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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: 3 hours 47 min ago

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:58
A physics model helps scientists accurately predict the likely outcome of a chemical reaction as well as sheds new light on mysterious quantum states, including the Efimov effect.

'Robo Brain' will teach robots everything from the Internet

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:49
Robo Brain -- a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources -- is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. The information is being translated and stored in a robot-friendly format that robots will be able to draw on when they need it.

Predicting aggressive lymphoma

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:46
A new statistical genetic analysis can detect when lymphoma will be aggressive, researchers report, thereby, allowing treatment to be initiated in time. The statistical method will be able to determine who will need a bone-marrow transplantation and who can be spared the extreme burden that this excruciating treatment entails.

Core mechanism for root growth identified

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:46
During plant growth, dividing cells in meristems must coordinate transitions from division to expansion and differentiation. Three distinct developmental zones are generated, while at the same time, plants can rapidly adjust their direction of growth to adapt to environmental conditions. Now researchers have found out, with the help of experimentation and mathematical modelling, how many factors together regulate root growth.

Neuroscience and big data: How to find simplicity in the brain

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 19:23
Scientists can now monitor and record the activity of hundreds of neurons concurrently in the brain, and ongoing technology developments promise to increase this number. However, simply recording the neural activity does not automatically lead to a clearer understanding of how the brain works. In a new article, researchers describe the scientific motivations for studying the activity of many neurons together, along with a class of machine learning algorithms for interpreting the activity.

Online screening for rare lung cancer mutation opens door to new kind of clinical trial

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 16:44
Cancer subtypes are like rare diseases; a new kind of clinical trial uses Dr. Google to find enough needles in enough haystacks to test drug ponatinib against FGFR positive lung cancer.

In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 13:42
Are young people losing the ability to read emotions in our digital world? Scientists report that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other screen did substantially better at reading emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who, as usual, spent hours each day looking at their smartphones and other screens.

Playing hunger games: Are gamified health apps putting odds in your favor?

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:42
For many people, finding motivation to exercise is a challenge. Thankfully, there are Zombies chasing you. At least that's the approach of Zombies, Run! -- one of more than 31,000 health and fitness apps on the market today, and one of the growing number of apps that use games to increase physical activity. Gamification is currently the popular trend for mobile fitness apps, but whether or not it's the best way to exercise remains to be seen.

Electronic alerts significantly reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:36
Targeted automated alerts in electronic health records significantly reduce urinary tract infections in hospital patients with urinary catheters. In addition, when the design of the alert was simplified, the rate of improvement dramatically increased.

TeleStroke Units improve stroke care in underserved areas

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 20:13
Using telecommunications to connect stroke experts to stroke patients in rural areas continued to improve and sustain stroke care, according to new research. With the tele-medical linked Stroke Units, patients in regional hospitals had around-the-clock access to consultations with vascular neurologists at stroke centers, including evaluation of brain imaging and patient examination via videoconferencing when needed.

Novel 'man and machine' decision support system makes malaria diagnostics more effective

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 19:40
A novel “man and machine” decision support system for diagnosing malaria infection has been developed by researchers. This innovative diagnostic aid is based on computer vision algorithms similar to those used in facial recognition systems combined with visualization of only the diagnostically most relevant areas. Tablet computers can be utilized in viewing the images.

Hacking Gmail with 92 percent success

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 16:48
Computer scientists have identified a weakness believed to exist in Android, Windows and iOS mobile operating systems that could be used to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users. They demonstrated the hack in an Android phone.

Delivery by drone: New algorithm lets drones monitor their own health during long package-delivery missions

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 15:58
In the near future, the package that you ordered online may be deposited at your doorstep by a drone: Last December, online retailer Amazon announced plans to explore drone-based delivery, suggesting that fleets of flying robots might serve as autonomous messengers that shuttle packages to customers within 30 minutes of an order. A new algorithm lets drones monitor their own health during long package-delivery missions.

Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:23
New research outlines the possible coping mechanisms that might be needed following loss or theft of one's smart phone or other digital devices and the security problems that the user might face.

3-D printers used to create custom medical implants that deliver drugs, chemo

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 13:06
An innovative method for using affordable, consumer-grade 3D printers and materials has been developed to fabricate custom medical implants that can contain antibacterial and chemotherapeutic compounds for targeted drug delivery. "It is truly novel and a worldwide first to be 3D printing custom devices with antibiotics and chemotherapeutics," said one researcher.

Does your computer know how you're feeling?

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 13:05
Researchers have designed a computer program that can accurately recognize users’ emotional states as much as 87% of the time, depending on the emotion. The study combined -- for the first time -- two established ways of detecting user emotions: keystroke dynamics and text-pattern analysis.

For secure software: X-rays instead of passport control

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 13:00
Trust is good, control is better. This also applies to the security of computer programs. Instead of trusting “identification documents” in the form of certificates, JOANA, the new software analysis tool, examines the source text (code) of a program. In this way, it detects leaks, via which secret information may get out or strangers may enter the system from outside. At the same time, JOANA reduces the number of false alarms to a minimum.

Security flaws found in backscatter X-ray scanners formerly used in U.S. airports

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:04
Researchers have discovered security vulnerabilities in full-body backscatter X-ray scanners deployed to U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013. In laboratory tests, the team was able to conceal firearms and plastic explosive simulants from the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner. The team modified the scanner operating software to present an 'all-clear' image to the operator even when contraband was detected.

New framework would facilitate use of new Android security modules

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:17
Computer security researchers have developed a modification to the core Android operating system that allows developers and users to plug in new security enhancements. The new Android Security Modules framework aims to eliminate the bottleneck that prevents developers and users from taking advantage of new security tools.

Paving the way for cyborg moth 'biobots'

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:17
Researchers have developed methods for electronically manipulating the flight muscles of moths and for monitoring the electrical signals moths use to control those muscles. The work opens the door to the development of remotely-controlled moths, or 'biobots,' for use in emergency response.