a real learning curve, not least for educators. But with many schools now reopening, questions are being asked about what the future of education might look like. CNBC Make It’s Karen Gilchrist spoke to entrepreneurs in India, Hong Kong and the U.S. to learn more about the multibillion-dollar business opportunity.

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Jun 9, 2020

DeepMind Introduces ‘EATS’ — An Adversarial, End-to-End Approach to TTS

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

DeepMind wowed the research community several years ago by defeating grandmasters in the ancient game of Go, and more recently saw its self-taught agents thrash pros in the video game StarCraft II. Now, the UK-based AI company has delivered another impressive innovation, this time in text-to-speech (TTS).

Text-to-speech (TTS) systems take natural language text as input and produce synthetic human-like speech as their output. The text-to-speech synthesis pipelines are complex, comprising multiple processing stages such as text normalisation, aligned linguistic featurisation, mel-spectrogram synthesis, raw audio waveform synthesis and so on.

Although contemporary TTS systems like those used in digital assistants like Siri boast high-fidelity speech synthesis and wide real-world deployment, even the best of them still have drawbacks. Each stage requires expensive “ground truth” annotations to supervise the outputs, and the systems cannot train directly from characters or phonemes as input to synthesize speech in the end-to-end manner increasingly favoured in other machine learning domains.

Jun 9, 2020

Rapid de novo assembly of the European eel genome from nanopore sequencing reads

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, information science

Circa 2017

We have sequenced the genome of the endangered European eel using the MinION by Oxford Nanopore, and assembled these data using a novel algorithm specifically designed for large eukaryotic genomes. For this 860 Mbp genome, the entire computational process takes two days on a single CPU. The resulting genome assembly significantly improves on a previous draft based on short reads only, both in terms of contiguity (N50 1.2 Mbp) and structural quality. This combination of affordable nanopore sequencing and light weight assembly promises to make high-quality genomic resources accessible for many non-model plants and animals.

Jun 9, 2020

SpaceX drops plans for Port of Los Angeles facility again

Posted by in categories: finance, space travel

WASHINGTON — For the second time in less than 18 months, SpaceX has abandoned plans to build a manufacturing facility at the Port of Los Angeles for its next-generation Starship launch vehicle.

In a March 27 letter obtained by SpaceNews, SpaceX notified the Port of Los Angeles that it was terminating a lease approved just a month earlier for a parcel of land at the port. News of the lease termination was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The letter, signed by Bret Johnsen, SpaceX’s chief financial officer, served as a 45-day notice of SpaceX’s intent to terminate the lease, making the effective end date of the lease May 11. The letter did not explain why the company was terminating the lease.

Jun 9, 2020

The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics

Posted by in category: mathematics

Representation theory was initially dismissed. Today, it’s central to much of mathematics.

Jun 9, 2020

How the brain controls our speech

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Speaking requires both sides of the brain. Each hemisphere takes over a part of the complex task of forming sounds, modulating the voice and monitoring what has been said. However, the distribution of tasks is different than has been thought up to now, as an interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists and phoneticians at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics Berlin has discovered: it is not just the right hemisphere that analyzes how we speak—the left hemisphere also plays a role.

Until now, it has been assumed that the spoken word arises in the left side of the brain and is analyzed by the right side. According to accepted doctrine, this means that when we learn to speak English and for example practice the sound equivalent to ‘th,’ the left side of the brain controls the motor function of the articulators like the tongue, while the right side analyzes whether the produced sound actually sounds as we intended.

The division of labor actually follows different principles, as Dr. Christian Kell from the Department of Neurology at Goethe University explains: “While the left side of the brain controls temporal aspects such as the transition between speech sounds, the right is responsible for the control of the sound spectrum. When you say ‘mother,’ for example, the left hemisphere primarily controls the dynamic transitions between ‘th’ and the vowels, while the right hemisphere primarily controls the sounds themselves.”

Jun 9, 2020

1.35 Cents/kWh: Record Abu Dhabi Solar Bid Is A Sober Reminder To Upbeat Fossil Fuel Pundits

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Clean Tech News & Views: Solar Energy News. Wind Energy News. EV News. & More.