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Storing Data in Music

Manuel Eichelberger and Simon Tanner, two Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) doctoral students, store data in music. This means, for example, that background music can contain the access data for the local Wi-Fi network, and a mobile phone’s built-in microphone can receive this data. “That would be handy in a hotel room,” Tanner says, “since guests...

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Scientists Decode DNA Secrets of World’s Toughest Bean

UC Riverside scientists have decoded the genome of black-eyed peas, offering hope for feeding Earth’s expanding population, especially as the climate changes. Understanding the genes responsible for the peas’ drought and heat tolerance eventually could help make other crops tougher too. Black-eyed peas are small beans with dark midsections. They’ve been a global dietary staple...

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Decentralising Science May Lead to More Reliable Results

Research results on drug-gene interactions are much less likely to be replicated if they are performed by hierarchical communities or close-knit groups of frequent collaborators who use similar methods, instead of independent groups of scientists using different methods, suggests a paper published last week in eLife. The findings may help improve the reliability of scientific results...

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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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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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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,...

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The Sword of a Hispano-Muslim Warlord Is Digitized in 3D

At age 90, Ali Atar, one of the main military chiefs of King Boabdil of Granada, fought to his death in the Battle of Lucena in 1483. It was there that his magnificent Nasrid sword was taken away from him, and researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a company from Toledo have now...