For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation.
Seven years ago a modest NASA research program aimed at developing the ability to capture, analyze, and recreate subvocal speech was initiated as part of NASA’s Extension of the Human Senses program. The subvocal speech-recognition research, headed by Dr. Charles Jorgensen, was initially aimed at developing silent communication and speech augmentation in extremely noisy environments such as the space station. It soon became clear that the technology could have many other applications as well; it could enable bodyguards, security personal, or Special Forces during highly covert operations to communicate without detection, and tank commanders to give orders even during noisy fighting conditions. The technology also has many civilian applications, enabling users to talk with privacy even in the company of others or in very noisy environments. Firefighters and other help and rescue personal could use the technology in their daily routines (as this NASA video shows), as could people with vocal cord disorders. Finally, the technology could find its way into the gaming market as a way to send specific commands to team members in multiplayer games.
An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence.
The more innovative or “semantically distant” your responses are to this simple test, the more creative you probably are in your professional and artistic pursuits, according to a recent study published in the journal Behavior Research Methods.
Occipital’s Structure Sensor turns the iPad into a powerful 3D-capture device. It works with apps specifically designed to use the sensor to scan and capture 3D information about an object or environment. You can use the sensor for a wide range of tasks — from object capture to augmented-reality games.
When cloud formations take physical shape, neither their scale nor duration has an upper bound: We may begin to see cloud towns, then cloud cities, and ultimately cloud countries. At first this sounds rather implausible. Perhaps the internet will spur a wave of internal migrations as online communities begin gathering in person — but could this process really lead to a new city, or country?
Where does consciousness come from? According to Koch, consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system. All animals, from humans on down to earthworms, are conscious; even the internet could be. That’s just the way the universe works.
You may not have heard of “the peanut butter test,” but it could become a fantastically low-cost and non-invasive way to test for Alzheimer’s. After all, what’s less invasive than asking someone to smell some delicious peanut butter?
We literally have the ability to tell stories in ways not possible before this in human history. Plays, books, radio, movies and TV all changed the way stories were delivered, but not the fundamental structures of the stories told or the relationship between the storyteller and the audience. With immersive, open-ended, multi-user worlds, we no longer have one teller and many listeners; instead we have thousands or millions of points of view in the same world at the same time, creating meaning out of their actions and events in the world. With this, for the first time we have the potential to create new kinds of stories: stories that, in one way to put it, are asked, not told.—Mike Sellers, video game designer and AI researcher
Nerve cells communicate through short, fleeting pulses of electrical activity. Yet some memories stored in the brain can persist for decades. Research into how the nervous system bridges these two radically different time scales has been going on for decades, and a number of different ideas have picked up some experimental support.