Revisit your alarm clock from 1989 with this mondo E-Ink wall clock
ClockOne, a digital wall clock that uses E Ink for its display, officially goes on sale today. Twelve24, the company behind this home and office accessory, has launched Using the same display technology as the one found in Amazon's Kindle ebook ...
November 6, 2014
Upon review, Patriots offense wasn't all that bad
The Patriots actually did move the ball; there were four drives of double-digit plays, and three drives of at least four minutes. The Jumbo package allows the defense to crowd the box, and the New England offensive line has been getting pushed back....
September 24, 2014
The insect that hears like a human, with ears on its knees
Every time you put on some music or listen to a speaker's words, you are party to a miracle of biology – the ability to hear. Sounds are just waves of pressure, cascading through sparse molecules of air. Your ears can not only detect these oscillations ...
November 15, 2012
Scientists create mice that automatically label new memories for easy reactivation
Finding a specific memory in your brain is not easy. Is it held within a particular group of neurons? If so, which ones? Are they clustered together, or spread throughout the brain? In science-fiction, a goofy helmet and a fancy operating system is all ...
March 23, 2012
How 'superspreader' viruses invaded our genes
Around 8 to 10 per cent of your DNA comes from viral ancestors. These sequences are the remains of prehistoric viruses that inserted their DNA into the genes of our ancestors, hundreds of millions of years ago. Some of them became permanent residents, ...
April 24, 2012
Here's where all the magic happens
The Open Notebook has a series called Natural Habitat, which looks at the space in which science writers work. I, perhaps foolishly, agreed to take part in it. You can find the resulting video and photos here, featuring the local pub, treelancing (TM ...
May 23, 2012
Why did a US advisory board reverse its stance on publishing mutant flu papers?
Late last year, two teams of scientists announced that they had mutated the H5N1 'bird flu' virus so that it can spread easily between mammals, an ability that their wild cousins lack. The research aimed to understand how natural viruses could evolve ...
April 2, 2012
The final stats don’t look great — just 297 total yards, 2. 4 yards per carry, only one touchdown — but they don’t tell the whole story, either. there were four drives of double-digit plays, and three drives of at least four minutes. The only problem was that three of the four long drives ended on the Oakland 2, 2, and 18-yard lines. But the red zone troubles can be fixed, and I doubt the Patriots will have another game in which two drives stall inside the 5-yard line. They did a nice job on third down, converting 9 of 18 opportunities, including a third-and-15 pass to Rob Gronkowski for 22 yards. The offense cut down on the penalties, committing four for 30 yards, plus a holding call that was declined. While Julian Edelman dominated with 13 targets (and 10 catches), Brandon LaFell had eight targets and Shane Vereen tied Gronkowski with six. On third down, Vereen, LaFell, and Edelman each had three targets, while Gronk had two. And maybe, just maybe, Brady has figured out how to get the ball down the field. Brady threw six passes that traveled at least 15 yards. Brady completed three of the five passes for 57 yards, plus a pass interference penalty for 14 yards. He also threw a fade pass to Edelman that resulted in a 15-yard gain.
Sounds are just waves of pressure, cascading through sparse molecules of air. Your ears can not only detect these oscillations, but decode them to reveal a Bach sonata, a laughing friend, or a honking car. The sound waves pass through the bits of your ear you can actually see, and vibrate a membrane, stretched taut across your ear canal. On the other side, the eardrum connects to three tiny well-named bones—the hammer, anvil and stirrup—which link the air-filled outer ear with the fluid-filled inner ear. The bones perform the second-step: convert and amplify. They transmit all the pressure from the relatively wide eardrum into the much tinier tip of the stirrup, transforming large but faint air-borne vibrations into small but strong fluid-borne ones. These vibrations enter the inner ear, which looks like a French whisk poking out of a snail shell. Ignore the whisk for now – the shell is the cochlea, a rolled-up tube that’s filled with fluid and lined with sensitive hair cells. These perform the third step: frequency analysis. Each cell responds to different frequencies, and are neatly aligned so that the low-frequency ones are at one end of the tube and the high-frequency ones at another. The signals from these cells are passed to the auditory nerve and decoded in the brain. All mammal ears work in the same way: capture sound.
Finding a specific memory in your brain is not easy. Two independent groups of scientists have devised just such a method, and used it to awaken specific memories in mice. They will allow us to study how memories are formed, how our existing memories affect the creation of new ones, and what happens during the simple act of remembering. Back in the 1940s, brain surgeon Wilder Penfield found that when he electrified the brains of some epileptic patients, they recalled vivid random memories. There’s no way of directing the electricity to the specific neurons involved in any particular memory. “It occurred to us that the critical problem was that a given memory uses only a very small number of neurons in the brain,” says Mark Mayford from Scripps Research Institute, who led one of the new studies. Mayford solved the problem by getting the neurons that encode a new memory to identify themselves. He exploited the fact that active neurons switch on a gene called c-Fos, which acts as marker for neural activity. Mayford’s student Aleena Garner created genetically engineered mice, whose neurons produce a protein called hM3Dq whenever c-Fos is active. When these mice experience something new and create a fresh, the neurons that are involved.
The one killer app that could make us all want a smartwatch
I also can't begin to stress how much of an annoyance it is to use Google Authenticator and its ilk to type in 6-digit authentication codes all ... and when I have to switch from large screen to tiny screen (and back), there are at least two glasses ...
May 1, 2015
Kyocera Rally Feature Phone Launches Nationwide at T-Mobile; Offers Affordable, Easy-to-Use Functionality
Rally features a sleek, ergonomic design with a traditional keypad and large separated keys to make calling ... calendar, calculator, alarm clock, stopwatch, and more. Rally also supports TTY/TTD and has an HAC rating of M3/T3 fixed for the hearing ...
April 29, 2015