About a year ago, Apple made the bold proclamation that it was zeroing in on a future where iPhones and MacBooks were created wholly of recycled materials.It was, and still is, an ambitious thought.In a technologically-charged world, many forget that nearly 100 percent of e-waste is recyclable.Named “Daisy,” Apple’s new robot builds on its previous iteration, Liam, which Apple used to disassemble unneeded iPhones in an attempt to scrap or reuse the materials.Like her predecessor, Daisy can successfully salvage a bulk of the material needed to create brand new iPhones.All told, the robot is capable of extracting parts from nine types of iPhone, and for every 100,000 devices it manages to recover 1,900 kg (4,188 pounds) of aluminum, 770 kg of cobalt, 710 kg of copper, and 11 kg of rare earth elements — which also happen to be some of the hardest and environmentally un-friendly materials required to build the devices.
Orchid Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that’s developing a a surveillance-free layer on top of the internet, has raised a bunch of funding, according to a newly processed SEC filing that shows the year-old startup has closed on $36.1 million.The money comes just five months after Orchid closed on a separate, $4.5 million in funding from investors, including Yes VC, cofounded by serial entrepreneurs Caterina Fake and Jyri Engeström.Others of its earliest backers include Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ, MetaStable, Compound, Box Group, Blockchain Capital, and Sequoia Capital, according to its site.The stated goal of the Orchid is to provide anonymized internet access to people across the globe, particularly individuals who live in countries with excessive government oversight of their browsing and shopping.Part of the point also seems to be to insulate users from the many companies that now harvest and sell their data, including walled gardens like Facebook and other giants like ATIn a word where one assumes the Cambridge Analytica scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data abuse, it’s easy to see the project’s appeal.So far, judging by the filing, the company has raised that $36.1 million via a SAFT agreement, an investment contract offered by cryptocurrency developers to accredited investors.
The Democratic National Committee has sued Russia, WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign, and a number of other individuals and organizations that the political party believes were affiliated with the now-infamous 2016 hack, whose perpetrators managed to spirit away internal research about then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as private e-mail and messages."It’s pretty serious—it’s more than a shot over the bow, it’s a shot into the hull of the ship," David Bowker, a Washington DC, attorney, told Ars.The lawsuit alleges that Russia, its GRU intelligence service, the Trump campaign, and various allies—including Donald Trump, Jr.—were all part of a "conspiracy" to "promote Donald Trump’s candidacy through illegal means.""As stolen DNC information was strategically released into the public sphere, then-candidate Trump openly praised the illegal disseminations and encouraged Russia to continue its violations of US law through its ongoing hacking campaign against the Democratic party," the civil complaint, which was filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan, stated.If successful, the DNC might stand to be awarded some money (perhaps millions of dollars) as part of a judgement or settlement.Attorneys representing the DNC, including Michael Eisenkraft, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
A voice-controlled oven, a TV that doubles as art or an indoor garden that practically manages itself -- it all sounds amazing.There are some things you should consider, however, before diving into a smart home of your own.Here are four of the most important.You'll need to decide on a 'brain' firstWithout a doubt, the biggest concern is fragmentation.It's certainly gotten better over the last few years, especially with the growing popularity of smart speakers like Google Home and Alexa, and services like IFTTT that help fix the language barrier between different devices and services.
Friday Night Lights, the football show that was never just about football (and one of the best shows on television), is now streaming on Hulu.Say goodbye to the weekend is all I’m saying.Hailed as one of the most honest depictions of a functioning adult relationship in its portrayal of the husband and wife duo of “Coach” Eric and Tammy Taylor, Friday Night Lights also worked wonders for showing the life and high school times of teens in a small Texas town.If you haven’t seen it, you should, and if you have (and if you’re me, you have many many many times), this weekend is as good a time as any to watch it again.For Hulu, this is part of a clutch of shows from the ’90s and 2000s that are touchstones of popular culture.The streaming service already holds Will & Grace, Felicity, Dawson’s Creek and The O.C.
Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study led by a Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.When people know they are being observed, parts of the brain associated with social awareness and reward invigorate a part of the brain that controls motor skills, improving their performance at skilled tasks.The findings, which could help people become more effective in the workplace and in school, are set to be published Friday in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience."You might think having people watch you isn't going to help, but it might actually make you perforbiomedical m better," said lead author Vikram Chib, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.But it quickly became clear that in certain situations, having an audience spurred people to do better, the same way it would if money was on the line.Previous studies have shown that when people are observed, brain activity jumps in areas of the brain known for thinking about others, even if people aren't doing anything that others could judge.
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Joint research between Tampere University of Technology (TUT) (Finland) and University of Tübingen (Germany) has shown that carefully structured light and matching arrangements of metal nanostructures (so-called "plasmonic oligomers") can be combined to alter the properties of the generated light at the nanometer scale.In particular, the teams have shown that the efficiency of nonlinear optical fields (e.g., second-harmonics) generated from the oligomers is strongly influenced by how the constituents of the oligomer are arranged in space and how these constituents are illuminated by structured light.Nonlinear optical processes provide the basis for important functionalities in photonics, such as frequency conversion of light, generation of ultrashort light pulses, as well as optical processing and manipulation.Further advancement of this field is expected to be fueled by the synthesis of novel nanomaterials with tailorable optical properties and by new approaches for coupling light efficiently into such nanomaterials.For the latter purpose, light beams with unconventional polarizations, so-called structured light, are expected to be crucial.In order to demonstrate such capabilities, the authors designed and fabricated assemblies of gold nanorods with well-defined dimensions and orientations such that their overall size matches the size of a focused laser beam, i.e., about 1 micron.
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Adenovirus is a common virus that causes infectious diseases of the respiratory tract, eyes and gastrointestinal tract in humans and animals.Researchers at Umeå University study molecular mechanisms of infection in order to understand how adenovirus causes disease.The researchers in Umeå, together with research groups from Germany, the UK and Hungary, have now discovered a new type of mechanism used by a rare adenovirus type to attack cells.Human Adenovirus type 52 (HAdV-52) is one of the few adenoviruses that has two different types of fiber proteins on its surface, which are 'used' by the virus for the attachment to target cells.In collaboration with researchers in the Glycosciences Laboratory at Imperial College in London, who are world leading in the research field of glycobiology, the scientists have shown that the shorter fiber binds to an unusual type of carbohydrate-based receptor, polysialic acid (a long chain of repeated sialic acids).Annasara Lenman working with Niklas Arnberg has subsequently corroborated that HAdV-52 binds to polysialic acid on target cells, and that this leads to infection.
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Researchers of Eindhoven University of Technology and fiber broadband equipment supplier Genexis have developed data transmission techniques that can double or even triple the data transmission capacity of existing fiber to the home connections.Enjoying this increase requires you to upgrade your modem.But even if only your neighbors do, you can get a higher data capacity as well.The techniques apply to passive optical networks (PONs).central office) have a lower signal quality.Since providers want to guarantee connectivity for everybody, current networks are over-dimensioned, leading to unused capacity.
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Astronomers developed a "guide star" adaptive optics technique to obtain the most crystal-clear and precise telescopic images of distant galaxies, stars and planets.Now a team of scientists, led by Nobel laureate Eric Betzig, PhD, are borrowing the very same trick.They've combined it with lattice light-sheet to create a new microscope that's able to capture real-time, incredibly detailed and accurate images, along with three-dimensional videos of biology on the cellular and sub-cellular level.The work -- a collaboration between researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School -- is detailed in a new paper just published in Science."For the first time, we are seeing life itself at all levels inside whole, living organisms," said Tom Kirchhausen, PhD, co-author on the new study, who is a senior investigator in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital and a professor of cell biology and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS)."Every time we've done an experiment with this microscope, we've observed something novel -- and generated new ideas and hypotheses to test," Kirchhausen said in a news story by HMS.
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From AI and machine learning to CCTV and big data - computer scientists at the University of East Anglia are part of an international effort to make the fishing industry more sustainable.They are part of a new £5 million EU-funded project to revolutionise the fishing industry, which employs over 24,000 people in the UK and contributes around £1.4 billion to our economy.It is hoped that pioneering technology will contribute to making the industry more environmentally friendly, sustainable and profitable.The 'SMARTFISH-H2020' project, co-ordinated by SINTEF Ocean in Norway, draws on research from the brightest minds at universities in Norway, Denmark, Turkey, France and Spain, along with research institutes and industry partners across Europe.Other UK partners include Marine Scotland, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), and Safetynet Technologies Limited.The project aims to develop, test and roll out a suite of high-tech systems that optimise efficiency and reduce the ecological impact of fishing on the marine environment.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Brown University researchers have developed a new theory to explain why stretching or compressing metal catalysts can make them perform better.There's also interest in using metal catalysts to convert carbon dioxide into fuels, make fertilizers from atmospheric nitrogen and drive reactions in fuel-cell cars.Research in recent years has shown that applying a strain to metal catalysts -- either compression or tension -- can in some cases change the way they perform."Strain is a really hot topic in catalysis right now," said Andrew Peterson, an assistant professor in Brown's School of Engineering and co-author of the research.That got us thinking about an alternative framework for this question."A metal catalyst works by causing reactants to bind to its surface, a process known as adsorption.
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That's the finding of a study in which researchers tested a commercially available exoskeleton--a mechanical arm attached to a harness--that's typically worn by workers to help them carry heavy objects hands-free.There are tradeoffs with all exoskeletons on the market today, because they inherently change the way we move, said William Marras, director of The Ohio State University Spine Research Institute and Honda Chair Professor of Integrated Systems Engineering at Ohio State.For the study, 12 volunteers used two different pneumatic tools, a torque wrench and an impact wrench, as they might in industry.Over the course of a few hours, researchers measured the forces on the volunteers' back muscles and spine."This exoskeleton is meant to offload weight from your arms, so for your arms it's great," said Gregory Knapik, senior researcher at the institute.The volunteers didn't seem to notice the extra strain on their backs, but they did notice that they were uncomfortable, chiefly because of the stiff metal rods that lined the harness and prevented them from moving normally.
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In a recent study published in Science, researchers at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, along with other members of the Graphene Flagship, reached the ultimate level of light confinement.This will pave the way to ultra-small optical switches, detectors and sensors.Light can function as an ultra-fast communication channel, for example between different sections of a computer chip, but it can also be used for ultra-sensitive sensors or on-chip nanoscale lasers.New techniques searching for ways to confine light into extremely tiny spaces, much smaller than current ones, have been on the rise.This team of researchers including those from ICFO (Spain), University of Minho (Portugal) and MIT (USA) used stacks of two-dimensional materials, called heterostructures, to build up a new nano-optical device."At first we were looking for a new way to excite graphene plasmons.
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Scientists and engineers at Swansea University have been awarded a research grant by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) that will see them explore highly novel forms of physical photovoltaic (PV) tiles that can be placed on buildings, objects and even clothes.The three-year project involves a range of local and global partners.Dr Ben Masheder of DST Innovations, based in Bridgend, Wales, said; "We believe that the surface has barely been scratched of integrated devices such as sensors, displays, energy harvesting and lighting.This project brings together all of these elements and will go a long way to addressing the challenges that this area presents and because of these we are excited to be a partner in the research."Further afield, the team will work with IIT-B in Mumbai, India; Prof Anirudha Joshi of the Industrial Design Centre said: "The energy demands the internet of things revolution brings are enormous.In the 'developed' world, this problem will affect sustainability.
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A new systems biology model that mimics the process of wood formation allows scientists to predict the effects of switching on and off 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin, a primary component of wood."For the first time, we can predict the outcomes of modifying multiple genes involved in lignin biosynthesis, rather than working with a single gene at a time through trial and error, which is a tedious and time-consuming process," says Jack Wang, assistant professor in NC State's College of Natural Resources and lead author of a paper about the research in Nature Communications."Having a model such as this, which allows us to say if you want this type of wood, here are the genes that you need to modify, is very beneficial, especially when you have an enormous number of possible combinations with 21 pathway genes," Wang says."It's only possible through integrated analysis which allows us to look at this process at a systems level to see how genes, proteins and other components work together to regulate lignin production."The landmark lignin study may represent the most comprehensive model of a single pathway in a single plant species, Wang says.High lignin woods are novel resources for the production of special value-added phenolic compounds.
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- Computer science researcher Daniel Sheldon at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a five-year, $550,000 faculty early career development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to design and test new mathematical approaches and algorithms to help ecologists and other scientists better use large data sets generated by citizen science projects, animal tracking devices and earth observation instruments, among other goals.As Sheldon explains, these new data sources hold "exceptional promise" for monitoring biodiversity, advancing scientific discovery and guiding decisions to conserve natural systems, but their full potential has not been realized in part because the information they provide is so diverse and varies over space and time, for example."These qualities really challenge existing computational and statistical tools," he says.He says, "Traditionally, we only had data from surveys conducted once or twice a year, so we would never dream of modeling spring and fall migration.But now with huge amounts of evidence coming in every day of the year from people all over the continent, the data shows really clear evidence of migration patterns of different species across the continent."How does weather affect decisions about where and when to move?
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DETROIT - Pai-Yen Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Wayne State University's College of Engineering, recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, the organization's most prestigious accolade for up-and-coming researchers in science and engineering.Chen is the recipient of a five-year, $500,000 grant for his project, "Integrated Research and Education on Self-Activated, Transparent Harmonics-Based Wireless Sensing Systems Using Graphene Bioelectronics."The microsensors in wearable health-monitoring devices are inexpensive, low maintenance and battery-free, but their performance is often hindered by electromagnetic interference.Chen's research examines the use of a graphene-based bioelectronics circuit in a harmonic sensor to reduce noise and create a more energy-efficient wireless system.Among the health care applications for this technology is a sensor for contact lenses that can monitor ocular health and improve eye care."If successful, the compact and transparent graphene harmonic biosensor can be integrated on the soft contact lens to sensitively detect targeted pathogen bacteria, infectious agents, diseases or metabolic changes of interest and wirelessly transmit data without any power source or sophisticated circuit," said Chen.
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A new study, led by Swansea University, reveals that the density of barriers in European rivers is much higher than indicated by available databases - up to one barrier in every kilometre of river.Now, for the first time, scientists are inviting citizens to help in updating information about these barriers with a newly-developed smartphone app.Today, these barriers can provide energy, water, fishing and leisure opportunities, and might even prevent the spread of invasive river species.Eel, salmon and many other species all rely on complete connectivity between the sea and their upstream river habitats to complete their life cycle.The researchers found that the number of barriers recorded in existing databases only amounted to 3% of the total number of river barriers in Europe.Information can also be uploaded to a website.
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Social media and the sharing economy have created new opportunities by leveraging online networks to build trust and remove marketplace barriers.Now, using the photo-sharing site Instagram as a test case, Columbia researchers demonstrate how two common recommendation algorithms amplify a network effect known as homophily in which similar or like-minded people cluster together.They further show how algorithms turned loose on a network with homophily effectively make women less visible; they found that the women in their dataset, whose photos were slightly less likely to be 'liked' or commented on, became even less popular once recommendation algorithms were introduced.By working out the math of how this happens, the researchers hope that their work, to be presented April 25 at the Web Conference in Lyon, can pave the way for algorithms that correct for homophily.When they used two widely used recommendation algorithms -- Adamic-Adar and Random Walk (friends-of-friends) -- the researchers found that the percentage of women connected to, or predicted to be recommended to, at least 10 other Instagram users fell from 48 percent in the original dataset, to 36 percent and 30 percent respectively.As predicted in a series of mathematical proofs in the paper, the researchers also found that the disparity was greatest among Instagram's super-influencers -- people like Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, whose popular posts and 1.5 million followers put him in the top tenth-of-one percent for engagement.
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