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Apr 25, 2024

This Neat Setup Lets One Play Racing Games With Hand Gestures

Posted by in categories: education, transportation

Among the myriad of projects that challenge traditional norms and offer innovative approaches to gaming and game development, hand gesture-based systems undeniably stand in a league of their own, a fact that’s recently been reaffirmed by Programmer and ML enthusiast Ayaan Khan.

Over on LinkedIn, Ayaan presented an impressive setup he devised during his high school years that enables one to play racing games by simply waving fingers in the air and making different hand gestures in front of a webcam. Inspired by the idea of combining technology with gaming, the system allows users to steer virtual cars by detecting which fingers are displayed to the camera, offering a truly unique gaming experience.

In the demo shared by Ayaan, he showed how the system can be utilized to play EA’s 2017 racing game, Need for Speed Payback. While the developer refrained from revealing the inner workings of his system, he hinted that it relies primarily on Python, OpenCV, and MediaPipe, providing a clue for aspiring developers interested in replicating the setup. You can check out Ayaan’s original post by clicking this link.

Apr 25, 2024

High-energy-density capacitors with 2D nanomaterials could significantly enhance energy storage

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

In the quest for more efficient and sustainable energy solutions, a multi-university research team has reached a significant milestone in capacitor technology. Researchers from the University of Houston, Jackson State University and Howard University have developed a new type of flexible high-energy-density capacitor, which is a device that stores energy.

Though the prototype device is just 1-inch by 1-inch, scaled-up versions of this innovation could potentially revolutionize energy storage systems across various industries, including medical, aviation, auto (EV), consumer electronics and defense.

The researchers shared the study details in a paper titled “Ultrahigh Capacitive Energy Density in Stratified 2D Nanofiller-Based Polymer Dielectric Films,” published in the journal ACS Nano.

Apr 25, 2024

Light stands still in a deformed crystal

Posted by in category: futurism

AMOLF researchers, in collaboration with Delft University of Technology, have succeeded in bringing light waves to a halt by deforming the two-dimensional photonic crystal that contains them. The researchers show that even a subtle deformation can have a substantial effect on photons in the crystal. This resembles the effect that a magnetic field has on electrons.

“This principle offers a new approach to slow down light fields and thereby enhance their strength. Realizing this on a chip is particularly important for many applications,” says AMOLF-group leader Ewold Verhagen.

The researchers have published their findings in the journal Nature Photonics. Simultaneously, a research team from Pennsylvania State University has published an article in the same journal about how they demonstrated—independently from the Dutch team—an identical effect.

Apr 25, 2024

Combating the Next Pandemic: Experts Call for Global Genetic Warning System

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, health, surveillance

Scientists champion global genomic surveillance using the latest technologies and a ‘One Health’ approach to protect against novel pathogens like avian influenza and antimicrobial resistance, catching epidemics before they start.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. In fighting it, one of our most important weapons was genomic surveillance, based on whole genome sequencing, which collects all the genetic data of a given microorganism. This powerful technology tracked the spread and evolution of the virus, helping to guide public health responses and the development of vaccines and treatments.

But genomic surveillance could do much more to reduce the toll of disease and death worldwide than just protect us from COVID-19. Writing in the journal Frontiers in Science, an international collective of clinical and public health microbiologists from the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) calls for investment in technology, capacity, expertise, and collaboration to put genomic surveillance of pathogens at the forefront of future pandemic preparedness.

Apr 25, 2024

Space Age Security: How Satellites Could Extend Quantum Encryption Globally

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, engineering, internet, quantum physics, satellites, security

How can we guarantee that data sent over the internet is only accessible to its intended recipient? Currently, our data is secured using encryption methods based on the premise that factoring large numbers is a complex task. However, as quantum computing advances, these encryption techniques may become vulnerable and potentially ineffective in the future.

Encryption by means of physical laws

Tobias Vogl, a professor of Quantum Communication Systems Engineering, is working on an encryption process that relies on principles of physics. “Security will be based on the information being encoded into individual light particles and then transmitted. The laws of physics do not permit this information to be extracted or copied. When the information is intercepted, the light particles change their characteristics. Because we can measure these state changes, any attempt to intercept the transmitted data will be recognized immediately, regardless of future advances in technology,” says Tobias Vogl.

Apr 25, 2024

Unlocking Cosmic Mysteries: The Hunt for Water on Other Worlds

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

The initial step in the search for extraterrestrial life involves identifying the presence of liquid water. The moons of Saturn and Jupiter like Enceladus, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto are suspected of holding oceans of liquid water beneath icy crusts. Similarly, some exoplanets beyond our solar system likely host liquid water, crucial for habitability. But detecting water, when we can’t physically access these celestial bodies, poses challenges. Ice-penetrating radar, a geophysical tool, has proven capable of detecting liquid water on Earth and beneath Mars ’ South polar cap.

Now, this instrument is aboard the JUICE spacecraft and it is on its way to Jupiter’s icy moon Ganymede and will also be aboard the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will be launched to Europa later this year. What can we expect to learn from these missions and how can we use ice-penetrating radar for future planetary exploration? Dr Elena Pettinelli of Roma Tre University, with extensive experience in planetary exploration using ice-penetrating radar, delved into the utility of this technology in her presentation recently presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly EGU24.

Apr 25, 2024

Revolutionizing Renewable Energy: Innovative Salt Battery Efficiently Harvests Osmotic Power

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

A new semipermeable membrane doubles the osmotic energy output in estuaries, showing potential for sustainable power generation.

Estuaries — where freshwater rivers meet the salty sea — are great locations for birdwatching and kayaking. In these areas, waters containing different salt concentrations mix and may be sources of sustainable, “blue” osmotic energy. In the journal ACS Energy Letters, researchers report creating a semipermeable membrane that harvests osmotic energy from salt gradients and converts it to electricity.

The new design had an output power density more than two times higher than commercial membranes in lab demonstrations.

Apr 25, 2024

Quantum Computing Meets Genomics: The Dawn of Hyper-Fast DNA Analysis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, information science, quantum physics

A new project unites world-leading experts in quantum computing and genomics to develop new methods and algorithms to process biological data.

Researchers aim to harness quantum computing to speed up genomics, enhancing our understanding of DNA and driving advancements in personalized medicine

A new collaboration has formed, uniting a world-leading interdisciplinary team with skills across quantum computing, genomics, and advanced algorithms. They aim to tackle one of the most challenging computational problems in genomic science: building, augmenting, and analyzing pangenomic datasets for large population samples. Their project sits at the frontiers of research in both biomedical science and quantum computing.

Apr 25, 2024

3.7 Billion Years Old: Oldest Undisputed Evidence of Earth’s Magnetic Field Uncovered in Greenland

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

A collaborative study by the University of Oxford and MIT has uncovered a 3.7-billion-year-old magnetic field record from Greenland, demonstrating that Earth’s ancient magnetic field was as strong as it is today, crucial for protecting life by shielding against cosmic and solar radiation.

A new study has recovered a 3.7-billion-year-old record of Earth’s magnetic field, and found that it appears remarkably similar to the field surrounding Earth today. The findings have been published today (April 24) in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Without its magnetic field, life on Earth would not be possible since this shields us from harmful cosmic radiation and charged particles emitted by the Sun (the ‘solar wind’). But up to now, there has been no reliable date for when the modern magnetic field was first established.

Apr 25, 2024

ONE REVOLUTION PER MINUTE — a short film by Erik Wernquist

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space

Is a short film I made to explore my fascination with artificial gravity in space.

It takes place aboard the \.

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