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Cornell University

— Robotics

Cornell's robot barista learns as it brews

If robots are going to become part of our everyday lives, they'll need to learn to work with everyday things. That means being able to read instruction manuals and figuring out how to use new machines. That's the plan of researchers at Cornell University, who have programmed a robot barista that can not only make a latte, but figure out how to use an unfamiliar espresso maker. Read More
— Automotive

Brain4Cars system could spot driver errors before they happen

We keep hearing about systems designed to either alert drivers to impending collisions, to let them know that they've made a mistake (such as drifting out of their lane), or to tell them that they're getting tired. Brain4Cars, however, takes yet another approach. Created by scientists at Cornell and Stanford universities, it monitors drivers to determine when they're about to do something wrong, so it can warn them not to. Read More
— Medical

Managing diabetes could one day be as easy as popping a pill

Researchers at Cornell University have successfully treated diabetic rats by engineering a strain of lactobacillus, a rod-shaped bacteria common in the human gut, resulting in up to 30 percent lower blood glucose levels. The technology could pave the way for a new treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes that could one day see managing diabetes be as easy as taking a daily probiotic pill.. Read More
— Science

Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck’s Constant with it

Lego is a popular Christmas gift, and young and old alike can derive hours of pleasure building with those little plastic blocks. But, like a lot of playthings, the novelty wears off soon enough and you find yourself drifting back to watch Christmas TV re-runs. But what if you could use that Lego to construct real scientific equipment; would that maintain your enthusiasm? Well hang on to your plastic blocks, because engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego and a few other bits and pieces that allows any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass. Read More
— Medical

Hereditary gut microbes found to influence weight gain

A new study has determined that not only are bacteria naturally found in the gut involved in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, but they are genetically inherited. Researchers at King's College London and Cornell University identified a highly-heritable bacterial family that is more common in individuals with low body weight and that could pave the way for genetics-based personalized probiotic therapies for obesity-related diseases. Read More
— Space

Discovery of new molecule suggests origins of life may reside in interstellar space

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) group of radio telescopes have discovered a carbon-based molecule with a branched structure – a common feature in molecules that are required for life to form. Contained within a giant gas cloud in the star-forming region of Sagittarius B2, the molecule of isopropyl cyanide is the first hint that other complex molecules may form in space before finding their way to the surface of planets. Read More
— Science

Add salt to significantly extend the life of lithium-based batteries

Salt has long been used to preserve meat, and now researchers at Cornell University have found that adding certain salts to the anodes of lithium-based batteries can also increase their useful life by a very large factor, solving long-standing problems associated with cell degradation. The advance can be adapted to other metal-based chemistries, including the lighter and more energy dense lithium-sulfur cells and, according to the researchers, might see commercial applications in as little as three years. Read More