A team of biomedical engineers has developed a computer model that makes use of more or less predictable “guesstimates” of human muscle movements to explain how the brain draws on both what it recently learned and what it’s known for some time to anticipate what it needs to develop new motor skills.
The engineers exploited the fact that all people show similar “probable” learning patterns and use them to develop and fine tune new movements, whether babies trying to walk or stroke patients re-connecting brain-body muscle links.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have performed atomic spectroscopy with integrated optics on a chip for the first time, guiding a beam of light through a rubidium vapor cell integrated into a semiconductor chip.
Based on the interactions of light and matter, spectroscopy is often used to identify substances by the wavelengths of light they absorb or emit. Conventional systems have many large components, whereas the compact, fully planar device developed at UCSC enables the study of atoms and molecules on a chip-based platform with integrated optics, said Holger Schmidt, associate professor of electrical engineering.
New charcoal and plant microfossil evidence from Mexico’s Central Balsas valley links a pivotal cultural shift, crop domestication in the New World, to local and regional environmental history. Agriculture in the Balsas valley originated and diversified during the warm, wet, postglacial period following the much cooler and drier climate in the final phases of the last ice age.
A significant dry period appears to have occurred at the same time as the major dry episode associated with the collapse of Mayan civilization, Smithsonian researchers and colleagues report.
Designing the first fuel-cell manned intercity aircraft is the goal of a recently launched EU-funded project.
The Environmentally Friendly Inter City Aircraft powered by Fuel Cells (ENFICA-FC) project is receiving €2.9 million from the EU as part of the aeronautics and space priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
Belgian mathematician hopes to use the science of chaos, the butterfly effect and strange attractors to help build a complete model of climate and resources that will lead to a new approach to sustainable development. Jacques Nihoul of the department of Model Environment at the University of Liège, in Belgium, writing in the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics published by Inderscience, explains how a new approach to sustainable development and climate change could emerge from his research.
Chaos pattern. Credit: urbanhonking.com
It was a grainy image of a baby—just 5 centimeters by 5 centimeters—but it turned out to be the well from which satellite imaging, CAT scans, bar codes on packaging, desktop publishing, digital photography and a host of other imaging technologies sprang.