Month: January 2017

‘Enhanced Humans’ Now Wearing Implants for Diabetes Courtesy of Biohacking Company ""

. A company, courtesy of Michael Brandt and Paul Benigeri, has created a new device that can revolutionize how humans manage their blood sugar levels.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Now is the time for human enhancement. The time where humanity will be relying on implants for survival is coming upon us.

A company, courtesy of Michael Brandt and Paul Benigeri, has created a new device that can revolutionize how humans manage their blood sugar levels. A growing number of entrepreneurs and “biohackers” are slowly starting to use what is known as a continuous glucose monitor or CGM. These are worn under their skin for weeks, providing them information about their bodies.

CGMs have already been in the market about ten years ago but have only become extremely popular for the past few years. They are currently being prescribed by doctors to patients that have Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. They get to test glucose levels (the amount of sugar in one’s blood) and send real-time results via a smart device. The CGMs collect data passively, painlessly and more efficiently.

READ: Scientists to Develop ‘Smart’ Insulin Capsule to Combat Diabetes

According to Business Insider, Brandt and Benigeri, both working on a new CGM at Nootrobox, are making their way towards “human enhancement.” They are developing a direct-to-consumer line of nootropics of “smart drugs.” Nootrobox notes that these smart drugs can improve cognition without relying on conventional practices.

For instance, instead of drinking coffee, consumers can swallow a pill that directly boosts clarity, energy and flow. The San Francisco start-up also doubles as a makeshift lab for biohacking experiments.

Business Insider said that the company is subscribing to what is called intermittent fasting, where humans go without food anywhere from hours to days.

In the same way that a Fitbit can be a motivational way to meet fitness goals, the same thing could be done with a CGM. These devices are built to be small and inconspicious, compared to being pricked by a Christmas tree needle.

Getting a CGM itself isn’t easy if you’re not diabetic. Patients usually need a doctor to prescribe them the device, with the patients going over the results with their physicians. As a result, the FDA has approved only a handful of CGM models.

At Nootrobox, the team even calls out their glucose levels as if it’s a motivational competition. They believe that if they can access the data around their own glucose levels and be healthier, they can stave off obesity, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in the future.

READ: Too Much Alcohol Could Increase the Risk of Fatal Heart Conditions

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New Electric Vehicles to Overtake Gas in 15 Years, Ford Announces ""

New Electric Vehicles to Overtake Gas in 15 Years, Ford Announces

Ford is up for big things this year, including a whopping big announcement that declares the future of electric vehicles.
(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ford is up for big things this year, including a whopping announcement that declares the future of electric vehicles.

Ford CEO Mark Field has confirmed that several new Ford models will receive electric drivetrain options. This can be the result of a previous $4.5 billion investment in electric vehicles to introduce the 13 new models.

According to Electrek, Ford has just confirmed seven of the 13 models, and the list will be more surprising. One of the new models is its flagship F-150 pick-up truck that has “at least” 300 miles of range that can be an on-site generation. There are also two new electric police vehicles and a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid.

Ford said these can be produced as early as 2021. The announcement was made at the Ford Flat Rock factory in Michigan, where the company is making yet another $700 million in an expansion to enable the manufacturing of electric vehicles.

There’s also a new fully-electric small SUV by 2020. It has an estimate range of at least 300 miles, to be sold in North America, Asia and Europe, as well as a high-volume autonomous vehicle for commercial ride hailing or sharing that will debut in 2021.

A hybrid version of the F-150 pick-up by 2020 will be a mobile generator. There’s also a hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that has V8 power and more low-end torque which will debut in 2020.

A Transit Custom plug-in will also be available in 2019 as a hybrid vehicle, as well as two new police vehicles that are pursuit-rated. Both will be fitted with their “police gear” at Ford’s dedicate police vehicle modification center in Chicago.

Ford is making a comeback after making falling behind in electrification over the past few years. It appears Ford’s future is filled with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and some electric vehicles. 

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Deep Learning Algorithm Could Soon Turn Smartphones Into Powerful Detection Tool for Skin Cancer ""

Skin Check-up

A team of computer scientists from the Stanford University has created a powerful artificially intelligent diagnosis algorithm that could detect dangerous skin lesions just like a seasoned dermatologist.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A team of computer scientists from the Stanford University has created a powerful artificially intelligent diagnosis algorithm that could detect dangerous skin lesions just like a seasoned dermatologist.

Their final product, described in a paper published n the journal Nature, was able to match the performance of 21 board-certified dermatologists when it comes to diagnosing skin lesions.

“We realized it was feasible, not just to do something well, but as well as a human dermatologist,” said Sebastian Thrun, an adjunct professor in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, in a press release. “That’s when our thinking changed. That’s when we said, ‘Look, this is not just a class project for students, this is an opportunity to do something great for humanity.'”

For their new deep learning algorithm, the researchers first made a database of nearly 130,000 images of skin lesions representing over 2,000 different diseases. The images were taken from the records of their medical school and different published medical journals.

Using their newly compiled database of skin lesions, the researchers trained an algorithm, which was developed and provided by Google, to visually diagnose potential cancers. Google’s algorithm was already trained to identify 1.28 million images from 1,000 object categories. However, the researchers need to re-train the algorithm because it was initially primed to be able to differentiate cats from dogs.

To test out the accuracy of the newly trained algorithm, the researchers recruited 21 board-certified dermatologists. The researchers asked the dermatologists to determine whether they would proceed with biopsy, treatment or reassure the patient based on each image shown to them.

On the other hand, the algorithm was programmed to assess the lesion through three key diagnostic tasks: keratinocyte carcinoma classification, melanoma classification, and melanoma classification when viewed using dermoscopy.

The performance of the dermatologists was evaluated based on their success in correctly diagnosing both cancerous and non-cancerous lesion in over370 images, while the algorithm’s performance was measured through the creation of a sensitivity-specificity curve.

The researchers found that the algorithm matched the performance of the dermatologists in all three tasks with the area under the sensitivity-specificity curve amounting to at least 91 percent of the total area of the graph.
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© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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A Flying Car? Prototype Ready by End-2017, Airbus CEO Reveals ""

2017 is turning out to be an exciting year in the field of transportation. The Airbus Group plans to test a prototype of its self-piloted flying car as a way to avoid gridlock by the end of 2017. This was confirmed by the group’s chief executive officer.
(Photo : Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

2017 is turning out to be an exciting year in the field of transportation. The Airbus Group plans to test a prototype of its self-piloted flying car as a way to avoid gridlock by the end of 2017. This was confirmed by the group’s chief executive officer.

According to Reuters, it can be recalled that Airbus recently formed a division called the Urban Air Mobility. It’s currently exploring concepts such as flying vehicles that can be used to transport individuals or even helicopter-style vehicles that can carry multiple riders.

The aim is to primarily help people book vehicles using an app, like car-sharing schemes.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders told people in the DLD digital tech conference in Munich that while the trend a few hundred years ago is for people to go underground, we now have the means to go above ground.

He added that he hopes the Airbus could fly a demonstration vehicle for single-person transport by the end of 2017, and that they’re still in an experimental phase. Airbus even considered these technologies as they can help avoid polluting congested cities. He added that using the skies could reduce costs for city infrastructure planners, as there’s no need to pour billions into concrete bridges and roads.

Talking to Slate, Enders added that Airbus, given it’s the world’s “largest maker of commercial helicopters,” wanted to make the most of new technologies in transportation. This includes autonomous driving and artificial intelligence in order to usher what can only be called an era of flying cars. A spokesperson for the company declined to say just how much invested the company is towards urban mobility. 

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Life in 2020 Will Probably Include Superhero Vision, Macroscopes and More, Says IBM ""

IBM Powerpc Copper Processor Chip

Five years from now, here are the amazing innovations that’s set to rock the world.
(Photo : Getty Images/Handout)

Whether it’s the field of science, technology or everything else, a lot can happen in five years. In an aptly-named project called “5 in 5”, IBM predicts the top advancements that will likely be part of the landscape in 2022. Here are the company’s list of up-and-coming technology set to rock the world five years from now.

1 AI will use words to assess mental health

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Words reveal a lot about a person’s well-being. In the future, artificial intelligence is poised to take advantage of this as machine learning and language processing play important roles in observing mental health, leading to quick and accurate diagnosis of conditions like depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, according to the report on the website read.

For their part, IBM is currently developing an automated speech analysis application for mobile devices that can provide an overview of a person’s mental health with just a one-minute speech sample.

2 Superhero vision

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As amazing the gift of eyesight is, it is extremely limited to much of the world. According to the IBM report, over 99.9 percent of the electromagnetic spectrum is beyond the capabilities of the naked eye. Specialized equipment have been invented for specific situations, but five years from now, the technology is expected to be far more accessible.

IBM scientists are already creating a hyperimaging platform that can see “across separate portions of the electromagnetic spectrum”. The advantages to gaining access to things usually beyond human perception is endless; it could provide drivers and self-driving cars a clearer picture of the road even in harsh conditions like fog and snow. It could also give the nutritional value of dishes, check for fraud, and more.

3 Macroscopes

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There are endless streams of data collected by millions and millions of devices all over the world. Macroscope “is a system of software and algorithms to bring all of Earth’s complex data together to analyze it by space and time for meaning.”

In five years, the world will be equipped to gain new insight on the physical world through this technology, in the hopes of addressing fundamental problems like availability of food and water. IBM Research leads the charge by studying macroscope technology at Gallo Winery.

4 Medical lab chips

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Described in the website as “nanotechnology health detectives”, these single-silicon chips are envisioned to process and analyze the body like one would usually have to visit laboratories for. Five years from now, IBM expects this lab-on-a-chip technology to be available in handheld devices that can detect biomarkers in bodily fluids. When combined with data from other devices like smart watches, the chip can provide a detailed overview of a person’s health.

5 Smart sensors for pollution

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Many pollutants like methane are invisible, despite their destructive nature to the Earth’s atmosphere. Thus, detection of these are as important as they are difficult. IBM is developing sensors that will be continuously monitoring the environment for pollutants like methane leaks or oil in the water.

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Scientists Crack Teeth-Regeneration Code, Solution to Dentist Drill? ""

Scientists Crack Teeth-Regeneration Code, Solution To Dentist Drill?

A lot of people hate the dentist. Taking teeth out is perhaps one of the most painful things to have ever happened in anyone’s life, given the amount of nerves connected to a single tooth.
(Photo : Orlando/Getty Images)

A lot of people hate the dentist. Taking teeth out is perhaps one of the most painful things to have ever happened in anyone’s life, given the amount of nerves connected to a single tooth.

However, researchers and dentists may have finally devised a method to regenerate rotten teeth. This can significantly reduce the need for fillings in the future.

According to The Guardian, the therapy works by enhancing the natural ability of the teeth to repair themselves via the activation of stem cells in the soft pulp at its center. 

Normally, the mechanism can only repair small cracks and holes in the dentine. This is the solid bulk of the tooth just beneath the surface enamel. However, scientists have used an Alzheimer’s drug to enhance the natural process. Now the tooth can rebuild cavities extending from the surface to the roof.

According to Nature, Paul Sharpe, who led the study at King’s College London, said this method can significantly make the process cheaper and quicker. After all, almost everyone in the planet has decaying teeth.

The trial that involved mice had them introduce defects and filled with a  biodegradable sponge soaked in the drug. The tooth was gradually able to rebuild itself.

Restoring the tooth’s original dentine structure is preferred because dental cement in conventional fillings weaken the tooth, meaning they are prone to infections in the future, which leads to erosion.

In terms of cavities, the tooth may eventually need to be extracted before undergoing treatment. The new method would encourage tooth repair, which is much more recommended.

The new treatment will also sadly not remove the dentist’s drill as there’s a chance to still need to remove the teeth.

The study uses a drug called the tideglusib, which has been assessed as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment. The drug was seen to be able to stimulate stem cells in the center of the tooth that triggers them to develop into odontoblasts or specialized tooth cells and boost the production of dentine.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, added the scientist drilled holes into the teeth of mice and inserted a sponge with the drug and sealed the tooth with a dental adhesive.

The progress suggests that the sponge has degraded and was replaced with new dentine. Now scientists just have to figure out if the same method could be used in our own teeth.  

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Brainwaves Can Be Passwords, Scientists Explain How EEG Authentication Works ""

Brainwaves Can Be Passwords, Scientists Explain How EEG Authentication Works

Brainwave authentication is one of the many new biometric measures that are being proposed as alternative to passwords. The idea is for authentication to be done with electroencephalogram (EEG) readings.
(Photo : Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images for Barbican Art Gallery)

Brainwave authentication is one of the many new biometric measures that are being proposed as an alternative to passwords. The idea is for authentication to be done with electroencephalogram (EEG) readings.

According to New Scientist, for instance, instead of using a password, a computer can display a series of words and then measure the response via an EEG headset. These signatures are unique and more complex, meaning they are more difficult to hack than a standard password.

However, New Scientist reports that recent research suggests that EEG readings can be able to authenticate someone’s identity with accuracy rates around 94-percent. There are some factors, however, including if we have had too many drinks.

Tommy Chin, a security researcher from cyber security firm Grimm and Peter Muller, a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate student, tested this theory by analyzing the brainwaves of people before and after drinking Fireball shots.

Chin says brainwaves can be manipulated by external influenecs such as opioids, caffeine and alcohol. These make it a significant challenge to verify the authenticity of the user because they drank a lot of alcohol.

Chin and Muller initially presented their findings at a security conference in Washington DC this month. They said brainwave authentication accuracy may fall to 33 percent in drunk users. They recruited more participants at SchmooCon to gather more data.

However, John Chuang at the University of California, Berkeley, said the problem is not just confined to drinks and drugs. He recently published the impact of exercise on EEG authentication and found that accuracy degrades immediately after a workout, though it’s easily recovered. According to New Scientist, he suggests that other factors such as fatigue, stress and hunger can reduce reliability.

It could be possible to collect “templates” for a user by mapping their EEG signatures when drunk, tired and so on in order to measure accuracy in different conditions. Chin and Muller also found it possible to tweak the EEG data analysis using machine learning.  

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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What is Maluuba? Microsoft Grabs AI Tech Bigger Than Facebook, Google ""

What is Maluuba? Microsoft Grabs AI Tech Bigger Than Facebook, Google

Microsoft has just announced this morning that it has finally acquired AI startup Maluuba, a Toronto-based company that wants to use deep learning for language processing.
(Photo : Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Microsoft has just announced this morning that it has finally acquired AI startup Maluuba, a Toronto-based company that wants to use deep learning for language processing. 

According to The Verge, deep learning is an approach in the field of artificial intelligence that is currently in popularity due to incredible achievements that were being made all over the field in over the past five years.

Microsoft recently wrote in a blog announcing the purchase that as they set new milestones for speech and image recognition through deep learning techniques, machine reading and writing will be only a few strikes away. 

Back in summer of 2016, Maluuba shared the results of an AI system that could read and comprehend text with apparently near-human capability. This should currently outperform systems that are being boasted by Google and Facebook.

Microsoft not only bought the company but also established closer ties with Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in the field who also served as an advisor to Maluuba. He will now be the advisor of Microsoft’s AI division.

It appears this system could easily be integrated with Cortana, which is Microsoft’s digital assistant, to help Microsoft consumers deal with everyday chores like e-mail. Maluuba appears to image a system that doesn’t just know what e-mails you receive, but also determine how critical the information each message is. For Microsoft’s new enterprise services, the possibilities are almost endless.

Microsoft said we can even have a future where, instead of searching directories, documents or e-mails to find certain information, one can just communicate with an AI agent that will leverage Maluuba’s machine comprehension capabilities to respond to the request.

The said agent will then be able to answer the question in a company security-compliant manner by having a deeper understanding of the contents of the files. This is severely better than retrieving documents by keyword-matching.This appears to be just one of the hundreds of potential scenarios that could happen with Maluuba pushing the state-of-the-art possibility of machine literacy. 

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Ugandan Engineers Create ‘Smart Jacket’ That Detects Pneumonia ""

Lung xray

Pneumonia accounts for 16 percent of all deaths of children below five years old in 2015.
(Photo : American Cancer Society via Getty Images)

Pneumonia kills hundreds of thousands of children worldwide every year, and diagnosis is a big part of the challenge. A team of Ugandan engineers offers hope against the deadly disease by developing what they call a “smart jacket” that can diagnose pneumonia even faster than a doctor.

According to a report from Medical Xpress, a pair of telecommunications engineering graduates Olivia Koburongo and Brian Turyabagye, along with a team of doctors, developed the innovative kit that they also dubbed the Mama-Ope or Mother’s Hope. This kit included the biomedical smart jacket, plus the mobile application that takes care of the diagnosis.

It’s a straight-forward piece of technology. Health workers simply have patients wear the jacket, then the sensors will proceed to measure the lungs’ sound patterns, temperature and breathing rate.

“The processed information is sent to a mobile phone app (via Bluetooth) which analyses the information in comparison to known data so as to get an estimate of the strength of the disease,” Turyabagye explained.

The team’s studies revealed that their kit can diagnose pneumonia three times faster than a doctor, who typically uses a stethoscope to listen for respiratory distress. The smart jacket also reduces the likelihood of human error as medics can also attribute abnormalities in the lungs to other conditions such as malaria or tuberculosis.

Koburongo added, “The problem we’re trying to solve is diagnosing pneumonia at an early stage before it gets severe and we’re also trying to solve the problem of not enough manpower in hospitals because currently we have a doctor to patient ratio which is one to 24,000 in the country.”

The engineer came up with the idea for the wearable when her grandmother had to be trasferred to different hospitals before being properly diagnosed with pneumonia.

Now, the team is working on patenting the kit as well as piloting it in Uganda’s referral hospitals.

And not a moment sooner. According to the fact sheet from the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumonia accounts for 16 percent of all deaths of children below five years old in 2015. In that year, over 900,000 children died of the disease.

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Robots Should be Considered as ‘Electronic Persons,’ EU Proposes ""

There appears to be a resolution that grants robots legal status in order to hold them “responsible for acts or omissions” that may be passed by the European Parliament legal affairs committee.
(Photo : Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

There appears to be a resolution that grants robots’ legal status in order to hold them “responsible for acts or omissions” that may be passed by the European Parliament legal affairs committee.

If this pushes through, this effectively grants legal status to “robots” and categorizes them as “electronic persons.” According to the Independent, MEPs have voted to proposes such legal status, adding that the legislation is needed to focus on how the machines can be held responsible for their “acts or omissions.”

The draft report, as tabled by Mady Delvaux-Stehres, states that current rules are “insufficient” for what it calls the “technological revolution.” The proposal pushes for the EU to establish “basic ethical principles to avoid parental pitfalls.”

Delvaux-Stehres’ resolution has easily gone through the EU’s legal affairs committee. The vote by the full parliament is expected to take place in February. The report suggests that robots and other manifestations of AI, i.e., bots and androids, will likely “leave no stratum of society untouched” as they are poised to “unleash a new industrial revolution.”

The more autonomous the robots are, the less they can be considered as “tools” for actors such as owners, users and manufacturers. This effectively calls for new rules which focus on how a machine can be held — partly or entirely — responsible for its actions.

This legal framework is needed, according to Delvaux-Stehres, to ensure that robots “are and will remain in the service of humans.”

In an Independent report, just last year, Google introduced a life-like “robot dog” that can clean houses, while in May, the teach company announced that German researchers were already in the process of creating an artificial nervous system that can let robots experience pain.

The Independent, however, this highlights an important moral dilemma: in some situations, for instance self-driving robots, the robot driver might have to deliberately crash a car, effectively killing everyone in it, in order to avoid killing others outside of it.  

© 2016 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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