Using only biomolecules, scientists have developed and constructed an advanced biological transducer, a computing machine capable of manipulating genetic codes, and using the output as new input for subsequent computations.
The evolutionary causes of the Internet's inescapable charisma
So here you are, once again, on the Internet. (Hello, there. Welcome back, friend.) Here you are, another Norm within the Cheers that is the World Wide Web, hanging out in the place where everybody (or, more likely, nobody) knows your name.
But why are you really here? I mean, why are you really here? Why, ultimately, do you -- and, because I'm right here with you, we -- keep coming back to this crazy place, day after day?
It's easy to attribute the web's ongoing magnetism to the powerful combination that is "human connection" and "cat videos"; that isn't the full story, though. The Internet is beguiling not just because of its content, but because of its structure.
That's according to Tom Stafford, a cognitive scientist at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. The Internet, Sheffield told told LiveScience, offers the same kind of incentives and rewards that, say, slot machines do: You could pull several -- even several hundred -- rounds of duds (cherry-bar-7! bell-bell-lemon! unfunny "humor" piece! terrible listicle! bell-bell-lemon!). But when you get that one payoff -- when you hit even the smallest of jackpots -- your patience is rewarded. The monotony of the arm-pulls or the button-presses seems to be justified by the win. You get a rush of dopamine. You are happy. (For more on how this works, check out the excellent "No Armed Bandit" episode of Roman Mars's 99 Percent Invisible podcast.)
It may take some time before in vitro burgers replace old fashioned farmed burgers, but the feat is a delicious victory for environmentalists and scientists alike in search for alternate ways to feed the world’s addition to meat.
Startup hires 'cyborg' Mann for Google Glass–killer project Register Watch out, Sergey!-
Watch out, Sergey! A new startup is hard at work on a device that's far more ambitious than Google Glass, and it has just signed on wearable-computing maven Steve Mann as its chief scientist.
Meta, founded by Columbia University computer and neurological science student Meron Gribetz, has developed a prototype of a wearable device that Gribetz says goes beyond simple heads-up notification systems like Glass to become a full augmented-reality system.
"The entrance into consumer wearables needs to be a high powered immersive device capable of fully replacing the computer and more," Gribetz said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
In short, Gribetz plans to deliver nothing less than the kind of 3D, gesture-based UIs seen in such Hollywood sci-fi fare as Iron Man, Minority Report, and Avatar.
Wearers of Meta specs will be able to see virtual 3D objects overlaying the real world, he says, and they will be able to grab and manipulate them with their bare hands, without the use of gesture-sensing gloves or similar hardware.
The current Meta prototype device is the product of two years of work by Gribetz and a team of augmented reality, wearable computing, and computer vision specialists, backed by seed funding from Y Combinator.
A new approach to brain imaging called CLARITY could revolutionize how scientists study the brain. Researchers replaced a mouse brain’s opaque fats with a clear gel that supports neural tissue, resulting in a transparent organ with all its internal structures still intact and visible for study. Unhindered observation of the entire brain’s neural circuitry will help “clarify” scientists’ understanding of how this still-mysterious organ functions.
A provocative new poll shows that Americans have little trouble imagining a future full of personal service robots -- at least when it comes to robots tasked with cleaning our homes, driving our cars, and even helping fight our wars.
But the HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that we're a bit squeamish about bots in especially personal roles, such as caring for elderly people or replacing a human sex partner. These findings are consistent with research conducted by Stanford University's Dr. Leila Takayama, an expert in robot-human relationships.
"We've been finding that people prefer the idea of working with robots instead of having robots work in place of people," Takayama told The Huffington Post in an email.
In the poll, 58 percent of Americans said that robots will be cleaning our homes by 2030. But only 33 percent said that they'd like a robot servant. Forty-two percent indicated that they wouldn't want one. Those between 40 and 44 years of age were the most likely to say they would like a robot servant, while adults age 65 or older were the least likely.
University of Illinois researchers have created an app and a sensor-filled cradle that turn an iPhone into a mobile spectrophotometer. The combination of that mobile lab data and metadata such as location might prove very valuable.
According to scientists, humanity has begun its next major shift: we are now entering the “Hybrid Age”. Across the entire range of scientific and technological disciplines changes are occurring that were unimaginable a few decades ago.
Georgia Institute of Technology and Udacity have partnered to offer a $7,000 online Masters Degree in Computer Science next year, 80% less than the existing cost of $40,000 for the on-campus curriculum.