research

Forget the needle pill: researchers focus on vibrating syringes

Forget the needle pill: researchers focus on vibrating syringes

Many people have an intense fear of being jabbed with needles, a phobia that compels some to avoid vaccinations and other necessary injections. A lot of research has been underway on this seemingly simple problem, with the goal being a future where injections are no longer painful. The most interesting solution so far is the needle pill developed by MIT researchers -- a capsule adorned with micro-needles that jabs one's internals painlessly. The idea of swallowing a cluster of needles might form its own phobia for some, however, and so enters the vibrating syringe.

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Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Concern about so-called super bugs -- mutated viruses and bacteria resistant to treatment -- is exceptionally high. The Centers for Disease Control issued a report last year, for example, warning about the threat superbugs pose and potential ramifications if certain actions aren't taken. It is for these reasons the deliberate creation of mutated viruses for research purposes (gain of function research) has been highly controversial, a controversy the US government has stoked by announcing a temporary halt to its funding of such studies.

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Samsung showcases flexible batteries, ready in a few years

Samsung showcases flexible batteries, ready in a few years

Just when you thought the hype around curved and flexible devices is over, here comes Samsung somewhat trying to fan the flames again. At the InterBattery 2014 exhibit in Seoul, Korea, the electronics manufacturer is boasting of one of the fruits of its fantabulous R&D budget and marketing prowess. A flexible battery, one that can perhaps go along with a flexible screen, is the latest masterpiece of the Korean OEM, but don't go expecting to see it in consumer devices within the next few years.

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New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

Though they're rare, we've all heard the horror stories: people innocently using their smartphones and tablets, only to have them catch fire and/or explode, sometimes causing severe injuries to the users. The reasons this happens are numerous, but in the case of lithium-ion batteries, they can usually be narrowed down to a specific cause: internal short-circuiting. Thanks to a team of researchers from Stanford, that issue could be partially solved via a new technology that alerts when something has gone awry.

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Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

The world's interest in sending people to Mars has never been higher, and for good reason: it is cited as both a necessity for the human race, and the technology to pull it off is advancing quickly. Multiple entities are looking into sending people to the Red Planet, perhaps the most notable being Mars One, which is looking to send a group of astronauts on a one-way trip. Unfortunately, as exciting as the prospects are, a group of MIT students says the mission is doomed, and that with the current plan the astronauts would starve.

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Microsoft Research has an analog Android Wear keyboard

Microsoft Research has an analog Android Wear keyboard

Perhaps Microsoft has really turned over a new leaf. It has lately been quite supportive of other platforms by bringing their software to iOS and Android, sometimes even on par with their native OS versions as well. Quite surprisingly, Microsoft recently updated OneNote to have support for Android Wear, probably not a technological miracle but a well-intentioned gesture nonetheless. Now it has an even bigger surprise, one that has literal gestures in it: an "analog" keyboard for Android Wear that doesn't have keys.

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Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Capable but complex infotainment systems built into modern car dashboards are dangerously distracting, a driver safety study has concluded, while voice controlled systems like Apple's Siri have been equally criticized. Hands-free tech intended to maintain a driver's grip on the wheel can, ironically, cause greater cognitive distraction than actually picking up a phone, a study by the AAA and the University of Utah revealed, testing a number of basic tasks like making calls or changing radio station across cars from Toyota, Mercedes, and other marques.

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Microsoft research could yield best stylus ever

Microsoft research could yield best stylus ever

How you hold a pen for writing versus how you place it in your hand for drawing might be different. It might also be slightly different for erasing things you’ve scribbled down on paper. To have that make sense in a digital world, Microsoft is researching how we hold writing utensils for various purposes, and could end up building the best stylus ever because of it.

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RoomAlive augments IllumiRoom: totally interactive rooms

RoomAlive augments IllumiRoom: totally interactive rooms

While some, like Oculus and now Samsung, want to immerse you in virtual worlds by constraining your eyes to a single point and faking the world, others are taking immersion from the other end. RoomAlive can turn any regular room into a completely interactive environment for games and other content, using only off the shelf components and some specialized software.

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