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Research

Armed with the knowledge that children tend to learn better when they teach their new-found skills to others, Swiss researchers have enlisted the help of a humanoid robot that improves along with them. This CoWriter system has been well received in tests with school children aged six to eight, where students "teach" the robot to improve its penmanship and see the robot's improved performance reflected in their own handwriting. Read More
The future of weight loss could look like this. Inject your muscles with a compound that helps them burn more calories than usual and then do your daily chores to shed those extra pounds. That's the vision of a team of scientists who are working on a muscle-targeted injection therapy to help overweight people lose weight easily, even with low to moderate exercise. Read More
How do you boost the chances of crowdfunding success for science projects? As it turns out success may not be down solely to the vagaries of its viral nature or the "sexiness" of the project. According to researchers at the University of Santa Barbara, who studied crowdfunding of science projects, more workaday things like consistent communication and simple enthusiasm are more important factors. Read More
It may seem akin to an alliance between a railway and a submarine manufacturer, but Japanese automaker Nissan has signed a pact with US space agency NASA to develop self-driving cars. The five-year agreement announced last week covers a partnership on research and development of autonomous vehicle systems and their commercial applications. Read More
Researchers are zeroing in on what looks like an effective treatment for the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Teams from UC Riverside and New York's Rockefeller University have both used the same compound, indazole chloride, to successfully reverse the progression of MS in mice. The drug appears to be able to stimulate the regeneration of the myelin sheath – the nerve pathway coating that is progressively destroyed as MS attacks the nervous system. Read More
Although eating horse meat is normal in many parts of the world, in other places, such as Britain, it rates almost on the same level as eating the family dog. So when it was discovered last year that horse meat was being passed off as beef, it literally put a lot of people off their dinner. To prevent a repeat of the episode, the Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich and Oxford Instruments have developed a portable detector that can differentiate between horse meat and beef in about 10 minutes, yet is inexpensive and simple to use. Read More
Tagging fish offers scientists new ways of learning about their movements, growth and methods of survival. While this helps in conservation efforts, new research suggests it may in fact be having an adverse effect, with the sounds emitted by the tags alerting predators to the fish's location and where to hunt for their next meal. Read More
High-resolution simulations of the global climate can now perform much closer to actual observations, and they perform far better at reproducing extreme weather events, a new Berkeley Lab study has found. Lead author Michael Wehner heralds this news as evidence of a golden age in climate modeling, as not only did the simulation closer match reality but it also took a fraction as long to complete as it would have in recent history – just three months compared to several years. Read More
European research organization Fraunhofer is set to present a prototype device for quickly diagnosing prostate cancer at the COMPAMED trade fair in Düsseldorf next week. Its creators claim that it can reliably determine whether changed tissue in the prostate is benign or malignant within just a minute-and-a-half, thanks to an on-board visual analysis of a sample gathered via biopsy. Read More
While the act of walking down the street might be second nature to most of us, it can be a much more difficult experience for those who are blind or visually impaired. To combat the issue, Microsoft has developed a headset that uses bone-conducting audio, creating a 3D soundscape to safely guide users to their destinations. Read More
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