THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU
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Strawberries Show Big Heart Benefits

Strawberries Show Big Heart Benefits | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

The results of a recent U.S.-Irish clinical study confirm earlier evidence that strawberries offer special cardiovascular benefits.

 

Strawberries have also been studied for their potential to protect against cancer, stabilize blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and improve memory.


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First transfusions of "manufactured" blood planned for 2016

First transfusions of "manufactured" blood planned for 2016 | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107 million blood donations are collected globally every year.

 

Nonetheless, blood is often in short supply – particularly in developing nations.

 

Despite new safeguards, there's also still the risk of incompatibility, or of infections being transmitted from donors to recipients.

 

Charitable organization the Wellcome Trust hopes to address these problems, by developing the ability to manufacture blood outside of the body. Last week, it announced that test subjects should begin receiving transfusions of blood made with lab-grown red blood cells by late 2016.

 

 


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Too much animal protein tied to higher diabetes risk

People who eat the most protein, especially from animal sources, are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to a study of European adults.


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Magnetically controlled nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct | KurzweilAI

Magnetically controlled nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct | KurzweilAI | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a technique to use magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumor cells to “self-destruct.” without harming surrounding tissue, as with radiotherapy, and tissues elsewhere in the body, as with chemotherapy.

 

“Our technique is able to attack only the tumor cells,” said Enming Zhang, first author of the study.

 

Inducing cell suicide

The technique involves getting the nanoparticles into a tumor cell, where they bind to lysosomes...

 

 


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Perfect memory, enhanced vision, an expert golf swing: The future of brain implants

Perfect memory, enhanced vision, an expert golf swing: The future of brain implants | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it
How soon can we expect to see brain implants for perfect memory, enhanced vision, hypernormal focus or an expert golf swing? We're closer than you might think.

 

What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for a memory chip, wired directly into your brain's hippocampus, that gave you perfect recall of everything you read? Or for an implanted interface with the Internet that automatically translated a clearly articulated silent thought ("the French sun king") into an online search that digested the relevant Wikipedia page and projected a summary directly into your brain?

 

Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come.

 

Unlike pacemakers, dental crowns or implantable insulin pumps, neuroprosthetics—devices that restore or supplement the mind's capacities with electronics inserted directly into the nervous system—change how we perceive the world and move through it. For better or worse, these devices become part of who we are.

 

Neuroprosthetics aren't new. They have been around commercially for three decades, in the form of the cochlear implants used in the ears (the outer reaches of the nervous system) of more than 300,000 hearing-impaired people around the world. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first retinal implant, made by the company Second Sight.

Both technologies exploit the same principle: An external device, either a microphone or a video camera, captures sounds or images and processes them, using the results to drive a set of electrodes that stimulate either the auditory or the optic nerve, approximating the naturally occurring output from the ear or the eye.


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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's insight:

Is this really necessary when we live only 100 years or less?

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Should you get a mammogram or not?

Should you get a mammogram or not? | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Knowing whether to have a mammogram — and when — became more confusing than ever last month when one of the largest-ever mammography studies cast doubts on the test’s value.

 

The study followed 90,000 women over 25 years and found that death rates from breast cancer were the same in women who got mammograms as in those who did not. Moreover, the study showed that one in five cancers found with mammography and then treated was not a threat to the woman’s health. That sounds like pretty resounding evidence against the test.

 

 


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60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

 

The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.

 

The report spends 350 pages laying out a detailed case for this device, called a space elevator. The central argument — that we should build a space elevator as soon as possible — is supported by a detailed accounting of the challenges associated with doing so. The possible pay-off is as simple as could be — a space elevator could bring the cost-per-kilogram of launch to geostationary orbit from $20,000 to as little as $500.

 

Not only is a geostationary orbit intrinsically useful for satellites, but it’s far enough up the planet’s gravity well to be able to use it in cheap, Earth-assisted launches. A mission to Mars might begin by pushing off near the top of the tether and using small rockets to move into a predictably unstable fall — one, two, three loops around the Earth and off we go with enough pep to cut huge fractions off the fuel budget. Setting up a base on the Moon or Mars would be relatively trivial, with a space elevator in place.

 

Those are not small advantages, and are worth significant investment from the private sector. Governments and corporations spend billions installing infrastructure in space — an elevator could easily pay for itself, and demand investment from anyone with an interest in ensuring cheap access to it down the line. A space elevator is relevant to scientists, telecoms, and militaries alike — and with Moon- and asteroid-based miningbecoming less hare-brained by the minute, Earth’s notorious resource sector could get on-board as well. It will certainly be expensive, probably the biggest mega-project of all time, but since a space elevator can offer a solid value proposition to everyone from Google to DARPA to Exxon, funding might end up being the least of its problems.


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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's insight:

Think I will pass on this

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aanve's curator insight, March 7, 2014 9:38 PM
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Linda Liem's curator insight, March 9, 2014 8:06 AM

Science fiction may be coming true.

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 10, 2014 10:41 PM

Hundreds of challenges remain to be solved but as even NASA struggles to maintain an edge, the pay-off of a Space Elevator has never been clearer. The original idea of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky which Arthur C. Clarke turned into a novel could be the revolution space exploration needs.

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Low-cost, battery-free gesture recognition technology for all devices

Low-cost, battery-free gesture recognition technology for all devices | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Mute the song playing on your smartphone in your pocket by flicking your index finger in the air, or pause your “This American Life” podcast with a small wave of the hand. This kind of gesture control for electronics could soon become an alternative to touch screens and sensing technologies that consume a lot of power and only work when users can see their smartphones and tablets.


University of Washington computer scientists have built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called “AllSee,” uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user’s gesture command.

 

“This is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn’t require a battery,” said Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. “You can leverage TV signals both as a source of power and as a source of gesture recognition.”

 

The technology is set to appear April 2-4, 2014 at the Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation conference in Seattle.


The researchers built a small sensor that can be placed on an electronic device such as a smartphone. The sensor uses an ultra-low-power receiver to extract and classify gesture information from wireless transmissions around us. When a person gestures with the hand, it changes the amplitude of the wireless signals in the air. The AllSee sensors then recognize unique amplitude changes created by specific gestures.


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Groundbreaking analysis shows China's renewable energy future within reach

Groundbreaking analysis shows China's renewable energy future within reach | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it
 By embracing conservation measures and renewable energy, China can transition to an 80 percent renewable electric power system by 2050 at far less cost than continuing to rely on coal, according to a new report from WWF-US.  (#China can transition...

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Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint

Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Eterni.me wants to build an AI from your digital footprint, so you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

 

"We don't try to replace humans or give false hopes to people grieving." Romanian design consultant Marius Ursache, cofounder of Eterni.me, needs to clear this up quickly. Because when you're building a fledgling artificial intelligence company that promises to bring back the dead -- or at least, their memories and character, as preserved in their digital footprint -- for virtual chats with loved ones, expect a lot of flack.


The site launched with the look of any other Silicon Valley internet startup, but a definitively new take on an old message. While social media companies want you to share and create the story of you while you're alive, and lifelogging company Memoto promises to capture "meaningful [and shareable] moments", Eterni.me wants to wrap that all up for those you leave behind into a cohesive AI they can chat with.


Three thousand people registered to the service within the first four days of the site going live, despite there being zero product to make use of (a beta version is slated for 2015). So with a year to ponder your own mortality, why the excitement for a technology that is, at this moment, merely a proof of concept? 


The company's motto is "it's like a Skype chat from the past," but it's still very much about crafting how the world sees you -- or remembers you, in this case -- just as you might pause and ponder on hitting Facebook's post button, wondering till the last if your spaghetti dinner photo/comment really gets the right message across. On its more troubling side, the site plays on the fear that you can no longer control your identity after you're gone; that you are in fact a mere mortal. "The moments and emotions in our lifetime define how we are seen by our family and friends. All these slowly fade away after we die -- until one day… we are all forgotten," it says in its opening lines -- scroll down and it provides the answer to all your problems: "Simply Become Immortal". Part of the reason we might identify as being immortal -- at least unconsciously, as Freud describes it -- is because we craft a life we believe will be memorable, or have children we believe our legacy will live on in. Eterni.me's comment shatters that illusion and could be seen as opportunistic on the founders' part. The site also goes on to promise a "virtual YOU" that can "offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away", a comfort to anyone worried about leaving behind a spouse or children.


The ultimate stumbling block might be, however, the something that's worse than the fear of being forgotten. Admitting you're going to die one day. It's a tough sell, to persuade someone to confess to the secret of their heroism.


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you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, February 23, 2014 10:34 AM

DON'T KNOW IF I WANT TO LIVE FOREVER IN THIS UNIVERSE-WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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Companion robot speaks 19 languages and expresses emotional intelligence

Companion robot speaks 19 languages and expresses emotional intelligence | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Paris-based robotics company, Aldebaran created Nao, a toddler sized robot designed for companionship. It has the ability to hold a conversation in 19 different languages. Nao is developed with basic artificial intelligence, can walk, catch and brace itself when falling. With built-in language learning software by the voice-technology company Nuance, the robot is designed to develop its own personality as it gets better at speaking through repetition. What sets it apart from other machines is the built-in emotional intelligence that allows it to sense the mood of the people surrounding it and react, according to Nuance’s vice president Arnd Weil. “What they are trying to do with the robot is mainly capturing what is the mood of that other person. It’s more like somebody’s coming home and he had a bad day, he’s angry, so the robot should capture that and react accordingly,” he said.


The robot will be able to build its own vocabulary by accessing a cloud of data that will help it understand the flow of conversation and building its own personality. Weil said that this will allow Nao the companion robot to interact better with its users. Nao’s creators foresee their creation filling more roles and functions like bringing out drinks, providing company for the elderly or disabled or reading your children their bedtime story.


“People do need somebody to talk to. A lot of people have animals or a dog or something, and this is just a new way of engaging with people,” said Weil


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Cheryl Palmer's curator insight, February 15, 2015 11:03 PM

Blog style article & video clip introducing Nao - a companion robot.  Superficial, but gives a starting point for more research.

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Turning off the ‘aging genes’ | KurzweilAI

Turning off the ‘aging genes’ | KurzweilAI | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a computer algorithm that predicts which genes can be “turned off” to create the same anti-aging effect as calorie restriction*. The findings, reported in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of new drugs to treat aging.

 

“Most algorithms try to find drug targets that kill cells to treat cancer or bacterial infections,” says Keren Yizhak, a doctoral student in Prof. Eytan Ruppin’s laboratory. “Our algorithm is the first in our field to look for drug targets not to kill cells, but to transform them from a diseased state into a healthy one.”

 

 


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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, January 4, 2014 3:13 PM

Want to stay forever young? Turn off your aging genes

Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, January 6, 2014 12:33 PM

DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER? 

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Films About Thich Nhat Hanh 2014 Nobel Nomination

Films About Thich Nhat Hanh 2014 Nobel Nomination | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

In 1967, Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr, Nominated Thich Nhat Hanh For The Nobel Peace Prize And Failed. 

In His Letter to the 1967 Nobel Committee he stated.

"I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of this prize than this gentle monk from Vietnam. He is an Apostle of Peace and Nonviolence "  "His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity"   - Dr.  martin Luther King Jr.


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Cloaked DNA nanodevices evade immune system detection

Cloaked DNA nanodevices evade immune system detection | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

An enveloped virus (left) coats itself with lipid as part of its life cycle. New lipid-coated DNA nanodevices (right) closely resemble those viruses and evade.

 

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have built the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body’s immune defenses.

 

The results pave the way for smart DNA nanorobots that could use logic to diagnose cancer earlier and more accurately than doctors can today, target drugs to tumors, or even manufacture drugs on the spot to cripple cancer, the researchers report in the April 22 online issue of ACS Nano.

 

“We’re mimicking virus functionality to eventually build therapeutics that specifically target cells,” said Wyss Institute Core Faculty member William Shih, Ph.D., the paper’s senior author. Shih is also an Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

 

The same cloaking strategy could also be used to make artificial microscopic containers called protocells that could act as biosensors to detect pathogens in food or toxic chemicals in drinking water.

 

DNA is well known for carrying genetic information, but Shih and other bioengineers are using it instead as a building material. To do this, they use DNA origami — a method Shih helped extend from 2D to 3D. In this method, scientists take a long strand of DNA and program it to fold into specific shapes, much as a single sheet of paper is folded to create various shapes in the traditional Japanese art.

 

Shih’s team assembles these shapes to build DNA nanoscale devices that might one day be as complex as the molecular machinery found in cells. For example, they are developing methods to build DNA into tiny robots that sense their environment, calculate how to respond, then carry out a useful task, such as performing a chemical reaction or generating mechanical force or movement.

 

In 2012 Wyss Institute researchers reported in Science that they had built a nanorobot that uses logic to detect a target cell, then reveals an antibody that activates a “suicide switch” in leukemia or lymphoma cells.


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Carlos Garcia Pando's comment, April 26, 2014 4:10 AM
This might also be used as a powerful and controlled weapon against individuals or groups (ethnic selection, or just other type of genetic or environmental factors). Very dangerous.
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New kind of trial aims to speed cancer drug development

Scientists and drugmakers are pioneering a new kind of clinical trial that changes the way cancer drugs are studied, potentially cutting both the time and cost of bringing them to market.

 

Instead of testing one drug at a time, a novel lung cancer study announced on Thursday will allow British researchers to test up to 14 drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer at the same time within one trial.

 

 


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Scientists watch bioengineered self-healing muscle tissue grow within a mouse

Scientists watch bioengineered self-healing muscle tissue grow within a mouse | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

The living skeletal muscle tissue grown by Duke University researchers is 10 times stronger than any previously bioengineered muscles. Not only does it contract as strongly and as rapidly as the real thing, but it is also capable of self-healing, both in the lab and after implantation into an animal. This has been proven beyond doubt through a novel approach that involves peeking at the growing muscle tissue through a glass window in the back of a living mouse.

 

 


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First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released

First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

A large international consortium of researchers has produced the first comprehensive, detailed map of the way genes work across the major cells and tissues of the human body. The findings describe the complex networks that govern gene activity, and the new information could play a crucial role in identifying the genes involved with disease.

 

“Now, for the first time, we are able to pinpoint the regions of the genome that can be active in a disease and in normal activity, whether it’s in a brain cell, the skin, in blood stem cells or in hair follicles,” said Winston Hide, associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and one of the core authors of the main paper in Nature.

 

“This is a major advance that will greatly increase our ability to understand the causes of disease across the body.”

 

The research is outlined in a series of papers published March 27, 2014, two in the journal Nature and 16 in other scholarly journals. The work is the result of years of concerted effort among 250 experts from more than 20 countries as part of FANTOM 5 (Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome). The FANTOM project, led by the Japanese institution RIKEN, is aimed at building a complete library of human genes.

 

Researchers studied human and mouse cells using a new technology called Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE), developed at RIKEN, to discover how 95% of all human genes are switched on and off. These “switches” — called “promoters” and “enhancers” — are the regions of DNA that manage gene activity. The researchers mapped the activity of 180,000 promoters and 44,000 enhancers across a wide range of human cell types and tissues and, in most cases, found they were linked with specific cell types.

 

“We now have the ability to narrow down the genes involved in particular diseases based on the tissue cell or organ in which they work,” said Hide. “This new atlas points us to the exact locations to look for the key genetic variants that might map to a disease.”


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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 28, 2014 7:27 PM
There it is. As it is in our genes, so too is it in our individual psyches and societies. Check it out!
Martin Daumiller's curator insight, March 29, 2014 12:27 PM

original article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v507/n7493/full/nature13182.html

 

 

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Humans can distinguish at least one trillion different odors, study shows

Humans can distinguish at least one trillion different odors, study shows | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

In a world perfumed by freshly popped popcorn and exhaust fumes, where sea breezes can mingle with the scents of sweet flowers or wet paint, new research has found that humans are capable of discriminating at least one trillion different odors. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists determined that our sense of smell is prepared to recognize this vast olfactory palette after testing individuals' ability to recognize differences between complex odors mixed in the laboratory.


It has been said for decades that humans are capable of discriminating between 10,000 different odors. The number is cited in scientific literature and appears in popular magazines. "It's the generally accepted number," says HHMI investigator Leslie Vosshall, who studies olfaction at the Rockefeller University. "Our analysis shows that the human capacity for discriminating smells is much larger than anyone anticipated."


Vosshall and her colleagues published their findings March 21, 2014, in the journalScience. "I hope our paper will overturn this terrible reputation that humans have for not being good smellers," she says.

Vosshall had long been bothered by the idea that humans were limited to smelling 10,000 odors – an estimate that was made in the 1920s, and not backed by any data. "Objectively, everybody should have known that that 10,000 number had to be wrong," she says. For one thing, it didn't make sense that humans should sense far fewer smells than colors. In the human eye, Vosshall explains, three light receptors work together to see up to 10 million colors. In contrast, the typical person's nose has 400 olfactory receptors.


 

But no one had tested humans' olfactory capacity. "We know exactly the range of sound frequencies that people can hear, not because someone made it up, but because it was tested. We didn't just make up the fact that humans can't see infrared or ultraviolet light. Somebody took the time to test it," Vosshall says. "For smell, nobody ever took the time to test."

 

 

Vosshall and Andreas Keller, a senior scientist in her lab at Rockefeller University, knew they couldn't test people's reactions to 10,000 or more odors, but they knew they could come up with a better estimate. They devised a strategy to present their research subjects with complex mixtures of different odors, and then ask whether their subjects could tell them apart.

 

 

They used 128 different odorant molecules to concoct their mixtures. The collection included diverse molecules that individually might evoke grass, or citrus, or various chemicals. But when combined into random mixtures of 10, 20, or 30, Vosshall says, they became largely unfamiliar. "We didn't want them to be explicitly recognizable, so most of our mixtures were pretty nasty and weird," she says. "We wanted people to pay attention to 'here's this really complex thing – can I pick another complex thing as being different?'"


 

The scientists presented their volunteers with three vials of scents at a time: two matched, and one different. Volunteers were asked to identify the one scent that was different from the others. Each volunteer made 264 such comparisons. Vosshall and her colleagues tallied how often their 26 subjects were able to correctly identify the correct outlier. From there, they extrapolated how many different scents the average person would be able to discriminate if they were presented with all the possible mixtures that could be made from their 128 odorants. "It's like the way the census works: to count the number of people who live in the United States, you don't knock on every single door, you sample and then extrapolate," she explains. "That's how I like to think of this study. We knocked on a few doors." In this way, they estimated that the average person can discriminate between at least one trillion different odors.



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mirikelam's curator insight, February 18, 2015 4:02 AM

Prêts pour de nouvelles découvertes olfactives !

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Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO

Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Have you ever Googled for an online diagnosis before visiting a doctor? If so, you may have helped provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.

 

In a new study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, Internet-based surveillance has been found to detect infectious diseases such as Dengue Fever and Influenza up to two weeks earlier than traditional surveillance methods, according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research fellow and senior author of the paper Wenbiao Hu.

 

Hu, based at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, said there was often a lag time of two weeks before traditional surveillance methods could detect an emerging infectious disease.

 

“This is because traditional surveillance relies on the patient recognizing the symptoms and seeking treatment before diagnosis, along with the time taken for health professionals to alert authorities through their health networks. In contrast, digital surveillance can provide real-time detection of epidemics.”

 

Hu said the study used search engine algorithms such as Google Trends and Google Insights. It found that detecting the 2005–06 avian influenza outbreak “Bird Flu” would have been possible between one and two weeks earlier than official surveillance reports.

 

“In another example, a digital data collection network was found to be able to detect the SARS outbreak more than two months before the first publications by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Hu said.


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Nanotechnology needle arrays for drug delivery

Nanotechnology needle arrays for drug delivery | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

The ultimate goal of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery, especially with regard to cancer therapy, is to ferry most of the administered drug to the target, while eliminating the accumulation of the drug at any non-target tissues.
Nanomedicine applications with targeted nanoparticles are expected to revolutionize cancer therapy. The use of such nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents is currently being studied as a promising method by which drugs can be effectively targeted to specific cells in the body, such as tumor cells.


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Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint

Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

'T Eterni.me wants to build an AI from your digital footprint, so you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

 

"We don't try to replace humans or give false hopes to people grieving." Romanian design consultant Marius Ursache, cofounder of Eterni.me, needs to clear this up quickly. Because when you're building a fledgling artificial intelligence company that promises to bring back the dead -- or at least, their memories and character, as preserved in their digital footprint -- for virtual chats with loved ones, expect a lot of flack.

 

The site launched with the look of any other Silicon Valley internet startup, but a definitively new take on an old message. While social media companies want you to share and create the story of you while you're alive, and lifelogging company Memoto promises to capture "meaningful [and shareable] moments", Eterni.me wants to wrap that all up for those you leave behind into a cohesive AI they can chat with.

 

Three thousand people registered to the service within the first four days of the site going live, despite there being zero product to make use of (a beta version is slated for 2015). So with a year to ponder your own mortality, why the excitement for a technology that is, at this moment, merely a proof of concept? 

 

The company's motto is "it's like a Skype chat from the past," but it's still very much about crafting how the world sees you -- or remembers you, in this case -- just as you might pause and ponder on hitting Facebook's post button, wondering till the last if your spaghetti dinner photo/comment really gets the right message across. On its more troubling side, the site plays on the fear that you can no longer control your identity after you're gone; that you are in fact a mere mortal. "The moments and emotions in our lifetime define how we are seen by our family and friends. All these slowly fade away after we die -- until one day… we are all forgotten," it says in its opening lines -- scroll down and it provides the answer to all your problems: "Simply Become Immortal". Part of the reason we might identify as being immortal -- at least unconsciously, as Freud describes it -- is because we craft a life we believe will be memorable, or have children we believe our legacy will live on in. Eterni.me's comment shatters that illusion and could be seen as opportunistic on the founders' part. The site also goes on to promise a "virtual YOU" that can "offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away", a comfort to anyone worried about leaving behind a spouse or children.

 

The ultimate stumbling block might be, however, the something that's worse than the fear of being forgotten. Admitting you're going to die one day. It's a tough sell, to persuade someone to confess to the secret of their heroism.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Laura E. Mirian, PhD
Laura E. Mirian, PhD's insight:

DON'T KNOW IF I WANT TO LIVE FOREVER IN THIS UNIVERSE-WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:47 AM

you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

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Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint

Simply become immortal: AI will talk to loved ones when you die and preserve your digital footprint | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

Eterni.me wants to build an AI from your digital footprint, so you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

 

"We don't try to replace humans or give false hopes to people grieving." Romanian design consultant Marius Ursache, cofounder of Eterni.me, needs to clear this up quickly. Because when you're building a fledgling artificial intelligence company that promises to bring back the dead -- or at least, their memories and character, as preserved in their digital footprint -- for virtual chats with loved ones, expect a lot of flack.


The site launched with the look of any other Silicon Valley internet startup, but a definitively new take on an old message. While social media companies want you to share and create the story of you while you're alive, and lifelogging company Memoto promises to capture "meaningful [and shareable] moments", Eterni.me wants to wrap that all up for those you leave behind into a cohesive AI they can chat with.


Three thousand people registered to the service within the first four days of the site going live, despite there being zero product to make use of (a beta version is slated for 2015). So with a year to ponder your own mortality, why the excitement for a technology that is, at this moment, merely a proof of concept? 


The company's motto is "it's like a Skype chat from the past," but it's still very much about crafting how the world sees you -- or remembers you, in this case -- just as you might pause and ponder on hitting Facebook's post button, wondering till the last if your spaghetti dinner photo/comment really gets the right message across. On its more troubling side, the site plays on the fear that you can no longer control your identity after you're gone; that you are in fact a mere mortal. "The moments and emotions in our lifetime define how we are seen by our family and friends. All these slowly fade away after we die -- until one day… we are all forgotten," it says in its opening lines -- scroll down and it provides the answer to all your problems: "Simply Become Immortal". Part of the reason we might identify as being immortal -- at least unconsciously, as Freud describes it -- is because we craft a life we believe will be memorable, or have children we believe our legacy will live on in. Eterni.me's comment shatters that illusion and could be seen as opportunistic on the founders' part. The site also goes on to promise a "virtual YOU" that can "offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away", a comfort to anyone worried about leaving behind a spouse or children.


The ultimate stumbling block might be, however, the something that's worse than the fear of being forgotten. Admitting you're going to die one day. It's a tough sell, to persuade someone to confess to the secret of their heroism.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:47 AM

you can have virtual chats with loved ones from beyond the grave.

Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, February 23, 2014 10:34 AM

DON'T KNOW IF I WANT TO LIVE FOREVER IN THIS UNIVERSE-WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Rescooped by Laura E. Mirian, PhD from Amazing Science
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Black Death Left a Mark on Human Genome

Black Death Left a Mark on Human Genome | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

There have been multiple plagues throughout history around the world, but none have been so deadly as the Black Death, which killed an estimated one in every four Europeans, and so exerted very strong selection. The Black Death didn’t just wipe out millions of Europeans during the 14th century. It left a mark on the human genome, favoring those who carried certain immune system genes, according to a new study. Those changes may help explain why Europeans respond differently from other people to some diseases and have different susceptibilities to autoimmune disorders.


Geneticists know that human populations evolve in the face of disease. Certain versions of our genes help us fight infections better than others, and people who carry those genes tend to have more children than those who don’t. So the beneficial genetic versions persist, while other versions tend to disappear as those carrying them die. This weeding-out of all but the best genes is called positive selection. But researchers have trouble pinpointing positively selected genes in humans, as many genes vary from one individual to the next.


Genetically, the Rroma gypsies in Romania are still quite similar to the northwestern Indians, even though they have lived side by side with the Romanians for a millennium, the team found. But there were 20 genes in the Rroma and the Romanians that had changes that were not seen in the Indians’ versions of those genes, Netea and his colleagues report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These genes “were positively selected for in the Romanians and in the gypsies but not in the Indians,” Netea explains. “It’s a very strong signal.”


Those genes included one for skin pigmentation, one involved in inflammation, and one associated with susceptibility to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. But the ones Netea and Bertranpetit were most excited about were a cluster of three immune system genes found on chromosome 4. These genes code for toll-like receptors, proteins which latch on to harmful bacteria in the body and launch a defensive response. “We knew they must be important for host defense,” Netea says.

 

What events in history might have favored these versions of the genes in gypsies and Romanians, but not in Indians? Netea and his colleagues tested the ability of the toll-like receptors to react to Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that caused the Black Death. They found that the strength of the immune response varied depending on the exact sequence of the toll-like receptor genes.


Netea and Bertranpetit propose that the Rroma and European Romanians came to have the same versions of these immune system genes because of the evolutionary pressure exerted by Y. pestis. Other Europeans, whose ancestors also faced and survived the Black Death, carried similar changes in the toll-like receptor genes. But people from China and Africa—two other places the Black Death did not reach—did not have these changes. The similarities in the other genes were likely caused by other conditions experienced by Rroma and Europeans, but not Indians.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Genetically modified purple tomatoes heading for shops

Genetically modified purple tomatoes heading for shops | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it

The prospect of genetically modified (GM) purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer. Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries.

 

Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 liters of purple tomato juice ready for shipping. The pigment, known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant which studies on animals show could help fight cancer.


Scientists say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping. The tomatoes were developed at the John Innes Centre in Norwich where Prof Cathie Martin hopes the first delivery of large quantities of juice will allow researchers to investigate its potential.


"With these purple tomatoes you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries that give them their health benefits - but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and are reasonably affordable," she said.

 

The tomatoes are part of a new generation of GM plants designed to appeal to consumers - the first types were aimed specifically at farmers as new tools in agriculture. The purple pigment is the result of the transfer of a gene from a snapdragon plant - the modification triggers a process within the tomato plant allowing the anthocyanin to develop.

 

Although the invention is British, Prof Martin says European Union restrictions on GM encouraged her to look abroad to develop the technology. Canadian regulations are seen as more supportive of GM and that led to a deal with an Ontario company, New Energy Farms, which is now producing enough purple tomatoes in a 465 square meter (5,000sq ft) greenhouse to make 2,000 liters (440 gallons) of juice. The first 1,200 liters are due to be shipped to Norwich shortly - and because all the seeds will have been removed, there is no genetic material to risk any contamination.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Laura E. Mirian, PhD's insight:

THESE GMO TOMATOES  COME  PRELABELED !!!

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Michio Kaku: Nuclear Power Is a Faustian Bargain | The Top Talks

Michio Kaku: Nuclear Power Is a Faustian Bargain | The Top Talks | THE FUTURE AS SEEN BY MICHIO KAKU | Scoop.it
At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear react.
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