Living better with algorithms

Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) student Sarah Cen remembers the lecture that sent her down the track to an upstream question. At a talk on ethical artificial intelligence, the speaker brought up a variation on the famous trolley problem, which outlines a philosophical choice between two undesirable outcomes. The speaker’s scenario: Say a […]

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Zero-trust architecture may hold the answer to cybersecurity insider threats

For years, organizations have taken a defensive “castle-and-moat” approach to cybersecurity, seeking to secure the perimeters of their networks to block out any malicious actors. Individuals with the right credentials were assumed to be trustworthy and allowed access to a network’s systems and data without having to reauthorize themselves at each access attempt. However, organizations […]

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Six dead in explosion at Slovenian chemicals plant

An explosion and subsequent fire has killed six people and injured a further five at a chemical facility in Kocevje, Slovenia. The blast occurred on the morning of 12 May at a site operated by Melamin, which makes melamine-based polymers, resins and additives for a range of industries. The resultant fire was put out less […]

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Technology lets amputees control robotic arm with their mind

University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers have developed a more accurate, less invasive technology that allows amputees to move a robotic arm using their brain signals instead of their muscles. Many current commercial prosthetic limbs use a cable and harness system that is controlled by the shoulders or chest, and more advanced limbs use sensors […]

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Chemistry performs well in latest assessment of UK research

With the key findings of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 finally published, scientific research looks to be flourishing in the UK, and over 90% of chemistry submissions are rated either internationally excellent (45%) or world-leading (49%). As departments wait to hear how their results affect funding, some policy watchers predict that the next REF […]

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Talking? Chimps combine calls to form numerous vocal sequences

Humans are the only species on earth known to use language. We do this by combining sounds to form words and words to form hierarchically structured sentences. The question, where this extraordinary capacity originates from, still remains to be answered. In order to retrace the evolutionary origins of human language, researchers often use a comparative […]

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Major infrared breakthrough could lead to solar power at night

The sun’s enormous energy may soon be harnessed in the dark of night following a significant advance in thermal capture technology. Solar radiation heats the earth’s crust significantly during daylight hours, but that energy is lost into the coldness of space when the sun goes down. Now, researchers within the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy […]

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New enzyme breaks down plastics in record time

One way in which enzymes are used in nature is by bacteria to decompose plant parts. It has been known for some time that some enzymes, so-called polyester-cleaving hydrolases, can also degrade PET. For example, the enzyme LCC, which was discovered in Japan in 2012, is considered to be a particularly effective “plastic eater”. The […]

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Smart pacifier developed to monitor infant health in the hospital

A wireless, bioelectronic pacifier could eliminate the need for invasive, twice-daily blood draws to monitor babies’ electrolytes in Newborn Intensive Care Units or NICUs. This smart pacifier can also provide more continuous monitoring of sodium and potassium ion levels. These electrolytes help alert caregivers if babies are dehydrated, a danger for infants, especially those born […]

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