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Nearly 50 percent of grade 12 students in Ontario report texting while driving

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:59
An ongoing survey of Ontario students in grades seven to 12 reveals a number of significant behavioral trends, including an alarming number of young people who are texting while driving. More than 80 per cent of students visit social media sites daily, with about one in ten spending five hours or more on these sites daily. One in five students play video games daily or almost daily with males being almost four times as likely as females to do so.

Ancient arachnid brought 'back to life': Video recreates 410-million-year-old animal walking

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:56
Scientists have recreated the walking gait of a 410-million-year-old arachnid, one of the first predators on land, based on fossil evidence. The scientists used the fossils -- thin slices of rock showing the animal's cross-section -- to work out the range of motion in the limbs of this ancient, extinct early relative of the spiders.

Six cases where big data can reduce healthcare costs

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 20:58
Some of the clearest opportunities to reduce costs through the use of big data have been highlighted by researchers in a new article. Specifically, researchers discuss the role of algorithms in reducing cost in the following categories: high-cost patients, readmissions, triage, decompensation (when a patient's condition worsens), adverse events, and treatment optimization for diseases affecting multiple organ systems.

New technologies fuel patient participation and data collection in research

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 20:57
The changing dynamic of health studies driven by “big data” research projects will empower patients to become active participants who provide real-time information such as symptoms, side effects and clinical outcomes, according to researchers. The analysis lays out a new paradigm for health research, particularly comparative effectiveness studies that are designed to assess which therapies work best in routine clinical practice.

Virtual reality crowds produce real behavior insights

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 18:09
Scientists are advancing virtual reality technology in the service of studying the science of the swarm: how patterns of crowd movement emerge from individual behaviors. They have developed a wireless virtual reality system to study how pedestrians interact with each other and how those individual behaviors, in turn, generate patterns of crowd movement. It's an everyday experience for all kinds of animals including ants, birds, fish and people.

Astronomers bring the third dimension to a doomed star's outburst

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 17:19
In the middle of the 19th century, the massive binary system Eta Carinae underwent an eruption that ejected at least 10 times the sun's mass and made it the second-brightest star in the sky. Now, a team of astronomers has used extensive new observations to create the first high-resolution 3-D model of the expanding cloud produced by this outburst.

Cognitive assessment provides window into proficiency level of robot-assisted surgeons

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 17:17
Cognitive assessment can effectively measure the expertise of robotic surgeons with varying levels of experience, researchers have determined. For the cognitive testing, the participants’ cognitive engagement, mental workload and mental state were calculated from the measured EEG during each task. When they compared the results of both testing approaches among the three groups, the researchers found that cognitive assessment detected significant differences that were not identified by the tool-based metrics available through the surgical robot.

Same genes drive mathematics and reading ability

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 16:17
About half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits. While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown. The finding deepens scientists' understanding of how nature and nurture interact, highlighting the important role that a child's learning environment may have on the development of reading and mathematics skills, and the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits.

Better visualizing of fitness-app data helps discover trends, reach goals

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 16:15
Researchers have developed visual tools to help self-trackers understand their daily activity patterns over a longer period and in more detail. They found people had an easier time meeting personal fitness and activity goals when they could see their data presented in a broader, more visual way.

Transparent two-sided touchable display wall developed

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 15:12
Scientists have recently developed TransWall, a two-sided, touchable, and transparent display wall that greatly enhances users' interpersonal experiences. With an incorporated surface transducer, TransWall offers audio and vibrotactile feedback to the users. As a result, people can collaborate via a shared see-through display and communicate with one another by talking or even touching one another through the wall.

Nanotechnology: Paving the way for electronic applications

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 15:10
Two-dimensional sheets of electronic materials, such as graphene, show promise for practical nanoelectronics applications, including transparent electronic circuits used in electronic displays. The formation of electrically conducting ‘nanoroads’ on atomically thin semiconductor nanosheets enables the integration of electronic components.

New smartphone app offers easy and inexpensive solution for hearing screening

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 14:16
A lightweight, automated and easy-to-use mobile health solution called hearScreen is ideal for developing countries and use in rural areas.

Collisions with robots, without risk of injury

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:25
Teamwork between humans and robots will be the motto of the future. But robots may not injure humans at all. When does contact cause an injury, though? Researchers are exploring this for the first time in a study.

Energy study commissioned by California Air Resources Board recommends three reforms to protect cap-and-trade

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 01:25
California’s landmark cap-and-trade system for regulating greenhouse gases could be vulnerable to price spikes and market manipulation, according to a study. But the state’s air-quality regulators can prevent that outcome with three straightforward reforms, the study says.

Mystery of the printed diode solved

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 20:16
A thirteen-year-long mystery that has involved a long series of researchers has finally been solved. A new article presents a diode in printed electronics that works in the GHz band, which opens up a new opportunity to send signals from a mobile phone to, for example, printed electronic labels. Energy from the radio signal is collected and used to switch the label's display. The diode being printed means that it is both cheap and simple to manufacture. Researchers have long known that the diode works, but not how and why.

Patient patience and pandemics: How to keep patient choice up, stress down in a pandemic

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:25
Allowing patients to choose which hospital they attend when suffering illness during a pandemic rather than assigning them to a specific healthcare facility could be inefficient, according to research. But incentives might redress the balance. A new proposal is based on two assignment models. The first, a decentralized, equilibrium model, describes the patient choice of hospital. The second, centralized, non-linear programming model allows the health authority to maximize resource utilization of all the hospitals in a given region.

Neuroeconomists confirm Warren Buffett's wisdom: Brain research suggests an early warning signal tips off smart traders

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:25
Investment magnate Warren Buffett has famously suggested that investors should try to 'be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful.' That turns out to be excellent advice, according to the results of a new study that looked at the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed.

Expectant moms turn to internet for pregnancy advice more than they would like

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:25
Pregnant women are using the Internet to seek answers to their medical questions more often than they would like, say researchers.

Building much smaller, greener electronics: Atom-scale, ultra-low-power computing devices to replace transistor circuits

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:25
The digital age has resulted in a succession of smaller, cleaner and less power-hungry technologies since the days the personal computer fit atop a desk, replacing mainframe models that once filled entire rooms. Desktop PCs have since given way to smaller and smaller laptops, smartphones and devices that most of us carry around in our pockets. Scientists are now developing atom-scale, ultra-low-power computing devices to replace transistor circuits.

Mathematical model illustrates our online 'copycat' behavior

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 19:24
Researchers examined how users are influenced in the choice of apps that they install on their Facebook pages by creating a mathematical model to capture the dynamics at play.