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Should Uber and other sharing-economy firms face tighter regulation?

October 1, 2015 - 3:01pm

At a hearing on Tuesday, Congressional lawmakers raised questions about the pros and cons of 'disruptive' companies. 

Listening for Alien Life: Could New Tech Detect Microbe Movements?

October 1, 2015 - 5:16am
Scientists are testing a new microphone technology called the remote acoustic sensor (RAS), which is capable of capturing sounds within extreme and often inaccessible aerospace environments.

Apple Music makes China debut at low price

September 30, 2015 - 3:12pm
Apple on Wednesday began offering Apple Music and other digital content in China, putting a bargain price on the service in the high-priority market.

Electricity from the air - Drayson's big idea

September 30, 2015 - 8:13am
Free energy from the air. It sounds like a fantasy but that is what entrepreneur Lord Drayson has just unveiled at London's Royal Institution.

One-way sound tunnel offers novel way to control acoustic waves

September 30, 2015 - 7:30am
(Phys.org)—Scientists have designed and built an acoustic one-way tunnel that allows sound to pass through in one direction only while blocking it from passing through in the opposite direction. The tunnel is completely open to light and heat, which can pass through in both directions, but sound waves are blocked in one direction due to acoustic metamaterials placed on the sides of the tunnel. The acoustic one-way tunnel has potential applications for anti-noise windows and vent ducts, as well as medical ultrasound.

Searching for orphan stars amid starbirth fireworks

September 30, 2015 - 7:03am
A new Gemini Observatory image reveals the remarkable "fireworks" that accompany the birth of stars. The image captures in unprecedented clarity the fascinating structures of a gas jet complex emanating from a stellar nursery at supersonic speeds. The striking new image hints at the dynamic (and messy) process of star birth. Researchers believe they have also found a collection of runaway (orphan) stars that result from all this activity..

Deep in Estonia's woods, Mother Nature gets a megaphone

September 30, 2015 - 3:00am
Design students in Estonia have come up with a novel way to help nature lovers enjoy the sights and subtle sounds of their country's vast and cherished forests.

World first 'drone-port' planned in Rwanda

September 30, 2015 - 2:19am
It sounds like science fiction: unmanned drones carrying emergency medicine zooming above the rolling hills of Rwanda.

Nose: Facts, Function & Diseases

September 29, 2015 - 10:31pm
The nose is part of the respiratory system and also contributes to other important functions, such as hearing and tasting.

Preventing cerebral palsy in preterm infants through dermal monitoring

September 29, 2015 - 5:02am
A potential method of screening for jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia), a cause of cerebral palsy and loss of hearing in preterm infants with kyperbilirubinemia, has been proposed using painless dermal monitoring. The research group also determined the correct area of skin to monitor for accurate results. This study has expanded the possibilities for accurate methods of monitoring jaundice, and it is hoped that this will lead to a decrease in cerebral palsy and hearing loss in preterm infants due to kyperbilirubinemia.

Winery wastewater a viable water source for vineyards

September 29, 2015 - 5:00am
Making wine requires water beyond what it takes to grow grapes. There are bottles to wash, barrels to scrub and floors to clean. But what if the water left over from all that cleaning was treated and reused to irrigate vineyards? It sounds like a promising practice, especially during a drought, but would it hurt the vines, the soil or even the wine?

Sonos software upgrade allows speakers to tune to your room

September 29, 2015 - 1:10am
Want to put a speaker in a bookshelf or under a chair without compromising sound quality? Wireless speaker company Sonos is releasing a software update that will intelligently calibrate sounds to account for the shape of the room and the obstacles in it.

How sign language users learn intonation

September 28, 2015 - 1:23pm
A spoken language is more than just words and sounds. Speakers use changes in pitch and rhythm, known as prosody, to provide emphasis, show emotion, and otherwise add meaning to what they say. In a new study, three linguists look at intonation (a key part of prosody) in ASL and find that native ASL signers learn intonation in much the same way that users of spoken languages do.

Why restaurants play music while you eat

September 28, 2015 - 4:55am
Research in India has found that restaurateurs in different food establishments there can influence how long their customers stay, how much they eat and whether or not they come back for seconds. The study of music as an accompaniment to a meal has been well visited in the West but not so completely in emerging markets. Now, writing in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, R.K. Srivastava of the University of Mumbai, described how he has studied 27 local restaurants serving fast food, Indian, Thai, Chinese or Italian food in order to find out how music choice influences customers.

The cost of nostalgia for Concorde aircraft fans? Nearly $200 million.

September 27, 2015 - 11:01am

A fan group of the supersonic aircraft has raised enough money to purchase two Concordes – one as a tourist attraction, another to actually fly. But is this an aircraft worth reviving? 

Ancient Human Ancestors Heard Differently

September 25, 2015 - 3:30pm
Early human species may have had sharper hearing in certain frequencies than we enjoy, to facilitate short-range communication in an open environment. Cynthia Graber reports

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Two-million-year-old fossils reveal hearing abilities of early humans

September 25, 2015 - 2:39pm
Research into human fossils dating back to approximately two million years ago reveals that the hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.

All Ears! What Human Ancestors' Hearing Was Like

September 25, 2015 - 2:32pm
Human ancestors that lived about 2 million years ago had hearing abilities similar to those of chimpanzees, but their ears had some slight differences that made their hearing more humanlike, a new study finds.

2-million-year-old fossils reveal hearing abilities of early humans

September 25, 2015 - 12:27pm
Research into human fossils dating back to approximately two million years ago reveals that the hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.

New device to reduce wind turbine noise and increase efficiency

September 25, 2015 - 8:40am
Noise pollution is a big public concern associated with operating wind turbines. A group of European scientists claims to have found a solution to this problem, assembling an innovative device on the blades. They are collaborating with a European project called Windtrust, which aims to reduce the cost of wind energy generation by further improving the reliability of key components of the turbine.