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Brain’s counting skill ‘built-in’

August 19, 2008

Humans have an innate ability to do mathematics even if they do not have the language to express it, a research team has suggested.

A study in Australian Aboriginal children, whose languages lack number words, found they did just as well as English-speaking children in number skills, contradicting other research that found having “counting words” was needed.

Brain activity provides novel biometric key

January 17, 2007

An electronic security system that identifies people by monitoring the unique pattern of electrical activity within their brain is being tested by scientists at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, in Greece.

The authentication system requires a user to have EEG measurements taken beforehand. The result of each authentication test is compared with the user’s pre-recorded measurements, using signal-processing algorithms.

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

Mice Produce Sperm from Monkeys

March 5, 2004

Mice have been used to produce monkey sperm using tissue transplanted from testes of macaques. Scientists involved say their work might one day help to conserve animals that are facing extinction.

The Data-Driven Life

May 3, 2010

“Almost imperceptibly, numbers are infiltrating the last redoubts of the personal,” observes writer Gary Wolf.

“Sleep, exercise, sex, food, mood, location, alertness, productivity, even spiritual well-being are being tracked and measured, shared and displayed.

“First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, people started carrying powerful computing devices, typically disguised as mobile phones. Third, social media made it seem normal to share everything. And fourth, we began to… read more

At Conference on the Risks to Earth, Few Are Optimistic

August 25, 2008

At a conference on global risks like cyberterrorism, climate change, nuclear weapons and the world’s lagging energy supply, participants were not particularly optimistic.

They presented data showing that the boom in biofuels was depleting Southeast Asian rain forests, that “bot herders” — computer hackers for hire — were hijacking millions of computers, and that the lack of progress over handling nuclear waste was both hampering the revival of nuclear… read more

Do ‘You’ really matter?

January 24, 2007

User-generated content is all the rage right now. But the thought of “You” controlling the media and marketing world is little more than breathless hype.

Content protection system

February 6, 2012


Source: XKCD

Push-button Nursing

March 16, 2004

In Japan, the world’s most rapidly aging nation, the future of elderly care seems to be in the hand of robots. Decisions by the Japanese government to push for home care instead of nursing homes and block the admittance of foreign nurses and doctors into the country have created an increasing demand for robotic care devices.

Sanyo Electric Co. has already developed a human washing machine for the elderly.… read more

The Need for Speed on the Web

May 11, 2010

Aptimize, a startup based in Wellington, New Zealand, that launches its service for websites in the United States today, says its software can speed up website load times, bringing increases of 200 to 400 percent in some cases.

The software gets into the middle of the normally sluggish page-processing pipeline and makes it more efficient. It combines resources so they only have to be downloaded once. For example, it… read more

Two-egg diet cracks cholesterol issue

August 29, 2008

University of Surrey researchers have found that people who ate two eggs per day, while on a calorie-restricted diet, lost weight and reduced their blood cholesterol levels.

Nanosensors could aid drug manufacturing

Arrays of carbon nanotubes can detect flaws in drugs and help improve production
August 20, 2013

A micrograph of the nanosensor array. The florescence of each carbon nanotube changes in intensity upon binding to a target molecule.<br />

Arrays of billions of nanoscale sensors have unique properties that could help pharmaceutical companies produce drugs — especially those based on antibodies — more safely and efficiently, MIT chemical engineers have discovered.

Using these sensors, the researchers were able to characterize variations in the binding strength of antibody drugs, which hold promise for treating cancer and other diseases.

They also used the sensors to… read more

Fueling Brain Research

February 5, 2007

Neuroscientists at MIT’s McGovern Institute Neurotechnology Program plan to create reporter molecules that are sensitive to different neurochemicals.

A marker that changes with calcium concentration, for example, could allow for MRI imaging of neural activity with much greater resolution than current methods.

They also visualize miniature devices that would lodge in the capillaries and record from close-by neurons and transmit that data through the skull.

Scientists Report Evidence of Saltwater Pools on Mars

March 25, 2004

Mars was once a much warmer, wetter place, with pools of saltwater that sometimes flowed across the surface, scientists reported Tuesday. It was the first concrete evidence that water might have flowed on the Martian surface, and it provided new hints that life may have existed there.

Giving new meaning to ‘smart car’

May 18, 2010

McMaster and IBM are investigating how the automotive industry can connect a vehicle’s multiple sensors and microprocessors in the vehicle and on roads to create a “cognitive car” that can predict vehicle failures before they happen, redirect drivers to less congested routes and help reduce traffic accidents, and give drivers real-time visual information and alerts.

The program will also study how increased computing power can help vehicles better integrate… read more

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