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Slaves to Our Machines

September 23, 2002

Instead of machines augmenting human ability, humans are increasingly being called on to augment machine abilities.

Sleep Deprivation for Germs

April 22, 2008

Hebrew University in Jerusalem researchers have found a method to awaken bacteria that are in a dormant state that could improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Most antibiotics kill only microbes that are growing and multiplying, leaving dormant bacteria untouched.

The researchers gave fresh nutrients to a set of stationary (low or no growth) bacteria cultured in the lab. They started growing and dividing again, although some only for… read more

Sleep discovery could lead to therapies that improve memory

But a medical study found increased risk of death from taking sleeping pills
March 13, 2013

(Credit: iStock)

A team of sleep researchers led by UC Riverside psychologist Sara C. Mednick has confirmed the mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate memory and found that a commonly prescribed sleep aid enhances the process.

Those discoveries could lead to new sleep therapies that will improve memory for aging adults and those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia.

Earlier research found a correlation between sleep spindles —… read more

Sleep mechanism identified that plays role in emotional memory

UC researchers find that Ambien heightens recollection of and response to bad memories
June 14, 2013

Ambien (zolpidem)

Sleep researchers from University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego have identified the sleep mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate emotional memory and found that Ambien, a popular prescription sleep aid, heightens the recollection of and response to negative memories.

Their findings have implications for individuals suffering from insomnia related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders who are prescribed… read more

Sleep selectively stores useful memories

February 2, 2011

After a good night’s sleep, people remember information better when they know it will be useful in the future, according to a new study in the Feb. 2 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that the brain evaluates memories during sleep and preferentially retains the ones that are most relevant.

Humans take in large amounts of information every day. Most is encoded into memories by the brain… read more

Sleep-deprived brains alternate between normal activity and ‘power failure’

May 21, 2008

Researchers from Duke-National University of Singapore and colleagues have found that sleep-deprived individuals experience periods of near-normal brain function interspersed with periods of slow response and severe drops in visual processing and attention.

They used fMRI to measure blood flow in participants who’d been kept awake all night or allowed to sleep (participants were tested in both states). During imaging, they did a task requiring visual attention.

When… read more

Sleep-Deprived People Make Risky Decisions Based on Too Much Optimism

March 9, 2011

A night of sleep deprivation leads to increased brain activity in brain regions that assess positive outcomes, while at the same time, this deprivation leads to decreased activation in the brain areas that process negative outcomes, say scientists at two Duke University medical schools.

In other words, trying to make decisions while sleep-deprived can lead to a case of optimism. Sleep-deprived individuals in the study tended to make choices… read more

Sleepless nights can lead to risky behavior

March 24, 2011

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School have found that the same neural pathway that stimulates feelings of euphoria, reward, and motivation after a sleepless night may also lead to risky behavior, says Matthew Walker, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brains of 27 young adults, half of whom got a good… read more

Sleepy connected Americans

March 7, 2011

The 2011 Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) finds pervasive use of communications technology in the hour before bed. It also finds that a significant number of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they say they need and are searching for ways to cope.

Americans report very active technology use in the hour before trying to sleep. Almost everyone surveyed, 95%, uses some type… read more

Sleights of Mind

August 22, 2007

Some magicians have intuitively mastered some of the lessons being learned in the laboratory about the limits of cognition and attention.

In Las Vegas, cognitive scientists such as Daniel Dennett and magicians like The Amazing Randi compare notes.

SlideShare Now Lets You Fuse YouTube Into Your Presentations

January 21, 2009

SlideShare will now allow users to embed YouTube videos into their Flash-based presentations.

Slim chance of tuning in to alien TV

August 6, 2007

Marko Horvat, a computer scientist at the University of Zagreb, calculated the odds of detecting alien civilizations of different lifespans from their radio signals. If, for example, 10 civilizations, each with a lifespan of 250,000 years, live within radio reach of Earth, the probability that one of them will be detected is about 9 per cent, assuming near-perfect radio telescopes scanning the sky constantly (not realistic).

If there are… read more

Slim, warm superconductors promise faster electronics n

October 30, 2009

A superconductor made from a layer of copper oxide material less than a nanometer thick, developed by Brookhaven National Labs, suggests a new possible route to faster electronic components.

Slimmer Nanorods Good Fit for Next-Gen 3-D Computer Chips

March 18, 2009

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new technique for growing slimmer copper nanorods, a key step for advancing integrated 3-D chip technology.

Slimmer nanorods, by virtue of their smaller diameters, require less heat to anneal. These lower temperatures won’t damage or degrade the delicate semiconductors, leading to a less expensive, more reliable device.

‘Slow’ light to speed up the net

August 14, 2008

A huge increase in the speed of the Internet could be produced by using metamaterials to replace the bulky and slow electronics that do the routing of information carried on fiber cables, say researchers at University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oxford.

Metamaterials could be used to temporarily store light signals, with different delays for different light frequencies, achieving an “all-optical network.”

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