Other Tech 

3 Implications of Memory-Boosting Devices

In fall, DARPA announced a major success in its Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. Researchers implanted targeted electrical arrays in the brains of a few dozen volunteers — specifically in brain areas involved in memory. The researchers found a way to read out neural “key codes” associated with specific memories, and then fed those codes back into the volunteers’ brains as they tried to recall lists of items or directions to places. While the results are still preliminary, DARPA claims that the RAM technique has already achieved “promising results” in improving memory…

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Transport Tech 

Aston Martin’s $3M Hypercar Takes F1 Performance to the Road

Formula 1 cars sit at the extremes of engineering. They reach 60 mph in less than three seconds and, given the right track, approach 230 mph flat-out. Their engines sing at 18,000 RPM, more than twice the speed of most road car engines. Drivers experience at least four times the force of gravity in turns, an experience that would leave you struggling to hold your head up after a few laps. Driving an F1 car at speed demands exceptional reflexes and conditioning, which explains why even rookies are among the…

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IT 

Computer scientists find way to make all that glitters more realistic in computer graphics

Iron Man’s suit. Captain America’s shield. The Batmobile. These all could look a lot more realistic thanks to a new algorithm developed by a team of U.S. computer graphics experts. The researchers, led by Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi at the University of California San Diego, have created a method to improve how computer graphics software reproduces the way light interacts with extremely small details, called glints, on the surface of a wide range of materials, including metallic car paints, metal finishes for electronics and injection-molded plastic finishes. The method developed by…

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Transport Tech 

One Small Step for Flying Cars

A drone’s flying test may help pave the way for flying cars. In early December, U.S. regulators gave their approval for unmanned hover tests of a miniature flying car model made by the company Terrafugia. Such testing would provide feedback for eventually building a full-size version of a flying car capable of hovering for vertical takeoff and landing. Contrary to some more breathless news headlines, this does not mean the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared a hover-capable flying car for flight tests in U.S. airspace. Instead, Terrafugia only received…

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IT 

Virtual Reality In Healthcare: Where’s the Innovation?

Virtual reality is no longer just about video gaming; it holds promise as nothing short of revolutionary for just about every other industry, as well. Since 2012, there has been an incredible explosion of interest and hype around mass market virtual reality (VR) thanks to head mounted display (HMD) products in development like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR and Google Cardboard. The technology has advanced to the point where very high-quality VR experiences are possible at reasonable price points, and should be widely available to consumers within a year. There are a few industries that have been making use of VR…

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Transport Tech 

So Digital Billboard Ads Change With the Speed of Traffic Now

You hate creeping through traffic. But advertisers love it, because you’re a captured audience with plenty of time to consume sophisticated messages. If you’re zipping along, they have just a moment to pitch you burgers, or tires, or cloud services. In the days of yore—like, last year—that meant Mad Men had to choose between big visuals targeting leadfoots and text-heavy spots for the rush hour warrior. Digital billboards supplied with data from Internet services company Inrix lets them deliver both. For five weeks this summer, eight digital billboards along highways…

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IT 

Internet 3.0: How we take back control from the giants

By Hal Hodson AT THE heart of the internet are monsters with voracious appetites. In bunkers and warehouses around the world, vast arrays of computers run the show, serving up the web – and gorging on our data. These server farms are the engine rooms of the internet. Operated by some of the world’s most powerful companies, they process photos of our children, emails to our bosses and lovers, and our late-night searches. Such digital shards reveal far more of ourselves than we might like, and they are worth a lot…

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Chinese Medical (CM) Plants

China is developing a library of authenticated traditional Chinese Medical (CM) plants for systematic biological evaluation –Rationale, methods and preliminary results from a Sino-American collaboration Traditional Chinese Medicine is a type of herbal, natural health care system that ascends back at least 2,000 years to the year 200 B.C. TCM is “herbal” and “natural” because it stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms and takes into account all aspects of a patient’s life, rather than just several obvious signs or symptoms. Over the past several decades, Eastern alternative medicine practices have continued…

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New diagnostic instrument sees deeper into the ear

A new device developed by researchers at MIT and a physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center could greatly improve doctors’ ability to accurately diagnose ear infections. That could drastically reduce the estimated 2 million cases per year in the United States where such infections are incorrectly diagnosed and unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed. Such overprescriptions are considered a major cause of antibiotic resistance.   The new device, whose design is still being refined by the team, is expected ultimately to look and function very much like existing otoscopes, the devices most…

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Medical Tech 

Novocure’s Second Generation Optune System for Glioblastoma Now FDA Approved

Novocure, a company now headquartered on the Jersey Isle, has announced FDA approval of the second generation of its groundbreaking Optune system. The Optune delivers so-called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) that interfere with cell division, in a sense pausing the development of tumors that are otherwise extremely difficult to treat. When cells divide they create mitotic spindles, tiny strings that pull on chromosomes to pry them apart for duplication. These spindles are susceptible to electric fields due to a natural charge, so finely tuning the field can prevent their activity and, if accurately directed, stop tumors from growing.…

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