Faster path planning for rubble-roving robots

Robots that need to use their arms to make their way across treacherous terrain just got a speed upgrade with a new path planning approach, developed by University of Michigan researchers. The improved algorithm path planning algorithm found successful paths three times as often as standard algorithms, while needing much less processing time. A new […]

Read More

Wildfire smoke linked to increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths

Thousands of COVID-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon, and Washington between March and December 2020 may be attributable to increases in fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) from wildfire smoke, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study is the first to quantify the degree […]

Read More

How flawed data aggravates inequality in credit

For aspiring home buyers, getting a mortgage often comes down to one talismanic number: the credit score. Banks and other lenders are turning to artificial intelligence to develop increasingly sophisticated models for scoring credit risk. But even though credit-scoring companies are legally prohibited from considering factors like race or ethnicity, critics have long worried that […]

Read More

Removing masks ‘is not a winning strategy’ if goal is in-person school

Kids are heading back to school amid a national surge in COVID-19 cases. Although the proportion of COVID-19 infections caused by the delta variant is approaching 100%, in-person learning, with the proper risk-mitigation efforts (masks, hand hygiene) in place, can still be safely achieved and should be the ultimate goal, said Northwestern University experts in […]

Read More

Is your mobile provider tracking your location? This new technology could stop it

Right now, there is a good chance your phone is tracking your location—even with GPS services turned off. That’s because, to receive service, our phones reveal personal identifiers to cell towers owned by major network operators. This has led to vast and largely unregulated data-harvesting industries based around selling users’ location data to third parties […]

Read More

Tusk isotopes reveal a mammoth’s life

By making 340,000 measurements of the strontium isotope ratios along a woolly mammoth’s tusk, researchers could track the animal’s movements throughout its 28-year life. Most populations of woolly mammoth disappeared as part of a mass megafauna extinction around 12,000 years ago, although the last remaining populations died out only around 4,500 years ago. Fossils provide […]

Read More

Artificial Weather

Buoyant skies linger overhead,bulging at the seamswith surging intent;capricious threatsthat fall indiscriminatelyagainst the statistical fortitudeof our modelled routines.Searching for claritywe train machinesto find patternsamongst the cyclical natureof extreme behaviours.Cutting through complexities,algorithmic digits point nervouslyto the faultless correlationwith our own excess. Floods along the Mississippi River in spring 2011 (Image Credit: ALANSHEAVEN/FLICKR). This poem is inspired […]

Read More

Freeing Britney requires reconsidering how society thinks about decision-making capacity

Britney Spears’ impassioned remarks in court have raised many questions about conservatorships, including when they’re necessary and whether they effectively protect someone’s best interests. When one loses the capacity to make decisions for oneself the court appoints a guardian, or conservator, to make those decisions. Appointing someone to make decisions about personal and financial matters on another’s […]

Read More

Microbial study reveals extended lifespan of starved bacteria

A study of microbial populations under a prolonged period of starvation by Indiana University professor Jay T. Lennon and his laboratory could help researchers answer questions pertaining to chronic infections, the functioning of bacteria in the environment and the persistence of life itself. In a paper published online Aug. 12 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences […]

Read More

Most powerful laser in the US to begin operations soon

Said to put the U.S. back on the map of high power laser facilities, the 3 petawatt ZEUS laser at the University of Michigan has been awarded $18.5 million by the National Science Foundation to establish it as a federally funded international user facility. ZEUS is expected to begin its first experiments in early 2022. “We […]

Read More