Science X Newsletter Friday, Dec 6

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 6, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Addressing the obstacles preventing the commercialization of lithium-rich layered sulfides

Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

'Conductor' gene found in plant root stem cell 'orchestra'

Nanocontainer ships titan-size gene therapies and drugs into cells

Reduced soil tilling helps both soils and yields

The surprising individuality of microRNAs

Gaining insight into the energy balance of earthquakes

Current treatment for fungal meningitis is fueling drug resistance

Study shows first signs of cross-talk between RNA surveillance and silencing systems

Research: A country's degree of gender equality can affect men's ability to recognize famous female faces

Novel bioprinter shows potential to speed tissue engineering

Simple machine learning scorecard for seizures is saving lives

Optical switch illuminates cell development

Has physics ever been deterministic?

A nine-enzyme chain-reaction approach for making the HIV drug islatravir

Physics news

Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals the "rules of the road" for electrons both in normal conditions and in the critical moments just before the material transforms into a superconductor.

Has physics ever been deterministic?

Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna and the University of Geneva, have proposed a new interpretation of classical physics without real numbers. This new study challenges the traditional view of classical physics as deterministic.

Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality

A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium.

Fish scattering sound waves has impact on aquaculture

Schools of fish can scatter sound waves, which has impacts on fish farming. Fisheries acoustics have been studied for over 40 years to assess biomass and optimize aquaculture applications.

Simple experiment explains magnetic resonance

Physicists at University of California, Riverside, have designed an experiment to explain the concept of magnetic resonance. The project was carried out by undergraduate students in collaboration with local high school teachers.

Astronomy & Space news

Russian supply ship lifts off to International Space Station

An automatic Russian supply ship carrying tons of supplies successfully blasted off Friday heading for the International Space Station.

SpaceX Dragon heads to space station with NASA science

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 12:29 p.m. EST today (Dec. 5). Dragon will deliver more than 5,700 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including studies of malting barley in microgravity, the spread of fire, and bone and muscle loss.

We're using lasers and toaster-sized satellites to beam information faster through space

Satellites are becoming increasingly important in our lives, as they help us meet a demand for more data, exchanged at higher speeds. This is why we are exploring new ways of improving satellite communication.

Research suggests that hibernation is a likely option to make deep space exploration a reality

Space travelers sleeping in hibernation chambers before continuing with their missions, whether to go on a trip to Jupiter or hunt down an extraterrestrial creature. The concept was first imagined in the 20th century before making its way to the big screen. Are these images getting hauntingly prophetic?

Technology news

Addressing the obstacles preventing the commercialization of lithium-rich layered sulfides

Anionic redox chemistry is a fairly new research area that could pave the way for the development of more efficient lithium ion-battery cathode materials such as Li-rich layered oxides. So far, however, anionic redox chemistry approaches have been found to have significant limitations, for instance, leading to voltage fade, large hysteresis and sluggish kinetics.

Opera for Android ushers in new night mode

With version 55 of its Android browser, Oslo, Norway-based Opera has a redesigned night mode that "reduces the light pollution caused by your phone to the bare minimum."

Reducing risk in AI and machine learning-based medical technology

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) are increasingly transforming the healthcare sector. From spotting malignant tumours to reading CT scans and mammograms, AI/ML-based technology is faster and more accurate than traditional devices—or even the best doctors. But along with the benefits come new risks and regulatory challenges.

New ultra-miniaturized scope less invasive, produces higher quality images

Johns Hopkins engineers have created a new lens-free ultra-miniaturized endoscope, the size of a few human hairs in width, that is less bulky and can produce higher quality images.

Uber reports more than 3,000 sexual assaults on 2018 rides

Uber, as part of a long anticipated safety report, revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its U.S. rides in 2018.

DHS retreats on possible facial screening of US citizens

The Homeland Security Department is backing away from requiring that U.S. citizens submit to facial-recognition technology when they leave or enter the country.

AI judges and verdicts via chat app: the brave new world of China's digital courts

Artificial-intelligence judges, cyber-courts, and verdicts delivered on chat apps—welcome to China's brave new world of justice spotlighted by authorities this week.

Who makes better decisions: Humans or robots?

Admit it. You rely on navigation apps to help you get around almost every day, whether you drive, take the bus or train, walk, or hike from point A to B.

This small German town took back the power—and went fully renewable

The case for ambitious and transformative environmental policy is being made with increasing fervor and a series of "Green New Deals"—a reference to Roosevelt's economic reform program in the 1930s—have been proposed over the past 12 months in the US, Europe, and the UK. Such policies would involve massive state investment in the development of renewable energy infrastructure, retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, and efficient and high-speed public transport.

NATO researchers: Social media failing to stop manipulation

Social media companies are failing to stop manipulated activity, according to a report Friday by NATO-affiliated researchers who said they were easily able to buy tens of thousands of likes, comments and views on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Spotify Wrapped is back: How to see your most-streamed music in 2019

Just weeks after Apple Music rolled out a recap of everything you've done on the app, Spotify is unveiling its annual tool that showcases your most-listened-to tracks of 2019.

Craigslist: There's finally a mobile app for that on iOS and Android

After more than two decades in operation, Craigslist is getting its own mobile apps.

Facebook's crisis response tools get extended to WhatsApp

Facebook is expanding the way people in disaster zones can request help.

Ford recalls big pickups; tailgates can open unexpectedly

Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 262,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada because the tailgates can open unexpectedly.

Amazon 'thrilled' after Premier League debut

Amazon Prime has declared its first foray into the Premier League market a success, saying its coverage of the midweek programme was one of the biggest-ever streaming events in the United Kingdom.

US probe finds Cambridge Analytica misled Facebook users on data

US regulators concluded Friday that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica—at the center of a massive scandal on hijacking of Facebook data—deceived users of the social network about how it collected and handled their personal information.

State AGs look to head off T-Mobile-Sprint deal in court

A high-drama telecom deal is heading to court.

Amazon blaming Trump over Pentagon contract loss, judge says

Amazon is arguing in a court case that President Donald Trump's bias against the company harmed its chances of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract.

Designing workplaces with sound disturbances in mind

Workplaces are full of sound, most of which is not helpful to workers trying to do their jobs. Scientists are using physics to understand how conversation, music and other ambient noise is experienced by individuals in a variety of work situations.

Researchers discover new two-dimensional semiconductor

Researchers of Valencia Unviersity (UV) have discovered a two-dimensional semiconductor that has its excitons orientated in a novel way, paving the way for the generation of integrated photonic chips.

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AI Weekly | Dec. 6, 2019

Today concludes Amazon's re:Invent 2019 conference in Las Vegas, where the Seattle company's Amazon W
AI Weekly
Today concludes Amazon's re:Invent 2019 conference in Las Vegas, where the Seattle company's Amazon Web Services (AWS) division unveiled enhancements heading down its public cloud pipeline. Just Tuesday, Amazon announced the general availability of AWS Outposts, a fully managed service that extends AWS' infrastructure and services to customer data centers, co-location spaces, and on-premises facilities. And it debuted in preview Amazon Detective, which helps to analyze, investigate, and identify the root cause of potential security issues and suspicious activities. That's not to mention AI-powered fraud detection and code review products and an expanded machine learning experimentation and development studio, as well as a dedicated instance for AI inferencing workloads.
But perhaps the most intriguing launch this week was that of Amazon Transcribe Medical, a service that's designed to transcribe medical speech for clinical staff in primary care settings. It's scalable across "thousands" of health care facilities to provide secure note-taking for clinical staff, with an API that integrates with voice-enabled apps and works with most microphone-equipped devices. It supports both medical dictation and conversational transcription, with conveniences like automatic and "intelligent" punctuation. And it's covered under AWS' HIPAA eligibility and business associate addendum (BAA), meaning any customer that enters into a BAA can use Transcribe Medical to process and store personal health information (PHI).
It's worth noting that Amazon isn't the only tech giant offering speech recognition products targeting care. Microsoft this year said it would team up with Nuance to host the latter's AI software that understands patient-clinician conversations, which integrates with medical records. Rival Philips has long offered tailor-made automatic transcription solutions for health care professionals in public hospitals and small practices. And Google, not to be outdone, is collaborating with Stanford on a "digital scribe" pilot to use voice assistants during patient checkups.
But Transcribe Medical is merely the newest in a string of products signaling Amazon's desire to enter the AI in health care market, which is anticipated to reach $19.25 billion by 2026.
The bulk of Amazon's recent efforts have piggybacked on Alexa, its voice assistant platform that's embedded in over 100 million devices sold as of January 2019. Last week in partnership with Giant Eagle Pharmacy, Amazon debuted a voice medication management service that allows customers to set up reminders and request refills using their prescription information. April marked the expansion of the Alexa Skills Kit (the collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it easier to build apps for Alexa) to Covered Entities and their Business Associates (subject to HIPAA), enabling the publication of voice apps that transmit and receive protected health information. And Amazon partnered with Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles to deploy an Alexa-powered platform, Aiva, that lets patients control connected devices like TVs and request nurse or clinician assistance.
That's only the beginning of the groundwork Amazon has laid to date. Amazon last year made three AWS offerings HIPAA eligible – Transcribe, Translate, and Comprehend – following on the heels of rival Google Cloud. It also acquired PillPack for just under $1 billion, an online pharmacy that lets users buy medications in prepackaged doses, and it more recently snatched up Health Navigator, a startup that develops APIs for online health services. Notably, prior to the purchase, Health Navigator invested heavily in developing natural language processing technologies to document health complaints and care recommendations, which it integrated with its customers' online health services, including telemedical apps and medical call centers.
Arguably Amazon's most ambitious step was the launch of Amazon Care, a pilot health care service available to its employees in and around the Seattle area. The offering – which emerged from a collaboration between J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to explore how to reduce expenses for their combined 1.2 million employees – currently includes both virtual and in-person care, chat and remote video, and follow-up visits and prescription drug delivery to homes and offices. It's been speculated that eventually, Amazon Care might tap data from trackers like Amazon's Echo Buds (which reportedly spot built-in pedometers) to inform wellness recommendations and spotlight trends.
Taken together, the developments suggest Amazon views AI in health care as a frontier worth pursuing – and perhaps its next major revenue driver. It'll likely be years before the company fully realizes its vision for the market, to be fair. But it's making inroads in a way that even Google – which is deeply involved with health care research through Google Health and its sister companies DeepMind and Verily – hasn't yet.
As always, if you come across a story that merits coverage, send news tips to Khari Johnson and Kyle Wiggers — and be sure to bookmark our AI Channel and subscribe to the AI Weekly newsletter.
Thanks for reading,
Kyle Johnson
AI staff writer

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Featured Video
P.S. Please enjoy this showcase of a study from Nvidia ("Dancing to Music"), which is being presented at NeurIPS 2019.
P.S. Please enjoy this showcase of a study from Nvidia ("Dancing to Music"), which is being presented at NeurIPS 2019.
Beyond VB
Israeli Artificial Intelligence Summarizes Articles in the Blink of an Eye
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