Issue #378

This week - AI wins art contest; brain implants to treat binge eating disorder and to keep old brains healthy; robot-fireflies and aquabots; the race to make human sex cells in lab; and more!


More Than A Human

Could a brain implant treat binge eating disorder?

Two patients had for six months a brain implant that was monitoring their brains for signals related to binge eating disorder and disrupted them then detected. The trial was successful - patients reported far fewer binge episodes and lost weight.

Brain stimulation can improve the memory of older people

A recent study has shown that a gentle form of brain stimulation might help either long-term or short-term memory in older people, and the benefits appear to last for at least a month.

Artificial Intelligence

AI wins state fair art contest, annoys humans

Well, this was a matter of time. A synthetic media artist named Jason Allen entered AI-generated artwork into the Colorado State Fair fine arts competition and announced last week that he won first place in the Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category. This caused a lot of discussions about the nature of art and what it means to be an artist in the age of AI art generators like Midjourney.

DALL·E: Introducing Outpainting

OpenAI announced a new feature in DALL·E - their art-generating AI - called Outpainting. It takes the original image and fills in what it predicts is beyond the boundaries of the image, creating large-scale images in any aspect ratio.

Robotics

Robo-fireflies

Researchers from MIT have created these lightweight robotic fireflies powered by tiny artificial muscles. And just like real fireflies, they glow while flying.

Aquabots: Ultrasoft liquid robots for biomedical and environmental applications

Meet Aquabots - a new type of soft robots made predominantly of liquids. These robots are ultra-soft and more flexible than current soft robots. In the future, Aquabots could open exciting possibilities for numerous real-world biomedical and environmental applications. For instance, they could be used to deliver drugs to specific locations inside the human body, to biologically engineer human tissue, and to artificially perform the functions of specific biological systems.

Biotechnology

Inside the race to make human sex cells in the lab

Scientists have already created artificial eggs and sperm from mouse cells and used them to create mouse pups. Artificial human sex cells are next. When done, this will transform infertility treatment and change how we as humans can reproduce, like having a single person produce both the sperm and the egg that create an embryo.

De-extinction Company Aims to Resurrect the Tasmanian Tiger

There is a company working on bringing back extinct animals. They made news last September with an announcement to resurrect the woolly mammoth. Now the company revealed they are working on a second project - bringing back the Tasmanian Tiger.

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