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University of Cambridge Articles
What should the ethics of artificial intelligence be?
How are the ethics of artificial intelligence shaping our world? Can these ‘thinking machines’ be taught to be more human? Is it safe to use AI in automated diagnosis in medicine? And what are the ethical considerations of these developments?
Student and F1 collaboration creates energy efficient cars
A team of undergraduate students enlisted the support of Formula 1 engineering experts and a global tyre company to design and build a four-seat solar powered electric car which can travel from London to the Scottish Highlands at a speed of 50mph on the same power it takes to boil a kettle.
Electronic device implanted in the brain could stop seizures
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines and INSERM in France, implanted the device into the brains of mice, and when the first signals of a seizure were detected, delivered a native brain chemical which stopped the seizure ...
3D imaging analysis technique could improve arthritis treatment
An algorithm to monitor the joints of patients with arthritis, which could change the way that the severity of the condition is assessed, has been developed by a team of engineers, physicians and radiologists led by the University of Cambridge. The technique, which detects tiny changes in arthritic joints, could enable greater understanding of how osteoarthritis develops and allow the effectiveness of new treatments to be assessed more accur...
Report warns of the malicious use of AI in the coming decade
Twenty-six experts on the security implications of emerging technologies have jointly authored a report sounding the alarm about the potential malicious use of AI by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists. Forecasting rapid growth in cyber-crime and the misuse of drones during the next decade, the report is a clarion call for governments and corporations worldwide to address the clear and present danger inherent in the myriad applications o...
Coloured bacteria could develop paints and coatings
Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colours in nature. The paper, published in the journal PNAS, is the first study of the genetics of structural colour - as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers - and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally coloured organisms.
Zero gravity graphene could prove useful in space
In a series of experiments, Cambridge researchers experienced weightlessness testing graphene’s application in space. Working as part of a collaboration between the Graphene Flagship and the European Space Agency, researchers from the Cambridge Graphene Centre tested graphene in microgravity conditions for the first time while aboard a parabolic flight – often referred to as the ‘vomit comet’. The experiments they con...
Harnessing the power of algae for greener fuel cells
A new design of algae-powered fuel cells that is five times more efficient than existing plant and algal models, as well as being potentially more cost-effective to produce and practical to use, has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
Brain imaging explains spread of key protein in Alzheimer’s
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s disease – and hence that blocking its spread may prevent the disease from taking hold. An estimated 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a disease whose symptoms include memory problems, changes in behaviour and progressiv...
Technique highlights relationship between connectivity and IQ
A new and relatively simple technique for mapping the wiring of the brain has shown a correlation between how well connected an individual’s brain regions are and their intelligence, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort among scientists to map the connections in the brain – the so-called ‘connectome’ – and to understand how this relates to human behav...
Pulsars could hide planets hosting alien life
It is theoretically possible that habitable planets exist around pulsars - spinning neutron stars that emit short, quick pulses of radiation. According to research, such planets must have an enormous atmosphere that converts the deadly x-rays and high energy particles of the pulsar into heat. The results, from astronomers at the University of Cambridge and Leiden University, are reported in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
'Getting in sync' with your baby
Making eye contact with an infant makes adults’ and babies’ brainwaves ‘get in sync’ with each other – which is likely to support communication and learning – according to researchers at the University of Cambridge. When a parent and infant interact, various aspects of their behaviour can synchronise, including their gaze, emotions and heartrate, but little is known about whether their brain activity also ...
Tiny liver tumours created in a dish for the first time
Scientists have created mini biological models of human primary liver cancers, known as organoids, in the lab for the first time. In a paper published in Nature Medicine, the tiny laboratory models of tumours were used to identify a new drug that could potentially treat certain types of liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is the second most lethal cancer worldwide.
Impressive cognitive ability might make you feel sheepish
Sheep can be trained to recognise human faces from photographic portraits – and can even identify the picture of their handler without prior training – according to new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge. The study, published in the journal Royal Society: Open Science, is part a series of tests given to the sheep to monitor their cognitive abilities.
Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis viewed two million times
After being made accessible via the University of Cambridge’s Open Access repository, Apollo, Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis, Properties of expanding universes, has been made freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. The 1966 doctoral thesis by the world’s most recognisable scientist is the most requested item in Apollo with the catalogue record alone attracting hundreds of views per month. In just the past few ...
Skin assists in controlling blood pressure
Skin plays a special role in helping regulate blood pressure and heart rate, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. While this discovery was made in mice, the researchers believe it is likely to be true also in humans.
Machine learning can help predict earthquakes in a lab setting
A group of researchers from the UK and the US have used machine learning techniques to successfully predict earthquakes. Although their work was performed in a laboratory setting, the experiment closely mimics real-life conditions, and the results could be used to predict the timing of a real earthquake.
Traps for light with tiny ink droplets
A microscopic 'pen' that is able to write structures small enough to trap and harness light using a commercially available printing technique could be used for sensing, biotechnology, lasers, and studying the interaction between light and matter.
Synthetic organs, nanobots and DNA ‘scissors’: the future of medicine
Nanobots that patrol our bodies, killer immune cells hunting and destroying cancer cells, biological scissors that cut out defective genes: these are just some of technologies that Cambridge researchers are developing which are set to revolutionise medicine in the future. In a new film to coincide with the recent launch of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences, researchers discuss some of the most exciting developments in medical res...
Type 2 diabetes can be managed online
People with type 2 diabetes could improve their health by using a new web-based self-management tool, according to new research. The results, published in BMJ Open, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), come from the first UK-based trial of its kind and show that patients using the HeLP-Diabetes programme have better diabetes control after 12 months. “Diabetes is an NHS priority, with around 4 million pe...