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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...

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Some Personal Beliefs and Morals May Stem from Genetics

A new baby is often welcomed with speculation about whether they got their eyes and nose from mom or dad, but researchers say it may be possible for children to inherit their parents’ moral characteristics, as well. The researchers found that while parents can help encourage their children to develop into responsible, conscientious adults, there...

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You Recognize Your Face Even When You Don’t ‘See’ It

Given the limited capacity of our attention, we only process a small amount of the sights, sounds, and sensations that reach our senses at any given moment — what happens to the stimuli that reach our senses but don’t enter awareness? Research suggests that certain stimuli – specifically, your own face – can influence how...

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The Medium Shapes the Message: New Communication Technologies May Bias Historical Record

The introduction of communication technologies appears to bias historical records in the direction of the content best suited for each technology, according to a study published in PLOS ONE by C. Jara-Figueroa and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Studying the societal impact of new communication technologies is challenging, due to limited data on historical...

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Keeping Heavy Metals Out of Beer and Wine

A frosty mug of beer or ruby-red glass of wine just wouldn’t be the same if the liquid was murky or gritty. That’s why producers of alcoholic beverages usually filter them. But in a study appearing in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report that a material often used as a filter could be...