Paul Allen founds cell science institute

Paul Allen, that other Microsoft founder, announced a $100 million donation today that will establish a cell science institute in Seattle. The Allen Institute for Cell Science will study the structure and operation of cells, which will aid disease research by improving scientist’s ability to predict exactly how cells will behave. The institute’s first project will create models and a database that document exactly how all the parts of a cell work. Allen previously founded institutes for brain and artificial intelligence research in 2003 and 2013, respectively.

Enter the Matrix: The rise of brain-computer interfaces

In 2012, a paralyzed woman with an investigational 96-electrode sensor the size of a baby aspirin implanted onto the surface of her brain was able to think about steering a robotic arm toward a canister with a straw in it, move the canister toward her mouth, tilt it so the straw fell into her mouth, and take a sip.

Shazam for birds? Shazam for birds

A new app called Warblr is able to identify a bird’s species by comparing sounds that users record in the field to a data set of previously recorded birdsong.

More proof that health care loves big data

Two new research partnerships whose participants range from pharmaceutical companies to IT vendors are taking aim at improving disease treatment via data analysis. They’re targeting a handful of diseases specifically — heart disease and cancer among them — but they point toward a data-driven health care future.