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August 2016 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

U.S. News | Disasters & Science News

Here's a slideshow depicting the major science and disaster news events of August 2016.

Scientists Create Artificial Neuron
Image of two scientists in white coats in laboratory.
On August 3, 2016, IBM Scientists in Zurich, Switzerland publish a paper in Nature Nanotechnology revealing the creation of a technological neuron out of germanium antimony telluride to replicate biological neurons. What does this mean? It could be the first step in creating an artificial brain. The team, led by Dr. Eleftheriou, put the germanium antimony telluride material between two electrodes and fired synapses to see what would happen. The germanium antimony telluride is special because it is a phase-change material, meaning it is unpredictable and will not always produce the same response, similar to human body neurons which rely on the action potential. In software technology, predictability and unpredictability has to be programed in, with the germanium antimony telluride material unpredictably simply happens.
Photo source: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file
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