Tech

ITHACA, N.Y. - Researchers have discovered a simple, cost-effective, and accurate new method for equipping self-driving cars with the tools needed to perceive 3D objects in their path.

The laser sensors currently used to detect 3D objects in the paths of autonomous cars are bulky, ugly, expensive, energy-inefficient - and highly accurate.

An MIT research team that has already conquered the problem of getting ketchup out of its bottle has now tackled a new category of consumer and manufacturing woe: how to get much thicker materials to slide without sticking or deforming.

Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) scientists teamed up with colleagues from the UK and Mauritius and experimentally demonstrated that extracts of the endemic (i.e. growing only on this island) medicinal herb leaves Acalypha integrifolia, Eugenia tinifolia, and Labourdonnaisia glauca stop the proliferation of oesophageal squamous carcinoma cells, ones of the most deadly cancer type worldwide. A related article is published in the "Acta Naturae" journal.

Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have used carbon nanotube templates to produce nanowires of transition metal monochalcogenide (TMM), which are only 3 atoms wide in diameter. These are 50 times longer than previous attempts and can be studied in isolation, preserving the properties of atomically quasi "1D" objects. The team saw that single wires twist when perturbed, suggesting that isolated nanowires have unique mechanical properties which might be applied to switching in nanoelectronics.

Bottom Line: This study looked at the privacy practices of popular apps for depression and smoking cessation. Researchers assessed the content of privacy policies and compared disclosures regarding data sharing with commercial third parties to actual behavior for 36 apps.

Authors: Kit Huckvale, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc., Ph.D., UNSW (University of New South Wales) Sydney, Australia, and coauthors

(doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.2542)

Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are far safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers Friday reported developing an organic cathode that dramatically improves both stability and energy density.

The improved performance, reported in the journal Joule, is related to two key findings:

Nine years ago tomorrow--April 20, 2010--crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The work of a science writer, including this one, includes reading journal papers filled with specialized technical terminology, and figuring out how to explain their contents in language that readers without a scientific background can understand.

Now, a team of scientists at MIT and elsewhere has developed a neural network, a form of artificial intelligence (AI), that can do much the same thing, at least to a limited extent: It can read scientific papers and render a plain-English summary in a sentence or two.

RNA sequencing is a technique used to analyze entire genomes by looking at the expression of their genes. Today, such genome-wide expression analyses are a standard tool for genomic studies because they rely on high-throughput technologies, which themselves have become widely available.

Engineers at Duke University are developing a smart robotic system for sniffing out pollution hotspots and sources of toxic leaks. Their approach enables a robot to incorporate calculations made on the fly to account for the complex airflows of confined spaces rather than simply 'following its nose.'