Tag: Research

Psychology Around the Net: April 20, 2019

Get the latest on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of trigger warnings, the cognitive perks of coffee you might get without even drinking it, why businesses lose when they ignore mental health, and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net. Espresso Yourself: Coffee Thoughts Leave a Latte On the Mind: Researchers from the Monash […]

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AI helps four-legged robots find their footing

There’s quite a few quadrupedal robots out there, the most impressive of which might be Boston Dynamics’ Spot. But they have a problem in common: figuring out where to step so that they don’t become stuck or fall over. Luckily, a team of scientists at the University of Oxford, Sabanci University in Istanbul, and the […]

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Amazon Alexa scientists find ways to improve speech and sound recognition

How do assistants like Alexa discern sound? The answer lies in two Amazon research papers scheduled to be presented at this year’s International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing in Aachen, Germany. Ming Sun, a senior speech scientist in the Alexa Speech group, detailed them this morning in a blog post. “We develop[ed] a […]

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AI estimates depression severity from sight and sound

Detecting emotional arousal from the sound of someone’s voice is one thing — startups like Beyond Verbal, Affectiva, and MIT spinout Cogito are leveraging natural language processing to accomplish just that. But there’s an argument to be made that speech alone isn’t enough to diagnose someone with depression, let alone judge its severity. Enter new […]

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Google’s MorphNet optimizes AI models without sacrificing accuracy

Machine learning algorithms have a fatal flaw: they’re costly to fine-tune (in terms of time and resources) from scratch for specific apps. Some automated approaches attempt to expedite the process by searching for suitable existing models, but researchers at Google’s AI research division have a better idea. In a blog post published this afternoon and […]

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Trilobites: Look What the Cat Dragged In: Parasites

Domestic animals can contract parasites from insects and ticks, prey, soil or other animals and can spread them to humans, pets or wildlife. Dogs can give humans rabies, and cows can give people a diarrhea-causing parasite called Cryptosporidium. But dogs often only go outside with their owners on leashes, and cows don’t usually get to […]

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‘Partly Alive’: Scientists Revive Cells in Brains From Dead Pigs

In a study that raises profound questions about the line between life and death, researchers have restored some cellular activity to brains removed from slaughtered pigs. The brains did not regain anything resembling consciousness: There were no signs indicating coordinated electrical signaling, necessary for higher functions like awareness and intelligence. But in an experimental treatment, […]

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Harvard Medical School’s AI estimates protein structures up to 7 times faster than previous methods

The recipe for proteins — the fundamental building blocks of tissues, muscles, enzymes, and antibodies — is encoded in DNA. It’s these genetic dictionaries that define proteins’ three-dimensional structures and determine their functions, but predicting how their amino acid components will interact is notoriously difficult. DNA only contains information about chains of amino acid residues, […]

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Understanding Facebook’s Algorithm Could Change How You See Yourself

When we go online these days, we know we’re not alone: The internet is looking back at us. Our clicks give us the information and products we ask for, but at the same time they provide information about us. Algorithms then make use of that data to curate our search results, our social media feeds, […]

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Gun Research Is Suddenly Hot

In 1996, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped funding research into the causes of gun violence. And for decades the field suffered from neglect: low funding and a corresponding limited interest in academia. Then came a series of high-profile mass shootings. And donations from billionaires. A result has been a recent surge in […]

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Stanford Clears Professor of Helping With Gene-Edited Babies Experiment

Stanford University has cleared Stephen Quake, a bioengineering professor, of any wrongdoing in his interactions with a Chinese researcher who roiled the scientific world by creating the first gene-edited babies. “In evaluating evidence and witness statements, we found that Quake observed proper scientific protocol,” said a letter from the university to Dr. Quake, obtained by […]

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Trilobites: You Need Vitamin D to Live. How Could This Woman Survive With None in Her Blood?

In 1992, a 33-year-old Lebanese woman had just immigrated to Canada and went to see a doctor. She was hunched over, and had limited mobility in her lower back, neck, shoulders and hips. Her doctor, Raymond Lewkonia at the University of Calgary, diagnosed her with ankylosing spondylitis, a medical condition that causes vertebrae in her […]

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F.B.I. Bars Some China Scholars From Visiting U.S. Over Spying Fears

BEIJING — Just as he had on previous trips, Zhu Feng bolted down his lunch at a Los Angeles airport before sprinting to catch his Air China flight back to Beijing. Suddenly, two F.B.I. agents blocked the Chinese scholar at the boarding gate and ordered him to hand over his passport. They flipped to the […]

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Gene-Edited Babies: What a Chinese Scientist Told an American Mentor

PALO ALTO, Calif. — “Success!” read the subject line of the email. The text, in imperfect English, began: “Good News! The women is pregnant, the genome editing success!” The sender was He Jiankui, an ambitious, young Chinese scientist. The recipient was his former academic adviser, Stephen Quake, a star Stanford bioengineer and inventor. “Wow, that’s […]

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Psychology Around the Net: April 13, 2019

Ready for the latest in the benefits of animal-assisted therapy, a sneaky but super effective way to compliment your kids, why certain habits can be signs of mental illness, and more? Let’s get this week’s Psychology Around the Net going, then! The 5-Minute Workout That Could Boost Brain Function: According to preliminary results from a […]

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How Katie Bouman Accidentally Became the Face of the Black Hole Project

As the first-ever picture of a black hole was unveiled this week, another image began making its way around the internet: a photo of a young scientist, clasping her hands over her face and reacting with glee to an image of an orange ring of light, circling a deep, dark abyss. It was a photo […]

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AI predicts hospital readmission rates from clinical notes

Electronic health records store valuable information about hospital patients, but they’re often sparse and unstructured, making them difficult for potentially labor- and time-saving AI systems to parse. Fortunately, researchers at New York University and Princeton have developed a framework that evaluates clinical notes (i.e., descriptions of symptoms, reasons for diagnoses, and radiology results) and autonomously […]

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Amazon’s AI improves bass response, loudness, and echo cancellation on Echo devices

Ever heard of “multiband dynamics processing” (MBDP)? It’s a technique that modifies the volume of an audio signal across frequency bands, often with the effect of improving echo cancellation. But it’s not without its drawbacks. Namely, it doesn’t always cleanly separate signals into their component frequencies and it tends to use fixed bands, which in […]

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