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25 Jan

Game theory has been applied to everything from war to biology. But a new project is putting it to use in closing the gap between robots and humans. Researchers in London and Singapore are using game theory to give robots the ability to understand human behavior. In doing so, these robots will hopefully be able to not only anticipate what might happen next but respond to human movements in a way very similar to how a human would respond.

The practice of game theory is popular in situations where experts need to identify and predict another party’s behavior. With robots, researchers hope that building in game theory will help them better interact with humans in situations like sports training and physical rehabilitation.

23 Jan

An international team of researchers recently published their discovery of fossilized human-like footprints in Crete that are approximately 5.7 million years old -- a find that suggests the origins of the human race might have begun in Crete and not, as has become accepted, in Africa.

In fact, the newly discovered fossilized prints that appear to be human date to a time when human ancestors in Africa possessed ape-like feet. This calls into question the idea, commonly held since the middle of the 20th century, that a previous discovery of fossils of Australopithecus in South and East Africa placed the origin of humanity there.

21 Jan

The space agency says that the historic flight, involving a remotely operated Ikhana aircraft, helps the United States to edge closer to making similar unmanned flights more normal in areas where private and commercial pilots also operate.

In fact, a NASA press release indicates that such remotely flown trips could open up different possibilities, such as monitoring and putting out wildfires and conducting emergency search-and-rescue missions.

Ed Waggoner, NASA’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program director, said, “This is a huge milestone for our Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System project team. We worked closely with our Federal Aviation Administration colleagues for several months to ensure we met all their requirements to make this initial flight happen.”

19 Jan

Not in the sense of older or younger people, which would naturally be regarded as an unkind attitude.

Instead, the clearing away refers to older cells in mice that, once removed, could restore youthful qualities.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science indicate that it may indeed be possible to preserve the body's young, energetic, and healthy qualities even as we grow into the wisdom of years.

The research involved eliminating senescent cells, which aren't yet dead but have been effectively incapacitated, and which have also been tied to the promotion of inflammation, an aggravating cause of diseases of aging. Mice that displayed a greater accumulation of senescent cells were afflicted by chronic inflammation, looked older, and died younger.

17 Jan

The new mechanism, recently discovered by Australian scientists, could help to bolster cancer treatments.

A study published in the journal Nature by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) and Telethon Kids Institute researchers examined the role of a specific immune cell -- tissue-resistant memory T cells (TRM) -- in battling melanoma.

Researchers discovered that TRM cells had the capacity to control such a tumor in mice for as long as the animal lived. This is believed to equate to decades of similar protection in humans.

Simone Park, a Ph.D. student at the University of Melbourne as well as a member of the Doherty Institute, said in a news release, “Using a special microscope, we could see individual melanoma cells sitting in the skin of the mouse, and could watch the T cells move through the skin, find the melanoma cells and control the growth of those cells.”

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