Listen up, Facebook and Twitter groupies: how easily can social pressure affect your memory?
The participants conformed to the group on these “planted” responses, giving incorrect answers nearly 70% of the time.
Volunteers watched a… read more
Robots have just taken another (slightly weird) step toward becoming our overlords.
Technische Universität München (TUM) scientists are developing an artificial skin for robots that will provide tactile information to the robot to supplement information from cameras, infrared scanners, and gripping hands.
The idea is to let the robot know when it touches an object so it can then visually search for whatever it… read more
Can you tell the difference between a painting by an elephant and Jackson Pollack? (Take this test before reading further.)
A mathematician at Harvard University and a physicist-art historian at Boston College think they can. Pollock was an “intuitive master” of laws that govern the flow of liquids under gravity, they believe.
The researchers examined the black and red painting “Untitled… read more
This is not an Onion story. No, really.
Turns out Laurie Santos gave a TED talk last year on “monkeynomics” — the realization that monkeys understood an abstract idea like currency. Unfortunately, two advertising executives happened to be in the audience, New Scientist reports today.
Imagine a miniature microphone that responds to ocean sounds from 1 to 100kHz (a deep inaudible rumble to ultrasonic sounds) with a dynamic range of 160 dB (a whisper in a quiet library to the sound from 1 ton of TNT exploding 60 feet away) and operates at any depth.
An amazing microphone that does all that — modeled after the extraordinarily acute hearing of orcas — has been… read more
“Earlier this year, molecular biologists announced that 20 per cent of nonhuman genome databases are contaminated with human DNA, probably from the researchers who sequenced the samples,” Technology Review‘s The Physics ArXiv blog said on Thursday.
“Now, the human genome itself has become contaminated. Bill Langdon at University College London and Matthew Arno at Kings College London say they’ve found sequences from mycoplasma bacteria… read more
In the Green Lantern movie, a ring takes orders from Jordan’s mind, enabling him to fly, take down multiple bad guys, and create wormholes through which he can travel thousands of light-years in minutes.
University of Michigan Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems professor Euisik Yoon and colleagues are developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that would handle the mind-to-ring communication part. DARPA is working on the other stuff,… read more
Can we reverse-engineer the brain, and eventually replace damaged portions of it with electronic devices? Research just announced suggests that’s a realistic idea.
In a major breakthrough in treating brain disorders, Theodore Berger and his team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, along with Wake Forest University researchers, have developed a neural prosthesis for rats that is able to restore their ability… read more
This may seem asinine but I had a thought regarding the Fermi Paradox and the Singularity. (Wikipedia: “The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations.”)
As you well know there is nowhere near enough life in the galaxy (as we see it… read more
R. U. Sirius launched today his new Acceler8or website, “covering and uncovering accelerating culture from all imaginable vantage points and providing links — complete with snappy, playful headlines — to particularly cool, smart, funny or important stuff.
“Use us as your thoroughfare to all the best transhumanist bits and bytes, with a side order of strangeness and charm,” the website suggests.
R. U. was editor… read more
Geneva, Switzerland — CERN physicists have reported they created antimatter in the Large Hadron Collider and stored it in three vials. Unfortunately, one of the vials has been stolen and will explode ritualistically at the Vatican if the battery dies and the magnetic containment field fails.
Wait, that’s a scene from the Angels and Demons movie. Last I checked, Europe is still there. In the nonfiction world, an… read more
In a significant medical prothesis breakthrough, Rob Summers, 25, a pitcher for Oregon State University who was completely paralyzed below the chest five years ago after being struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run accident, can now stand on his own for up to four minutes at a time — without support — and up to 25 minutes with assistance provided only for balance.
What’s especially exciting about this… read more
ScienceInsider (published by Science magazine) reported Tuesday May 17 that “over the last week, a combination of robotic and human inspections has led to the conclusion that the fuel assemblies in units 1, 2, and 3 were completely exposed to the air for from over 6 hours to over 14 hours and that melting was extensive if not complete. Much of the fuel is now likely at the… read more