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Virtual reality and robotics in neurosurgery: Promise and challenges

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Dec. 20, 2012 — Robotic technologies have the potential to help neurosurgeons perform precise, technically demanding operations, together with virtual reality environments to help them navigate through the brain, according to researchers.

The topic is the focus of a special supplement to Neurosurgery (, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

"Virtual Reality (VR) and robotics are two rapidly expanding fields with growing application within neurosurgery," according to an introductory article by Garnette Sutherland, MD. The 22 reviews, commentaries, and original studies...

Traffic congestion can be alleviated throughout a metropolitan area by altering trips in specific neighborhoods, model shows

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The color of the road segments in this image represents the number of neighborhoods that are major sources of drivers for that segment. Red is more than 100, yellow is 61 to 100, green is 41 to 60, dark blue is 1 to 20 and purple is none. (Credit: Pu Wang)

Dec. 20, 2012 — In most cities, traffic growth has outpaced road capacity, leading to increased congestion, particularly during the morning and evening commutes. In 2007, congestion on U.S. roads was responsible...

New kind of magnetism discovered: Experiments demonstrate ‘quantum spin liquid'

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MIT physicists grew this pure crystal of herbertsmithite in their laboratory. This sample, which took 10 months to grow, is 7 mm long (just over a quarter-inch) and weighs 0.2 grams. (Credit: Tianheng Han)

Dec. 20, 2012 — Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, MIT researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism.

Ferromagnetism --...

Motivation, study habits -- not IQ -- determine growth in math achievement

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Dec. 20, 2012 — It's not how smart students are but how motivated they are and how they study that determines their growth in math achievement. That's the main finding of a new study that appears in the journal Child Development.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Munich and the University of Bielefeld.

"While intelligence as assessed by IQ tests is important in the early stages of developing mathematical competence, motivation and study skills...

New app provides solution when researching animal behaviour

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Dec. 20, 2012 — A primatologist at the University of Kent has developed an app that allows accurate logging of animal behaviour for scientific research.

Animal Behaviour Pro, an iPhone app designed by Dr Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher from the University's School of Anthropology and Conservation, aims to provide students and the research community with a professional-level solution to the difficulties surrounding live coding.

Animal Behaviour Pro allows the researcher to log...

New dynamic dual-core optical fiber enhances data routes on information superhighway

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An actual cross-section and extreme magnification of the nanomechanical fiber. The dual cores are shown in the center, each a mere 0.5 micrometers across at their centers, while the supporting glass filament is approximately 0.2 micrometers across. The small-scale structure was achieved by heating and drawing out a larger fiber-optic form. (Credit: Optics Express)

Dec. 19, 2012 — Optical fibers -the backbone of the Internet-carry movies, messages, and music at the...

E-waste recycling -- at whose expense?

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A man manually dismantling printers after which carcinogenic printer ink is left on the ground. (Credit: Image courtesy of KTH The Royal Institute of Technology)

Dec. 19, 2012 — Computers, tablets and mobile phones are all popular consumer products. The lifespan of these devices is usually short, between two to four years. Shakila Umair, researcher at KTH, travelled to Pakistan to see how these common electronic devices are dismantled and recycled. She investigated...

Small, portable sensors allow users to monitor exposure to pollution on their smart phones

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The CitiSense sensors transmit their air quality readings to smart phones. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - San Diego)

Dec. 18, 2012 — Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have built a small fleet of portable pollution sensors that allow users to monitor air quality in real time on their smart phones. The sensors could be particularly useful to people suffering from chronic conditions, such as asthma, who need to avoid...

Internet outages in the US doubled during Hurricane Sandy

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Dec. 18, 2012 — USC scientists who track Internet outages throughout the world noted a spike in outages due to Hurricane Sandy, with almost twice as much of the Internet down in the U.S. as usual.

Previous research by this team has shown that on any given day, about 0.3 percent of the Internet is down for one reason or another. Just before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, that number was around 0.2 percent in the U.S. (pretty good, by global standards) -- but once the storm...