science + technology news

Skype Goes 720p HD, Big Screen Calls Coming to LG and Panasonic HDTVs

January 5, 2010

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Skype 4.2 beta users can now make HD video calls (720p HD and 30 frames per second) if they have an HD webcam* and sufficient bandwidth and processing power.

LG Electronics and Panasonic will introduce HDTVs at CES with Skype software embedded.

* A few companies will introduce HD webcams designed for Skype’s software at CES.

Skype Launches Low-Cost Global Calling Plans

April 22, 2008

Skpype on Monday launched an aggressive $9.95-a-month international calling plan for U.S. customers that includes landlines and some cell-phone calls to 34 countries.

Skyscraper-style carbon-nanotube chip design ‘boosts electronic performance by factor of a thousand’

December 9, 2015

A multi-campus team led by Stanford engineers Subhasish Mitra and H.-S. Philip Wong has developed a revolutionary high-rise architecture for computing (Stanford University)

Researchers at Stanford and three other universities are creating a revolutionary new skyscraper-like high-rise architecture for computing based on carbon nanotube materials instead of silicon.

In Rebooting Computing, a special issue (in press) of the IEEE Computer journal, the team describes its new approach as “Nano-Engineered Computing Systems Technology,” or N3XT.

Suburban-style chip layouts create long commutes and regular traffic jams in electronic circuits, wasting time and energy, they note.… read more

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 may strengthen long-term memories in the immune system

New evidence shows that lack of sleep puts your body at risk
October 6, 2015

brain vs. immune ft

Deep (slow-wave*) sleep, which helps retain memories in the brain, may also strengthen immunological memories of encountered pathogens, German and Dutch neuroscientists propose in an Opinion article published September 29 in Trends in Neurosciences.

The immune system “remembers” an encounter with a bacteria or virus by collecting fragments from the microbe to create memory T cells, which last for months or years and help the body… 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.

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