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Are bots taking over Wikipedia?

February 20, 2014

bots-vs featured

As crowdsourced Wikipedia has grown too large — with more than 30 million articles in 287 languages — to be entirely edited and managed by volunteers, 12 Wikipedia bots have emerged to pick up the slack.

The bots use Wikidata — a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and bots — to exchange information between entries and between the… read more

A laser that could find and zap tumors

Also penetrates the skull for brain tumors, researchers say
August 2, 2012

Femtosecond laser (credit: University of Tennessee Space Institute)

Researchers at the Center for Laser Applications at the University of Tennessee Space Institute have invented a system that uses lasers to find, map, and non-invasively destruct cancerous tumors.

The technology uses a femtosecond laser (creating pulses lasting one-quadrillionth of a second). The high speed enables the laser to quickly focus in on a specific region without overheating.

“Using ultra-short light pulses gives us the ability… read more

D-Wave quantum computer solves protein folding problem

August 20, 2012

dwave_ones_in_the_lab_large

A 128-qubit D-Wave One quantum computer has solved the puzzle of how certain proteins fold, Nature News Blog reports.

The latest finding from a Harvard’s Alan Aspuru-Guzik and his colleagues shows that the D-Wave one could predict the lowest-energy configurations of a folded protein.

The model consisted of mathematical representations of amino acids in a lattice, connected by different interaction strengths. The D-wave computer… read more

Tough super-stretchable gel is tougher than cartilage and heals itself

Biocompatible material created at Harvard stretches to 21 times its length, recoils, and heals itself
September 6, 2012

harvard_gel_stretched

A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that may pave the way to replacing damaged cartilage in human joints or spinal disks.

Called a hydrogel, because its main ingredient is water, the new material is a hybrid of two weak gels that combine to create something much stronger.

This new gel can stretch… read more

Kinect-based system dramatically cuts cost of telemedicine

February 15, 2013

Kinect Console

A Kinect game controller and Microsoft software could cut the U.S. healthcare bill by up to $30 billion by allowing physicians and other medics to interact with patients remotely, reducing the number of hospital visits and the associated risk of infection.

It could also bring medical services to underserved areas around the world.

Janet Bailey of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Bradley Jensen of… read more

Nontoxic, traceable nanoparticles may be the next weapon in cancer treatment

March 8, 2013

Theranostic NPs (hydrophobic segments are visual-<br />
ized in green and hydrophilic segments in blue)

Swedish scientists have developed “theranostic” (having both a therapeutic and diagnostic function) nanoparticles that can carry cancer drugs to tumor cells without toxicity and are biodegradable and traceable (can be seen in MRI images).

The nanoparticles were developed by a team including KTH Royal Institute of Technology Professor Eva Malmström-Jonsson, from the School of Chemical Science and researchers at Sweden’s Chalmer’s University and the Karolinska… read more

Your virtual avatar can impact your real-world behavior, researchers suggest

February 13, 2014

Can playing these characters affect your behavior differently? (Credit: Jim Lee and Scott Williams/DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures)

How you represent yourself in the virtual world of video games may affect how you behave toward others in the real world, new University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research published in Psychological Science suggests.

“Our results indicate that just five minutes of role-play in virtual environments as either a hero or villain can easily cause people to reward or punish anonymous strangers,” says lead researcher Gunwoo Yoon.

The… read more

This is your brain on freestyle rap

November 19, 2012

Open Mike Eagle (credit: Mush Records)

Researchers in the voice, speech, and language branch of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain activity of rappers when they are “freestyling” — spontaneously improvising lyrics in real time.

Published online in the November 15 issue of the journal Scientific Reports (open access), the findings… read more

Cracking the quantum safe

October 15, 2012

unsw_quantum_bit

The Nobel Prize in Physics went to achievements in quantum information, Adam Frank, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, writes in The New York Times.

It may not catch as many headlines as the hunt for elusive particles, but the field of quantum information may soon answer questions even more fundamental — and upsetting —… read more

Faster-than-light neutrino puzzle claimed solved by special relativity

October 14, 2011

(Credit: CERN)

The relativistic motion of clocks on board GPS satellites exactly accounts for the superluminal effect in the OPERA experiment, says  physicist Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, The Physics arXiv Blog reports.

“From the perspective of the clock, the detector is moving towards the source and consequently the distance travelled by the particles as observed from the clock is shorter,”… read more

Microsoft tablet to rival iPad, says insider

June 15, 2012

Steve-Ballmer

Microsoft is set to unveil a tablet next week that will mark its entry into rival Apple’s territory with its own branded product, The Wrap has learned.

The company has scheduled a secretive event for Monday at 3:30 p.m. June 18 in Los Angeles, where it will make a “major” announcement.

Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft’s new tablet will run on Windows RT, a version of… read more

Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium aims to tackle neurodegenerative disease

July 27, 2012

NeuronsandTangles-NIA2

A coalition of academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and state government is coming together to confront the challenge of curing neurodegenerative disease.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. For most, diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s attack slowly and lead us down a slope of gradually deteriorating mental or physical function that current scientific methods are able to diagnose only after debilitating symptoms have set in, and not… read more

LEGO Mindstorms EV3: the better, faster, stronger generation of robotic programming

January 7, 2013

mindstorms

Lego is back with another generation of MindStorms, the company’s consumer robotics line aimed at introducing application programming to a younger generation, TechCrunch reports.

The new kit includes directions for up to 17 different robots, most of which look like scary-style animals, such as snakes and scorpions.

Mindstorms EV3 marks the first time that users can program directly onto the… read more

Crowdsourcing for robots

Humans acting like robots teach robots to act like humans
June 30, 2014

The UW’s robot builds a turtle model (credit: University of Washington)

Crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks, University of Washington computer scientists have shown.

Learning by imitating a human is a proven approach to teach a robot to perform tasks, but it can take a lot of time. But if the robot could learn a task’s basic steps, then ask the online community for additional input, it could collect more… read more

Is our universe a bubble in the multiverse?

July 21, 2014

Screenshot from a video of Matthew Johnson explaining the related concepts of inflation, eternal inflation, and the multiverse (see http://youtu.be/w0uyR6JPkz4).<br />
Credit: Image courtesy of Perimeter Institute

Researchers at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics are working to bring the multiverse hypothesis — we are living in one universe of many — into the realm of testable science.

Perimeter Associate Faculty member Matthew Johnson and his team are looking for clues for the existence of multiverses (a.ka. parallel universes) in the cosmic microwave background data, assumed to be left over from… read more

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