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ROME, July 2 (Reuters) — A United Nations-backed scientific research centre has teamed up with an Italian tech firm to explore whether laser light can be used to kill coronavirus particles suspended in the air and help keep indoor spaces safe.

The joint effort between the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) of Trieste, a city in the north of Italy, and the nearby Eltech K-Laser company, was launched last year as COVID-19 was battering the country.

They created a device that forces air through a sterilization chamber which contains a laser beam filter that pulverizes viruses and bacteria.

Breakthrough Initiatives held an exciting scientific meeting at the beginning of this week, from exoplanets to technosignatures and the future of life on Earth:

Earlier this week, the Breakthrough Initiatives held the scientific meeting Life in the Universe 2021: Our Past, Present, and Future Selves.

Artificial Intelligence Is the New Science of Human Consciousness.
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Can AI dream? Can it love? Can it “think” in the same way we do? The short answer is: no. AI doesn’t need to bog itself down with simple human tasks like love or dreams or fear. The AI brain posits itself in a much grander scale first and then works backwards to the more human way of thinking. Joscha Bach suggests that much rather than humanoid robots, we are more likely to see AI super-brains developed by countries and larger companies. Imagine a computer brain that is designed to keep the stock market balanced, or detect earthquakes an ocean away that could sound alarms on our shores… that sort of thing.

It’s a big concept to wrap our human heads around. But as AI technology develops and grows by the day, it is important to understand where the technology is headed. Think less Rosie The Robot Maid from The Jetsons and more the computer from War Games.

Joscha Bach’s latest book is Principles of Synthetic Intelligence.


Dr. Joscha Bach (MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics) is an AI researcher who works and writes about cognitive architectures, mental representation, emotion, social modeling, and multi-agent systems. He is founder of the MicroPsi project, in which virtual agents are constructed and used in a computer model to discover and describe the interactions of emotion, motivation, and cognition of situated agents. Bach’s mission to build a model of the mind is the bedrock research in the creation of Strong AI, i.e. cognition on par with that of a human being. He is especially interested in the philosophy of AI and in the augmentation of the human mind.

27-Year-Old Woman To Become First Female Ever To Visit Every Country On Earth27-Year-Old Woman To Become First Female Ever To Visit Every Country On EarthScience, science nature articles, physics topics, space information, technolog services, view search history, astronomy articlessci-nature.

Innovation At The Intersection Of Cancer & Aging, Via Digital Health & Behavioral Sciences — Dr. Corinne Leach, Ph.D. American Cancer Society

Dr. Corinne Leach, PhD, MPH, MS, is a gerontologist, digital health strategist, and behavioral scientist, who serves as the Senior Principal Scientist, Behavioral Research, at the American Cancer Society (

Dr. Leach, leads survivorship research on behalf of the Population Sciences group, serving as the Principal Investigator of the American Cancer Society (ACS) survivorship cohorts, and as the ACS-lead for the ACS-National Cancer Institute online self-management platform, Springboard Beyond Cancer, a novel eHealth tool that empowers cancer survivors to better manage their cancer-related symptoms, live healthier, and improve their communication skills about cancer (as well as other health conditions), during and after treatment.

Dr. Leach’s cancer survivorship research focuses in the areas of aging, cancer-related symptom assessment, and chronic disease self-management, and her research aims to improve the understanding of: behavioral factors that contribute to healthy aging and the best way to promote them, the unique experiences of older cancer survivors, such as physical late effects and psychosocial issues, and ways to improve survivors’ self-management of cancer-related issues.

Dr. Leach also studies accelerated aging after a cancer diagnosis, including the accumulation of multiple chronic conditions after a cancer diagnosis, and she evaluates the benefits of health behavior interventions, such as chronic disease self-management.

Dr. Leach is also a Gerontological Society of America Fellow, member of the Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG), Scientific Advisory Committee member for Pack Health and Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, Adjunct Professor at Emory, Rollins School of Public Health, Susan B Anthony Aetna Award Winner for Excellence in Research on Older Women, American Public Health Association (APHA), and has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Leach has an MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a.
PhD in Gerontology from University of Kentucky, and an MS in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University.

The path that led Jennifer Doudna, PhD, and her colleagues to the development of CRISPR, the gene-editing tool that has revolutionized science and earned her a Nobel Prize, started with their deep curiosity and drive to understand how the most basic building blocks of life function.

When Doudna first decided to investigate precisely what systems bacteria use to adapt their immune systems to fight off viral infections, she had little expectation that the findings would ultimately provide the key to technology that could be used to safely alter genetic code.

“All of us [on the research team] realized that what had started as a fundamental research question was morphing into a very different kind of project; namely, one with enormous technical potential and also risks and opportunities that we had not appreciated when we started the work,” Doudna explained during a conversation with J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, chair of the AAMC Board of Directors and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, at the opening plenary of Learn Serve Lead 2021: The Virtual Experience, on Monday, Nov. 8.

Studying The Atoms Of Perception, Memory, Behavior and Consciousness — Dr. Christof Koch, Ph.D. — Chief Scientist, MindScope Program, Allen Institute.

Dr. Christof Koch, Ph.D. ( is Chief Scientist of the MindScope Program at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, originally funded by a donation of more than $500 million from Microsoft founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.

With his B.S. and M.S. in physics from the University of Tübingen in Germany and his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Dr. Koch spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT, and from 1987 until 2,013 was a professor at Caltech, from his initial appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Biology and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, to his final position as Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Biology.

Dr. Koch joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science as Chief Scientific Officer in 2011 and became it’s President in 2015.

Dr. Koch’s passion are neurons, or what he refers to as the atoms of perception, memory, behavior and consciousness, including their diverse shapes, electrical behaviors, and their computational function within the mammalian brain, in particular in neocortex, and he leads the Allen Institute for Brain Science effort to identify all the different types of neurons in the brains of mice and humans – known as their cell census effort.

Dr. Koch’s writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience with philosophy and contemporary trends, in particular artificial intelligence, and he has authored more than 300 scientific papers and multiple books including, The Feeling of Life Itself – Why Consciousness is Everywhere But Can’t be Computed, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach, Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons, and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks. He has also served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing.