Object Recognition For Robots

John Leonard's group in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering specializes in SLAM, or simultaneous...

Grasping How The Brain Plans Gripping Motion

With the results of a new study, neuroscientists have a firmer grasp on the way the brain formulates...

Chimpanzees Binge On Clay To Detox

Wild chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda are increasingly eating clay to supplement the minerals...

Sleep Makes Our Memories More Accessible

Sleeping not only protects memories from being forgotten, it also makes them easier to access,...

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The hunt for dark energy is on and ways to find it, such as weak gravitational lensing and baryon acoustic oscillation, hold great promise but are as yet unproven.   Supernovae studies, which depend on measuring the redshift and brightness of distant Type Ia supernovae, are the most reliable.
Cats have a reputation for being smart but dogs deserve more respect, says canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia, who spoke on dog psychology (seriously) today on the topic “How Dogs Think” at the American Psychological Association’s 117th Annual Convention.

They can also understand more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats,  Coren says. He is the author of more than a half-dozen popular books on dogs and dog behavior, and reviewed numerous studies to conclude that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought. 
A study of college students found that the more time they spent on Facebook, the more likely they or their squeeze got jealous about the information posted there, leading to more time spent on Facebook and further fueling jealousy.

Facebook could tank your relationship, says the study in CyberPsychology&Behavior, though obviously Facebook (not to exclude Twitter,  though 140 characters is too short to say anything meaningful) is a catalyst and not the source of the problem.
If there's one thing you've heard over and over, it's that mean old religion has always been the enemy of science.  

It isn't true, of course, but at least in America, with its Protestant heritage, anything that slammed Catholics got traction and, among atheists, anything that slammed religion was believed without skepticism.

A new book by James Hannam called "God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science" seeks to gain some respect for medieval scientists and, if religion gets sucked along in the jet wash, that's okay too.
Harboring astonishing genomic variability, human brain cells prefer to have not one, but many DNA scripts. A team, led by Fred Gage, Ph.D., a professor in the Salk's Laboratory of Genetics, found that human brain cells contain an unexpected number of so-called mobile elements.

These extraordinary pieces of DNA insert extra copies of themselves throughout the genome using a "copy and paste" mechanism. The findings, to be published in Nature, could help explain brain development and individuality.

Geckos have the uncanny ability to traverse even the trickiest terrain without so much as a slip. Until now, it has been unknown when and how they switch on their they all-foot grip.

Scientists at the University of Calgary and Clemson University in South Carolina have discovered that the geckos' amazing grip is triggered by gravity.

"Geckos use microscopic, hair-like filaments to attach to surfaces. Only at certain angles do they switch on their traction system, however," says Russell, a biological sciences professor at the U of C. "We are trying to understand this process, which will help in mimicking it for application to robotics."