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Surgical drill feels its way through tissue

April 2, 2007

A medical drill being tested in the UK simplifies delicate surgical procedures by sensing the properties of surrounding tissue. It has already been used to give profoundly deaf patients cochlear implants — a process that requires extreme caution to avoid damaging delicate tissues inside the ear.

Surgical robots

January 19, 2012


Blake Hannaford and his colleagues at the University of Washington are about to release a flock of medical robots with wing-like arms, called Ravens, in the hope of stimulating innovation in the nascent field of robotic surgery.

The Raven — originally developed for the American army by Dr Hannaford and Jacob Rosen of the University of California, Santa Cruz as a prototype for robotic surgery on the battlefield —… read more

Surgical Robots Get a Sense of Touch

December 20, 2006

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a haptic feedback system for surgical robots, which lack subtle sensations.

Their goal is to understand the forces of the robot interacting with the patient and to use motors on the master robot–controlled by the surgeon–to create forces that are equal to those being applied to the patient.

Surgical Tags Plan for Sex Offenders

November 15, 2002

Britain is considering a controversial scheme to implant surgically electronic tags in convicted pedophiles amid fears that the extent of the abuse of children has been massively underestimated. The government could then track pedophiles by satellite, with a system similar to that used to locate stolen cars. The tags can be put beneath the skin under local anesthetic and would also be able to monitor the heart rate and blood… read more

Surprising discovery: Multicellular stress response is ‘all for one’

May 9, 2008

Northwestern University researchers have found that in the worm C. elegans, specialized neurons organize and control how cells respond to environmental stress, rather than the cells responding individually.

The researchers suggest that other organisms, including humans, may have a similar central neuronal control switch for regulating temperature and the expression of genes, which protects the health of proteins.

The results may lead to new ways to study stress… read more

Surprising responses to faces from single neurons in the amygdala

September 30, 2011

Adolphs HiRes

Which one of the two images on the right do you respond to?

Neurons in the the amygdala portion of the brain respond strongly when a person sees an entire face, but respond much less to a face in which only a very small region has been erased, neuroscientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered by looking at recordings from… read more

Surprising twist in debate over lab-made H5N1

March 11, 2012

H5N1 virus (credit: Lennart Nilsson)

A researcher who created one of the H5N1 mutants and a leading U.S. health official say the threat has been blown out of proportion, offering what they said were clarifications and “new data” to better gauge the risk it presents.

Contrary to widespread reports, the researcher, Ron Fouchier of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, revealed that the virus made in his lab does not kill ferrets infected by… read more

Surveillance made easy

August 25, 2008

Governments around the world are developing increasingly sophisticated electronic surveillance methods in a bid to identify terrorist cells or spot criminal activity.

German electronics company Siemens has gone a step further, developing a complete “surveillance in a box” system called the Intelligence Platform, pooling data from sources such as telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records. It then sorts through this mountain of information using… read more

Surveillance Nation

March 24, 2003

Webcams, tracking devices, and interlinked databases are leading to the elimination of unmonitored public space. Are we prepared for the consequences of the intelligence- gathering network we’re unintentionally building?

Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects

February 6, 2006

To find clues to terrorists in its terabytes of speech, text, and image data, the NSA uses AI-enhanced link analysis of associated people, places, things and events.

It also relies on decomposing an audio signal to find qualities useful to pattern analysis, using acoustic engineering, behavioral psychology and computational linguistics, as well as clues to deceptive intent in the words and paralinguistic features of a conversation, such as pitch,… read more

Surveillance robot knows when to hide

March 22, 2011

Surveillance Robot

A surveillance robot that knows when to hide has been developed by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories.

The robot avoids visible detection by sentries of known locations, potential detection by sentries whose positions are unknown, areas in which the robot has no means of escape, and areas that are well lit.

It builds a computer model of its surroundings and incorporates information on lines of sight. A laser… read more

Surveillance Software Knows What a Camera Sees

June 1, 2010

(Song-Chun Zhu/UCLA)

I2T (Image to Text), a prototype computer vision system that can generate a live text description of what’s happening in a feed from a surveillance camera, has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and ObjectVideo of Reston, VA.

It puts a series of computer vision algorithms into a system that takes images or video frames as input, and spits out summaries of what they… read more

Surveillance video becomes a tool for studying customer behavior

January 31, 2012

Prism Skylabs

The huge success of online shopping and advertising — led by giants like Amazon and Google — is in no small part thanks to software that logs when you visit Web pages and what you click on. Startup Prism Skylabs offers brick-and-mortar businesses the equivalent — anonymously counting, logging, and tracking people in a store, coffee shop, or gym with software that works with video from security cameras.… read more

Survey: U.S. residents addicted to e-mail

June 2, 2005

U.S. residents are so hooked on e-mail that some check for messages in the bathroom, in church and while driving, a new survey sponsored by America Online Inc. has found.

About a fourth of respondents acknowledged being so addicted to e-mail that they can’t go more than two or three days without checking for messages. That includes vacations, during which 60% of respondents admitted logging into their in-boxes.

Survival of the fittest theory: Darwinism’s limits

February 4, 2010

Darwinists say that evolution is explained by the selection of phenotypic traits (heritable biological properties) by environmental filters, but the effects of endogenous structure, such as gene regulatory networks, can wreak havoc with this theory.

So say cognitive scientists Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini in a new book, What Darwin Got Wrong.

“Pigs don’t have wings, but that’s not because winged pigs once lost out to wingless ones,”… read more

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