Technology

With each beat of a healthy heart, an electrical signal moves from the upper to the lower chambers of the heart. As this signal moves, it results in the heart contracting and pumping blood. Congenital heart block is a defect of the heart's electrical system that originates in the developing fetus, greatly slowing the rate of the heart and impacting its ability to pump blood.

Although the condition can be diagnosed in utero, all attempts to treat the condition with a standard pacemaker have failed.  Each year, approximately 500 pregnancies in the U. S. are affected by such fetal heart block - those babies may soon have the perfect solution. 

In light of the news of another tragic airline crash, and following in the wake of several other high profile air disasters, it might be natural to ask whether air travel is becoming less safe.

In fact, according to the numbers, air travel is safer than at almost any point in the history of commercial flight.

While the number of fatalities in some recent crashes has been high, the number of overall fatal accidents in recent years has dropped to its lowest point since the dawn of the jet age. Also, as more and more people take to the skies each year, the numbers of fatalities per liftoff or per flight hour have also dropped dramatically.

Millions of people injure themselves each year lifting physically demanding things, with (insert absurd number here) of dollars in lost productivity, etc., etc.

Okay, enough of that, here is the fun part: Some day a cute 105 pound nurse may be able to lift your fat keester into a hospital bed after you injure yourself lifting heavy things incorrectly, and you will be able to thank 'soft' robotics.(1) Which is another way of saying that she might be wearing a power vest that gives her super strength.
Cyber warfare, killer robots, biological pandemics due to mad scientists, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has grown since the old days of just figuring out how to kill nuclear power.
In cultural perception, an artificial hand looks something like a Steampunk reworking of a hand, with gears and pistons and rods. In the future, an artificial hand would look just like a hand, except with muscles made from smart metal wires.

Engineers at Saarland University have equipped an artificial hand with muscles made from  nickel-titanium shape-memory wire, enabling the fabrication of flexible and lightweight robot hands for industrial applications and novel prosthetic devices. The muscle fibers are composed of bundles of the ultra-fine nickel-titanium alloy wires, each about the width of a human hair, and they are able to tense and flex and the material has sensory properties allowing the artificial hand to perform extremely precise movements. 
A team that developed an algorithm capable of automating the analysis of plankton populations – a critical step in measuring ocean health - has won the inaugural National Data Science Bowl.

When checking your email over a secure connection, or making a purchase from an online retailer, have you ever wondered how your private information or credit card data is kept secure?

Our information is kept away from prying eyes thanks to cryptographic algorithms, which scramble the message so no-one else can read it but its intended recipient. But what are these algorithms, how did they come to be widely used, and how secure really are they?

80 percent of patients survive when kidney cancer is detected early - but it is often not easy. However, finding it early has been among the disease's greatest challenges.

Kidney cancer is the seventh most common cancer in men and the 10th most common in women, affecting about 65,000 people each year in the United States. About 14,000 patients die of the disease annually. Like most cancers, kidney tumors are easier to treat when diagnosed early. But symptoms of the disease, such as blood in the urine and abdominal pain, often don't develop until later, making early diagnosis difficult. 
For every parent who ever wondered what the heck their teens were thinking when they posted risky information or pictures on social media, a team scholars suggests that they do not think like most adults do. 

In the analysis, the IT authors report that the way teens learn how to manage privacy risk online is much different than how adults approach privacy management. While most adults think first and then ask questions, teens tend to take the risk and then seek help, said Haiyan Jia, post-doctoral scholar at Penn State in information sciences and technology. 
Windows 10 build 9926 has been with us for 53 days, or almost two months.  While faster releases would be nice for those of us who don't mind bugs, it gives us an idea that Microsoft is going to release something that looks 99.9% like this build in the end.   My opinion after looking at this OS and using it as a daily driver on my Surface Pro 3 while teaching and researching is that it is the OS of the future in many ways.  In the future we will not interact with our computers by mouse and keyboard.  That future is finally becoming technically possible.  If other OS's don't evolve to deal with this shift then they will be left in the dust.