AI listens for coughs and sneezes 🌡️, music synchronises brain activity 🎵 and smartphone shipments experience biggest drop ever 📱!

Technology


Researchers create an AI microphone that listens for coughs and sneezes in public spaces

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have created an AI that listens for coughing and sneezing sounds to estimate what percentage of people in a public space have a respiratory illness. In addition to recording ‘non-speech’ audio samples, FluSense is also equipped with a thermal camera to scan for people with elevated temperatures. The device isn’t meant to single out individual cases of illness but capture trends at the population level to see if something is developing that may not yet have been picked up in medical testing.

[email protected] Now Faster Than World’s Top 7 Supercomputers Combined

The [email protected] distributed network has broken 470 petaFLOPS. That’s more than twice as fast as the IBM Summit supercomputer. The goal of the [email protected] project as it relates to coronavirus, specifically, is to “look for alternative conformations and hidden pockets within the most promising drug targets, which can only be seen in simulation and not in static X-ray structures.” If enough people joined the [email protected] project to fight coronavirus, we could collectively propel the system over the one exaFLOP barrier.

Science


Musicians And Their Audiences Show Synchronised Patterns Of Brain Activity

The team has observed “inter-brain coherence” (IBC) — a synchronisation in brain activity — between a musician and the audience. What’s more, the strength of this coherence could be used to predict how much the audience enjoyed a piece. The team also produced an average IBC score for each piece of music and found clear correlations. The more popular pieces were marked by stronger inter-brain coherence in the left temporal cortex between the audience as a whole and the performer.

New device quickly detects harmful bacteria in blood

Engineers have created a tiny device that can rapidly detect harmful bacteria in blood, allowing health care professionals to pinpoint the cause of potentially deadly infections and fight them with drugs. Drug-resistant bacteria, or super-bugs, are a major public health concern. Globally, at least 700,000 people die each year as a result of drug-resistant infections. The new device rapidly isolates, retrieves and concentrates target bacteria from bodily fluids. It efficiently filters particles and bacteria, capturing about 86 percent of them.

Business


Smartphone shipments saw their largest drop ever in February

Smartphone shipments fell 38 percent year-over-year in February, from 99.2 million to 61.8 million – the steepest drop in the recorded history of the market. Demand “collapsed” in Asia that month as people were unwilling or unable to visit stores, while some companies had to temporarily stop manufacturing devices after reports of infected workers. China appears to be recovering, but the smartphone industry could be in for significant pain until it’s clear the pandemic is on the decline elsewhere.

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

While the rest of the economy is tanking from the crippling impact of the coronavirus, business at the biggest technology companies is holding steady — even thriving. Amazon said it was hiring 100,000 warehouse workers to meet surging demand. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said traffic for video calling and messaging had exploded. Microsoft said the numbers using its software for online collaboration had climbed nearly 40 percent in a week.

Miscellaneous


Electric cars produce less CO2 than petrol vehicles, study confirms

Electric vehicles produce less carbon dioxide than petrol cars across the vast majority of the globe – contrary to the claims of some detractors, who have alleged that the CO2 emitted in the production of electricity and their manufacture outweighs the benefits. Scientists conducted lifecycle assessments that showed that even where electricity generation still involves substantial amounts of fossil fuel, there was a CO2 saving over conventional cars and fossil fuel heating.

Critical Medical Supplies Are Stuck in China With No Planes to Ship Them

Chinese suppliers of masks and surgical gowns have finally restarted production. The challenge now is to find cargo space to get them to his U.S. customers fast enough. Critical medical supplies are sitting in warehouses for more than a week before they can get on cargo planes. “The highest priority for shipping should be to get medical equipment out – but it’s not.” The bottlenecks in production and cargo shipments are forcing governments and businesses to rethink their reliance on the country.

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