Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 12

May 5, 2020

Visualising algae-eating viruses from space

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, sustainability

Algae isn’t just found in your garden pond or local river. Sometimes it explodes into vast “blooms” far out to sea, that can be the size of a small country. Such algal blooms can match even a rainforest at taking carbon out of the air. And then, in just a week or two, they are gone – sometimes consumed by viruses.

Given the scale of blooms and their vital role in both marine ecology and climate regulation we must know more about these viruses. Research conducted with our Weizmann Institute colleague Yoav Lehahn and others and published in the journal Current Biology, is the first attempt to quantify the affect of viruses on large scale algal blooms.

Algae in this context refers to tiny sea organisms known as phytoplankton which exist right at the bottom of the marine food web, providing the ultimate source of all organic matter in the sea. They do this by consuming carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, “fixing” this carbon into organic matter (themselves) in the same way trees take carbon out of the air.

May 3, 2020

Algae Water Purification

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, sustainability

This can be good to purify the oceans and lakes.

Grow algae to reclaim water! Algae feed on the nutrients in wastewater, effectively purifying the water and producing oxygen during the process. Sunlight and LED lighting help the organisms to feed and grow, therefore our algae generators stand in the daylight filled Third Climate Zone. Water slowly recirculates through the six algae tubes, each of which has a steel base containing zeolite, a mineral that acts as a microbial filter, absorbing microorganisms that are not otherwise digested by the algae. The algae generators at Green Solution House are an important element of our on-site biological water purification system. The entire system can process 500 liters of water a day, which is used for irrigating the green wall and gardens and has the potential to be used for flushing public toilets in the building. The water cleaned by the algae is separated and further purified by UV light to reach drinking water quality.

Who’s behind it: Rambøll.

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Apr 28, 2020

AI-Powered Rat Could Be a Valuable New Tool for Neuroscience

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Can we study AI the same way we study lab rats? Researchers at DeepMind and Harvard University seem to think so. They built an AI-powered virtual rat that can carry out multiple complex tasks. Then, they used neuroscience techniques to understand how its artificial “brain” controls its movements.

Today’s most advanced AI is powered by artificial neural networks —machine learning algorithms made up of layers of interconnected components called “neurons” that are loosely inspired by the structure of the brain. While they operate in very different ways, a growing number of researchers believe drawing parallels between the two could both improve our understanding of neuroscience and make smarter AI.

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Apr 22, 2020

A new kind of memristors may hold the key for the breakthrough of future brain computer interface

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, nanotechnology

In a paper published on Nature Communications in 20 April 2020 by (read the original paper), Tianda Fu et al. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst proposed a new kind of diffusive memristor based on the protein nanowires sourced from the bacterium named Geobacter sulfurreducens that can potentially resolve the problem. The artificial neurons built on such memristors can function on the level of biological voltages, and they express “temporary integration feature that is similar to real neurons in our brain” according to the authors.

Apr 20, 2020

Researchers unveil electronics that mimic the human brain in efficient learning

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, engineering, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Only 10 years ago, scientists working on what they hoped would open a new frontier of neuromorphic computing could only dream of a device using miniature tools called memristors that would function/operate like real brain synapses.

But now a team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has discovered, while on their way to better understanding protein , how to use these biological, electricity conducting filaments to make a neuromorphic memristor, or “memory transistor,” device. It runs extremely efficiently on very low power, as brains do, to carry signals between neurons. Details are in Nature Communications.

As first author Tianda Fu, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and , explains, one of the biggest hurdles to neuromorphic computing, and one that made it seem unreachable, is that most conventional computers operate at over 1 volt, while the brain sends signals called action potentials between neurons at around 80 millivolts—many times lower. Today, a decade after early experiments, memristor voltage has been achieved in the range similar to conventional computer, but getting below that seemed improbable, he adds.

Apr 17, 2020

The Challenges of Developing Aging Biomarkers

Posted by in categories: biological, education, life extension

A new study reviews the state of the art of aging biomarkers and explores the future development of even better ways of measuring biological age.

The need for better aging biomarkers

Human life expectancy has been increasing throughout the 20th and 21st centuries due to improvements such as better access to healthcare and sanitation, lower child mortality, reduction of poverty, and better education access.

Apr 16, 2020

Life’s other mystery: Why biology’s building blocks are so lop-sided

Posted by in category: biological

Most molecules exist in mirror-image forms, and yet life prefers one over the other. How this bias began and why it persisted is one of the most baffling questions in biology – but now we have an answer.

Apr 13, 2020

In Good News, Scientists Built a Device That Generates Electricity ‘Out of Thin Air’

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology

They found it buried in the muddy shores of the Potomac River more than three decades ago: a strange “sediment organism” that could do things nobody had ever seen before in bacteria.

This unusual microbe, belonging to the Geobacter genus, was first noted for its ability to produce magnetite in the absence of oxygen, but with time scientists found it could make other things too, like bacterial nanowires that conduct electricity.

For years, researchers have been trying to figure out ways to usefully exploit that natural gift, and this year they might have hit pay-dirt with a device they’re calling the Air-gen. According to the team, their device can create electricity out of… well, almost nothing.

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Apr 12, 2020

15 Pictures From The Future Of Human Evolution

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, transhumanism, wearables

For transhumanists, the possibilities of human interconnectivity via technology is only the beginning of how people may eventually transcend the limitations of their bodies. Photographer David Vintiner and art director Gem Fletcher set out to meet the innovators, artists, and dreamers within the transhumanism movement who are pushing the boundaries of their biology to become something more than human. Their project I Want to Believe consists of three chapters — the first touching on wearable technology, the second on individuals who have made permanent changes to their bodies, and the last on how some transhumanists plan to transcend the human condition.

“Science and human advancement has always been propelled forward by the people who do things differently and those who are not afraid to break the rules.”

By Gabriel H. Sanchez

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Apr 11, 2020

Cyborg computer chips will get their brain from human neurons

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

If you enjoyed this article or found it informative and wish to share it, you can do so from the following link: https://www.facebook.com/383136302314720/posts/564255487536133/

A.I. has already gotten to almost sci-fi levels of emulating brain activity, so much so that amputees can experience mind-controlled robotic arms, and neural networks might soon be a thing. That still wasn’t enough for the brains behind one ambitious startup, though.

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