AN ENTREPRENEUR, TECHNOLOGIST AND SCIENCE STORYTELLER ATUL JALAN IS A COMPULSIVE ENTREPRENEUR. AS A TECHNOLOGIST, HE IS A KEEN OBSERVER OF THE CHANGES SCIENCE IS FORGING IN US. AS A SCIENCE STORYTELLER, HE BRINGS US THESE OBSERVATIONS THROUGH HIS TALKS AND THROUGH HIS WRITING. KNOW MORE

"THE END OF RANDOMNESS IN HUMAN
EVOLUTION TRULY MARKS THE
BEGINNING OF MAN'S NEXT AVATAR."

EVENTS

INKtalks on Role of Technology during this crisis
WITFluence by Wequity
Elevate by Target Corporation
British Deputy High Commission
Global Entrepreneurship Summit, IIT
National Retail Federation
Techfest, IIT Bombay
INK 2019 Within & Beyond
IMA India CEO Forum

K-pop is at the apex of the Korean wave that has hit the pop music industry around the world. Groups like BTS and SuperM, with their band members outfitted in latest fashion gear and choreographed in videos to foot-tapping techno music, are selling out concerts in the US and UK.

They have become so popular that retail fashion and consumer goods brands are using celebrity status for their global promotions. Korean companies are taking it a step further: they are creating virtual avatars who are going on to become celebrities themselves.

One such star is Hatsune Miku, a vocaloid hologram, who was supposed to be the headlining attraction at the Coachella (leading music festival) in the US this year (cancelled due to the pandemic).

Now, SM Entertainment’s K-Pop Girl Group, Aaespa, is adding a virtual member called ae-Karina to the existing quartet. Ae-Karina is a CGI avatar of band member Karina, and will possess vocal and dance skills like her.

The idea here is to capitalize on their offline interactions. Both the Karinas will communicate (through an AI system) and share their views on various subjects. Youngsters are very interested in crossing the digital divide to discover what lies there!

#Karina #kpop #kpop #korea #kpopedit #music #fashion #hologram #wherewillmantakeus #virtual #AI #avatars #techno
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Researchers at the University of Helsinki are combining genomic information with health data from national health registries, to attain a comprehensive risk assessment for breast cancer. ⠀

The researchers determined ‘a polygenic risk score’, which sums up genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer risk. Individually these genetic risk factors have only a limited impact on the risk of developing breast cancer, but when pooled and analysed comprehensively as a risk score, the system is able to identify women with unusually high or low risk of developing breast cancer.⠀

The new study demonstrates that the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer among carriers of the mutations varies considerably based on cumulative effects of risk factors. The results published in the journal Nature Communications, are based on the FinnGen study which encompassed more than 120,000 women. ⠀

“These exciting results chart a clear path towards significantly improved risk assessment that will ultimately save lives and reduce healthcare costs by ensuring that cancer screening is delivered to those who need it most,” says Mark Daly, the Director of FIMM.⠀

The research group considers the utilization of polygenic risk information a promising tool on the path towards an increasingly comprehensive risk assessment for breast cancer.⠀

#genomics #cancer #health #breastcancer #science #data
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The Hubble Space Telescope, launched on April 30, 1990, completed 30 years in orbit this year. The clarity of the images taken of distant galaxies, exploding stars and stellar nurseries are a sight to behold. They have not only helped expand our knowledge of the cosmos; the images themselves are pieces of art that stimulate our imagination. ⠀

NASA has recently released images in a collection that is both stunning and poignant. For example, the shot of the centre of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast nursery 4000 light-years away is mind boggling. The image of the #Horsehead Nebula, popular amongst amateur astronomers, is ethereal. ⠀

Other great ones are Westerlund 2, Arp 273 ‘Galactic Rose’, Southern Crab Nebula and Orion Nebula. Many of the others too inspire awe, and a deeper appreciation for the entire cosmos.

In addition to these images, in 2019, NASA released the Hubble Legacy Field View, which shows the universe as it was 13.3 billion years ago. That is just 500 million years after the Big Bang. The image ‘captures 265,000 galaxies at a wavelength range covering ultraviolet to near-infrared.’

#nasa #hubble #cosmos #galaxy
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Fossils of Bristol dinosaurs (also known as the Thecodontosaurus), existed about 205 million years ago. Since their remains were uncovered in the 1800s, there has been an ongoing debate on what the Thecodontosaurus consumed and how they walked. A study, led by palaeontologists in the University of Bristol claims answers to these questions.⠀

The Thecodontosaurus lived in the late Triassic age (some 205 million years ago) and although its fossils are carefully preserved, scientists have only very recently been able to deploy imaging software to extract new information without destroying them. 3D models were generated from CT scans by digitally extracting the bone from the rock, and identifying anatomical details about the brain and inner ear which were previously unseen in the fossil. ⠀

Antonio Ballell, lead author of the study stated that, “Even though the actual brain is long gone, the software allows us to recreate brain and inner ear shape via the dimensions of the cavities left behind.”⠀

As a result of this advanced imaging technique, the team has been able to deduce that the Bristol dinosaur may have occasionally eaten meat and run on two legs much like its ancestors whose remains were found in South America. ⠀

Professor Mike Benton, study co-author, said: "It's great to see how new technologies are allowing us to find out even more about how this little dinosaur lived more than 200 million years ago.”⠀

#3D #imaging #CTscans #dinosaurs #technology #science
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At Burning Man, the audience is the show: the boundaries between stage and public overlap and melt. Every form of self-expression, every fantasy… everything has a place. It’s kind of a utopia, and everyone one who sets foot in it is so impressed that they do their best to respect it and keep it alive.
- Margherita Missoni

The call of the Burning Man kindles in your soul when you are perhaps ready to give a little more than you are ready to receive. And once you have made that silent mental leap that ephemeral shelter in a dusty desert beckons like a siren from the wild.

I did my first ‘Burn’ a few years back, and since then there has never been a day that I have not thought about it. The stark desert setting, the interactive art installations, the camaraderie of campfires, the silvery dust, the impromptu music, the unplanned performances, the non-stop partying, and most importantly the expressions of people, flash through my mind in a never-ending kaleidoscope of waltzing memories.

The venue of the Burning Man, simply called ‘the playa’, is situated on a dried lakebed in Black Rock Desert, #Nevada. This temporary metropolis, called #BlackRockCity, is set up and demolished within a span of nine days in August- September every year. ‘Burners’ from all walks of life throng to this event (and dare you call it a festival), including celebrities and CEOs from super-tech companies. Musk has been there, so has Larry. 70,000 people attended in 2017.

Founded by Larry Harvey in 1986, #BurningMan, is the most famous of community gatherings based a set of free-spirited but practical principles: radical inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, decommodification (neither money nor barter is the modus operandi here, whereas gifting is), leaving no trace (behind), and participation. All entertainment, and event warmers like wine-tastings, massages, food, drinks, and almost everything is free.

On a Saturday night, a large wooden sculpture of ‘the Man’ was torched: a symbolic ritual burning which perhaps signifies the impermanence of all possessions. As I watched the flame-engulfed superstructure collapse, I was ready to pick up the embers to bury in my heart.
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If you have watched ‘A Very English Scandal’ you would be familiar with Russell T Davies, a filmmaker par excellence. In a six-part series called Years and Years on BBC One, Russel goes futuristic and tracks the lives of 3 generations of a Manchester family from 2019 to 2034.

Developing technologies, and wearable or embeddable devices, are the springboard for the fascinating changes that confront the family members. Microchipping is the theme for Episode 2, where Bethany has her phone implanted into her hand and bewilders everyone around her.

British scientist Kevin Warwick was the first human to receive an RFID microchip implant in 1998. While development has not been rapid, Pacemakers and Bionic Eye implants have improved. It is again picking up speed: in 2018, Three Square Market, a Wisconsin tech company, had a small chip injected in the hands of employees for security convenience.

Other applications of microchipping are purposed for identification, making payments, operating equipment, home automation and accessing medical information.

These implants are inserted by a hypodermic needle and placed between the thumb and index finger. Though it is apparently painful, many people are still willing to suffer it for future convenience. #yearsandyears #bbcone #futuristic #wearables #technology #transhumans #implants #wherewillmantakeus
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When he was a 14-year-old high school intern, Aspyn started programming iGenomics. Today, it is now the world’s first mobile genome sequence analyzer. ⠀

Developed by Aspyn Palatnick in CSHL Adjunct Associate Professor Michael Schatz's laboratory over a period of eight years, the iGenomics algorithm can quickly map DNA sequences of viral pathogens, such as a flu virus or Zika virus, and identify mutations important for diagnosis and treatment. ⠀

Aspyn and Schatz recognized that scientists studying pandemics were "flying in suitcases full of Nanopores and laptops and other servers to do that analysis in the remote fields." iGenomics helps by making genome studies more portable, accessible, and affordable.⠀
With the app, users can share sequencing data with each other, and analyse DNA in remote locations — even without internet access. ⠀

In fact, iGenomics may soon even find its way into the hands of astronauts. Boldly analyzing DNA where no one has gone before. ⠀

#wherewillmantakeus #DNA #genome #geneanalysis #startrek #tricorder #science #technology
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