Posts

September 12, 2014

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5:34 PM | A wife's happiness is more crucial than her husband's in keeping marriage on track
When it comes to a happy marriage, a new Rutgers study finds that the more content the wife is with the long-term union, the happier the husband is with his life no matter how he feels about their nuptials. "I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life," said Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science. Subject:  […]
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5:21 PM | Making drones more customizable
Airware’s operating system makes drones simple to build and modify for multiple applications. A first-ever standard “operating system” for drones, developed by a startup with MIT roots, could soon help manufacturers easily design and customize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for multiple applications. Subject:  Technology
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5:05 PM | Short walking breaks found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting
An Indiana University study has found that three easy -- one could even say slow -- five-minute walks can reverse harm caused to leg arteries during three hours of prolonged sitting. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:38 AM | Zak Ebrahim: I am the son of a terrorist. Here's how I chose peace.
If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path? Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful, and ultimately, inspiring.
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3:33 AM | SanDisk unleashes a massive 512GB SD card with the world’s highest capacity
Secure Digital eXtended-Capacity (SDXC) memory cards have a maximum theoretical storage capacity of 2 terabytes, and today the industry just got one step closer towards hitting that limit. SanDisk has announced the world’s highest capacity SD card for photographers and videographers: the 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO® SDXC UHS-I card. The company is marketing the card is one that will help professional photo and video professionals “prepare for the future” — […]
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3:24 AM | Farewell to determinism
Ever since the formulation of Newton’s laws of motion (and maybe even before that), one of the popular philosophical ways of looking at the world was determinism as captured by the so-called “Clockwork Universe” metaphor [1]. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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12:02 AM | Tipping the balance of behavior
Humans with autism often show a reduced frequency of social interactions and an increased tendency to engage in repetitive solitary behaviors. Autism has also been linked to dysfunction of the amygdala, a brain structure involved in processing emotions. Now Caltech researchers have discovered antagonistic neuron populations in the mouse amygdala that control whether the animal engages in social behaviors or asocial repetitive self-grooming. This discovery may have implications for […]

September 11, 2014

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11:54 PM | Meditation may mitigate migraine misery
Meditation might be a path to migraine relief, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches and research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there hasn't been much research to evaluate specific standardized meditation interventions," said Rebecca Erwin Wells, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study published in the […]
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8:37 PM | How salt causes buildings to crumble
Historic stone buildings are tourist magnets. The Jordanian rock city of Petra, the medieval town of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea and the sandstone temples at Luxor, Egypt, for example, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. These cultural assets all have one thing in common: they suffer from weathering caused by salts. These crystallise inside the porous building materials and generate enough force for the stone to break or crumble. The same problem also occurs in concrete […]
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8:27 PM | You should be terrified of superintelligent machines
Not because they might develop the worst human characteristics, but because they’re nothing like humans at all. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
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4:14 PM | People and their pets look alike … and the same goes for their cars
It is common knowledge – at least to anyone who trawls the shallower reaches of the internet – that people resemble their pets. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:51 PM | Is the pattern of brain folding a 'fingerprint' for schizophrenia?
Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of "hills," called gyri, and "valleys," called sulci. It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and function. Subject:  Brain & Behavior […]
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3:40 PM | New defense mechanism against viruses discovered
When it comes to defence against viruses, the immune system has an arsenal of weapons at its disposal including killer cells, antibodies and messenger molecules, to name just a few. When a pathogen attacks the body, the immune system usually activates the appropriate mechanisms. However, some of the mechanisms do not have to be triggered; they are continuously active as a standing army. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:01 PM | The all-seeing 'I'
We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible. Might we be about to crack consciousness as well? An impossible fantasy or an exciting adventure for mankind? Joanna Kavenna asks eminent physicist Roger Penrose, Master and His Emissary author Iain McGilchrist, and evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey to explain the all-seeing 'I'.
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5:06 AM | Workshop on “Big data in psychology”
Todd will be a participant in an upcoming workshop on “Big data in psychology” at UC Berkeley October 10 and 11. The workshop is open to members of the tech community who are interesting in using large data sets to derive insights into human behavior. If that’s you, get in touch!
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4:59 AM | Talk at the Institute of Cognitive Science at UC Boulder
Todd will be talking about some of our research at the Institute of Cognitive Science at University of Colorado, Boulder on Friday, 9/12/14.
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1:13 AM | World’s first 3-D printed car now being assembled
History will be made when the world’s first 3D-printed car drives out of McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. During the six-day IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, the vehicle will be printed over 44 hours then rapidly assembled by a team led by Local Motors with the historic first drive set to take place the morning of Saturday, September 13. Subject:  Technology
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12:49 AM | Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859, offered a bold new explanation for how animals and plants diversified and still serves as the foundation underpinning all medical and biological research today. But the theory remains under attack by creationists in various parts of the world, particularly the US, Turkey, Indonesia and the Middle East. Subject:  Evolution
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12:14 AM | NASA sees a significant flare surge off the sun
The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:48 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology […]

September 10, 2014

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9:15 PM | More evidence that sleep apnea is harming your brain
Employing a measure rarely used in sleep apnea studies, researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing have uncovered evidence of what may be damaging the brain in people with the sleep disorder — weaker brain blood flow. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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9:04 PM | Association found between lack of sunshine and suicide
Lower rates of suicide are associated with more daily sunshine in the prior 14 to 60 days. Light interacts with brain serotonin systems and possibly influences serotonin-related behaviors. Those behaviors, such as mood and impulsiveness, can play a role in suicide. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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8:58 PM | Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum
Without vision, many robots rely on blindly feeling out their environment and end up missing patches. Dyson engineers wanted systematic cleaning. A team of 31 Dyson robotic software engineers spent over 100,000 hours creating a unique 360 degree vision system to allow the Dyson 360 Eye robot to build detailed floor plans and intelligently navigate around a room.
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6:02 PM | Cyberbullying increases as students age
As students' age they are verbally and physically bullied less but cyberbullied more, non-native English speakers are not bullied more often than native English speakers and bullying increases as students' transition from elementary to middle school. Those are among the findings of a wide-ranging paper, "Examination of the Change in Latent Statuses in Bullying Behaviors Across Time," recently published in the journal School Psychology Quarterly. Subject:  Computer […]
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5:52 PM | Can a robot be your boss?
Meet the new boss. She never plays favorites and doesn’t partake in office gossip. She gives clear directions. At performance review time she offers valuable observations and backs them up with examples. She is perfect. Well, almost. If she does tend to repeat herself and wouldn’t give you time off to attend your son’s violin recital, you’ll have to forgive her: she’s a robot. Subject:  Robotics
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5:07 PM | Apple Pay heralds a new, safe era of cashless convenience
Mobile payment systems have been around for years without gaining much traction, but this might be about to change with the release of the iPhone 6’s Apple Pay. Subject:  Technology
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4:43 PM | Gray matter myelin loss strongly related to MS disability
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) lose myelin in the gray matter of their brains and the loss is closely correlated with the severity of the disease, according to a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study. Researchers said the findings could have important applications in clinical trials and treatment monitoring. The study appears online in the journal Radiology. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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4:34 PM | Where to grab space debris
Objects in space tend to spin — and spin in a way that's totally different from the way they spin on earth. Understanding how objects are spinning, where their centers of mass are, and how their mass is distributed is crucial to any number of actual or potential space missions, from cleaning up debris in the geosynchronous orbit favored by communications satellites to landing a demolition crew on a comet. Subject:  Robotics
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4:18 PM | Smartphones may aid in dietary self-monitoring
Smartphones have seen wide adoption among Americans in recent years because of their ease of use and adaptability. With that in mind, researchers from Arizona State University examined how smartphone use affected weight loss goals and determined that smartphones may offer users an advantage over traditional methods when tracking diet data. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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4:03 PM | Sloths are no slouches when it comes to evolution
Today's sloths might be known as slow, small animals, but their ancestors developed large body sizes at an amazing rate, according to an evolutionary reconstruction published today in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The fast rate of change suggests that factors such as environmental conditions, or competition with other species must have strongly favored the bigger sloths, before they died out. Subject:  Evolution
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3:35 PM | Apple to reap fees from banks in new payment system
Apple Inc. will reap fees from banks when consumers use an iPhone in place of credit and debit cards for purchases, a deal that gives the handset maker a cut of the growing market for mobile payments, according to three people with knowledge of the arrangement. Subject:  Technology
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