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Vibrating armband used to help athletes develop muscle memory

By - September 6, 2012 1 Picture
“Muscle memory” is the process in which a certain motor task is repeated to such an extent that it can eventually be performed without conscious effort. It comes in handy for all sorts of activities, but is particularly important to athletes – a tennis player can hardly concentrate on the game, for instance, if they’re constantly thinking about how to move their arm every time they return the ball. Now, engineers from Imperial College London have created an armband device known as Ghost, designed to assist athletes in forming optimum muscle memories. Read More
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Scientists develop remote control system for cockroaches

By - September 5, 2012 3 Pictures
Much to the annoyance of home-owners everywhere, cockroaches are amazingly tough, and they’re able to squeeze into remarkably small spaces. These are some of the same qualities that researchers would like to see in tiny reconnaissance robots that could perform tasks such as searching earthquake-damaged buildings for survivors. Such adaptable, robust mini-robots would be quite challenging to create, however. A team of scientists from North Carolina State University are working on an alternative – sensor-equipped real cockroaches that are remotely controlled by human operators. Read More
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Mind-reading exoskeleton could help rehabilitate stroke victims

By - September 5, 2012 1 Picture
A collaboration between Rice University, the University of Houston and TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital has led to MAHI-EXO II, a sophisticated exoskeleton that could help stroke victims regain movement in the arms by reading the patients' intended actions and nudging them along when needed. The robot wraps the arm from the fingertips to the elbow and uses a non-invasive EEG interface to anticipate gestures and help patients build up strength and accuracy over time. Read More

Face-scanning cameras could pick out drunks

People who are inebriated in public places (such as airliners or malls) can definitely create problems. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to tell if someone really is under the influence. Instead of making every “jolly”-looking person take a breathalyzer test, Greek researchers are suggesting something less intrusive – video software that can spot drunks by analyzing their faces. Read More

Curved glasses make people drink lager faster

Are you getting blotto on lager more often than you should? If the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology is to be believed, then you can (try to) blame your glass. According to Dr. Angela Atwood, drinking out of a curved glass makes you drink lager faster. Read More
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3-D printing on the micrometer scale

By - September 2, 2012 2 Pictures
Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to build print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny small scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called “3D-photografting,” can potentially be used to create a “lab on a chip” or artificially grow living tissue. Read More
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Scientists use light to alter properties of high temperature superconductors

By - September 2, 2012 2 Pictures
When people have a difficult problem they often talk about “shining a light on it.” Creating and controlling high-temperature superconductors has been a problem for scientists and engineers for over two decades. Now, Yoram Dagan, a professor at Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Department of Physics and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, has made a breakthrough in superconductors by literally shining a light on them. By doing this, he is able to control their properties. Read More
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Space sugar may shed light on how life evolved on Earth

By - August 31, 2012 5 Pictures
Using the latest-generation Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), which is an advanced system of 64 radio-telescope antennas in northern Chile, scientists at the European Southern Observatory have discovered a simple form of sugar orbiting a small binary star. Known as 16293-2422, that star is only 400 light-years away, and has about the same mass as the Sun. The finding could shed light on how the building blocks of life can originate spontaneously in deep space, even without a planet to support them. Read More
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