Co-founder of TechTalkers. I love writing about biology, medicine, and artificial intelligence. https://medium.com/techtalkers

Apes and humans are extremely similar genetically, so what makes us so different in real life?

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The human race is, in my eyes, fascinating. Our species, Homo sapiens, descended from primates, yet we have evolved so much. It begs the question: what makes us so different from our close relatives, the apes?

At first glance, the solution seems simple. Just compare the DNA sequences of humans and apes and observe where we diverged, right? Wrong. We share over 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees, one of our closest relatives, and among the differences that do exist, many of them may have no effect on making us human. …


Most languages that have ever been spoken are not used anymore, so AI is now being used to help linguists translate these ‘dead’ languages.

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Most languages that have ever been spoken are ‘dead’, or not spoken anymore. Each year, more and more ancient or unknown languages are lost, but to most of us, that doesn’t matter because we don’t speak them. After all, if they’re so unknown, why do we even need to know how to translate them?

The fact of the matter is that a language is not just a way of communicating with someone, it is a container of knowledge and culture unique to its speakers, and when these languages are lost, so is that knowledge. Linguists, people who study foreign languages, try to decipher these obscure languages, but this can sometimes take decades of hard work. Languages can have drastically different grammar, vocabulary, or syntax that make them nearly impossible to translate. Additionally, we can’t use translation algorithms like Google Translate because we don’t have enough information about most dead languages. So what is the solution to this problem? …


Researchers have created genetically modified tomatoes that provide a cheaper way of getting a Parkinson’s disease drug.

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that affects movement and causes tremors, eating problems, and even speech problems. It affects millions of people worldwide, and there is technically no cure for it. To combat Parkinson’s, patients can take certain medications or drugs, but to many people suffering from PD, these drugs are out of their budget.

So how can we make it cheaper? Well, we’ve always known that fruits are good for you, but the John Innes Centre is taking this to a whole new level. To combat the high prices of synthetic L-DOPA, a popular Parkinson’s disease drug, scientists at the John Innes Centre have created genetically modified tomatoes that are rich in natural L-DOPA. What does this mean for PD patients all around the world? …


What vaccines are in development for COVID-19, and how effective are vaccines for other viruses?

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COVID-19 has rapidly infected the world, infecting millions of people and destroying several economies. Scientists across the globe have been given a difficult task, creating an effective vaccine, but this is not easy. Usually, developing a truly effective vaccine requires years of research and testing, but this pandemic has forced researchers to condense this process into a couple of months. Let’s take a closer look at this process and the current state of vaccines for viruses, from COVID-19 to influenza.

What is a Vaccine?

In simple terms, a vaccine is something that introduces part of a virus, or antigen, to your body so that it can recognize that same virus in the future if you are ever infected and protect you from it. …


AI will have a huge carbon footprint, so two students have developed a tool to combat this issue.

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. To many, these are just modern buzzwords synonymous with robots, computers, and programs, but they’re so much more than that. AI is transforming the way we communicate, saving lives, and making many of our daily tasks, from typing text messages to finding good shows to watch on Netflix, much easier.

Another word tossed around nowadays is climate change, which refers to the changes in global climate that have occurred in the past couple of decades due to a massive increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. You may be wondering why I’m bringing this term up because it has nothing to do with AI, right? Wrong. …


Researchers have developed computer models that try to predict the image you’re thinking about by monitoring signals from your brain.

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When you look at other people, do you ever wonder, “What are they thinking?” Humans cannot see what someone else is thinking, and for people who can’t speak and don’t have an easy way to visualize their thoughts for others, this is a major hindrance. Luckily, computer modeling techniques and brain-computer interfaces have gotten more powerful and have opened up countless possibilities in the field of neuroscience.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki, located in Finland, have developed a generative adversarial network that uses electroencephalogram (EEG) signals from a person’s brain to predict what they’re thinking about. …


Researchers have figured out how tiny vesicles revive cells after a heart attack and have shown it on using a human heart-on-chip.

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In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds (according to the CDC). Scary, right? Cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and there isn’t a definite cure for it because of the myriad of factors that result in the occurrence of a heart attack, from obesity to tobacco use. But did you know that in a heart attack, little particles called vesicles keep your cells functioning without oxygen?

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are extremely small, membrane-enclosed particles that travel between cells for delivery and response initiation. These EVs have lots of potential as next-generation therapies for all kinds of diseases, from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s to even cancer! Why? Some of them are derived from stem cells, which are cells that have the potential to become different types of cells in your body. These specific EVs have already been shown to help heart cells survive heart attacks and revive cells after one, but until now, we didn’t know how, which prevents us from using these particles as medical therapies. …


New research shows that artificial intelligence can be used to diagnose COVID-19 in the lungs at an accuracy similar to a physician.

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Artificial intelligence. When someone hears this word, they either think about the endless possibilities, from self-driving cars to automatic medical diagnoses, or the possibility of robots becoming smarter and taking over the world. Obviously, the latter theory is extremely farfetched, but one part of it is correct: AI is getting way smarter. From the machine learning models used to recommend YouTube videos to the AI programs that are beating chess masters, computers are getting better and better at doing complicated tasks better than humans!

COVID-19 has rampaged across the world, killing over a million people worldwide and affecting countless more lives. This disease mostly affects the respiratory system, which focuses on your lungs, and approximately 2–8% of those infected develop potentially fatal pneumonia. Luckily, researchers have constructed an AI program that can diagnose COVID-19 pneumonia with a 90.8% accuracy! …


Researchers at RMIT University have developed electronic artificial skin that mimics the human body’s quick feedback response to pain.

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Skin, our body’s largest organ, is more complex than one might think. It consists of complex sensors (called somatosensors) that respond to painful stimuli like heat and pressure. When these sensors detect such stimuli, they quickly send warning signals to your nervous system to initiate a response, like pulling your hand back when you touch something hot. These sensors and this communication via the nervous system is extremely important and is often indicative of health.

But what happens when some of your somatosensors get damaged or stop functioning properly? There’s probably some easy fix, right? Wrong. Current biomedical technology is very advanced, but nobody has been able to develop artificial somatosensors, mostly because of the difficulty of creating something that can respond to pressure, temperature, and pain like skin using current technology. …


Apple is planning to unveil a subscription bundle, dubbed “Apple One,” that bundles all of its services into one monthly payment.

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In the past couple of years, Apple has put an increased emphasis on software services by releasing products like Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade. The tech giant wants to go toe-to-toe with Amazon and its Prime services, but Amazon still comes out on top, as over 112 million people in the U.S. alone are Amazon Prime members while only 68 million people worldwide are Apple Music subscribers, which is one of Apple’s most popular services. But why is that? …

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