Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Detecting small metallic contaminants in food via magnetization: A practical metallic-contaminant detecting system using three high-Tc RF superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) July 29th, 2015

Controlling phase changes in solids: Controlling phase changes in solids July 29th, 2015

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes: Berkeley Lab researchers create Ludinger liquid plasmons in metallic SWNTs July 28th, 2015

'Seeing' molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics July 28th, 2015

Jobs

New ASTM Standards Will Help Educate Present and Future Nanotechnology Workforces April 26th, 2015

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

Is US immigration policy 'STEMming' innovation? Study sheds light on why foreign STEM students stay in US or return home March 11th, 2015

Nanotech Discoveries Move from Lab to Marketplace with Lintec Deal: Licensing Partnership Brings Together University Technology, New Richardson-Based Facility Directed by Alumni February 9th, 2015

Possible Futures

Smaller, faster, cheaper: A new type of modulator for the future of data transmission July 27th, 2015

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point July 27th, 2015

Global Corrosion Resistant Nano Coatings Market To 2015: Acute Market Reports July 27th, 2015

Global Zinc oxide nanopowders Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports July 25th, 2015

Academic/Education

Deben reports on the use of their CT500 in the X-ray microtomography laboratory at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia July 22nd, 2015

JPK reports on the use of SPM in the Messersmith Group at UC Berkeley looking at biologically inspired polymer adhesives. July 21st, 2015

Renishaw adds Raman analysis to Scanning Electron Microscopy at the University of Sydney, Australia July 9th, 2015

Oxford Instrumentsí TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Stretching the limits on conducting wires July 25th, 2015

UT Dallas nanotechnology research leads to super-elastic conducting fibers July 24th, 2015

Nanopaper as an optical sensing platform July 23rd, 2015

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to Host One Week Symposium on Nanomedicine July 23rd, 2015

Announcements

Detecting small metallic contaminants in food via magnetization: A practical metallic-contaminant detecting system using three high-Tc RF superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) July 29th, 2015

Controlling phase changes in solids: Controlling phase changes in solids July 29th, 2015

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes: Berkeley Lab researchers create Ludinger liquid plasmons in metallic SWNTs July 28th, 2015

'Seeing' molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics July 28th, 2015

Tools

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 28th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record: Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers July 27th, 2015

Ultra-thin hollow nanocages could reduce platinum use in fuel cell electrodes July 24th, 2015

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

UT Dallas nanotechnology research leads to super-elastic conducting fibers July 24th, 2015

Leti and Diabeloop Project Aims at Developing Artificial Pancreas for Diabetes Treatment July 22nd, 2015

Rice University finding could lead to cheap, efficient metal-based solar cells: Plasmonics study suggests how to maximize production of 'hot electrons' July 22nd, 2015

Smarter window materials can control light and energy July 22nd, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

New computer model could explain how simple molecules took first step toward life: Two Brookhaven researchers developed theoretical model to explain the origins of self-replicating molecules July 28th, 2015

Spintronics: Molecules stabilizing magnetism: Organic molecules fixing the magnetic orientation of a cobalt surface/ building block for a compact and low-cost storage technology/ publication in Nature Materials July 25th, 2015

Programming adult stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and more by mimicking nature July 22nd, 2015

Biophotonics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015 July 21st, 2015

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Liquipel Debuts Eyesight-Saving ION-Glass Blue Light Protection for iPhones and Androids at RadioShack Stores Nationwide: Liquipel's Unique Protective Screen, Available at RadioShack, Cuts Harmful Blue Light Implicated in Macular Degeneration by 10x July 28th, 2015

Dais Analytic's Business Affiliate in China Announces Ten-Year Strategic Energy Efficiency Business Arrangement With COFCO: Dais Beijing to Perform Feasibility Study on Over 80 Buildings to Improve Efficiencies as Part of Overall Hotel Energy-Savings Project July 23rd, 2015

Leti and Diabeloop Project Aims at Developing Artificial Pancreas for Diabetes Treatment July 22nd, 2015

Imec and Panasonic Demonstrate Breakthrough RRAM Cell July 16th, 2015

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