Tech

Tucked away in the noncoding regions of bird DNA, researchers have discovered molecular roots of the loss of flight seen in so many disparate paleognathous birds. In contrast with previous work, which emphasized changes to protein-coding DNA as driving flightlessness, this study associates loss of flight more strongly with regulatory evolution in noncoding DNA. The results provide an example for future genome studies of so-called convergent phenotypes throughout the animal kingdom. Over time, species of divergent lines of the tree of life can develop similar evolutionary traits.

SAN ANTONIO -- April 4, 2019 -- New adversarial techniques developed by engineers at Southwest Research Institute can make objects "invisible" to image detection systems that use deep-learning algorithms. These techniques can also trick systems into thinking they see another object or can change the location of objects. The technique mitigates the risk for compromise in automated image processing systems.

Smart phones autocorrect in texting, search engines autocomplete queries, and mapping applications redirect navigation in real-time to avoid slowed traffic. These ubiquitous AI-based technologies adapt to everyday needs and learn user habits by focusing on making the algorithm better, but Army researchers want to enhance AI by providing more information about the intent of the user.

New research published in Science Advances today looks at Soldier brain activity during specific tasks for ways to incorporate AI teaming to dynamically complete tasks.

With the growth of 3D printing, it's entirely possible to 3D print your own prosthetic from models found in open-source databases.

But those models lack personalized electronic user interfaces like those found in costly, state-of-the-art prosthetics.

Now, a Virginia Tech professor and his interdisciplinary team of undergraduate student researchers have made inroads in integrating electronic sensors with personalized 3D-printed prosthetics -- a development that could one day lead to more affordable electric-powered prosthetics.

Current American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, and UK National Health Service guidelines recommend a 5-yearly health check interval for screening of individuals at high cardiovascular disease risk. This health check covers measurement of a variety of risk factors including systolic blood pressure, cholesterol profile, blood glucose, and smoking status.

If lifestyle interventions are inadequate to reduce the risk, the guidelines recommend primary preventive medication such as statins. However, the 5-yearly screenings are not based on direct research evidence.

Airplane toilets are loud. For some, they are downright terrifying. But chin up, frequent flyers, because a group of Brigham Young University physicists have figured out how to make them quieter.

After two years of trial and error, three academic publications and thousands of flushes, the BYU researchers have invented a vacuum-assisted toilet that is about half as loud as the regular airplane commode.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Gene editing has been a much sought after and controversial technology. Last month, part of the World Health Organization called for an international registry to track all research into editing the human genome.

Purdue University researchers, including one who was inspired by the cancer death of a close friend, have developed a new technology that could change how gene editing is approached in the future. The research team presents the work on April 4 at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando.

The difficulty in spotting minute amounts of disease circulating in the bloodstream has proven a stumbling block in the detection and treatment of cancers that advance stealthily with few symptoms. With a novel electrochemical biosensing device that identifies the tiniest signals these biomarkers emit, a pair of NJIT inventors are hoping to bridge this gap.

Their work in disease detection is an illustration of the power of electrical sensing - and the growing role of engineers - in medical research.

During the period in which the papaya (Carica papaya) is ripening, its cell walls separate, making the tissue softer and more digestible because the cell contents become accessible and the sucrose in the fruit is more easily extracted.

Sugarcane roots have recently been found to undergo a similar process. Their cell walls are modified during development to form gas-filled intercellular spaces in a type of tissue known as aerenchyma.

In "Conspicuous Plumage Does Not Increase Predation Risk: A Continent-Wide Test Using Model Songbirds," published in the American Naturalist, Kristal E. Cain examines the factors that drive the predation levels of Australia's fairy wrens. After measuring attack rates on both conspicuously and dull colored 3D fairy wren models in various habitats, Cain found that bright or "conspicuous" plumage is not associated with an increase in predation.