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165,157 articles from ScienceDaily


How do you make a robot smarter? Program it to know what it doesn't know

Engineers have come up with a new way to teach robots to know when they don't know. The technique involves quantifying the fuzziness of human language and using that measurement to tell robots when to ask for further directions. Telling a robot to pick up a bowl from a table with only one bowl is fairly clear. But telling a robot to pick up a bowl when there are five bowls on the table generates a...

How to stay on task

Our ability to pay attention to tasks—a key component of our everyday lives—is heavily influenced by factors like motivation, arousal and alertness. Maintaining focus can be especially challenging when the task is boring or repetitive.

Alcohol consumption may have positive and negative effects on cardiovascular disease risk

A new study found that alcohol consumption may have counteractive effects on CVD risk, depending on the biological presence of certain circulating metabolites -- molecules that are produced during or after a substance is metabolized and studied as biomarkers of many diseases. The researchers observed a total of 60 alcohol consumption-related metabolites, identifying seven circulating metabolites...

Macaque trials offer hope in pneumonia vaccine development

A research team has successfully developed a novel pneumococcal vaccine by combining the team's proprietary mucosal vaccine technology with pneumococcal surface proteins that can cover a wide range of serotypes. Experiments were conducted using mice and macaques and it was confirmed that pneumonia caused by pneumococcal infection was clearly suppressed in the target groups of animals inoculated...

Fat cells help repair damaged nerves

Damage to the body's peripheral nerves can cause pain and movement disorders. Researchers have recently investigated how damaged nerves can regenerate better. They found that fat tissue strongly supports the Schwann cells needed for repair during the healing process.

The secret life of an electromagnon

Scientists have revealed how lattice vibrations and spins talk to each other in a hybrid excitation known as an electromagnon. To achieve this, they used a unique combination of experiments on an X-ray free electron laser. Understanding this fundamental process at the atomic level opens the door to ultrafast control of magnetism with light.

Study identifies a key protein for healthy aging

Life expectancy and healthy ageing in mice can be determined by a protein present in some cells of the immune system, according to a new study. When this protein -- known as the CD300f immune receptor -- is absent, animal models have a shorter life expectancy and suffer from pathologies associated with cognitive decline and premature ageing, especially in females.  

Composition of asteroid Phaethon

Asteroid Phaethon, which is five kilometers in diameter, has been puzzling researchers for a long time. A comet-like tail is visible for a few days when the asteroid passes closest to the Sun during its orbit. However, the tails of comets are usually formed by vaporizing ice and carbon dioxide, which cannot explain this tail. The tail should be visible at Jupiter's distance from the Sun.

How shifting climates may have shaped early elephants' trunks

Researchers have provided new insights into how ancestral elephants developed their dextrous trunks.  A study of the evolution of longirostrine gomphotheres, an ancestor of the modern day elephant, suggests moving into open-land grazing helped develop their coiling and grasping trunks.

What if Alexa or Siri sounded more like you? Study says you'll like it better

One voice does not fit all when it comes to virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, according to researchers who examined how customization and perceived similarity between user and voice assistant (VA) personalities affect user experience. They found a strong preference for extroverted VAs -- those that speak louder, faster and in a lower pitch. They also found that increasing personality...