Robotic skin 🤖 Extending lifespan 🦠 $40 billion up 🤑!

Technology News

Researchers built robotic skin with a sense of touch

Using Intel’s neuromorphic chip, Loihi, researchers have developed an artificial skin that allows robots to detect touch 1,000 times faster than the human sensory nervous system. The system can identify the shape, texture and hardness of objects 10 times faster than the blink of an eye. The researchers believe this work could improve human-robot interaction. The team taught a robotic hand fitted with their artificial skin to read Braille. The robotic hand passed the tactile data to Loihi, which translated it. Loihi processed the sensory data 21 percent faster than the best-performing GPU, while using 45 times less power.

Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

Researchers have developed a tiny wireless camera that can also ride aboard an insect, giving everyone a chance to see an Ant-Man view of the world. The camera sits on a mechanical arm that can pivot 60 degrees. “We have created a low-power, low-weight, wireless camera system that can capture a first-person view of what’s happening from an actual live insect or create vision for small robots.” The researchers used a tiny, ultra-low-power black-and-white camera that can sweep across a field of view with the help of a mechanical arm. The arm moves when the team applies a high voltage, which makes the material bend and move the camera to the desired position.

Science News

Cells die in 2 ways — scientists may have found a life-extending workaround

A study of yeast cells shows that cells naturally follow one of two natural aging pathways, which set this domino chain of harmful effects in motion. The first pathway is defined by the slow degradation of the nucleolus in the structure that sits in the middle of the cell’s nucleus. The second pathway involves the slow death of mitochondria, structures that help the cell produce energy. However there may be a workaround that could, in the far future, help scientists reprogram how cells age. His team created a third pathway that allowed cells to live twice as long compared to the other two aging pathways.

Stanford neuroscientists target drug-associated memories as a way to prevent relapse

In a new study, scientists interrupted a neural pathway responsible for opiate-associated memories in mice. Mice which had become morphine dependent, turning off or silencing a PVT pathway previously found to be important for withdrawal abolished their preference for the drug. When the mice were tested a day later without silencing – so the withdrawal pathway could function again and theoretically reactivate the memory – there was surprisingly still no preference for the drug. Their success in preventing relapse in rodents may one day translate to an enduring treatment of opioid addiction in people.

Business News

Warren Buffett reaps $40 billion from giant Apple stake since March bottom

Berkshire Hathaway’s Apple stake, which is now 40% of its equity portfolio, is up a whopping $40 billion since the bottom in March. The investment in the tech giant played a crucial role in helping the conglomerate weather the coronavirus crisis as other pillars of its business – including insurance and energy – took a huge hit. Berkshire bought its first 10 million Apple shares in May 2016. In the span of four years, the “Oracle of Omaha” ditched his usual aversion to tech and increased his bet to 245 million shares, now worth more than $95 billion, to become Apple’s second largest shareholder, only behind Vanguard.

StockX reports soaring sales amid pandemic

StockX has revealed that May and June were the two biggest buyer months in the company’s history, with sales soaring despite industry-wide challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company has now surpassed 2.5 billion dollars in gross merchandise value (GMV) since launching in 2016 and has closed more than 10 million lifetime trades, with more than 50 percent of those transactions taking place in the last year. In terms of commerce trends, the company, which attracts a predominantly Gen-Z audience, said the share of StockX users in the 45+ age bracket has increased by 30 percent in the past six months.

Miscellaneous News

LA Artist Donates 1,800 Paintings to Brooklyn Hospital

This week, a very different kind of shipment arrived at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn: a truckload of 1,800 paintings made by Los Angeles-based artist Michael Gittes, one for every single worker. Nurses, doctors, janitors, security guards, dietary aids, and back office administrators were each gifted with their own artwork. The abstracted acrylic on canvas works were painted using a syringe, a technique Gittes has employed for years but has taken on a special significance for this series, forging a symbolic connection to healthcare workers.

Rolls-Royce etched its newest car with encrypted messages, and it wants buyers to crack the code — tour the ‘Kryptos Collection’

The Rolls-Royce Kryptos Collection is a limited run of cars that incorporate complex, encrypted ciphers into their design. The 50 Wraith models that comprise the collection will feature secret codes, including on the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem and the headrests. Only two people on the planet know the full meaning of the codes, and the solution is locked in the CEO’s safe. Rolls-Royce owners can send in guesses about the code’s meaning through the carmaker’s exclusive app, Whispers. The Kryptos Rolls-Royce will likely run you well over $300,000.

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