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The Lead

Algorithm Lets Robots Assemble Things on the Fly

May 28, 2015 | by MIT, Larry Hardesty | Comments

A new algorithm can significantly reduce robot teams’ planning time. The plan the algorithm produces may not be perfectly efficient, but in many cases, the savings in planning time will more than offset the added execution time. Researchers tested the viability of the algorithm by using it to guide a crew of three robots in the assembly of a chair.


Hubble Sees Shock Collision Inside Black Hole Jet

May 29, 2015 7:00 am | by NASA | Comments

When you’re blasting though space, you may need driver’s insurance. Astronomers have discovered for the first time a rear-end collision between two high-speed knots of ejected matter. This discovery was made while piecing together a time-lapse movie of a plasma jet blasted from a supermassive black hole inside a galaxy located 260 million light-years from earth.


The Truth of Three Food Myths

May 27, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

Three videos are taking on a swath of food myths. So, is your microwave dangerous? Are frozen vegetables pointless? Is drinking red wine good for you? Find out now!


Neuroprosthetics Enable Smoother Motion with Thought

May 26, 2015 9:13 am | by Caltech | Comments

Neural prosthetic devices implanted in the brain's movement center can allow patients to control the movement of a robotic limb. However, current neuroprosthetics produce motion that is delayed and jerky. Now, by implanting neuroprosthetics in a part of the brain that controls not the movement directly but rather our intent to move, researchers have developed a way to produce more natural and fluid motions.


Technique Advances Color 3-D Printing

May 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Columbia Engineering | Comments

A team of scientists has developed a technique that enables hydrographic printing, a widely used industrial method for transferring color inks on a thin film to the surface of manufactured 3-D objects, to color these surfaces with the most precise alignment ever attained.


This Device Will Self-destruct

May 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | Comments

Researchers have developed heat-triggered self-destructing electronic devices, a step toward greatly reducing electronic waste and boosting sustainability in device manufacturing. They also developed a radio-controlled trigger that could remotely activate self-destruction on demand.


Folding Drone Speeds into Action

May 21, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | Comments

Inspired by origami, a folding drone unfurls and takes off in a third of a second. The moment it is turned on, the rotors engage, the articulated arms extend and the drone begins moving.  


Cancer Drugs May Treat Down Syndrome, Brain Disorders

May 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | Comments

A class of FDA-approved cancer drugs may be able to prevent problems with brain cell development associated with disorders including Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, researchers have found. They showed that giving the leukemia drugs nilotinib or bafetinib to fly larvae with the equivalent of Fragile X prevented the wild overgrowth of neuron endings associated with the disorder.


The Chemistry Behind the World's Best Bagels

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

Many agree that the Big Apple has the best bagels in the world, but many disagree on why. Dive into the chemistry of these tasty breakfast treats with the help of a top chef.


Nanosized Faucet Backs Up Quantum Theory

May 18, 2015 7:00 am | by McGill Univ. | Comments

We all know intuitively that normal liquids flow more quickly as the channel containing them tightens. According to a longstanding quantum-mechanics model, superfluid helium would behave differently from a normal liquid: far from speeding up, it would actually slow down. Now, a team has succeeded in conducting experiments with the smallest channel yet– less than 30 atoms wide to test the model.


Robot Rodeo Highlights Bomb Squads

May 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Bomb squads from across the country saddled up their robots and are duking it out at the ninth annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise. The five-day event offers a challenging platform for civilian and military bomb squad teams to practice defusing dangerous situations with robots’ help.


Cool Tech: Device Uses Light to Project a Picture of Your Veins

May 14, 2015 12:49 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

I’m a science nerd who embraces the fact that she’s fascinated by phlebotomy and venipuncture. I enjoy learning about new technologies and techniques in the needle arena, and I recently came across one I find incredibly cool and worth sharing.

Touch Makes 'Cool' Material Glow

May 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | Comments

A new material stays liquid more than 200 F below its expected freezing point, but a light touch can cause it to form yellow crystals that glow under ultraviolet light. Even living cells sitting on a film of the supercooled liquid produce crystal footprints, which means that it's about a million times more sensitive than other known molecules that change color in response to pressure.


One Finger Can Control a Swarm of Robots

May 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

Using a smart tablet and a red beam of light, researchers have created a system that allows people to control a fleet of robots with the swipe of a finger. A person taps the tablet to control where the beam of light appears on a floor. The swarm robots then roll toward the illumination, constantly communicating with each other and deciding how to evenly cover the lit area.


How Adderall Works

May 12, 2015 8:00 am | by ACS | Comments

More than 25 million people rely on Adderall. But how does amphetamine, the active ingredient in Adderall, work?  


Cattle Hormones Damage Nature More than Thought

May 11, 2015 7:00 am | by Indiana Univ. | Comments

Research has found that potentially harmful growth-promoting hormones used in beef production are expected to persist in the environment at higher concentrations and for longer durations than previously thought.  



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