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Updated: 44 min 36 sec ago

Carbon nanotube finding could lead to flexible electronics with longer battery life

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 01:27
Materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life -- and the ability to flex and stretch. The team has reported the highest-performing carbon nanotube transistors ever demonstrated. In addition to paving the way for improved consumer electronics, this technology could also have specific uses in industrial and military applications.

A new step towards using graphene in electronic applications

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 15:16
Scientists have managed, with atomic precision, to create nanostructures combining graphene ribbons of varying widths.

People conform to the norm -- even if the norm is a computer

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 14:08
Often enough, it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice. This is the finding of a study that investigates how people make judgment calls after playing role-playing video games. Real-life encounters and face-to-face contact with other people are on the decline in a world that is becoming increasingly computerized. Many routine tasks are delegated to virtual characters. People spend hours role-playing through virtual-reality video games by taking on the persona of a virtual character or avatar.

Zinc oxide materials tapped for tiny energy harvesting devices

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 17:09
Today, we're surrounded by a variety of electronic devices that are moving increasingly closer to us -- we can attach and wear them, or even implant electronics inside our bodies. Many types of smart devices are readily available and convenient to use. The goal now is to make wearable electronics that are flexible, sustainable and powered by ambient renewable energy.

Software created to help find a cure for a 'great neglected disease'

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:16
For decades, scientists around the world have worked to develop a treatment for schistosomiasis, a debilitating water-born parasite. To aid this research, scientists have developed software that helps assess the impact of a drug on the parasite. The researchers recently completed the Quantal Dose Response Calculator, software that analyzes images showing the effects of potential drugs on parasites and quantifies their effectiveness.

Can your cellphone help you lose weight?

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:11
Cellphone support can help people lose significantly more weight, according to a recent study. Using one of the many mobile apps with daily text messages or videos incites the user to think about dieting and eating well, researchers said.

Robots learn to use kitchen tools by watching YouTube videos

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:06
Robotic systems that are able to teach themselves have been developed by researchers. Specifically, these robots are able to learn the intricate grasping and manipulation movements required for cooking by watching online cooking videos. The key breakthrough is that the robots can 'think' for themselves, determining the best combination of observed motions that will allow them to efficiently accomplish a given task.

Image searches are improved by 3-D presentation

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:04
Most image and video search engines list their results two-dimensionally. Researchers have now discovered that the search performance is more satisfying, if the results are displayed using a 3-D interface.

On-site visualization of planned buildings

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:04
Using a new system, architects, developers or their clients can view a 3D model of a building in its intended shape, precisely where the building is to be constructed. This will give them a much clearer, realistic impression of the design.

Can your smartphone help you exercise?

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:03
Fitness applications (apps) use behavior change techniques (BCTs) to help users modify their physical activities, but which apps and which techniques are most effective? In a new study, researchers evaluated 100 top-ranked physical activity apps and analyzed which BCTs are being used in these apps. They determined that at present BCTs have been only narrowly implemented in physical activity apps.

Online training to help stop violence against children, young people

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 00:13
A ground-breaking set of online training tools will help teachers, youth workers and health professionals across Europe identify and challenge controlling and abusive behaviour against young people.

Computers using digital footprints are better judges of personality than friends and family

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:44
Researchers have found that, based on enough Facebook Likes, computers can judge your personality traits better than your friends, family and even your partner. Using a new algorithm, researchers have calculated the average number of Likes artificial intelligence (AI) needs to draw personality inferences about you as accurately as your partner or parents.

3-D printed Shelby Cobra

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 19:12
A new 3-D printed vehicle pays homage to the classic Shelby Cobra in celebration of the racing car’s 50th anniversary.

New superconducting hybrid crystals

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 18:54
A new type of 'nanowire' crystals that fuses semiconducting and metallic materials on the atomic scale could lay the foundation for future semiconducting electronics.

From the bottom up: Manipulating nanoribbons at the molecular level

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 18:39
Researchers have developed a new precision approach for synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from pre-designed molecular building blocks. Using this process the researchers have built nanoribbons that have enhanced properties--such as position-dependent, tunable bandgaps--that are potentially very useful for next-generation electronic circuitry.

Vision system for household robots

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:07
For household robots ever to be practical, they'll need to be able to recognize the objects they're supposed to manipulate. But while object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in artificial intelligence, even the best object detectors still fail much of the time. A new algorithm could enable household robots to better identify objects in cluttered environments.

Virtual reality brain training game can detect mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often predates Alzheimer’s disease

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:04
Researchers have demonstrated the potential of a virtual supermarket cognitive training game as a screening tool for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among a sample of older adults. MCI is a condition that often predates Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is characterized by memory loss and inability to execute complex activities such as financial planning.

Video game technology helps measure upper extremity movement in patients with muscular dystrophy

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:04
Researchers have developed a way to measure upper extremity movement in patients with muscular dystrophy using interactive video game technology. Their hope is to expand inclusion criteria for clinical trials to incorporate patients using wheelchairs.

Social media could impact on quality of conference presentations

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 14:32
A new pilot study into the impact of Twitter on conferences suggests that social media may impact on quality of presentations as speakers receive real-time feedback.

Robot cameras monitor deep sea ecosystems

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 14:31
Advanced photographic tools in an unmanned Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) have been used to make major advancements in estimating deep-sea ecosystem diversity at ‘landscape’ scales, researchers report. By using a camera on the Autosub6000 AUV to take a continuous stream of high resolution photographs of life on the sea floor, this new method revealed a tenfold increase in the precision of deep sea ecosystem diversity estimates relative to the use of scientific trawling.