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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

May 16, 2024

Harmonics of Learning: A Mathematical Theory for the Rise of Fourier Features in Learning Systems Like Neural Networks

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

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) show a remarkable pattern when trained on natural data irrespective of exact initialization, dataset, or training objective; models trained on the same data domain converge to similar learned patterns. For example, for different image models, the initial layer weights tend to converge to Gabor filters and color-contrast detectors. Many such features suggest global representation that goes beyond biological and artificial systems, and these features are observed in the visual cortex. These findings are practical and well-established in the field of machines that can interpret literature but lack theoretical explanations.

Localized versions of canonical 2D Fourier basis functions are the most observed universal features in image models, e.g. Gabor filters or wavelets. When vision models are trained on tasks like efficient coding, classification, temporal coherence, and next-step prediction goals, these Fourier features pop up in the model’s initial layers. Apart from this, Non-localized Fourier features have been observed in networks trained to solve tasks where cyclic wraparound is allowed, for example, modular arithmetic, more general group compositions, or invariance to the group of cyclic translations.

Researchers from KTH, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, and UC Santa Barbara introduced a mathematical explanation for the rise of Fourier features in learning systems like neural networks. This rise is due to the downstream invariance of the learner that becomes insensitive to certain transformations, e.g., planar translation or rotation. The team has derived theoretical guarantees regarding Fourier features in invariant learners that can be used in different machine-learning models. This derivation is based on the concept that invariance is a fundamental bias that can be injected implicitly and sometimes explicitly into learning systems due to the symmetries in natural data.

May 13, 2024

Analysis Reveals Marine Protected Areas Falling Short on Biodiversity Goals

Posted by in categories: biological, sustainability

How does human activity influence the ocean biodiversity for marine protected areas (MPAs)? This is what a recent study published in Conservation Letters hopes to address as a team of international researchers investigated current conservation efforts aimed at further strengthening MPAs around the world. This study holds the potential to help scientists, conservationists, legislators, and the public better understand the global impact of ocean biodiversity, as the United Nations has called for protecting 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.

“Now more than ever we need healthy and biodiverse areas in the ocean to benefit people and help buffer threats to ocean ecosystems,” said Dr. Kirsten Grorud-Colvert, who is an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University and a co-author on the study. “Marine protected areas can only achieve this if they are set up to be effective, just and durable. Our assessment shows how some of the largest protected areas in the world can be strengthened for lasting benefits.”

For the study, the researchers analyzed the 100 largest MPAs in the world using The MPA Guide, the former of which represents 90 percent of the global MPAs. For each MPA, the researchers collected data on the protection status, regulation documents, and management plan, along with analyzing scientific literature pertaining to human activities in those MPAs. In the end, the researchers found that 25 percent of the analyzed MPAs lacked proper implementation while they determined that 33 percent of the analyzed MPAs did not meet criteria for being compatible with nature conservation. They concluded these results were from either decreased regulations or increased levels of human activity.

May 12, 2024

Brain Really Uses Quantum Effects, New Study Finds

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience, open access, quantum physics

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When Roger Penrose originally came out with the idea that the human brain uses quantum effects in microtubules and that was the origin of consciousness, many thought the idea was a little crazy. According to a new study, it turns out that Penrose was actually right… about the microtubules anyways. Let’s have a look.

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May 10, 2024

Solving a Long-Standing Marine Mystery: New Insights Into Rhizobia-Diatom Symbiosis

Posted by in categories: biological, food

A groundbreaking study reveals that Rhizobia bacteria can fix nitrogen in partnership with marine diatoms, a discovery that could have significant implications for agriculture and marine ecosystems.

Nitrogen is an essential component of all living organisms. It is also the key element controlling the growth of crops on land, as well as the microscopic oceanic plants that produce half the oxygen on our planet.

Atmospheric nitrogen gas is by far the largest pool of nitrogen, but plants cannot transform it into a usable form. Instead, crop plants like soybeans, peas and alfalfa (collectively known as legumes) have acquired Rhizobial bacterial partners that “fix” atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium. This partnership makes legumes one of the most important sources of proteins in food production.

May 9, 2024

The Contractile Forces of Life: New Discovery Reshapes Our Understanding of Embryo Formation

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics

A breakthrough study by the Institut Curie reveals that embryonic cell compaction in humans is caused by cell contraction, offering new insights to enhance assisted reproductive technology success rates.

In human development, the compaction of embryonic cells is a vital process in the early stages of an embryo’s formation. Four days post-fertilization, the cells tighten together, helping to form the embryo’s initial structure. If compaction is flawed, it can hinder the development of the essential structure needed for the embryo to attach to the uterus. During assisted reproductive technology (ART), this stage is meticulously observed before the embryo is implanted.

An interdisciplinary research team led by scientists at the Genetics and Developmental Biology Unit at the Institut Curie (CNRS/Inserm/Institut Curie) studying the mechanisms at play in this still little-known phenomenon has made a surprising discovery: human embryo compaction is driven by the contraction of embryonic cells. Compaction problems are therefore due to faulty contractility in these cells, and not a lack of adhesion between them, as was previously assumed. This mechanism had already been identified in flies, zebrafish, and mice, but is a first in humans.

May 7, 2024

Reversing Biological Age: Have we finally found the answer?? | 30 — LTW #5

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Not a happy vid for E5. It appears to be something to make one healthy and as a result get extra time which is a good thing. But its testing standards could have been better and its off to some kind of skin care target.

May 7, 2024

Attosecond core-level spectroscopy reveals real-time molecular dynamics

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, particle physics

Chemical reactions are complex mechanisms. Many different dynamic processes are involved, affecting both the electrons and the nucleus of the present atoms. Very often, the strongly coupled electron and nuclear dynamics induce radiation-less relaxation processes known as conical intersections. Such dynamics, which are at the basis of many biological and chemical relevant functions, are extremely difficult to detect experimentally.

May 5, 2024

Dr. Jaime Yassif, Ph.D. — VP, Global Biological Policy and Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, health, policy, security, surveillance

Working To Reduce Global Catastrophic Biological Risks — Dr. Jaime Yassif, Ph.D. — VP, Global Biological Policy and Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative.


Dr. Jaime Yassif, Ph.D. serves as Vice President of Global Biological Policy and Programs, at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (https://www.nti.org/about/people/jaim…) where she oversees work to reduce global catastrophic biological risks, strengthen biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and drives progress in advancing global health security.

Continue reading “Dr. Jaime Yassif, Ph.D. — VP, Global Biological Policy and Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)” »

May 3, 2024

Bioelectronic interfaces of organic electrochemical transistors

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing

The organic electrochemical transistor stands out as a tool for constructing powerful biosensors owing to its high signal transduction ability and adaptability to various geometrical forms. However, the performance of organic electrochemical transistors relies on stable and seamless interfaces with biological systems. This Review examines strategies to improve and optimize interfaces between organic electrochemical transistors and various biological components.

May 3, 2024

Scientists have revived 100-million-year-old marine microbes

Posted by in category: biological

In one of the ocean’s most lifeless places, scientists discover and resuscitate ancient organisms.

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