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September 30th, 2017 at 10:15 am

Machine-vision drones monitor animals in the African savanna


Managing wild animals in remote areas requires accurate estimates of their numbers. Machine-vision drones can help.

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April 19th, 2017 at 12:30 pm

A New Brain-Interface Device Lets You Control Animals With Your Thoughts


A team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed technology that allows them to control the movement of turtles using human thought.

Think of it as a real life — but significantly scaled down — application of the 2009 blockbuster Avatar concept where humans control the body of an alien by remotely transferring human consciousness into another biological body. The team uses a brain-computer interface (BCI) that helps translate brain waves into commands that guide or control the movement of the turtle.

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March 10th, 2017 at 11:08 am

The Future of Zoos: Challenges Force Zoos to Change in Big Ways

For a mother escorting her kids through the Philadelphia Zoo, it was a close encounter of the ferocious kind. Directly in front of her as she strolled down the zoo’s main walkway was a Siberian tiger, a 400-plus-lb. carnivore capable of tearing apart a wild antelope. But rather than panic, the family laughed. The tiger was out of its lair, but its pathway was at a safe, meshed-in distance from onlookers, and after a few moments of looking around, the tiger moved on.

The tiger’s trail, dubbed Big Cat Crossing, is part of a bigger initiative called Zoo360 that has changed the way humans and animals experience the nation’s oldest zoo. There’s no question the experience is compelling for the humans. On a recent visit, I watched children drop their lunches in awe of white-faced saki monkeys hanging out in the trees. I witnessed one couple stop midconversation when a gorilla lumbered overhead, and saw more than a few families startled by the appearance of a large cat that seemed eerily close to them. But the bigger impact of Zoo360, says its chief operating officer, Andrew Baker, may be its effort to transform the experience of animals in captivity.

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October 23rd, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Researchers develop new test that detects all viruses that infect people and animals


There are some 320,000 unique mammalian viruses, according to estimates by virologists, and likely exponentially more existing on the planet today. Determining an accurate number would require billions more dollars and a great deal more manpower than is currently given to the study of viruses. Though a handful of viruses live in and on our bodies at all times—known as the virome—not all of them make us ill; just as often, they lie dormant. Many virus functions remain mysterious to scientists, such as how they enter a cell or replicate, though existing test advances, like the VirScan blood test, can tell you any infection you’ve ever had.

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December 20th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Top 14 Photos of the Week

3D printed prosthesis 4f6hl9

What he lacks in muscle and leg strength, he makes up for in wires …or whatever that is!

Quote of the Day:  “All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.” — H. L. Mencken

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The Coming Era of AI enhanced Super Humans