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Shelly Fan

Shelly Xuelai Fan is a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, where she studies ways to make old brains young again. In addition to research, she's also an avid science writer with an insatiable obsession with biotech, AI and all things neuro. She spends her spare time kayaking, bike camping and getting lost in the woods.

Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain?

The towering trees with their sprawling branches in the redwood forests have always reminded me of neurons in the brain. Like trees, each neuron extends...

Natural Selection Is About to Be Overpowered by the First-Ever Mammalian Gene Drive

The year is 2050. The place, New Zealand. Technological advances have dramatically changed the lives of the island’s human inhabitants, but on first blush,...

Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's...

New Tech Makes Brain Implants Safer and Super Precise

When Jan Scheuermann volunteered for an experimental brain implant, she had no idea she was making neuroscience history. Scheuermann, 54 at the time of surgery,...

This One-Cent Lab-on-a-Chip Can Diagnose Cancer and Infections

  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Arthur C Clarke Medical diagnostics often feels like magic to me. With just a few drops of blood,...

Families Finally Hear From Completely Paralyzed Patients Via New Mind-Reading Device

Wendy was barely 20 years old when she received a devastating diagnosis: juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive neurodegenerative disorder that destroys motor...

Robot Cars Can Teach Themselves How to Drive in Virtual Worlds

Over the holidays, I went for a drive with a Tesla. With, not in, because the car was doing the driving. Hearing about autonomous vehicles...

Young Blood Offered as Anti-Aging Therapy — But Is It Ready?

When 68-year-old Mark Thompson* walked into a private clinic on the outskirts of Monterey, California, $8,000 in hand, he had one hope in mind:...

How to Train AI to Do Everything in the Digital Universe

To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely. –Maria Montessori There’s a kindergarten I walk past...

This One Equation May Be the Root of Intelligence

How does intelligence work? According to Dr. Joe Tsien, a leading neuroscientist at Augusta University in Georgia, the key lies in one simple, unassuming equation:...

Is Radical Life Extension Good for Society?

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's...

New Brain-Like Chip Uses Light to Go Blazingly Fast

Deep learning is having a serious moment right now in the world of AI. And for good reason. Loosely based on the brain’s computing architecture,...

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