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Mar 31, 2017

Has Neuroscience Been Looking In the Wrong Place All Along?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Philosopher Alva Noë says there’s a big problem with neuroscience: It assumes brains produce consciousness.

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Mar 31, 2017

Engineers design ‘tree-on-a-chip’: Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

Trees and other plants, from towering redwoods to diminutive daisies, are nature’s hydraulic pumps. They are constantly pulling water up from their roots to the topmost leaves, and pumping sugars produced by their leaves back down to the roots. This constant stream of nutrients is shuttled through a system of tissues called xylem and phloem, which are packed together in woody, parallel conduits.

Now engineers at MIT and their collaborators have designed a microfluidic device they call a “tree-on-a-chip,” which mimics the pumping mechanism of trees and plants. Like its natural counterparts, the chip operates passively, requiring no moving parts or external pumps. It is able to pump and sugars through the chip at a steady flow rate for several days. The results are published this week in Nature Plants.

Anette “Peko” Hosoi, professor and associate department head for operations in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, says the chip’s passive pumping may be leveraged as a simple hydraulic actuator for small robots. Engineers have found it difficult and expensive to make tiny, movable parts and pumps to power complex movements in . The team’s new pumping mechanism may enable robots whose motions are propelled by inexpensive, -powered pumps.

Continue reading “Engineers design ‘tree-on-a-chip’: Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power” »

Mar 31, 2017

Google and Levi’s Are Releasing the World’s First ‘Smart Jacket’ This Year

Posted by in category: wearables

With the exception of activity trackers and smartwatches, it’s fair to say that wearable technology hasn’t really taken off just yet, but if Google and Levi’s have their way, that could soon be about to change.

The two companies are teaming up to release their first co-designed product – the world’s first ‘smart’ trucker jacket (yep, that’s a thing now). It looks for the most part like a regular Levi’s Commuter jacket, but with a conductive fabric called “interactive denim” and a Bluetooth device that attaches to the sleeve.

Continue reading “Google and Levi’s Are Releasing the World’s First ‘Smart Jacket’ This Year” »

Mar 31, 2017

Humans series 3 commissioned

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

“This march of machines is still pulse quickening” (The Guardian)

“AMC’s AI series continues to expand and redefine the genre in dramatically creative and human ways” (The Hollywood Reporter)

“Humans is the most compelling, emotionally resonant robot-centric show on television.” (Vulture)

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Mar 31, 2017

Posted by in category: futurism

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Mar 31, 2017

Firm floats plan to hang colossal skyscraper from an asteroid

Posted by in category: space

Don’t expect it to go up anytime soon, but a New York City-based design firm has floated a mind-bending plan for the erection of a skyscraper it bills as “the world’s tallest building ever.”

Dubbed Analemma, the fanciful tower wouldn’t be built on the ground, but suspended in air by cables from an asteroid repositioned into geosynchronous Earth orbit just for the purpose.

Related: NASA’s Bold Plan to Save Earth From Killer Asteroids.

Continue reading “Firm floats plan to hang colossal skyscraper from an asteroid” »

Mar 31, 2017

Who’s Tracking Your Faceprint?

Posted by in category: government

Advertising companies, tech giants, data collectors, and the federal government, it turns out.

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Mar 31, 2017

Transparent Solar Panels Could Charge Your Phone and Home

Posted by in categories: habitats, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

The future is here, and it’s transparent tech.

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Mar 31, 2017

Self-driving tractors could revolutionize agriculture

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, transportation

These self-driving tractors could make farming easier and greener.

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Mar 31, 2017

Synesthesia Is The Odd Condition Of Tasting Music, Hearing Colors, Or Seeing Flavors

Posted by in category: media & arts

For most of us, listening to music, reading a good book, or talking to a friend on the phone are all great ways to wind down. But for someone with synesthesia, activities like those take on another dimension. Synesthetes, as they’re called, experience a blending of two or more senses so that music may have flavor, words may show up in imaginary colors, or voices may elicit different tactile sensations. Scientists don’t yet understand the root causes of this real-life superpower, but what they’re discovering so far is exciting.

Related: What Is ASMR, And Why Does It Make You Tingle?

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