Surgical Robot Is Ridiculously Fast

There is much debate as to whether certain jobs should be handed over to artificial intelligences or remain to be carried out by a human workforce. Human error plays a huge role in why most industries choose to replace employees with machines. Researchers from the University of Utah are helping to minimize these risks with a new robot that can complete complicated procedures up to 50 times quicker than its human counterparts.

The robot can reduce the time it takes to drill into the skull from two hours to two-and-a-half minutes.

The robot is guided around vulnerable areas of the skull by data gleaned from CT scans and entered into the robot’s programming.

The CT scans show the programmer the location of nerves or veins that the bot will have to avoid.

Not only is the machine less prone to erring, it is also cutting surgery costs, as shorter surgeries are cheaper. While robotic surgeons are mostly prototypes, the day they become the norm doesn’t seem too far off.

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Living Green: The House That Produces Its Own Power

I’ll admit–every now and then I forget my recycling and leave the tap running while I’m brushing my teeth. I don’t use solar power and love my air-conditioning, but make a conscious effort to run errands on my bike. More often than not, the reason many people fail to live a more sustainable lifestyle is due to one thing–time, or a lack of it. But the HouseZero project is aiming to ease our load by making households ultra-efficient.

The performance goals set forth for HouseZero include: zero carbon emissions, including the materials; 100% natural ventilation and daylight autonomy; and near-zero energy use for heating and cooling.

Too good to be true? I hope not. HouseZero even claims that all its goals will be met without materially or visually affecting a house’s appearance.

There are more than 14 million homes like the one being retrofitted in this project across the United States, and the success of HouseZero will hopefully inspire more retrofits like it.

Ali Malkawi, director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, suggests that the solution lies not in energy production, but in energy reduction.

To further diminish your carbon footprint, moderate your demands.

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Turning Trash Into Fashion

With a steady rise in global population comes an undeniable increase in waste. Seeing a rapid decline of resources, we are constantly on the hunt for a more sustainable lifestyle–and that includes recycled fashion! Eco-friendly firm “Miniwiz” is encouraging households and industries to ‘upcycle’, or reuse materials creatively.

Most of fashion’s assumed pollution problem comes from its supply chain and its materials. It can take more than 20,000 liters of water to produce a single kilo of cotton.

Recycling regular household and industry goods could offer another sustainable model for a broader range of fashion companies.

A plastic gown wouldn’t bother me if it made me look like a queen.

Exhibitionists of traveling show “Gardening the Trash” have also taken a new perspective on trash.

“We used to look at waste as a problem, but it actually is an opportunity, and it takes all the knowledge of the community. Trash is now the new medium to do things differently.”

“We want to shape and create the dimensional effect, to demonstrate trash is a material with a lot of possibilities,”

The fashion world is becoming more well-versed in the likes of renewable energy and recycling, without faltering in style. The H&M Conscious Collection, Freedom of Animals, and Kowtow are just a few brands that have hopped onto the sustainable train. So quit the fur and leather and opt for something more environmentally friendly. After all, rabbits are much cuter in action.

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Can Pig Brain Cells Treat Parkinson’s?

If you’ve ever seen “Splice” you can probably assume that the incorporation of animal DNA into human bodies is slowly becoming a reality. Zebrafish compounds have been used to manage metabolism. Squalamine in sharks have cured infectious diseases. Now, brain cells from pigs are being implanted into humans in the hopes of treating Parkinson’s Disease.

New Zealand biotech company Living Cell Technologies has developed a treatment for Parkinson’s disease using choroid plexus cells from pigs.

“It’s putting in a little neurochemical factory to promote new nerve cell growth and repair,”

While Living Cell Technologies have yet to see how this new technique stacks up to already existing treatments, they are hopeful for its success.

Assuming this treatment is effective, it may be extended to treat other neurological disorders such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s.

Successful treatments for Parkinson’s disease could help millions of people — up to one million in the U.S., and an estimated seven to 10 million around the world. About 60,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s annually.

Parkinson’s Disease sees the gradual loss of dopamine-making brain cells. Many cases of Parkinson’s remain mostly undetected.

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Skirt-Wearing Schoolboys Protest No-Shorts Policy

If you’ve ever attended an all-girls Catholic private school, the one-inch-above-the-knee rule is about as real as you can get. Your dress determined your principles, and if you were a millimeter of par, you may as well have been publicly shunned. While I didn’t exactly have the guts to protest my long, itchy skirt against a horde of nuns, these schoolboys from Isca Academy in Exter sure did.

School boys from the Isca Academy in Exeter opposed to their school’s no-shorts policy responded by showing up in the school’s dress code-approved (but reserved for girls) tartan skirts.

For the last five days British citizens have suffered through a sizzling heatwave, and yesterday’s temperature beat record for the hottest day in 41 years.

The skirt-wearing demonstration was prompted by call center agent Joey Barge who, after breaking office dress code by wearing shorts, returned the next day in a dress code-approved dress. As incredible acts should, Joey’s endeavor went viral.

The Exeter boys’ protest encouraged headteacher Aimee Mitchell to adjust the dress-code policy accordingly.

“Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys, and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families,” she said. “However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.”

With summer easing in, wear out all the shorts in your wardrobe. And in the process, maybe break some gender constructs too.

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After 20 Years 132-Year-Old Lobster Finally Free

I am a sucker for contemporary Good Samaritan tales. Just a few days ago, a video of firefighters rescuing a tiny kitten from inside a PVC pipe plagued social media and left me sifting through YouTube for clips of passers-by saving animals caught in conundrums. Most recently, Butch Yamali of Peter’s Clam Bar in Hempstead paid it forward to a 132-year-old lobster named Louie.

“Today I’m announcing an official pardon for Louie the Lobster,” announced Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino. “Louie may have faced a buttery fate on a seafood lover’s plate, but today we are here to return Louie to a life that is better down where it’s wetter,”

Prior to his release, someone had offered to pay a hefty sum of $1,000 for Louie to be the star of his Father’s Day dinner. Yamali politely declined, claiming Louie was more like a pet.

Having lived 112 years in the Atlantic beach reef, experts deem that Louie will have no trouble adapting to a life in the wild.

“He’ll be just fine. There aren’t many predators who want to eat a big old lobster like that,” says Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute in Maine. “Hopefully, he finds a mate – and lives happily ever after.”

Now, why don’t we talk about freeing up Louie’s buddies?

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How Will Artificial Intelligences Shape The Future?

Day by day, doing work is made easier by various technologies such as household machines, virtual assistants, and the Internet. With people relying heavier on technology each year, we must ask ourselves how artificial intelligences will shape the future. Michael Hanuschick, Janet Baker, and James Kuffner provide their input.

Baker is skeptical about the developing AI, but concludes that proper use of technology is all about awareness:

“Powerful technologies will be used and abused… We must be aware and take active roles in advancing our capabilities and protecting ourselves from harm––including the harm from escalating prejudices we foster by isolating ourselves from differing ideas (e.g., with polarized news feeds) and productive discourse about them.”

Kuffner believes that AI exists for the better:

“AI will enhance and augment the human experience. Historically, humans have formed strong bonds — even relationships — with their automobiles (machines).”

Hanuschick thinks AIs can effectively handle small tasks, while the bigger ones must be dealt with by us:

“Jobs based on fairly simple and repetitive tasks will probably continue to disappear, but anything more complex is likely to be around for quite some time. I haven’t seen evidence that a true AI, with the ability to understand and reason, will be seen in our lifetimes.”

Many fear that AIs will eventually replace the human workforce, but others are optimistic that they will complement our vision for the future. And while AI’s customizable looks may be the least of our worries, who wouldn’t want a robot version of Brad Pitt?

Do you think AIs will benefit our community?

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Speaking Through Music

Through history, music has managed to transform the lives of people by means of success, healing, and a simple dose of good vibes. Whether you’re going through a break-up or lack shower tunes, music has got your back. Lately, researchers at the University of Plymouth have found that music has, once again, gone above and beyond, and is now being incorporated as an effective type of therapy.

Tailored music sessions could be crucial in transforming the lives of millions of people whose speech is impacted by learning difficulties, strokes, dementia, brain damage and autism, a new study suggests.

It could enable individuals and their families to feel less isolated or neglected within society, while enhancing their ability to communicate, both with each other and the wider world.

As a huge fan of the phrase “giving a voice to the voiceless” it came as no surprise to hear that music can successfully restore one’s motor skills.

“What we have shown is that music can give people a voice, allowing them to explore their creativity as well as communicating both pleasure and pain,” [said Jocey Quinn, professor at the university].

“We are pleased to see that the results of this study provide credible and robust evidence that demonstrates the wide social benefits of art and culture and hope this goes some way to making the links truly recognised.”

The University of Plymouth hopes that lessons will soon be implemented internationally.

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Paw Pods: Eco-Friendly Pet Burials

The loss of a pet, no matter how prepared we think we are, is always more devastating than we’d expect. The feeling is often equivalent to coping with the death of a family member. While most pets are honored with the classic backyard burial, Paw Pods hopes to pave the way towards proper pet funerals–and in a sustainable manner, too.

The urns and pods from Paw Pods are all made from bamboo powder, rice husk, and corn starch, and are designed to be decorated with paint, markers, or other craft items as a way for grieving kids and adults to express their feelings through art, and then after burial, to fully biodegrade within 3 to 5 years.

What about fish? While a flush funeral is about as traditional as you can get, it might not do much good for your plumbing. But not to worry, Paw Pods has also considered pods for smaller animals.

Paw Pods offers the Fish Pod, which is fish-shaped, as a way for kids to “avoid the trauma of seeing a pet flushed down the toilet,” as well as a mini pod for small pets, medium pods for pets such as cats, birds, rabbits, and smaller dogs, and large pods for dogs and other bigger animals.

Also available are urns and memorial cards filled with perennial flower seeds for a nice garden touch.

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Free The Tatas For A Cause

If you have been taking in your daily dose of tabloid drama, you’d know that braless celebrities are often a major point of conversation. Whether it’s Kendall Jenner or Britney Spears, the same sentiment remains–cover it up! While I don’t necessarily prefer to bare it all in public, I don’t always find myself scrambling back up to my apartment when I forget I’m not wearing a bra on the way to run a quick errand. Robyn and Michelle Lyle, masterminds behind the TaTa Top, don’t seem to think bras are necessary either.

The bikini top… made it look like the wearer was walking around topless, even though they weren’t.

“From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to use a sense of humor to shed light on some serious issues while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for two areas we are extremely passionate about: breast cancer awareness and women’s rights.”

TaTa Tops doesn’t only speak boldly, it forwards a sum of $5 on a rotating basis to a variety of groups that focus on research and breast education.

Robyn and Michelle wanted to do something that challenged the status quo and would draw attention to the sexism women face in America.

Will you bare it all for boobies?

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