Sep 01, 2015

Algorithm turns any picture into the work of a famous artist

posted by Larra Morris

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A group of German researchers have created an algorithm that basically amounts to the most amazing Instagram filter ever conceived: a convolutional neural network that can convert any photograph into a work of fine art. The process takes an hour (sorry, it's notactually coming to a smartphone near you), and the math behind it is horrendously complicated, but the results speak for themselves.
via Engadget

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Sep 01, 2015

Shape-shifting navigation device points you in the right direction

posted by Larra Morris

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Even in today's GPS-enabled world, asking someone to point you in the right direction can often be easier than wrestling with your smartphone. Enter the Animotus, a wirelessly-connected, 3D printed cube that acts like a sort of haptic compass. Developed by Yale engineer Adam Spiers, the device literally changes shape to point you in the right direction.
via Gizmag

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Sep 01, 2015

New sensor predicts which lung transplants will fail

posted by Larra Morris

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Sometimes, despite the doctors’ best efforts, the transplanted lung begins to malfunction in the recipient’s body. This disorder, called primary graft dysfunction, is the leading cause of death for patients in the immediate aftermath of surgery. 

The new sensor can predict, before transplantation, which donated lungs will malfunction. Biomedical engineer Shana Kelley and her colleagues at the University of Toronto created a tiny electrochemical device that detects several biomarkers associated with graft dysfunction, and can do so within half an hour. The researchers describe the experimental device in the journal Science
via IEEE Spectrum

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Aug 31, 2015

The psychological benefits of having a childhood best friend

posted by Larra Morris

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The study, conducted by psychologist Rebecca Graber of the University of Sussex, surveyed 400 adolescents, ages 11 to 19. According to New York Magazine, the kids were recruited from three schools in low-income neighborhoods in England. They answered questions about their friend groups, the nature of their friendships, and their ability to cope with different obstacles. The study's specific goal was to learn how friendship affects "psychological resilience in socio-economically vulnerable British adolescents," but has broader implications for more general understandings of friendship. 

Graber and her fellow researchers found that kids who had one very strong friendship had better coping skills than those with multiple looser social ties. They theorized that "the emotional support and the sounding board a real best friend provides" helps strengthen kids' resilience.
via Mental Floss

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Aug 31, 2015

"Tissue Velcro" could patch damaged organs

posted by Larra Morris

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In the not-too-distant future, patients with damaged hearts or livers might receive tissue patches grown in a lab. This week, researchers announced an important development toward that goal: A biodegradable scaffold that allows strips of beating heart tissue to snap together like Velcro.
via Gizmodo

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Aug 31, 2015

8 photos of frying pans and 1 of a moon of Jupiter

posted by Larra Morris

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NASA recently released this composite image of 9 round objects. 8 of them are the bottoms of frying pans. 1 of them is Europa, a moon of Jupiter. It was taken by NASA's New Horizons space probe in 2007.

Can you guess which is Europa? Attempt no landing there, but make a guess. Then check it against the answer in the Daily Telegraph.
via Neatorama

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Aug 28, 2015

Leaving Everywhere, a tool to randomly generate ‘Why I’m Leaving [City]’ style essays using U.S. Census data

posted by Larra Morris

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Internet artist Darius Kazemi has created an online tool called Leaving Everywhere that randomly generates “Why I’m Leaving [City]” style essays using United States Census data. The tool pulls data like population, industry statistics, average income and uses them to justify why a person would decide to leave a city.
via Laughing Squid

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