.. A previous study had looked at using fMRI scans of parts of the brain linked to shape identification to correctly guess the a viewed image from a series of stock images. Jack Gallant, a University of California, Berkeley neuroscientist who led the current effort, describes this previous work as similar to “the magician’s card trick where you pick a card from a deck, and he guesses which card you picked. The magician knows all the cards you could have seen.”
The new study expands this approach greatly by also scanning parts of the brain used for general classifications like “person”, “car”, or “building”. Utilizing Bayesian probabilistic math, researchers armed with a database of over 6 million possible results and the new scans were able to go beyond identification into the realm of reconstruction, coming up with an image corresponding to what the person was thinking of, after an initial calibration to adjust for mental differences.
New breakthrough uses commercially achievable cold temperatures
Researchers at UC San Diego have made a breakthrough in integrated circuits using a particle type called excitons that can operate at commercially available cold temperatures. The breakthrough could one day lead to computers that are capable of running much faster than the machines we use today.
The same team made a similar discovery last summer with the development of an integrated circuit that was capable of working at 1.5 degrees Kelvin. The researchers point out that that temperature is warmer than the average temperature in space.
The new discovery is of a similar integrated circuit that can operate using excitons at 125 degrees Kelvin, equivalent to minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit. That is still a very cold temperature, but it can be achieved with commercially available liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen costs about as much as gasoline. The previous discovery requiring temperatures of minus 457 degrees Fahrenheit was only achievable in specially outfitted labs.
3D printing is an interesting technology which allows engineers and designers to get a 3D object from a digital design that can be viewed in the real world. Artists also use 3D printing to make art that is designed digitally.
A team of engineers and artists working at the University of Washington’s Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory has developed a new method of using conventional 3D printers to create glass objects. A 3D printer typically uses a layer of powder that is activated by an ink jet printer that sprays a binding material at the exact location it is needed. The reaction binder adheres to the powdered and creates the object.
BBC News – Nasa’s Kepler planet-hunter detects five worlds.
Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope has detected its first five exoplanets, or planets beyond our Solar System.