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Wild Music in the News

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Music to your ears? Evidence of damage to hearing from music

August 18, 2014 - 7:48am
Many people listen to loud music without realizing that this can affect their hearing. This could lead to difficulties in understanding speech during age-related hearing loss which affects up to half of people over the age of 65. New research has examined the cellular mechanisms that underlie hearing loss and tinnitus triggered by exposure to loud sound.

New optical frequency comb has record low laser relative intensity noise

August 18, 2014 - 7:00am
An optical frequency comb that has record low laser relative intensity noise and in which the carrier envelope offset frequency has been stabilised to very low level, has been demonstrated by researchers at Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) in Switzerland.

Researchers developing unique molecular probes for the study of metals in the brain

August 18, 2014 - 5:56am
You don't have to listen to heavy-metal music to be a metal head. The human brain harbors far more copper, iron and zinc than anywhere else in the body. Abnormally high levels of these metals can lead to disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Chris Chang, a faculty chemist with Berkeley Lab's Chemical Sciences Division, has spent the past several years developing new probes and techniques for imaging the molecular activity of these metals in the brain. Speaking at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco, he discussed challenges and recent achievements in this area of research.

Space Plane Tech Could Power Hypersonic Aircraft for US Military

August 18, 2014 - 5:25am
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is studying hypersonic vehicles that would use the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which is intended to power the Skylon space plane, AFRL officials said.

Project serves up big data to guide managing nation's coastal waters

August 17, 2014 - 10:00pm
(Michigan State University) In this week's edition of Estuaries and Coasts, a Michigan State University doctoral student joins with others to give a sweeping assessment to understand how human activities are affecting estuaries, the nation's sounds, bays, gulfs and bayous.

Brad Paisley Launches Song About 'Flag on the Moon' From Historic NASA Pad

August 16, 2014 - 3:19pm
Country music star Brad Paisley traveled to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to launch his new song, 'American Flag on the Moon.' 'I'm at NASA's Apollo launch pad in FL, leaking my new song,' Paisley wrote on Twitter.

Do gut bacteria rule our minds? In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices

August 15, 2014 - 5:22pm
It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us -- which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold -- may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

Will Atlantic Ocean Oil Prospecting Silence Endangered Right Whales?

August 15, 2014 - 3:01pm
Companies have been cleared to seek seismic noise permits in the Atlantic, but ocean researchers fear for whales.

Sound and light unleashed in LightFreq with built-in audio

August 15, 2014 - 6:27am
An enterprising team with experience in music, engineering, coding, product and graphic design, have come up with a prototype called LightFreq, This is a Bluetooth light bulb with built-in HD audio. A light bulb and speaker combo? Why would anyone want to own that kind of device? The team has an engaging set of answers: "Why do we only use our lights to see? That would be like only using our phones to make calls, right?" "We solved the problem of the dumb light bulb." The distinguishing edge to their concept is that the device comes with an accompanying app, for iOS or Android smart devices, which unlocks numerous features. With the app, the user can turn LightFreq into a useful device for notifications according to the color of the light or for mood-centric applications such as strobe lights. Also, LightFreq will turn on and off automatically when you enter or leave a room. As for "follow-me" audio capabilities, the LightFreq starts playing music in the room you are in and when you move into a different room your music will follow, while turning off in the room you just left.

More to a skilled ear in music

August 15, 2014 - 5:50am
The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.The study aims to address a lack of skill and formal training in the industry that enables music judges to critically assess sound - an important skill when it comes to auditions and judging music in the 'real world'.

Professor quantifies how 'one thing leads to another'

August 15, 2014 - 4:41am
(Phys.org) —"One thing led to another," people often say. Events, discoveries and relationships are triggered by something previous. The iPhone case was designed only because the iPhone was invented first. A song became popular only after someone liked it.

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?

August 14, 2014 - 10:00pm
(University of California - San Francisco) It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us -- which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold -- may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

Dolphins and whales experience pleasure

August 13, 2014 - 4:00pm
Sam Ridgway has spent most of his life learning about dolphins and whales. Over his five-decade career he has asked these cetaceans various questions, including how deep they can dive and how depth affects their hearing. As he trained each animal to answer his questions, he rewarded them with tasty fish treats, and each time that they received a reward he remembers that they squealed. Initially he thought that the squeals were food signals, where animals communicate the presence of food to nearby members of their species. It was only when his wife Jeanette suggested that the squeals reminded her of delighted children that he began to ponder whether there was more to the cetaceans' cries: could they be genuine expressions of delight? Ridgway publishes his discovered that the time delay between dolphins and whales receiving a reward and their squeals is the same as the delay between a pleasant experience and dopamine release – suggesting that dolphins and whales experience pleasure – in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

How arbitrary is language? English words structured to help kids learn

August 13, 2014 - 8:35am
Words in the English language are structured to help children learn, according to research. Words like "woof" accurately represent the sound of a dog while sounds with similar meanings may have a similar structure, such as the "sl" sound at the beginning of a word often has negative properties as in "slime, slur, slum, slug."

Anxiety and amen: Prayer doesn't ease symptoms of anxiety-related disorders for everyone

August 12, 2014 - 10:14am
Whether the problem is health, enemies, poverty or difficulty with aging, “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there,” suggested the late gospel musician Charles A. Tindley. But when it comes to easing anxiety-related disorders, prayer doesn’t have the same effect for everybody, according to a researcher.

Physicist develops stochastic model to describe interbeat variation patterns between musicians

August 12, 2014 - 7:40am
(Phys.org) —Physicist Holger Hennig, currently with OptWare in Munich, Germany, has developed a stochastic model to describe synchronization that occurs in human musical rhythms that involve more than one person. In his paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Henning describes how he discovered that when two musicians are playing together, a beat played by one person can depend on up to several minutes of the other person's prior interbeat intervals—the model he developed can be used, he claims, to produce more natural sounding computer generated music.

Ride shotgun with NASA saucer as it flies to near space

August 11, 2014 - 8:08am
NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project successfully flew a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space in late June from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The goal of this experimental flight test, the first of three planned for the project, was to determine if the balloon-launched, rocket-powered, saucer-shaped, design could reach the altitudes and airspeeds needed to test two new breakthrough technologies destined for future Mars missions.

NASA image: Fishing LDSD out of the water

August 11, 2014 - 5:20am
Divers retrieve the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

Nanodiamond tech lights new path in medical diagnostics

August 11, 2014 - 3:19am
Earlier this month TechCrunch featured a look at a company that wants to make a difference in finding cancer before it spreads using nanodiamond-based technology. The idea is that nanodiamonds can detect molecular abnormalities at an early stage, and as such could help a patient's chances for survival. The company is called Bikanta. Founded in 2013, the company is interested in what fluorescent diamonds inside the body can mean to the future of medical diagnostics. The company website said it has developed nanodiamond-based technology; nanodiamonds are superior optical probes with the key beneficial features such as biocompatibility, brightness and signal stability, and cost, the site added. Nanodiamonds are exquisitely sensitive to magnetic fields, said the company, and this sensitivity can be used to reduce background noise more than 100-fold over current methods and to improve visualization deeper into the body. Bikanta said it is also designing novel imaging scanners and microscopes to improve detection capabilities.

NASA's flying saucer takes a supersonic flight, and you can tag along

August 8, 2014 - 4:47pm
By the time NASA’s flying saucer splashed down in the Pacific in June, the engineers who designed it already knew their experiment had been a huge success. From the control tower at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, they had watched the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator — a device...