Technology

Wearable electronic activity monitors are a popular fad. They constantly monitor activities and bodily responses and the information is organized into computer programs and mobile apps. 

Given the large and quickly growing market for these devices, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed 13 of these activity monitors - names like Fitbit, Jawbone or Nike - to try and see if the devices and their companion apps work to motivate the wearer or if they are only used after the novelty phase who were interested in fitness anyway. 


Facial recognition software works pretty well. It measures various parameters, such as the distance between the person's eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in a database.

Why not create emotion recognition software that can use its own custom parameters? 

Dev Drume Agrawal, Shiv Ram Dubey and Anand Singh Jalal of the GLA University, in Mathura suggest in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics
has taken a three-phase approach to a software emotion detector.



You lookin’ at me?Gareth Fuller/PA

By Tom Foulsham, University of Essex

Are you being recorded? Thanks to the ubiquity of CCTV and camera phones, the answer is more than ever before likely to be “Yes”. Add to this the growth of wearable technology such as Google Glass and people are increasingly exposed to devices that can monitor and record them, whether they realize it or not.


As most culturally astute people of a certain age know, 2015 is "The Future" of "Back To The Future II." "Back To The Future" was, of course, a seminal comedy in 1985 - a time when terrorists were from the Mid-East and you could do a time-travel experiment on your dog without getting protests outside the theater.

A third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer is closer to being identifiable with 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

But there are a lot of factors. The total number of common genetic variants linked to prostate cancer is about 100, and testing for them can identify men with risk almost six times as high as the population average - but that is still just 1%.


Agriculture has one hell of a footprint, occupying 37.6 percent of earth’s land area, or about 0.7 hectares (1.7 acres) per person to feed our world's


Keys at your fingertips, but the technology isn't there yet. Credit: Rachmaninoff, CC BY-SA

By Andrew Smith, The Open University

How can we ensure that someone is who they say they are? How can be sure that the person in our system, both digitally speaking or physically in front of us, is who whom they claim to be?

Artificial hearts were invented at a time when progress in science couldn't come fast enough. In 1969, when they first went into human use, DDT hadn't been banned, vaccines were considered the medical highlight of the century, and the Green Revolution promoted genetic modification as the way to feed the world's poor in the future.
Data from an initial representative 938-subject sample of  a 4,800-subject colorectal cancer trial at Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen demonstrated that the NuQ® blood-based diagnostic platform  is able to correctly diagnose 84% of colorectal cancers, including early-stage cancers.

Rebuilding Microsoft one block at a time.Credit: animeareftw, CC BY-NC-ND

By Mark Skilton, University of Warwick

Just as the game Minecraft sees players build their virtual world block by block, Satya Nadella’s bid for its parent company is his first solid move in Microsoft’s new platforming strategy.