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Updated: 16 hours 56 min ago

Are video gaming systems a safe Christmas present?

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 02:20
Nintendo video gaming systems are common Christmas presents, but how safe are they? Early reports included seizures (dubbed "Nintendo epilepsy") and two cases of Nintendo related incontinence in children who were so engrossed in Super Mario Bros that they ignored their urge to go to the toilet.

Students attending summer learning programs returned to school in the fall with an advantage in math

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 20:46
Students attending voluntary, school district-led summer learning programs entered school in the fall with stronger mathematics skills than their peers who did not attend the programs, according to a new study.

Evolution: Complexity key propagating future generations.

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:41
The KISS concept -- keep it simple, stupid -- may work for many situations. However, when it comes to evolution, complexity appears to be key for prosperity and propagating future generations.

First real-world trial of impact of patient-controlled access to electronic medical records

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:30
The first real-world trial of the impact of patient-controlled access to electronic medical records has been conducted. Results, analysis, commentary, point and counterpoint are summarized in a new article.

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:29
A research team has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk.The robot is called Hector, and its construction is modeled on a stick insect. Inspired by the insect, Hector has passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton. What makes it unique is that it is also equipped with a great number of sensors and it functions according to a biologically inspired decentralized reactive control concept: the Walknet.

Researchers generate tunable photon-pair spectrum using room-temperature quantum optics silicon chip

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 15:07
A team of researchers have demonstrated a way to emit and control quantum light generated using a chip made from silicon -- one of the most widely used materials for modern electronics.

Outreach program gets cessation help to smokers of low socioeconomic status

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:53
A strategy that relied on electronic health records to identify smokers and interactive voice-response telephone calls to reach them may help promote tobacco cessation efforts among smokers of low-socioeconomic status, according to a report.

Copyright confusion has 'chilling' effects in online creative publishing

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 20:45
Copyright law is navigated on a daily basis by Internet users, and for amateur creative types publishing on the Web’s largest creative venues, they often don’t trust the websites to safeguard their art, a study says.

New algorithm a Christmas gift to 3-D printing, and the environment

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 19:09
A computer science professor reveals how to print a 3-D Christmas tree efficiently and with zero material waste, using the world's first algorithm for automatically decomposing a 3-D object into what are called pyramidal parts.

'Radiogenetics' seeks to remotely control cells, genes

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 19:08
It’s the most basic of ways to find out what something does, whether it’s an unmarked circuit breaker or an unidentified gene — flip its switch and see what happens. New remote-control technology may offer biologists a powerful way to do this with cells and genes. A team of researchers is now developing a system that would make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals — rapidly, without wires, implants or drugs.

Virtual bodyswapping diminishes people's negative biases about others

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:30
Researchers explain how they have used the brain's ability to bring together information from different senses to make white people feel that they were inhabiting black bodies and adults feel like they had children's bodies. The results of such virtual bodyswapping experiments are remarkable and have important implications for approaching phenomena such as race and gender discrimination.

Lead islands in a sea of graphene magnetize the material of the future

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:29
Researchers have discovered that if lead atoms are intercalated on a graphene sheet, a powerful magnetic field is generated by the interaction of the electrons' spin with their orbital movement. This property could have implications in spintronics, an emerging technology to create advanced computational systems. Graphene is considered the material of the future due to its extraordinary optical and electronic mechanical properties, especially because it conducts electrons very quickly. However, it does not have magnetic properties, and thus no method has been found to manipulate these electrons or any of their properties to use it in new magnetoelectronic devices.

Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 16:48
Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow -- umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have now proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.

Ancient wisdom boosts sustainability of biotech cotton

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 16:42
Advocates of biotech crops and those who favor traditional farming practices such as crop diversity often seem worlds apart, but a new study shows that these two approaches can be compatible. Combining computer modeling and field research on cotton pests, a study suggests that biotechnology and traditional agriculture can be compatible approaches toward sustainable agriculture.

Algorithm identifies networks of genetic changes across cancers

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 16:42
Using a computer algorithm that can sift through mounds of genetic data, researchers have identified several networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development of multiple types of cancer. The researchers hope the new genetic insights might aid in the development of new drugs and treatment approaches for cancer.

Fraud-proof credit cards possible with quantum physics

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 14:43
Though corporations and individuals work to improve safeguards, it has become increasingly difficult to protect financial data and personal information from criminal activity. Fortunately, new insights into quantum physics may soon offer a solution.

Flying robots to aid in inventory management

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 13:44
Standing on top of a ladder several meters high, pad and pen in hand, just to count boxes? Inventories in large warehouses could soon appear quite different and proceed to take flight, in the truest sense of those words: The goal of the InventAIRy Project is to automatically localize and record existing inventories with the aid of flying robots.

Control of shape of light particles opens the way to 'quantum internet'

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 13:44
In the same way as we now connect computers in networks through optical signals, it could also be possible to connect future quantum computers in a ‘quantum internet’. The optical signals would then consist of individual light particles or photons. One prerequisite for a working quantum internet is control of the shape of these photons. Researchers have now succeeded for the first time in getting this control within the required short time.

Training elderly in social media improves well-being, combats isolation

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 16:16
Training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being, according to a landmark study carried out in the UK.

More-flexible digital communication

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 15:18
Communication protocols for digital devices are very efficient but also very brittle: They require information to be specified in a precise order with a precise number of bits. If sender and receiver -- say, a computer and a printer -- are off by even a single bit relative to each other, communication between them breaks down entirely. Humans are much more flexible. Two strangers may come to a conversation with wildly differing vocabularies and frames of reference, but they will quickly assess the extent of their mutual understanding and tailor their speech accordingly.