HD 189733b, an exoplanet whose atmosphere is being blown off by its sun's solar flares, was discovered by the emerging field of exo-meteorology. Science
"Science is advancing, and as it does, fields like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry. Here re 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about."
If we want to protect privacy, we should be more clear about why it is important.
Our privacy is now at risk in unprecedented ways, but, sadly, the legal system is lagging behind the pace of innovation. Indeed, the last major privacy law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, was passed in 1986! While an update to the law -- spurred on by the General Petraeus scandal -- is in the works, it only aims to add some more protection to electronic communication like emails. This still does not shield our privacy from other, possibly nefarious, ways that our data can be collected and put to use. Some legislators would much rather not have legal restrictions that could, as Rep. Marsha Blackburn stated in an op-ed, "threaten the lifeblood of the Internet: data." Consider Rep. Blackburn's remarks during an April 2010 Congressional hearing: "[A]nd what happens when you follow the European privacy model and take information out of the information economy? ... Revenues fall, innovation stalls and you lose out to innovators who choose to work elsewhere."
Even though the practices of many companies such as Facebook are legal, there is something disconcerting about them. Privacy should have a deeper purpose than the one ascribed to it by those who treat it as a currency to be traded for innovation, which in many circumstances seems to actually mean corporate interests. To protect our privacy, we need a better understanding of its purpose and why it is valuable.
Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a device that translates colours into sounds. Harbisson has been claimed to be the first recognized cyborg in the world, as his passport photo now includes his device. In 2010, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas created the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs.
The happiest city in America is Napa, California -- and the saddest all swear too much.
The researchers coded each tweet for its happiness content, based on the appearance and frequency of words determined by Mechanical Turk workers to be happy (rainbow, love, beauty, hope, wonderful, wine) or sad (damn, boo, ugly, smoke, hate, lied). While the researchers admit their technique ignores context, they say that for large datasets, simply counting the words and averaging their happiness content produces "reliable" results.
Scientists have rediscovered a centuries-old procedure for supercharging your brain. Depending on how it’s used, it could improve anything from focus to motor control to mathematical or even moral reasoning.
This stick-on silicon electrode network is wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor.
FitBit too bulky? Why not glue a sensor array to your skin?
The quantified self goes nanoscale with a stick-on silicon electrode network that could not only change the way we measure health metrics, but could enable a new form of user interface. And the researchers behind it aim to have the device available in the next few weeks through a spinoff company, MC10.
The development takes wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor that could be used to measure hydration, activity, and even infant temperature. It bonds to the skin, somewhat like a temporary tattoo, flexing and bending in sync with your skin the way you wish a Band-Aid would. How? Researchers at the University of Illinois, Dalian University of Technology in China, and the University of California at San Diego made it really, really small.
With a thickness of 0.8 micrometers at the widest — around one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair — the thin mesh of silicon actually nestles in to the grooves and creases in your skin, even the ones too small to see. Being small helps, but it’s also important that the silicon is laid out in a serpentine pattern and bonded to a soft rubber substrate, allowing the stiff material to flex, a little bit like an accordion.
“Although electronics, over the years, has developed into an extremely sophisticated form of technology, all existing commercial devices in electronics involve silicon wafers as the supporting substrate,” says John Rogers, who led the study published this week in Advanced Materials.
Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud.