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Bringing Human-Like Reasoning to Driverless Car Navigation

With aims of bringing more human-like reasoning to autonomous vehicles, MIT researchers have created a system that uses only simple maps and visual data to enable driverless cars to navigate routes in new, complex environments. Human drivers are exceptionally good at navigating roads they haven’t driven on before, using observation and simple tools. We simply...

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GRACE Data Contributes to Understanding of Climate Change

The University of Texas at Austin team that led a twin satellite system launched in 2002 to take detailed measurements of the Earth, called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), reports in the most recent issue of the journal Nature Climate Change on the contributions that their nearly two decades of data have made to our...

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New 3D-Printed Technology Lowers Cost of Common Medical Test

A desire for a simpler, cheaper way to do common laboratory tests for medical diagnoses and to avoid “washing the dishes” led University of Connecticut researchers to develop a new technology that reduces cost and time. Their pipette-based technology could also help make certain medical testing available in rural or remote areas where traditional methods...

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Belief in the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Does Not Turn People into Successful Entrepreneurs

Belief in the “Prosperity Gospel” — that God financially blesses faithful followers — does not turn individuals into successful entrepreneurs. But prosperity beliefs can fuel values linked to entrepreneurial thinking, such as power and achievement, according to a Baylor University study. However, researchers found no direct relationship between prosperity beliefs and willingness to take risks,...

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Social Media Data Reveal Benefits or Threats to Biodiversity by Visitors to Nature Locations

Understanding how people use and experience important places for living nature is essential for effectively managing and monitoring human activities and conserving biodiversity. In a new article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, a team of researchers assessed global patterns of visitation rates, attractiveness and pressure to more than 12,000 Important Bird and...

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What We Think We Know — but Might Not — Pushes us to Learn More

(Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the “Game of Thrones” season finale) If you think you know the farm animal most closely related to T-Rex, or the American president who inspired the creation of blue jelly beans — but aren’t entirely sure — you’re more likely to bone up on the chicken-dinosaur connection or Ronald...

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Initially Threatened by Change, People Adapt to Societal Diversity Over Time

President Donald Trump recently introduced immigration reforms that would prioritize education and employment qualifications over family connections in selecting immigrants and nominated immigration hard-liner Kris Kobach as “immigration czar.” The moves, like many by Trump, speak to those who feel threatened by what they perceive as a changing America. Those insecurities are unwarranted, however. With...

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Soft, Social Robot Brings Coziness to Homes — and Classrooms

A new social robot that can be customized with handcrafted material, such as wood and wool, brings simplicity and fun to home robotics — and will soon be used to help teach math to fourth graders. Guy Hoffman, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, envisioned robots built...

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Women’s Leadership Potential for Top Jobs Overlooked in Favor of Men

The potential of women for leadership roles is being overlooked, while men benefit from the perception that they will grow into the role, new research from the University of Kent shows. Researchers at the University’s School of Psychology carried out two experimental studies that suggest that women have to demonstrate high performance in order to...

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Tomato Pan-Genome Makes Bringing Flavor Back Easier

Almost everyone agrees that store-bought tomatoes don’t have much flavor. Now, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) may have spotlighted the solution in a paper just published in Nature Genetics. Molecular biologist James Giovannoni with the ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Laboratory and BTI bioinformatics scientist Zhangjun Fei,...