Harvard Scientists Train Computer to Distinguish Scents

A team of Harvard scientists led by Venkatesh Murthy, professor of molecular and cellular biology, tackled a seemingly complex phenomenon in their investigation: how mice can distinguish scents from one another. Using a machine-learning algorithm, Murthy and his colleagues “trained” a computer to recognize the neural patterns linked to various scents, and to identify specific odors in a mixture of smells. The study, published in the journal Neuron, focused on creating an algorithm for a compu...
More

How robots can fall gracefully

Researchers at Georgia Tech have identified a way to teach robots how to fall with grace and without serious damage. The work is important as costly robots become more common in manufacturing alongside humans. The skill becomes especially important, too, as robots are sought for health care or domestic tasks working near the elderly, injured, children or pets. These machines are expensive to make and typically take months, if not years, to complete meaning every time they fall they can become da...
More

COMPASS method points researchers to protein structures.

University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software. Led by U. of I. chemistry professor Chad Rienstra, the team published its results in the journal Structure. “We’ve taken a process that would take months and brought it down to hours,” said Joseph Courtney, an Illinois graduate studen...
More