Apr 25, 2013

Subtly animated GIFs of London street scenes focus on one person

posted by Larra Morris

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“One” is a photo series of London street scenes in which a single person in each photo is subtly animated. The animated photos, or “cinemagraphs,” were created by photographer Nicolas Ritter.
via Laughing Squid

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Apr 25, 2013

Synthetic biology Kickstarter aims to make glowing plants

posted by Larra Morris

"The first ever synthetic biology Kickstarter is about growing glowing plants. Using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler software, they are ready to input bio-luminescence genes into a mustard plant and have it be naturally glowing. Meant more as a hint of things to come and what can be achieved with synth bio."

It's ambitious, but the project's lead looks like he has the necessary experience. Still, as with all ambitious Kickstarters, you should be prepared to lose your dough.
via Boing Boing

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Apr 25, 2013

Robot cars look to beat congestion (video)

posted by Larra Morris

 

Research into robot cars in Singapore is being driven by a desire to get more people on to public transport.

The idea is for self-drive autos to take commuters to public transport hubs, as well as for short trips in their neighbourhood.
via BBC News

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Apr 24, 2013

Touchscreen interface for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual worlds

posted by Laura Domela

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Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real word.

"We think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen. This system doesn't use any special hardware; it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology."
via Diginfo.tv (Thanks Amelia!)

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Apr 24, 2013

Understanding the brain of a man with no conscious memory

posted by Larra Morris

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In 1992, at the age of 70, a US citizen suffered a severe case of viral encephalitis, a swelling of the brain caused by infection. After he recovered two years later, he appeared completely average based on an IQ test (indeed, he scored 103). Yet in other ways, he was completely different. Several decades of his past life were wiped completely from his brain. His only accessible memories came from his 30s, and from the point of his illness to his death, he would never form another memory that he was aware of.

But this severe case of what appears to be total amnesia doesn't mean he had no memory as we commonly understand it. The patient, called E.P., was studied intensely using a battery of tests for more than a decade, with researchers giving him tests during hundreds of sessions. After his death, his brain was given for further study. With the analysis of the brain complete, the people who studied him have taken the opportunity to publish a review of all his complex memory problems.
via Ars Technica

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Image: Arthur Toga, University of California, Los Angeles

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Apr 24, 2013

Photo of Berlin taken from space illustrates the east-west divide

posted by Larra Morris

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Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted this amazing photo of Berlin, Germany as seen from the International Space Station with the caption “Amazingly, I think the light bulbs still show the East/West division from orbit.” The more dense, commercial district on the west is lit up by bright white lights, while the eastern half of the city emits a softer, yellow glow.
via Laughing Squid

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Image: Chris Hadfield

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Apr 24, 2013

Empathy for robots looks very similar to the empathy we feel for humans

posted by Larra Morris

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A new study seems to confirm that humans harbor a great deal of empathy for their robotic brethren, reacting to affection towards — or violence against — them in the same way they react to these things in humans.

The paper, scheduled to be presented this summer at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association Conference, combines the results of two small studies. In one, participants were shown video of a small, dinosaur-inspired robot being either shown affection or abused, and given a survey about their emotional frame of mind immediately afterwards. In the next, participants were monitored with an fMRI machine that took stock of their brain activity while watching videos of humans, robots, and inanimate objects being treated affectionately, as well as abused.
via Geekosystem

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Apr 24, 2013

Remote control turtles could one day be our secret slow and steady drones (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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As demonstrated in this video, a large shield mounted to a turtle's shell can be remotely spun to make it think there's an obstacle to the left or right of it. And instinctively it goes in the opposite direction to avoid it, allowing someone at the controls to effectively steer it remotely.

Of course this setup is a little clunky—and a little conspicuous—to be used in the field. But sensor-laden surveillance turtles, or other animals, could one day be released into dangerous areas wearing tiny LCD shutter goggles instead that simulate obstacles in their field of view allowing them to be controlled just like a drone.
via Gizmodo

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Apr 23, 2013

Hexapod robot vehicle

posted by Laura Domela

Matt Denton of Hampshire, UK, built a huge hexapod walking machine that he operates by joysticks inside the cockpit. It took him four years and cost "hundreds of thousands of pounds" to make.
via Boing Boing

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Apr 23, 2013

Scientists have 3D-printed mini human livers for the first time ever

posted by Laura Domela

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The dream of one day completely doing away with frustratingly long transplant lists in favor of made to order, 3D-printed organs is closer to becoming a reality. Scientists at Organovo in San Diego have, for the very first time, been able to 3D print tiny replicas of human livers.
via Gizmodo

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