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UNM students engineer assistants of the future

UNM students engineer assistants of the future

These computer-driven assistants known as “chatbots” are the focus of Associate Professor Lydia Tapia’s Artificial Intelligence class in the UNM School of Engineering Computer Science Department. As part of the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CS427/527) class, students design, create and code their own chatbot. A big part of that process is learning how to gauge intelligence by measuring it against human behavior. The objective is to create chatbots that, when interacting with a human, could be perceived as human-like due to their responses.

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Climate research paints bleak picture for large birds in Mojave Desert

Climate research paints bleak picture for large birds in Mojave Desert

New research conducted by scientists at The University of New Mexico and the University of California-Berkeley helps illustrate this point as deserts get drier and animals, in particular birds, try to adapt to the growing heat and diminishing resources. The conundrum in this case is the simple fact that desert birds need water to cool off, while deserts continue with accelerated warming and drying threatening any number of desert species including large birds. Wolf notes that this study shows how increased temperatures are becoming an increasingly potent driver of decline in bird populations in North America and shows how tightly linked animals are to their environments.

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Early detection of brain degeneration on the horizon with innovative sensor

Early detection of brain degeneration on the horizon with innovative sensor

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be devastating to patients and their families. These diseases are difficult to diagnose before symptoms show, meaning it’s often already too late to reverse the damage to the central nervous system. Early detection is key for management of symptoms and attempts to stall progression of the disease, but current knowledge is limited when it comes to tools that aid in early detection. That knowledge gap is being addressed through cutting-edge research by a team at The University of New Mexico led by Professor Eva Chi of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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State of shock: 200-year-old law about gas mixtures called into question

State of shock: 200-year-old law about gas mixtures called into question

This finding could have potential impact on everything that involves mixtures of gases exposed to a shock wave, for example, during combustion in an engine. This is also relevant for conventional and nuclear explosions, supersonic jets, gas-cooled nuclear reactor plants and inertially-confined fusion. The results were published recently in the paper “Dalton's and Amagat's Laws Fail in Gas Mixtures with Shock Propagation” in Science Advances. “Our study found that classical laws used to predict gas mixture properties fail to work in a fairly common and practically important situation,” [Peter] Vorobieff said.

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CARC team travels to Denver for SC19

CARC team travels to Denver for SC19

The UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing team of experts are at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC19), the world’s premier high-performance computing conference, this week. The event gathers over 10,000 computer scientists and high-performance computing enthusiasts together every year to discuss and explore the latest computing technology from all over the world. SC19 attractions include exhibition booths, poster showcases, keynote speakers, competitions, and more. CARC, in cooperation with the New Mexico Consortium, New Mexico State University, and Oklahoma University, is hosting an SC19 exhibition booth to share recent CARC research with the international supercomputing community.

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Study finds recreational cannabis widely-used for treating insomnia

Study finds recreational cannabis widely-used for treating insomnia

Cannabis is rapidly gaining popularity and has been shown to be a promising substitute for prescription opioids and other classes of medications, which often carry undesirable side effects, dangerous drug interactions, and risk of death. Provider-driven medication using cannabis lags self-medication in part due to the lack of research on the topic. “It is important for the medical community to recognize that the lack of medical guidance does not necessarily lead to a lack of medical use. Dispensaries and online forums are stepping up to fill the information vacuum as individuals are forced to take treatment into their own hands, with statistically evident effects on treatment choices. Studies like ours enable us to monitor clinically significant behaviors that would be difficult to identify by providers, given continued taboos against consuming cannabis, even therapeutically,” added Vigil.

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Engineering student uses technology to examine aging infrastructure

Engineering student uses technology to examine aging infrastructure

There are approximately 100,000 railroad bridges in the United States, and more than half are over 100 years old, making each one increasingly risky every time a train rolls over. These factors make bridge management and maintenance a top priority for the safety of freight rail, according to Professor Fernando Moreu, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at The University of New Mexico. Roya Nasimi is one of a few women in the male dominated field of Structural Engineering. She graduated with her master’s degree in the field in 2017 and is now working toward her doctoral degree.

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UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology adds two new cryotanks doubling liquid-nitrogen storage capabilities

UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology adds two new cryotanks doubling liquid-nitrogen storage capabilities

UNM’s Division of Genomic Resources (DGR) is a world-class repository for cryogenic biological materials. It holds one of the world's largest frozen tissue collections for mammals. The nitrogen repository tanks, which were hoisted into place with a crane, are designed to better protect the world-renowned collection housed as part of the MSB. Cryogenic freezers provide a cryopreservation solution for research and clinical applications enabling storage at -150°C to -190°C temperatures. The liquid nitrogen freezers offer vapor or liquid phase storage and are the most reliable solutions for long-term cryostorage. Specimens archived in nitrogen vapor tanks will remain cold for more than three weeks in the event of a power disruption.

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The environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

The environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero – the names of digital-based ‘cryptocurrencies’ are being heard more and more frequently. But despite having no physical representation, could these new methods of exchange actually be negatively impacting our planet? It’s a question being asked by researchers at The University of New Mexico, who are investigating the environmental impacts of mining cryptocurrencies. In a new paper titled ‘Cryptodamages: Monetary value estimates of the air pollution and human health impacts of cryptocurrency mining’

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Shared Knowledge Conference highlights student research

Shared Knowledge Conference highlights student research

Each year, Graduate Studies hosts the Shared Knowledge Conference, which showcases the incredible and wide-ranging research of graduate and professional students. This year, around 60 graduate students presented their research in a poster display in Hodgin Hall and explained their projects to attendees. Topics ranged from the highly technical Stimulated emission depletion microscopy with silicon vacancy centers in diamond, to social issues such as The relationship between access to health insurance and obesity, to the study of traditional values in Engaging the 7th generational model in honoring traditional leadership knowledge and many more. Poster abstracts are published in the UNM Digital Repository.

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