Science

Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

A group of researchers has published a research paper that outlines a new biometric security procedure that might one day be used to replace passwords, retinal scans, and fingerprint data for securing systems. The paper is called "Brainprint" and according to the study, the way your brain reacts to certain words could be used to replace passwords in the future. The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University.

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Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Researchers have discovered seven new frog species on seven different mountains in southeastern Brazil. This region is known for having what scientists call "cloud forests" that have unique climates. Each of the cloud forests are separated by warmer valleys that isolate the mountain peaks as if they were islands. The isolated cloud forests have so far led to the discovery of 21 species of Brachycephalus frogs.

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Climate change “hiatus” a false hope says NOAA

Climate change “hiatus” a false hope says NOAA

No global warming slow-down, no "hiatus": climate change is real and if anything it could be getting faster, US scientists have warned. Challenging claims that Earth temperature levels had plateaued in recent years, the researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information blamed poor quality historic records, along with failures in how different sources of data were balanced, for mistakenly suggesting that the situation had improved.

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Hellboy, the newly-named dinosaur “out of left field”

Hellboy, the newly-named dinosaur “out of left field”

Today the Regaliceratops dinosaur, nicknamed "Hellboy" by its discoverer, is revealed to the scientific community. Described today in the science journal Current Biology, Royal Tyrrell Museum paleontologists Caleb Brown and Donald Henderson tell of a discovery made - almost by accident - on the shores of the Oldman River in Alberta, Canada back in 2005. Regaliceratops is one of a wide array of dinosaurs that - at first glance - might remind you of the very famous dinosaur triceratops. In fact it's similar, but not the same.

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Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Students and faculty at Vanderbilt University have fabricated arrays of ultra-tiny spirals that may well be the key to card-based security. This team of researchers created spirals that are around six million times smaller than a dime, recording data about them then with ultrafast lasers at both Vanderbilt and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. What they discovered was a number of unique properties that would be perfect for digital security measures on physical objects. Identification cards, credit cards, and security cards of all sorts could be improved by these micro-spirals.

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Seven toxic mini-frog species discovered in mountain cloud forests

Seven toxic mini-frog species discovered in mountain cloud forests

Seven new species of extra-tiny frog have been discovered in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and shown in research published this week. The extent of what we know about the miniaturized frog genus Brachycephalus has expanded greatly, suddenly, as this paper shows 5 years of exploration revealing seven new species of the creature. Each of these frogs is very brightly colored, and each has a highly potent neurotoxin in their skin. In other words, though they may look tasty, you should not eat them.

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Explore the ocean depths with Google Street View’s deep-sea imagery

Explore the ocean depths with Google Street View’s deep-sea imagery

Google Street View used to be just about getting a first-person look at roads and intersections, then it started to let us go inside buildings, and even took us to some of the world's highest mountain tops. Now we are going to explore oceans around the globe with the service's latest update. While the feature is available today, its debut is to celebrate World Oceans Day (which is actually on June 8th). Google says it new interactive footage is the result of a four-year partnership with several ocean conservation and protection organizations.

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Software can detect pain by analyzing a person’s face

Software can detect pain by analyzing a person’s face

A group of researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed software that can make an accurate guess at what level of pain someone is in just by analyzing their facial expressions. A computer using the algorithm can then act as a somewhat automated version of the pain measurement scale (seen above), which doctors and nurses ask a patient to use when answering the question "how badly does it hurt?" The software certainly won't replace a nurse asking the question, but it could help provide a more accurate answer if the patient is affected by other issues.

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Researchers harness the power of Wi-Fi to charge devices

Researchers harness the power of Wi-Fi to charge devices

A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) are working on perfecting a method of charging electronic devices using ambient Wi-Fi signals. They technology, PoWiFi (power over Wi-Fi) makes a small change to routers, so they send out a constant signal that can be harnessed and converted into DC power by a "harvester". The idea isn't new, embodied by Energous's WattUp, but the UW scientists' PoWiFi works with pre-existing hardware, so there is no need to buy a separate device. Their modified routers are able to send data and power over the same signal.

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NASA has postponed ‘flying saucer’ launch

NASA has postponed ‘flying saucer’ launch

As we’d reported yesterday, NASA spent the day preparing to launch its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, more commonly referred to as the LDSD and ‘flying saucer’, the latter of which refers to its stereotypical design. This would have been the second flight for the LDSD, had it actually happened. Unfortunately the space agency was forced to postpone the launch instead due to poor conditions -- it will be trying again tomorrow, and hopefully the conditions will be favorable enough for it to proceed.

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