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Move over, BigDog — introducing AlphaDog

September 30, 2011

LS3

AlphaDog is the new robot in town from Boston Dynamics. Think Big Dog on steroids.

AlphaDog (official name: LS3 (Legged Squad Support System) is designed to assist soldiers in carrying heavy loads (up to 400 lbs of gear) over rough terrain, IEEE Spectrum blogger Erico Guizzo reports.

AlphaDog is getting close to something that can be… read more

Why your memory is like the telephone game

Each time you recall an event, your brain distorts it
September 21, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Remember the telephone game where people take turns whispering a message into the ear of the next person in line? By the time the last person speaks it out loud, the message has radically changed. It’s been altered with each retelling.

Turns out your memory is a lot like that, according to a new Northwestern University Medicine study.

Every time you remember an event from the… read more

Getting enough sleep?

Johns Hopkins mobile app helps physicians identify common sleep disorders in patients
April 2, 2015

My Sleep101 ft.

Experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep hope to help patients get a better night’s sleep by providing health care staff members with a basic educational tool on their smartphones.

Called MySleep101, the mobile learning application offers providers who are not experts in sleep disorders information on how to screen and counsel patients experiencing sleepless nights. Doctors, nurses and other care providers can access basic information about the seven… read more

Self/Less movie features uploading … to an existing human body

July 10, 2015

selfless ft

In Self/Less, a science-fiction thriller to be released in the U.S. today, July 10, 2015, Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy aristocrat (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer, undergoes a $250 million radical medical procedure at a lab called Phoenix Biogenic in Manhattan to have his consciousness transferred into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds).… read more

Software predicts tomorrow’s news by analyzing today’s and yesterday’s

February 4, 2013

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Prototype software can give early warnings of disease or violence outbreaks by spotting clues in news reports.

Researchers have created software that predicts when and where disease outbreaks might occur, based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data. The research comes from Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, MIT Technology Review reports.

The system could someday help aid organizations and… read more

Mysterious cloud spotted on Mars

March 25, 2012

Mars_cloud

Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days, MSNBC Cosmic Log reports.

More: Exosky.net.

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

Wave energy costs should compare favorably to other energy sources

January 7, 2015

The Ocean Sentinel, one of the nation's first wave-energy testing devices, has been deployed off the Oregon Coast (credit: Pat Kight, Oregon Sea Grant)

Large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable, and able to be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power, a new analysis suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Renewable Energy, confirm what scientists have expected — that wave energy will have fewer problems with variability than some energy sources and… read more

Google wants to replace all your passwords with a ring

March 13, 2013

YubiKey-NEO-+-finger

As part of research into doing away with typed passwords, Google has built rings that not only adorn a finger but also can be used to log in to a computer or online account, MIT Technology Review reports.

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month, Mayank Upadhyay, a principal engineer at Google,  said that using personal hardware to log in would remove the dangers of… read more

111 organizations call for synthetic biology moratorium

March 15, 2012

SynBioHelloWorld

Synthetic biology needs more oversight, and the government needs to put in place regulations specific for this field, according to 111 environmental, watchdog, and other organizations, which have released a report with specific recommendations for managing new biological techniques for building and remaking organisms for research and commercial uses ranging from medicines to biofuels.

Calling synthetic biology “an extreme form of genetic engineering,” the report said… read more

How to grow a human liver in a dish

June 22, 2012

human_liver

Japanese scientists have used induced stem cells to create a liver-like tissue in a dish.

The achievement could have big clinical implications — a significant advance in the ability to coax stem cells to self-organize into organs.

The work was presented by Yokohama City University stem-cell biologist Takanori Takebe at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Yokohama.

“It blew my… read more

Where is self-awareness located in the brain?

July 31, 2012

Brain regions activated more strongly during lucid dreaming than in a normal dream. (credit: MPI of Psychiatry)

Neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institutes of Psychiatry in Munich, Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, and Charité in Berlin have identified a specific cortical network associated with self-awareness.

They used EEG and fMRI brain imaging to study “lucid dreamers,” who have access to their memories during dreaming and are aware of themselves, although remaining in a dream state and not waking up.

The researchers found neural activations… read more

Assessing network security analysts’ abilities to prevent ‘cyber Pearl Harbor’

December 4, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned that the United States is facing the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” and is increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could disrupt the government, utility, transportation, and financial networks.

Key to protecting online operations is a high degree of “cyber security awareness,” according to human factors/ergonomics researchers Varun Dutt, Young-Suk Ahn, and Cleotilde Gonzalez.

In their Human Factors article, “… read more

Artificial retina receives FDA approval

Argus II is first approved prosthesis to restore limited vision to those blinded by retinitis pigmentosa
February 15, 2013

2sight_argus_ii

In an historic move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted market approval to an artificial retina technology, the first bionic eye to be approved for patients in the U.S.

The device, called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, from Second Sight Medical Products, transmits images from a small, eye-glass-mounted camera wirelessly to a microelectrode array implanted on a patient’s damaged retina. The… 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

read more

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