Analog computing returns

Analog computing returns

A transistor, conceived of in digital terms, has two states: on and off, which can represent the 1s and 0s of binary arithmetic. But in analog terms, the transistor has an infinite number of states, which could, in principle, represent an infinite range of...
Teaching machines to predict the future

Teaching machines to predict the future

When we see two people meet, we can often predict what happens next: a handshake, a hug, or maybe even a kiss. Our ability to anticipate actions is thanks to intuitions born out of a lifetime of experiences. Machines, on the other hand, have trouble making use of...
Need hair? Press ‘print’

Need hair? Press ‘print’

These days, it may seem as if 3-D printers can spit out just about anything, from a full-sized sports car, to edible food, to human skin. But some things have defied the technology, including hair, fur, and other dense arrays of extremely fine features, which require...
How new technology may help infertile couples

How new technology may help infertile couples

The competition is fierce and only the strongest survive the obstacle course within the female reproductive tract. Of the millions of sperm that enter the vagina, only about 10 or so make it to the oocyte or egg, demonstrating how rigorous the natural sperm selection...
Eye-tracking system uses ordinary cellphone camera

Eye-tracking system uses ordinary cellphone camera

For the past 40 years, eye-tracking technology — which can determine where in a visual scene people are directing their gaze — has been widely used in psychological experiments and marketing research, but it’s required pricey hardware that has kept it from finding...

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