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Innovative System Images Photosynthesis to Provide Picture of Plant Health

Crop imager could enable agricultural machinery that automatically responds to stressed plants. Researchers have developed a new imaging system that is designed to monitor the health of crops in the field or greenhouse. The new technology could one day save farmers significant money and time by enabling intelligent agricultural equipment that automatically provides plants with water or nutrients at the first signs of distress. With further development, the system has the potential to be used aboard unmanned aerial vehicles to remotely monitor crops.

Report highlights opportunities and risks associated with synthetic biology and bioengineering

Human genome editing, 3D-printed replacement organs and artificial photosynthesis – the field of bioengineering offers great promise for tackling the major challenges that face our society. But as a new article out today highlights, these developments provide both opportunities and risks in the short and long term. Rapid developments in the field of synthetic biology and its associated tools and methods, including more widely available gene editing techniques, have substantially increased our capabilities for bioengineering.

When toys meet virtual reality

The playroom is about to acquire a virtual dimension thanks to a new app. Researchers at ETH Zurich’s Game Technology Center want to use the app to inspire children’s imaginations and encourage creativity. It is now available in app stores to coincide with today’s Digitaltag.

Lighting the way to switch chemical reaction pathways 0

Could the manufacture of the integrated circuits and chips for our everyday electronic devices be made simpler, safer and cheaper simply by being able to switch coloured light on and off?
Researchers from QUT, Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Belgium’s Ghent University have stepped towards this by pioneering a system that modulates visible, coloured light to change the reactions of a powerful chemical coupling agent.

New way to write magnetic info could pave the way for hardware neural networks

Researchers have shown how to write any magnetic pattern desired onto nanowires, which could help computers mimic how the brain processes information. Much current computer hardware, such as hard drives, use magnetic memory devices. These rely on magnetic states – the direction microscopic magnets are pointing – to encode and read information.

East Meets West: Using technology to help epilepsy patients

Epilepsy, a seizure disorder, affects more than 2 million people in the United States, making it the fourth most common neurological condition in the nation, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.

Still, the general public doesn’t know much about the chronic condition. College of Medicine faculty member Dilip Pandey said lack of information isn’t to blame. “There are volumes of information,” said Pandey, associate professor of neurology and rehabilitation.

Noninvasive Brain Imaging Shows Readiness of Trainees To Perform Operations

Study led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty and graduate student shows that surgeons who trained on simulator had higher level of cortical activation and faster times for cutting tasks. While simulation platforms have been used to train surgeons before they enter an actual operating room (OR), few studies have evaluated how well trainees transfer those skills from the simulator to the OR.

What Is the Computational Power of the Universe?

Can a close look at the universe give us solutions to problems too difficult even for a planet-sized computer to solve? National Institute of Standards and Technology physicist Stephen Jordan asks, “What if we consider the cosmos to be the output of a 13.7-billion-year computation?” After all, computers crunch numbers to simulate complex change and the universe has undergone billions of years of change in accordance with the laws of nature.

Voice impersonators can fool speaker recognition systems

Skilful voice impersonators are able to fool state-of-the-art speaker recognition systems, as these systems generally aren’t efficient yet in recognising voice modifications, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland. The vulnerability of speaker recognition systems poses significant security concerns.

First-Of-Its-Kind Bioengineered Robotic Hand To Sense Touch

The sense of touch is often taken for granted. For someone without a limb or hand, losing that sense of touch can be devastating. While highly sophisticated prostheses with complex moving fingers and joints are available to mimic almost every hand motion, they remain frustratingly difficult and unnatural for the user. This is largely because they lack the tactile experience that guides every movement.

Speedy collision detector could make robots better human assistants

Electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a faster collision detection algorithm that uses machine learning to help robots avoid moving objects and weave through complex, rapidly changing environments in real time. The algorithm, dubbed “Fastron,” runs up to 8 times faster than existing collision detection algorithms.

Multiplayer video games: Researchers discover link between skill and intelligence

Researchers at the University of York have discovered a link between young people’s ability to perform well at two popular video games and high levels of intelligence. Studies carried out at the Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) at York found that some action strategy video games can act like IQ tests. The researchers’ findings are published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Essential quantum computer component downsized by two orders of magnitude

Researchers at IST Austria have built compact photon directional devices. Their micrometer-scale, nonmagnetic devices route microwave photons and can shield qubits from harmful noise. Qubits, or quantum bits, are the key building blocks that lie at the heart of every quantum computer. In order to perform a computation, signals need to be directed to and from qubits.

Engineers teaching robots how to push back

Imagine you are moving a couch with a friend. As you start, you both need to crouch down, securely grab it and simultaneously lift it up. As you carry it, you may say a word here and there, but that is not enough to coordinate your actions. You mostly communicate...

New quantum materials offer novel route to 3D electronic devices

Researchers have shown how the principles of general relativity open the door to novel electronic applications such as a three-dimensional electron lens and electronic invisibility devices. In a new study funded by the Academy of Finland, Aalto University researchers Alex Westström and Teemu Ojanen propose a method to go beyond special relativity and simulate Einstein’s theory of general relativity in inhomogeneous Weyl semimetals.

Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors

A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then transferred to metallic or flexible polymer support materials. The technique could facilitate the production of low-cost wearable, mobile and disposable sensing devices for a wide range of environmental applications.

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