Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.
This week: Giving touch back to the paralyzed, one step closer to true AI, biology by design, an anti-aging protein, and growing crops in the desert.
A Brain Implant Restores The Sense Of Touch To A Paralyzed Man
A brain implant has restored touch in the hand of a paralyzed man, who described the sensations as mimicking natural touch, according to a new study. The device also helped him sense touch using a robotic hand, paving the way to improving artificial touch in neuroprosthetic limbs.
Google DeepMind Learns From Its Own Memory
The DeepMind artificial intelligence (AI) being developed by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, can now intelligently build on what’s already inside its memory, the system’s programmers have announced.
Their new hybrid system – called a Differential Neural Computer (DNC) – pairs a neural network with the vast data storage of conventional computers, and the AI is smart enough to navigate and learn from this external data bank.
Synthetic Biology Factory Builds Custom Organisms
Raising glasses of genetically modified beer, the synthetic biologists at Ginkgo Bioworks celebrated the launch of a new automated lab last month. By applying engineering principles to biology, and with the help of some nifty robotic equipment, Ginkgo has created a factory for churning out exotic lifeforms, the likes of which have never before been seen on this planet.
The home brew was an example of the potential applications of synthetic biology, a new field that builds on recent progress in genetic assembly methods. Scientists can now manufacture snippets of synthetic DNA and slip them into organisms, giving those critters strange new capabilities.
Scientists Identify Protein That May Control Aging
A protein found within the powerhouse of a cell could be the key to holding back the march of time, research by scientists at The University of Nottingham has shown.
The discovery could offer a new target for drugs that may help to slow the debilitating effects of aging on our bodies.