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Google is destroying your memory

July 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Well, OK, maybe not totally destroying it, just making it unnecessary to rely on friends, libraries, books, notes, and other forms of “transactive memory” (external systems), thanks to the rise of Internet search engines, Wikipedia, and other Internet tools.

So says Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow, co-author of an article in Science Express.

“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more

Google’s self-driving car gathers nearly 1 GB/sec

May 4, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

googlecarsees

“Google’s self-driving car gathers 750 megabytes of sensor data per SECOND! That is just mind-boggling to me. Here is a picture of what the car ‘sees’ while it is driving and about to make a left turn. It is capturing every single thing that it sees moving — cars, trucks, birds, rolling balls, dropped cigarette butts, and fusing all that together to make its decisions while driving. If it sees… read more

Grow a new eye

July 11, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

EyeTanya

“I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic artificial eye. The intraocular installation of an eye-cam will substitute for the field of vision of my left eye that I lost in 2005 from a car accident.”

So says Tanya Marie Vlach, who lost her left eye in a car accident. After she received “hundreds of international engineering proposals, support from my … read more

Grow your own glowing plant

June 6, 2013 by Andrew Hessel

A glow-in-the-dark tobacco plant (credit: Science)

The Glowing Plants Kickstarter, the first-ever crowdfunded synthetic biology campaign, is winding down into the final hours. Launched on April 23, 2013, the campaign aimed to create a glow-in-the-dark plant while showcasing the technology of synthetic biology.  It also served as a vehicle to introduce two startups in the sector: Genome Compiler Corporation and Cambrian Genomics.

The campaign has been wildly popular, attracting widespread media attention that saw the… read more

H+ Summit @ Harvard: The Rise of the Citizen Scientist

July 4, 2010 by Ben Goertzel

Shoshin character

On June 12-13 of this year, Harvard University hosted the H+ Summit, organized by the nonprofit Humanity+ and loosely focused on the theme, Rise of the Citizen Scientist.

I attended and spoke at the Summit and enjoyed it very much; nearly every speaker had something interesting to say, and one came away from the conference with an excited feeling that the Singularity is, indeed, drawing palpably nearer… read more

Has Facebook made you psychotic?

Looking for something besides politics to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner?
November 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Are you lonely or vulnerable due to the loss of or separation from a loved one? Are you inexperienced with technology?

If so, you might want to read this before logging onto Facebook or Twitter after (or during) your Thanksgiving dinner.

Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University‘s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center presented three in-depth case studies from his own practice linking psychotic… read more

Has NASA discovered extraterrestrial life?

December 1, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

rhea

UPDATE: NASA discovery of arsenic-based bacterium expands scope of SETI research.

NASA has announced it will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

Participants are:
-  Mary Voytek, Director, Astrobiology Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
-  Felisa Wolfe-Simon, NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow, U.S. Geological… read more

Has your future been adjusted?

March 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

theadjustmentbureau

The just-released movie The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, is based on a 1954 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, “The Adjustment Team.”

The plot is similar to Dark City, The Truman Show, The Matrix, Fringe, and other works suggesting the idea of a manufactured realitymanipulated future.

“In the film, Damon plays a man who glimpses the future planned… read more

Health Tips | Boosting your brain, living longer

December 3, 2010 by David Despain

Quit smoking; feel better (Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University)

LIVING LONGER

Check your BMI (Body Mass Index). A healthy BMI between 20 and 24.9 is generally best for avoiding disease and living longer (calculate your BMI) [NEJM]. 

Eat dark green and orange vegetables daily. They contain alpha-carotene (a cousin to vitamin A), an antioxidant compound that protects your cells and your health by lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer… read more

Health Tips | Cardio risks, Vitamin D, alcohol, salt, and yogurt

November 19, 2010 by David Despain

Slashing stroke and heart disease risk, alcohol energy drinks, getting enough vitamin D in winter,  and calorie restriction are among the topics covered in this week’s Health Tips.

Slashing stroke, heart disease risk with less stress and sleep: Too little sleep and poor sleep can bring high blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke [Emory University]; Women with high-stress jobs boost their heart… read more

Health Tips | Happiness is green tea, apple smoothies, zen meditation, and sex

December 9, 2010 by David Despain

Credit: iStockphoto

This week’s Health Tips column brings you ideas for finding happiness, tips for living to a ripe old age, parenting advice, and new ways to help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and prevent chronic diseases.

HAPPINESS IS…

A social life. One reason why religious people tend to be happy and satisfied with their lives is not because of their beliefs, but belonging… read more

Health Tips | How to keep heart- and brain-healthy and raise a healthier child

December 17, 2010 by David Despain

Bridging heart and mind

Stay heart-healthy to keep the brain healthy. Heart attacks and Alzheimer’s disease share a common genetic basis. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control to ward off both [Università di Bologna].

Increase your levels of HDL cholesterol. This “good” cholesterol, which is heart-healthy, also reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease when you’re older [Archives of Neurology]. To raise HDL levels, eat… read more

Health Tips | Starting the New Year right

December 30, 2010 by David Despain

Healthy Aging

Exercising regularly and taking vitamin D may be the two most successful ways to prevent falling in old age, because they help keep muscles and bones stronger [Annals of Internal Medicine]. Staying physically active while pregnant can also help you maintain a healthy body weight after pregnancy while helping you keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control [BJOG].

People who are overweightread more

Health Tips | Stroke treatments, toxic chemicals in receipts, and new alcohol and sugar-drink risks

November 12, 2010 by David Despain

(credit: iStockphoto)

Welcome to our new weekly Health Tips column, covering breaking news of medical findings and other health-related information you can use now, or in the near future. This week: new stroke treatments, toxins in food packaging and cashier receipts, and new risks from alcohol and sugary drinks.

Three new stroke treatments: DHA, found in fish oil, protects the brain from damage and enhances recovery, even five hours… read more

Health Tips | Surviving the holidays

December 24, 2010 by David Despain

Diet and exercise

Keep the holiday bulge off by exercising, controlling cravings, and paying attention to weight and eating [J Consult Clin Psychol].

Eat right to keep weight off and live longer. You can lower risk your risk of an early death from chronic disease by making healthier food choices more frequently. Eat more frequent amounts of low-fat dairy products, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and fish;… read more

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