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University of London

  1. Europeans Wants To Unravel Our Brains, Solve Reading Problems

    When you misspell a word but still use all the correct letters, most people can figure it out without wasting much time. TEH becomes THE in our minds easily, which is why it's a common typo (and a lame Internet neologism). But how do our brains decode so quickly, especially longer words, like "BIMEZO" or "CUTHERAPA"? Well, it's something the UK wants to get to the bottom of, because the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is funding new research on the mechanisms of reading, which in turn could yield solutions to dyslexia or similar conditions.

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  2. 1 in 6 U.K. Phones Contaminated with Fecal Bacteria

    The best thing, and maybe the worst thing, about cellphones is that you can bring them anywhere. Gone are the days of being attached to the wall, the days of phones that can only be used to talk to people, and the days of not having Internet access in the bathroom. Well, that last one may have its downsides. According to a recent study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, 92% of the phones studied had bacteria all over them and 16% had E. Coli, everyone's favorite bacteria of fecal origin. The study didn't just involve going around testing phones for bacteria, although that was part of it. In addition to testing the phones, the researchers gave the phones owners' an opportunity to self-report their hygiene habits. Spoiler alert: Some of them were big, fat liars.

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  3. 1 in 10 Britons Leave Social Networking Passwords in Their Wills

    According to a survey by Goldsmiths at the University of London, 1 in 10 people in the U.K. leave social networking passwords in their will. The survey also showed that more than a quarter of the subjects have digital media (music, videos, etc.) that they feel the need to pass on to family members. Ever since personal computers and digital cameras became household necessities, the days of inheriting photo albums have been essentially over. It's funny to think that the days of inheriting hard drives may have come and gone so fast. Digital inheritance is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, one that is inextricably tied into the right to be forgotten, but also digital immortality. Often Facebook pages of the deceased will turn into digital shrines, but may languish, or be spammed, making it important for someone to still have the password. Also, you may not want that thing around forever, so it's important to have a family member around to save the good stuff and shut it down.

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  4. Pee on Your Phone if You Want to Know if You Have an STD

    With the help of a four million pound grant (about six-and-a-half million dollars), the UK Clinical Research Collaboration is currently developing a computer chip that, once urinated or spit on, can be plugged into a phone and can then tell the user whether or not he or she has STDs including herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Ultimately, they plan for the chips -- which are projected to be the size of a USB chip -- to be sold in vending machines for around $0.80 to $1.60, in order to encourage people to perform self-exams who would otherwise avoid an exam because of embarrassment or cost issues.

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