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Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.
Updated: 41 min 6 sec ago

Small study affirms accuracy of free mobile app that screens for liver disease in newborns

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 19:51
Researchers have verified the ability of a free smartphone app to accurately read, interpret and record the color of a newborn's poop as a possible early symptom of biliary atresia -- a rare disorder that accounts for nearly half of pediatric end-stage liver disease in the United States.

New computer-based technology may lead to improvements in facial transplantation

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 18:24
Following several years of research and collaboration, physicians and engineers say they have developed a computer platform that provides rapid, real-time feedback before and during facial transplant surgery, which may someday improve face-jaw-teeth alignment between donor and recipient.

Proof-of-concept study shows successful transport of blood samples with small drones

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 18:24
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers have shown that results of common and routine blood tests are not affected by up to 40 minutes of travel on hobby-sized drones.

Shoring up Tor: Researchers mount successful attacks against popular anonymity network -- and show how to prevent them

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 18:20
With 2.5 million daily users, the Tor network is the world's most popular system for protecting Internet users' anonymity. Researchers have now demonstrated a vulnerability in Tor's design. They show that an adversary could infer a hidden server's location, or the source of the information reaching a given Tor user, by analyzing the traffic patterns of encrypted data passing through a single computer in the all-volunteer Tor network.

Printed electronics for smart packaging project launched to increase value, unlock new markets for industry

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 15:38
Printed Electronics is key in enabling smart packaging innovations, a fast growing market for industry, researchers say. The smart packaging market is expected to grow to more than US$ 1.45 billion in the next decade, they note.

Shop-floor monitoring goes high tech

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 15:38
An advanced system based on discrete events paves the way for automated industrial monitoring. This system will enable managers to make better, more timely decisions, the developers say.

First smartphone DNA test for chlamydia

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 15:08
Researchers have developed a smartphone test for chlamydia that can detect the disease with high accuracy, which could reduce the prevalence of this sexually transmitted disease (STD) by making chlamydia screening easier and cheaper.

Tailored mobile health technologies may help patients take their medications appropriately

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 23:49
There was only a 5 percent error rate when patients with chronic kidney disease used mobile health technologies designed to help them use medications appropriately.

Big data gives new insight into blood pressure reduction role of commonly prescribed drug

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 20:52
A drug commonly prescribed to conserve potassium in the blood also significantly lowers blood pressure when taken in conjunction with a diuretic frequently prescribed to patients with hypertension, a new big data study has found. The combination of the two drugs, both available as generics, has been shown to consistently amplify the blood pressure reduction in patients with or without the presence of other antihypertensive agents such as ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.

How to digitally stoke that old-time auction fever

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 20:24
The authors explore the impact of time pressure and social competition on bidders in online auctions and how those factors influence auction results and users' experience.

Majority rule: Why conformity can actually be a good thing

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 16:57
Like to go your own way? Most of us actually prefer to follow the pack, according to research. That's one of the outcomes from a study that examines how mathematical models predict human behavior.

How age, other factors influence online health information searches

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 16:36
A new study aims to evaluate the types of search strategies that Internet users adopt when trying to solve a complicated health problem.

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 16:36
A research team discovered how to turn an ordinary air-gapped computer into a cellular transmitting antenna using software that modifies the CPU firmware. GSMem malicious software uses the electromagnetic waves from phones to receive and exfiltrate small bits of data, such as security keys and passwords.

Doctor warns about lead poisoning risk from recycling older electronic equipment

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 16:02
The disposal and recycling of electronic devices has increased exposure to lead and other toxicants and created 'an emerging health concern,' according to a pediatrician who has expertise in the area.

A new litmus test for chaos?

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 15:07
Researchers have come up with a new definition of chaos that applies more broadly than Lyapunov exponents and other previous definitions of chaos. The new definition fits on a few lines, can be easily approximated by numerical methods, and works for a wide variety of chaotic systems.

Movement tracking technology sheds light on different speech disorders in children

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 13:23
Facial motion capture -- the same technology used to develop realistic computer graphics in video games and movies -- has been used to identify differences between children with childhood apraxia of speech and those with other types of speech disorders, finds a new study.

Patient 2.0, heal thyself

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 13:19
Researchers explain how the new paradigm of a digital healthcare system, as it matures, is putting the picture of the doctor-patient relationship in an entirely new frame and not always in a positive way.

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 17:08
Using powerful computer simulations, researchers have identified a material with a higher melting point than any known substance. The computations show that a material made with hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have a melting point of more than 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degrees Fahrenheit). That's about two-thirds the temperature at the surface of the sun, and 200 kelvins higher than the highest melting point ever recorded experimentally.

Data transmission devices: Smaller, faster, cheaper

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 16:03
Transmitting large amounts of data, such as those needed to keep the internet running, requires high-performance modulators that turn electric signals into light signals. Researchers have now developed a modulator that is a hundred times smaller than conventional models.

Ethics of tomorrow? Should androids have the right to have children?

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 13:29
Science fiction culture has prospered and gone from being for nerds only in the 1970s and 1980s to becoming part of popular culture in the last two decades. This particularly applies to the TV series genre, which has become mainstream with Battlestar Galactica (2004), Heroes (2006) and Fringe (2009). The science fiction of today is often about humanoid androids that are trying to become "one of us".