Stem Cells Into Neurons.
Argentina’s annual inflation rate: 95%.
1. Brain cell transplants capable of restoring the failing minds of Alzheimer’s patients are on the horizon, after scientists created mature neurons from stem cells. Currently little can be done to reverse the damage caused to the brain in patients with dementia, or other neurodegenerative diseases, with families forced to watch their loved ones mentally, and physically, slip away. But US scientists at Northwestern University have proven it is possible to turn stem cells into neurons, in a breakthrough which they say could allow damaged or lost brain cells to be replaced, potentially restoring cognition. Neurons could also be transplanted into patients with spinal cord injuries to help bring back nerve sensations. (Source: telegraph.co.uk, northwestern.edu, italics mine)
2. An artificial-intelligence (AI) chatbot can write such convincing fake research-paper abstracts that scientists are often unable to spot them, according to a preprint posted on the bioRxiv server in late December1. Researchers are divided over the implications for science. “I am very worried,” says Sandra Wachter, who studies technology and regulation at the University of Oxford, UK, and was not involved in the research. “If we’re now in a situation where the experts are not able to determine what’s true or not, we lose the middleman that we desperately need to guide us through complicated topics,” she adds. The chatbot, ChatGPT, creates realistic and intelligent-sounding text in response to user prompts. It is a ‘large language model’, a system based on neural networks that learn to perform a task by digesting huge amounts of existing human-generated text. Software company OpenAI, based in San Francisco, California, released the tool on 30 November, and it is free to use. Since its release, researchers have been grappling with the ethical issues surrounding its use, because much of its output can be difficult to distinguish from human-written text. (Source: nature.com)