MSU researchers create a new engine prototype w video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at Michigan State University have built a prototype, based on the research first released in 2009, of the Wave Disk Generator — an engine that does not have pistons, crankshafts or valves. This new model, which does away with the internal combustion engine of the past, has the potential to reduce auto emissions up to 90 percent, when compared to the current emissions level. This is because the engine uses roughly 60 percent of its fuel for propulsion, when you compare this to the typical cars engine that uses only 15 percent of fuel for propulsion, we can see how the increase is possible. Citation: MSU researchers create a new engine prototype (w/ video) (2011, March 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-msu-prototype-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Software patch makes car more fuel-efficientcenter_img The new engine prototype is built with a disc-shaped shock wave generator that is about the size of a sauce pan, and will require no transmission system, cooling system, emissions regulation or fluids, which means that you will end up not only doing something good for the planet, but you will end up with less in maintenance costs, if this new prototype ever comes to the market.The engine works like this: a rotor, with a wave-like pattern carved into channels. The fuel and air enter and mix through the central inlets. The rotor then spins, blocking the exit of gasses. As the pressure builds it will generate a shock wave that will compress the mixture. Once it is ignited an outlet opens to let the hot gases escape, and your car can move as usual.The engine prototype was shown off by Norbert Müller and other colleagues at Michigan State University at a meeting with the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore furtherlast_img read more

Spaun the new human brain simulator can carry out tasks w video

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play This video provides a brief introduction to Spaun, showing the model’s ‘neural’ activity superimposed onto an illustration of a human brain. Credit: Chris Eliasmith, et al. These tasks are simple, but they capture many features of neuroanatomy and physiology, including abilities to perceive, recognize and carry out required behaviors. They also require an enormous amount of computing power, with the computer needing two hours of processing time for each second of Spaun simulation.The most surprising feature about Spaun, according to Prof. Eliasmith and colleagues is that it has human-like flaws. For example, it has trouble remembering lists of numbers when they are too lengthy, and is better at remembering numbers at the beginnings and ends of lists. It also hesitates before answering questions, just as humans do. These flaws may be useful in future robots, Eliasmith said, as they would make robots seem more human-like and therefore easier to interact with. Journal information: Science Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: Spaun, the new human brain simulator, can carry out tasks (w/ video) (2012, November 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-spaun-human-brain-simulator-tasks.html More information: A Large-Scale Model of the Functioning Brain, Science 30 November 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6111 pp. 1202-1205. DOI: 10.1126/science.1225266ABSTRACTA central challenge for cognitive and systems neuroscience is to relate the incredibly complex behavior of animals to the equally complex activity of their brains. Recently described, large-scale neural models have not bridged this gap between neural activity and biological function. In this work, we present a 2.5-million-neuron model of the brain (called “Spaun”) that bridges this gap by exhibiting many different behaviors. The model is presented only with visual image sequences, and it draws all of its responses with a physically modeled arm. Although simplified, the model captures many aspects of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and psychological behavior, which we demonstrate via eight diverse tasks.Download the Spaun modelVideos for Spaun simulationsPress releasecenter_img ‘Chatter Box’ computer will unravel the science of language A high-level depiction of the Spaun model, with all of the central features of a general Semantic Pointer Architecture. © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—One of the challenges of understanding the complex behavior of animals is to relate the behavior to the complex processes occurring within the brain. So far, neural models have not been able to bridge this gap, but a new software model, Spaun, goes some way to addressing this problem. Play This video shows Spaun’s ‘neural’ activity during four different tasks and explains how the researchers decoded it. Credit: Chris Eliasmith, et al. Eliasmith said Spaun is the first simulator of the brain to be able to complete a series of tasks and demonstrate behaviors, even though bigger brain models have been built in the past, such as that built by the Blue Brain Project, with a million neurons, and SyNAPSE (IBM) with a billion simulated neurons. Spaun is more similar to the human brain than previous models, Eliasmith said, and it could therefore be used in the study of some brain disorders. In a recent experiment, for example, he examined the effects of neurons “dying off,” in a simulation of aging of the human brain; an experiment that would have been unethical if using human subjects. The model might also be useful in the development of multi-task artificial intelligence applications, and robotics.Spaun does have its limitations because at present it can only carry out the tasks given it and cannot learn anything new, and because of its lengthy computer processing time. The research paper was published in the journal Science. The Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network (Spaun) is a computer model of the human brain built by Professor Chris Eliasmith and colleagues of the University of Waterloo in Canada. It comprises around two and a half million virtual neurons organized into functional groups rather like real neurons in regions of the human brain associated with vision, short-term memory, and so on. (The human brain has roughly 100 billion neurons.) Spaun is presented with a sequence of visual images in eight separate tasks. It then processes the information presented to it and then decides what action to take. It can recognize and remember numbers written in different handwriting, and can copy them using a mechanical arm. Spaun can also answer questions about numbers and complete number series after seeing examples. last_img read more

UKs RobotCar demonstrated w Video

first_img Robot car to cut jams & prangs The goal of the project is for the RobotCar to drive itself mainly on short journeys on routes with which it is familiar. During the initial period the RobotCar builds a 3D map of routes taken by the car, which is being driven normally. Once it has built up a memory bank of familiar routes it begins to offer to take over and the driver can accept by tapping on the iPad screen. If there is any conflict between the three on-board computers autonomous driving is not offered. If there are any problems during autonomous driving the iPad prompts the driver to resume control. If they do not, the car slows to a stop.A laser under the front fender scans with an 85 degree field of view up to 50 metres ahead for obstacles such as pedestrians, other vehicles, or objects, and if the car is in control it automatically slows to a stop if an obstacle is detected. It accelerates and continues its journey only when the road ahead is clear.The Oxford team, led by Professor Paul Newman, expects manufacturers will be fitting the system into their cars within 15 years or less. They say the autonomous vehicles will make the roads safer and less congested, and will be particularly useful for drivers following regular routes. Professor Newman said the cars of the future would be driving themselves some of the time rather than all of the time. © 2013 Phys.org The system consists of a modified Nissan LEAF electric car with an iPad mounted in easy reach of the driver, lasers attached to the front of the car, and stereo cameras that work with the lasers to produce a three-dimensional image of the route being taken. The lasers and cameras constantly map out the route being taken by the car.The entire system is controlled by a Main Vehicle Computer (MVC) installed in the trunk, which can control virtually every aspect of the car. A third computer is the Low Level Controller (LLC), which communicates directly with the iPad user interface. The system does not depend on GPS. More information: mrg.robots.ox.ac.uk/robotcar/ The car, being developed by Oxford RobotCar UK, is designed to allow drivers to decide to let the car take over the driving when the car’s computer makes the offer. A simple tap on the brakes at any time returns control immediately to the driver.Unlike other autonomous vehicles being developed by groups such as Google, the UK team have concentrated on developing their technology using cheap components such as sensors to dramatically reduce the cost. At present, the system costs about £5000 (7750 USD), but the scientists hope to be able to reduce the cost to as little as £100 (about 150 USD) Citation: UK’s RobotCar demonstrated (w/ Video) (2013, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-uk-robotcar-video.html The RobotCar has been demonstrated on private roads around the Begbroke Science Park in Oxfordshire, but the group is in talks with Britain’s Department of Transport to arrange for trials on public roads. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A group of scientists at Oxford University in the UK have demonstrated their version of the self-driving car, which promises to be much cheaper than similar cars being developed elsewhere.last_img read more

Single nucleotide change responsible for allowing H7N9 flu to jump from birds

first_img More information: Xiaofeng Huang et al. An NS-segment exonic splicing enhancer regulates influenza A virus replication in mammalian cells, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14751AbstractInfluenza virus utilizes host splicing machinery to process viral mRNAs expressed from both M and NS segments. Through genetic analysis and functional characterization, we here show that the NS segment of H7N9 virus contains a unique G540A substitution, located within a previously undefined exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) motif present in the NEP mRNA of influenza A viruses. G540A supports virus replication in mammalian cells while retaining replication ability in avian cells. Host splicing regulator, SF2, interacts with this ESE to regulate splicing of NEP/NS1 mRNA and G540A substitution affects SF2–ESE interaction. The NS1 protein directly interacts with SF2 in the nucleus and modulates splicing of NS mRNAs during virus replication. We demonstrate that splicing of NEP/NS1 mRNA is regulated through a cis NEP-ESE motif and suggest a unique NEP-ESE may contribute to provide H7N9 virus with the ability to both circulate efficiently in avian hosts and replicate in mammalian cells. UN sees bird flu changes but calls risk of people spread low Explore further Influenza A (H7N9) as viewed through an electron microscope. Both filaments and spheres are observed in this photo. Credit: CDC (Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Hong Kong and mainland China has isolated a change in a single nucleotide that is responsible for allowing the H7N9 flu virus to replicate in both birds and humans. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team describes their efforts in searching for the factors involved when avian flu jumps to humans and what their findings could mean for reducing the spread of future flu epidemics. Journal information: Nature Communicationscenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Single nucleotide change responsible for allowing H7N9 flu to jump from birds to humans found (2017, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-nucleotide-responsible-h7n9-flu-birds.html Scientists around the world are very concerned about how viruses spread from animals to humans—the fear is that one day, a super-virus may emerge, one that is both easily transmissible and deadly, potentially killing millions of people around the globe. In this new effort, the researchers focused on H7N9, a flu virus that was first found to jump from birds (mainly chickens) to humans as recently as 2000. It has infected people mostly in China, but its recent history offered an opportunity to learn more about how a virus jumps to humans.To learn more about the virus, the researchers obtained samples and subjected them to genetic analysis looking for any differences between them and other avian flu viruses that do not spread to humans. They found a unique nucleotide (an RNA building block) substitution called NS-G540A in the NS segment—a mutation that allowed the virus to replicate in both avian and human (and other mammalian) hosts. They report that they found the mutation on some other flu variants as well, such as H9N2.The researchers note that in addition to learning more about how a virus can make the leap between species, the identification of the nucleotide also offers the medical community a biomarker—testing chickens and other fowl infected with a flu variant for the marker would allow for identifying birds carrying a flu variant that can cause infections in the people that handle them. They note also that they found no evidence that the mutation played a role in allowing the virus to spread between humans once it made the leap from an avian source.last_img read more

Glaciologist attempts to quantify impact of global warming on Asias glaciers

first_img Citation: Glaciologist attempts to quantify impact of global warming on Asia’s glaciers (2017, May 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-glaciologist-quantify-impact-global-asia.html View of Western Kunlun Shan from the Tibet-Xinjiang highway. Credit: Wikipedia Researchers predict more runoff in High Asia due to increasing precipitation and glacier melt © 2017 Phys.org Explore further More information: Hamish D. Pritchard. Asia’s glaciers are a regionally important buffer against drought, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature22062AbstractThe high mountains of Asia—encompassing the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Pamir Alai, Kunlun Shan, and Tian Shan mountains—have the highest concentration of glaciers globally, and 800 million people depend in part on meltwater from them. Water stress makes this region vulnerable economically and socially to drought, but glaciers are a uniquely drought-resilient source of water. Here I show that these glaciers provide summer meltwater to rivers and aquifers that is sufficient for the basic needs of 136 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. During drought summers, meltwater dominates water inputs to the upper Indus and Aral river basins. Uncertainties in mountain precipitation are poorly known, but, given the magnitude of this water supply, predicted glacier loss would add considerably to drought-related water stress. Such additional water stress increases the risk of social instability, conflict and sudden, uncontrolled population migrations triggered by water scarcity, which is already associated with the large and rapidly growing populations and hydro-economies of these basins.center_img Journal information: Nature As Pritchard notes, the mountains of Asia have the highest concentration of glaciers in the world and approximately 800 million people living in the area are impacted by the water runoff that occurs as glaciers melt during the warmer months. He also notes that such meltwater provides people that live in the area resistance to droughts. In his analysis, he attempts to outline the possible impact to approximately 136 million people living in countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan to changes in the amount of meltwater as the planet continues to warm.As the planet warms, Pritchard notes, some of the glacial areas will see an increase in runoff as more ice melts each year. This, he also notes, will likely mean more water in the areas downstream for periods of decades to perhaps a century. But as the glaciers shrink, they will eventually produce less runoff, removing the buffer against droughts in the region, which has historically been prone to periodic dry spells. Reduced runoff in other parts of the region, on the other hand, will likely have less impact because they have a monsoon season every summer—though as he further notes, it is still unclear what impact global warming will have on the monsoon season.But there are other factors to consider, as Bolch notes—many of the countries in the region rely on hydropower from dams built on rivers engorged with glacial melt—also, many reservoirs have been built to hold onto glacial melt to provide water for drinking and energy production during the winter months—an increase in melt in the short-term could overcome such facilities. And as Bolch also points out, Pritchard has been able to show for perhaps the first time the actual impact of glacial meltwater during drought periods in the region over the past several decades. In so doing, he has found that such meltwater has the greatest impact on in the Aral Sea and Indus River catchments and has provided a framework for predicting impacts on the area as the amount of meltwater changes. (Phys.org)—Hamish Pritchard, a glaciologist with Cambridge University, has conducted a study of Asia’s glaciers and how they might be impacted by global warming. In his paper published in the journal Nature, he describes the nature of the glaciers that exist in the high mountains of Asia, which include the Kunlun Shan, Pamir, Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Tian Shan mountains and, of course, the Himalayas. Pritchard looked at how they impact people living in the area and how things might change in light of global warming. Tobias Bolch with the University of Zurich offers a News & Views piece on the work done by Pritchard and adds some perspectives of his own regarding some of the possible changes likely to come about in the places that have become dependent on melting glacial water. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Senator Richard Blumenthal Takes On Fast Food

first_img Audio PlayerYour browser version does not support the audio element00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. by Brianna Lyman Wikimedia Commons Senator Richard Blumenthal Takes On Fast Food Companies 8.27.19 3:56pm Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling out fast food and soda companies for disproportionately targeting children in minority communities.last_img

Clicking for the children

first_imgThe conclusion of CRY’s forty day long photo journalism campaign – Click Rights – Focus on the Child, was marked by an exhibition in the Capital. The exhibition displayed photographs illustrating the reasons that keep so many Indian children out of school. These photographs have been contributed by concerned citizens across the country as well as some of India’s finest photographers. The campaign is an outcome of the belief that a powerful visual can convey the situation far better than words and can inspire large scale social change. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Eminent photographers who contributed their work to the campaign include Raghu Rai, Neeraj Priyadarshi,  Sudharak Olwe, Amit Pasricha, Dinesh Khanna, Fawzan Hussain, Prashant Panjiar, Vicky Roy, Altaf Quadri, Kaushal Parekh, Mexy Xavier, Ram  Rehman and Himanshu Panchal to name a few.CRY will share the photographs collected as evidence with local and national government bodies to demand every child’s right to education. The Click Rights dossier will be shared with the HRD ministry in the month of October. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSpeaking about the campaign, Soha Moitra, Regional Director- North, CRY said, ‘Our aim was to raise public awareness about critical issues confronting children in India today by using photography as a medium.’The month long campaign witnessed a series of workshops and panel discussions on Photography for social change by eminent photographers like Raghu Rai. With a focus on the youth our campaign partners ranged from students’ groups from reputed academic institutions like IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi, Institute of Home Economics, Delhi and IIM Calcutta. Corporates like HCL Technologies Foundation, MTS, HP, Mu Sigma and Mphasis and Photography Clubs like Nazar Foundation, National Academy of Photography and Photopeer supported the campaign as partners.last_img read more

Still searching for a part of me

first_imgWe asked Lucky Ali to tell us about himself. He answered like a rockstar of a poet and shut us up from trying to delve more into his life. ‘Am still searching for the part of me that was before O Sanam, once I find it – there will be a song about it.’ But he laughs and adds that he has always been interested in learning to play music and compose and had he not been a musician he would have definitely been into academics. We’re just very glad he picked music!  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Ali was in the Capital to perform for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender and for those who missed it, he’s performing in the Kolkata chapter as well. Catch him if you can!  O Sanam, Anjani Rahon Mein, Mausam, Milegi Milegi Manzil, Sunoh, Aap Par Arz Hai are songs we have grown up with and strangely these songs are more indelibly fixed in our memories than the Bollywood songs Ali has sung. But , we must ask – why have we not seen an album from Ali in so long? That’s because he has been releasing his music online, he says. But coming from the age where cassettes and cds mattered, doesn’t releasing music online seem odd? ‘The whole industry has changed, at the end of the day people are still listening to music and that’s what matters!’ says Ali adding that there’s far more music happening online than on television.  ‘It felt cheap asking for money for music. I released my songs through social media and I got the response I was looking for,’ he says.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSo what about Bollywood? ‘By virtue of birth I was born into Bollywood…I wanted to get out!’ says the man leaving us bewildered. But Ali explains that he doesn’t fit in Bollywood, that music isn’t his ‘kind’ of music. But as ‘the road to hell is full of good intentions’ (and we quote!) – Ali has lent his voice to some brilliant Bollywood songs, but only for a virtue called friendship. And what’s keeping Ali busy these days? Lots of collaborations and compilations and of course – travel and family, he says adding that, ‘Things have gone beyond releasing an album. It is more about finishing a song and pushing it over SoundCloud.’ But no matter where the song is, Ali believes that ‘music is constant, people will always be open to listening to music!’Ali grew up with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Metallica, these legends taught him all about the ‘feel’ of the song but the melody comes from India. Naming Kailash Kher, Rabbi, AR Rahman, Raghu Dixit, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as his favourites, Ali says that people express themselves differently in music. But that is where the magic is.last_img read more

Romantic dinners can boost your sex life

first_imgMy friends always insist that I should go to Mumbai and be an actor. I am handsome and smart. I’m 19 years old. How do I become an actor? My parents insist I continue my studies and do my Management.Satya, LucknowSatya, in our country we really have fantasy towards the tinsel town. I’m sure that you have the potential to try your hands in acting. But at the same time, you must understand the level of competition one has to face and overcome to make it to films. I suggest, you finish your graduation and try your luck. Parents usually think well for us. Give yourself a few years, show your determination to them make them understand how serious you are about your dream. In the meantime, hone your abilities as an actor. Enroll in a good gym, learn acting, watch good movies, read about world cinema and prepare to plunge. Good luck! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I got married very early. We eloped when I was 16 and he was 20. I am a mother of a 3 year old now. I have recently discovered that my husband is having many extra marital affairs. I’m shattered. How can I stop him?Name not givenIt is not easy to really stop anyone from doing anything. But, you should do everything to try and stop this. Words, emotional blackmail, threats, tears… use every weapon possible to rectify this situation. Confront him directly and warn him about the ugly consequence that one has to face for adultery. The age is sometimes the reason why there is a lack of maturity and may be with time the situation will improve.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWe are married for 12 years. Our sex life has lost its charm. Things have got downright boring. Sex seems to always be the same old story. How to start afresh, is it possible.Mrs and Mr Bhagat, New DelhiBreak out of your rut. Try something new. You don’t have to go crazy or anything. But you can change positions and try the ones you have never done before. You can spice it up with extra foreplay, sex toys, sexy lingerie, dirty talk, or a hot massage. Even something as simple as a romantic dinner or weekend can make the sex life better.  I am a divorcee. I got attracted to my brother-in-law who helped me a lot in my divorce process. He is years younger to me but I love him a lot. But don’t know whether he loves me or not. What should I do in such situation? How do I gauge his true feelings?Name unknown, PuneYou are caught in a cleft stick. You haven’t written the reason for your divorce. In India, we find that most of divorce cases are caused by the pressure of living in a joint family. And if your case is also the same, then I do not think that any close association in that family is advisable. We all need good friends and company and this loneliness is the reason why you have got attracted to your brother-in-law. No doubt he adores you a lot but do not make the mess of your life.He might have helped and supported you only because his brother did wrong to you. So it’s better to live the life as its going and if something would be positive from his side then he himself will propose you! Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to?  Send your questions to –  roopshashotm@gmail.comlast_img read more

Universal picks up Steve Jobs biopic

first_imgUniversal Pictures has taken over the biopic on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs after Sony Pictures opted out.The news was confirmed by a studio spokesperson, reports hollywoodreporter.com. According to sources, the project has been acquired for more than $30 million.Filmmaker Danny Boyle is to direct the biopic, the script of which is written by Aaron Sorkin. The Michael Fassbender-starer is co-produced by Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.last_img