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How to remote-control a robot on another planet

July 4, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

justin_the_robot

Meet Justin, an android on Earth who will soon be controlled remotely by an astronaut in the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. The astronaut will don an exoskeleton to remotely control Justin.

The long-range goal: explore the Moon and planets with tele-operated robots.

How to read a mouse’s mind

Could be a useful tool for studying new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
February 21, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

A tiny microscope<br />
equipped with a microendoscope images cells expressing GCaMP3 (credit: Yaniv Ziv et al./Nature Neuroscience)

Want to read a mouse’s mind — observing hundreds of neurons firing in the brain of a live mouse in real time — to see how it creates memories as it explores an environment?

You’ll just need some fluorescent protein and a tiny digital microscope implanted in the rodent’s head, Stanford University scientists say.

Here’s how:

1. First, you catch your mouse.

2. Light… read more

How to Prevent a Global Aging Crisis

July 17, 2010 by David Despain

Chronic diseases and aging. The incidence of major chronic diseases rises exponentially with age, as shown: cardiovascular disease (blue squares) [data from (32) , cancer (red diamonds) [data from (32) , AD (gray squares) [data from (33) , and influenza-associated hospitalization (green triangles)"]. Incidence rates are normalized to the first data point. (Illustration: AAAS)

A handful of forward-thinking biogerontologists has joined together to offer a new direction for aging intervention. Their commentary, published July 14 in Science Translational Medicine, presents the case for preventing what the scientists call an “unprecedented global aging crisis”—a sharp rise in the numbers of retired elderly in developing and industrialized nations across the world.

From both a humane and economic standpoint, a world with too many sick… read more

How to preserve competing memories by zapping your brain

July 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Attention, mind-control victims: mad scientists want to zap your brain. But you knew that.

It’s a problem every student has when cramming for an exam: some of the information is usually forgotten. The common belief is that your brain simply doesn’t have the capacity necessary to process both memories in quick succession. But is that true?

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) decided… read more

How to measure emotions

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Q Sensor Curve is designed to wear on the wrist, so it is comfortable and unobtrusive to wear all day at work, play, or sleep. This makes it ideal for long-term measurement in clinical and therapeutic research. (Credit: Affectiva)

Are you a geek who has trouble “reading” people? Now there new hope.

Research at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Cambridge to help people on the autism spectrum has spawned two new technologies to measure emotional response, along with a company called Affectiva to market them.

In the videos below, MIT’s Dr. Rosalind Picard demonstrates these technologies.

The Affectiva Qread more

How to make movies of what the brain sees

September 23, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

brainstorm

Remember the movie Brainstorm? Imagine watching someone’s dream, or tapping directly into the mind of a coma patient. University of California, Berkeley scientists claim they have finally achieved this classic futuristic movie “mind reading” trope. Sorta.

They’re using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models to decode and reconstruct people’s dynamic visual experiences.

So far, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips you’ve… read more

How to Live Forever*

May 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

buster

* Results may vary 

I love the premise: take off on a global trek to interview the world’s oldest people, top health and fitness gurus, and smartest life-extension scientists, and ask one question: what’s your secret? 

In How To Live Forever, a new film from Variance Films (opening in New York Friday May 13 and L.A. May 20), producer/director Mark Wexler (Seeing Double, Me & My Matchmaker,read more

How to learn things automatically

December 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Decoded Neurofeedback

OK, this one’s right out of The Matrix and The Manchurian Candidate.

Imagine watching a computer screen while lying down in a brain imaging machine and automatically learning how to play the guitar or lay up hoops like Shaq O’Neal, or even how to recuperate from a disease — without any conscious knowledge.

Researchers at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan… read more

How to jam annoying talkers

March 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

speechjammer

Attention, telephone babblers, library whisperers, and hecklers: Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology want you to shut the bleep up.

They’ve developed the “Speech-jammer” gun, which will reduce you to incoherent stuttering from up to 90 feet away.

It works by recording your words and then sending them back with  a delay of a few hundred milliseconds (it’s more effective… read more

How to create a startup country

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Seasteading artist's concept (credit: András Gyorfi)

At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).read more

How to control music and video on the Web with a wave of your hand

December 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

webcam sees

“We are so excited and pleased to release a new version [of Flutter] that allows you to control music & videos in Google Chrome using gestures — just in time for the holiday season. Flutter now supports YouTube, Pandora, Grooveshark & Netflix. We will be updating AppStore version in early 2013. For now direct download the new version.”… read more

How to achieve ‘biological immortality’ naturally

December 6, 2010 by David Despain

bioimmortality

Evolutionary biologist Michael Rose, professor at University of California, Irvine, says he has discovered a natural way to achieve “biological immortality” without the use of anti-aging drugs and stem cell treatments.

“It’s one you can start this evening,” the author of Evolutionary Biology of Aging shared in his talk Saturday at Humanity+ @ Caltech in Los Angeles. “It comes at no cost, you don’t have… read more

How to access TV news on any topic for the last three years

September 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

internet_archive_news

This is fantastic news for journalists and voters: the Internet Archive has launched the free TV News Search & Borrow service.

The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C.  The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired.  Older materials are also being added.… read more

How fleas jump (not an Onion story)

February 10, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

The anatomy of a flea. Credit: Gregory Sutton

Well, the 44-year mystery has finally been solved, The Company of Biologists just announced. Biologists have settled the argument and resolved how fleas jump: with their toes, not their knees. (Ah, I could have told them that — ever try jumping with your knees, unless you’re a TM practitioner, that is?)

In 1967, Henry Bennet-Clark discovered that fleas store the energy needed to catapult themselves… read more

How computers are helping solve information overload by learning to ‘understand’ text

February 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

understandingtext

With tremendous volumes of information appearing online every day in social networks, websites, and blogs (mea culpa), the need to train computers to understand human language is now becoming critical, said Chris Manning, Stanford University associate professor of computer science and linguistics, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in San Diego on Feb. 19.

“The problem of the age is information overload.… read more

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