Issue #364

This week - image-generating AI from Google; US Army tests a drone swarm in a simulated air assault; genetically engineered tomatoes with more vitamin D; is AI-art an art; and more!

More Than A Human

The Science of Mind Reading

For a long time, mind-reading existed in the realm of science fiction or even magic. But as we learn how to record brain activity and how to understand the data coming out of the brain scanners, the dream of mind-reading is becoming a reality. This article follows scientists working in this field and focuses on the medical application of mind-reading technology, such as allowing locked-in patients to communicate with the world.

Artificial Intelligence


Google presents Imagen - their own image generating AI. Similarly to OpenAI's DALL-E, the AI takes a text describing the image and generates it. The results are amazing and Google claims Images is the new state-of-the-art AI in its category.

Artificial intelligence is breaking patent law

The current patent laws across the world are not prepared to deal with AIs as several attempts to patent things created by AI have shown. Instead of overhauling international patent laws to accommodate AI, this article proposes to introduce separate patent laws for creations involving AI, such as shorter protection period or new ways to distribute the rewards from the patent.

AI-art isn't art

Can someone call what DALL-E and other image-generating AIs do an art? This article makes arguments against this idea and also ponders what could the implications be of such systems on art, artists and culture.

Widely Available AI Could Have Deadly Consequences

In September 2021, scientists Sean Ekins and Fabio Urbina were working on an experiment they had named the “Dr. Evil project.” The Swiss government’s Spiez laboratory had asked them to find out what would happen if their AI drug discovery platform, MegaSyn, fell into the wrong hands. Normally, MegaSyn would be programmed to generate the most specific and least toxic molecules. Instead, Ekins and Urbina programmed it to generate VX, an odorless and tasteless nerve agent and one of the most toxic and fast-acting human-made chemical warfare agents known today.


28-Drone Swarm Just Led The Way For A Simulated Air Assault Mission

US Army has tested a swarm of 28 networked drones to prove the concept that such a swarm could fly deep into enemy territory to gather information on the intended landing zone for a crewed helicopter air assault mission.

Dyson working on home robots

It has been revealed that Dyson is working on bringing a true science fiction vision into reality - robots that do household chores.

Tiny robotic crab is smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot

Just a half-millimetre wide, this tiny crab-robot is the smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot. It can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. Although the research is exploratory at this point, the researchers believe their technology might bring the field closer to realizing micro-sized robots that can perform practical tasks inside tightly confined spaces.


CRISPR tomatoes genetically engineered to be richer in vitamin D

Using CRISPR, scientists were able to suppress a specific enzyme in a tomato resulting in higher levels of vitamin D in them. Blocking this enzyme didn’t affect the growth, development or yield of the tomato plants. Other plants, like aubergine and potatoes, have the same biochemical pathways, meaning the same kind of gene-editing could be used to make them more nutritious too.

T cells block nerve cell regeneration with age, but can be reversed – mice study

New research in mice shows T cells prevent damaged nerve cells from regenerating due to a reversible, ageing-related mechanism. The findings also provide positive evidence that these T cells can be repressed using targeted drugs to restore and improve nerve cell regeneration.

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