Cameras that can learn what they are viewing — ScienceDaily

Intelligent cameras could be one step closer thanks to a research collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Manchester who have developed cameras that can learn and understand what they are seeing.

Roboticists and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers know there is a problem in how current systems sense and process the world. Currently they are still combining sensors, like digital cameras that are designed for recording images, with computing devices like graphics processing units (GPUs) designed to accelerate graphics for video games.

This means AI systems perceive the world only after recording and transmitting visual information between sensors and processors. But many things that can be seen are often irrelevant for the task at hand, such as the detail of leaves on roadside trees as an autonomous car passes by. However, at the moment all this information is captured by sensors in meticulous detail and sent clogging the system with

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Relationship value and economic value are evaluated by the same part of the brain — ScienceDaily

Wishing a friend happy birthday or spending a long period of time listening to their problems signifies commitment to the friendship. In other words, these actions serve as commitment signals (*1) and it is known that people value their relationships more with others who behave this way towards them.

Researchers from several Japanese universities have revealed that the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for calculating economic value, is also responsible for judging the value of relationships with friends based on the received commitment signals.

The research group consisted of Professor OHTSUBO Yohsuke (Graduate School of Humanities, Kobe University), Professor OHIRA Hideki (Graduate School of Informatics, Nagoya University), Aichi Medical University’s Lecturer MATSUNAGA Masahiro (and the Department of Health and Psychosocial Medicine research team), and Lecturer HIMICHI Toshiyuki (Kochi University of Technology).

These findings were published in the online edition of ‘Social Neuroscience’ on September 25.

Main Points

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Study shows surge of emergency room visits since introduction of rideshare e-scooters — ScienceDaily

A Henry Ford Health System physician is sounding the alarm on the rising number of injuries caused from riding electric scooters, calling it a growing public health concern.

In a study of e-scooter injuries, Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, says a review of emergency visits in the last three years shows e-scooter injuries have increased significantly with many of them related to head and neck injuries. The study describes how the types of injuries which include concussions, fractures, contusions and abrasions, lacerations and internal organ injuries have changed since the introduction of e-scooter rideshare systems to the public in September 2017.

The study’s break down on the type of injuries shows that head and neck injuries made up nearly 28% of the total injuries. Results were also broken down by age groups and showed that from 2009 to 2017, patients who

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Compact solid-state pulsed power generators achieve shorter, more powerful pulses — ScienceDaily

Powerful picosecond generators are in demand in various fields of experimental electrophysics to produce ultrashort electron beams and X-ray pulses in vacuum diodes and to form runaway electron flows in gases.

They also have applications in high-power microwave electronics, but researchers are constantly striving to obtain shorter and more powerful pulses.

In Review of Scientific Instruments, by AIP Publishing, scientists showed compact solid-state pulse generators could generate electrical pulses of less than one-billionth of a second in duration and up to 50 billion watts in power.

“For comparison, the most powerful hydroelectric power plant in China has an output power of 22.5 billion watts,” said Sergei Rukin, one of the authors.

Improving picosecond generators and mastering higher peak power levels in the picosecond range sets the groundwork for new applications in the coming years.

“This also happened with the development of powerful nanoscecond pulsed devices during the last 60 years,”

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An innovative method to tune lasers toward infrared wavelengths — ScienceDaily

Researchers at Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) have discovered a cost-effective way to tune the spectrum of a laser to the infrared, a band of great interest for many laser applications. They collaborated with Austrian and Russian research teams to develop this innovation, which is now the subject of a patent application. The results of their work were recently published in Optica, the flagship journal of the Optical Society (OSA).

In this field of study, many laser applications have a decisive advantage if the laser wavelength is located and possibly tunable in the infrared region. However, this is still hardly the case with current ultrafast laser technologies, and scientists need to explore various nonlinear processes to shift the emission wavelength. In particular, the Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA) has so far been the only well-established tool to reach this infrared window. Although OPA systems offer a broad range

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Watching nature on TV can boost wellbeing — ScienceDaily

Watching high quality nature programmes on TV can uplift people’s moods, reduce negative emotions, and help alleviate the kind of boredom associated with being isolated indoors, according to a new study published today in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

The research has also shown that experiencing nature in virtual reality could have even larger benefits, boosting positive feelings and increasing people’s connection to the natural world.

Under laboratory conditions, researchers from the University of Exeter first induced feelings of boredom in 96 participants by asking them to watch a video in which a person describes their work at an office supply company. They then experienced scenes of an underwater coral reef in one of three different ways: on TV; in a VR headset using 360o video; and in a VR headset using computer generated interactive graphics.

The team found that all viewing methods minimised negative feelings such as sadness,

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Modern tech no better than plain old schedules for commuters — ScienceDaily

Smartphone apps that tell commuters when a bus will arrive at a stop don’t result in less time waiting than reliance on an official bus route schedule, a new study suggests.

In fact, people who followed the suggestions of transit apps to time their arrival for when the bus pulls up to the stop were likely to miss the bus about three-fourths of the time, results showed.

“Following what transit apps tell you about when to leave your home or office for the bus stop is a risky strategy,” said Luyu Liu, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in geography at The Ohio State University.

“The app may tell you the bus will be five minutes late, but drivers can make up time after you start walking, and you end up missing the bus.”

The best choice on average for bus commuters is to refer to the

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Everyone can play a part in conserving Australia’s World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef — ScienceDaily

Many Australians do not know what they can individually do to make a difference to the health of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef (GBR), according to a survey led by QUT researchers.

The researchers found most Australians are not making a connection between climate change and reef health and say there is more individuals could do on this front, both in the home and to influence government policies.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Angela Dean conducted the online survey of 4,285 Australians with Professor Kerrie Wilson, Director of QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, and Dr Robyn Gulliver from the University of Queensland.

The resulting paper, “Taking action for the Reef?” — Australians do not connect Reef conservation with individual climate-related actions, has been published in Conservation Letters: a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology.

“While there are many threats to reef health, including poor water quality stemming from

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Teen brain differences linked to increased waist circumference — ScienceDaily

Differences in the microstructure of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a region in the brain that plays an important role in processing food and other reward stimuli, predict increases in indicators of obesity in children, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and nine other institutes, all part of the National Institutes of Health. The paper, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. The ABCD Study will follow nearly 12,000 children through early adulthood to assess factors that influence individual brain development and other health outcomes.

Findings from this study provide the first evidence of microstructural brain differences that are linked to waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) in children. These microstructural differences in cell density could be indicative of inflammatory processes triggered by a diet

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American Pikas show resiliency in the face of global warming — ScienceDaily

The American pika is a charismatic, diminutive relative of rabbits that some researchers say is at high risk of extinction due to climate change. Pikas typically live in cool habitats, often in mountains, under rocks and boulders. Because pikas are sensitive to high temperatures, some researchers predict that, as the Earth’s temperature rises, pikas will have to move ever higher elevations until they eventually run out of habitat and die out. Some scientists have claimed this cute little herbivore is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for climate change.

A new extensive review by Arizona State University emeritus professor Andrew Smith, published in the October issue of the Journal of Mammalogy, finds that the American pika is far more resilient in the face of warm temperatures than previously believed. While emphasizing that climate change is a serious threat to the survival of many species on Earth, Smith believes

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