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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

Controlling genes with your thoughts

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:13 AM PST

Researchers have constructed the first gene network that can be controlled by our thoughts. Scientists have developed a novel gene regulation method that enables thought-specific brainwaves to control the conversion of genes into proteins (gene expression). The inspiration was a game that picks up brainwaves in order to guide a ball through an obstacle course.

Astronomers preparing for first-ever comet landing attempt

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 05:43 AM PST

Astronomers are preparing for the first ever landing by a spacecraft on an icy comet tomorrow. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004, and has spent a decade manoeuvring to rendezvous with the comet.

All the electronics that's fit to print

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 05:33 AM PST

New technology allows you to print electronic devices in the same way your inkjet printer prints a document or photo. Now researchers have used this technique to build a portable X-ray imager and small mechanical devices.

The brain’s 'inner GPS' gets dismantled

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 06:06 PM PST

Imagine being able to recognize your car as your own but never being able to remember where you parked it. Researchers have induced this all-too-common human experience -- or a close version of it -- permanently in rats and from what is observed perhaps derive clues about why strokes and Alzheimer's disease can destroy a person's sense of direction.

Playing action video games can boost learning, study finds

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 01:10 PM PST

A new study shows for the first time that playing action video games improves not just the skills taught in the game, but learning capabilities more generally.

Microbot muscles: Chains of particles assemble and flex

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:09 PM PST

In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.

Sweet music or sour notes? Test will tell

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:08 PM PST

Most people rarely sing publically outside of "Happy Birthday." And since that particular song is usually offered as a group performance, even the reluctant join in, hoping their individual shortcomings will be cloaked by the chorus. One psychologist believes that most people are not as bad at singing as they might think and he is collaborating on the development of an online test that will evaluate participants' ability to match specific tones and melodies.

Wearable device to track diet under development

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 02:36 PM PST

A professor of electrical and computer engineering hopes to develop a sensor worn around the ear that would automatically track diet, giving medical professionals and consumers accurate information that can be missed with self-reporting.

Southern fried fuel: Professor 'gases' up with animal fat for cross-country drive

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:19 AM PST

An alternative fuels researcher is taking another cross-country journey using no gasoline, this time using a process to turn waste animal fat and waste vegetable oil into fuel. On this trip, a team of researchers will take a 1981 pickup truck across the U.S.

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