LEGO Bricks Are Excellent Insulators at Cryogenic Temps

Cool LEGO

A team of physicists at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom recently cooled a handful of LEGO bricks to a couple of millidegrees above absolute zero, which is -273.15 degrees Celsius (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit).

They found that, thanks to their special shape and composition, the plastic toy bricks were excellent insulators — and could even be helpful in the development of quantum computers in the future.

Google’s New AI is Great at Spotting Breast Cancer in X-Rays

By Victor Tangermann – Re-Blogged From Futurism

Could this AI reduce our dependence on human radiologists?

A team of UK researchers at Google Health and Google’s AI lab DeepMind has created a tool that can successfully identify breast cancer in X-ray mammograms, Wired reports.

It’s so successful, according to the paper published in the journal Nature this week, that it could one day rival or even outperform human radiologists.

The researchers trained their AI using mammograms from nearly 91,000 women in the US and UK — and the results were impressive. Compared to human radiologists, the AI model flagged 9.4 percent fewer false negatives and 5.7 percent fewer false positives in the US dataset, and 2.7 and 1.2 percent respectively for the much larger UK dataset.

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Watch a Dog-Like Robot Climb Straight up a Ladder

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism

We’ve seen four-legged robots dance, crank out some push-ups, and even backflip through autumn leaves.

But now, IEEE Spectrum reports that a team of Japanese roboticists has taught a dog-like robot a new trick: how to autonomously climb a vertical ladder.

Thumbs Up

The team from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Okayama University presented their quadruped robot at the 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems on November 5.

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Scientists Place Humans in “Suspended Animation” for First Time

By Victor Tangermann – Re-Blogged From Futurism

They cool your body — and replace your blood with an ice-cold salt solution.

A team of doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have placed humans in “suspended animation” for the first time as part of a trial that could enable health professionals to fix traumatic injuries such as a gunshot or stab wound that would otherwise end in death, according to a New Scientist exclusive.

Suspended animation — or “emergency preservation resuscitation,” in medical parlance — involves rapidly cooling a patient’s body down to ten to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 59 Fahrenheit) by replacing their blood with an ice-cold salt solution.

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Lab-Grown Minibrains Show Activity Similar to Babies’ Brains

By Shelly Fan – Re-Blogged From Singularity Hub

Neurons are a collective bunch. Although each neuron receives, processes, and passes on information individually, the electrical spikes only make sense when melded together in waves of oscillating activity. Like an orchestra, the notes played from each neuron matter. But only when they synchronize in specific ways do single notes transform into the music of thought, memories, and actions.

By studying animals, scientists have long known that even extremely young brains—say, those still in the mother’s womb—gradually generate neural oscillations as they mature. Genetic mutations that disrupt this synchronicity causes the melody to falter, leading to neurodevelopmental problems including autism, epilepsy, or schizophrenia. Yet those ideas remain educated guesses, mostly because it’s impossible to monitor a developing human fetus’s brain.

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Experiments Show Dramatic Increase in Solar Cell Output

By MIT – Re-Blogged From Eureka Alert

Method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit

CAMBRIDGE, MA — In any conventional silicon-based solar cell, there is an absolute limit on overall efficiency, based partly on the fact that each photon of light can only knock loose a single electron, even if that photon carried twice the energy needed to do so. But now, researchers have demonstrated a method for getting high-energy photons striking silicon to kick out two electrons instead of one, opening the door for a new kind of solar cell with greater efficiency than was thought possible.

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A National Narrative for Media on Climate Change

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Those of you who closely watch the media — newspapers, broadcast & streaming  news, national magazines, national public radio — may have noticed that all the news about climate change is beginning to sound the same — regardless of outlet (there are a few sensible exceptions).   This is no accident.  In fact, it is an organized movement among American journalists.

I have written here before about the Editorial Narratives at the New York Times.  Here’s the working definition I proposed for Editorial Narrative:

“Editorial Narrative:  A mandated set of guidelines for the overriding storyline for any news item concerning a specified topic, including required statements, conclusions and intentional slanting towards a particular preferred viewpoint. A statement from the Editors of “How this topic is to be presented.”

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