Best of Last Week – Reversing time, curing blindness with genes and the health dangers of eating eggs

March 18, 2019 by Bob Yirka
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

It was a good week for space news as an international team reported on how they had observed the formation sites of solar-system-like planets. Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array the team found two rings of dust around a star, at distances comparable to the asteroid belt and the orbit of Neptune. And a team with members from institutions in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. announced that they had found evidence of 83 supermassive black holes in the early universe.

It was also a big week for technology advancement as an international team reported that they had measured near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors using quantum dots. Also, a team with members from Swisscom and EPFL outlined a new approach to overcoming multi-model forgetting in deep neural networks, possibly paving the way for processing applications that can work well on more than one type of task. In related research, a team at SRI international outlined a generative memory approach to enabling lifelong reinforcement learning. And a team at USC Viterbi School of Engineering showed off a robotic leg that was born without prior knowledge as it learned to walk. Also, a team at the Imperial College of London demonstrated an ability to 4-D print multi-metal products with a desktop electrochemical 3-D printer. 4-D printing adds the dimension of transformation over time.

In other news, a team from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology along with partners in Switzerland and the U.S., made headlines when they announced that they had reversed time using a quantum computer. They returned the state of a quantum computer a fraction of a second into the past. And a team at the University of California announced that with a single gene insertion, blind mice had regained sight that they had lost due to retinal degeneration.

And finally, for those who have begun to feel comfortable eating again after much waffling by scientists regarding the health dangers of eating them—you might want to put down that fork as a team at Northwestern University found that higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes heart disease and death risk

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