research

Mind-controlled bionic prosthetic legs unveiled by Ossur

Mind-controlled bionic prosthetic legs unveiled by Ossur

A company called Ossur based in Iceland creates some of the most advanced bionic lower limb prosthetic devices available. The lower leg prosthetic devices that the company builds have the ability to sense the phase of the gait of the user and smoothly power the artificial ankle joint to get the foot in the proper alignment for a natural stride. Recently the company announced a new breakthrough in prosthetics that make the lower limb even more natural and lifelike when walking.

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Audi makes synthetic diesel again, this time from plants

Audi makes synthetic diesel again, this time from plants

Car makers are on a quest to develop more sustainable and more environment friendly sources of power for the cars of the future. Some have, at least for the time being, resorted to using electricity instead of conventional fuel. However, even electricity has its own eco footprint. And some car makers haven't entirely given up on the advantages of fuel. That is why companies like Audi are also investing in research and development that will produce fuel using nothing but carbon dioxide or, in this case, plants.

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Scientists close in on a single-molecule diode

Scientists close in on a single-molecule diode

Researchers at Columbia University School of Engineering have developed a technique creating working diodes that consist of only a single molecule. These molecular diodes are capable of performing 50 times better than previous incarnations of nanoscale diodes. The research group, led by associate professor of applied physics, Latha Venkataraman, could be the first single-molecule diode that is efficient enough to have real-world applications, like incorporation into other nanoscale devices. The new discovery is detailed in the article published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google has just published research which puts the nail in the coffin of security question-based password protection. We like to think that security questions are reliable because the answers are easy to remember, but research shows this isn't the case. Not only are the answers to security questions often forgotten, but they are susceptible to attacks by simply guessing answers. These reasons contribute to the evolution of two-step authentication and SMS-based verification codes for quicker, more reliable password retrieval and authentication.

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NASA discovers brightest galaxy, burning with 300 trillion suns

NASA discovers brightest galaxy, burning with 300 trillion suns

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has discovered a remote galaxy, far, far away that is the brightest galaxy known to date. Researchers calculated it burns with the light of 300 trillion suns. The sheer brightness of this galaxy puts it in an entirely new class of space objects, extremely luminous infrared galaxies (ELIRGs), discovered using WISE. NASA has been using WISE, opposed to other methods, to target ELIRGs because the dust surrounding these super-luminous galaxies blocks visible light, and reduces it to infrared light.

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UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

UC Berkley robot learns from trial and error – just like us

Artificial intelligence has the potential to grow even smarter with the latest invention from the University of California, Berkley. There, a research team developed an AI algorithm that uses trial and error to learn from its previous mistakes. The robot carrying out the algorithm is named BRETT (Berkley Robot of the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), and it is a PR2 robot from Willow Garage. UC Berkley's algorithm uses "deep reinforcement learning" to develop an awareness of the robot's surroundings.

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NASA has big plans for DARPA’s scary “Deep Web”

NASA has big plans for DARPA’s scary “Deep Web”

NASA is weighing in on the Memex "Deep Web" search project, hoping to harness DARPA's at-times ominous index to crunch vast quantities of space data. A team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to add a contextual layer to search, not only allowing the system to view webpages more like humans might, but even capable of drawing links between images and individual frames of videos. If it succeeds, it could be a much-needed blast of positive PR for a project that has become mired in controversy.

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Lil Bub the cat will have her genome sequenced

Lil Bub the cat will have her genome sequenced

Lil Bub is perhaps the most interesting cat on the Internet, and she enjoys a hefty fan base. She’s instantly recognizable due to her unique appearance: large green eyes, a short snout, and a tongue that is perpetually sticking out. She also is small and has very short legs, has extra digits on her paws, and sadly has no teeth. The reasons behind this are believed to be DNA mutations, something a pair of researchers want to definitely pinpoint. Thusly, they’re going to sequence Lil Bub’s genome.

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NaSt1 “Nasty” star blasts gas disk in death display

NaSt1 “Nasty” star blasts gas disk in death display

NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center use the Hubble Space Telescope to watch the Wolf-Rayet star NaSt1 blow its outer layers. This star isn't exactly new - in fact its thousands of years old, and it was first discovered by humans several decades ago. What's strange about this star and what makes it newsworthy today is its unique pancake-shaped disk of gas. Normally a star such as this shows a couple of lobs of gas blasting from opposite sides. The disk surrounding this star is nearly 2 trillion miles wide.

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