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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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Pancakes make you happy.  Science knows that now.     For decades, social scientists have  been searching for a way to measure happiness without any success.

Surveys provide some useful information but people misreport and misremember their feelings when confronted by aguy with the clipboard. Ditto for studies where volunteers call in their feelings.  Generally speaking, people get squirrely when they know they're being studied.

But Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth, a mathematician and computer scientist working in the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont, say they have created a remote-sensing mechanism that can record how millions of people around the world are feeling on any particular day — without their knowing it.

Humans, bah.  Multimodal, egg-headed, tool-using, bipedal, opposing-thumbed existence is so 2008.   Ants are where it's at, to the delight of neo-rationalists everywhere (and Edward O. Wilson too).

They can accomplish tasks a lot more rationally than humans, says a Arizona State University and Princeton University study in Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences.

This is not a case of overall smartness.   Humans and other animals simply often make irrational choices when faced with very challenging decisions, note Stephen Pratt and Susan Edwards.

Clusters, the largest structures in the Universe, are comprised of many galaxies, like the Milky Way. One mystery about clusters is why the gas in the centers of some are rapidly cooling and condensing but not forming into stars. Until recently, no model existed that successfully explained how this was possible.
A team of scientists say they have discovered a method for attaching molecules to semiconducting silicon that may help manufacturers end-run the current limits of Moore's Law in the quest to make microprocessors smaller and more powerful.  Moore's Law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore who said in 1965 that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles about every two years. But even Moore said the law cannot be sustained indefinitely.  Or can it?
Some researchers, and certainly some new businesses, are counting on the fact that the brain imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can reveal thoughts and determine if someone is lying or telling the truth - and maybe even their hidden deep desires. 

Is there something to it?   It depends.

Neuroscientists at UCLA and Rutgers University say they have evidence that fMRI can be used in certain circumstances to determine what a person is thinking but their research suggests that highly accurate "mind reading" using fMRI is still far from reality.
There's a coevolutionary struggle between a New Zealand snail and its worm parasite but it ends up being sexually advantageous for the snail, whose females favor asexual reproduction in the absence of parasites, according to scientists who say their report represents direct experimental evidence for the "Red Queen Hypothesis" of sex, suggesting sexual reproduction allows host species to avoid infection by their coevolving parasites by producing genetically variable offspring.

They say their Current Biology report also supports the "Geographic Mosaic Theory," meaning natural selection need not act uniformly on all members of a species, but can be intense in pockets of a population (hot spots) and absent elsewhere (cold spots).