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Women Are Better Than Men At Multitasking

Women Are Better Than Men At Multitasking | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A new study found that women performed better on multitasking tests than men.
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Danielle Bassett — MacArthur Foundation

Danielle Bassett — MacArthur Foundation | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Danielle Bassett is a physicist using tools from network science and complex systems theory to enhance our understanding of connectivity and organizational principles in the human brain. Combining a strong background in physics with training and collaborations in neuroscience, Bassett adapts mathematical approaches associated with the study of complex networks (such as computer or social networks) to analyze interactions among neurons in different regions of the brain while a person does certain activities (e.g., learn something new or try to remember a face), thereby unraveling how these connections give rise to the functions or jobs the brain performs.


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From whales to larvae, study finds common principles at work in swimming

From whales to larvae, study finds common principles at work in swimming | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

"The basic relationship we wanted to understand was how the input variables – namely the size of the organism, the amount an organism moves and how quickly it moves – control the output variable, which is effectively the speed at which it moves," Mahadevan explained. "What we found is that there is a specific relationship, which can be described by in terms of a simple scaling law with two limits."...

 

...Armed with those observations, Mahadevan and colleagues turned to a host of empirical observations that had been made over the past 50-plus years. When those data were plotted on a graph, the researchers found that the swimming speed of virtually every organism, from fish larvae to frogs to birds, amphibians and even whales, could be described by one of the two equations.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-09-whales-larvae-common-principles.html#jCp

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excerpt: "The first, which corresponds to creatures moving at intermediate speeds, describes situations where the bulk of the resistance is caused by skin friction, because water "sticks" to the organism's body. At faster speeds, Mahadevan said, the resistance organisms face largely comes from pressure that builds up in front of and around them, which is described by the second limit."

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Machine learning algorithm makes impossible screening of advanced materials possible

Machine learning algorithm makes impossible screening of advanced materials possible | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario, have used machine learning tools to develop models that can rapidly identify the best performing MOFs for CO2 capture in a fraction of the time it would take to screen the entire database. By pre-screening for the top MOFs, the model greatly reduces the number of MOFs that require more intensive screening, and could decrease the overall computing time by an order of magnitude. The study is published in a recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-09-machine-algorithm-impossible-screening-advanced.html#jCp

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Robot could load up dishwasher

Robot could load up dishwasher | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Boris "sees" objects with depth sensors on its face and wrists. In 10 seconds it calculates up to a thousand possible ways to grasp a novel object with its five robotic fingers and plans a path of arm movements to reach its target, avoiding obstructions.

"It's not been programmed to pick it up - it's been programmed to learn how to pick it up," explained Professor Wyatt.

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Assessing the Future Impact of AI, Robotics on Job Creation - The CIO Report - WSJ

With smarter machines applied to activities that not long ago were viewed as the exclusive domain of humans, fears of technological unemployment are on the rise.
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Phys.Org Mobile: Gold's unexpected oxidation activity: Decoding the role of water in gold nanocatalysis

Phys.Org Mobile: Gold's unexpected oxidation activity: Decoding the role of water in gold nanocatalysis | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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These Two Guys Studied Their Feces for a Year

These Two Guys Studied Their Feces for a Year | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In 2009, Eric Alm, a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hadn’t had a bowel movement at home for almost the entire year. Neither did Lawrence David, Alm’s graduate student at the time.
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What Neuroscience Has To Say About The 'Tortured Genius'

What Neuroscience Has To Say About The 'Tortured Genius' | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Every suicide leaves behind mourners grasping for answers, but when the person in question is a high-profile celebrity known to have struggled with mental health issues, it's tempting to fall back on the age-old trope of the "tortured genius...

Via Ellen Diane
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Ellen Diane's curator insight, September 2, 12:49 PM

great pain = great art???

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Vagus Nerve Implant Fails to Fix Heart Failure

Vagus Nerve Implant Fails to Fix Heart Failure | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Illustration: Getty Images
Implanted devices that stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck help with epilepsy and depression but not, it seems, heart failure.
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Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals)

Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Physicists reported recently that they have successfully used the lasers built for fusion reactions at the National Ignition Facilityin Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to compress a synthetic diamond to pressures of 50 million Earth atmospheres (5 terapascals).  For the first time scientists measured pressure-density curves of matter at trillion pascal pressures, an extreme environment found in the core of gas giants and super Earth planets.

 

A tiny sample of synthetic diamond, millimeter-sized and in the shape of a cylinder, was held upright and put into the crosshairs of 176 high powered fusion laser beams.  The beams have total peak power of 2200 gigawatts (GW).  In comparison, a nuclear power plant only produces as much as energy at a rate of 0.5 to 2 GW.  Since power is the energy output over time, the laser beams can only run a very short time at such power, so the total output of energy is not high.

 

Half the beams are focused on the top half of the cylinder and the other half on the bottom.  This squeezes the cylinder when the lasers fire.  Upon firing, the physicists measured the rate of diamond material moving under the tremendous heating and counter-reactions.  As the cylindrical piece of diamond is compressed, its middle bulges out at extremely high velocities.  The measured peak velocity was 109,000 miles per hour, or about 45 kilometers per second.

 

They found that at the peak pressure of 5 trillion pascals, or equivalently 50 million Earth atmospheres, the density of the diamond had more than tripled.  Therefore the diamond was compressed to three times a smaller volume than before, making its density equal to that of lead.

 

The results were compared to a type of computer simulation called density functional theory (DFT).  DFT is based on a branch of physics known as quantum mechanics.  While it is an approximate method, meaning that accuracy of representing the underlying physics is sacrificed for purposes of speed, it is quite successful in predicting many complex aspects of matter.  The researchers used two types of theories in DFT and showed that the measured results fall right in between the computer predictions.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Next X Prize: Artificial Intelligence! - YouTube

Hank takes you to the next frontier of innovation: the XPrize for Artificial Intelligence, talking about how true AI can be measured, and what the future mig...

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET, Emmanuel Capitaine
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WATCH: These Mind-Controlling Parasites Are Freaky, And Apparently There Are A Lot Of Them

WATCH: These Mind-Controlling Parasites Are Freaky, And Apparently There Are A Lot Of Them | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
How do you explain suicidal crickets and zombie caterpillars? One word: parasites. Science writer Ed Yong shows us how these tiny creatures force insects and animals to do their bidding, and asks: Are parasites manipulating humans, too?
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Google's delivery drones newest front in war with Amazon

Google's delivery drones newest front in war with Amazon | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Google's secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly. (Cool video: Google steps up race in drone delivery.
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A Soft Exoskeleton Uses Far Less Energy | MIT Technology Review

A Soft Exoskeleton Uses Far Less Energy | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A soft, lightweight exoskeleton developed at Harvard applies assistive force without interfering with a person’s normal gait.
Sharrock's insight:

exerpt: "The Harvard exoskeleton is highly efficient because it applies force in a way that closely aligns with the natural movements of muscles and tendons. Sensors monitor the wearer’s motion, and battery-powered motors move cables to pull up on the heel, or on part of the leg near the hip—adding a propelling tug at just the right moment as the wearer steps forward. “It’s quite lightweight, flexible, and conformal,” says Conor Walsh, a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Harvard. “It doesn’t disrupt normal walking and movement.”

 

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The Art of Communicating Science

The Art of Communicating Science | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A conversation with Karl Bates,director of research communications at Duke
Sharrock's insight:

Insight treasure trove in one paragraph here…Mind blown!

 

This is a powerful insight in the article and it needs to be shared:

 

“So, in offensively broad terms, I’d say the scientist is fairly obsessive about precision, and wants to at least identify – if not absolutely control – all variables.  They strive to be comprehensive and worry about what they’ve left out.  I think some of them live in mortal fear of being seen as superficial, especially among their colleagues, so more information is almost always a better thing.  Their vocabulary is off-putting to the uninitiated, but it can be super-precise, just the way they like it.  And after many years, I started to recognize this huge difference in cognitive style between scientists and the rest of us: they are really comfortable spreading out and labeling all of the pieces of the puzzle before they get down to figuring out what it might represent.  Most folks like to study the box to know what the picture is first!”

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97 Scientists Who Agree On Climate Change Become Cute Cartoons To Deliver Hard Facts

97 Scientists Who Agree On Climate Change Become Cute Cartoons To Deliver Hard Facts | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In a social media stunt to raise awareness of global climate change, 97 of the 97% of all scientists who agree about this unfortunate condition are appearing online in cartoon-form, for 97 hours, to talk about it.
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Artificial Intelligence: How Algorithms Make Systems Smart | Innovation Insights | WIRED

Artificial Intelligence: How Algorithms Make Systems Smart | Innovation Insights | WIRED | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
“Algorithm” is a word that one hears used much more frequently than in the past. One of the reasons is that scientists have learned that computers can learn on their own if given a few simple instructions. That’s really all that algorithms are mathematical instructions. Wikipedia states that an algorithm “is a step-by-step procedure for…
Sharrock's insight:

“Part of the problem,” writes Catherine Havasi (@havasi), CEO and co-founder of Luminoso, “Is that when we humans communicate, we rely on a vast background of unspoken assumptions. … We assume everyone we meet shares this knowledge. It forms the basis of how we interact and allows us to communicate quickly, efficiently, and with deep meaning.” ["Who's Doing Common-Sense Reasoning And Why It Matters," TechCrunch, 9 August 2014] She adds, “As advanced as technology is today, its main shortcoming as it becomes a large part of daily life in society is that it does not share these assumptions.”

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33rd Square: ATLAS Doesn't Walk Too Softly, But He Carries A Big Stick (well Truss Actually)

33rd Square: ATLAS Doesn't Walk Too Softly, But He Carries A Big Stick (well Truss Actually) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
ATLAS, the humanoid robot built for the DARPA Robotics Challenge is cutting the cord. In new demo videos, the robot is seen walking unattached and carrying heavy loads across a warehouse floor.
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Here's What It's Like To Step Into A 3-D Body Scanner For A Custom-Made Suit

Here's What It's Like To Step Into A 3-D Body Scanner For A Custom-Made Suit | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Startups like Alton Lane are using 3-D modeling to mold clothes to their clients' bodies. Welcome to the future of bespoke design.
Sharrock's insight:
“The technology is becoming more and more common,” says David Bruner, vice president of technology development at Size Stream. “When you've got the experienced tailor guy who has been doing it for 30 to 40 years, they do a great job. But there’s a lot of turnover in retail. And training people to do it consistently is a problem.”
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Advanced Biofuels Power Up Amid Resistance

Advanced Biofuels Power Up Amid Resistance | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The first of three big commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants comes online in Iowa in a bid to prove the fuel's promise as a solution to climate change
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Nanoparticles Enable New Levels of Holographic Optical Data Storage

Nanoparticles Enable New Levels of Holographic Optical Data Storage | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Illustration: Yunuen Montelongo By exploiting the same properties of nanoparticles that made the Lycurgus Cup change colors depending on the light hitting it, researchers at the University of Cambridge have used nanoparticles to create holograms...
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All that glitters is not reward signal : Nature Neuroscience

All that glitters is not reward signal : Nature Neuroscience | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

In this issue, Shenhav et al. critically evaluate the idea that neural correlates of value actually represent value. They describe how, in many situations, value correlates can reflect other cognitive factors, such as decisional difficulty.

 


Via Ashish Umre
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A Bionic Eye That Restores Sight

A Bionic Eye That Restores Sight | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
By bridging the gap between eye and brain, a new device has the capacity to help the blind regain their vision.
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Smartphones are about to get awesome again

Smartphones are about to get awesome again | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Smartphones. They’re all just a bunch ofundifferentiated rectangles, right? You’d be forgiven for feeling a little jaded about the rate of innovation in smartphones over the past couple of years. A 4-inch iPhone still dominates the consumer landscape, HTC is still designing beautiful but flawed masterpieces, and Samsung is still the world’s foremost purveyor of cheap plastic.

 

It’s as if we’ve been stuck in a long winter hibernation, waiting for the next wave of real excitement to awaken us to the awesome power and potential of smartphones. Look out to the horizon, however, and you may see that wave coming....


Via Jeff Domansky
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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, August 31, 1:04 PM

Technology is about to get awesome and marketing is in for a fun ride in the next few months. Stay tuned!

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Lawyers Won’t Lose Clients to DIY Legal Services

Lawyers Won’t Lose Clients to DIY Legal Services | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
People who want to do their own legal work are, naturally, not likely to hire a lawyer in the first place. And people who hire lawyers do not want to do their own legal work.
Sharrock's insight:

Every few weeks, I find an article promising that some kind of technology will replace the human employee--teacher, accountant, etc. This article explains why lawyers will not probably be replaced. For some of the same reasons, teachers will also never be replaced...at least, not for a very long time.

 

excerpt: "Currently, consumers can pick from a range of options for do-it-yourself legal services. You can get a divorce at OfficeMax, a will from Amazon, and dissolve a partnership with LegalZoom. Those are just a few examples, of course. There are hundreds of DIY legal documents available online and offline."

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Sharrock's curator insight, August 29, 11:29 AM

Every few weeks, I find an article promising that some kind of technology will replace the human employee--teacher, accountant, etc. This article explains why lawyers will not probably be replaced. For some of the same reasons, teachers will also never be replaced...at least, not for a very long time.

 

excerpt: "Currently, consumers can pick from a range of options for do-it-yourself legal services. You can get a divorce at OfficeMax, a will from Amazon, and dissolve a partnership with LegalZoom. Those are just a few examples, of course. There are hundreds of DIY legal documents available online and offline."