Xiaomi’s Cheap New Drone Achieves Impulse-Buy Airspace

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
It's a lot of drone for a (relatively) little price. The post Xiaomi's Cheap New Drone Achieves Impulse-Buy Airspace appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Got a Beef With the Media? Pay Someone Else to Sue Them

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
The Thiel-Gawker feud isn't about Gawker—it's about the obscure legal tool Thiel used to win it. And that tool sets a dangerous precedent for the media. The post Got a Beef With the Media? Pay Someone Else to Sue Them appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Space Photos of the Week: Hangry Stars Munch Down a Cloud

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
Space photos of the week, May 22—28, 2016. The post Space Photos of the Week: Hangry Stars Munch Down a Cloud appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

In a World of Self-Driving Cars, We’ll Still Need the Miata

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
What will you do when driving becomes a pastime instead of a necessity? The post In a World of Self-Driving Cars, We'll Still Need the Miata appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Security News This Week: Apple Hires a Crypto Guru for Future Battles With the Feds

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
Each Saturday we round up the biggest security news stories of the week. The post Security News This Week: Apple Hires a Crypto Guru for Future Battles With the Feds appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Mathematicians Bridge the Divide Between Infinity and the Physical World

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:00am
A surprising new proof is helping to connect the mathematics of infinity to the physical world. The post Mathematicians Bridge the Divide Between Infinity and the Physical World appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

ForcePhone App Uses Ultrasonic Tone To Create Pressure-Sensitive Batphone

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Researchers at the University of Michigan have created an app that makes any smartphone pressure-sensitive without additional hardware. The app, called ForcePhone, uses ultrasonic tones in the existing microphone and speaker hardware that respond to pressure for additional functionality for touchscreens. The app emits a high-frequency ultrasound tone from the device's existing microphone, which is inaudible to humans but can be picked up by the phone. That tone is calibrated to change depending on the pressure that the user gives on the screen or on the body of the phone. This gives users an additional way to interact with their device through the app alone. The additional functionality provided by ForcePhone can be used in a number of ways. Squeezing the body of the phone could take a user back a page, for example; or increased pressure on the touchscreen could act as a 'right-click' function, showing additional information on the app in use. Kan Shin, Professor at the University of Michigan, said, "You don't need a special screen or built-in sensors to do this. Now this functionality can be realized on any phone." He added, "We've augmented the user interface without requiring any special built-in sensors. ForcePhone increases the vocabulary between the phone and the user."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

SPACE WEBCASTS: NASA Inflating BEAM Space Station Habitat

Space.com - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 10:00am
NASA will attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module at the International Space Station for the second time on Saturday (May 28) at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT). Watch live here, courtesy of NASA TV.
Categories: Science

Qualcomm To Manufacture Custom Chips For Chinese Market

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 7:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Qualcomm president Derek Aberle has suggested that the semiconductor giant is preparing to produce its own custom chips for the Chinese market. [A Wall Street Journal interview with] Aberle revealed that the American company had entered into a joint venture with the local government in Guizhou province to manufacture custom chips starting in the second half of 2016. According to Aberle, the Guizhou government owns 55% of the venture, while Qualcomm owns the remaining 45%. Aberle told the Wall Street Journal that he expects China's server demand to dwarf that of the U.S.. He said of the government-backed venture: "This is really going to be the primary vehicle from which we build our data center business in China. We are actually trying to create the company that is going to be able to win the market here as opposed to just licensing old technology."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Cell-phone-radiation study finds associated brain and heart tumors in rodents

Kurzweil AI - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 3:37am

Glioma in rat brain (credit: Samuel Samnick et al./European Journal of Nuclear Medicine)

A series of studies over two years with rodents exposed to radio frequency radiation (RFR) found low incidences of malignant gliomas (tumors of glial support cells) in the brain and schwannoma tumors in the heart.*

The studies were performed under the auspices of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

Potentially preneoplastic (pre-cancer) lesions were also observed in the brain and heart of male rats exposed to RFR, with higher confidence in the association with neoplastic lesions in the heart than the brain.

No biologically significant effects were observed in the brain or heart of female rats regardless of type of radiation.

The NTP notes that the open-access report is a preview and has not been peer-reviewed.**

In 2011, the WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RFR as possibly carcinogenic to humans, also based on increased risk for glioma.

* The rodents were subjected to whole-body exposure to the two types RFR modulation currently used in U.S. wireless networks — CDMA and GSM — at frequencies of 900 MHz for rats and 1900 MHz for mice, with a total exposure time of approximately 9 hours a day over the course of the day, 7 days/week. The glioma lesions occurred in 2 to 3 percent of the rats and the schwannomas occurred in 1 to 6 percent of the rats.

** The NTP says further details will be published in the peer-reviewed literature later in 2016. The reports are “limited to select findings of concern in the brain and heart and do not represent a complete reporting of all findings from these studies of cell phone RFR,” which will be “reported together with the current findings in two forthcoming NTP peer-reviewed reports, to be available for peer review and public comment by the end of 2017.”

Abstract of Report of Partial Findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation

The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has carried out extensive rodent toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at frequencies and modulations used in the US telecommunications industry. This report presents partial findings from these studies. The occurrences of two tumor types in male Harlan Sprague Dawley rats exposed to RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart, were considered of particular interest, and are the subject of this report. The findings in this report were reviewed by expert peer reviewers selected by the NTP and National Institutes of Health (NIH). These reviews and responses to comments are included as appendices to this report, and revisions to the current document have incorporated and addressed these comments. Supplemental information in the form of 4 additional manuscripts has or will soon be submitted for publication. These manuscripts describe in detail the designs and performance of the RFR exposure system, the dosimetry of RFR exposures in rats and mice, the results to a series of pilot studies establishing the ability of the animals to thermoregulate during RFR exposures, and studies of DNA damage. Capstick M, Kuster N, Kühn S, Berdinas-Torres V, Wilson P, Ladbury J, Koepke G, McCormick D, Gauger J, Melnick R. A radio frequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system for rodents Yijian G, Capstick M, McCormick D, Gauger J, Horn T, Wilson P, Melnick RL and Kuster N. Life time dosimetric assessment for mice and rats exposed to cell phone radiation Wyde ME, Horn TL, Capstick M, Ladbury J, Koepke G, Wilson P, Stout MD, Kuster N, Melnick R, Bucher JR, and McCormick D. Pilot studies of the National Toxicology Program’s cell phone radiofrequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters J, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green A, Kissling GE, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure.

Categories: Science

FDA Approves First Implant Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bloomberg: The Food and Drug Administration cleared the first implant in the U.S. to treat heroin and opioid painkiller addictions. The product, Probuphine, may be used to treat addicts continuously for six months with the drug buprenorphine, according to a statement from the agency on Thursday. Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and partner Braeburn Pharmaceuticals are the two companies behind the implant and plan to bring it to the market just as Congress passed a bill aimed at addressing the opioid crisis. Buprenorphine differs from methadone in that it doesn't require a treatment program. Doctors can prescribe the implant to patients after they take a four-hour training program. The FDA rejected the implant in 2013 because the original dose that the companies proposed was too low to provide effective treatment. The companies decided to maintain the lower dose and attempt to gain approval by restricting use to patients who already were stable on such amounts. Meanwhile, employers are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

How to erase bad memories and enhance good ones

Kurzweil AI - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 2:35am

Mice normally freeze in position as a response to fear, as shown here under control condition (center row): fear conditioning induces freezing behavior in response (recall) to exposure to the conditioned stimulus (tone), but the freezing response normally decreases (extinction) following several days of multiple tone exposures (the mice get used to it). However, enhancing release of acetylcholine (blue light) to the amygdala during conditioned fear training resulted in continued freezing behavior 24 hours later and persisted over long periods of time (extinction). In contrast, reducing acetylcholine (yellow light) during the initial training period reduced the freezing behavior (during recall) and led to greater retention of the extinction learning (reduced freezing). (credit: Li Jiang et al./Neuron)

Imagine if people with dementia could enhance good memories or those with post-traumatic stress disorder could wipe out bad memories. A Stony Brook University research team has now taken a step toward that goal by manipulating one of the brain’s natural mechanisms for signaling involved in emotional memory: a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

The region of the brain most involved in emotional memory is thought to be the amygdala. Cholinergic neurons that reside in the base of the brain — the same neurons that appear to be affected early in cognitive decline — stimulate release of acetylcholine by neurons in the amygdala, which strengthens emotional memories.

Because fear is a strong and emotionally charged experience, Lorna Role, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and colleagues used a fear-based memory model in mice to test the underlying mechanism of memory and the specific role of acetylcholine in the amygdala.

A step toward reversing post-traumatic stress disorder

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Optogenetic stimulation with blue light. (credit: Deisseroth Laboratory)

To achieve precise control, the team used optogenetics, a research method using light, to stimulate specific populations of cholinergic neurons in the amygdala during the experiments to release acetylcholine. As noted in previous studies reported on KurzweilAI, shining blue (or green) light on neurons treated with light-sensitive membrane proteins stimulates the neurons while shining yellow (or red) light inhibits (blocks) them.

So when the researchers used optogenetics with blue light to increase the amount of acetylcholine released in the amygdala during the formation of a traumatic memory, they found it greatly strengthened fear memory, making the memory last more than twice as long as normal.

But when they decreased acetylcholine signaling (using yellow light) in the amygdala from a traumatic experience — one that normally produces a fear response — they could actually extinguish (wipe out) the memory.

Role said the long-term goal of their research is to find ways — potentially independent of acetylcholine (or drug administration) — to enhance or diminish the strength of good memories and diminish the bad ones.

Their findings are published in the journal Neuron. The research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Abstract of Cholinergic Signaling Controls Conditioned Fear Behaviors and Enhances Plasticity of Cortical-Amygdala Circuits

We examined the contribution of endogenous cholinergic signaling to the acquisition and extinction of fear- related memory by optogenetic regulation of cholinergic input to the basal lateral amygdala (BLA). Stimulation of cholinergic terminal fields within the BLA in awake-behaving mice during training in a cued fear-conditioning paradigm slowed the extinction of learned fear as assayed by multi-day retention of extinction learning. Inhibition of cholinergic activity during training reduced the acquisition of learned fear behaviors. Circuit mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of cholinergic signaling in the BLA were assessed by in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiological recording. Photostimulation of endogenous cholinergic input (1) enhances firing of putative BLA principal neurons through activation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), (2) enhances glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the BLA, and (3) induces LTP of cortical-amygdala circuits. These studies support an essential role of cholinergic modulation of BLA circuits in the inscription and retention of fear memories.

Categories: Science

Feinstein-Burr Encryption Legislation Is Dead In The Water

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 1:45am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Reuters: After the San Bernardino terrorist attack, key U.S. lawmakers pledged to require technology companies to give law enforcement agencies a "back door" to encrypted communications and electronic devices. Now, the push for legislation is dead only months after the terrorist attack. In April, Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein released the official version of their anti-encryption bill with hopes for it to pass through Congress. But with the lack of White House support for the legislation as well as the high-profile court case between Apple and the Justice Department, the legislation will likely not be introduced this year, and even if it were, it would stand no chance of advancing, said sources familiar with the matter. "The short life of the push for legislation illustrates the intractable nature of the debate over digital surveillance and encryption, which has been raging in one form or another since the 1990s," reports Reuters. Technology companies believe security would be undermined if it were to create a "back door" for law enforcement, while law enforcement agencies believe they need to monitor phone calls, emails, text messages and encrypted data in general for security purposes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Google Boosts Mobile Web Speed On Apple Devices With Accelerated Mobile Pages

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 1:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: The Google iOS app for devices like the iPhone and iPad now supports the search giant's Accelerated Mobile Pages project, created to increase the loading times of news articles on the Internet. Now when users search for news from their Apple devices using the Google app, they should see streamlined news articles from media companies like The Washington Post that chose to participate in Google's web project. The AMP project is a Google-led initiative to standardize the software code behind each news article on the mobile web. AMP was designed to remove years of accumulated software code that has built up on online publishers' websites. As of Friday, iOS users should see a lightning bolt graphic and the letters "AMP" next to news articles from participating publishers in the "Top Stories" section of their search results in the Google app.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 12:29am
Antibiotic-resistant UTIs are getting more and more common, and they could be coming from food. The post That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

You Need More Than Rat Tumors to Prove Phones Cause Cancer

Wired News - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 12:21am
In order to get from a rat’s tumor to a human cancer risk, you have to do a lot of science. The post You Need More Than Rat Tumors to Prove Phones Cause Cancer appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

FBI Raids Dental Software Researcher Who Found Patient Records On Public Server

Slashdot - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 12:15am
blottsie writes: Yet another security researcher is facing possible prosecution under the CFAA for accessing data on a publicly accessible server. The FBI on Tuesday raided Texas-based dental software security researcher Justin Shafer, who found the protected health records of 22,000 patients stored on an anonymous FTP. "This is a troubling development. I hope the government doesn't think that accessing unsecured files on a public FTP server counts as an unauthorized access under the CFAA," Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and CFAA scholar told the Daily Dot. "If that turns out to be the government's theory -- which we don't know yet, as we only have the warrant so far -- it will be a significant overreach that raises the same issues as were briefed but not resolved in [Andrew 'weev' Auernheimer's] case. I'll be watching this closely." It was also reported this week via The Intercept that a provision snuck into the still-secret text of the Senate's annual intelligence authorization that would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals' email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers using those beloved 'National Security Letters' -- without a warrant and in complete secrecy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

No Man’s Sky Delayed Until August

Wired News - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 11:45pm
The upcoming space exploration game for PS4 and PC, No Man's Sky, has been delayed from its original June release date. The post No Man's Sky Delayed Until August appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Possible Cellphone Link To Cancer Found In Rat Study

Slashdot - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 11:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: A giant U.S. study meant to help decide whether cellphones cause cancer is coming back with confusing results. A report on the study, conducted in rats and mice, is not finished yet. But advocates pushing for more research got wind of the partial findings and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has released them early. They suggest that male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors. But female rats didn't, and even the rats that developed tumors lived longer than rats not exposed to the radiation. The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, is still analyzing the findings. But John Bucher, associate director of the program, said the initial findings were so significant that the agency decided to release them. A 29-year-old study published earlier this month from Australia reassures us that cellphones are reasonably safe, and do not cause cancer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Rosetta’s comet contains ingredients for life

Science Daily - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 11:05pm
Ingredients crucial for the origin of life on Earth, including the simple amino acid glycine and phosphorus, key components of DNA and cell membranes, have been discovered at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Categories: Science