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‘Survival of the Fittest’ Now Applies to Computers

‘Survival of the Fittest’ Now Applies to Computers

“Survival of the fittest” originally referred to natural selection in biological systems, but new research from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University scientists shows that this evolutionary theory also applies to technological systems.   Computational biologist Sergei Maslov, a research staff member in Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), holding appointments with Stony Brook University’s Department [...]

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‘Big Data’ Algorithm Used to Customize Video Game Difficulty

‘Big Data’ Algorithm Used to Customize Video Game Difficulty

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a computational model that can predict video game players’ in-game performance and provide a corresponding challenge they can beat, leading to quicker mastery of new skills. The advance not only could help improve user experiences with video games but also applications beyond the gaming world.   Digital gaming has surged [...]

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New Keyboard for Touchscreens Enables Faster Thumb-Typing

New Keyboard for Touchscreens Enables Faster Thumb-Typing

The research team of Antti Oulasvirta at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics has created a new keyboard called KALQ that enables faster thumb-typing on touchscreen devices. They used computational optimization techniques in conjunction with a model of thumb movement to search among millions of potential layouts before identifying one that yields superior performance. A [...]

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Ordinary Skin Cells Morphed Into Functional Brain Cells

Ordinary Skin Cells Morphed Into Functional Brain Cells

Researchers at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine have discovered a technique that directly converts skin cells to the type of brain cells destroyed in patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other so-called myelin disorders.   This discovery appears today in the journal Nature Biotechnology. This breakthrough now enables “on demand” production of myelinating [...]

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New Software Alleviates Wireless Traffic

The explosive popularity of wireless devices — from WiFi laptops to Bluetooth headsets to ZigBee sensor nodes — is increasingly clogging the airwaves, resulting in dropped calls, wasted bandwidth and botched connections. New software being developed at the University of Michigan works like a stoplight to control the traffic and dramatically reduce interference. The software, [...]

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Enzymes from Horse Feces Could Hold Secrets to Streamlining Biofuel Production

Enzymes from Horse Feces Could Hold Secrets to Streamlining Biofuel Production

Stepping into unexplored territory in efforts to use corn stalks, grass and other non-food plants to make biofuels, scientists have described the discovery of a potential treasure-trove of candidate enzymes in fungi thriving in the feces and intestinal tracts of horses.   They reported on these enzymes — the key to economical production of biofuels [...]

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Faster Than Silicon: Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Faster Electronics

Faster Than Silicon: Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Faster Electronics

The same material that formed the first primitive transistors more than 60 years ago can be modified in a new way to advance future electronics, according to a new study.   Chemists at The Ohio State University have developed the technology for making a one-atom-thick sheet of germanium, and found that it conducts electrons more [...]

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GUMBOS Technology Promises New Drugs, Electronic Devices

GUMBOS Technology Promises New Drugs, Electronic Devices

Mention a breakthrough involving “gumbo” technology in New Orleans, and people think of a new twist on The Local Dish, the stew that’s the quintessence of southern Louisiana cooking. But scientific presentations at a meeting of the world’s largest scientific society this week are focusing on what may be an advance in developing GUMBOS-based materials [...]

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Computer Scientists Develop Video Game That Teaches How to Program in Java

Computer Scientists Develop Video Game That Teaches How to Program in Java

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today.   The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 [...]

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Technique Finds Software Bugs in Surgical Robots and Helps Developers Fix Flaws

Surgical robots could make some types of surgery safer and more effective, but proving that the software controlling these machines works as intended is problematic. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have demonstrated that methods for reliably detecting software bugs and ultimately verifying software safety can be applied [...]

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