Theories concerning the cause of right- or left-hand preference in humans vary from purely learned behavior, to solely genetics, to a combination of the two mechanisms. The cause of handedness and its relation to the biologically specified scalp hair-whorl rotation has also been determined. The general public, consisting of mostly right-handers (RH), shows counterclockwise whorl rotation infrequently in 8.4% of individuals. Interestingly, non-right-handers (NRH, i.e., left-handers and ambidextrous) display a random mixture of clockwise and counterclockwise swirling patterns. Confirming this finding, in another independent sample of individuals chosen because of their counterclockwise rotation, one-half of them are NRH.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.genetics.org

Another genetically edited baby is due, but the world may never learn of its birth if the Chinese government decides to keep it a secret.

 

The Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong last November, was meant to debate the pros and cons of genetically engineering humans. Instead, the proceedings were turned upside down by the revelation that He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist, had already done it. He’d gone ahead and edited the DNA of twin girls with the powerful gene modification tool called CRISPR.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technologyreview.com

When it comes to affairs of the heart, there are a variety of factors at play: mutual attraction, shared interests, an intangible spark that eventually leads to love. But in Darwinian terms, the recipe for reproduction is far more clinical, with animals seeking mates based on the potential evolutionary advantage—often superior cognition skills—offered by a match.

 

Now, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that female budgerigars, a species of small Australian parrots better known as budgies, employ this selective brand of logic when playing the mating game. As Nick Carne writes for Cosmos, a team of Chinese and Dutch researchers found that female budgies preferred brains over beauty and brawn. The birds would even change their selection if the previously overlooked mate learned a new trick.

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.smithsonianmag.com

In ‘Application of high resolution DLP stereolithography for fabrication of tricalcium phosphate scaffolds for bone regeneration,’ researchers examine how to make complex, stable scaffolds based on β-tricalcium. Typically, there are obstacles to finding materials and techniques suitable for creating structures capable of sustaining cell life.

 

The authors are aware of the necessities in tissue engineering: the material cannot be toxic, obviously, as that would cause further health issues in a patient, biodegradability is key, with the material being absorbed along with suitable bone growth, and porosity and density must be suitable too, balanced out with proper strength.

 

DLP 3D printing has proven successful for creating scaffolds due to comprehensive irradiation over the whole cross-section, and shorter processing times in comparison to other processes. The researchers focused on DLP 3D printing for this study, in relation to the use of calcium phosphate structures that are not only complex and high resolution but also strong. The team assessed both rectilinear grid structure and hexagonal geometries (at 50 and 75 percent porosity) for mechanical properties, with complete chemical analyses performed before and after bioprinting.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: 3dprint.com

Soon, you might not need anything more specialized than a readily accessible touchscreen device and any existing data sets you have access to in order to build powerful prediction tools. A new experiment from MIT and Brown Universityresearchers have added a capability to their ‘Northstar’ interactive data system that can “instantly generate machine-learning models” to use with their exiting data sets in order to generate useful predictions.

 

One example the researchers provide is that doctors could make use of the system to make predictions about the likelihood their patients have of contracting specific diseases based on their medial history. Or, they suggest, a business owner could use their historical sales data to develop more accurate forecasts, quickly and without a ton of manual analytics work.

 

Researchers are calling this feature the Northstar system’s “virtual data scientist,” (or VDS) and it sounds like it could actually replace the human equivalent, especially in settings where one would never actually be readily available or resourced anyway. Your average doctor’s office doesn’t have a dedicated data scientist headcount, for instance, and nor do most small- to medium-sized businesses for that matter. Independently owned and operated coffee shops and retailers definitely wouldn’t otherwise have access to this kind of insight.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: techcrunch.com

A voice-recognition feature can be easily found on mobile phones these days. Oftentimes, we experience an incident where a speech recognition application is activated in the middle of a meeting or a conversation in the office. Sometimes, it is not activated at all regardless of numbers of times we call out the application. It is because a mobile phone uses a microphone which detects sound pressure to recognize voice, and it is easily affected by surrounding noise and other obstacles.

 

Professor Kilwon Cho of Chemical Engineering and Professor Yoonyoung Chung of Electronic and Electric Engineering from POSTECH successfully developed a flexible and wearable vibration responsive sensor. When this sensor is attached to a neck, it can precisely recognize voice through vibration of the neck skin and is not affected by ambient noise or the volume of sound.

 

Conventional vibration sensors recognize a voice through air vibration and the sensitivity decreases due to mechanical resonance and the damping effect, therefore they are not capable of measuring voices quantitatively. So, ambient sound or obstacles such as a mouth mask can affect its accuracy of voice recognition and it cannot be used for security authentication.

 

In this study, the research group demonstrated that the voice pressure is proportional to the acceleration of neck skin vibration at various sound pressure levels from 40 to 70 dBSPL, and they developed a vibration sensor utilizing the acceleration of skin vibration. The device, which is consists of an ultrathin polymer film and a diaphragm with tiny holes, can sense voices quantitively by measuring the acceleration of skin vibration.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

Although it might be theoretically possible to replicate the functioning of a human brain, it is not practicable as of now. Thus, capability-wise, we are leaps and bounds away from achieving artificial general intelligence. However, time-wise, the rapid rate at which AI is developing new capabilities means that we might be get close to the inflection point when the AI research community surprises us with the development of artificial general intelligence. And experts have predicted the development of artificial intelligence to be achieved as early as by 2030. A survey of AI experts recently predicted the expected emergence of AGI or the singularity by the year 2060.

 

Thus, although in terms of capability, we are far from achieving artificial general intelligence, the exponential advancement of AI research may possibly culminate into the invention of artificial general intelligence within our lifetime or by the end of this century. Whether the development of AGI will be beneficial for humanity or not is still up for debate and speculation. So is the exact estimate on the time it will take for the emergence of the first real-world AGI application. But one thing is for sure — the development of AGI will trigger a series of events and irreversible changes (good or bad) that will reshape the world and life as we know it, forever.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.forbes.com

Starshade exoplanet-hunting missions may be technologically daunting, but not beyond NASA’s reach. Such a mission would employ a space telescope and a separate craft flying about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) ahead of it. This latter probe would be equipped with a large, flat, petaled shade designed to block starlight, potentially allowing the telescope to directly image orbiting alien worlds as small as Earth that would otherwise be lost in the glare. Instruments called coronagraphs, which have been installed on multiple ground-based and space telescopes, work on the same light-blocking principle. But coronagraphs are incorporated into the telescope itself.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.livescience.com

The world’s largest maker of quantum computers, Canada’s D-Wave Systems Inc., recently announced the Pegasus generation of its quantum computers, featuring 2.5 times the qubits (more than 5,000) than its predecessor, as well as the elimination of a major stumbling block to commercialization by directly connecting each of those qubits to three times as many nearby qubits as its previous generation, the Chimera. Analysts are predicting that Pegasus will advance quantum applications down the technology lifetime exponential growth curve.

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: cacm.acm.org

Follow the Food – a new series by BBC Future and BBC World News – looks into where our food comes from and how will this change in the near future, thanks to new technologies and innovative ways of farming.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bbc.com