research

Study: audio synced to brainwaves improves memory in elderly

Study: audio synced to brainwaves improves memory in elderly

A new study out of Northwestern Medicine has found that playing audio synced to one’s brainwaves both improves memory in the elderly and improves their deep sleep quality. The memory increase is likely due to the substantial improvements in deep sleep quality, which gets worse as a person gets older, but especially starting in middle age. The discovery could lead to non-medicine-based interventions to improve both memory and sleep quality in older adults and the elderly.

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Uber gets San Francisco autonomous car permit but loses AI execs

Uber gets San Francisco autonomous car permit but loses AI execs

Uber, pressured into applying for a self-driving car testing license by San Francisco, has been granted approval for a small-scale roll out by city regulators. The ride-sharing company had flouted local rules on autonomous vehicles, sending out a fleet of customized Volvo SUVs back in December 2016 for real-world testing of its work-in-progress technology. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles disagreed with Uber's justification for why it didn't require a license.

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IBM turns an atom into a nano-scale hard drive

IBM turns an atom into a nano-scale hard drive

By now it's a truism that data storage keeps getting smaller and smaller, but even with that knowledge IBM's latest advance is still jaw-dropping. Researchers at the company have managed to store data on a single atom, by turning it into the world's tiniest magnet. Admittedly, its single bit capacity isn't going to replace the USB drive in the bottom of your bag, but IBM says the potential is huge.

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Neanderthal tooth plaque sheds light on ancient diets, medication, and love

Neanderthal tooth plaque sheds light on ancient diets, medication, and love

Tooth plaque recovered from the remains of five Neanderthals has shed light on ancient diets and self-medication attempts. The remains were recovered from the El Sidron Cave in Spain; their tooth plaque was compared to the tooth plaque recovered from Neanderthal remains previously found in Belgium. While the Neanderthals in Belgium apparently had meat-heavy diets, the Neanderthals in Spain consumed a lot of plants and mushrooms.

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Scientists warn climate change will bring more severe storms

Scientists warn climate change will bring more severe storms

A new study warns that severe rainstorms are likely to become more common in coming years due to climate change, a statement that contrasts some observations made by other researchers and studies. According to this paper, which is in the pipeline for the journal Nature Climate Change, the peak temperature for intensive rainstorms is moving upward as global temperatures increase.

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Wooly mammoths experienced ‘genomic meltdown’ before extinction

Wooly mammoths experienced ‘genomic meltdown’ before extinction

A new study details the severe evolutionary changes that affected the wooly mammoth shortly before it went extinct. Among those changes, researchers have found that wooly mammoths experienced a great reduction in their ability to smell, as well as changes that produced a satin fur coat and other things. The changes took place in a small popular of wooly mammoths living in isolation on Wrangel island.

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Scientists find evidence of oldest life on Earth

Scientists find evidence of oldest life on Earth

A team of researchers in Canada have found what might be the oldest set of fossils in the history of the world. These fossils have been found inside a rock which has been dated at 3.7-billion years old. This set of life forms is rather unique in their age relative to that of the Earth's formation at 4.5-billion years ago.

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The oldest fossils ever may have been found in Canada

The oldest fossils ever may have been found in Canada

Researchers have discovered what might end up being the oldest fossils ever found, it has been announced, ones that fall into the so-called “microfossils” designation. You can’t see these tiny fossils with the naked eye, as they are the fossils of microbes from the ancient world. Their exact age isn’t known, but they’re estimated to be — at minimum — 3.77 billion years old, eclipsing the previous confirmed 3.5 billion year old microfossils.

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Wireless arm patch reduces migraine pain without meds

Wireless arm patch reduces migraine pain without meds

A new study out of Neurology reveals that a wireless patch could be a simple way to reduce the pain of migraines, being just as effective as drugs. The patch is designed to be worn on one’s arm, where it then produces electrical stimulation that disrupts pain signals before they can get to the brain. Users are able to control the patch using a related smartphone app. Unlike medication, this wireless patch has no side effects, says researchers.

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Researchers urge caution over bringing back extinct species

Researchers urge caution over bringing back extinct species

News of researchers’ efforts to bring back the long-extinct wooly mammoth has caught the public’s attention, and while the prospect is interesting, many are against it. That project in particular has its own controversies, such as whether it is ethical to bring back a creature that will have no social group of its own, but the entire de-extinction project as a whole is also not without its potential issues.

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Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

It’s difficult to diagnose infants with autism due to trouble determining whether any behavioral traits common to autism are present. This difficulty is most pronounced before the age of two, and especially before the age of one, resulting in delayed diagnoses. All that may be changing, though, thanks to artificial intelligence and its ability to predict with high accuracy which infants will be diagnosed with autism by their second year.

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Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Neanderthals haven’t existed for the better part of 40,000 years, but their genes continue to affect present day humans in important ways. According to a new study, Neanderthal DNA resulting from the mating of Neanderthals with humans is still active in 52 varieties of human tissue, influencing gene expression. This influence includes things like making people taller and reducing one’s odds of developing schizophrenia.

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