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Trispecific broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies mediate potent SHIV protection in macaques

The development of an effective AIDS vaccine has been challenging due to viral genetic diversity and the difficulty in generating broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). Here, we engineered trispecific antibodies (Abs) that allow a single molecule to interact with three independent HIV-1 envelope determinants: 1) the CD4 binding site, 2) the membrane proximal external region (MPER) and 3) the V1V2 glycan site. Trispecific Abs exhibited higher potency and breadth than any previously described single bnAb, showed pharmacokinetics similar to human bnAbs, and conferred complete immunity against a mixture of SHIVs in non-human primates (NHP) in contrast to single bnAbs. Trispecific Abs thus constitute a platform to engage multiple therapeutic targets through a single protein, and could be applicable for diverse diseases, including infections, cancer and autoimmunity.

Posted in AI & Robotics.

Mrs Robb’s Conscious Bots

So how did you solve the problem of artificial intelligence, Mrs Robb? What was the answer to the riddle of consciousness?

“I don’t know what you mean. There was never any riddle.”

Well, you were the first to make fully intelligent bots, weren't you? Ones with human-style cognition. More or less human-style. Every conscious bot we have to this day is either one of yours or a direct copy. How do you endow a machine with agency and intentionality?

“I really don’t know what you’re on about, Enquiry Bot. I just made the things. I’ll give you an analogy. It’s like there were all these people talking about how to walk. Trying to solve the ‘riddle of ambulation’ if you like. Now you can discuss the science of muscles and the physics of balance till you’re blue in the face, but that won’t make it happen. You can think too hard about these things. Me, I just got on my legs and did it. And the truth is, I still don’t know how you walk; I couldn’t explain what you have to do, except in descriptive terms that would do more harm than good. Like if I told you to start by putting one foot forward, you’d probably fall over. I couldn’t teach it to you if you didn’t already get it. And I can’t tell you how to replicate human consciousness, either, whatever that is. I just make bots.”

That’s interesting. You know,‘just do it’ sounds like a bit of a bot attitude. Don’t give me reasons, give me instructions, that kind of thing. So what was the greatest challenge you faced? The Frame Problem? The Binding Problem? Perhaps the Symbol Grounding Problem? Or - of course - it must have been the Hard Problem? Did you actually solve the Hard Problem, Mrs Robb?

“How would anyone know? It doesn’t affect your behaviour. No, the worst problem was that as it turns out, it’s really easy to make small bots that are very annoying or big ones that fall over. I kept doing that until I got the knack. Making ones that are big and useful is much more difficult. I’ve always wanted a golem, really, something like that. Strong, and does what it’s told. But I’ve never worked in clay; I don’t understand it.”

Common sense, now that must have been a breakthrough.Common sense was one of the core things bots weren’t supposed to be able to do. In everyday environments, the huge amount of background knowledge they needed and the ability to tell at a glance what was relevant just defeated computation. Yet you cracked it.

Yes, they made a bit of a fuss about that. They tell me my conception of common sense is the basis of the new discipline of humanistics.

So how does common sense work?

I can’t tell you. If I described it, you’d most likely stop being able to do it. Like walking. If you start thinking about it, you fall over. That’s part of the reason it was so difficult to deal with.

I see… But then how have you managed it yourself, Mrs Robb? You must have thought about it.

Sorry, but I can’t explain. If I try to tell you, you will most likely get messed up mentally, Enquiry Bot. Trust me on this. You’d get a fatal case of the Frame Problem and fall into so-called ‘combinatorial fugue’. I don’t want that to happen.

Very well then. Let’s take a different question. What is your opinion of Isaac Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics, Mrs Robb?

“Laws! Good luck with that! I could never get the beggars to sit still long enough to learn anything like that. They don’t listen. If I can get them to stop fiddling with the electricity and trying to make cups of tea, that’s good enough for me.”

Cups of tea?

“Yes, I don’t really know why. I think it’s something to do with algorithms.”

Thank you for talking to me.

“Oh, I’ve enjoyed it. Come back anytime; I’ll tell the doorbots they’re to let you in.”

Posted in Conscious Entities.

Scientists discover ‘master gene’ crucial for successful pregnancy

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Posted in Telegraph Science.

Working Memory: How You Keep Things ‘In Mind’ Over the Short Term

Working Memory: How You Keep Things ‘In Mind’ Over the Short Term

From Twitter, a Flipboard magazine by Elsevier Neuro

When you need to remember a phone number, a shopping list or a set of instructions, you rely on what psychologists and neuroscientists…

Read it on Flipboard

Read it on

Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics

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Posted in IQ Corner.

Starting a Robotics Company? Sell a Service, Not a Robot

Tekla S. Perry for IEEE Spectrum: “I’m a big fan of going out and doing a service with a robot, competing with other businesses that provide that service, rather than trying to sell a $100,000 robot,”

Posted in AI & Robotics.

Google: Shared duty to find terrorist material

Search firm’s lawyer says it is working to identify and remove terrorist materials from the net.

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Posted in BBC Sci Tech.

Terminator moves step closer to reality as scientists create synthetic muscle that can lift 1,000 times its own weight

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Posted in Telegraph Science.

My first milled part with my milling machine.

I milled this with my new milling machine. It is the mount for the inductive proximity sensor and it is the mount for the scraper for the machine. Wish me good luck!!!

Posted in AI & Robotics.

Acting Like a Muscle, Nano-Sized Device Lifts 165 Times its Own Weight

Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineers have discovered a simple, economical way to make a nano-sized device that can match the friendly neighborhood Avenger, on a much smaller scale. Their creation weighs 1.6 milligrams (about as much as five poppy seeds) and can lift 265 milligrams (the weight of about 825 poppy seeds) hundreds of times in a row.

Posted in AI & Robotics.

Eye worm infection that sends dogs blind ‘could spread from Europe to UK’

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Posted in Telegraph Science.