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Scientists Help Explain Visual System’s Remarkable Ability to Recognize Complex Objects

Scientists Help Explain Visual System’s Remarkable Ability to Recognize Complex Objects

How is it possible for a human eye to figure out letters that are twisted and looped in crazy directions, like those in the little security test internet users are often given on websites?   It seems easy to us — the human brain just does it. But the apparent simplicity of this task is [...]

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Can Watching an Avatar Translate to Real-Life Weight Loss?

Can Watching an Avatar Translate to Real-Life Weight Loss?

An estimated two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese and many find it difficult to lose weight and keep it off. They’ve tried fad diets, exercise programs, diet pills and other methods but the battle continues. Now, a new study suggests that watching an avatar model weight-loss behavior in a virtual community might help [...]

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Breakthrough in Internet Bandwidth: New Fiber Optic Technology Could Ease Internet Congestion, Video Streaming

Breakthrough in Internet Bandwidth: New Fiber Optic Technology Could Ease Internet Congestion, Video Streaming

As rapidly increasing demand for bandwidth strains the Internet’s capacity, a team of engineers has devised a new fiber optic technology that promises to increase bandwidth dramatically. The new technology could enable Internet providers to offer much greater connectivity — from decreased network congestion to on-demand video streaming.   Described in the June 28 issue [...]

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Christians Tweet More Happily, Less Analytically Than Atheists

Christians Tweet More Happily, Less Analytically Than Atheists

A computer analysis of nearly 2 million text messages (tweets) on the online social network Twitter found that Christians use more positive words, fewer negative words and engage in less analytical thinking than atheists. Christians also were more likely than atheists to tweet about their social relationships, the researchers found.   The findings are reported [...]

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Video Game Tech Used to Steer Cockroaches On Autopilot

Video Game Tech Used to Steer Cockroaches On Autopilot

North Carolina State University researchers are using video game technology to remotely control cockroaches on autopilot, with a computer steering the cockroach through a controlled environment. The researchers are using the technology to track how roaches respond to the remote control, with the goal of developing ways that roaches on autopilot can be used to [...]

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How Fish Swim: Researchers Examine Mechanical Bases for the Emergence of Undulatory Swimmers

How Fish Swim: Researchers Examine Mechanical Bases for the Emergence of Undulatory Swimmers

How do fish swim? It is a simple question, but there is no simple answer.   Researchers at Northwestern University have revealed some of the mechanical properties that allow fish to perform their complex movements. Their findings, published on June 13 in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, could provide insights in evolutionary biology and lead [...]

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Sun Emits a Solstice CME

Sun Emits a Solstice CME

On June 20, 2013, at 11:24 p.m., the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can [...]

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Cities Are a New Kind of Complex System: Part Social Reactor, Part Network

Cities Are a New Kind of Complex System: Part Social Reactor, Part Network

Cities have long been likened to organisms, ant colonies, and river networks. But these and other analogies fail to capture the essence of how cities really function.   New research by Santa Fe Institute Professor Luis Bettencourt suggests a city is something new in nature — a sort of social reactor that is part star [...]

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App to Protect Private Data On iOS Devices Finds Almost Half of Other Apps Access Private Data

App to Protect Private Data On iOS Devices Finds Almost Half of Other Apps Access Private Data

Almost half of the mobile apps running on Apple’s iOS operating system access the unique identifier of the devices where they’re downloaded, computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have found. In addition, more than 13 percent access the devices’ location and more than 6 percent the address book. The researchers developed a [...]

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Fiber-Optic Pen Helps See Inside Brains of Children With Learning Disabilities

Fiber-Optic Pen Helps See Inside Brains of Children With Learning Disabilities

For less than $100, University of Washington researchers have designed a computer-interfaced drawing pad that helps scientists see inside the brains of children with learning disabilities while they read and write.   The device and research using it to study the brain patterns of children will be presented June 18 at the Organization for Human [...]

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