science + technology news

Sound imaging: clever acoustics help blind people see the world

July 3, 2009

University of Bristol and University of Laguna researchers have developed a system using video from portable cameras that calculates the distance of obstacles, predicts the movements of people and cars, and generates three-dimensional acoustic maps, compensating for head positioning using a gyroscopic sensor.

Sound waves produce nuclear fusion

July 15, 2005

UPDATE: The bubble bursts

An inexpensive “tabletop” device that uses sound waves to produce nuclear fusion reactions could lead to a new source of clean energy and a host of portable detectors and other applications.

A key component of the experiment was a glass test chamber about the size of two coffee mugs filled with a liquid called deuterated acetone, which contains a form of hydrogen… read more

Sound-blasting chips for on-the-spot forensics

May 26, 2010

By using surface acoustic waves (SAWs) to manipulate biological samples on a “lab-on-a-chip,” rapid, on-the-spot chemical analysis and diagnosis of disease has moved closer to reality.

Sound-cloaking acoustic metamaterials are on the way

April 23, 2012

metamaterials_sound_cloak

New materials that have the potential to create acoustically shielded environments may be on the way, Ars Technica reports.

In the latest development, researchers have shown how creating materials that have meandering paths for sound waves can result in a negative acoustic index of refraction.

More importantly, these materials may actually be manufacturable and work for sound waves in air — the stuff we might consider noise.… read more

Sound-detecting hair cells grown in lab

October 28, 2003

Sound-detecting hair cells of the inner ear can be grown in the lab from embryonic stem cells, scientists have shown, creating a possible alternative to cochlear implants for treating deafness.

Sound-system spots early Alzheimer’s in brain waves

April 18, 2007

A computer system that can rival some doctors’ ability to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s is being trialled in the US. It analyses a person’s the P300 brain waves response to a number of simple sound-based tests.

Soundless Music Shown to Produce Weird Sensations

September 9, 2003

British scientists have shown in a controlled experiment at a concert that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chill.

Sounds During Sleep Aid Memory, Study Finds

November 20, 2009

Playing sound cues associated with a picture in a specific location while people slept helped them remember more of what they had learned before they fell sleep, to the point where memories of individual facts were enhanced, scientists at Northwestern University report in the journal Science.

Sounds Of The Universe

May 22, 2001

Extraterrestrial acoustics and a “smart violin” attempt to clone the Stradivarius will be among the topics presented at the annual Acoustical Society of America conference, June 4-8, Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

Sounds Realer Than Reality

June 5, 2002

Scientists can generate imitations of real-life sounds significantly more convincing than actual recordings of the events they are intended to mimic.Experimental psychologists Laurie Heller and Lauren Wolf at Brown University found that listeners rated some artificially generated sounds — simulating “walking in leaves” by running fingers through cornflakes, for example — as more convincing than the real ones.

Enhancing the sound envelope (slower changing component) results in better perception… read more

Source of ‘optimism’ found in the brain

October 25, 2007

Using fMRI brain scans, New York University researchers have discovered two regions of the brain linked to optimism: the amygdala and the rostral anterior cingulated cortex.

The identification of the sites could shed light on the causes of depression.

Sources: Pentagon planning new cybercommand

April 23, 2009

The Pentagon is planning to create a new military command to focus on cyberspace and protect its computer networks from cyberattacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

South Carolina scientist works to grow meat in lab

February 1, 2011

Medical University of South Carolina scientist Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D. has been working for a decade to grow meat. He has taken myoblasts — embryonic cells that develop into muscle tissue — from turkey and bathed them in a nutrient bath of bovine serum on a scaffold made of chitosan (a common polymer found in nature) to grow animal skeletal muscle tissue.

Cultured meat could eventually become cheaper than… read more

South Korean Team Kaist wins DARPA Robotics Challenge

Top three teams awarded total of $3.5 million in prizes
June 8, 2015

Team KAIST's DRC-Hubo robot turns valve 360 degrees in DARPA Robotics Challenge Final (credit: DARPA)

First place in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals this past weekend in Pomona, California went to Team Kaist of South Korea for its DRC-Hubo robot, winning $2 million in prize money.

Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Fla., with its Running Man (Atlas) robot came in at second place ($1 million prize), followed by Tartan Rescue of Pittsburgh with its CHIMP robot ($500,000 prize).… read more

South Pole Neutrino Detector Could Yield Evidences of String Theory

January 30, 2006

Researchers at Northeastern University and the University of California, Irvine say that scientists might soon have evidence for extra dimensions and other exotic predictions of string theory. Early results from a neutrino detector at the South Pole, called AMANDA, show that ghostlike particles from space could serve as probes to a world beyond our familiar three dimensions, the research team says.

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