Technology

When Brian Bartlett was 24 he was hit by a car from behind so hard it ripped his right leg off instantly. It all happened so fast. He doesn’t like to talk about it. “You really can’t understand,” he told me. “There’s just no way to…until you have an injury where you’re ripped or cut apart instantly.”

Recently on Countryfile (BBC) was saw a presenter and a photographer together in the Pennines, the mountains that form the ‘backbone’ of England.  The photographer makes a living by taking spectacular scenes with a high-end camera and all different lenses, whereas the presenter was comparing what she took with her mobile. 

He was worried that in the public domain the best images would be lost in a massive cloud which includes a lot of inferior (though he didn’t specifically use the word) data.

This clicked with me, because of my experience of attempting astrophotography with what is known as a ‘bridge’ camera, somewhat between a compact and an SLR.
A new assistance system wants to help users in a wide variety of situations and it will do so by measuring user brain activity to determine whether they are pleased or displeased with system-initiated help.

NeuroLab is measuring brain activity as part of the EMOIO project that will run until the end of 2017. The project scientists use electroencephalography and functional near infrared spectroscopy to try and measure emotions, focusing on how far a combination of the two methods can improve the accuracy of classification algorithms that can enable emotion recognition in real time, during the interaction process.

Malaria is a disabling disease that targets victims of all ages, it kills one child every minute. DDT is quite effective, and insecticide-treated bed nets also, but the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is developing resistance to insecticides such as pyrethroid.

Genetic modification is the solution of the future, though there are clearly obstacles to that, in the form of developed world activists who scare those in developing nations about science.

Brian Foy and Jacob Meyers from Colorado State University decided to test whether antibodies targeted at a key component of the malaria mosquito's nervous system could be fed to the insects in a blood meal to kill them.


The Augmented BNCI Communication projects has developed a new brain-computer interface system to enhance communication skills of people with cerebral palsys.

Cerebral palsy is a chronic movement disability affects between 2 and 3 per 1,000 people. People with Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (DCP), 15% of the cases, have normal intelligence ability but cannot speak or express themselves due to lack of motor control. "Since they cannot express themselves, these children do not connect with other people and end up not developing their intelligence," says Biomechanics Institute of Valencia (IBV) researcher Juanma Belda.

By Lisa Marie Potter (Inside Science) -- Machines mimicking a human's sense of taste are going on a beer-tasting binge. Despite being called electronic tongues, these devices aren't party robots, pouring beer onto wagging, mechanical tongues.

"It's just a bunch of wires and buttons and computers," said María Luz Rodríguez-Méndez, a professor of inorganic chemistry at University of Valladolid in Spain. "It's an ugly thing full of cables."

Like organic food, open access publishing has shrouded itself in a cultural halo, but it's still a business. No one is pumping out 40,000 articles per year, most of them with just a few check boxes called 'editorial review', because the 40,000 best articles happened to show up in their Inboxes, they do it to keep the lights on.
Researchers have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error, using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn.

They demonstrated their technique, a type of reinforcement learning, by having a robot complete various tasks -- putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more -- without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. 
Though the popular imagery of farming is a small family operation on a tiny patch of land, that isn't really the case.

Over 90 percent of American farms are run by families but they are high-tech operations. Farmers want yields to go up and costs to come down and that means having data.

Ubiquitous social media giant Facebook announced has launched a mobile app called Instant Articles. The app allows news stories provided by a number of partners to be read in their entirety by iPhone users.

Those who download the app will spared the inconvenience of clicking on a link in their usual newsfeed, which may take up to ten seconds to direct to another page.