Tech

Robot-aided rehabilitation represents a step forward for patients with walking difficulties. However, its high price, together with some adaptation and transfer problems, keep limiting its use at present.

In this regard, the Embedded Systems Engineering Group of the University of Malaga, specializing in the design of physical devices to aid users, such as a smart wheelchair, has developed a mechanized cane that can measure patients' rehabilitation process without any impact on them.

"It is known that there are important similarities between the visual system of primates and the artificial neural networks of the latest generation. Our study shows how these similarities exist also with the visual system of rats, whose architecture is undoubtedly more primitive, if compared with the brain of primates, but whose functions and potential still remain largely unexplored".

DURHAM, N.H. - Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are one step closer to helping answer the question of why autism is four times more common in boys than in girls after identifying and characterizing the connection of certain proteins in the brain to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Factors that influence the health of our blood vessels, such as smoking, high blood and pulse pressures, obesity and diabetes, are linked to less healthy brains, according to research published in the European Heart Journal [1] today (Monday).

The study examined the associations between seven vascular risk factors and differences in the structures of parts of the brain. The strongest links were with areas of the brain known to be responsible for our more complex thinking skills, and which deteriorate during the development of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Fukuoka, Japan -- Humanity needs to improve when it comes to reducing carbon emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. If the world is to meet the IPCC's minimum target of keeping global temperature increases below 1.5 °C, every possible avenue for CO2 remediation must be explored.

Music has the ability to captivate us; when listeners engage with music, they follow its sounds closely, connecting to what they hear in an affective and invested way. But what is it about music that keeps the audience engaged? A study by researchers from The City College of New York and the University of Arkansas charts new ground in understanding the neural responses to music.

MADISON, Wis. -- Blue-blooded and armored with 10 spindly legs, horseshoe crabs have perhaps always seemed a bit out of place.

First thought to be closely related to crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans, in 1881 evolutionary biologist E. Ray Lankester placed them solidly in a group more similar to spiders and scorpions. Horseshoe crabs have since been thought to be ancestors of the arachnids, but molecular sequence data have always been sparse enough to cast doubt.

Surface wear describes the process of material loss when two surfaces come into contact with each other. It has significant economic, social and health consequences - just think of the fine particles emitted by moving vehicles. What's more, it can be observed at all levels, from the nanoscale up to the scale of tectonic faults, with the formation of gouge. There are several wear mechanisms, yet the adhesive type is most common. It takes place when two surfaces - such as two pieces of the same metal - rub against one another and adhere.

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have fabricated a multiplexer/demultiplexer module based on a property of light that was not being exploited in communications systems: the optical vortex. Such devices will be crucial for improving optical networks, which are the backbone of today's Internet, so that they can meet the traffic demands of tomorrow.

Ecological farmlands help protecting bird populations and reducing the effects of global change on the environment, according to a study published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment by the experts Joan Real, Àlex Rollan and Antonio Hernández-Matías, from the Conservation Biology Group of the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio).