Deep learning enables identification and optimization of RNA-based tools for myriad applications

Deep learning takes on synthetic biology
Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

DNA and RNA have been compared to “instruction manuals” containing the information needed for living “machines” to operate. But while electronic machines like computers and robots are designed from the ground up to serve a specific purpose, biological organisms are governed by a much messier, more complex set of functions that lack the predictability of binary code. Inventing new solutions to biological problems requires teasing apart seemingly intractable variables—a task that is daunting to even the most intrepid human brains.


Two teams of scientists from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised pathways around this roadblock by going beyond human brains; they developed a set of machine learning algorithms that can analyze reams of RNA-based “toehold” sequences and predict which ones will be most effective at sensing and responding to a desired target sequence. As reported in

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Hiya Enables Quantum Assurance International, Inc. to Connect With Customers With a New Voice Performance Strategy

Hiya Connect drives higher answer and conversion rates while delivering industry-leading intelligence to the Quantum Assurance team

Hiya, the leading call performance management cloud, today announced a new partnership with Quantum Assurance International, Inc. to drive higher answer and conversion rates with the Branded Calls feature and proactive reputation management. With the new voice performance strategy, Quantum Assurance has significantly improved customer experience, increased workforce productivity, and boosted brand awareness.

As an independent insurance company that makes more than 500,000 calls per month, Quantum Assurance has seen an immediate business impact with Hiya Connect’s Branded Calls and reputation management services, including:

  • Answer rates have increased 17%, enabling agents to more efficiently reach customers who are actively shopping for insurance quotes;

  • Call durations have increased 19%, providing for more engaging conversations that lead to higher sales conversions;

  • Calls answered on the first attempt have increased 10%, optimizing the agents’ calling efforts

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Discovery enables adult skin to regenerate like a newborn’s — ScienceDaily

A newly identified genetic factor allows adult skin to repair itself like the skin of a newborn babe. The discovery by Washington State University researchers has implications for better skin wound treatment as well as preventing some of the aging process in skin.

In a study, published in the journal eLife on Sept. 29, the researchers identified a factor that acts like a molecular switch in the skin of baby mice that controls the formation of hair follicles as they develop during the first week of life. The switch is mostly turned off after skin forms and remains off in adult tissue. When it was activated in specialized cells in adult mice, their skin was able to heal wounds without scarring. The reformed skin even included fur and could make goose bumps, an ability that is lost in adult human scars.

“We were able to take the innate ability of

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Virtual work enables a more sustainable future

The UN believes 14 of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be solved or advanced through virtual work. Living and working in a sustainable way is more than just good business. It can impact everything from socioeconomics to diversity to climate issues. 

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Karen Mangia, best-selling author of Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work For You and vice president customer and market insights at Salesforce, and I had the privilege of hosting an interactive roundtable with brilliant leaders from around the world who are investing to build a more sustainable future as part of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sustainability Week.

“If there’s one thing for certain in 2020, it’s the fact that it’s no longer business as usual,” Natalia Latimer, vice president at Salesforce, shares to open the session. “Now is the time to recommit to company values and broaden the idea

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Metallic carbon circuit element enables work on faster, efficient carbon-based transistors — ScienceDaily

Transistors based on carbon rather than silicon could potentially boost computers’ speed and cut their power consumption more than a thousandfold — think of a mobile phone that holds its charge for months — but the set of tools needed to build working carbon circuits has remained incomplete until now.

A team of chemists and physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, has finally created the last tool in the toolbox, a metallic wire made entirely of carbon, setting the stage for a ramp-up in research to build carbon-based transistors and, ultimately, computers.

“Staying within the same material, within the realm of carbon-based materials, is what brings this technology together now,” said Felix Fischer, UC Berkeley professor of chemistry, noting that the ability to make all circuit elements from the same material makes fabrication easier. “That has been one of the key things that has been missing in the big

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NASA technology enables precision landing without a pilot

NASA technology enables precision landing without a pilot
The Apollo 11 landing ellipse, shown here, was 11 miles by 3 miles. Precision landing technology will reduce landing area drastically, allowing for multiple missions to land in the same region. Credit: NASA

Some of the most interesting places to study in our solar system are found in the most inhospitable environments—but landing on any planetary body is already a risky proposition. With NASA planning robotic and crewed missions to new locations on the Moon and Mars, avoiding landing on the steep slope of a crater or in a boulder field is critical to helping ensure a safe touch down for surface exploration of other worlds. In order to improve landing safety, NASA is developing and testing a suite of precise landing and hazard-avoidance technologies.


A combination of laser sensors, a camera, a high-speed computer, and sophisticated algorithms will give spacecraft the artificial eyes and analytical capability to find a

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