The next technology that might change the world

Despite all the talk about machines occupying jobs, industrial robots are still clumsy and inflexible. The robot can repeatedly switch to a component of the assembly line with amazing precision and without getting bored at all - but move the object half an inch, or replace it with something a little different and the machine will stumble incompetently or claw in the thin air.

But although the robot cannot yet be programmed to figure out how to absorb anything just by looking at it, as people do, it is now possible to learn how to manipulate the object alone through trial and hypothetical error.

One of these projects is Dactyl, a robot who taught himself to turn the brick of a toy in his fingers. Dactyl, which comes from the nonprofit Open-air in San Francisco, consists of a ready-made robotic hand surrounded by a bunch of lights and cameras. Using what's known as augmented education, the Neural Network program learns to understand and transform mass within a simulated environment before the real hand tries it. Programs, randomly at first, enhance connections within a network over time as they approach their target.

This type of hypothetical practice is usually not transferable to the real world, because it is difficult to simulate things like friction or the various properties of different materials. The Open-air team managed to overcome this by adding randomness to virtual training, giving the robot a proxy for reality mess.

We will need more penetrations for robots to master the advanced ingenuity needed in a real warehouse or factory. But if researchers can use this kind of learning reliably, robots may eventually collect our tools, load our dishwashers, and even help grandmother sleep. - Are Fares

The new nuclear wave of energy

Advanced fusion and fission reactors are approaching reality.

New nuclear designs that gained momentum in the past year make this power source safer and cheaper. Among them is the generation of the fourth fission reactors, the evolution of conventional designs; small unit reactors. Fusion reactors, a technology that seemed out of reach. Developers of fourth-generation fission designs, such as Terrestrial Energy in Canada and TerraPower in Washington, have entered into research and development partnerships with facilities, with the goal of providing the network (perhaps somewhat optimistically) by 2020.

Small, standard reactors produce a model with dozens of megawatts of energy (for comparison, a conventional nuclear reactor produces about 1,000 megawatts). Companies like NuScale in Oregon say mini reactors can save money and reduce environmental and financial risks.

There was progress even infusion. Although no one expected delivery before 2030, companies such as General Fusion and Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a leading MIT company, are making some headway. Fusion is seen by many as a pipe dream, but since reactors cannot melt and not create high-level, long-term waste, they must face much less general resistance than conventional nuclear energy. (Bill Gates is an investor in TerraPower and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.) - Leigh Phillips

Prima prediction

A simple blood test can predict whether a pregnant woman is at risk of giving birth prematurely.


Our genetic material lives mostly within our cells. But small amounts of “cells” RNA and RNA also float in our blood, often released by dead cells. In pregnant women, these cell-free substances are considered an alphabetical soup of nucleic acids from the fetus, placenta, and mother.

Stephen Kwik, a biological engineer at Stanford University, discovered a way to use this to tackle one of the most difficult medication problems: one in every 10 babies born prematurely.

Floating DNA and RNA can provide information that previously required invasive methods to seize cells, such as taking a biopsy from a tumor or a pregnant woman's stomach piercing to perform amniocentesis. What has changed is that it is now easy to detect and sequence small amounts of cell-free genetic material in the blood. In the past few years, researchers have begun to develop blood tests for cancer (by detecting the narrator's DNA from tumor cells) and for prenatal screening for conditions such as Down syndrome.

Tests of these conditions are based on research on genetic mutations in DNA. RNA, on the other hand, is the molecule that regulates gene expression - the amount of protein that is produced from a gene. By sequencing floating RNA in the mother’s blood, earthquakes can detect fluctuations in the expression of seven genes that are secreted as being associated with preterm birth. This allows him to identify potential women giving birth early. Once alerted, doctors can take measures to prevent premature birth and give the baby a better chance of survival.

Quick says the technology behind a blood test is quick and easy, and less than $ 10 to measure. He and his co-workers launched a startup, Akna Dx, to market it.

Good sample in a pill

A small device that swallows detailed pictures of the intestine without anesthesia, even in infants and children.

An intestinal environmental disorder (EED) may be one of the most expensive diseases you have not heard of before. It is characterized by inflammatory intestine that leaks liquids and absorbs food poorly, it is widespread in poor countries, and it is one of the reasons that many people suffer from malnutrition, delayed growth, and never reach the natural height. No one knows exactly what causes EED and how it can be prevented or treated.


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