Xenobots, tiny living machines, can duplicate themselves.
Strange and complex behavior of frog cell blobs
A xenobot “parent,” shaped like a hungry Pac-Man (shown in red false color), created an “offspring” xenobot (green sphere) by gathering loose frog cells in its opening.
Tiny “living machines” made of frog cells can make copies of themselves. This newly discovered renewal mechanism may help create self-renewing biological machines.
According to Kirstin Petersen, an electrical and computer engineer at Cornell University who studies groups of robots, “this is an extremely exciting breakthrough.” She says self-replicating robots are a big step toward human-free systems.
Researchers described the behavior of xenobots earlier this year (SN: 3/31/21). Small clumps of skin stem cells from frog embryos knitted themselves into small spheres and started moving. Cilia, or cellular extensions, powered the xenobots around their lab dishes.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Dec. 7. The xenobots can gather loose frog cells into spheres, which then form xenobots.
The researchers call this type of movement-induced reproduction kinematic self-replication. The study's coauthor, Douglas Blackiston of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and Harvard University, says this is typical. For example, sexual reproduction requires parental sperm and egg cells. Sometimes cells split or budded off from a parent.
“This is unique,” Blackiston says. These xenobots “find loose parts in the environment and cobble them together.” This second generation of xenobots can move like their parents, Blackiston says.
The researchers discovered that spheroid xenobots could only produce one more generation before dying out. The original xenobots' shape was predicted by an artificial intelligence program, allowing for four generations of replication.
A C shape, like an openmouthed Pac-Man, was predicted to be a more efficient progenitor. When improved xenobots were let loose in a dish, they began scooping up loose cells into their gaping “mouths,” forming more sphere-shaped bots (see image below). As many as 50 cells clumped together in the opening of a parent to form a mobile offspring. A xenobot is made up of 4,000–6,000 frog cells.
Petersen likes the Xenobots' small size. “The fact that they were able to do this at such a small scale just makes it even better,” she says. Miniature xenobots could sculpt tissues for implantation or deliver therapeutics inside the body.
Beyond the xenobots' potential jobs, the research advances an important science, says study coauthor and Tufts developmental biologist Michael Levin. The science of anticipating and controlling the outcomes of complex systems, he says.
“No one could have predicted this,” Levin says. “They regularly surprise us.” Researchers can use xenobots to test the unexpected. “This is about advancing the science of being less surprised,” Levin says.
More on Science
7 months ago
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, foresees the next trillion-dollar AI company
“I think if I had time to do something else, I would be so excited to go after this company right now.”
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently discussed AI's present and future.
Open AI is important. They're creating the cyberpunk and sci-fi worlds.
They use the most advanced algorithms and data sets.
GPT-3...sound familiar? Open AI built most copyrighting software. Peppertype, Jasper AI, Rytr. If you've used any, you'll be shocked by the quality.
Open AI isn't only GPT-3. They created DallE-2 and Whisper (a speech recognition software released last week).
What will they do next? What's the next great chance?
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently gave a lecture about the next trillion-dollar AI opportunity.
Who is the organization behind Open AI?
Open AI first. If you know, skip it.
Open AI is one of the earliest private AI startups. Elon Musk, Greg Brockman, and Rebekah Mercer established OpenAI in December 2015.
OpenAI has helped its citizens and AI since its birth.
They have scary-good algorithms.
Their GPT-3 natural language processing program is excellent.
The algorithm's exponential growth is astounding. GPT-2 came out in November 2019. May 2020 brought GPT-3.
Massive computation and datasets improved the technique in just a year. New York Times said GPT-3 could write like a human.
Same for Dall-E. Dall-E 2 was announced in April 2022. Dall-E 2 won a Colorado art contest.
Open AI's algorithms challenge jobs we thought required human innovation.
So what does Sam Altman think?
The Present Situation and AI's Limitations
During the interview, Sam states that we are still at the tip of the iceberg.
So I think so far, we’ve been in the realm where you can do an incredible copywriting business or you can do an education service or whatever. But I don’t think we’ve yet seen the people go after the trillion dollar take on Google.
He's right that AI can't generate net new human knowledge. It can train and synthesize vast amounts of knowledge, but it simply reproduces human work.
“It’s not going to cure cancer. It’s not going to add to the sum total of human scientific knowledge.”
But the key word is yet.
And that is what I think will turn out to be wrong that most surprises the current experts in the field.
Reinforcing his point that massive innovations are yet to come.
The Next $1 Trillion AI Company
Sam predicts a bio or genomic breakthrough.
There’s been some promising work in genomics, but stuff on a bench top hasn’t really impacted it. I think that’s going to change. And I think this is one of these areas where there will be these new $100 billion to $1 trillion companies started, and those areas are rare.
Avoid human trials since they take time. Bio-materials or simulators are suitable beginning points.
AI may have a breakthrough. DeepMind, an OpenAI competitor, has developed AlphaFold to predict protein 3D structures.
It could change how we see proteins and their function. AlphaFold could provide fresh understanding into how proteins work and diseases originate by revealing their structure. This could lead to Alzheimer's and cancer treatments. AlphaFold could speed up medication development by revealing how proteins interact with medicines.
Deep Mind offered 200 million protein structures for scientists to download (including sustainability, food insecurity, and neglected diseases).
Being in AI for 4+ years, I'm amazed at the progress. We're past the hype cycle, as evidenced by the collapse of AI startups like C3 AI, and have entered a productive phase.
We'll see innovative enterprises that could replace Google and other trillion-dollar companies.
What happens after AI adoption is scary and unpredictable. How will AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) affect us? Highly autonomous systems that exceed humans at valuable work (Open AI)
My guess is that the things that we’ll have to figure out are how we think about fairly distributing wealth, access to AGI systems, which will be the commodity of the realm, and governance, how we collectively decide what they can do, what they don’t do, things like that. And I think figuring out the answer to those questions is going to just be huge. — Sam Altman CEO
8 months ago
The Unlocking Of The Ultimate Clean Energy
The company seeking 24/7 ultra-powerful solar electricity.
We're rushing to adopt low-carbon energy to prevent a self-made doomsday. We're using solar, wind, and wave energy. These low-carbon sources aren't perfect. They consume large areas of land, causing habitat loss. They don't produce power reliably, necessitating large grid-level batteries, an environmental nightmare. We can and must do better than fossil fuels. Longi, one of the world's top solar panel producers, is creating a low-carbon energy source. Solar-powered spacecraft. But how does it work? Why is it so environmentally harmonious? And how can Longi unlock it?
Space-based solar makes sense. Satellites above Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) enjoy 24/7 daylight. Outer space has no atmosphere or ozone layer to block the Sun's high-energy UV radiation. Solar panels can create more energy in space than on Earth due to these two factors. Solar panels in orbit can create 40 times more power than those on Earth, according to estimates.
How can we utilize this immense power? Launch a geostationary satellite with solar panels, then beam power to Earth. Such a technology could be our most eco-friendly energy source. (Better than fusion power!) How?
Solar panels create more energy in space, as I've said. Solar panel manufacture and grid batteries emit the most carbon. This indicates that a space-solar farm's carbon footprint (which doesn't need a battery because it's a constant power source) might be over 40 times smaller than a terrestrial one. Combine that with carbon-neutral launch vehicles like Starship, and you have a low-carbon power source. Solar power has one of the lowest emissions per kWh at 6g/kWh, so space-based solar could approach net-zero emissions.
Space solar is versatile because it doesn't require enormous infrastructure. A space-solar farm could power New York and Dallas with the same efficiency, without cables. The satellite will transmit power to a nearby terminal. This allows an energy system to evolve and adapt as the society it powers changes. Building and maintaining infrastructure can be carbon-intensive, thus less infrastructure means less emissions.
Space-based solar doesn't destroy habitats, either. Solar and wind power can be engineered to reduce habitat loss, but they still harm ecosystems, which must be restored. Space solar requires almost no land, therefore it's easier on Mother Nature.
Space solar power could be the ultimate energy source. So why haven’t we done it yet?
Well, for two reasons: the cost of launch and the efficiency of wireless energy transmission.
Advances in rocket construction and reusable rocket technology have lowered orbital launch costs. In the early 2000s, the Space Shuttle cost $60,000 per kg launched into LEO, but a SpaceX Falcon 9 costs only $3,205. 95% drop! Even at these low prices, launching a space-based solar farm is commercially questionable.
Energy transmission efficiency is half of its commercial viability. Space-based solar farms must be in geostationary orbit to get 24/7 daylight, 22,300 miles above Earth's surface. It's a long way to wirelessly transmit energy. Most laser and microwave systems are below 20% efficient.
Space-based solar power is uneconomical due to low efficiency and high deployment costs.
Longi wants to create this ultimate power. But how?
They'll send solar panels into space to develop space-based solar power that can be beamed to Earth. This mission will help them design solar panels tough enough for space while remaining efficient.
Longi is a Chinese company, and China's space program and universities are developing space-based solar power and seeking commercial partners. Xidian University has built a 98%-efficient microwave-based wireless energy transmission system for space-based solar power. The Long March 5B is China's super-cheap (but not carbon-offset) launch vehicle.
Longi fills the gap. They have the commercial know-how and ability to build solar satellites and terrestrial terminals at scale. Universities and the Chinese government have transmission technology and low-cost launch vehicles to launch this technology.
It may take a decade to develop and refine this energy solution. This could spark a clean energy revolution. Once operational, Longi and the Chinese government could offer the world a flexible, environmentally friendly, rapidly deployable energy source.
Should the world adopt this technology and let China control its energy? I'm not very political, so you decide. This seems to be the beginning of tapping into this planet-saving energy source. Forget fusion reactors. Carbon-neutral energy is coming soon.
Michael Hunter, MD
5 months ago
5 Drugs That May Increase Your Risk of Dementia
While our genes can't be changed easily, you can avoid some dementia risk factors. Today we discuss dementia and five drugs that may increase risk.
Memory loss appears to come with age, but we're not talking about forgetfulness. Sometimes losing your car keys isn't an indication of dementia. Dementia impairs the capacity to think, remember, or make judgments. Dementia hinders daily tasks.
Alzheimers is the most common dementia. Dementia is not normal aging, unlike forgetfulness. Aging increases the risk of Alzheimer's and other dementias. A family history of the illness increases your risk, according to the Mayo Clinic (USA).
Given that our genes are difficult to change (I won't get into epigenetics), what are some avoidable dementia risk factors? Certain drugs may cause cognitive deterioration.
Today we look at four drugs that may cause cognitive decline.
Dementia and benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepine sedatives increase brain GABA levels. Example benzodiazepines:
Diazepam (Valium) (Valium)
Alprazolam (Xanax) (Xanax)
Clonazepam (Klonopin) (Klonopin)
Addiction and overdose are benzodiazepine risks. Yes! These medications don't raise dementia risk.
USC study: Benzodiazepines don't increase dementia risk in older adults.
Benzodiazepines can produce short- and long-term amnesia. This memory loss hinders memory formation. Extreme cases can permanently impair learning and memory. Anterograde amnesia is uncommon.
2. Statins and dementia
Statins reduce cholesterol. They prevent a cholesterol-making chemical. Examples:
Atorvastatin (Lipitor) (Lipitor)
Fluvastatin (Lescol XL) (Lescol XL)
Lovastatin (Altoprev) (Altoprev)
Pitavastatin (Livalo, Zypitamag) (Livalo, Zypitamag)
Pravastatin (Pravachol) (Pravachol)
Rosuvastatin (Crestor, Ezallor) (Crestor, Ezallor)
Simvastatin (Zocor) (Zocor)
This finding is contentious. Harvard's Brigham and Womens Hospital's Dr. Joann Manson says:
“I think that the relationship between statins and cognitive function remains controversial. There’s still not a clear conclusion whether they help to prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, have neutral effects, or increase risk.”
This one's off the dementia list.
3. Dementia and anticholinergic drugs
Anticholinergic drugs treat many conditions, including urine incontinence. Drugs inhibit acetylcholine (a brain chemical that helps send messages between cells). Acetylcholine blockers cause drowsiness, disorientation, and memory loss.
First-generation antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, and overactive bladder antimuscarinics are common anticholinergics among the elderly.
Anticholinergic drugs may cause dementia. One study found that taking anticholinergics for three years or more increased the risk of dementia by 1.54 times compared to three months or less. After stopping the medicine, the danger may continue.
4. Drugs for Parkinson's disease and dementia
Cleveland Clinic (USA) on Parkinson's:
Parkinson's disease causes age-related brain degeneration. It causes delayed movements, tremors, and balance issues. Some are inherited, but most are unknown. There are various treatment options, but no cure.
Parkinson's medications can cause memory loss, confusion, delusions, and obsessive behaviors. The drug's effects on dopamine cause these issues.
A 2019 JAMA Internal Medicine study found powerful anticholinergic medications enhance dementia risk.
Those who took anticholinergics had a 1.5 times higher chance of dementia. Individuals taking antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, overactive bladder drugs, and anti-epileptic drugs had the greatest risk of dementia.
Anticholinergic medicines can lessen Parkinson's-related tremors, but they slow cognitive ability. Anticholinergics can cause disorientation and hallucinations in those over 70.
5. Antiepileptic drugs and dementia
The risk of dementia from anti-seizure drugs varies with drugs. Levetiracetam (Keppra) improves Alzheimer's cognition.
One study linked different anti-seizure medications to dementia. Anti-epileptic medicines increased the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 1.15 times in the Finnish sample and 1.3 times in the German population. Depakote, Topamax are drugs.
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10 months ago
How much did YouTube pay for 10 million views?
Ali's $1,054,053.74 YouTube Adsense haul.
YouTuber, entrepreneur, and former doctor Ali Abdaal. He began filming productivity and financial videos in 2017. Ali Abdaal has 3 million YouTube subscribers and has crossed $1 million in AdSense revenue. Crazy, no?
Ali will share the revenue of his top 5 youtube videos, things he's learned that you can apply to your side hustle, and how many views it takes to make a livelihood off youtube.
First, "The Long Game."
All good things take time to bear fruit. Compounding improves everything. Long-term work yields better returns. Ali made his first dollar after nine months and 85 videos.
Second, "One piece of content can transform your life, but you never know which one."
Had he abandoned YouTube at 84 videos without making any money, he wouldn't have filmed the 85th video that altered everything.
Third Lesson: Your Industry Choice Can Multiply.
The industry or niche you target as a business owner or side hustler can have a major impact on how much money you make.
Here are the top 5 videos.
1) 9.8m views: $191,258.16 for 9 passive income ideas
Ali made 2 points.
We should consider YouTube videos digital assets. They're investments, which make us money. His investments are yielding passive income.
Investing extra time and effort in your films can pay off.
2) How to Invest for Beginners — 5.2m Views: $87,200.08.
This video did poorly in the first several weeks after it was published; it was his tenth poorest performer. Don't worry about things you can't control. This applies to life, not just YouTube videos.
He stated we constantly have anxieties, fears, and concerns about things outside our control, but if we can find that line, life is easier and more pleasurable.
3) How to Build a Website in 2022— 866.3k views: $42,132.72.
The RPM was $48.86 per thousand views, making it his highest-earning video. Squarespace, Wix, and other website builders are trying to put ads on it and competing against one other, so ad rates go up.
Because it was beyond his niche, Ali almost didn't make the video. He made the video because he wanted to help at least one person.
4) How I take notes on my iPad in medical school — 5.9m views: $24,479.80
85th video. It's the video that affected Ali's YouTube channel and his life the most. The video's success wasn't certain.
5) How I Type Fast 156 Words Per Minute — 8.2M views: $25,143.17
Ali didn't know this video would perform well; he made it because he can type fast and has been practicing for 10 years. So he made a video with his best advice.
How many views to different wealth levels?
It depends on geography, niche, and other monetization sources. To keep things simple, he would solely utilize AdSense.
How many views to generate money?
To generate money on Youtube, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time. How much work do you need to make pocket money?
Ali's first 1,000 subscribers took 52 videos and 6 months. The typical channel with 1,000 subscribers contains 152 videos, according to Tubebuddy. It's time-consuming.
After monetizing, you'll need 15,000 views/month to make $5-$10/day.
How many views to go part-time?
Say you make $35,000/year at your day job. If you work 5 days/week, you make $7,000/year each day. If you want to drop down from 5 days to 4 days/week, you need to make an extra $7,000/year from YouTube, or $600/month.
What's the quit-your-job budget?
Silicon Valley Girl is in a highly successful niche targeting tech-focused folks in the west. When her channel had 500k views/month, she made roughly $3,000/month or $47,000/year, enough to quit your work.
Marina has another 1.5m subscriber channel in Russia, which has a lower rpm because fewer corporations advertise there than in the west. 2.3 million views/month is $4,000/month or $50,000/year, enough to quit your employment.
Marina is an intriguing example because she has three YouTube channels with the same skills, but one is 16x more profitable due to the niche she chose.
In Ali's case, he made 100+ videos when his channel was producing enough money to quit his job, roughly $4,000/month.
How many views make you rich?
Depending on how you define rich. Ali felt prosperous with over $100,000/year and 3–5m views/month.
YouTubers and artists don't treat their work like a company, which is a mistake. Businesses have been attempting to figure this out for decades, if not centuries.
We can learn from the business world how to monetize YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok and make them into sustainable enterprises where we can hire people and delegate tasks.
Watch Ali's video explaining all this:
This post is a summary. Read the full article here
1 year ago
10 Predictions for Web3 and the Cryptoeconomy for 2022
By Surojit Chatterjee, Chief Product Officer
2021 proved to be a breakout year for crypto with BTC price gaining almost 70% yoy, Defi hitting $150B in value locked, and NFTs emerging as a new category. Here’s my view through the crystal ball into 2022 and what it holds for our industry:
1. Eth scalability will improve, but newer L1 chains will see substantial growth — As we welcome the next hundred million users to crypto and Web3, scalability challenges for Eth are likely to grow. I am optimistic about improvements in Eth scalability with the emergence of Eth2 and many L2 rollups. Traction of Solana, Avalanche and other L1 chains shows that we’ll live in a multi-chain world in the future. We’re also going to see newer L1 chains emerge that focus on specific use cases such as gaming or social media.
2. There will be significant usability improvements in L1-L2 bridges — As more L1 networks gain traction and L2s become bigger, our industry will desperately seek improvements in speed and usability of cross-L1 and L1-L2 bridges. We’re likely to see interesting developments in usability of bridges in the coming year.
3. Zero knowledge proof technology will get increased traction — 2021 saw protocols like ZkSync and Starknet beginning to get traction. As L1 chains get clogged with increased usage, ZK-rollup technology will attract both investor and user attention. We’ll see new privacy-centric use cases emerge, including privacy-safe applications, and gaming models that have privacy built into the core. This may also bring in more regulator attention to crypto as KYC/AML could be a real challenge in privacy centric networks.
4. Regulated Defi and emergence of on-chain KYC attestation — Many Defi protocols will embrace regulation and will create separate KYC user pools. Decentralized identity and on-chain KYC attestation services will play key roles in connecting users’ real identity with Defi wallet endpoints. We’ll see more acceptance of ENS type addresses, and new systems from cross chain name resolution will emerge.
5. Institutions will play a much bigger role in Defi participation — Institutions are increasingly interested in participating in Defi. For starters, institutions are attracted to higher than average interest-based returns compared to traditional financial products. Also, cost reduction in providing financial services using Defi opens up interesting opportunities for institutions. However, they are still hesitant to participate in Defi. Institutions want to confirm that they are only transacting with known counterparties that have completed a KYC process. Growth of regulated Defi and on-chain KYC attestation will help institutions gain confidence in Defi.
6. Defi insurance will emerge — As Defi proliferates, it also becomes the target of security hacks. According to London-based firm Elliptic, total value lost by Defi exploits in 2021 totaled over $10B. To protect users from hacks, viable insurance protocols guaranteeing users’ funds against security breaches will emerge in 2022.
7. NFT Based Communities will give material competition to Web 2.0 social networks — NFTs will continue to expand in how they are perceived. We’ll see creator tokens or fan tokens take more of a first class seat. NFTs will become the next evolution of users’ digital identity and passport to the metaverse. Users will come together in small and diverse communities based on types of NFTs they own. User created metaverses will be the future of social networks and will start threatening the advertising driven centralized versions of social networks of today.
8. Brands will start actively participating in the metaverse and NFTs — Many brands are realizing that NFTs are great vehicles for brand marketing and establishing brand loyalty. Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Dolce & Gabbana and Charmin released NFT collectibles in 2021. Adidas recently launched a new metaverse project with Bored Ape Yacht Club. We’re likely to see more interesting brand marketing initiatives using NFTs. NFTs and the metaverse will become the new Instagram for brands. And just like on Instagram, many brands may start as NFT native. We’ll also see many more celebrities jumping in the bandwagon and using NFTs to enhance their personal brand.
9. Web2 companies will wake up and will try to get into Web3 — We’re already seeing this with Facebook trying to recast itself as a Web3 company. We’re likely to see other big Web2 companies dipping their toes into Web3 and metaverse in 2022. However, many of them are likely to create centralized and closed network versions of the metaverse.
10. Time for DAO 2.0 — We’ll see DAOs become more mature and mainstream. More people will join DAOs, prompting a change in definition of employment — never receiving a formal offer letter, accepting tokens instead of or along with fixed salaries, and working in multiple DAO projects at the same time. DAOs will also confront new challenges in terms of figuring out how to do M&A, run payroll and benefits, and coordinate activities in larger and larger organizations. We’ll see a plethora of tools emerge to help DAOs execute with efficiency. Many DAOs will also figure out how to interact with traditional Web2 companies. We’re likely to see regulators taking more interest in DAOs and make an attempt to educate themselves on how DAOs work.
Thanks to our customers and the ecosystem for an incredible 2021. Looking forward to another year of building the foundations for Web3. Wagmi.
3 months ago
4 typical methods of crypto market manipulation
Due to its decentralized and fragmented character, the crypto market has integrity difficulties.
Cryptocurrencies are an immature sector, therefore market manipulation becomes a bigger issue. Many research have attempted to uncover these abuses. CryptoCompare's newest one highlights some of the industry's most typical scams.
Why are these concerns so common in the crypto market? First, even the largest centralized exchanges remain unregulated due to industry immaturity. A low-liquidity market segment makes an attack more harmful. Finally, market surveillance solutions not implemented reduce transparency.
In CryptoCompare's latest exchange benchmark, 62.4% of assessed exchanges had a market surveillance system, although only 18.1% utilised an external solution. To address market integrity, this measure must improve dramatically. Before discussing the report's malpractices, note that this is not a full list of attacks and hacks.
An investor buys and sells concurrently to increase the asset's price. Centralized and decentralized exchanges show this misconduct. 23 exchanges have a volume-volatility correlation < 0.1 during the previous 100 days, according to CryptoCompares. In August 2022, Exchange A reported $2.5 trillion in artificial and/or erroneous volume, up from $33.8 billion the month before.
Criminals create and cancel fake orders before they can be filled. Since manipulators can hide in larger trading volumes, larger exchanges have more spoofing. A trader placed a 20.8 BTC ask order at $19,036 when BTC was trading at $19,043. BTC declined 0.13% to $19,018 in a minute. At 18:48, the trader canceled the ask order without filling it.
Most cryptocurrency front-running involves inside trading. Traditional stock markets forbid this. Since most digital asset information is public, this is harder. Retailers could utilize bots to front-run.
CryptoCompare found digital wallets of people who traded like insiders on exchange listings. The figure below shows excess cumulative anomalous returns (CAR) before a coin listing on an exchange.
Finally, LAYERING is a sequence of spoofs in which successive orders are put along a ladder of greater (layering offers) or lower (layering bids) values. The paper concludes with recommendations to mitigate market manipulation. Exchange data transparency, market surveillance, and regulatory oversight could reduce manipulative tactics.