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Using Smartphone Cameras to Track Alertness
"Cornell researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.
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"When people are alert, the sympathetic nervous system causes the pupils to dilate to make it easier to take in information. When they're drowsy, the parasympathetic nervous system causes the pupils to contract.
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"the AlertnessScanner could be particularly useful in health care, since medical professionals often work long hours doing intricate and important work. For example, clinicians typically look at devices during surgery, and a front-facing camera on the devices could track their alertness throughout procedures.

"But understanding alertness patterns could be helpful to people in many kinds of workplaces, Tseng said.

"If you want to get something very important done, then probably you should execute this task while you're at the peak of your alertness; when you're in a valley of your alertness, you can do something like rote work," he said. "You'll also know the best time to take a break in order to allow your alertness or energy to go back up again."
alertness  cognition  attention  pupil  biology  sleep  medical  biofeedback  eye 
yesterday by Tonti
Neural-inspired sensors enable sparse, efficient classification of spatiotemporal data | PNAS
Winged insects perform remarkable aerial feats in uncertain, complex fluid environments. This ability is enabled by sensation of mechanical forces to inform rapid corrections in body orientation. Curiously, mechanoreceptor neurons do not faithfully report forces; instead, they are activated by specific time histories of forcing. We find that, far from being a bug, neural encoding by biological sensors is a feature that acts as built-in temporal filtering superbly matched to detect body rotation. Indeed, this encoding further enables surprisingly efficient detection using only a small handful of neurons at key locations. Nature suggests smart data as an alternative strategy to big data, and neural-inspired sensors establish a paradigm in hyperefficient sensing of complex systems.
biology  biomechanics  biomemesis  machinelearning 
yesterday by madamim
A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Quanta Magazine
Besides self-replication, greater structural organization is another means by which strongly driven systems ramp up their ability to dissipate energy. A plant, for example, is much better at capturing and routing solar energy through itself than an unstructured heap of carbon atoms. Thus, England argues that under certain conditions, matter will spontaneously self-organize. This tendency could account for the internal order of living things and of many inanimate structures as well. “Snowflakes, sand dunes and turbulent vortices all have in common that they are strikingly patterned structures that emerge in many-particle systems driven by some dissipative process,” he said. Condensation, wind and viscous drag are the relevant processes in these particular cases.
honors  philosophy  nature  physics  biology  spirit  life  creativity  teaching_pol_theory 
2 days ago by Jibarosoy
Mystery of Lifes Origin
If the author's criticisms are valid, one might ask, why have they not been recognized or stressed by workers in the field? I suspect that part of the answer is that many scientists would hesitate to accept the authors' conclusion that it is fundamentally implausible that unassisted matter and energy organized themselves into living sys­ tems. Perhaps these scientists fear that acceptance of this conclu­ sion would open the door to the possibility (or the necessity) of a supernatural origin of life. Faced with this prospect many investiga­ tors would prefer to continue in their search for a naturalistic expla­ nation of the origin of life along the lines marked out over the last few decades, in spite of the many serious difficulties of which we are now aware. Perhaps the fallacy of scientism is more widespread than we like to think.
honors  philosophy  Science  teaching_pol_theory  biology  life  spirit  physics 
2 days ago by Jibarosoy
Beat poet/environmentalist Gary Snyder speaks Wednesday at Macalester | Pioneer Press | October 15, 2018
Poetry lovers know Gary Snyder as one of the Beat Generation poets, along with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others. But some might not know that this Pulitzer Prize-winner is also a Zen Buddhist and environmentalist. Snyder will discuss his commitment to the natural world when he gives Macalester College’s 2018 Engel-Morgan-Jardetzky Distinguished Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the college’s Kagin Commons, 21 Snelling Ave., St. Paul. His lecture is titled “Minding the Wild: An Evening of Poetry and Discussion.”
JardetzkyLecture  GarySynder  Biology  macnews 
2 days ago by macalestercollege
A new mechanism for how animal cells stay intact | Stanford News
Almost eight years ago, Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash was looking for a way to watch every cell in an adult living, behaving animal in elaborate…
education  science  medicine  biology  genetics  engineering  research  stanford  university  california  america 
2 days ago by asaltydog
Deep Sea biolumeniscence
75% of deep sea creatures emit light. Some beautiful photos and video
tootme  marine  monterey  deepsea  bioluminescence  biology  underwater  science 
2 days ago by nelson
What the gut knows
@NaomiAllTheNews on digestion.
Biology 
3 days ago by nwlinks

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