Jul 29, 2009 | 6
Several automakers have recently come to agree that their high-end vehicles should include a warning system to keep drivers from falling asleep, a problem that causes at least 100,000 crashes annually, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The automakers disagree, however, on the best way for a car to "know" when its driver is dozing off behind the wheel.
One team of researchers is proposing a simple clue—the yawn.
Whereas different auto makes and models rely primarily on cameras and sensors that keep a close eye on the car itself, as well as the road around it, researchers at Vanderbilt University, Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University's Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER) in India and the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur's electrical engineering department are devising a model that can detect this most obvious sign of fatigue.
Feb 9, 2009 | 2
Giving Alzheimer's patients a battery of cognitive tests may help predict whether it's safe for them (and us) to get behind the wheel, according to a new study.
"We found that tests that involved visual perception and visual memory were particularly important in preventing driving errors," says Jeffrey Dawson, a biostatistician at the University of Iowa College of Public Health in Iowa City and lead author of the study published in Neurology.
Dawson hopes the findings will pave the way for the creation of a test that physicians could give to people diagnosed with Alzheimer's to determine if it’s safe for them to be on the road.
Feb 4, 2009
NASA announced yesterday that the launch of space shuttle Discovery, which had been slated for February 12, will be delayed for at least a week.* The space agency said it needs more time to ensure that the valves controlling the flow of hydrogen gas into the external fuel tank do not pose a hazard. Engineers discovered that one of those valves had been damaged when another shuttle, Endeavour, lifted off in November—and NASA wants to find out why that happened and whether a similar occurrence could endanger the mission and crew.
"We want to make sure we've got this right," NASA associate administrator for space operations William Gerstenmaier told the Associated Press. "So we think standing down for a little bit of time and letting the folks do a little more work is a good thing."
Dec 9, 2008
The FIT-5 fire-fighting technology that Scientific American.com wrote about on September 5 will make it's prime time television debut December 12 at 10 p.m. as part of the Science Channel series Brink.
Made by Vancouver-based ARA Safety, the grenade-like gadget is designed to quickly extinguish flames in small quarters, thereby limiting injury to both victims and firefighters. The company says the device—which costs about $1,300—can extinguish a class B (fuel-based) fire in a room 2,100 cubic feet (60 cubic meters) or less and reduce fire temperatures from 1,000 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (540 to 150 degrees Celsius) in less than 10 seconds. The FIT-5 is also designed to control class A (wood-based) fires enough to douse them with water.
Deadline: Aug 31 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
Deadline: Jun 30 2013
Reward: $1,000,000 USD
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and&
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