Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > 'Robotic Scientist' will run experiments too complex for humans -- to understand addiction

Abstract:
A "robotic scientist" that can automatically plan and execute experiments may soon provide new insights into the biology of addiction to drugs and alcohol.

'Robotic Scientist' will run experiments too complex for humans -- to understand addiction

Ithaca, NY | Posted on January 11th, 2010

Further down the road, the artificial intelligence (AI) that controls the experiments, dubbed "Eureqa," could be applied to a wide variety of problems in biology, including detecting disease organisms or traces of toxic chemicals, said Hod Lipson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and computing and information science.

Lipson and graduate student Michael Schmidt have already demonstrated the system's ability to derive natural laws of motion from observations of a physical system. The new work focuses on biology, where there are often hundreds of interacting variables. "Many systems in biology are too complex to analyze manually," Schmidt said. "There may be new things we haven't found because they're ugly and complex, but to the computer they're obvious."

Unlike current drug tests that look for the drug itself or its breakdown products, the new approach will search for traces of previous use. Preliminary experiments suggest that drugs like alcohol and cocaine bring about changes in the metabolism of cells that might change the chemicals the cells secrete in response to certain stimuli. Detecting those secretions could make a test that's harder to fool, and information on past use could be valuable in choosing the best treatment for a drug abuser.

The quest for the new test is a collaboration among Cornell, Vanderbilt and Duke universities and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, which has provided $2.7 million in stimulus money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) to fund the project. It combines nanotechnology to isolate and manipulate a small number of immune-system cells called leukocytes, computer-controlled equipment to infuse the cells with various chemicals and analyze proteins and other materials they secrete in response, and Lipson and Schmidt's AI system to interpret the results of an experiment and direct the apparatus to conduct new experiments.

Vanderbilt scientists will feed leucocytes from the blood of rats and mice addicted to cocaine or alcohol into their analytical apparatus for comparison to "control" cells from non-addicted animals. A high-performance parallel computer at Cornell will remotely control the apparatus at Vanderbilt.

Given the results of the first, hand-operated experiment, the computer will randomly generate many sets of rules that might explain the relationship between the inputs and outputs. It will then run simulations using these rules to see if the results fit the data. The ones that come closest will be tweaked and run again, repeating until only the best remain. There will be several sets of rules because, Schmidt said, at the beginning there is very little data and many possible explanations for the results. So the computer will then evolve new experiments that create the most disagreement between predictions of competing candidate rules.

"We can add a certain nutrient, or a little more of this or less of that," Lipson explained. "New data will refute some of the models. Some models will die out, some will be supported and spawn off even better models. Processing the results of one experiment and sending back instructions for the next should take about two minutes. We might conduct hundreds of experiments, gradually zeroing in on the truth."

What should emerge at the end is a set of input conditions that produce a clear signature of exposure to a particular drug.

The Eureqa software is freely available online at ccsl.mae.cornell.edu/eureqa. "We are looking for other collaborations where automated experimentation can be useful," Lipson said.

The ARRA grant will support graduate students at Cornell and Vanderbilt and create jobs at participating companies in six other states, the scientists said. To date, Cornell has received 129 ARRA grants, totaling almost $105 million.

####

About Cornell University
Once called "the first American university" by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

Today's Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation's first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093

Cornell Chronicle:
Bill Steele
(607) 255-7164

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Jobs

SUNY Poly Welcomes DPS as the Global Engineering Firm Opens Its U.S. Advanced Technology Group Headquarters at Cutting-Edge ZEN Building November 20th, 2015

SUNY Poly CNSE Announces Milestone as M+W Group Opens U.S. Headquarters at Albany Nanotech Complex and Research Alliance Begins $105M Solar Power Initiative October 20th, 2015

Global Engineering Firm DPS to Establish U.S. Advanced Technology Group Headquarters at SUNY Poly CNSE and Create 56 New Jobs Under STARTUP-NY Initiative October 6th, 2015

SUNY Poly Announces Joint Development Agreement with INFICON to Establish Cutting Edge R&D Partnership Supporting New York State’s Rapidly Expanding Nanoelectronics Industry September 23rd, 2015

Possible Futures

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Academic/Education

News from Quorum: The College of New Jersey use the Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system in a project to study ice crystals in high altitude clouds July 19th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

SUNY Poly Celebrates Its 10th Year Exhibiting at SEMICON West with Cutting Edge Developments in Integrated Photonics and Power Electronics July 8th, 2016

FEI and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Establish New Electron Microscopy ‘Centre of Excellence’: Centre of Excellence involves materials and life sciences research and technical collaboration July 5th, 2016

Nanomedicine

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Announcements

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Tools

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles! July 21st, 2016

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 20th, 2016

A mini-antenna for the data processing of tomorrow: Nature Nanotechnology: Short-wavelength spin waves generated directly for the first time July 20th, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Scientists glimpse inner workings of atomically thin transistors July 21st, 2016

Smallest hard disk to date writes information atom by atom July 20th, 2016

Keystone Nano selected as a top scoring company by NCI investor review panel July 19th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Research examines how to optimize nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery July 21st, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

Nanosystem and Digital Surf launch NanoMap Alpha: New surface imaging & metrology software based on Mountains® Technology July 14th, 2016

FEI and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Establish New Electron Microscopy ‘Centre of Excellence’: Centre of Excellence involves materials and life sciences research and technical collaboration July 5th, 2016

FEI and University of Liverpool Announce QEMSCAN Research Initiative: University of Liverpool will utilize FEI’s QEMSCAN technology to gain a better insight into oil and gas reserves & potentially change the approach to evaluating them June 22nd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic