The ramifications of a new type of gene

WHAT’S a gene? You might think biologists had worked that one out by now. But the question is more slippery than may at first appear. The conventional answer is something like, “a piece of DNA that encodes the structure of a particular protein”. Proteins so created run the body. Genes, meanwhile, are passed on in sperm and eggs to carry the whole More...

by PunditX | Published 2 days ago
By PunditX On Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
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Report: Cave Art Predates Humans

There was art and bling before there were modern humans, researchers say. According to a report from European researchers in the journal Science, paintings of animals, hand stencils and other drawings found in More...

By PunditX On Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
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Finding more time to detect a tsunami

TSUNAMI are terrible things. And part of their terror lies in their unpredictability. Even when a submarine earthquake that may cause one is detected, the information that is needed to determine whether a giant More...

By PunditX On Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
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Making anaesthesia safer by tracking brain activity

AROUND 1936 three neurologists at Harvard Medical School raided the medicine cabinet, filling their boots with morphine, barbiturates, ethers and even cobra venom. They applied those substances to (apparently) More...

By PunditX On Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
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Boston Dynamics' Headless Robot Dog Can Open Doors

The scariest scene since a pair of Velociraptors opened a kitchen door in “Jurassic Park” is tame compared with the headless robot dogs generated by Boston Dynamics that can negotiate stairs, open doors More...

By PunditX On Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
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AI, Fake Audio-Video Technology Are Game Changers for Election Meddling

Researchers are warning that advances in artificial intelligence could supercharge hacking and election meddling by 2020. In a report released Wednesday, researchers at Oxford and Cambridge universities concluded More...

By PunditX On Monday, February 19th, 2018
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Researchers Find Breakthrough in Search for Autism Blood Test

Researchers in a new study discovered a blood test could determine with as much as 90 percent accuracy whether a child has autism. A University of Warwick project aimed to figure out whether autism spectrum disorder More...

By PunditX On Saturday, February 17th, 2018
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Researchers Grow Sheep Embryos Containing Human Cells

Researchers on Saturday announced they had grown sheep embryos containing human cells, an advance that opens the door for growing transplant organs inside animals and offers the possibility of genetically tailoring More...

By PunditX On Friday, February 16th, 2018
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Computer programs recognise white men better than black women

SOFTWARE that recognises faces has bounded ahead in recent years, propelled by a boom in a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning (see article). Several firms now offer face recognition as a commercial More...

By PunditX On Friday, February 16th, 2018
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For artificial intelligence to thrive, it must explain itself

SCIENCE fiction is littered with examples of intelligent computers, from HAL 9000 in “2001: A Space Odyssey” to Eddie in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. One thing such fictional machines have in More...