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North Carolina State University

Scientists Have Built a Harness for Dogs to Communicate With Humans


Scientists at North Carolina Stat University are bringing the dream of talking to our pets closer to reality with a harness that bridges the communication gap between dogs and humans. I can't wait to hear all about how everyone's butt smells.

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“Undercover Colors” Is A New Nail Polish That Detects If Your Drink Has Been Drugged

Can we just make this a feature in all nail polish?

We love a good mani or some cute nail art; but, wouldn't your polish game be way better if it also fought sexual assault? Four undergrad dudes at North Carolina State University have developed a prototype for a new nail polish line called Undercover Colors - a polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date rape drugs. Pretty revolutionary.

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New Metallic Bubble Wrap’s Stronger Than Plastic, We Just Want to Know If It’s Still Fun to Pop

Pop. Pop pop pop. Pop pop. Poppity pop pop pop. Pop pop. Poppit poppity pop pop pop.

Bubble wrap is as great a tool for stress relief as it is for protecting things. That's why the only thing we want to know about the new metallic bubble wrap being developed at North Carolina State University is this; can we pop it?

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Scientists Use Kinect to Put Cyborg Roaches on Autopilot

This headline sounds like some random Geekosystem headline generator created it, but I assure you this is real.

Scientists at North Carolina State University have used an Xbox Kinect to automatically guide cockroaches along a set path. This isn't the first time someone's wired up a cockroach to get it to do their bidding, but as far as we know it's the first time someone's done it using an Xbox Kinect to get the roaches on autopilot. This sounds ridiculous, but Xbox-controlled cyborg cockroaches could actually help save lives.

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Old People Who Play Video Games Are Happier, Higher Functioning Than Non-Gaming Peers

Want to prevent yourself from becoming depressed as you get older? Keeping your video game habit going may be a good first step. A study released this week in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests that elderly people who play video games -- even just occasionally -- are more social, better adjusted, and less likely to be depressed than their non-gaming peers.

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Researchers Boost Shared Wi-Fi Signal Strength Up to 700%, Coffee Shop Patrons Rejoice

Having access to wi-fi in places like coffee shops is wonderful, unless those places get crowded with other people using the same wi-fi connection. That's when speeds drop and problems begin. It's almost enough to make you want to carry around your own hotspot, but thankfully researchers from North Carolina State University have a new way to increase wi-fi speeds up to 700% on crowded networks.

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New Fish Species Has Barbed Genitals, Natural Tramp Stamps

The newly discovered llanos mosquitofish (Gambusia quadruncus) seems fairly unremarkable at first blush. However, the brown, minnow-like fish, described by researchers from North Carolina State University for the first time this month in the Journal of Fish Biology, has evolved some breeding traits that make it a little more memorable than its peers. Males have developed a breeding mechanism that humans have mercifully left by the genetic wayside -- a series of four barbed hooks that surround their genitals and are used to latch onto females during breeding. It's rough. How rough? Keep reading for a picture.

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Pack Up The Petri Dish: New Technique Improves Protein Tracking in Cells

Cells do an amazing number of things, from forming your skin to digesting your food, to telling you if you are sunburnt or hungry. Most of everything cells do, they do using proteins -- proteins that say where they are, proteins that let cells reproduce, and even proteins that issue orders to other cells. Tracking proteins from a cell is tricky work, though only tiny amounts are produced, and they can get lost or muddled in the cultures researchers use to grow and study cells. A team at North Carolina State University may have developed a more accurate way of watching for proteins, though, by identifying the specific highways that proteins take on their way through a cell.

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Researchers Complete Skeleton of Enormous Ancient Penguin

Dr. Dan Ksepka from North Carolina State University is fascinated by penguins, but has taken a particular shine to the ancient Kairuku penguin. Originally discovered in 1977 by Dr. Ewan Fordyce, the fossilized remains of Kairuku hinted at an aquatic bird of enormous stature. Now, decades after its discovery, Ksepka and his colleuges have completed a Kairuku skeleton and figure that the bird stood at an impressive at four-foot two-inches.

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New Gel-Based Memory Could Be Used to Interface With Cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University have come up with a new sort of memory device that has a gelatinous consistency and an ability to work in wet environments which give it potential bio-electric applications. There are a couple of pretty revolutionary qualities that differentiate this from your garden-variety electronics. First of all, the gel uses a liquid alloy (gallium and indium) set in the water-based gel for its wires instead of, well, wires. This way, the gel can work in wet environments without shorting and is also remarkably flexible. This liquid alloy also transmits data in a non-standard way. Typically, electronics use electrons (go figure) for their binary communications. The gel memory however, uses ions. Basically, the alloy can switch between being resistive and conductive by being exposed to positive and negative charges respectively, which gives you your two values. For the time being, the technology is in its infancy and for now, it doesn't have enough capacity to hold anything of any real value. Still, the potential applications are big. Specifically, a few (hundred(thousand)) iterations down the line, this sort of memory could be used in technology designed to interface with cells and other organic matter. In the mean time, philosophers better start figuring out what constitutes humanity because it's looking like cybernetics are coming down the pipe and I need to know if getting a memory stick (or blob) in my brain requires me to forfeit my soul. I don't know how much cybernetic RAM my soul is worth quite yet, but I've already started the preliminary calculations. (via Wired UK)

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Growing Belly Button Bacteria, for Science!

The above picture shows belly button bacteria growing in petri dishes, harvested from scientists, journalists and bloggers attending the ScienceOnline 2011 Conference. One may wonder why this is a thing, and the answer--as it usually is--is because of science, of course. The growing bacteria are part of the Belly Button Biodiversity project, which is also a thing, headed by North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and is part of a larger project with the goal of teaching humans the kinds of things that live in and on us. To gross us out. But, you know, for science.

(via Boing Boing)

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