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These Two Guys Studied Their Feces for a Year

These Two Guys Studied Their Feces for a Year | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In 2009, Eric Alm, a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hadn’t had a bowel movement at home for almost the entire year. Neither did Lawrence David, Alm’s graduate student at the time.
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Syntax, semantics, and naked emperors: lessons students can learn from an academic hoax

Syntax, semantics, and naked emperors: lessons students can learn from an academic hoax | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Research students at the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a computer programme which automatically writes academic papers. The freely available programme, called SCIgen, has met with some success given that some of the papers it has produced have been accepted by academic journals and conferences despite them being devoid of meaning. 


Via Luca Baptista
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Turning bacteria into chemical factories - MIT News Office

Turning bacteria into chemical factories - MIT News Office | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Kristala Jones Prather engineers cells to produce useful compounds such as drugs and biofuels.
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excerpt: "“The concept that I was working on was quite simple: Can we take the idea of biocatalysis, of looking at these enzymes and focusing on their chemistry, and combine that with metabolic engineering? Now we are thinking about multistep pathways where we have enzymes working on substrates that they may or may not have seen in nature, and we’re combining them together in a different way so they’re all in one cell,” Prather says."

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Marrying tissue engineering with systems biology - MIT News Office

Marrying tissue engineering with systems biology - MIT News Office | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Linda Griffith combines in vitro models with deep molecular analysis to accelerate drug discovery.
Sharrock's insight:

This amazes me: “All the blood in your intestine immediately goes to the liver, which regulates your metabolism, but your gut’s also filled with microbes, and little pieces of microbes leak across the gut wall all the time and interact with the immune system in the liver,” she explains. “If you get a gastrointestinal disease or take a drug that changes the gut permeability, now all of a sudden the liver can see a lot more bacterial products than it’s used to, and it can get inflamed. That may be okay, but if you’re taking a drug or you have some kind of stress, you may harm your liver.”

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Mass Personalization Is Coming. Are We Ready For It?

Mass Personalization Is Coming. Are We Ready For It? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
As big data opens up a new world of possibilities, we’re going to have to come to terms with what we really want. Excerpt: "technology can decipher signals that we aren’t even aware of. Mattersight is a company that has developed software that can analyze your personality during a routine customer service call. In his book, Honest Signals, MIT’s Sandy Pentland describes a machine that can predict behavior from subtle physical cues."
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Meet Hao Li, 2013 Innovator Under 35 | MIT Technology Review

Meet Hao Li, 2013 Innovator Under 35 | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Inventing smarter animation that bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
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33rd Square: Researchers Develop Multi-Touch Sensor That Can Be Cut

33rd Square: Researchers Develop Multi-Touch Sensor That Can Be Cut | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab and the Max Planck Institutes have created a foldable, cuttable multi-touch sensor that works even when you cut it, allowing multi-touch input in a wide variety of configurations.
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Researchers Develop New Method for Understanding Network Connections | CSAIL

Researchers Develop New Method for Understanding Network Connections | CSAIL | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In a new paper appearing in the August edition of Nature Biotechnology, Kellis and colleagues from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), and the Broad Institute, describe a new algorithm that can infer direct dependencies in a network. 
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Julie Kientz | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review

Julie Kientz | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
If you want to use technology to make life better for people with autism and their families, the trick is to make the technology secondary.

 

"By working as a therapist and talking to others, Kientz identified problems with the paper-based method. One was that multiple therapists might need to review a child’s records, but there was only one copy of the binder filled with hand-marked charts and notes. And with data points trapped on paper, there wasn’t a good way to visualize broader trends or review negative blips in a child’s otherwise positive progress.

 

Kientz’s solution was for therapists to use a digital recording pen and special paper that could digitize their writing. The change was unobtrusive to the therapist and invisible to the child. But notes and chart inputs made their way automatically into a database and were synched with video recordings of each session. This meant therapists could project progress graphs at meetings and pinpoint moments when a child didn’t perform as well as expected. They could immediately access video from that moment in a therapy session; in one instance, therapists reviewed the video and agreed that they each had different standards for a “right” response. As a result, the child was given credit for mastering a skill and could move on to new challenges."

Sharrock's insight:

This systems might have other implications in education. It could be put in the hands of educators who are tracking other behaviors and progress that could help with instruction and intervention decision making in special education--developing functional behavioral assessments, tracking distraction, tracking reading/decoding in running records, math problem solution process, etc. It could also help with the general education classroom and Response to Intervention. Imagine if Google Glass was also "tapped" to support with video recording and augmented reality support.

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Phys.Org Mobile: New low-temperature chemical reaction explained

Phys.Org Mobile: New low-temperature chemical reaction explained | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

In all the centuries that humans have studied chemical reactions, just 36 basic types of reactions have been found. Now, thanks to the work of researchers at MIT and the University of Minnesota, a 37th type of reaction can be added to the list.

 


Sharrock's insight:

I love this kind of information: there are now 37 basic types of chemical reactions. 

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Don’t Hold Your Breath for Cellulosic Ethanol | MIT Technology Review

Don’t Hold Your Breath for Cellulosic Ethanol | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The advanced-biofuels industry is in danger of withering away.
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A new look at high-temperature superconductors - MIT News Office

A new look at high-temperature superconductors - MIT News Office | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

MIT researchers' new method for observing the motion of electron density waves in a superconducting material led to the detection of two different kinds of variations in those waves: amplitude (or intensity) changes and phase changes, shifting the relative positions of peaks and troughs of intensity. These new findings could make it easier to search for new kinds of higher-temperature superconductors.

 While the phenomenon of superconductivity — in which some materials lose all resistance to electric currents at extremely low temperatures — has been known for more than a century, the temperature at which it occurs has remained too low for any practical applications. The discovery of “high-temperature” superconductors in the 1980s — materials that could lose resistance at temperatures of up to negative 140 degrees Celsius — led to speculation that a surge of new discoveries might quickly lead to room-temperature superconductors. Despite intense research, these materials have remained poorly understood.


There is still no agreement on a single theory to account for high-temperature superconductivity. Recently, however, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way to study fluctuating charge-density waves, which are the basis for one of the leading theories. The researchers say this could open the door to a better understanding of high-temperature superconductivity, and perhaps prompt new discoveries of higher-temperature superconductors.


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This shows MIT researchers' new method for observing the motion of electron density waves in a superconducting material which led to the detection of two different kinds of variations in those waves: amplitude changes and phase changes, shifting the relative positions of peaks and troughs of intensity. These new findings could make it easier to search for new kinds of higher-temperature superconductors.

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Collaborative learning for robots | KurzweilAI

Collaborative learning for robots | KurzweilAI | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems have developed an algorithm in which distributed agents — such as robots exploring a building — collect data and analyze it independently. Pairs of agents, such as robots passing each other in the hall, then exchange analyses.

In experiments involving several different data sets, the researchers’ distributed algorithm actually outperformed a standard algorithm that works on data aggregated at a single location, as described in an arXiv paper.

 


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A 3-D Printing Breakthrough: Jennifer Lewis at Harvard 3-D Prints Biological Tissue | MIT Technology Review

A 3-D Printing Breakthrough: Jennifer Lewis at Harvard 3-D Prints Biological Tissue | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Inks made from different types of materials, precisely applied, are greatly expanding the kinds of things that can be printed.

 

Last year, Lewis and her students showed they could print the microscopic electrodes and other components needed for tiny lithium-ion batteries (see “Printing Batteries”). Other projects include printed sensors fabricated on plastic patches that athletes could one day wear to detect concussions and measure violent impacts. Most recently, her group printed biological tissue interwoven with a complex network of blood vessels. To do this, the researchers had to make inks out of various types of cells and the materials that form the matrix supporting them. The work addresses one of the lingering challenges in creating artificial organs for drug testing or, someday, for use as replacement parts: how to create a vascular system to keep the cells alive.

 

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Gravitational Waves Finding Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth

Gravitational Waves Finding Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Astronomers have for the first time witnessed signs of gravitational waves rippling through the explosive first moments of the universe.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Surprisingly strong gravitational waves rippled through the fiery aftermath of the Big Bang, a finding which confirms the cosmos grew to a stunningly vast size in it very first moments, a team of astronomers announced Monday."

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Can entrenched energy systems undergo rapid changes? - MIT News Office

Can entrenched energy systems undergo rapid changes? - MIT News Office | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
MIT Energy Conference explores recent dramatic developments in the energy landscape, and outlines the need for more.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "But as promising as these technologies may be, their widespread implementation remains years away, van der Hoeven suggested. While such storage systems might be competitive today in some places, battery costs need to come down considerably to be competitive in most situations, she said. And today, she pointed out, fossil fuels still account for 82 percent of global energy — a figure that hasn’t changed in two decades."

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Scientists home in on short list of interesting RNA 'machines'

Scientists home in on short list of interesting RNA 'machines' | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
New collaborative work from computational biologists at MIT and experimental biologists at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), however, is easing that distinction by combining computational and experimental approaches to...
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MIT's ConceptNet Helps Advance Artificial Intelligence - Design News

MIT's ConceptNet Helps Advance Artificial Intelligence - Design News | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
MIT's ConceptNet Helps Advance Artificial Intelligence
Design News
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the fodder of science fiction past, but reality may be creeping up. It is a big subject of research in today's universities and corporations.
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Harvard, MIT join on artificial intelligence research

Harvard, MIT join on artificial intelligence research | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $25 million grant to Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study how the brain creates intelligence and how that process can be replicated in machines.
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AI's 10 to Watch 2013 - IEEECS

AI's 10 to Watch 2013 - IEEECS | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Every two years, IEEE Intelligent Systems acknowledges and celebrates 10 young stars in the field of AI as "AI's 10 to Watch." These accomplished researchers have all completed their doctoral work in the past five years. Despite being relatively junior in their career, each one has made impressive research contributions and had an impact in the literature — and in some cases, in real-world applications as well.

Nominations in all subfields of AI were sought from a wide range of senior AI researchers. A short list of top candidates was voted on by the award committee, and then the decisions were finalized with the entire advisory and editorial boards of IEEE Intelligent Systems. I would like to take this opportunity to thank two past editors-in-chief of IEEE Intelligent Systems, Jim Hendler and Fei-Yue Wang, who served as the co-chairs of the AI's 10 to Watch award committee and did a great job managing the nomination and selection process.

The group nominated this year was particularly strong. It has been a struggle to choose the best of the best. In the end, the top 10 surfaced with unanimous support from the advisory and editorial boards. We're particularly pleased about the diversity of the winning group. It's safe to say that everyone involved in the selection process has been very proud of these young stars' contributions, of what AI as a community can offer, and how bright the future of AI can be. We're sure that young AI students and researchers will find inspiration from these young stars, and that the AI community will look forward to their continued excellence and sustained impact. Congratulations again to our young colleagues for winning this special recognition!

— Daniel Zeng

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Leslie Dewan | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review

Leslie Dewan | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
What if we could build a nuclear reactor that costs half as much, consumes nuclear waste, and will never melt down?
Sharrock's insight:

This is awesome! A new, much safer and more energy-efficient design for atomic fission power plants.

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World's Most Influential Thinkers Revealed | MIT Technology Review

World's Most Influential Thinkers Revealed | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Want to become a leading thinker? A new network analysis reveals the thinkers who most influence the rest of us and suggests ways to join this elite list
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Radical New Computer Graphics and Gaming Interfaces | MIT Technology Review

Radical New Computer Graphics and Gaming Interfaces | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
See the best new ideas in computer graphics and interaction from last week’s Siggraph conference.
Sharrock's insight:

The "Face Replacer" can be used for more than just games. Imagine your avatar fully replacing the "real you"  when video chatting. Maybe you can spoof real people though, like personal friends or frenemies, famous actors, trademarked/copyrighted cartoon characters. Possibilites abound for harassment, comedy, drama, abuse, etc. So much possibility; so much danger. Could put lawyers to work in new ways though, and may open new businesses to establish identities, develop alibis for social as well as corporate connections, etc.

 

Can't wait for how education law will handle this. At whose door will the cost of digital forensics services get laid? Get ready for the blogs and articles about when comedy leads to suicide and violence.

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Graphene And The EmergingTechnology of Neural Prostheses | MIT Technology Review

Graphene And The EmergingTechnology of Neural Prostheses | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Neural implants are set to be revolutionised by a new type of graphene transistor with a liquid gate, say bio-engineers
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