AI makes huge progress predicting how proteins fold – one of biology's greatest challenges – promising rapid drug development

Scientists in an artificial intelligence lab have made a breakthrough in solving the problem of how proteins fold into their final three-dimensional shape. The work could speed up creation of drugs.

Marc Zimmer, Professor of Chemistry, Connecticut College • conversation
Dec. 2, 2020 ~11 min

 protein  biology  deepmind  amino-acids  chess  go  protein-design

Cities need to embrace the darkness of the night sky – here’s why

Dark skies have value. They are a profoundly wonderful yet highly threatened natural asset.

Nick Dunn, Professor of Urban Design, Lancaster University • conversation
Nov. 11, 2020 ~8 min

cities light interdisciplinarity design lighting night-sky darkness


Designing batteries for easier recycling could avert a looming e-waste crisis

Batteries power much of modern life, from electric and hybrid cars to computers, medical devices and cellphones. But unless they're made easier and cheaper to recycle, a battery waste crisis looms.

Darren H. S. Tan, PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of California San Diego • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~10 min

chemistry electronics recycling materials-science electric-vehicles renewable-energy toxic-waste batteries energy-storage municipal-solid-waste e-waste green-design lithium-batteries

House plants were our link with nature in lockdown – now they could change how we relate to the natural world

House plants enrich our domestic lives in ways we often fail to notice. But lockdown may have changed all that.

Giulia Carabelli, Lecturer in Sociology, Queen's University Belfast • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~7 min

nature plants lockdown home interior-design botanical indoor-ecology

Less scatterbrained scatterplots

Large datasets are difficult to depict as scatterplots — but that may change with a new CSAIL project for creating interactive visualizations.

Adam Conner-Simons | MIT CSAIL • mit
Oct. 7, 2020 ~3 min

data data-visualization research design electrical-engineering-computer-science-eecs computer-science-and-artificial-intelligence-laboratory-csail science-communications mit-schwarzman-college-of-computing

Making the most of a tree epidemic

With trees infested by the emerald ash borer deemed essentially worthless, a team of designers wanted to see if the decaying wood could be repurposed as a building material.

Leslie Lok, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Cornell University • conversation
Aug. 4, 2020 ~7 min

 architecture  carbon  construction  trees  design  ash

Algorithm finds hidden connections between paintings at the Met

A team from MIT helped create an image retrieval system to find the closest matches of paintings from different artists and cultures.

Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL • mit
July 29, 2020 ~8 min

machine-learning arts research design school-of-engineering electrical-engineering-computer-science-eecs algorithms computer-science-and-artificial-intelligence-laboratory-csail mit-schwarzman-college-of-computing

Algorithms are designing better buildings

Algorithms can now work out the best ways to lay out rooms, construct buildings and even change them over time to meet user needs.

Silvio Carta, Head of Art and Design, University of Hertfordshire • conversation
June 18, 2020 ~7 min

algorithm buildings design construction-industry building-design architeture

Autonomous cars could revolutionise transport for disabled people – if we change the way we design

Driverless cars could revolutionise transport for disabled people – so why aren't more companies including them in the design process?

Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design, Coventry University • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~6 min

driverless-cars automotive-industry autonomous-vehicles people-with-disabilites car-design

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