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University of Rochester

Space

A better model for star aging

Working out the age of any given star in the night sky can be a very difficult task, and estimates are easier to make based on readings from groups rather than individual objects. A new model might significantly improve the situation, providing a conceptual framework to explain the rotation of stars, the intensity of their stellar winds and their X-ray emissions, arriving at a much more accurate estimate of age.Read More

Materials

Stretchable polymer reverts back to original shape when triggered by body heat

Shape memory materials that can revert back into a desired form after being bent, twisted and stretched are finding their way into a number of applications, ranging from sports bras to more efficient refrigerators. One team of scientists is now examining potential biomedical applications, with a polymer that can revert to its original form when it comes into contact with heat from the human body.Read More

Wearables

Rhema tech coaches public speakers via Google Glass

Many people absolutely hate public speaking, in part because they think that they simply aren't good enough at doing it. Well, that's why Rhema was created. Developed at the University of Rochester and named after the Greek word for "utterance," it delivers real-time performance feedback to the speaker via their Google Glass headset.Read More

Space

Astronomers identify binary system believed to have invaded our solar system 70,000 years ago

An international team of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile, and South Africa have identified a star system that most likely passed through the outer edge of our solar system at a distance of 0.8 light years some 70,000 years ago. The rogue system, nicknamed Scholz's star, is comprised of a red dwarf with a mass of roughly eight percent of our parent star, while its partner, a brown dwarf, was found to be only six percent as massive as the Sun.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Computer program uses video selfies for mental health monitoring

Images of ourselves recorded through cameras on smartphones and laptops can be a welcome addition to communication with friends or professional interactions, or just a bit of fun. But this powerful combination of hardware and software is being tapped into by scientists for other purposes as well. A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has developed a computer program that can help health professionals monitor a person`s mental health through the images from selfie videos the patient records while engaging in social media activity. Read More

Space

Astronomers find vast ring system eclipsing a distant star

Astronomers from the Leiden Observatory, Netherlands, and the University of Rochester, New York, have discovered a massive ring system obscuring the light of the young star J1407b. It is believed that the rings belong to a massive planet or possibly a brown dwarf, with an orbital period of roughly 10 years. The giant planet boasts a ring system around 200 times larger than that of Saturn, whose own rings were heavily depleted in the act of creating its many moons. Read More

Games

Headshot: Action video games found to improve brain's capacity to learn

You're moving ever so cautiously through the abandoned village, with one eye on the radar and the other trained on the vacant window ahead. Then in an instant the enemy appears, causing you to spray your weapon in the general vicinity, guided partly by your action hero instincts but mostly by pure hope. Thinking through these video game situations may take less than a second, but new research shows it can also enhance real-world learning capabilities, enabling the brain to better anticipate sequences of events. Read More

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