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Richard Moss

Richard Moss

Richard is a freelance writer and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. He’s contributed to Ars Technica, Edge Magazine, Polygon, and many other publications. When not writing or trying to read the entire internet, you’ll likely find him dancing, playing games, dabbling in creative stuff, or learning about whatever catches his eye.

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— Medical

Harnessing the survival powers of cancer cells could wipe out heart disease

By - July 29, 2015 1 Picture

The same genes that allow many cancers to proliferate and thrive could in the future be repurposed as a force for good. A study at the San Diego State University (SDSU) Heart Institute has found that mouse hearts regenerate cells better, causing the mice to live longer, when their progenitor cells are modified to over-express a key gene in cancer production. The researchers believe this could lead to a new treatment for people with heart disease or who have suffered from other age-related cardiac problems.

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— Science

New company plans to revolutionize genomic medicine with deep learning

By - July 26, 2015 1 Picture

Deep learning has already had a huge impact on computer vision and speech recognition, and it's making inroads in areas as computer-unfriendly as cooking. Now a new startup led by University of Toronto professor Brendan Frey wants to cause similar reverberations in genomic medicine. Deep Genomics plans to identify gene variants and mutations never before observed or studied and find how these link to various diseases. And through this work the company believes it can help usher in a new era of personalized medicine.

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— Science

Carbon nanotubes used to create conducting fibers for artificial muscles

By - July 24, 2015 2 Pictures

A new kind of conducting fiber developed at the University of Texas at Dallas is being used to develop artificial muscles and capacitors that store more energy when stretched. The fiber, which is composed of carbon nanotube sheets wrapped around a rubber core, may one day also find use in morphing aircraft, stretchy charger cords and exoskeleton limbs, along with connecting cables for a wealth of other devices.

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— Medical

Needle-sized mechanical wrist gives surgery a new angle

By - July 24, 2015 2 Pictures

Some of the most difficult types of surgery just got easier and more versatile. A team of engineers and doctors at Vanderbilt University has developed a tiny mechanical wrist that can be used for millimeter-sized incisions and sutures that allow new kinds of operations and less-invasive ways of conducting existing procedures. The wrist is flexible enough that its end can be steered to allow needles to reach inside the nose, throat, ears, urethra, and brain.

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— Computers

Would you take fashion advice from a computer?

By - July 15, 2015 1 Picture

Fashion is a strange, fickle beast. It changes with the seasons, following new styles and the hottest celebrities' latest looks. What's cool now could be dorky next week. But it may soon get much easier to keep up, provided you're willing to listen to the advice of an unfeeling machine – specifically, a computer algorithm that crunches the numbers to give you an assessment as to how fashionable your outfit is and how it might be improved.

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— Sports

What if a smartwatch could help you shoot (a little more) like Stephen Curry?

By - July 8, 2015 7 Pictures

Few of us have access to a professional coach to help hone our basketball technique, but now sports technology company Onyx Motion hopes you can at least get a decent proxy. Their upcoming smartwatch app, Swish, will analyze your shots and provide tips to improve them, along with a few words of wisdom here and there from veteran NBA shooting guard Ben Gordon as well as other pro players.

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— Pets

Pura smart water fountain monitors your cat's drinking habits

By - July 7, 2015 18 Pictures

Cats are finicky at the best of times, but when it comes to drinking enough water they really don't seem to know what's best for them. Chances are you don't either. But a Taiwanese startup called Noacare believes it can sort both parties out with a smart water fountain. This new fountain, Pura, syncs with a tag on your cat's collar and an app on your smartphone to keep you up to speed on your feline friend's water intake so that you can prevent health problems before they occur.

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— Music

Automatic music classification system puts songs in their place

By - June 30, 2015 1 Picture

It's a growing problem: a dizzying number of songs get released to online music stores and streaming services or uploaded to archives around the world each day, and those songs need to be categorized. But how? Play the same song to 10 people and they might each put it into a different genre or subgenre. An automated genre identification system developed by researchers in India, which they claim is the best yet, could be the answer.

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— Environment

European climate at mercy of retreating sea ice

By - June 30, 2015 1 Picture

An international team of scientists has found that retreating sea ice between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans is linked to weakened air-sea heat exchange in the region. This, it warns, could result in a cooler climate in western Europe and an altered or slower Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which would have knock-on effects for the Gulf Stream and consequently for the atmosphere.

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— Robotics

Mind-controlled telepresence robot to get paralyzed people out and about

By - June 30, 2015 2 Pictures

A telepresence robot developed at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that can be controlled by thought may give people with severe motor disabilities a greater level of independence. Successfully put through its paces by 19 people scattered around Central Europe – nine of whom are quadriplegic and all of whom were hooked up to a brain-machine interface – the robot handled obstacle detection and avoidance on its own while the person controlling it gave general navigation instructions.

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