research

Volkswagen hack renders millions of car locks useless

Volkswagen hack renders millions of car locks useless

The keyless entry security system in nearly a hundred million Volkswagen group cars is vulnerable to a simple hack that could grant entry in under a minute, researchers have warned. Security experts at the University of Birmingham in the UK have identified a tiny handful of common codes which the automaker apparently used across cars with VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda badges from 1995 onward, with only the very latest models switching to a more secure system.

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Gene expression imaging could lead to new treatments for brain disorders

Gene expression imaging could lead to new treatments for brain disorders

The image you see here represents a first for scientists and researchers and could usher in a new era for treating some brain disorders. The image is the first time that the visualization of epigenetic activity has been performed in a living human brain. The researchers behind the technology hope that it may one day help to figure out the role epigenetics plays in certain brain disorders.

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Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Researchers have discovered 250,000-year-old tools that were used to hunt and butcher rhinoceros and other types of animal, according to a new study, helping shed light on how the human ancestors living at the time kept themselves fed. The tools were found at a location near Azraq, Jordan which has served as an oasis in the harsh environment for hundreds of thousands of years. The human ancestors that stopped there — researchers aren’t entirely sure which ones — left behind many items that have ended up being a treasure trove for scientists.

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Intel buys AI startup Nervana Systems for deep learning chips

Intel buys AI startup Nervana Systems for deep learning chips

Intel has bought an artificial intelligence startup, Nervana Systems, aiming to bake the company's machine learning expertise into future processors. Nervana, founded in 2014, specialized in software and hardware for deep learning, borrowing neuroscience concepts to give computers more intuitive - and easily programmed - ways to deal with data.

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Self-driving Bolt EVs headed to Arizona as GM’s Cruise expands

Self-driving Bolt EVs headed to Arizona as GM’s Cruise expands

GM's real-world autonomous car research has spread to another city, with Cruise Automation's self-driving Bolt EVs now tackling the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona. The electric cars, which have been retrofitted with various sensors, laser scanners, and other onboard smarts to replace a human driver, had previously been plying the tarmac in San Francisco, California.

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Self-destructing battery could be a boon for military and medical electronics

Self-destructing battery could be a boon for military and medical electronics

One of the issues that the military has today with putting electronic devices into the field is if those devices are lost and fall into enemy hands, they have a major potential for giving away information that the enemy could take advantage of. This has led to military and researchers around the world to heavily invest in electronic devices that can self-destruct over time. Scientists from the Iowa State University say that they have now created the first practical transient battery to power these future self-destructing electronics.

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CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

Scientists and researchers working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and physicists around the world have been aflutter over a possible new subatomic particle that researchers thought they might have discovered at the LHC facility during experiments in December 2015. During a test, that month two independent experiments at the LHC, ATLAS, and CMS each showed the same strange reports in their data.

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Google’s autonomous car project loses a key player

Google’s autonomous car project loses a key player

Google's self-driving car lead, Chris Urmson, is leaving the project, after more than seven years of working on autonomous vehicle technology at the company. The news, which was announced today, means the loss of one of the most involved members of the self-driving project, with Urmson joining Google having previously been part of a DARPA grand challenge winning Carnegie Mellon team.

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Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

A Siberian mine has revealed a big surprise: a rare mineral that is the naturally occurring version of a man-made material called a metal-organic framework, or MOF. The man-made material was revealed in the 90s and has many potential uses, including things like sequestering carbon, and is now known to exist in nature. The discovery, which was recently detailed in the journal Science Advances, has been more than half a decade in the making, and raises hope that other varieties of MOF minerals may be discovered in the future.

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Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

China’s ancient flood myth may be more fact than fiction, a new study suggests. According to the story, China was hit with a massive, cataclysmic flood about 4,000 years ago that lasted for more than two decades and ultimately helped shape the first part of Chinese civilization. Though the story is grand, it has thus far lacked evidence and as a result has encountered its fair share of critics. That may have changed, though, as researchers have found the first instances of evidence for such a massive flood.

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Tiny single-chip Lidar sensor has no moving parts

Tiny single-chip Lidar sensor has no moving parts

Researchers at MIT and DARPA have created a tiny Lidar sensor that is packed onto a single chip. As you can see in the image, the Lidar sensor is so small that you could pack many of them onto the surface of a dime. Lidar, or light detection and ranging, sensors are a technology that uses laser light and is similar to radar. The big benefit of Lidar over radar is that Lidar can have a higher resolution.

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Hidden portrait under Degas painting identified using X-ray fluorescence

Hidden portrait under Degas painting identified using X-ray fluorescence

When it comes to French impressionists, Edward Degas is one of the giants in the field. Degas lived from 1834 to 1917 and painted some of the most beautiful works of art during his lifetime. As many painters were wont to do, Degas had a penchant for reusing old canvases to paint new works that had old works on them that he for some reason chose not to complete. Researchers have been increasingly studying old paintings from masters like Degas using X-ray fluorescence or XRF.

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