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Infographic: The A to Z Guide to eLearning Design

Infographic: The A to Z Guide to eLearning Design | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
Universal design concepts that are most relevant to eLearning design.

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Design, Comm, Sci and Tech
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Planet Finder Validates Its First Habitable-Zone Exoplanet, a Mini Neptune

Planet Finder Validates Its First Habitable-Zone Exoplanet, a Mini Neptune | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Astronomers have validated their first exoplanet with the Habitable Zone Planet Finder instrument on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, one of the world’s largest telescopes, located at The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory.

 

About twice the size of Earth and possibly 12 times as massive, the planet could be similar to Neptune, but in miniature. Called G 9-40b, it orbits a small star called a red dwarf about 100 light-years from Earth. It completes a full orbit every six Earth days.

 

 


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Researchers develop a silicon anode that can increase battery capacity four-fold in comparison to graphite and enables rapid charging

Researchers develop a silicon anode that can increase battery capacity four-fold in comparison to graphite and enables rapid charging | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Dr. Hun-Gi Jung and his research team at the Center for Energy Storage Research of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Lee Byung Gwon) have announced the development of silicon anode materials that can increase battery capacity four-fold in comparison to graphite anode materials and enable rapid charging to more than 80% capacity in only five minutes. When applied to batteries for electric vehicles, the new materials are expected to more than double their driving range.

 

The batteries currently installed in mass-produced electric vehicles use graphite anode materials, but their low capacity contributes to electric vehicles' having a shorter driving range than vehicles with internal combustion engines. Consequently, silicon, with an energy storage capacity 10-times greater than graphite, has drawn attention as a next-generation anode material for the development of long-range electric vehicles. However, silicon materials have not yet been commercialized because their volume expands rapidly and storage capacity decreases significantly during charge and discharge cycles, which limits commercialization. A number of methods have been suggested for enhancing the stability of silicon as an anode material, but the cost and complexity of these methods have prevented silicon from replacing graphite.

 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft has launched to study the sun

ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft has launched to study the sun | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
ESA's Solar Orbiter is now on its way to the sun, beginning a nearly two-year journey.

 

A new sungazing spacecraft has launched on a mission to chart the sun’s unexplored polar regions and to understand how our star creates and controls the vast bubble of plasma that envelops the solar system.

 

At 11:03 pm ET on February 9, 2020, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The spacecraft now begins a nearly two-year convoluted journey — getting two gravity assists from Venus and one from Earth — to an orbit that will repeatedly take it a bit closer to the sun than Mercury gets.

 

 


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Google has released a tool to spot faked and doctored images

Google has released a tool to spot faked and doctored images | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
Jigsaw, a technology incubator at Google, has released an experimental platform called Assembler to help journalists and front-line fact-checkers quickly verify images.How it works: Assembler combines several existing techniques in academia for detecting common manipulation techniques, including changing image brightness and pasting copied pixels elsewhere to cover up something while retaining the same visual texture.

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Entirely AI-formulated medicine to be tested on humans for the first time ever

Entirely AI-formulated medicine to be tested on humans for the first time ever | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

A drug designed entirely by artificial intelligence is about to enter clinical human trials for the first time. The drug, which is intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), was discovered using AI systems from Oxford-based biotech company Exscientia. While it would usually take around four and a half years to get a drug to this stage of development, Exscientia says that by using the AI tools it's taken less than 12 months.

 

The drug, known as DSP-1181, was created by using algorithms to sift through potential compounds, checking them against a huge database of parameters, including a patient's genetic factors. Speaking to the BBC, Exscientia chief executive Professor Andrew Hopkins described the trials as a "key milestone in drug discovery" and noted that there are "billions" of decisions needed to find the right molecules for a drug, making their eventual creation a "huge decision." With AI, however, "the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease."

 


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MIT and QCRI Researchers Build AI Model to Enrich Digital Maps

MIT and QCRI Researchers Build AI Model to Enrich Digital Maps | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a model powered by AI. The AI model is designed to tag road features in digital maps using satellite imagery. This AI-driven RoadTagger model combines a convolutional neural network (CNN) and a graph neural network (GNN) to automatically envisage the number of lanes and road types concealed by obstructions, improving GPS navigation, especially in countries with limited map data.

 

The model helps drivers in incorporating information about parking spots, while mapping bicycle lanes that can assist cyclists to negotiate busy city streets. Providing updated information on road conditions, the RoadTagger model can also improve planning for disaster relief.

 

Unlike other GPS navigation systems, RoadTagger makes use of an amalgamation of neural network architectures to automatically predict the number of lanes and road types, including residential or highway, even when roads can be blocked by trees or buildings.

Sam Madden, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and a researcher in the Computer Science and AI Laboratory (CSAIL) says, “Most updated digital maps are from places that big companies care the most about. If you’re in places they don’t care about much, you’re at a disadvantage with respect to the quality of map. Our goal is to automate the process of generating high-quality digital maps, so they can be available in any country.”

 

When testing RoadTagger on occluded roads from digital maps of 20 US cities, the model reckoned lane numbers with 77 percent accuracy and inferred road types with 93 percent accuracy. Also, the researchers are planning to enable the model to foresee other features, such as parking spots and bike lanes.

 

The model relies on CNN and GNN, where GNNs form relationships between connected nodes in a graph, CNNs take as input raw satellite images of target roads. RoadTagger is based on an end-to-end model, meaning it is fed only raw data and automatically generates output, without human intervention. This combined architecture of CNN and GNN signifies a more human-like intuition, researchers noted.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Decoding the Brain Goes Global With the International Brain Initiative

Decoding the Brain Goes Global With the International Brain Initiative | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
By uniting efforts, the International Brain Initiative can help shape the future of neuroscience research at a global scale.

 

The initiative, at the time of writing, includes Japan’s Brain/MindsAustralian Brain Alliance, the EU’s Human Brain Project (HBP)Canadian Brain Research Strategy, the US’ BRAIN Initiative (BRAINI), the Korea Brain Initiative, and the China Brain Project.

 

Few times in history has mankind ever united to solve a single goal. Even the ultimate moonshot in history—putting a man on the moon—was driven by international competition rather than unification. So it’s perhaps fitting that mankind is now uniting to understand the organ that fundamentally makes us human: our brain. First envisioned in 2016 through a series of discussions on the “grand challenges” in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, the International Brain Initiative (IBI) “came out” this week in a forward-looking paper in Neuron.

 

 


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A quantum breakthrough brings a technique from astronomy to the nano-scale

A quantum breakthrough brings a technique from astronomy to the nano-scale | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Researchers at Columbia University and University of California, San Diego, have introduced a novel "multi-messenger" approach to quantum physics that signifies a technological leap in how scientists can explore quantum materials.

 

The findings appear in a recent article published in Nature Materials, led by A. S. McLeod, postdoctoral researcher, Columbia Nano Initiative, with co-authors Dmitri Basov and A. J. Millis at Columbia and R.A. Averitt at UC San Diego. "We have brought a technique from the inter-galactic scale down to the realm of the ultra-small," said Basov, Higgins Professor of Physics and Director of the Energy Frontier Research Center at Columbia. Equipped with multi-modal nanoscience tools we can now routinely go places no one thought would be possible as recently as five years ago."

 

 


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Artificial intelligence helps experts forecast icebergs

Artificial intelligence helps experts forecast icebergs | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

This year will see a relatively low number of icebergs drifting into busy shipping regions in the north-west Atlantic, according to a combination of control systems and artificial intelligence forecasting models developed by experts at the University of Sheffield.

A recently published control systems model has been used to predict that between 479 and 1,015 icebergs will reach waters south of 48°N—the area of greatest risk to shipping traveling between Europe and north-east North America—in 2020, compared with 1,515 observed there last year.


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Cancer death rates are falling continuously – Advances in lung cancer treatment are playing a major role.

Cancer death rates are falling continuously – Advances in lung cancer treatment are playing a major role. | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Deaths from lung cancer dropped by 51 percent among men since the early 1990s and by 26 percent among women since the early 2000s. The report also credits drops in lung cancer mortality for a 2.2 percent dip from 2016 to 2017 — the largest decline of cancer deaths in a single year ever reported. Doctors attribute the success in part to lower smoking rates but also to significant advances in treatment.

Major medical advances are continuing

"The years we have been investing in basic science of cancer therapeutics [are] now starting to pay off," said Dr. Patrick Hwu, division head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

 

Hwu, who was not involved with the new report, credited targeted therapies, which are drugs that work to eliminate the circuitry that turns on cancer cells.

 

Another of the biggest advances, experts said, has been the development of immunotherapies such as Keytruda, also known as pembrolizumab. It uses the body's immune system to fight tumors, and it is approved for lung cancer and melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

 

The American Cancer Society report also found rapid declines in melanoma death rates, up to 7 percent a year from 2013 to 2017 among adults, also attributable to new treatments. The Food and Drug Administration approved two key drugs to treat melanoma: ipilimumab and vemurafenib.

 

"We're actually seeing the effect of those drugs reflected in the overall melanoma death rate," said Rebecca Siegel, scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and an author of the new report. "That's really exciting." Physicians are seeing it in practice, as well.

 

"In the past decade, how we treat invasive melanoma has evolved so unbelievably rapidly that it is, for some, becoming more of a chronic disease than a death sentence," said Dr. Adam Friedman, a professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.


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Genetically engineered mosquitoes resist spreading any form of dengue fever

Genetically engineered mosquitoes resist spreading any form of dengue fever | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Recover from dengue once, and you’re not necessarily free and clear. The mosquito-borne disease marked by fever, rash, and debilitating pain results from any of four genetically distinct versions of the dengue virus. Previously infected people who get hit with a second of these “serotypes” can face more severe, even life-threatening symptoms.

 

Now, by endowing a line of mosquitoes with an antibody against the virus, researchers have for the first time made insects that—at least in lab tests—appear unable to spread any form of the disease. In theory, these mosquitoes could be released into the wild to suppress the circulation of the virus. “This is right on the money,” says Alexander Franz, a biologist at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who studies insect-borne viruses. “This is what you need to do if you really want to have a strong effect on dengue prevalence.”

 

 


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Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon up by more than double

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon up by more than double | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon in November surged by 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, according to official data. The 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) deforested that month is also the highest number for any November since 2015, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which provides official data on deforestation.

 

That is considered a significant increase, particularly during the rainy season, when deforestation generally slows.

For the first 11 months of the year—also the first months in office of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right leader who has eased restrictions on exploiting the Amazon's vast riches—deforestation totaled 8,974.3 square kilometers. That is nearly twice the 4,878.7 square kilometers reported for the first 11 months of 2018.

 

The data was collected by the satellite-based DETER system, which monitors deforestation in real time. Another satellite-based system used by the INPE known as PRODES, considered more reliable but slower to compile data, reported in late November that in the 12 months beginning August 2018, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon had passed the 10,000 square kilometer threshold for the first time since 2008. That represented a 43 percent increase from the preceding 12-month period.

 

Deforestation in indigenous areas rose even faster, by 74.5 percent from the preceding period, INPE reported.


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There's Water on Alien Planets, Just Not As Much as Scientists Thought: Study | Space

There's Water on Alien Planets, Just Not As Much as Scientists Thought: Study | Space | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
Water appears both common and unexpectedly scarce in exoplanets — many distant worlds have it, but less of it than predicted, a new study finds.
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Boom! Scientists spot the biggest explosion in the history of the universe | Space

Boom! Scientists spot the biggest explosion in the history of the universe | Space | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
Boom! Scientists spot the biggest known explosion in the history of the universe
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50 Ideas to Change Our World [FT]

50 Ideas to Change Our World [FT] | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
The FT has enlisted the help of readers, researchers and entrepreneurs to find 50 new ideas that will shape the world in the future.

 

 

Read all 50 ideas


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World Health Organisation division tackling coronavirus is underfunded and facing internal corruption allegations, audits reveal - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

World Health Organisation division tackling coronavirus is underfunded and facing internal corruption allegations, audits reveal - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it
The division leading the global response to the coronavirus outbreak is so chronically underfunded it poses a severe level of hazard to the World Health Organisation, audits reveal.

Via Emilio Mordini
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New world map of fish genetic diversity

New world map of fish genetic diversity | Design, Comm, Sci and Tech | Scoop.it

Original announcement

 

In a population of animals or plants, genetic diversity can decline much more quickly than species diversity in response to various stress factors: disease, changes to habitat or climate, and so on. Yet not much is known about fish genetic diversity around the world.

 

Help on that front is now on the way from an international team of scientists from French universities and ETH Zurich. They have produced the first global distribution map for genetic diversity among freshwater and marine fish. Furthermore, they identified the environmental factors that are instrumental in determining the distribution of genetic diversity. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

 

 


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