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Updated: 1 year 29 weeks ago

Ground-based Schlieren technique looks to the sun and moon

September 25, 2015 - 7:33am
In the wake of recent success with air-to-air schlieren photography using the speckled desert floor as a background, researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, are now looking to the heavens for backgrounds upon which to capture images of supersonic shock waves using ground-based cameras. A bright light source and/or speckled background – such as the sun or moon – is necessary for visualizing aerodynamic flow phenomena generated by aircraft or other objects passing between the observer's camera and the backdrop. This patent-pending method, made possible by improved image processing technology, is called Background-Oriented Schlieren using Celestial Objects, or BOSCO.

Indonesia’s Booming Bird Markets Put Songbirds at Risk

September 25, 2015 - 5:00am
Ahead of the Asian Songbird Crisis Summit, details on the scale of Indonesia’s bird markets focus attention on the pet trade in Southeast Asia.

RePhone kit offer calls up maker dreams of DIY modules

September 25, 2015 - 3:00am
Introducing an open source and modular phone—these words, as we know from the anticipation engulfing Project Ara—are music to the ears of hobbyists and hackers who are always interested in taking fuller control of how their mobile companion should look and function.

2-million-year-old fossils reveal hearing abilities of early humans

September 24, 2015 - 10:00pm
(Binghamton University) Research into human fossils dating back to approximately two million years ago reveals that the hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.

1,000mph Bloodhound car unveiled

September 24, 2015 - 11:27am
The design team behind the Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car put its near-complete vehicle on show in London, ahead of an assault on the world land speed record next year.

What Edward Snowden Got Wrong about Eavesdropping on Aliens

September 24, 2015 - 9:30am
In an off-the-cuff remark to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the former National Security Agency contractor suggested E.T. might send encrypted messages that humans mistake for noise

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Why Massachusetts wants Uber drivers to undergo stricter background checks

September 24, 2015 - 7:01am

During a hearing this week, state lawmakers debated whether ride-sharing services are really tech companies, or simply high-tech cab services, with some legislators arguing fingerprint background checks would protect passengers' safety.

Giraffes Caught Humming in the Midnight Hour

September 24, 2015 - 5:13am
Dogs bark, sheep bleat and mice squeak, but what sounds do giraffes make?

Message to Starbucks: Consumer idea generation is not one-size-fits-all

September 23, 2015 - 1:56pm
Listen up, Dell and Starbucks and all the other companies that turn to consumers for new ideas about products and services. There's a better way to pry good ideas out of your customers than through the same old standard online platforms—you know, the ones that provide all users with access to other users' ideas and that group ideas into categories such as "Products" and "Experience." As a new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests, that one-size-fits-all approach may be counterproductive. According to the study, online idea-generation platforms should instead tailor themselves to the industry-specific knowledge of the customer.

Exergaming improves physical mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders

September 23, 2015 - 11:41am
Games used for exercising can improve physical and mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders, a new study concludes. As a way to combat a lack of physical activity, researchers investigated the use of the Makoto arena, a triangular shaped arena with pillars at each point, each with lights and sounds at various levels of the pillars. Those playing the game must hit the correct spots as they light up on different pillars.

Can you grow potatoes on Mars?

September 23, 2015 - 9:21am
This is not as odd a question as it sounds, and by next week I reckon a good lot of you will be pondering it. Why? Well the 30th September sees the opening of The Martian in Australia, director Ridley Scott's latest offering. It's a survivor tale, telling the plight of a lone astronaut trapped on Mars.

'Flipped' science class helps women, those with lower GPA, study shows

September 23, 2015 - 6:55am
Physical chemistry students given most course content outside of the classroom scored 12% higher on exams than counterparts in more traditional classes where students listened to lectures, a new study by researchers at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (U-Mass) shows.

'Printed tech' to steer Bloodhound

September 22, 2015 - 5:09pm
When the Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car is unveiled this week, the public will be able to see the many innovative technologies used in its construction.

Radio telescopes could spot stars hidden in the galactic center

September 22, 2015 - 10:05am
The center of our Milky Way galaxy is a mysterious place. Not only is it thousands of light-years away, it's also cloaked in so much dust that most stars within are rendered invisible. Harvard researchers are proposing a new way to clear the fog and spot stars hiding there. They suggest looking for radio waves coming from supersonic stars.

Digital song downloads slipped further in first half of year

September 21, 2015 - 3:17pm
Digital downloads of songs continued to fall out of favor with Americans in the first half of the year, while free and paid music-streaming revenue kept growing, even without much of a bump from the launch of Apple Music.

Benefits of word repetition to infants

September 21, 2015 - 8:35am
 New research suggests that young infants benefit from hearing words repeated by their parents. With this knowledge, parents may make conscious communication choices that could pay off in their babies' toddler years and beyond.

Kim Dotcom extradition hearing begins in New Zealand

September 20, 2015 - 11:42pm
Kim Dotcom and three colleagues face an extradition hearing that began Monday in an Auckland courtroom. Dotcom is the colorful German-born entrepreneur who started the Internet site Megaupload, which was shut down by federal authorities in 2012. Here's what's at stake:

Eavesdropping on Arches: Rock's Internal 'Hum' Reveals Its Health

September 18, 2015 - 1:04pm
A spectacular rock arch in Utah is safe from collapse for now, according to a study that used a new technique to listen to the arch's natural "hum" to measure its internal health.

Surgeons, athletic, musical pros join forces to devise new surgical training program

September 18, 2015 - 6:11am
What do surgeons, elite-level athletes and professional musicians have in common? When they perform, the team -- be it a surgical team, a rowing team or choral ensemble -- must act harmoniously for the greatest chance of success. Athletic and musical coaching groups have developed very successful coaching strategies that improve the performance of their teams.

Network control: Letting noise lead the way

September 17, 2015 - 11:52am
Researchers leverage randomness in a new computational approach to keep cells healthy. Using a newly-developed computational algorithm, they showed that this randomness within and among cells, called "noise," can be manipulated to control the networks that govern the workings of living cells -- promoting cellular health and potentially alleviating diseases such as cancer.