Week in Tech (21 – 27 May 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to Machine Learning – Activated Neurons, Quantifying Potential CRISPR-Induced Errors, Hologram Increasing Solar Energy Yield, Robotic Finger Sensing Buried Items, Facebook – COVID-19 Theory, Tiger Global Investing in Indian Startup Koo, Artificial Neurons Recognizing Biosignals

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Machine Learning Platform Identifies Activated Neurons in Real-Time

Source: Duke University 21 May 2021

Biomedical engineers have developed an automatic process that uses streamlined artificial intelligence (AI) to identify active neurons in videos faster and more accurately than current techniques. The technology should allow researchers to watch an animal’s brain activity in real time, as they are behaving.

Original written by: Michaela Kane

2. Novel Software Tool Can Quantify Potential CRISPR-Induced Errors

Source: Bar-Ilan University 24 May 2021

Researchers report the development of a new software tool to detect, evaluate and quantify off-target editing activity, including adverse translocation events that can cause cancer. The software is based on input taken from a standard measurement assay, involving multiplexed PCR amplification and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS).

3. Holograms Increase Solar Energy Yield

Source: SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics 25 May 2021

Researchers have recently developed an innovative technique to capture the unused solar energy that illuminates a solar panel. They created special holograms that can be easily inserted into the solar panel package. Each hologram separates the colors of sunlight and directs them to the solar cells within the solar panel. This method can increase the amount of solar energy converted by the solar panel over the course of a year by about five percent. This will reduce both the cost and the number of solar panels needed to power a home, a city, or a country.

4. Slender Robotic Finger Senses Buried Items

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 26 May 2021

Researchers have now designed a sharp-tipped robot finger equipped with tactile sensing to meet the challenge of identifying buried objects. In experiments, the aptly named Digger Finger was able to dig through granular media such as sand and rice, and it correctly sensed the shapes of submerged items it encountered. The researchers say the robot might one day perform various subterranean duties, such as finding buried cables or disarming buried bombs.

Original written by: Daniel Ackerman

5. Facebook Will No Longer Stop the Spread of a Theory That COVID-19 Was Manufactured

Source: The Verge 26 May 2021

Facebook won’t remove claims that COVID-19 was man-made anymore, according to a report from Politico that cites a Facebook spokesperson. The company altered its policy because of a renewed focus on the origins of the virus, including an order from US President Joe Biden to his intelligence agencies to investigate the so-called lab-leak hypothesis.

Original written by: Mitchell Clark

6. Tiger Global Leads $30 Million Investment in Indian Twitter Rival Koo

Source: TechCrunch 26 May 2021

The Indian startup, Koo, said on Wednesday it has raised $30 million in a financing round led by Tiger Global Management. Mirae Asset, IIFL’s venture capital fund and existing investors 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures and Accel also participated in the round, which valued the Bangalore-based startup at over $100 million, up from about $25 million in February.

Original written by: Manish Singh

7. Artificial Neurons Recognize Biosignals in Real Time

Source: University of Zurich 27 May 2021

Researchers have developed a compact, energy-efficient device made from artificial neurons that is capable of decoding brainwaves. The chip uses data recorded from the brainwaves of epilepsy patients to identify which regions of the brain cause epileptic seizures. This opens up new perspectives for treatment.

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