research

Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

The exoskeleton the little boy in the image here is wearing was created by engineers from the Spanish National Research Council and rather than being designed for adults, this one is designed to help children. Specifically the 26-pound aluminum and titanium exoskeleton aims to help children with spinal muscular atrophy known as SMA. The simple act of walking could help stave off potentially deadly side effects of the disease.

Continue Reading

Science says tall people are more productive at work

Science says tall people are more productive at work

Science has had a lot to say about being tall — studies have shown everything from higher potential earnings throughout one’s life to increased happiness and more. A new study has found that being tall may also be a sign that you’re more productive than your less-tall peers, something based on the long-term monitoring of more than 5300 men in Indonesia. Across a seven-year time span, researchers found that taller men were more productive than shorter peers, something they based on hourly earnings.

Continue Reading

Bionic Leaf is more efficient than photosynthesis

Bionic Leaf is more efficient than photosynthesis

If you remember elementary school science, photosynthesis is the process used to create energy by plants. Scientists Daniel Nocera and Pamela Silver from Harvard have created what they call a bionic leaf that is able to use solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuel. The system is said to be more efficient than natural photosynthesis.

Continue Reading

Study: archerfish can learn to accurately recognize human faces

Study: archerfish can learn to accurately recognize human faces

Fish are generally regarded as dumb, but maybe that’s not a fair assumption. At least one type of fish, the archerfish, is able to recognize human faces, according to a new study. Researchers with the University of Queensland in Australia and the University of Oxford found that archerfish can learn to recognize different people with a pretty high level of accuracy, doing so despite its lack of a superior visual cortex, the kind found in primates.

Continue Reading

Zika virus breakthrough: researchers find protein that inhibits infection

Zika virus breakthrough: researchers find protein that inhibits infection

University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers have made a breakthrough in their evaluation of the zika virus, finding that a “very small protein” found in every human greatly inhibits the virus’ ability to infect cells, and may also keep the virus from killing brain cells. The protein is called “interferon-induced protein 3,” IFITM3 for short, and is the first reported weakness discovered in with the zika virus.

Continue Reading

Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Humans are soft, easily bruised creatures, and robots are, well, not so soft. If a hard-bodied robot swings its arm around, not realizing your face is nearby, you're going to get a black eye, and no one wants that to happen. Soft-bodied robots are ideal for this reason -- it's harder for them to accidentally injure you -- and Harvard researchers have taken steps toward bringing these gentler robots to life. In a recently published study, the team details a new type of actuator that functions like a muscle.

Continue Reading

“Metalens” breakthrough could lead to flat, cheaper lenses

“Metalens” breakthrough could lead to flat, cheaper lenses

There has been a surge of interest in camera sensors and lenses of late, partly because of the equally growing interest in smartphone cameras. But while smartphones are indeed becoming more and more capable in that area, they are limited by the laws of physics and current manufacturing capabilities. One of the hardest to get right are the lenses but inventors, lead by r professor Federico Capasso, may have finally come upon an answer that will yield not not only flatter and cheaper lenses but also better ones that can outperform even those used in top of the line research microscopes.

Continue Reading

Microsoft Research reveals more FlashBack VR tech details

Microsoft Research reveals more FlashBack VR tech details

Although today's generation of virtual reality devices and platforms has made technology more accessible, at least compared to its almost sci-fi stature years ago, it hasn't exactly made it accessible to everyone, especially the budget constrained. Things like Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR does significantly lower the barrier to entry, but it still requires an investment in a not so cheap premium smartphone. Although it dabbles more in augmented rather than virtual reality, Microsoft's Research arm may have stumbled on part of the answer that will enable even mid-range smartphones to display VR content at a respectable framerate.

Continue Reading

U.S. Navy equips diving helmet with Ironman-like HUD

U.S. Navy equips diving helmet with Ironman-like HUD

The U.S. Navy has taken the wraps off what it calls next-gen diving helmets equipped with a specially design head-up display. The embedded HUD is called Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD), and it is described as being a see-through high-res display giving divers real-time data on a bunch of things, including text messages from others, AR videos, and diagrams. The HUDs will complement pre-dive briefings, according to the Navy, to aid divers in performing various missions.

Continue Reading

Underwater ‘lost city’ is really just a cool natural phenomenon

Underwater ‘lost city’ is really just a cool natural phenomenon

Underwater near Zakynthos, a Greek island, are some interesting and seemingly human-made structures. When they were discovered by tourists diving in the region, assumptions were made and word spread quickly that some archeological artifacts, possibly the remains of a long-lost city, had been discovered. These claims spurred a group of researchers into investigating the matter, and what they discovered was different, but no less interesting: these structures are entirely natural.

Continue Reading

Synthetic human genome project may lead to lab-grown transplantable organs

Synthetic human genome project may lead to lab-grown transplantable organs

Some scientists want to create a synthetic human genome, and their proposal has critics worked up into a frenzy. In a perfect world, this proposed synthetic human genome would be used to grow human organs for transplant, aid humans in developing medications and vaccines for various illnesses, and more. In a less-than-ideal world, critics worry it could also lead to the creation of a human without parents, to “designer humans” with specific attributes.

Continue Reading

Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

SpaceX has already been working with NASA for some time, with the private space agency delivering supplies to the ISS with its reusable rockets, but now rival Blue Origin has landed a similar partnership. The Jeff Bezos-owned space tourism company is now approved for helping NASA deliver new technologies to the edge space for testing. This will be done with Blue Origin's similarly reusable New Shepard rocket, which is capable of reaching suborbital heights.

Continue Reading