25,182 science & technology articles
  • Google announces +Post ads now available to all advertisers
    Google has announced the availability of +Post ads to all advertisers who meet minimum Google+ followers requirement. +Post ads was introduced last December to a limited number of advertisers in order to boost content and conversation creation across the web. Using this method you cam take a portion of your public Google+ content, like a photo or video, and turn it into an engagement ad that runs across the Google Display Network. … Read more
  • Google launches Chrome Remote Desktop for mobiles running on Android
    Google has launched Chrome Remote Desktop feature for mobile phones running on Android platform. Chrome Remote Desktop is a remote desktop software tool launched by Google in 2011. It allows a user to remotely control another computer using a Chromoting protocol developed by Google. Chrome Remote Desktop requires the use of Google Chrome, along with the installation of an extension from the Chrome Web Store. … Read more
  • Google launches new Camera App, adds Lens Blur, Improved Panorama and Photo Sphere for KitKat Android Devices
    Google has launched a new standalone Camera app for your Android phones and tablets running on Android 4.4+ KitKat.  According to Google the new app will be available for more devices in the coming days for other versions of Android OS. … Read more
  • BitTorrent Sync introduces support for Network Attached Storage (NAS)
    BitTorrent Sync by BitTorrent, is a peer-to-peer file synchronization tool available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BSD. The applications lets you sync and share unlimited files and folders across all of your trusted devices. The company yesterday announced support of network-attached storage (NAS) devices to offer BitTorrent-built Sync apps in vendor storefronts. … Read more
  • Cotton (white) Google Glass variant sold out in an hour
    Earlier this week Google announced the public release of its new Explorers (Google Glass) from 15th April in the U.S.. The one day Glass sale has proved to be a hit for the company and has resulted in out-of-stock of its white “Cotton” version of the wearable headset. … Read more
  • Apple CarPlay coming in Pioneer in-dash car multimedia systems
    Apple had introduced CarPlay earlier month and had promised that its iPhone powered infotainment software will be introduced to several auto markers globally. In a latest news Pioneer announced yesrteday that it will be among the first to sell aftermarket media receivers that support CarPlay. CarPlay compatibility will be available in early summer 2014 via a firmware update to the five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers. … Read more
  • Now insert your Auto Backup photos from your phone in Gmail messages on web
    Google has announced a new feature which will ease your message creation on its webmail. Now you can insert your Auto Backup photos from your phones in Gmail messages on the web using the new Insert Photo button. When you click the button, you’ll instantly access all the photos that are backed up from your mobile devices, starting with the most recent. … Read more
  • Twitter acquires social network analytics firm “Gnip”
    Microblogging company Twitter has announced the acquisition of social network analytics firm “Gnip”.Gnip is a social media API aggregation company, which was founded in 2008. It is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado-U.S. and provides data from several social media websites via one API. The company was dubbed the “Grand Central Station for the Social Web” shortly after launch, Gnip’s offering was among the first products available for social media API aggregation. … Read more
  • Line messenger app launches Sticons for Android
    Japanese messenger service LINE has launched the new Android version of LINE (ver. 4.2.0) today. Along with improvements to basic functions, LINE has also introduced “Sticons”, a new way to use emoticons. Sticons can be used in text messages in the same way as emoticons, but they can also be used like stickers as large, individual images. … Read more
  • ASUS announces ZenFone availability in Southeast Asia
    ASUS announced the availability of the ZenFone Series in Southeast Asia at a press event in Jakarta today. During the event, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih introduced the complete ZenFone lineup and the exclusive ASUS ZenUI mobile interface. Among the premier ASUS ZenUI features is PixelMaster, a camera technology that is an essential part of the ZenFone. The PixelMaster camera technology makes it effortless to capture memorable photos and videos in any lighting condition. … Read more
  • Kumar
    Taiwanese firm ASUS has launched Fonepad 7 dual SIM tablet for Rs 12,999 in India. The 7-inch tablet is runs on Android 4.3 operating system and is powered by a 1.2Ghz dual core Intel Atom Z2520 processor. It features 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, microSD slot which can be used to expand storage up to 64GB  and a 3,950mAh battery.The tablet also supports 3G connectivity and voice calling. … Read more
  • Google updates its Terms of Service, admits to scanning incoming and outgoing emails
    Google has updated its Terms of Service effective from April 14, 2014, the last modification was done on November 11, 2013. In its latest terms of service Google says that all incoming and outgoing emails are scanned in-order to help create targeted ads. … Read more
  • Google files patent for embedded camera based Smart Contact Lenses
    Earlier in January this year Google had unveiled its new project a smart contact lens, which according to the search giant is capable of measuring glucose levels in the wearer’s tears for helping diabetic users. In a latest patent filing by Google, reveals the integration of tiny cameras into their future smart contact lenses. The user will be able to control the camera through their own unique blinking patterns. … Read more
  • Google acquires drone maker company “Titan Aerospace”
    Google is reported to have acquired “Titan Aerospace”, the startup firm which builds high-altitude robots and was pursed for purchase by Facebook. According to TechCrunch the financial details of the deal was not revealed but the deal was finalized after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its Internet plans through flying drones. … Read more
  • Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview available for download
    Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview is now available for download. The detailed preview of Windows Phone 8.1 was revealed by Microsoft at Build 2014 conference held earlier this month.  This software update is significant Windows Phone 8, with new features like the Cortana digital assistant, a new notification center, and skinned Tiles for the Start Screen. … Read more
  • Android didn’t supported touchscreens prior to iPhone announcement
    Android operating system did not supported touch screen functionality in 2006 until the iPhone model was released by Apple. The latest revelation comes from the documents released amid ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial. The documents revealed in the court says that “Touchscreens will not be supported,” said Google in the specification document that was provided to the hardware manufacturers in 2006 prior to the iPhone’s announcement the following year. “The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption.” Google further added that, “However there is nothing fundamental in the products architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future” … Read more
  • Samsung teases about media event “Kapture the moment- April 29” expected to launch new camera centric phone
    Samsung today teased about a media event to be held on 29th April in Singapore (Venue – Red Dot Design Museum) at 11 am. The caption in the teaser reads “Kapture the moment- April 29”, although much is not clear from the tweet shown below. … Read more
  • Leaked customizable options of Moto X+1
    Recently we saw the leaked Moto X+1 logo which was leaked over Twitter by famous tipster @Evleaks. The phone is expected to be the successor of Motorola’s Moto X model. In a latest tweet again @Evleaks has again revealed different colors and finishes that the Moto X+1 could be sporting when it will be announced. … Read more
  • Google lets edit translations inorder to improve Google Translate
    Google has enabled editing feature in its translation service in-order to improve its translation offering. It now lets you edit translations through clicking on the “Improve” icon below the translation, edit the text and click “Contribute”. This feature in return will help the search giant improve the quality of its “Translate” service. Prior to this enhancement Google allowed only to click the words from the translations and choose one of the alternate translations offered by Google. Google also reflects the message: “Your contribution will be used to improve translation quality and may be shown to users anonymously“.1   Kumar via BC … Read more
  • Samsung and Amazon collaborates to launch ‘Kindle for Samsung’, a custom-built eBook service
    Samsung and Amazon has collaborated to launch Kindle for Samsung, a custom-built eBook service. The app will be launched this month starting with the Galaxy S5 along with existing Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets above Android 4.0 globally. As part of the service, Amazon and Samsung will launch Samsung Book Deals, available to all customers using Kindle for Samsung. … Read more
  • WordPress new version 3.9 released, enhances media editing, gallery previews, audio & video playlist inclusion and more
    WordPress.org has released its new version 3.9 which is named as “Smith” in the honor of African-American jazz organist Jimmy Smith. This release features several new enhancements for media editing, gallery previews, audio & video playlist inclusion, live widget & header previews and new theme browser. You can download the 6 MB file or update directly through your WordPress dashboard … Read more
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 and New Gear Devices now available in Global Market
    Samsung has announced today the commercial launch of the new Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Gear devices – Samsung Gear 2, Samsung Gear 2 Neo, and Samsung Gear Fit. The newly launched devices will be available from today in 125 countries including the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and most Asian markets. … Read more
  • Sony warns users to stop using Vaio Fit 11A laptop, as it may overheat and catch fire
    Sony is reported to have warned its users to stop using Vaio Fit 11A laptop, as it is equipped with Panasonic made batteries has risk of overheating and catching fire. Sony said that it has received three reports of batteries overheating causing partial burns to Vaio computers. The first incident was in Japan on March 19, followed by similar incidents on March 30 in Hong Kong and April 8 in China. Japanese firm is reported to have stopped selling the product at the beginning of this month. … Read more
  • Human-Robot Interaction goes to next level with eye-to-eye contact
    Martin Dee/University of British Columbia       Researchers at the University of British Columbia programmed a human-friendly robot named Charlie to study the simple task of handing an object to a person. Past research has shown that people have difficulty figuring out when to reach out and take an object from a robot because robots fail to provide appropriate nonverbal cues. … Read more
  • New evidence of suicide epidemic among India’s ‘marginalised’ farmers
     Latest statistical research finds strong causal links between areas with the most suicides and areas where impoverished farmers are trying to grow crops that suffer from wild price fluctuations due to India’s relatively recent shift to free market economics.   It is often forgotten that over 833 million people – almost 70% of the Indian population – still live in rural areas   Jonathan Kennedy A new study has found that India’s shocking rates of suicide are highest in areas with the most debt-ridden farmers who are clinging to tiny smallholdings – less than one hectare – and trying to grow ‘cash crops’, such as cotton and coffee, that are highly susceptible to global price fluctuations. … Read more
  • Roman dig ‘transforms understanding’ of ancient port
      Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously estimated. … Read more
  • Update: Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon
    Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems soon could be powering the forklifts used in warehouses and other industrial settings at lower costs and with faster refueling times than ever before, courtesy of a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC). The goal of the project is to design a solid-state hydrogen storage system that can refuel at low pressure four to five times faster than it takes to charge a battery-powered forklift, giving hydrogen a competitive advantage over batteries for a big slice of the clean forklift market. The entire U.S. forklift market was nearly $33 billion in 2013, according to Pell Research. … Read more
  • Wind tunnel tests support improved aerodynamic design of B61-12 bomb
    Sandia National Laboratories has finished eight days of testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel. The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb during freefall and are an important milestone in the Life Extension Program to deliver a new version of the aging system, the B61-12. … Read more
  • Resilient cities focus of new Sandia, Rockefeller Foundation pact to help 100 communities
    Sandia National Laboratories will bring decades of experience solving problems with practical engineering and modeling complex systems to cities around the world under a new agreement to support the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The challenge, which will help 33 cities in its first year, seeks to make communities more resilient, by being better prepared to withstand natural or manmade disasters, recover more quickly and emerge stronger. … Read more
  • Entrepreneur teams with Sandia scientists to bring life-saving vaccines to far reaches of the world
    Getting life-saving vaccines to the most remote parts of the world is no easy feat. Biopharmaceuticals are highly sensitive to heat and cold and can perish if their temperature shifts a few degrees. “The vast majority of the world’s population lives in areas where electricity and refrigeration are not reliable,” said Bruce McCormick, president of SAVSU Technologies of Santa Fe. “It is difficult to get vaccines to these areas. We’re talking several billion people.” … Read more
  • Japan to continue scientific whaling in Pacific: reports
    A Japanese whaling harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2, drags a minke whale in the Southern Ocean, February 15, 2013 in this Sea Shepherd Australia photo Japan has decided to continue its whaling programme in the Pacific Ocean, reports said Friday, despite losing a United Nations court case on its other “research” hunt in the Antarctic. If confirmed, the move will likely spark anger among environmentalists who hailed last month’s ruling by the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Tokyo’s hunt in the Southern Ocean was a commercial activity disguised as science. … Read more
  • China says massive area of its soil polluted
    A man shovels earth in a field outside a power plant in Xingtai, southern Hebei province, on March 10, 2013 A huge area of China’s soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret. Of about 6.3 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) of soil surveyed—roughly two thirds of China’s total area—16.1 percent is thought to be polluted, the environmental protection ministry said in a report. The study, which appeared on its website, blamed mining and farming practices among other causes. “The national soil pollution situation is not positive,” the ministry said, adding that more than 19 percent of the farmland which was surveyed is polluted. The ministry last year described the results of its soil pollution survey as a state secret and refused to release the results, a move which incensed environmental campaigners. The government has come under increasing pressure in recent years to take action to improve the environment, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and waterways and land polluted. In response to public pressure, China has released more accurate data about air pollution. Read more at: Phys.org … Read more
  • White House updating online privacy policy
    This Screen grab from the website WhiteHouse.gov taken Friday April 18, 2014 shows the screen explaining a new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explaining how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. (AP Photo/WhiteHouse.gov) A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. … Read more
  • Six Nepalese dead, six missing in Everest avalanche
    Mountaineers look out from the summit of Mount Everest, May 23, 2013 At least six Nepalese climbing guides have been killed and six others are missing after an avalanche struck Mount Everest early Friday in one of the deadliest accidents on the world’s highest peak, officials said. “Rescuers have already retrieved four bodies and they are now trying to pull out two more bodies that are buried under snow,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told AFP. … Read more
  • For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key
    Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th have found that the clusters of brain cells responsible for each of those activity peaks—known as the morning and evening oscillators, respectively—don’t work alone. For flies’ internal clocks to follow the sun, cooperation is key. “Without proper synchronization, circadian clocks are useless or can even be deleterious to organisms,” said Patrick Emery from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “In addition, most organisms have to detect changes in day length to adapt their rhythms to seasons. … Read more
  • A sharp eye on Southern binary stars
    Unlike our sun, with its retinue of orbiting planets, many stars in the sky orbit around a second star. These binary stars, with orbital periods ranging from days to centuries, have long been the primary tool for measuring basic quantities like the star’s mass. While masses of normal stars are now well determined, some binaries present special interest because their stars are unusual (e.g. very young) or because they may contain planets, gas clouds, or other stars. … Read more
  • In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises
    This shows the female penis of N. aurora. Credit: Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al. Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but related species in the genus Neotrogla, are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia. … Read more
  • Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed
    Sodium channels are implicated in many serious conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy and pain, making them an important potential target for drug therapies. Unfortunately, there is still much scientists do not know about the molecules. New Cambridge research provides fresh and unexpected insight into the structure of sodium channels and, specifically, one of its components – β-subunit molecules – which are responsible for ‘fine-tuning’ the activity of the channel. The research is published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. … Read more
  • Fear of the cuckoo mafia
    If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to make restaurant owners pay up. Similarly, mafia-like behaviour is observed in parasitic birds, which lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. If the host birds throw the cuckoo’s egg out, the brood parasites take their revenge by destroying the entire nest. Consequently, it is beneficial for hosts to be capable of learning and to cooperate. Previously seen only in field observations, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön have now modelled this behaviour mathematically to confirm it as an effective strategy. … Read more
  • Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture
    Sandia National Laboratories’ BaDx pocket-sized detector has everything needed to test a sample for anthrax.(Photo by Thayne Edwards) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.     A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at Sandia National Laboratories and recently licensed to a small business makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the world and can cause serious, and often fatal, illness in both humans and animals. The bacteria can survive in harsh conditions for decades. In humans, exposure to B. anthracis may occur through skin contact, inhalation of spores or eating contaminated meat. … Read more
  • India’s ancient mammals survived multiple pressures
    Leopard in southern India. Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals. In contrast, nearly two-thirds of mammals in northern Eurasia, Australia, Madagascar and the Americas died out by 10,000 years ago. … Read more
  • Scientists solve the case of the red abalone die-off using forensic genomics
    Dead red abalone lie on a beach among the rocks at Fort Ross, Calif., in 2011. Researchers at UC Davis used forensic genomics to learn that the mass die-off was due to an algal bloom. (Nate Buck/courtesy photo)     In August 2011, thousands of dead red abalone washed up on the beaches of Sonoma County in Northern California. At the time, the cause was unknown, but scientists, including a biologist from the University of California, Davis, learned that a harmful algal bloom was to blame: the causative agent Yessotoxin. While discovery of the cause itself is noteworthy, the method by which it was determined could have a profound effect on how wildlife mortality events are investigated in the future. Described in a study published today, April 16, in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers call this new approach “forensic genomics.” It involves a combination of field surveys, toxin testing and genomic scans. … Read more
  • Chickens to chili peppers: Scientists search for the first genetic engineers
    Smithsonian archaeologist, Dolores Piperno, measures a teosinte plant growing under past climate conditions. Credit: Sean Mattson, STRI Suddenly there was a word for chili peppers. Information about archaeological remains of ancient chili peppers in Mexico along with a study of the appearance of words for chili peppers in ancient dialects helped researchers to understand where jalapeños were domesticated and highlight the value of multi-proxy data analysis. Their results are from one (Kraig Kraft et al.) of nine papers presented in a special feature issue of theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on plant and animal domestication edited by Dolores Piperno, staff scientist emerita at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Curator of South American Archaeology at the National Museum of Natural History and Greger Larson of Durham University in England. … Read more
  • The malaria pathogen’s cellular skeleton under a super-microscope
    The Anopheles mosquito transmits the Plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria. Credit: CDC/James Gathany The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Germany used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite in high detail. Their results, published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens, may in the future contribute to the development of tailor-made drugs against malaria–a disease that causes more than half a million deaths per year. … Read more
  • Robotics goes micro-scale
    The shaping of micro-scale objects enables fine control over their mechanical interactions with light, providing a new avenue towards light driven micro-machines. This image shows a schematic of an optically trapped probe with specially shaped conical handles and a sharp tip for imaging surface features. Illustration by David Phillips.       The development of light-driven ‘micro-robots’ that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the University of Bristol. Such devices could be used for high-resolution imaging, allowing the investigation of delicate biological samples such as cells in new ways. Dr David Phillips, Professor Mervyn Miles and Dr Stephen Simpson of Bristol’s School of Physics, and colleagues, aim to develop such micro-robots and control them using a technology known as ‘optical tweezers’.  In a paper published today in Nature Photonics, they investigate how optical tweezers can be used to manipulate nanofabricated structures to generate high-resolution images. … Read more
  • Illegal logging widespread in Peru, says study
    An aerial view of the Amazon jungle near Cuzco, 470 kilometers east of Lima, on May 18, 2011 A 14-year-old policy to encourage sustainable logging in Peru’s Amazonian forest has unwittingly led to large-scale plundering, a study said Thursday. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers said illegal logging was a “plague” on the Amazon watershed—a haven of biodiversity and precious hardwood species such as mahogany and cedar. … Read more
  • Laptop used for first US presidential email finds a buyer
    The laptop computer that Bill Clinton used in 1998 to send the first-ever US presidential email has sold for $60,667 in an online auction, the Boston auction house that handled the transaction said Thursday. RR Auction did not disclose the name of the buyer of the still-functional Toshiba Satellite that Clinton borrowed to email veteran astronaut John Glenn, who was orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery. … Read more
  • More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows
    A satellite image of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico shows the 150,874 acres burned in magenta and the unburned areas in green. This image was created with data from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) Project that the authors of a new study used to measure large wildfires in the western United States. Credit: Philip Dennison/MTBS Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become more severe in the coming decades, according to new research.   … Read more
  • First structural insights into how plant immune receptors interact
    Researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL), Norwich, collaborating with structural biologist Bostjan Kobe in Brisbane, have made a major advance in understanding plant disease resistance. … Read more
  • Zynga seeks new harvest with mobile FarmVille game
    A pedestrian walks by the Zynga headquarters on July 25, 2013 in San Francisco, California Social games pioneer Zynga on Thursday released a version of the hit “FarmVille” tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players. The San Francisco-based game maker set on its heels by a shift away from desktop computers is out to regain momentum with the mobile-format “Farmville 2: Country Escape” for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. … Read more
  • Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests
    Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them.   … Read more
  • Shade Grown Coffee Shrinking as a Proportion of Global Coffee Production
    Farmer picking shade grown coffee in Honduras near the town of Trinidad. Photo by Robert Rice. The proportion of land used to cultivate shade grown coffee, relative to the total land area of coffee cultivation, has fallen by nearly 20 percent globally since 1996, according to a new study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions. The study’s authors say the global shift toward a more intensive style of coffee farming is probably having a negative effect on the environment, communities and individual farmers. … Read more
  • Neurons in the brain tune into different frequencies for different spatial memory tasks
    Place cells in the hippocampus provide a neuronal code for specific locations in space. Place cells codes represent upcoming locations at some times and reflect recently visited locations at other times. The findings by Bieri and colleagues show that place cells predict upcoming locations during periods of slow gamma rhythms and encode recently visited locations during periods of fast gamma rhythms. Illustration credit: Juliette Pepperell.     Your brain transmits information about your current location and memories of past locations over the same neural pathways using different frequencies of a rhythmic electrical activity called gamma waves, report neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin. The research, published in the journal Neuron on April 17, may provide insight into the cognitive and memory disruptions seen in diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, in which gamma waves are disturbed. … Read more
  • Field study suggests islands and forest fragments are not as alike as thought
    Human-made habitats provide resources for bats to carry out vital parts of their life cycles, including roosting and breeding for some species like Carollia perpicillata. Credit: Daniel S. Karp An international team of biogeographers has found that assumptions about similarities between biodiversity in forest fragments and true islands are not as clear-cut as has been assumed. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team reports on the results of a field study they conducted along with a comparative analysis of data from a much wider source. … Read more
  • PsiKick’s batteryless sensors poised for coming ‘Internet of things’
    The ultra-low-power PsiKick chip can be powered by human body heat, enabling long-life wearable health monitors of vital signs like heart rate, similar to the prototype shown. Credit: Dan Addison Research from the University of Virginia and the universities of Michigan and Washington is the foundation of a startup company, PsiKick, that plans to manufacture the lowest-power wireless sensors in the world. … Read more
  • Research reveals evolution of cells’ signaling networks in diverse organisms
    Cells use protein-signaling networks to process information from their surroundings and respond to constantly changing environments. This includes information about the presence or absence of vital nutrients as well as the presence of other cells. Signaling networks control the decisions that cells make in response to these conditions.   … Read more
  • Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature
    This image provided by Facebook shows the “Nearby Friends” tool. Using your smartphone’s GPS system, it will tell your Facebook friends — provided they have the feature turned on — that you are nearby. Rather than share your exact location, though, it will only show that you are in close proximity, say within half a mile. (AP Photo/Facebook) Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday. The “Nearby Friends” feature must be turned on by the user, so people shouldn’t expect to broadcast their location unknowingly. It will use your smartphone’s GPS system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby—provided they have the feature turned on as well. Rather than share your exact location, it will show only that you are nearby, say, within half a mile. … Read more
  • Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning
    Up to 1,000 meters above the ground: as part of the EU project PEGASOS, Jülich scientists and their colleagues spent five weeks recording data with the Zeppelin NT in the atmosphere over northern Italy. During their campaign, the researchers identified a previously unknown process that leads to the formation of the trace gas nitrous acid (HONO). Data analysis led to a surprising finding: in contrast to the prevailing assumption, HONO is not an additional source of hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals), which play an important role in the atmosphere’s self-cleaning capacity. Credit: Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich/ Florian Rubach     Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. A research group from Jülich has put an end to this conception. The new hypothesis is based on air measurements recorded by a Zeppelin NT within the framework of the EU PEGASOS project. The prevailing assumption about the role of HONO in atmospheric chemistry as a pure source of radicals now has to be completely overhauled. The results have appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Science. … Read more
  • Satellite telecom vulnerable to hackers, researchers find
    Federal Aviation Administration System Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, on August 12, 2002 Security flaws in many satellite telecommunications systems leave them open to hackers, raising potential risks for aviation, shipping, military and other sectors, security researchers said Thursday. … Read more
  • Turning off depression in the brain
    Researchers produced antidepressant-like behavioral effects by reversing out-of-balance electrical activity in reward circuit neurons of susceptible mice exposed to social stress. Further increasing an excitatory current (lh potentiation) triggered a compensatory increase in a potassium channel current (K’ current) — as did activating the potassium channel (K+ current) using pulses of light in mice with brain circuitry genetically engineered to respond to it (optogenetic excessive activation). Credit: Ming-Hu Han, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai     Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain’s reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there’s a twist. … Read more
  • Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced
    A new nano-membrane made out of the “super material” graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The membrane produced by the researchers at ETH Zurich is as thin as is technologically possible. … Read more
  • Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species
    This is the harlequin frog from Costa Rica. Credit: Robert Puschendorf, School of Biological Sciences, Plymouth University In a time of global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of countless endangered species, there is a heightened sense of urgency to confirm the return of animals thought to be extinct, or to confirm the presence of newly discovered species. Field biologists traditionally collect specimens to distinguish the animals—or to confirm that they do indeed exist in the wild. … Read more
  • Chronic inflammation linked to ‘high-grade’ prostate cancer
    Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. … Read more
  • There’s something ancient in the icebox
    Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything — vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. “We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years,” said University of Vermont geologist Paul Bierman — providing strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming. … Read more
  • Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced
    Scanning electron micrograph shows infectious spores produced by the deadly fungi Cryptococcus neoformans.     Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans — a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year — are so malleable and dangerous. … Read more
  • Cognitive scientists use ‘I spy’ to show spoken language helps direct children’s eyes
    A 3-year-old participant searches for objects on a screen with and without a spoken word preceding her search. Credit: Indiana University In a new study, Indiana University cognitive scientists Catarina Vales and Linda Smith demonstrate that children spot objects more quickly when prompted by words than if they are only prompted by images. … Read more
  • Neuromorphic computing ‘roadmap’ envisions analog path to simulating human brain
    In the field of neuromorphic engineering, researchers study computing techniques that could someday mimic human cognition. Electrical engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently published a “roadmap” that details innovative analog-based techniques that could make it possible to build a practical neuromorphic computer. … Read more
  • After 13 years, progress in pitch-drop experiment
    Three webcams were trained on the experiment 24/7.   As Cyclone Ita hit northern Australia last weekend, a much slower collision occurred in the world’s longest-running lab project, The University of Queensland’s Pitch Drop Experiment. … Read more
  • Google’s Street View address reading software also able to decipher CAPTCHAs
    CAPTCHA images correctly solved by the algorithm     Google engineers working on software to automatically read home and business addresses off photographs taken by Street View vehicles, have created a product so good that not only can it be used for address reading, it can solve CAPTCHAs, as well.   … Read more
  • Archaeological, genetic evidence expands views of domestication
    One of the markers of domestication is a reduction in size, but archeological evidence indicates size decreases were slow and inconsistent. Donkeys buried 5,000 years ago in an early pharaonic mortuary complex (above) have proportions similar to those of the African wild ass, but the bones of domesticated donkeys found at another, much older site are significantly smaller than those of wild asses. Credit: Stine Rossel/PNAS Many of our ideas about domestication derive from Charles Darwin, whose ideas in turn were strongly influenced by British animal-breeding practices during the 19th century, a period when landowners vigorously pursued systematic livestock improvement. … Read more
  • Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids
    Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can’t be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational pull on surrounding objects. Dark matter is thought to exist in a vast network of filaments throughout the universe, pulling luminous galaxies into an interconnected web of clusters, interspersed with seemingly empty voids. … Read more
  • Researchers find tin selenide shows promise for efficiently converting waste heat into electrical energy
    Working principle of a thermoelectric generator. Credit: (c) Nature, VOL 508, 327   A team of researchers working at Northwestern University has found that tin selenide (SnSe) has the highest Carnot efficiency for a thermoelectric cycle ever found, making it potentially a possible material for use in generating electricity from waste heat. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes work they’ve conducted on SnSe and how their discovery might lead to even more efficient materials. Joseph Heremans gives a short history of thermoelectric research in a News & Views companion piece and offers some insights into why SnSe might be so efficient and how it might lead the way to the discovery of even better materials. … Read more
  • Hackathon team’s GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers
    Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple’s personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature of the phone owner’s Nest thermostat or playing a song of choice on the Spotify playlist, or turning on the lights, or unlocking a car. Their efforts have not been ignored by numerous tech-watching sites. As important, a premier university hackathon PenApps, sponsored by numerous company heavyweights, gave the quartet third prize. … Read more
  • Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur
    A University of Arizona-led research team has discovered a simple process for making a new lightweight plastic from the inexpensive and abundant element sulfur. This plastic can be molded into easy-to-make, lightweight lenses that transmit infra-red light. Credit: Jared Griebel/ Pyun lab, University of Arizona department of chemistry and biochemistry. Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found. … Read more
  • Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs
    In this Thursday, June 27, 2013 file image taken from video, two lionfish are shown in an aquarium at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach, Fla. A ban on imports of lionfish into Florida has won preliminary approval from the state’s wildlife commission. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also wants to make it easier for more people to catch lionfish in the wild. The invasion of lionfish throughout the Atlantic is considered as menacing to native wildlife as the Burmese python’s incursion into Florida’s Everglades. (AP Photo/Suzette Laboy, File) Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures. … Read more
  • Tissue stiffness linked to aggressive type of breast cancer
    Assistant Professor Penney Gilbert. Credit: Erin Vollick   A new study has linked the stiffness of breast tissue to the progression of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. Published in Nature Medicine this month, the study may help clinicians differentiate between aggressive forms of the disease, which tend to have a poor prognosis, and less deadly forms. … Read more
  • Researchers develop a new drug to combat the measles
    A novel antiviral drug may protect people infected with the measles from getting sick and prevent them from spreading the virus to others, an international team of researchers says. … Read more
  • Research may help doctors predict who gets long-term complications from Lyme disease
    A team of scientists led by Johns Hopkins and Stanford University researchers has laid the groundwork for understanding how variations in immune responses to Lyme disease can contribute to the many different outcomes of this bacterial infection seen in individual patients. A report on the work appears online April 16 in PLOS One. … Read more
  • Sexist or not, taking pictures of women eating on the tube is simply bullying
    Please mind the gap and leave fellow passengers to enjoy their lunch. ben.snider, CC BY People rushing for a bus. Pedestrians sending texts on a busy street. Drivers who pick their noses at traffic lights. Men glancing at Agent Provocateur window displays. Shoppers pretending not to notice the Big Issue seller. Middle-aged person holding a newspaper at arm’s length. Couples where the woman is taller than the man. Guys with one sideburn shorter than the other. You, walking into Tesco. … Read more
  • Heartbleed patched but security time bomb is still ticking
    Health check failed. El Payo, CC BY Heartbleed, the bug that has preoccupied thousands of websites and millions of users over the past week, may well have been the biggest security flaw in internet history but it is unlikely to be the last. Our entire security infrastructure is a mess because both ordinary people and elite security experts often harbour fundamental misunderstandings about security, design and privacy. … Read more
  • Telescope apps help amateurs hunt for exoplanets
    The Automated Planet Finder is hunting planets all by itself. Laurie Hatch People around the world are being invited to learn how to hunt for planets, using two new online apps devised by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and UC Santa Cruz. The apps use data from the Automated Planet Finder (APF), Lick Observatory’s newest telescope. The APF is one of the firstrobotically operated telescopes monitoring stars throughout the entire sky. It is optimised for the detection of planets orbiting nearby stars – the so-called exoplanets. … Read more
  • Can science eliminate extreme poverty?
    Science incubator with food. EPA Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world’s big problems, be it the Green Revolution that helped avoid mass starvation or the small pox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is always hope that scientific innovations will help solve global problems. So can scientists help solve the globe’s ultimate problem: eliminate extreme poverty? In two announcements this month, the governments of the US and UK have made a fresh commitment to try. … Read more
  • Screenagers face troubling addictions from an early age
    Early exposure can lead to addiction. Brit., CC BY-NC-ND In 1997, Douglas Rushkoff boldly predicted the emergence a new caste of tech-literate adolescents. He argued that the children of his day would soon blossom into “screenagers”, endowed with effortless advantages over their parents, having been raised from birth on a diet of computers and micro-chipped devices. … Read more
  • Hard Evidence: how does false information spread online?
    If only it were this straightforward. Alias 0591, CC BY Last summer the World Economic Forum (WEF) invited its 1,500 council members to identify top trends facing the world, including what should be done about them. The WEF consists of 80councils covering a wide range of issues including social media. Members come from academia, industry, government, international organisations and wider civil society. … Read more
  • Mathematicians develop new app to put jet lag to bed
    Sleeping on the plane is no jet lag cure. Edward Simpson, CC BY-SA Jet lag is a discomfort many of us will have experienced in the days following a long-haul flight across time zones. Mathematicians in the US may have a jet-lag cure in the form a new app called Entrain. But does it work? Our circadian clock, which drives daily 24-hour rhythms in our physiology and behaviour, is to blame for jet lag. It cannot instantly reset to the destination time zone and the adjusting process can take a number of days. The rate at which our clocks reset depends upon a number of factors including the number of time zones crossed, the direction of travel (east or west) and the light exposure experienced before and upon arrival. … Read more
  • Hand out money with my mobile? I think I’m ready
    Look, I know we’re not really talking right now but could I possibly borrow a tenner? ejbSF, CC BY-NC-ND A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay people without needing to know their account number or sort code. … Read more
  • From conspiracy theories to climate change denial, a cognitive psychologist explains
    Facts don’t matter. dlytle, CC BY-NC-SA Stephan Lewandowsky, chair of cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, answered questions posed by the public on Reddit. The Conversation has curated the highlights. Conspiracy theories Under what conditions do conspiracies spread? What can one do to convince people to be more sceptical of extraordinary claims in conspiracy theories? In societies that are not transparent and less democratic, conspiracy theories flourish because the government cannot be trusted. In general, the people who believe in conspiracy theories are low on trust and feel that they have been treated badly by life or society. … Read more
  • Lost sea lion in California found mile from water
    In this March 2014 photo provided by the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, is a sea lion pup named Hoppie who was found at Mape’s Ranch near Modesto, Calif. Workers at the central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River. Hoppie is now recovering at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., and is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some much-needed nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild. (AP Photo/San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, Eric Hopson) Workers at a central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River. … Read more
  • ‘Chief Yahoo’ David Filo returns to board
    Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, shown in a file picture, who earned the nickname and formal job title of “Chief Yahoo” Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of “Chief Yahoo.”   … Read more
  • Creative activities outside work can improve job performance
    Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman and colleagues. … Read more
  • Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year
      Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. The announcement comes as competition in the WiFi chip-set market has been heating up due to ever increasing demand. Current delivery speeds utilizing the standard 5GHz frequency bandwidth can handle just 1.3Gbps. … Read more
  • Study: The trials of the Cherokee were reflected in their skulls
    Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics. … Read more
  • Revealing camouflaged bacteria
    GTPases (green) attack Salmonella typhimurium (red). Credit: University of Basel, Biozentrum) A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogenSalmonella within the cells. The so called interferon-induced GTPases reveal and eliminate the bacterium’s camouflage in the cell, enabling the cell to recognize the pathogen and to render it innocuous. The findings are published in the current issue of the science magazine Nature. … Read more
  • More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets
    In this August 26, 2011photo provided by OrthoPets, shows Naki’o, a red heeler mix breed, the first dog to receive four prosthetic limbs at Denver, Colo. Naki’o was found in the cellar of a Nebraska foreclosed home with all four legs and its tail frozen in puddles of water-turned-ice. What frostbite didn’t do, a surgeon did, amputating all four legs and giving him four prosthetics. (AP Photo/OrthoPets, Lindsey Mladivinich) A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking back legs. … Read more
  • Unlocking secrets of new solar material
    The band gap of perovskites can be adjusted by changing their compositions to access different parts of the sun’s spectrum. Credit: Dennis Schroeder   A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before—and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet’s future.   … Read more
  • Computer software accurately predicts student test performance
    Study shows automatic recognition of facial expressions can track student engagement in real time Student engagement levels are tracked in real time by the automatic system for recognizing facial expressions. Photo copyright 2014 IEEE; all rights reserved     Computer scientists have developed a technology that uses facial expression recognition to detect how engaged students are during a class and to predict how well they will do in that class. The team, led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego and Emotient, a San Diego-based provider of facial expression recognition, showed that the technology was able to detect students’ level of engagement in real time just as accurately as human observers. The team also included researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University. … Read more
  • Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy
    This figure from the paper shows the X-ray destruction of human breast cancer cells using Cu-Cy particles. The images show the live cancer cells stained green and the dead cells stained red. Credit: Wei Chen/UT Arlington A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy. … Read more
  • Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature
    Researchers at Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs. The corresponding author, Professor Ronald Quinn AM said testing the new process on a marine sponge had delivered not only confirmation that the system is effective, but also a potential lead in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. … Read more
  • Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing
    A green turtle is being unloaded by fishers in Río Grande Bar community. A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua’s legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Florida has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take. Credit: Cathi L. Campbell. A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua’s legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take, according to conservation scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida. … Read more
  • Update: Researcher’s lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope
    Imagine yourself examining species of coral in Fiji. Looking at fungi and parasites in grass seeds. Following ants across the ground up close, or picking out the striations in a piece of roast beef on rye. The lens sticks to a device’s camera without any adhesive and can turn any smartphone or tablet computer into a hand-held microscope. Credit: Thomas Larson     People around the world are doing all this and more with a tiny, durable magnification lens built by an enterprising University of Washington undergraduate student. … Read more



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