science + technology news

Social networking for locusts

July 15, 2011

Swarming locusts (credit:

Insect swarming is created by the same kind of adaptive-network mechanisms that humans adopt for social networks, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems have determined.

The researchers used ideas from studies on opinion formation in social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and applied them to a study of 120 locusts marching in a ring-shaped arena in the lab.… read more

Social Networking Hits the Genome

March 27, 2008

23andMe, a personal genomics startup, will offer a social-networking tool that allows customers to compare their DNA.

The company’s ultimate goal is to create a genomic and phenotypic database large enough to be used for research, by asking users to voluntarily provide their medical histories and details on their medical conditions. The database would be similar to what’s collected by government and academic institutions for research, but participants would… read more

Social networking is about to get exponentially more annoying

December 9, 2011

MagnetU (credit: MagnetU)


MagnetU is a $24 device that broadcasts your social media profile to other “nodes” (people) around you, Technology Review Mims’s Bits reports.

If anyone else with a MagnetU has a profile that matches yours sufficiently, the device will alert both of you via text and/or an app. It also links to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other online social networks.

Social Networking Moves to the Cellphone

March 6, 2008

The social networks market is teeming with “mobile social networking” companies that want to bring the same phenomenon to the 3.3 billion cellphone subscribers, a number that far surpasses the total of Internet users.

The advantage over computer-based communities, they believe, is the ability to know where a cellphone is, thanks to global positioning satellites and related technologies.

Social networking site for researchers aims to make academic papers a thing of the past

July 16, 2009

myExperiment, the social networking site for scientists, has set out to challenge traditional ideas of academic publishing as it enters a new phase of funding.

Social networking sites to go 3D

April 9, 2008

Vivaty of Menlo Park, California, is creating a hybrid of conventional social networking sites such as Facebook and virtual worlds like Second Life.

To be offered to Facebook users, Vivaty users will get access to a virtual room where they can adorn the walls with photos, watch a virtual television that plays YouTube, invite friends over to join them, and chat via 3D avatars.

Social networking’s good and bad impacts on kids

August 9, 2011

Social media present risks and benefits to children but parents who try to secretly monitor their kids’ activities online are wasting their time, says Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Rosen identifies potential adverse effects of social media, including:

  • Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults who have a strong

read more

‘Social voting’ really does rock the vote

September 14, 2012

The experiment and direct effects. Examples of the informational message and social message Facebook treatments (a) and their direct effect on voting behaviour (b). Vertical lines indicate s.e.m. (they are too small to be seen for the first two bars). (Credit: /Nature)

Brace yourself for a tidal wave of Facebook campaigning before November’s U.S. presidential election. A study of 61 million Facebook users finds that using online social networks to urge people to vote has a much stronger effect on their voting behavior than spamming them with information via television ads or phone calls, Science Now reports.

The study follows a Science paper that tracked howread more

Social-media news consumers at higher risk of ‘information bubbles’

How "friends" or people you “follow” limit your sphere of information by keeping you in a “collective social bubble”
December 16, 2015

social-media effects

Do you find your news and information from social media instead of search engines? If so, you are at risk of becoming trapped in a “collective social bubble.”

That’s according to Indiana University researchers in a study, “Measuring online social bubbles,” recently published in the new open-access online journal PeerJ Computer Science, based on an analysis of more… read more

Society for Neuroscience 2011 meetups

November 11, 2011

Dr. Randall Koene is planning several meetups at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2011, in Washington, D.C., starting on Saturday Nov. 12 with a Whole Brain Emulation Social (see for details).

Society’s vital networks prone to ‘explosive’ changes

March 17, 2009

Random networks, such as the Internet and global flight connections, have the potential for extreme behavior never seen before, suddenly gaining a central backbone of connections that make it simple to travel between any two points, researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz and elsewhere have found.

The addition of just one link triggers an instantaneous phase change and the network becomes fully connected.

Soft arrays of miniature electrodes for improved Parkinson’s treatment

February 19, 2013


Miniature, ultra-flexible electrodes could be the answer to more successful treatment for Parkinson’s diseases, according to Professor Philippe Renaud of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

He has developed soft arrays of miniature electrodes in his Microsystems Laboratory that open new possibilities for more accurate and local deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Some 90,000 patients per year are treated for Parkinson’s disease, a number that… read more

Soft Drinks Linked To Heart Disease Via Metabolic Syndrome

July 25, 2007

In a new study, the large-scale ongoing Framingham Heart Study has found that drinking more than one soft drink a day, whether regular or diet, may be linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease, via an increase in metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms such as excess waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and… read more

Soft memory device opens door to new biocompatible electronics

July 16, 2011

Jello Memory

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a soft memory device design that functions well in wet environments and has memristor-like characteristics, opening the door to new types of smart biocompatible electronic devices.

A memristor (“memory resistor”) is an electronic device that changes its resistive state depending on the current or voltage history through the device.

The ability to function in wet environments and… read more

Soft microrobots that simulate unicellular water microorganisms

December 6, 2013


Miniaturized robots that could one day function medically inside the human body are being designed by researchers in Trieste and Catalonia.

The robots of the future will be increasingly like biological organisms, with the same “softness” and flexibility as biological tissues, according to Antonio De Simone from SISSA (the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste) and Marino Arroyo from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, who have… read more

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