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Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Researchers have learned another thing about spider silk, and as with past discoveries, it may lead to the development of new materials for use among humans. This time around, a group of researchers from Rice University and beyond busied themselves with studying the microstructure of spider webs, doing so to learn how they transmit phonons — that is, quasiparticles of sound. As it turns out, spider silk possesses something called a phonon band gap.

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Facebook unblocks Wikileaks DNC email links, says it was an accident

Facebook unblocks Wikileaks DNC email links, says it was an accident

A skirmish started this weekend when the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent out a tweet announcing that Facebook was blocking links to the DNC email links, and many were quick to jump on the issue, calling it censorship and pointing out that the block was happening mere days before the Democratic National Convention. At the time, Facebook users were advised to use archive.is to try and share the links, and now a couple days later, Facebook has unblocked the links, calling it an accident.

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Study: ordinary cinnamon turns poor learners into good students

Study: ordinary cinnamon turns poor learners into good students

Cinnamon may be a tool in a student's learning arsenal. According to a new study coming from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, cinnamon is transformed into sodium benzoate by the liver after ingestion, and it then makes its way into the brain where it boosts hippocampal plasticity. The result of this, at least in the mice used in the study, was a fairly rapid improvement in their ability to learn new things and remember them. While synthetic sodium benzoate is found in many processed foods, cinnamon, it turns out, is basically a slow-release way to consume the chemical.

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Titanium-gold alloy makes ultra-hard artificial joints

Titanium-gold alloy makes ultra-hard artificial joints

Researchers have developed a new type of alloy that is said to be four times harder than most type of steel, the end goal being artificial joints that are harder and more durable. In the present day, titanium is the preferred type of metal for these artificial joints. In the future, though, a titanium-gold alloy may be used instead, with the mixture being about three parts titanium to one part gold. The alloy is four times harder than titanium.

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Humans adapted to survive car wrecks are terrifying

Humans adapted to survive car wrecks are terrifying

Imagine if humans evolved in such a way that we could better handle being in a car crash. It would involve some big changes, as you can imagine; necks, spines, and ribs are particularly vulnerable and often injured in car wrecks, for example. Thanks to a trio of industrious folks, we get a glimpse at what one of those evolved humans may look like. Hint: it’s horrifying. Apparently to withstand car crashes, humans will need to transform into a real-life Juggernaut.

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Researchers map another 180 areas of the human brain

Researchers map another 180 areas of the human brain

A research project funded by the National Institutes of Health has identified 180 new distinct areas of the human brain, specifically of the brain’s outer mantle. According to the NIH, this number is more than double that of the previously mapped brain areas. In addition to identifying these new regions, the researchers behind it also created a new type of software able to find each of these areas’ ‘fingerprints’ automatically, doing so using brain scans.

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Obi robot helps disabled diners eat

Obi robot helps disabled diners eat

Robotics company Desin has introduced a device called Obi, and it’s designed to help disabled individuals eat independently. Using a robotic armature with a spoon attached, a bowl with four sections, and some carefully designed buttons, the contraption serves as a diner’s hands when his or her own may have failed them. Obi was created to help individuals with conditions like multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinsons, and other conditions.

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‘Harpoon’ device eliminates open heart surgery for mitral valve repairs

‘Harpoon’ device eliminates open heart surgery for mitral valve repairs

A new device may revolutionize the world of mitral valve repair, making it possible for surgeons to fix this particular heart problem without having to perform open heart surgery. According to researchers investigating the device, which is called ‘harpoon,’ it has shown 100-percent performance and safety for this medical purpose. Unlike open heart surgery, using the image-guided contraption is safer for the patient, less physically taxing, and requires much less recovery time. In fact, the researchers estimate someone could leave the hospital the day after a mitral valve repair is performed with Harpoon.

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Twitch wants performers for a live talent show

Twitch wants performers for a live talent show

Twitch has slowly expanded its horizons, drawing in users for other-than-gaming streaming videos. There’s that bizarre social eating section, for example, as well the larger Twitch Creative community for all sorts of creative and artsy videos. Now, in celebration of that community and the new ways to stream via it, Twitch is calling for users who want to showcase whatever their creative talent is live at the TwitchCon Talent Show — it has specifically called for those with acts in dance, comedy, theater, music, poetry, art, and magic.

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Researchers use nanoparticles to make a round object appear flat

Researchers use nanoparticles to make a round object appear flat

We’re still waiting for someone to create a proper Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak, but in the meantime researchers have used nanoparticles to ‘cloak’ the shape of an object. The work was done by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science; with their newly created system, a curved object like a ball appears to be flat when detected by electromagnetic waves.

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World’s smallest hard disk can fit all of humanity’s books on a stamp

World’s smallest hard disk can fit all of humanity’s books on a stamp

Researchers with the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University have created a new “smallest” hard disk, this time using a system where a bit of data is created by positioning one chlorine atom. It now holds the distinction of being the smallest hard disk in the world, though if history proves true, we’ll be seeing someone else break this record soon enough. According to one of the researchers, using this method the entire world’s library of books could be written to one postage stamp.

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CBS News app arrives on Apple TV with live streaming, Siri search

CBS News app arrives on Apple TV with live streaming, Siri search

While most TV networks have yet to launch an Apple TV app offering full access to live content without an additional cable subscription, CBS is at least making its news freely available. The network has just rolled out a new CBS News app for the latest Apple TV model, available now on the App Store. With the app, users can live stream news content from the network, as well as watch playlists on specific topics and on-demand video.

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