Michał Słupski



Machine learning reveals recipe for building artificial proteins
  • Using machine learning models to analyze protein information from genome databases, researchers learn how to design artificial proteins with specific functions.
  • The models analyzed data about chorismate mutase proteins, allowing researchers to learn their design and encode it into synthetic genes.
  • The genes were cloned into bacteria which built the proteins—they had the same functions as natural proteins, and they performed them even better than natural.
  • Researchers don’t yet understand how their machine learning models uncovered the design rules of proteins, but it enables them to create any type of proteins they want.
  • Study authors are commercializing the technology, and hope that it will revolutionize fields like energy, environment (car

This Squid-Inspired Protein is the Future of PPE
  • Researchers create a self-healing material from a synthetic protein, based on a protein from squid ring teeth (the sticky suckers at the ends of squid tentacles).
  • The material was tested with different kinds of tear / cut damage, and it apparently fully regenerated in one second.
  • It could be useful for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), like self-healing face masks, but also wear-resistant robots or even prosthetic limbs.
  • It’s green and biodegradable, however it needs water or pressure to self-heal—the creators are looking for ways to initiate self-healing with light.

A new way to control experimentation with dreams
  • Targeted Dream Incubation (TDI) is a new method for dream experimentation, and it involves a wearable sensor device and an app that gathers data while you sleep.
  • It can also influence what you dream about by taking advantage of hypnagogia—the earliest stage of sleep, during which people still hear sounds.
  • TDI provides audio hints at just the right time (based on data from the wearable sensor), enabling researchers to manipulate the content of dreams.
  • It can be used to study dreams and sleep in new ways—so far the method was used to show how dreaming about a specific theme can help people solve problems.

New Cobalt-Free Lithium-Ion Battery Reduces Costs Without Sacrificing Performance
  • Scientists have tried to make Cobalt-free batteries for years without success, but now a new method was developed that could even improve the performance of batteries.
  • The new battery replaces cobalt with nickel and a dash of manganese and aluminum, and the key was finding the right metals and ensuring even distribution of their ions.
  • Cobalt is the most expensive and hardest to find component for batteries, and this method removes it completely.
  • Study authors have worked with their university to form a startup, TexPower, to commercialize this technology.
  • If successful, they will have increased the energy density and lowered production costs of batteries in one fell swoop.

Narcissists don’t learn from their mistakes because they don’t think they make any, study shows
  • Four different tests, utilizing varying methods, find that narcissists don’t engage in counterfactual thinking, leading to over-inflated confidence.
  • Counterfactual thinking is when we consider what happened, and what we could’ve done differently in a given situation.
  • The study found that narcissists have a hard time considering that they could be wrong, and don’t learn from their mistakes.
  • However, narcissists often advance quickly in hierarchical organizations thanks to their confidence, and ability to take credit for success and blame failure on others.
  • The main conclusion is that organizations should keep narcissists in check, because allowing them to make decisions can be damaging to the organization over time.



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