Neuroscientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of Williams Syndrome

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Williams Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 1 in 10,000 babies born in the United States, produces a range of symptoms including cognitive impairments, cardiovascular problems, and extreme friendliness, or hypersociability. In a study of mice, MIT neuroscientists have garnered new insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie this hypersociability. They found that loss of one of the genes linked to Williams Syndrome leads to a thinning of the fatty layer that insulates neurons and helps them conduct electrical signals in the brain. The researchers also showed that they could reverse the symptoms by boosting production of this coating, known as myelin. This is significant, because while Williams Syndrome is rare, many other neurodevelopmental disorders and neurological conditions have been linked to myelination deficits, says Guoping Feng, the James W. and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience and a member of MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research.


A university leader's glossary for AI and machine learning Inside Higher Ed

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Artificial intelligence, it seems, is infiltrating every corner of higher education. From improving the efficiency of sprinkler systems to supporting students with virtual teaching assistants, AI has quickly become a near-ubiquitous presence on some campuses. Colleges and universities are being asked to do more with less as they grapple with shifting demographics and the need to not just respond to, but also anticipate, the needs of today's students. And early returns suggest that AI can play a role in helping institutions tackle pernicious challenges -- from "summer melt" to student engagement -- and enable students to navigate the complexity of financial aid, admissions, campus life and course scheduling. In response, a growing number of products are touting AI and machine learning as part of their sales pitch.


Machine Learning Can Now Help Farmers Choose Crops Ripe For Harvesting

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Over the past few years, robotics has witnessed a tremendous transformation and is invading other industries. And among all, agriculture is one such sector that is making the best out of robotics -- not only in terms of problems with labour shortages in agriculture but also in terms of reducing food waste. Vegetable harvesting is one of those fields in agriculture that has witnessed some of the most technological advances. Harvesting needs a significant amount of human labour, and while many vegetables don't need much care, there are few types of greens that need to be a lot of precision. Iceberg lettuce is one such crop that grows relatively flat to the ground, and can easily be damaged, posing a challenge for harvesters.


TMRW, UOB's New Digital Bank, Brings Self-Driving Finance to ASEAN Millennials

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"TMRW makes banking simpler, more transparent and more engaging for its customers through the use of data. It translates transaction data into actionable insights to make the banking experience interesting and fun while enabling its customers to be smarter at saving and spending. As customers spend more time with TMRW, the mobile-only bank becomes even more familiar with their wants and needs to serve each one better."


Elon Musk's Neuralink Could Merge AI with the Human Brain - Docwire News

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Elon Musk recently gave a presentation on Neuralink, his newest venture designed to create computer-brain interfaces. Founded in 2017, the company is experimenting with a minimally invasive brain implant that utilizes "threads" to reduce the amount of damage done to surrounding brain tissue compared to current implanted devices. Musk spoke on the unnecessary size of most current implants, saying that a smaller chip could be used in their place. Providing patients with a smaller, less obstructive brain implant is exactly what Neuralink is aiming to do with their product. In the presentation, Musk also said he sees Neuralink potentially bridging the gap between the human brain and artificial intelligence as well.


Here's How Elon Musk Plans to Put a Computer in Your Brain

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Elon Musk doesn't think his newest endeavor, revealed Tuesday night after two years of relative secrecy, will end all human suffering. At a presentation at the California Academy of Sciences, hastily announced via Twitter and beginning a half hour late, Musk presented the first product from his company Neuralink. It's a tiny computer chip attached to ultrafine, electrode-studded wires, stitched into living brains by a clever robot. And depending on which part of the two-hour presentation you caught, it's either a state-of-the-art tool for understanding the brain, a clinical advance for people with neurological disorders, or the next step in human evolution. The chip is custom-built to receive and process the electrical action potentials--"spikes"--that signal activity in the interconnected neurons that make up the brain.


Artificial skin can sense 1000 times faster than human nerves

New Scientist

An artificial skin that senses temperature and pressure can send signals 1000 times faster than the human nervous system. The skin could one day cover prosthetic limbs to help people use them better or be used on robots to help them sense their surroundings. Benjamin Tee at the National University of Singapore and his colleagues created the artificial skin, consisting of physical sensors that can detect pressure, bend, and temperature, placed inside a layer of plastic. All of the sensors are connected together using a single wire, meaning that the measurement from across the skin arrive at the same time."In If you have 1000 sensors, and each one takes 1 millisecond to scan, then the entire scanning operation will take 1 full second."


Tesla is cutting the price of its top-selling Model 3

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tesla Powerwalls and Solar Roof, two of Elon Musk's innovative strategies to get consumers onto the solar grid, require waits of six months or longer. The company says customers are hungry, but it doesn't have the product yet. Tesla is cutting the price of the Model 3, as it aims to make its best-selling product more affordable, and is discontinuing versions of other vehicles. Tesla said on Monday that it's reducing the price of the Model 3 by $1,000 to $38,990. The company will no longer sell the standard range versions of the Model S and Model X, raising the minimum costs consumers will have to pay for those cars.


Elon Musk touts brain implant technology to treat health conditions, enable 'telepathy'

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Elon Musk wants to link human brains with computers. The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors is exploring just such a connection through another company he has launched, called Neuralink. Elon Musk has revealed that his stealth neurotechnology start-up is poised to begin human clinical trials soon on brain implants. Musk's Neuralink gave a presentation late Tuesday and released a white paper divulging details of its progress on implants that could eventually enable patients to overcome devastating injuries. The company, which has been pursuing the technology for years with Musk's financial backing and leadership, touted its initial results as promising for potentially treating conditions such as Alzheimer's, spinal injuries and blindness.


Uber drivers and other gig workers in California could get better pay under proposed law

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Some Uber drivers in New York City want to see a decrease in the commission taken by the company. SAN FRANCISCO -- Gig economy workers are increasingly ubiquitous, shuttling us to appointments and delivering our food while working for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and others. Thanks in large part to the app-based tech boom emanating from this city, 36% of U.S. workers participate in the gig economy, according to Gallup. But not all gigs are created equal, Gallup adds, noting that so-called "contingent gig workers" experience their workplace "like regular employees do, just without the benefits of a traditional job -- benefits, pay and security." California lawmakers are weighing what is considered a pro-worker bill that, if passed into law, would set a national precedent that fundamentally redefines the relationship between worker and boss by forcing corporations to pay up.