Archive for the ‘biological’ category

May 20, 2022

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD — Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit Head — World Health Organization

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, health

Preparedness For Emerging Diseases & Zoonoses — Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Ph.D., Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit Head, World Health Organization, (WHO)

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Ph.D., (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/m.vankerkhove) is an infectious disease epidemiologist who serves as the technical lead for the COVID-19 response at the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/en/), where she develops guidance, training programs, and information products for the continuously evolving state of the pandemic, as well serving as the Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit Head.

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May 18, 2022

New insights on link between genetic mutations and biological evolution

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics

In biological evolution, we know that it’s all about the survival of the fittest: organisms that develop genetic traits that allow them to better adapt to their physical environment are more likely to thrive, and thus pass down their winning genes to their offspring.

From the longer-beaked Galapagos Island finches studied by biologist Charles Darwin that enabled them to more effectively snatch insects, to the ability of some humans over others to digest milk, the process of natural selection results in that give some organisms an edge over others.

New research by University of Toronto Mississauga biology assistant professor Alex N. Nguyen Ba adds an important dimension to our understanding of how interact in the evolutionary process.

May 17, 2022

Welcome to DeepMind: Embarking on one of the greatest adventures in scientific history

Posted by in categories: biological, ethics, robotics/AI

At DeepMind, we’re embarking on one of the greatest adventures in scientific history. Our mission is to solve intelligence, to advance science and benefit humanity.

To make this possible, we bring together scientists, designers, engineers, ethicists, and more, to research and build safe artificial intelligence systems that can help transform society for the better.

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May 16, 2022

A weakly supervised machine learning model to extract features from microscopy images

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

Deep learning models have proved to be highly promising tools for analyzing large numbers of images. Over the past decade or so, they have thus been introduced in a variety of settings, including research laboratories.

In the field of biology, could potentially facilitate the quantitative analysis of microscopy images, allowing researchers to extract meaningful information from these images and interpret their observations. Training models to do this, however, can be very challenging, as it often requires the extraction of features (i.e., number of cells, area of cells, etc.) from microscopy images and the manual of training data.

Researchers at CERVO Brain Research Center, the Institute for Intelligence and Data, and Université Laval in Canada have recently developed an that could perform in-depth analyses of microscopy images using simpler, image-level annotations. This model, dubbed MICRA-Net (MICRoscopy Analysis ), was introduced in a paper published in Nature Machine Intelligence.

May 16, 2022

Lighting up artificial neural networks with optomemristors

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

A team of international scientists have performed difficult machine learning computations using a nano-scale device, named an “optomemristor.”

The chalcogenide thin-film device uses both light and to interact and emulate multi-factor biological computations of the mammalian brain while consuming very little energy.

To date, research on hardware for and machine learning applications has concentrated mainly on developing electronic or photonic synapses and neurons, and combining these to carry out basic forms of neural-type processing.

May 16, 2022

Evolvable neural units that can mimic the brain’s synaptic plasticity

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

Machine learning techniques are designed to mathematically emulate the functions and structure of neurons and neural networks in the brain. However, biological neurons are very complex, which makes artificially replicating them particularly challenging.

Researchers at Korea University have recently tried to reproduce the complexity of biological neurons more effectively by approximating the function of individual neurons and synapses. Their paper, published in Nature Machine Intelligence, introduces a of evolvable neural units (ENUs) that can adapt to mimic specific neurons and mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.

“The inspiration for our paper comes from the observation of the complexity of biological neurons, and the fact that it seems almost impossible to model all of that complexity produced by nature mathematically,” Paul Bertens, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “Current artificial used in deep learning are very powerful in many ways, but they do not really match biological neural network behavior. Our idea was to use these existing artificial neural networks not to model the entire , but to model each individual neuron and synapse.”

May 16, 2022

A perspective on the study of artificial and biological neural networks

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

Evolution, the process by which living organisms adapt to their surrounding environment over time, has been widely studied over the years. As first hypothesized by Darwin in the mid 1800s, research evidence suggests that most biological species, including humans, continuously adapt to new environmental circumstances and that this ultimately enables their survival.

In recent years, researchers have been developing advanced computational techniques based on artificial neural networks, which are architectures inspired by in the . Models based on artificial neural networks are trained to optimize millions of synaptic weights over millions of observations in order to make accurate predictions or classify data.

Researchers at Princeton University have recently carried out a study investigating the similarities and differences between artificial and biological neural networks from an evolutionary standpoint. Their paper, published in Neuron, compares the evolution of biological neural networks with that of artificial ones using psychology theory.

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May 13, 2022

Researchers invent world’s smallest biomechanical linkage

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, engineering

Researchers at Princeton University have built the world’s smallest mechanically interlocked biological structure, a deceptively simple two-ring chain made from tiny strands of amino acids called peptides.

In a published August 23 in Nature Chemistry, the team detailed a library of such structures made in their lab—two interlocked rings, a ring on a dumbbell, a daisy chain and an interlocked double lasso—each around one billionth of a meter in size. The study also demonstrates that some of these structures can toggle between at least two shapes, laying the groundwork for a biomolecular switch.

“We’ve been able to build a bunch of structures that no one’s been able to build before,” said A. James Link, professor of chemical and , the study’s principal investigator. “These are the smallest threaded or interlocking structures you can make out of peptides.”

May 12, 2022

The origin of life: A paradigm shift

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics

According to a new concept by LMU chemists led by Thomas Carell, it was a novel molecular species composed out of RNA and peptides that set in motion the evolution of life into more complex forms.

Investigating the question as to how life could emerge long ago on the early Earth is one of the most fascinating challenges for science. Which conditions must have prevailed for the basic building blocks of more complex life to form? One of the main answers is based upon the so-called RNA world idea, which molecular biology pioneer Walter Gilbert formulated in 1986. The hypothesis holds that nucleotides—the basic building blocks of the nucleic acids A, C, G, and U—emerged out of the primordial soup, and that short RNA molecules then formed out of the nucleotides. These so-called oligonucleotides were already capable of encoding small amounts of genetic information.

As such single-stranded RNA molecules could also combine into double strands, however, this gave rise to the theoretical possibility that the molecules could replicate themselves—i.e. reproduce. Only two nucleotides fit together in each case, meaning that one strand is the exact counterpart of another and thus forms the template for another strand.

May 12, 2022

Scientists successfully grow plants in Moon soil

Posted by in categories: biological, space

For the first time ever, scientists have successfully grown plants in soil from the Moon.

Researchers from the University of Florida planted seeds from the Arabidopsis plant — commonly known as thale cress — into a few teaspoons worth of lunar soil collected in the late 60s and early 70s during the Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions.

After about a week of watering and feeding, the seeds grew into and out of the soil, or lunar regolith, according to a paper detailing the experiment published Thursday in the scientific journal “Communications Biology.”

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