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NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth

Scientists are on the verge of answering one of the greatest questions in history: Are we alone? Combining the latest telescope images with dazzling CGI, "Fi...
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Science And Wonder
Soul The Fuel of Science
Curated by LilyGiraud
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Bike Helmet Meets Black Box

Bike Helmet Meets Black Box | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A future smart bike helmet can track the rider's motion, determine if a crash was likely and call for help if the rider is incapacitated. Larry Greenemeier reports
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Worm neuron hack to probe the mysteries of our brains - life - 23 July 2014 - New Scientist

Worm neuron hack to probe the mysteries of our brains - life - 23 July 2014 - New Scientist | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Hijacking how neurons of nematode worms are wired is the first step in an approach that could revolutionise our understanding of brains and consciousness
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Collaborative learning for robots | KurzweilAI

Collaborative learning for robots | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
(Credit: 20th Century Fox) Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems have developed an algorithm in which distributed
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FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time

FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.

 

The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.

 

Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media Lab.

 

For Jerry Berrier, 62, who was born blind, the promise of the FingerReader is its portability and offer of real-time functionality at school, a doctor’s office and restaurants.

 

“When I go to the doctor’s office, there may be forms that I wanna read before I sign them,” Berrier said.

 

He said there are other optical character recognition devices on the market for those with vision impairments, but none that he knows of that will read in real time.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Chris Carter's curator insight, July 10, 8:39 AM

This is extraordinarily useful!

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Robotic Exoskeleton Gets First-Ever FDA Approval

Robotic Exoskeleton Gets First-Ever FDA Approval | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
The ReWalk exoskeleton allows some people paralyzed from the waist down to walk again, with the aid of crutches. Dina Fine Maron reports
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Running Combined with Visual Experience Restores Brain Function

Running Combined with Visual Experience Restores Brain Function | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Researchers discover running, when accompanies by visual stimuli, helped restore brain function to normal levels in mice which had been deprived of visual experience early in life.
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Modeling how neurons work together to perform movements: not as random as we thought | KurzweilAI

Modeling how neurons work together to perform movements: not as random as we thought | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Multiphoton microscopy of mouse motor neurons (credit: Zeiss Microscopy/flickr) In a bid to better understand the brain and also to create robotics limbs
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Wearable computing gloves can teach Braille, even if you’re not paying attention | KurzweilAI

Wearable computing gloves can teach Braille, even if you’re not paying attention | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A wearable computing technology helps people learn how to read and write Braille as they concentrate on other tasks (credit: Georgia Tech) Georgia Institute
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The brain may be able to repair itself from within, Duke researchers discover | KurzweilAI

The brain may be able to repair itself from within, Duke researchers discover | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
In this artist's representation of the adult subependymal neurogenic niche (viewed from underneath the ependyma), electrical signals generated by the ChAT+
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Ken Schneider's curator insight, June 6, 3:20 PM

Neuroscience; brain self-repair; the water just keeps getting deeper! So much wonder, so little time. #bigquestions

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TED Talk 2014 | Ray Kurzweil: “Get ready for hybrid thinking” video now playing | KurzweilAI

TED Talk 2014 | Ray Kurzweil: “Get ready for hybrid thinking” video now playing | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
TED | Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue, wrapped around a
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Cells in Living Things Fight Noise with Noise

Cells in Living Things Fight Noise with Noise | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Cells have evolved ways to put random variability in he outside environment to work
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Scientists may have found a genetic switch to turn off fear (ScienceAlert)

Scientists may have found a genetic switch to turn off fear (ScienceAlert) | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
In a discovery that could be the beginning of the end for phobias, neuroscientists may have worked out how to silence the gene that feeds fear.
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Ken Schneider's curator insight, May 26, 6:50 PM

Handy for my fear of tall, beautiful, smart women. Not so good for fanatical religious snake handlers. #soiledmyself

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Mustard Plant Can Detect Chemical Weapons

Mustard Plant Can Detect Chemical Weapons | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
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An Atomic View of Brain Activity - YouTube

This, in all its molecular complexity, is what the bulging end of a single neuron looks like. A whopping 300,000 proteins come together to form the structure...
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Generating electricity from water droplets | KurzweilAI

Generating electricity from water droplets | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
False-color time-lapse images captured via high-speed imaging show a droplet jumping (colored green) from a superhydrophobic (water-repelling) copper oxide fin
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Researchers regrow human corneas in mice | KurzweilAI

Researchers regrow human corneas in mice | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A restored functional cornea following transplantation of human ABCB5-positive limbal stem cells to limbal stem cell-deficient mice (credit: Kira Lathrop,
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Crowdsourcing for robots | KurzweilAI

Crowdsourcing for robots | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
The UW’s robot builds a turtle model (credit: University of Washington) Crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete
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Principles of virus fusion - YouTube

http://www.nano-immunology.org/dr-jakub-chojnacki.html ; "This animation is based on influenza virus and depicts details of conformation changes that occur in the virus fusion proteins during the process of virus fu...

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"Cell surface depicting plasma membrane attached and endocytosed influenza virus particle. http://www.nano-immunology.org/dr-jakub-chojnacki.html

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How background electrical brain noise drives our decisions | KurzweilAI

How background electrical brain noise drives our decisions | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Topographic map of alpha wave power in the left hemisphere of the brain in the period starting 800 milliseconds before a decision significantly influences the
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Limb regeneration: do salamanders hold the key? | KurzweilAI

Limb regeneration: do salamanders hold the key? | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Salamander (credit: UCL) The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by University College London (UCL) researchers in
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Meet Pepper, the £1,000 robot that will read your emotions (Wired UK)

Meet Pepper, the £1,000 robot that will read your emotions (Wired UK) | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
SoftBank Mobile and Aldebaran Robotics have revealed Pepper, the sensitive robot that reads human emotions and will go on sale in February 2015
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Electrical ‘mind control’ shown in primates for first time | KurzweilAI

Electrical ‘mind control’ shown in primates for first time | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Visual cues used in preference test (credit: John T. Arsenault et al./Current Biology) In an update to the legendary Jose Delgado experiment (see video
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Seeing sound: visual cortex processes auditory information too

Seeing sound: visual cortex processes auditory information too | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it

Ten healthy subjects wearing blindfolds were given solely auditory stimulation in the absence of visual stimulation. In a separate session, retinotopic mapping.

 

University of Glasgow scientists studying brain process involved in sight have discovered that the visual cortex also uses information gleaned from the ears when viewing the world.

 

They suggest this auditory input enables the visual system to predict incoming information and could confer a survival advantage.

 

“Sounds create visual imagery, mental images, and automatic projections,” said Professor Lars Muckli, of the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, who led the research. “For example, if you are in a street and you hear the sound of an approaching motorbike, you expect to see a motorbike coming around the corner.”

 

The study, published in the journal Current Biology (open access), involved conducting five different experiments using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to examine the activity in the early visual cortex in 10 volunteer subjects.

 

In one experiment they asked the blindfolded volunteers to listen to three different sounds: birdsong, traffic noise and a talking crowd. Using a special algorithm that can identify unique patterns in brain activity, the researchers were able to discriminate between the different sounds being processed in early visual cortex activity.

A second experiment revealed that even imagined images, in the absence of both sight and sound, evoked activity in the early visual cortex.

 

“This research enhances our basic understanding of how interconnected different regions of the brain are,” Muckli said. “The early visual cortex hasn’t previously been known to process auditory information, and while there is some anatomical evidence of interconnectedness in monkeys, our study is the first to clearly show a relationship in humans.

 

“This might provide insights into mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or autism and help us understand how sensory perceptions differ in these individuals.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Observing Scientific Conferences as an Outsider:  “Insects to Feed the World”

Observing Scientific Conferences as an Outsider:  “Insects to Feed the World” | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Guest post by Joe Turner, @bucksci on Twitter. Turner is a writer on Soil Science and sanitation. This post is reposted with permission from Turner's recent pos
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Engineers are using explosives to put out fires (ScienceAlert)

Engineers are using explosives to put out fires (ScienceAlert) | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Australian researchers are investigating whether shockwaves can blow out bushfires.
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