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Google DeepMind AI Speeds up Search for Disease Genes

BBC | Scientific Research

Google DeepMind AI Speeds up Search for Disease Genes

“All living organisms are built from DNA. It is made from four blocks of chemicals called adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). In humans, when an embryo is developing, the order of these letters are read to produce proteins, which are the building blocks of the the cells and tissues that make up various parts of the body.

But if the letters are in the wrong order—perhaps because of an inherited disorder—the body cells and tissues aren’t made properly —and this can lead to disease.

Last year Google DeepMind’s AI worked out the shape of nearly all proteins in the human body.

The new system, called AlphaMissense, can tell If the letters in the DNA will produce the correct shape. If not, it is listed as potentially disease-causing.”

From BBC.

IFLScience | Energy & Natural Resources

AI Develops “Ground-Breaking” Magnet Free of Rare Earth Metals

“From your computer to maglev trains, from power tools to MRI scanners, rare Earth permanent magnets are all around us. Modern life without them is difficult so their importance can’t be overstated. However, extracting the rare Earth elements that make them is often laborious and energy-consuming. Scientists have been looking for a better way – and thanks to a machine learning algorithm, they might have found it.

Company Materials Nexus, together with researchers at the Henry Royce Institute and the University of Sheffield, have developed MagNex. This is a permanent magnet that is free of rare earth elements. The MagNex is reported to have been produced with materials that cost one-fifth of regular permanent magnets. The new magnet also saw a reduction of 70 percent in carbon emissions (in terms of kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of material) compared to rare-Earth permanent magnets.”

From IFLScience.

The Verge | Communications

Starlink Mini Brings Space Internet to Backpackers

“SpaceX’s Starlink internet-from-space service is already available for boats, planes, vanlifers, Amazonian villages, and rural homes in over 75 countries — now it’s coming to backpackers.

The new compact DC-powered Starlink Mini is about the size of a thick laptop and integrates the Wi-Fi router right inside the dish. And despite using less power than other Starlink terminals, it can still deliver speeds over 100Mbps.”

From The Verge.

PCMag | Science & Technology

Walmart Plans to Launch Digital Shelf Tags in 2,300 Stores

“Walmart plans to replace traditional price stickers with electric shelf labels. 

Once installed, the price tags will allow the store to change the price on items as frequently as every 10 seconds. That means a store could make the call to drop the price of a product that’s expected to expire soon or raise the cost of a high-demand item with the click of a button…

The digital tags reduce the amount of time associates need to spend walking the floor to change paper tags by hand. In the test store, they’ve increased productivity and simplified stock replenishment, ultimately allowing for things to happen faster but also with less staff.”

From PCMag.

Bloomberg | Communications

India’s Farmers Are Now Getting Their News from AI Anchors

“The virtual anchors Krish and Bhoomi provide weather forecasts, commodity prices, farming trends and updates on agri-research and state welfare programs to millions of farmers through Doordarshan’s Kisan channel. In Hindi, ‘kisan’ means farmer. The animated AI bots take the script and deliver it in natural tones.

For now, the tireless and ageless news-reading bots unveiled last month are limited to Hindi, the most prominent of India’s nearly two dozen official languages. In time, the promise is that AI will help them speak 50 languages and thus address a wider swath of the population.

Generative AI — which synthesizes text, images, audio or video based on prompts — is being used to fine-tune scripts and instantly translate content and interviews. Using a text prompt, the system can write a TV script or create a representative image to go with a story. With a few minutes of audio, such systems can also clone a voice. And it’s only the beginning.”

From Bloomberg.