AI researchers challenge a robot to ride a skateboard in simulation

AI researchers say they’ve created a framework for controlling four-legged robots that promises better energy efficiency and adaptability than more traditional model-based gait control of robotic legs. To demonstrate the robust nature of the framework that adjusts to conditions in real time, AI researchers made the system slip on frictionless surfaces to mimic a banana peel, ride a skateboard, and climb on a bridge while walking on a treadmill. An Nvidia spokesperson told VentureBeat that only the frictionless surface test was conducted in real life because of limits placed on office staff size due to COVID-19. The spokesperson said all other challenges took place in simulation. (Simulations are often used as training data for robotics systems before those systems are used in real life.)

“Our framework learns a controller that can adapt to challenging environmental changes on the fly, including novel scenarios not seen during training. The learned controller is

Read More
Read More

Researchers use multi-ancestry comparison to refine risk factors for coronary artery disease — ScienceDaily

An international group led by researchers from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences have used a combination of genome-wide association analysis — or GWAS — and a trans-ancestry comparison of different GWAS studies, to come up with a more accurate predictor of coronary artery disease based on genetic factors.

It is known that coronary artery disease — the world’s leading cause of death — is highly heritable, and in some cases, most notably the PCSK9 gene, the knowledge of genetic associations has contributed to the development of therapies. Genetic Risk Scores based on genetic information can accurately predict the onset of disease in individuals. However, studies so far have focused primarily on European populations, and it is not clear whether the results apply to other ancestry populations.

In the present study, published in Nature Genetics, the team performed two important tasks. First, they looked at the genetics of

Read More
Read More

Researchers solve 100-year-old metallurgy puzzle

LLNL team solves 100-year-old metallurgy puzzle
To understand exactly how metals respond to high-rate compression in molecular dynamics simulations, LLNL scientists use novel methods of in silico microscopy to reveal defects in the crystal lattice (green and red line objects and gray surface objects at the top) while removing all the atoms (yellow balls at the bottom) for clarity. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

To solve a 100-year puzzle in metallurgy about why single crystals show staged hardening while others don’t, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists took it down to the atomistic level.


The research appears in the Oct. 5 edition of Nature Materials.

For millennia, humans have exploited the natural property of metals to become stronger or harden when mechanically deformed. Ultimately rooted in the motion of dislocations, mechanisms of metal hardening have remained in the crosshairs of physical metallurgists for more than a century.

The team headed by LLNL materials scientist Vasily

Read More
Read More

Team of materials researchers explores new domains of the compositionally complex metals — ScienceDaily

The most significant advances in human civilization are marked by the progression of the materials that humans use. The Stone Age gave way to the Bronze Age, which in turn gave way to the Iron Age. New materials disrupt the technologies of the time, improving life and the human condition.

Modern technologies can likewise be directly traced to innovations in the materials used to make them, as exemplified by the use of silicon in computer chips and state-of-the-art steels that underpin infrastructure. For centuries, however, materials and alloy design have relied on the use of a base, or principal, element, to which small fractions of other elements are added. Take steel, for instance, in which tiny amounts of carbon added to the principal element iron (Fe), lead to improved properties. When small amounts of other elements are added, the steel can be tailored for, say, enhanced corrosion resistance or improved

Read More
Read More

Researchers find ‘Queen of the Ocean’ ancient great white shark off Nova Scotia coast

Researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia found a nearly 2-ton great white shark believed to be roughly 50 years old, dubbing her a true “Queen of the Ocean.”

Coming in at more than 17 feet long and 3,541 pounds, she is the largest shark the group has been able to sample in the Northwest Atlantic, according to a Friday Facebook post by OCEARCH, a non-profit marine research organization. She’s been named Nukumi for “the legendary wise old grandmother figure” of the Indigenous Mi’kmaq people, a First Nations group native to that region of Canada.

Chris Fischer, the OCEARCH expedition leader, called Nukumi a “proper Queen of the Ocean” in a video log posted Saturday.

“She’s probably 50-years-old and certainly her first litters of pups she would have been having 30 years ago are also making babies, really humbling to stand next to a large animal like that,” Fischer said.

Read More
Read More

Interdisciplinary team of researchers combines image-based particle analysis with artificial intelligence — ScienceDaily

From pollen forecasting, honey analysis and climate-related changes in plant-pollinator interactions, analysing pollen plays an important role in many areas of research. Microscopy is still the gold standard, but it is very time consuming and requires considerable expertise. In cooperation with Technische Universität (TU) Ilmenau, scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have now developed a method that allows them to efficiently automate the process of pollen analysis. Their study has been published in the specialist journal New Phytologist.

Pollen is produced in a flower’s stamens and consists of a multitude of minute pollen grains, which contain the plant’s male genetic material necessary for its reproduction. The pollen grains get caught in the tiny hairs of nectar-feeding insects as they brush past and are thus transported from flower to flower. Once there, in the ideal scenario, a pollen

Read More
Read More

Researchers identify a new source of protein for humans — ScienceDaily

Rapeseed has the potential to replace soy as the best plant-based source of protein for humans. In a current study, nutrition scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Another advantage: The proteins can be obtained from the by-products of rapeseed oil production. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

For a balanced and healthy diet, humans need protein. “It contains essential amino acids which can not be synthesized in the body,” says Professor Gabriele Stangl from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at MLU. Meat and fish are important sources of high-quality proteins. However, certain plants can also provide valuable proteins. “Soy is generally considered the best source of plant protein as it contains a particularly beneficial composition of amino acids,” says Stangl.

Read More
Read More

Newly Discovered ‘Extreme’ Alien Planet Is Super Hot At 5,800 Fahrenheit, Researchers Reveal

KEY POINTS

  • CHEOPS has released the results of its observation on alien planet WASP-189b
  • WASP-189b’s orbit is tilted dramatically and orbits its star every 2.7 Earth days
  • WASP-189b has temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit

The European Space Agency’s Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) has recently discovered an alien planet about 1.6 times the size of Jupiter. Aside from having a strange orbit, it is also scorching hot.

WASP-189b, the newly discovered alien planet, was first detected in 2018 and has been recorded to have temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit — almost as hot as Earth’s outer core and is even hot enough to turn iron into gas, ESA’s study revealed.

Aside from having a size comparable to Jupiter, the exoplanet is also considered a “Hot Jupiter” due to its extremely short orbital period (2.7 Earth days). A Hot Jupiter is a gas planet with a “Jupiter-like” size that orbits very close to its

Read More
Read More

Biomedical sciences researchers find new way to prevent and cure rotavirus, other viral infections — ScienceDaily

A combination of two substances secreted by the immune system can cure and prevent rotavirus infection, as well as potentially treat other viral infections that target epithelial cells, which cover body surfaces such as skin, blood vessels, organs and the urinary tract, according to researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

Rotavirus, which causes severe, life-threatening diarrhea in young children and moderate gastrointestinal distress in adults, leads to thousands of deaths in children annually, particularly in developing countries where rotavirus vaccines are only moderately effective. Rotavirus is an RNA virus that primarily infects intestinal epithelial cells.

The substances identified in the study, officially known as cytokines, are interleukin 18 (IL-18) and interleukin 22 (IL-22). IL-18 and IL-22 are produced when the body detects a protein in the whip-like appendage of bacteria.

The study, which investigated how these cytokines inhibit rotavirus infection, found when mice were treated

Read More
Read More

New discovery helps researchers rethink organoid cultures — ScienceDaily

Organoids are stem cell-based tissue surrogates that can mimic the structure and function of organs, and they have become a key component of numerous types of medical research in recent years. But researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have uncovered problems with the conventional method for growing organoids for common experiments that may cause misleading results.

The researchers discovered that the size of organoids differ depending on where they are located within the hydrogel material called extracellular matrix (ECM) that is commonly used in biomedical research. The team found that organoids on the edges of a dome-shaped ECM respond differently to chemical or biological stimuli compared to those in the center of the dome.

This observation means one organoid in the core might react positively to a new treatment or drug, while another one on the edge could have a negative reaction, potentially muddying the results of an

Read More
Read More