Sunday, June 6, 2010
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From: "Newsfeed to Email Gateway" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Jun 4, 2010 4:15 PM
Subject: K21st - Essential 21st Century Knowledge (3 new items)
K21st - Essential 21st Century Knowledge (3 new items)
Item 1 (06/04/10 19:20:39 UTC): Part-Human, Part-Machine Transistor Devised : Discovery News
Man and machine can now be linked more intimately than ever, according to a new article in the journal ACS Nano Letters. Scientists have embedded a nano-sized transistor inside a cell-like membrane and powered it using the cell's own fuel.
The research could lead to new types of man-machine interactions where embedded devices could relay information about the inner workings of disease-related proteins inside the cell membrane, and eventually lead to new ways to read, and even influence, brain or nerve cells.
"This device is as close to the seamless marriage of biological and electronic structures as anything else that people did before," said Aleksandr Noy, a scientist at the University of California, Merced who is a co-author on the recent ACS Nano Letters. "We can take proteins, real biological machines, and make them part of a working microelectronic circuit."
Item 2 (06/04/10 17:53:43 UTC): The latest version of the LittleDog Robot
The small four-legged robot LittleDog, from Boston Dynamics, has acquired an impressive array of improved locomotion skills thanks to researchers at the University of Southern California. The scampering robot shows off some of these skills in a new video, performing deft maneuvers to overcome obstacles and using machine-learning to plan its steps over tricky surfaces.
While its larger counterpart BigDog can recover from unexpected obstacles, like sliding on ice, LittleDog has to more cautiously plan its step to carefully but quickly move over rough, unfamiliar terrain.
DARPA introduced the 5-inch-tall robot a few years ago when it began its robot locomotion initiative, asking several universities to improve LittleDog's learning, control, environment perception and locomotion. At about 5 pounds, LittleDog uses a host of sensors and three motors in each of its four legs, a camera and a machine-learning algorithm to find good footholds autonomously.
The video below from USC shows LittleDog walking autonomously in real-time, successfully navigating rocky terrain, a staircase, and performing special moves to get over barriers and avoid a gap. The program also lets it recover when it falls or stumbles. Neat stuff.
Via: Technology Review
Item 3 (06/04/10 11:31:11 UTC): How to live to be 100+ : Dan Buettner
To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. At TEDxTC, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100. National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner studies the world's longest-lived peoples, distilling their secrets into a single plan for health and long life.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jason Bobe" <email@example.com>
Date: Jun 4, 2010 7:45 AM
Subject: BioWeatherMap -- 4 volunteers needed, each with a $1 note
To: "DIYbio" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am looking for 4 volunteers who can send me in the mail today a $1
bill for a citizen science pilot project, preferably by USPS 2 day
priority mail (stamp costs $4.90). I need to have the bill in my
hands here in Boston by next Wednesday.
I am conducting a "BioWeatherMap" pilot project where we will be using
next generation DNA sequencing to uniquely identify the microbes
living on U.S. or international currency. For this project, we will
extract the microbial DNA on the surface of the currency you submit
and then utilize a pre-commercial "desktop DNA sequencer" to sequence
a specific portion of the microbial DNA. This will enable us to
identify the microbes present on each piece of currency. We aim to
make the microbial DNA sequence data publicly available, alongside the
serial numbers from each bill so you will be able to look for yourself
and see what microbes were hitching a ride in your wallet. There is
the possibility that you will attain the status of "most (species)
rich wallet" -- a coveted distinction in our society.
I have 4 slots available in the next sequencing run. The first 4
people to contact me can participate in this round. I will follow-up
with detailed instructions (3 step process) and mailing address.
If anyone is able to volunteer for this today and put a $1 note in the
mail (today), please send me a note off list: jasonbobe [[[\\
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