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Watching fish thinking

February 1, 2013

zebrafish_thinking

Neuroscientists have found a way to watch neurons fire in an independently moving animal for the first time. The study was done in fish, but it may hold clues to how the human brain works, Science Now reports.

Junichi Nakai of Saitama University’s Brain Science Institute in Japan and colleagues selected a glowing marker known as green fluorescent protein (GFP) and linked it to a compound that… read more

A 3D-printed navy?

May 23, 2013

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight on May 22, 2013. Could a future version be 3D-printed? (Credit: Northrop Grumman by Bob Brown)

Instead a carrying spare parts, space-constrained U.S. Navy ships in the future might carry 3-D printers and bags of various powdered ingredients, and simply download the design files needed to print items as necessary, according to the Armed Forces Journal,

“Perhaps closer at hand is a distributed global production network in which sailors and Marines send an email with a digital scan or design for a

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Hands-on with the next generation Kinect: PrimeSense Capri

January 17, 2013

capri_21358236815775

The next generation of PrimeSense‘s 3D sensor (used inside the Microsoft Kinect), called Capri, will revolutionize vision for very cheap and very expensive robots, IEEE Spectrum reports.

Capri is also small enough that it’ll be able to fit into tablets (and eventually smartphones).

The first engineering samples of Capri are expected to ship in 2-3 months, with consumer kits… read more

DARPA flight test of world’s fastest aircraft fails

August 12, 2011

Falcon HTV-2 (credit: DARPA)

In its second flight test, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) fastest (13,000 mph) aircraft ever built, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), was successfully inserted into the desired trajectory at near-orbital speed, but the flight  ended in loss of signal (and control) when the aircraft transitioned to Mach 20 (about 13,000 mph) aerodynamic flight around nine minutes into the flight, DARPA… read more

Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe

May 8, 2014

illustris-simulation

Astronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called “Illustris.”

Illustris can recreate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution.

“Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” says lead author Mark Vogelsberger (MIT/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics),… read more

ALS patient hopes to be cryopreserved

By Christine Gaspar
June 17, 2013

Aaron Winborn

I would like to introduce you to Aaron Winborn. It was his birthday this week. He just turned 46.

He has a wife named Gwen, a daughter Ashlin, age 9, and another daughter Sabina, age 3. He is an open-source software developer, author of the book Drupal Multimedia, and community activist.

At the age of 43, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of… read more

Neuroscience: the mind reader

June 14, 2012

Adrian-Owen

Adrian Owen has found a way to use brain scans to communicate with people previously written off as unreachable in a so-called “vegetative state.” Now he’s fighting to take his methods to the clinic.

Patients in these states are usually written off as lost.

Owen took fMRI scans of a 23-year-old woman in a vegetative state while he asked her to imagine playing tennis and walking through the… read more

Virus caught in the act of infecting a cell

January 11, 2013

virus_injecting

The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time.

To infect a cell, a virus must be able to first find a suitable cell and then eject its genetic material into its host.

This robot-like process has been observed in a virus called T7 and visualized by Ianread more

How to feel phantom objects floating in air

July 21, 2013

aireal-21

A groundbreaking project called Aireal lets you feel virtual objects, Fast Company reports.

Aireal is the result of research by University of Illinois PhD student Rajinder Sodhi and Disney Reseach’s Ivan Poupyrev. When set by your television or connected to an iPad, this diminutive machine will puff air rings that allow you to actually feel objects and textures in… read more

Computer programs that ace IQ tests

February 16, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Researchers at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have created a computer program that scored up to 150 on specific portions of an IQ test: identifying patterns in pictures and number sequences.

IQ tests include progressive matrices, which test the ability to see patterns in pictures, and number sequences, which test the ability to see patterns… read more

Sal Khan’s ‘Academy’ sparks a tech revolution in education

May 31, 2012

salman_khan

Salman Khan’s simply narrated, faceless home videos on everything from algebra to French history have been viewed half a billion times.

Last year, a number of schools began “flipping” their classrooms, having students study Khan videos by night and do homework with teachers by day.

His staff has been ramped up to 32, including the recent high-profile addition of Google’s first hired employee, programming ace Craig Silverstein. The staff’s… read more

Ukrainian students develop gloves that translate sign language into speech

July 12, 2012

sign-language_glove

Using a gloves fitted with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers a Ukrainian team in a Microsoft competition has built a system called EnableTalk that can translate sign language into text and then into spoken words using a text-to-speech engine.

The whole system then connects to a smartphone over Bluetooth.

There are currently about 40 million deaf, mute and deaf-mute people. Many of them use sign language,… read more

Graphene superconducting property discovered

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory see electrons dancing in superconducting material, setting a foundation for future explorations
March 21, 2014

graphene_sheets_final_highres

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered how graphene  — a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics — is superconducting in a graphene-calcium compound, meaning that graphene would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

While it’s been known for nearly a decade that this combined material is superconducting, the new study offers the first… read more

Chinese move to their eco-city of the future

March 19, 2012

Tainjin, China

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City — the world’s largest eco-city — is an experimental model for how Chinese cities could develop and solve some of the enormous problems facing them: permanent gridlock, a lack of water, and ruinous electricity bills.

General Motors is using Tianjin to work out if electric driverless cars can function in a normal traffic system, and road-test the next generation of vehicles: small urban cars that drive themselves… read more

Can anyone catch Khan Academy? The fate of the U in the YouTube era

July 23, 2012

salman_khan

Traditional American universities are suddenly running scared of YouTube, Xconomy reports, along with Vimeo, 5min, iTunes U, TED and the Internet Archive.

Without YouTube, Sal Khan and Khan Academy could never have reached his 4 million unique viewers a month with their 3,200 videos, viewed 170 million times.

Internet video sharing technology means that talented people from outside the education establishment can make and publish free educational videos that are… read more

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