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Researchers determine how the brain controls robotic grasping tools

February 3, 2015 10:28 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Grasping an object involves a complex network of brain functions. First, visual cues are processed in specialized areas of the brain. Then, other areas of the brain use these signals to control the hands to reach for and manipulate the desired object. New findings from researchers at the ...

Public participation should be at the heart of big data projects

February 3, 2015 10:24 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Public participation should be at the heart of big data projects in health care and biomedical research, according to the findings of a new report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. The report calls for greater transparency about how people's data are used, and recommends the ...

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New technique doubles the distance of optical fiber communications

February 3, 2015 10:19 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A new way to process fibre optic signals has been demonstrated by UCL researchers, which could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The new method has the potential to reduce the costs of ...

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How spaceflight ages the immune system prematurely

February 3, 2015 10:17 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

As the world waits to see if Mars One can establish a human colony on Mars, scientists are working to determine the long-term consequences of living in low or no-gravity conditions, such as those that might exist on the trip to another planet. New research published online ...

A scalable electric drive for buses and trucks

February 2, 2015 4:35 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The future belongs to electric motors, and commercial vehicles are no exception. To date, however, many attempts to develop electric motors for commercial vehicles have stalled at the prototype stage or are extremely expensive: Usually electric models ...

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Mining the Moon becomes a serious prospect

February 2, 2015 4:31 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

With an estimated 1.6 billion tonnes of water ice at its poles and an abundance of rare-earth elements hidden below its surface, the Moon is rich ground for mining. In this month's issue of Physics World, science writer Richard Corfield ...

To save your energy while strolling, walk this sway

February 2, 2015 4:27 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

When participants in a charity event took the first walk across the newly opened London Millennium Footbridge in 2000, their feet fell into sync, and the natural side-to-side motion of their steps caused the suspension bridge to sway. That's the physics ...

Grain boundaries could strengthen graphene

February 2, 2015 4:21 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Far from being a defect, a winding thread of odd rings at the border of two sheets of graphene has qualities that may prove valuable to manufacturers, according to Rice University scientists. Graphene, the atom-thick form of carbon, rarely appears as ...

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Engineers use "diffraction" to control light on the nanoscale

February 2, 2015 3:51 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A breakthrough by a team of researchers from UCLA, Columbia University and other institutions could lead to the more precise transfer of information in computer chips, as well as new types of optical materials for light emission and lasers....

Pi aims for the sky with Raspberry Pi 2

February 2, 2015 12:20 pm | by Megan Crouse, Real-Time Digital Reporter, @abmdigi | Comments

Today, element14 launched the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, adding speed and memory to the $35 credit-card sized computer in its first major upgrade since 2012. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B has six times the speed and two times the memory of its ...

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Just whose Internet is it? New federal rules may answer that

February 2, 2015 10:32 am | by ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press | Comments

Whose Internet is it anyway? Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says he's keeping that question in mind as he pitches the biggest regulatory shake-up to the telecommunications industry since 1996....

Gates talks philanthropy, fighting disease in Reddit AMA

February 2, 2015 10:22 am | by Megan Crouse, Real-Time Digital Reporter, @abmdigi | Comments

Bill Gates took to Reddit for an AMA on Jan. 29 to talk about philanthropy, drinking water made from recycled human feces, and artificial intelligence in a question-and-answer spanning 14,569 comments. In one notable post, Gates said that ...

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App lets anyone see for the blind

February 2, 2015 10:02 am | by Megan Crouse, Real-Time Digital Reporter, @abmdigi | Comments

With Be My Eyes, blind or visually impaired people can place a call to sighted “helpers” through an iOS device. The helper receives a video of the user’s surroundings and describes the area or answers a question with which the user may need help.....

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Global semiconductor industry posts record sales in 2014

February 2, 2015 8:54 am | Comments

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that the global semiconductor industry posted record sales totaling $335.8 billion in 2014, an increase ...

The quest for efficiency in thermoelectric nanowires

February 2, 2015 8:12 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Efficiency is big in the tiny world of thermoelectric nanowires.Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories say better materials and manufacturing techniques for the nanowires could allow carmakers to harvest power from the heat wasted by exhaust systems....

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