If synthetic biologists think like scientists, they may miss their eureka moment Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline, but paradoxically it is not particularly new. Since the mid-1970s we have been developing ways of instructing pieces of biology to perform useful tasks in an ever more efficient and sustainable way. Much of this has found its expression in industrial biotechnology, manufacturing things like drugs, enzymes and proteins. It has applications in everything from biofuels to pollution sensors, from smart plastics to cutting-edge medicines. You could conceive of synthetic biology as writing little DNA programs that instruct cell behaviour, like a little genetic app.
Yes: Automata can think This region of the map deals with general mathematical properties of machines, rather than with the specific architectural properties dealt with on the other maps. Connectionist networks (see Map 5) and physical symbol systems (see Map 3), for example, are automata, because they implement effective processes that are Turing computable. Turing Machines The concept of a Turing machine arose in the context of attempts by mathematicians to specify precisely what an algorithm was. Alan Turing's insight was that any algorithm could be carried out by one of a class of Turing Machines.
Advance brings 'hyperbolic metamaterials' closer to reality Researchers have taken a step toward practical applications for "hyperbolic metamaterials," ultra-thin crystalline films that could bring optical advances including powerful microscopes, quantum computers and high-performance solar cells. New developments are reminiscent of advances that ushered in silicon chip technology, said Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Optical metamaterials harness clouds of electrons called surface plasmons to manipulate and control light. However, some of the plasmonic components under development rely on the use of metals such as gold and silver, which are incompatible with the complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing process used to construct integrated circuits and do not transmit light efficiently.
Animal Brains Networked Into Organic Computer ‘Brainet’ - Singularity HUB Imagine a future where computers no longer run on silicon chips. The replacement? Brains. Stanford engineers invent radical ‘high-rise’ 3D chips A four-layer prototype high-rise chip built by Stanford engineers. The bottom and top layers are logic transistors. Sandwiched between them are two layers of memory. The vertical tubes are nanoscale electronic “elevators” that connect logic and memory, allowing them to work together efficiently. Bio-inspired transparent synthetic materials could protect cars and people A Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of the region surrounding an indentation the researchers made in a piece of shell from Placuna placenta. The image shows the localization of damage to the area immediately surrounding the stress. (Credit: Ling Li and James C. Weaver) MIT researchers have analyzed the shells of a sea creature, the mollusk Placuna placenta to determine exactly why they are so resistant to penetration and damage — even though they are 99 percent calcite, a weak, brittle mineral. The shells are exceptionally tough but clear enough to read through,
Evolved Virtual Creatures This video shows results from a research project involving simulated Darwinian evolutions of virtual block creatures. A population of several hundred creatures is created within a supercomputer, and each creature is tested for their ability to perform a given task, such the ability to swim in a simulated water environment. Those that are most successful survive, and their virtual genes containing coded instructions for their growth, are copied, combined, and mutated to make offspring for a new population. The new creatures are again tested, and some may be improvements on their parents. As this cycle of variation and selection continues, creatures with more and more successful behaviors can emerge. The creatures shown are results from many independent simulations in which they were selected for swimming, walking, jumping, following, and competing for control of a green cube.
Russian Scientist Photographs the Soul Leaving the Body at Death The timing of astral disembodiment in which the spirit leaves the body has been captured by Russian scientist Konstantin Korotkov, who photographed a person at the moment of his death with a bioelectrographic camera. The image taken using the gas discharge visualization method, an advanced technique of Kirlian photography shows in blue the life force of the person leaving the body gradually. According to Korotkov, navel and head are the parties who first lose their life force (which would be the soul) and the groin and the heart are the last areas where the spirit before surfing the phantasmagoria of the infinite. In other cases according to Korotkov has noted that “the soul” of people who suffer a violent and unexpected death usually manifests a state of confusion in your power settings and return to the body in the days following death. This could be due to a surplus of unused energy.
A New Circuit Board Mimics Billions of Brain Synapses at Once The human brain is a pretty sweet organ to have working for us. It's fun to think that, as we push harder and harder into the computing future, we just have this biological thing as a default: the fastest processor(s), the most intelligent AI, and I/O capabilities to put your Oculus Rift to shame and really any future Oculus Rift as well. And it was free! Scientists Engineer First Bone Marrow-On-A-Chip Scientists from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have described a method for producing a device which closely mimics the composition and architecture of actual bone marrow. This bone marrow-on-a-chip is the first of its kind and adds to the growing repertoire of organs-on-a-chip that this institute has developed. The study has been published in Nature Methods. This new device could have numerous important applications in medicine. In particular, it is hoped that it may serve as a model to investigate the effects of radiation therapy on bone marrow and in the development of treatments to subvert the damage caused by this type of therapy. Eventually, it could even be used to produce a supply of a patient’s own bone marrow which would be useful in those undergoing harsh cancer treatments.
Microrobotics Laboratory Research overview* Remarked one unimpressed Yale researcher: "Leave it to the Harvard fellows to invent new and exciting ways to be irritating." * for more details on these topics, please see our publications and our YouTube channel Flapping-wing microrobots As the characteristic size of a flying robot decreases, the challenges for successful flight revert to basic questions of fabrication, actuation, fluid mechanics, stabilization, and power - whereas such questions have in general been answered for larger aircraft.
Evolutionary roots of self control: Study of 13 primate species links 'intertemporal choice' to natural selection A chimpanzee will wait more than two minutes to eat six grapes, but a black lemur would rather eat two grapes now than wait any longer than 15 seconds for a bigger serving. It's an echo of the dilemma human beings face with a long line at a posh restaurant. How long are they willing to wait for the five-star meal? Or do they head to a greasy spoon to eat sooner? A paper published today in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B explores the evolutionary reasons why some primate species wait for a bigger reward, while others are more likely to grab what they can get immediately.
DARPA, IBM Neurosynaptic Chip and Programming Language Mimic the Brain DARPA, IBM Neurosynaptic Chip and Programming Language Mimic the Brain Engineering is often inspired by nature—the hooks in velcro or dermal denticles in sharkskin swimsuits. Then there’s Darpa's SyNAPSE project. Not content with current computer architecture, SyNAPSE is building a new kind of computer based on the brain.