Computational creativity and the future of AI

Imperial College

Scientists have discovered a protein that is shown to boost the presence of cancer-fightin...

One of the body's defenses against deadly cancer cells may have just received a much-needed boost. Researchers at Imperial College London have happened upon a previously unknown protein that ramps up the presence of all-important cytotoxic T cells, which destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells.  Read More

Biodegradable silicon 'nanoneedles' (green) penetrate a cell (pink) and deliver genetic ma...

Researchers at the Imperial College London and the Houston Methodist Research Institute have developed biodegradable, silicon "nanoneedles" that can deliver genetic material to stimulate the growth of blood vessels. They could perhaps even be used to reprogram living cells as needed in a safe, non-invasive manner.  Read More

Endothelial cells grown from stem cells in the blood, stained with fluorescent markers (Ph...

Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials.  Read More

Dyed-water droplets sit on the surface of treated cotton wool (Photo: Oli Usher/UCL)

How would you like to be able to wash your car by just hosing it off – no soap, scrubbing or drying? You may be able to in the not-too-distant future, thanks to research being led by a team at University College London. Drawing on earlier research, they've developed an ultra-hydrophobic (water-repelling) paint that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, and that stays on once applied.  Read More

Secret Habitat is a procedurally-generated exploration game filled with procedurally-gener...

Owing perhaps to the difficulty and extreme cost of building virtual worlds that can be seen, heard, explored, and interacted with in multitudes of other ways, video games have long made use of procedural content generation and computation creativity. Epic space-faring BBC Micro game Elite generated its own star systems on the fly way back in 1984, for instance, while the likes of Minecraft, Diablo, and the SimCity series all similarly sport environments sculpted by algorithms. But artificial intelligence research is opening new avenues in the ever-evolving dance between human game developers and their algorithmically-intelligent tools. AIs can now create entire 2D and 3D games from scratch, unassisted, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg.  Read More

Despite obvious advantages, the era of autonomous vehicles may not be all plain sailing (P...

It may seem as if the only arguments against self-driving cars come from two kinds of people – those fearful of any scenario where they might have to forgo control behind the wheel and those who distrust all technology out of hand. Lolling about while a computer gets you through traffic has its attractions for many of us and there has been little discussion about the potential downsides of a driverless future, but a new study has pointed out some potential flaws in this looming auto utopia.  Read More

Early diagnosis of breast cancer could one day be possible via a simple blood test that de...

Early diagnosis of breast cancer could one day be possible via a simple blood test that detects changes in zinc in the body. Scientists have taken techniques normally used for studying climate change and planetary formation and shown that changes in the isotopic composition of zinc, which is detectable in breast tissue, may help identify a "biomarker" (a measurable indicator) of early breast cancer.  Read More

Inulin-propionate ester (IPE) could be added to foods, causing them to suppress the consum...

When we get the feeling of "being full," it's because our gut has released hormones that tell our brain to stop being hungry. It would seem to follow, therefore, that people who overeat might benefit from producing greater amounts of those hormones. Well, that's just what an experimental new food additive is claimed to cause the body to do.  Read More

New research suggests that during the Big Bang, the curving of space-time – gravity – held...

Not only does gravity keep us safely on the ground and hold the planets in alignment, but now it may soon get the credit for saving the whole universe. Physicists at the Imperial College London and the Universities of Copenhagen and Helsinki believe that the interaction between Higgs boson particles and gravity had a stabilizing effect on the very early universe, thereby preventing the Big Crunch – a catastrophic collapse into nothing – from occurring shortly after the Big Bang.  Read More

The MOM incubator, first-prize winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award

James Roberts, a 23 year-old design grad from Britain's Loughborough University, has won this year's international James Dyson Award for his portable inflatable incubator. Called MOM, the device is intended to be a low-cost alternative to traditional incubators, allowing premature babies in places such as refugee camps to survive when they might otherwise perish. Read on for more details on it, along with the three runners-up.  Read More

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