Researchers at UC Berkeley are studying the way lizards use their tails for balance. They’re using this information to develop better robots that could be used in search and rescue missions.
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratories and elsewhere are investigating other aspects of fire propagation, like how big fires create their own weather — a process that has contributed to some of the most devastating fires in recent years.
The setup in the photo above is known as a “fire-whirl generator” and is used to better understand the physics of a flame.
“I was just looking at it and watching it fire, and you see the colors moving and the different rhythm patterns and realizing, that’s me!”
We specify “representation” because the visuals are part of a collaboration between Hart and UCSF researcher Adam Gazzaley. Gazzaley is quick to say that the images are stylized for the sake of special effects, but the method in which to read Hart’s brain in real time has much larger scientific and medical implications.
Although there are a lot of video games out there that claim to help your brain, most have not been evaluated for this purpose. A new study at UCSF finds that playing a brain training game for one month can rejuvenate cognitive control for people in their 60s, 70s and 80s.
Neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley worked with video game developers to create NeuroRacer, a game which has users perform two task simultaneously (using a joystick to navigate a car and hitting a button whenever the player sees a particular road sign).
After training, their multitasking ability improved beyond the levels of 20-year-olds. They also got better at remembering information and paying attention.
As people get older, they tend to adopt “more conservative strategies” when it comes to evaluating information and taking action (according to David Meyer, University of Michigan). But they haven’t necessarily lost the ability to act quickly: the video game may help in part because it simply encourages older people to adopt a less conservative strategy.
Bologna dropped on a kitchen floor can bear an unsettling resemblance to Petri dishes containing Salmonella bacteria.
Eat. Think. And be wary.
Most folks know the “five-second rule,” an unwritten convention that says if you drop a food item on the floor it may be picked up, dusted off and safely consumed within that designated amount of time.
Apparently this assumes microbes need at least six seconds to make the jump.
In recent years, the scientific integrity of the five-second rule has come under occasional empirical scrutiny.
Below is our interview with lead researcher for the project Emmanuelle Passegue who talks about her team’s work.
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