Brain tumour spotting AI 🧠, Mars vegetables 🥬 and chip factories look at US expansion 🏭!

Technology News


Intel and Penn Medicine are developing an AI to spot brain tumors

Using Intel’s AI hardware and software, Penn Medicine will lead 29 international healthcare and research institutions in creating an AI model trained on the largest brain tumour dataset ever — and will do so without sharing sensitive patient data. The project is based on a technique called federated learning, which trains an algorithm across decentralized servers, so that hospitals can work together without actually sharing patient data. This will allow the institutions from over the world to create a much larger data set than any one institution would be able to on its own.

Google Lens can now copy and paste handwritten notes to your computer

Google has added a very useful feature to Google Lens – you can now copy and paste handwritten notes from your phone to your computer with Lens, though it only works if your handwriting is neat enough. You need to have the latest version of Google Chrome as well as the stand-alone Google Lens app on Android or the Google app on iOS. You’ll also need to be logged in to the same Google account on both devices. Simply point your camera at any handwritten text, highlight it on-screen, and select copy. You can then go to any document in Google Docs, hit Edit, and then Paste to paste the text.

Science News


How to Grow Vegetables on Mars

Astrobiology students at Villanova began their Mars Gardens project, investigating which plants and vegetables can grow in iron oxide–rich Martian soil simulant (MSS). Over 45 different kinds of plants have been tested since the program began in 2017. Plants grown in potting mix under the same environmental conditions served as “controls,” and the simulant regolith (soil) is based to a large extent on volcanic rock from the Mojave Desert. The students found that dandelions would flourish on Mars and have significant benefits. Other thriving plants include microgreens, lettuce, arugula, spinach, peas, garlic, kale and onions.

Got a sweet tooth? Your gut bacteria are asking for some sugar

A team from Columbia University found that the gut-brain axis (the connection between bacteria in your gut and your brain), is essential in the sugar preference of mice. The scientists injected either glucose or an artificial sweetener to the guts of mice, and saw an activation of different regions of the brain when glucose was present, but not with the artificial sweetener. Next, they genetically silenced that specific brain region, which completely took away the mice’s preference for sugar. They were also able to modify that region to induce the mice to enjoy new flavours. One of the key things in the study is that all of the action is happening away from the tongue.

Business News


Intel, TSMC Are Considering New US Chip Factories

Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) are mulling over an American expansion. A vast majority of Intel’s semiconductor fabrication (75 percent) is already performed in the United States. Intel has previously met with the Department of Defense and expressed its interest in building a chip factory in partnership with the Pentagon. TSMC has been in discussions with the U.S. Department of Commerce over the years. “We are actively evaluating all the suitable locations, including in the US, but there is no concrete plan yet. It all depends on customers’ needs.”

Apple Reportedly Seeking to Move Significantly More Production From China to India

In a bid to reduce its reliance on China as a base for operations, Apple could be planning to produce up to $40 billion worth of smartphones in India through contract manufacturers Wistron and Foxconn. The decision is being linked to India’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which was introduced to boost local manufacturing of electrical products, particularly smartphones. A company must manufacture at least $10 billion worth of mobile phones in a phased manner between 2020 and 2025 to benefit from the PLI scheme and are required to meet target on a yearly basis.

Miscellaneous News


Bear breaks into Tennessee cabin, steals snacks, drinks and allergy pills

A group of vacationers captured photos and video when a bear broke into their Tennessee rental cabin and made off with candy, beer, Diet Coke and allergy pills. Eberhart said the bear forced its way through the locked door, causing the two women to flee into a bedroom. They said the bear rifled through their cabin while three more bears waited on the porch. “They got 5 pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a pound of M&M’s and two pounds of Sour Patch Kids and two bags of potato chips … two beers and two Diet Cokes and about 20 Zyrtecs.”

Princeton names its first black valedictorian in the university’s history

Princeton University has named its first black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year history. Nicholas Johnson, a Canadian student majoring in operations research and financial engineering, has been named valedictorian of Princeton’s Class of 2020. Johnson’s senior thesis focused on developing algorithms to design a community-based preventative health intervention to decrease obesity in Canada. A member of the Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Johnson also worked as a software engineer in machine learning at Google’s California headquarters during his time at Princeton.

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