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- Innovation improves drowsy driver detection
A new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel has been developed. "Video-based systems that use cameras to detect when a car is drifting out of its lane are cumbersome and expensive. They don't work well on snow-covered or curvy roads, in darkness or when lane markers are faded or missing. Our invention provides an inexpensive and user-friendly technology that overcomes these limitations and can help catch fatigue earlier, well before accidents are likely to happen," said a developer of the device.
- Drought may take toll on Congo rainforest, NASA satellites show
A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. Scientists use the satellite-derived "greenness" of forest regions as one indicator of a forest's health. While this study looks specifically at the impact of a persistent drought in the Congo region since 2000, researchers say that a continued drying trend might alter the composition and structure of the Congo rainforest, affecting its biodiversity and carbon storage.
- Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth
Thirty to 40 percent of US households live hand-to-mouth, but new research has found that most of those people aren't poor. Stimulus programs -- such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009 -- are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash into the hands of people likely to turn around and spend it. But sending cash to just the very poor may not be the right approach, according to researchers.
- Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health, study finds
The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper.
- Cyber buddy is better than 'no buddy'
A researcher is looking to give exercise enthusiasts the extra nudge they need during a workout, and her latest research shows that a cyber buddy can help. The study is the first to indicate that although a human partner is still a better motivator during exercise, a software-generated partner also can be effective.
- Male or female? First sex-determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 mill...
The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. It originated twice independently in all mammals. Scientists have managed to date these events that are crucial for both mammalian evolution and our lives, because the Y chromosome determines whether we are born as a boy or girl.
- Superconducting qubit array points the way to quantum computers
A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics. Physicists have moved one step closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a five-qubit array. Quantum computing is anything but simple. It relies on aspects of quantum mechanics such as superposition. This notion holds that any physical object, such as an atom or electron -- what quantum computers use to store information -- can exist in all of its theoretical states simultaneously. This could take parallel computing to new heights.
- Mapping the road to quantum gravity
The road uniting quantum field theory and general relativity -- the two great theories of modern physics -- has been impassable for 80 years. Could a tool from condensed matter physics finally help map the way?
- Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery
Treating cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar cell materials with cadmium-chloride improves their efficiency, but researchers have not fully understood why.
- Finding safe drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases
'Mutant' protein clusters, long blamed for the progression of Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases, have been the primary focus of therapies in development by pharmaceutical companies. But according to new research, these drugs may not only be ineffective -- they may pose a serious threat to patients.