Good conversation results in a 'mind meld'

Researchers studying human conversation have discovered the brains of listeners and speakers become synchronized, and this "neural coupling" makes for effective communication. In essence, the participants’ brains connect in a kind of "mind meld."

The speaker-listener neural coupling within the right hemisphere. Image credit: Greg J. Stephens/PNAS.


Oil-based color pixels could let you watch videos on e-paper

By rapidly manipulating colored oil droplets stacked on top of each other, a new electrowetting (EW) technique could lead to the development of electronic paper displays that can produce high-resolution color video. Displays that use the EW effect could have several advantages over today’s e-readers and other portable flat panel displays, most of which are based on electrophoretic (EPh) technology.

Researchers have demonstrated a vertical stack approach for electrowetting displays that can produce high-resolution color video. Top: A diagram of the device structure. Bottom left: Photographs of the pixel array with all pixels off (a) and on (f); numbers indicate the voltage applied to each layer. Bottom right: Graph showing the switching speed of each color.


How much space crap is circling the Earth?

This illustration created by Australia's Electro Optic Systems aerospace company shows a view of the Earth from geostationary height depicting swarms of space debris - approximately 50,000 of the half-million or more objects bigger than 1cm - in Low Earth Orbit. An Australian company said that it had developed a laser tracking system that will stop chunks of space debris colliding with spacecraft and satellites in the Earth's orbit. Electric Optic Systems said lasers fired from the ground would locate and track debris as small as ten centimetres (four inches) across, protecting astronauts and satellites. Debris on the eastern side of the image are in the Earth's shadow and so not visible to the eye.