Robot sculptor 🗿 Psychedelic therapy 💊 Missing $2 billion 💸!

Technology News

RoboCut is a robot sculptor that would put Edward Scissorhands to shame

Researchers have created a robot sculptor that uses blocks of styrofoam and a flexible heated rod. RoboCut is capable of transforming a cube of styrofoam into all manner of shapes, from a cute bunny rabbit to a shark. The motion-planning algorithms compute the right movements for the robot arm to manipulate its cutting implement so that the correct object gets carved accurately. “While traditionally a straight wire would be used for this, in our case, the dual-arm robot uses a flexible rod. This allows it to continuously adapt the shape of the tool to match the curvature of the target surface, such that it can be produced more efficiently and with higher quality.”

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E uses the cloud to predict range more precisely

Ford will try to reduce range anxiety for buyers of its electric Mustang Mach-E by predicting the range more precisely. It unveiled a feature called Intelligent Range that will calculate how far you can go based on factors like driving behaviour, weather forecasts and crowdsourced data from other Mach-E vehicles. Ford will use the cloud to combine driver behavior, forecast weather (since temperatures affect battery life) and road/terrain conditions. It will then use fleet averages to improve range estimates, even on roads you’ve never driven. If range will be impacted on a given route, the Mach-E will tell you why and give a new estimate before you depart.

Science News

Combining therapy with the psychedelic drug psilocybin results in large reductions in anxiety and depression

A recent meta-analysis provides tentative support for psilocybin in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Results of the meta-analysis indicated that participants in all four studies showed large reductions in anxiety and depression after receiving psilocybin dosages. Furthermore, the effects of psilocybin were significant even at the six-month follow-up. “The current meta-analysis suggests psilocybin in combination with behavioral support may provide a safe and effective treatment option for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.” One possible avenue for future research is in the treatment-resistant population.

Overactive neurons may explain why some people develop stress-induced anxiety and depression

A study has revealed that the activity of a specific group of cells in the brain, neurons projecting from the ventral hippocampus to the nucleus accumbens, may be able to predict one’s susceptibility to develop stress-induced anxiety and depression. They found that the cells were more active in naturally anxious mice. Although the link was only predictive for the behaviours in female mice (which is interesting in itself as females have been shown to be more prone to these disorders), both sexes undergo the same increase in neuronal activity once exposed to stress. This may pave the way to for future targeted treatments and prevention strategies.

Business News

Wirecard CEO quits after $2 billion goes missing and fraud accusations fly

More than $2 billion has gone missing at one of Europe’s most vaunted tech companies. If it’s not found quickly, the digital payments firm may never recover. Wirecard delayed the publication of its 2019 financial results, saying its auditors couldn’t account for €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash. Then , the German company’s CEO, Markus Braun, resigned. Investors reacted by pushing shares in the company down by more than 75% over two trading sessions. In Germany, the scandal at Wirecard is raising questions about the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, or BaFin. The regulator said Friday that it is actively investigating Wirecard.

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest man, joins club of world’s 10 richest

The net worth of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., has jumped to $64.5 billion, making him the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive club of the world’s top 10 richest people. Ambani, who owns 42% of Reliance, has benefited from a flurry of investment into the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd. The rise of the 63-year-old as India heads for its worst-ever recession is a reminder of the nation’s deep economic divide, in which the top 10% hold more than three-quarters of the total wealth, and where most new fortune creation stays in the hands of the richest 1%.

Miscellaneous News

New Jersey Becomes First State to Require Schools to Include Climate Change in their Curriculum

New Jersey has become the first state to require schools to incorporate climate change into their curricula. The state’s Board of Education adopted new guidelines which requires climate change to be taught throughout all K-12 schools. “Decades of short-sighted decision-making has fueled this crisis and now we must do all we can to help our children solve it…it is critical that every student is provided an opportunity to study and understand the climate crisis through a comprehensive, interdisciplinary lens.”

Endangered smoky mouse, feared wiped out during bushfires, found alive in Kosciuszko national park

The critically endangered smoky mouse has been discovered alive and well in the Kosciuszko national park after it was feared the native species had been wiped from the area during the summer bushfire crisis. Motion-sensor cameras set up over the last five weeks have recorded images of the mouse at seven burnt-out sites in southern New South Wales. “After such a confronting and challenging start to the year, it was a very happy moment to know a native animal already threatened with extinction has survived.”

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