Washington

Tiny robots get micro-tentacles to handle delicate objects 'gently'

Tiny robots get micro-tentacles to handle delicate objects 'gently'

Washington, Jun 23 - A team of engineers has developed micro-tentacles for tiny robots, so that they can handle delicate objects.

Lead author Jaeyoun (Jay) Kim from Iowa State University said that most robots use two fingers and to pick things up, they have to squeeze, but these tentacles wrap around very gently.

The paper describes how the engineers fabricated microtubes just 8 millimeters long and less than a hundredth of an inch wide. They're made from PDMS, a transparent elastomer that can be a liquid or a soft, rubbery solid.


Humans, Neanderthals interbred in Europe

Humans, Neanderthals interbred in Europe

Washington, Jun 23 - As per a new study, early Europeans had recent Neanderthal ancestors.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute geneticists analyzed ancient DNA from the jawbone of a human who lived in Europe about 40,000 years ago, providing the first genetic evidence that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe.

Researcher David Reich said that they know that 45,000 years ago, the only humans in Europe were Neanderthals. But 35,000 years ago, the only humans in Europe were modern humans. This is a dramatic transition.


Mass of tiny binary star discovered, thanks to its intense radio emissions

Mass of tiny binary star discovered, thanks to its intense radio emissions

Washington, Jun 23 - Researchers have discovered intense radio emission from a tiny binary star, which calls for a review of stellar models.

As per the University of Valencia study, this small binary star is known as AB Doradus B and is located in the AB Doradus star system, consisting of two pairs of stars. Stars normally emit light that can be seen with the naked eye or through telescopes, but some also emit radio waves, similar to those from televisions, mobile phones or microwave ovens.

Co-author Jose Carlos Guirado said that these emissions have made it possible to calculate the mass of the star, which is usually complex, but when the star is accompanied by another, its orbital motion gives us an accurate way to determine it, as Kepler's laws establish.


Microsoft updates Bing's video search

Microsoft updates Bing's video search

Washington, June 22 - Microsoft has given a makeover to its Bing video search feature.

According to the Verge, new features include larger, easier-to-identify video thumbnails and the users can even preview videos straight from the results to get an idea of what they are looking at. For that, the users just have to move their cursor over a result to watch a small bit of the video.

In addition, Bing shows additional information on each result. Users can now see the view count, upload date and up-loader before clicking to the result.

Music searches will now show a module up at the top for the artist with a photo and a list of other top songs. The suggested videos will be shown half-way down the page in another module, with more recommendations.


'Owls' inspire 'quieter' wind turbines and planes

'Owls' inspire 'quieter' wind turbines and planes

Washington, June 22 - Scientists have taken inspiration from the flight of owls to develop "quieter" wind turbines and planes.

Early tests of a prototype coating for fan blades, which mimics the intricate structure of an owl's wing, have demonstrated that it could significantly reduce the amount of noise produced by wind turbines and other types of fan blades, such as those in computers or planes.

The addition of this new surface would mean that wind turbines could be run at much higher speeds - producing more energy while making less noise. For an average-sized wind farm, this could mean several additional megawatts worth of electricity.


Iranian parliament opposes army sites' inspection ahead of nuke deal deadline

Iranian parliament opposes army sites' inspection ahead of nuke deal deadline

Washington, June 22 - The Iranian parliament has voted to oppose the government military sites' inspections as part of a multi-nation agreement to limit the country's nuclear program which may complicate the final deal ahead of a June 30 deadline.

According to Fox News, a State Department official said that there are reports suggesting that the parliament is taking preliminary legislative steps to make its voice heard about the nuclear talks and any final deal.

The official also said that US will allow Iran to manage the process by themselves and that the final deal must include adequate access and transparency.


Michelle Obama shares US President's 'shirtless' throwback pic on Father's Day

Michelle Obama

Washington, June 22 - Michelle Obama played her part in marking Father's Day by sharing a throwback pic of US Prseident Barack Obama where he's shirtless on a beach playing with their two daughters, then toddlers.

The 51-year-old First Lady accompanied the image by writing "Thinking today and every day about the father of these two. Happy Father's Day!," reported People magazine.

The family was not together on the day as Michelle has taken their girls, Malia, 16, and Sasha, 14 on a Europe tour to promote her Let Girls Learn initiative.

Obama, 53, meanwhile, spent the day in Palm Springs, California, golfing with a group of friends. (ANI)


Uber tells passengers, drivers to ride without arms or not ride at all

Uber tells passengers, drivers to ride without arms or not ride at all

Washington, June 21 - Uber has reportedly revised its rules to prohibit passengers and drivers from carrying firearms while using the service.

The changes published on the taxi-hailing service's website said that Uber and its affiliates prohibit "possessing firearms of any kind in a vehicle." It added that those found violating the rule 'may' lose access to the firm's services, reported The Verge.

The company said that the move was aimed at ensuring that everyone using the digital platform felt safe and comfortable using the service. (ANI)


This new discovery can help thwart colon cancer

This new discovery can help thwart colon cancer

Washington, Jun 21 - Researchers have discovered how an immune system protein, called AIM2 (Absent in Melanoma 2), plays a role in determining the aggressiveness of colon cancer.

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found that AIM2 deficiency causes uncontrolled proliferation of intestinal cells and also discovered that AIM2 influences the microbiota, the population of gut bacteria, apparently fostering the proliferation of "good" bacteria that can protect against colon cancer.

Team leader Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti said that the findings could have important applications for prevention, prognosis and treatment.


Obama says gun violence much worse in US than Israel, France, Japan

U.S.President Barack Obama

Washington, June 21 - Days after a white gunman shot nine people dead in an African-American church in South Carolina's Charleston area, U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed that gun violence in America is much worse in comparison to other developed nations like France, Israel and Japan.

A tweet posted by Obama via @POTUS on Saturday said, "Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel."

He also added, "Expressions of sympathy aren't enough. It's time we do something about this."

The statement came just days after Obama condemned Thursday' attack, saying that this type of mass violence did not happen in other advanced countries.


Google starts removing revenge porn from search results

Google starts removing revenge porn from search results

Washington, June 20 - Google has started removing revenge porn from search results on the engine that will limit access to sexually explicit pictures that were shared without their subject's consent.

According to The Verge, a web form will be opened by Google wherein people can request the removal of pictures showing them nude or in sexually explicit situations that they did not agree to have published.

The changes in Google's policy will limit the damage done by revenge porn.

Google mentioned in a blog post that "revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims". (ANI)


Facebook's new facial recognition app 'Moments' will not be launched in Europe

Facebook's new facial recognition app 'Moments' will not be launched in Europe

Washington, June 20 - Facebook's new app Moments will not be launched in Europe as the company fears that European regulators will object to its use of facial recognition.

According to The Verge, Facebook launched Moments earlier this week.

The app uses facial recognition technology to dig up forgotten snaps of friends from camera roll.

Facebook's head of policy in Europe, Richard Allan said that there was no "opt-in mechanism" so it is turned off till the time they develop one.

Allan said that regulators had told them to offer an opt-in choice to people.


China's annual dog eating festival sets social media ablaze

China's annual dog eating festival sets social media ablaze

Washington, June 20 - China's annual dog eating festival Yulin Summer Solstice Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, where some 10,000 canines are said to be beaten and killed for human consumption, has set social media ablaze.

According to the Washington Post, the festival in China's Guangxi region Yulin marks the start of summer.

The annual festival is set begin this year on June 22.

According to animal rights advocates, dogs in Yulin are stolen from farms and family homes.

The government of China, however, said that "the so-called summer solstice lychee dog meat festival does not exist". (ANI)


Soon, cars that can read your mind, health

Soon, cars that can read your mind, health

Washington, June 20 : Giant car companies are working on technology that will allow cars in future to read driver's mind, health and predict their actions.

They're all elements of different projects that Jaguar Land Rover has been trying to accelerate in order to make its cars much smarter and safer, the Verge has reported.

Jaguar wants its cars to be able to tell if a person was paying attention to the road or off daydreaming, so that it could try to make the driver alert again should they lose focus, and that's possible by monitoring for brainwaves that indicate a person is tired or distracted.


Wikileaks: Sony execs worried about stars spreading herpes

Wikileaks: Sony execs worried about stars spreading herpes

Washington, Jun 20 - In new leaked emails released on June 19, it seems Sony executives were worried about the spread of herpes.

The document shows that some stars were asked to fill out questionnaires about their cold sores, Us Magazine reported.

In order to be insured for a film shoot, numerous actors working on projects for the studio were required to fill out and sign a "Cold Sore Questionnaire" and were asked to "describe cold sore locations."

The stars were then pressed to confess when the sore or sores first appeared, admit how long their cold sores generally last, reveal potential triggers, and disclose whether or not they had taken any medications to treat them.


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