By BeauHD from Slashdot's non-invasive-security-measures department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The researchers, which include engineers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Binghamton University, published a study this month detailing a method in which common wifi can be used to easily and efficiently identify weapons, bombs, and explosive chemicals in public spaces that don't typically have affordable screening options. The researchers' system uses channel state information (CSI) from run-of-the-mill wifi. It can first identify whether there are dangerous objects in baggage without having to physically rifle through it. It then determines what the material is and what the risk level is. The researchers tested the detection system using 15 different objects across three categories -- metal, liquid, and non-dangerous -- as well as with six bags and boxes across three categories -- backpack or handbag, cardboard box, and a thick plastic bag.
The findings were pretty impressive. According to the researchers, their system is 99 percent accurate when it comes to identifying dangerous and non-dangerous objects. It is 97 percent accurate when determining whether the dangerous object is metal or liquid, the study says. When it comes to detecting suspicious objects in various bags, the system was over 95 percent accurate. The researchers state in the paper that their detection system only needs a wifi device with two to three antennas, and can run on existing networks.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Forget peer pressure, future generations are more likely to be influenced by robots, a study suggests. The research, conducted at the University of Plymouth, found that while adults were not swayed by robots, children were. The fact that children tended to trust robots without question raised ethical issues as the machines became more pervasive, said researchers. They called for the robotics community to build in safeguards for children. Those taking part in the study completed a simple test, known as the Asch paradigm, which involved finding two lines that matched in length. Known as the conformity experiment, the test has historically found that people tend to agree with their peers even if individually they have given a different answer. In this case, the peers were robots. When children aged seven to nine were alone in the room, they scored an average of 87% on the test. But when the robots joined them, their scores dropped to 75% on average. Of the wrong answers, 74% matched those of the robots.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Greg Allen, writing for NPR: Florida this week declared a state of emergency because of a slow-moving natural disaster -- red tide. Red tide is toxic algae that have persisted off Florida's Gulf Coast for nearly a year. In recent weeks, the algae bloom has worsened, killing fish, turtles and dolphins and discouraging tourism on some of the state's most beautiful beaches. Scores of dead fish were visible on the shore of Manatee Beach on a recent morning. There was a smell from the fish, but something more -- an acrid smell that can make you cough. Mary Vanswol, who was at the beach with her husband, James, said, "Uh, the smell is terrible. And it's affecting my lungs. I'm coughing, not so much him, but I am. It's just sad to see all the dead fish." The Vanswols live nearby and usually go swimming. But not today. After getting a look at the dead fish and the murky, slightly reddish-hued water, Mary Vanswols said they were leaving. "I wouldn't even walk along the edge of it. I just don't think it's safe," she said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
India will launch its first manned space mission by 2022, the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, which could make it the fourth nation to do so after the United States, Russia and China. From a report: Modi congratulated Indian scientists for excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. "Our scientists have made us proud. They launched over 100 satellites... They successfully completed the Mars mission." ISRO, India's space agency, successfully launched 104 satellites on 15 February 2017, of which three were Indian while the rest were foreign commercial satellites. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, India's first interplanetary mission was launched on November 5, 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It has been orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's do-able-science department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Scientists have found a rapid way of producing magnesite, a mineral which stores carbon dioxide. If this can be developed to an industrial scale, it opens the door to removing CO2 from the atmosphere for long-term storage, thus countering the global warming effect of atmospheric CO2. This work is presented at the Goldschmidt conference in Boston. Now, for the first time, researchers have explained how magnesite forms at low temperature, and offered a route to dramatically accelerating its crystallization. A tonne of naturally-occurring magnesite can remove around half a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere, but the rate of formation is very slow. The researchers were able to show that by using polystyrene microspheres as a catalyst, magnesite would form within 72 days. The microspheres themselves are unchanged by the production process, so they can ideally be reused. Project leader, Professor Ian Power from Trent University in Ontario added: "Using microspheres means that we were able to speed up magnesite formation by orders of magnitude. This process takes place at room temperature, meaning that magnesite production is extremely energy efficient. For now, we recognize that this is an experimental process, and will need to be scaled up before we can be sure that magnesite can be used in carbon sequestration (taking CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently storing it as magnesite). This depends on several variables, including the price of carbon and the refinement of the sequestration technology, but we now know that the science makes it do-able."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's next-generation-spaceflight department
On Monday, SpaceX let reporters take a look inside its Crew Dragon capsule for the first time, as well as hear from the four astronauts: Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins. Ars Technica writes about several pieces of hardware observed at the event in Hawthorne, California: During the event at SpaceX, engineers guided reporters through various displays. Outside, under a resplendent blue sky with the rolling hills of Palos Verdes in the distance, media was invited to crawl into a low-fidelity mockup of the crew Dragon spacecraft. This was a roomy vehicle, especially in comparison to NASA's current ride to the space station, a cramped Soyuz with a capacity of three. The Dragon will comfortably carry a normal complement of four for NASA, but seven seats can fit inside. On the second floor of its main factory, where astronauts have trained in recent years, SpaceX also showed off two simulators publicly for the first time. This marked the first time SpaceX has revealed details about the controls and the interior of its crewed spacecraft. The cockpit simulator demonstrated the controls that Dragon astronauts will have at their command. In comparison to the space shuttle and its more than 1,000 buttons, switches, and controls, the Dragon capsule has a modest array of three flat screens and two rows of buttons below.
< article continued at Slashdot's next-generation-spaceflight department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's surprisingly-slow department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Scientists found that death travels in unremitting waves through a cell, moving at a rate of 30 micrometers (one-thousandth of an inch) every minute, they report in a new study published Aug. 10 in the journal Science. That means, for instance, that a nerve cell, whose body can reach a size of 100 micrometers, could take as long as 3 minutes and 20 seconds to die. Apoptosis -- or programmed cell death -- is necessary for clearing our bodies of unnecessary or harmful cells, such as those that are infected by viruses. It also helps shape organs and other features in a developing fetus.
To figure this out, Ferrell and his team observed the process in one of the larger cells present in nature: egg cells of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frogs. They filled test tubes with fluid from the eggs and triggered apoptosis, which they watched unfold by tagging involved proteins with fluorescent light. If they saw fluorescent light, it meant apoptosis was taking place. They found that the fluorescent light traveled through the test tubes at a constant speed. If apoptosis had carried on due to simple diffusion (the spreading of substances from an area of high concentration to one of low concentration), the process would have slowed down toward the end, according to the study. Since it didn't, the researchers concluded that the process they observed must be "trigger waves," which they likened to "the spread of a fire through a field." The caspases that are first activated, activate other molecules of caspases, which activate yet others, until the entire cell is destroyed.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's early-adopters department
In a statement Tuesday, Verizon announced deals making Apple and Google its first video providers for a 5G wireless service its planning to launch in four cities later this year. From the report: The home broadband service will debut in Los Angeles, Houston and Sacramento, California, as well as the newly announced fourth city of Indianapolis, Verizon said Tuesday in a statement. With the introduction, Verizon will provide 5G customers either a free Apple TV box or free subscription to Google's YouTube TV app for live television service, according to people familiar with the plan. After shelving its own online TV effort, New York-based Verizon decided to partner with the two technology giants for video content, a first step toward eventually competing nationally against internet and pay TV providers such as AT&T and Comcast Using fifth-generation wireless technology, Verizon plans to beam online services to home receivers, delivering speeds that match or exceed landline connections.Read Replies (0)