If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again. Can you

How does the ‘brain’ of a living cell work, allowing an organism to function and thrive in changing and unfavourable environments? Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Dr. Robyn Araujo has developed new mathematics to solve a longstanding mystery of how the incredibly complex biological networks within cells can adapt and reset themselves after exposure

A new angle on gerrymanders This map shows a shifting kaleidoscope of partisan advantage, for US Congressional voting districts, since 1972. The size of each state is adjusted according to its number of seats in 2012. “The 2003 Texas redistricting is striking,” notes …more In 1812, the governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, approved a narrow

In quantum cryptography, the laws of quantum mechanics are exploited to send messages with higher security than is possible in conventional cryptographic schemes based on classical physical phenomena. In principle, quantum communication enables absolute security — that is, no adversary can intercept messages or tinker with them. But in practice such unconditional security is not

For the first time, scientists have identified the brain pathway that links a positive attitude toward math to achievement in the subject. In a study of elementary school students, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that having a positive attitude about math was connected to better function of the hippocampus, an important

In the original Star Wars film, R2D2 projects an image of Princess Leia in distress. The iconic scene includes the line still famous 40 years later: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” BYU electrical and computer engineering professor and holography expert Daniel Smalley has long had a goal to create the same

Because of their high precision and speed, Delta robots are deployed in many industrial processes, including pick-and-place assemblies, machining, welding and food packaging. Starting with the first version developed by Reymond Clavel for a chocolate factory to quickly place chocolate pralines in their packages, Delta robots use three individually controlled and lightweight arms that guide

An unfortunate church dinner more than 100 years ago did more than just spread typhoid fever to scores of Californians. It led theorists on a quest to understand why many diseases – including typhoid, measles, polio, malaria, even cancer – take so much longer to develop in some affected people than in others. It’s been

3-D scanning using a dip scanner: The object is dipped in a bath of water (left) by a robot arm. The quality of the reconstruction improves as the number of dipping orientations is increased (from left to right). Credit: ACM An international group of researchers developed a technique that results in more accurate 3-D scanning

The 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet Plimpton 322 at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York. Credit: UNSW/Andrew Kelly UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to

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