How Dust Is Holding Science Back

To most of us dust is just something we clean off our furniture, but to scientists dust can cause big problems in the lab. Computer chips are put together and tested in what are called clean rooms. These environments use filters to limit the amount of particles of dust in the air. UC San Diego’s … Read more How Dust Is Holding Science Back

A video game that teaches you how to code

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think,” Steve Jobs said in a lost interview from 1995. But for a beginner, learning to code from scratch can be intimidating. Enter CodeSpells. UC San Diego computer scientists developed this video game to teach people … Read more A video game that teaches you how to code

UCLA's Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Augmented Reality Sandbox (orginally developed by researchers at UC Davis) lets users sculpt mountains, canyons and rivers, then fill them with water or even create erupting volcanoes. This version of the device at UCLA was built by Gary Glesener using off-the-shelf parts and good ol’ playground sand. Any shape made in the sandbox is … Read more UCLA's Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Science of Folding Clothes

Getting your clothes to fit neatly inside a suitcase can sometimes be struggle, but robotics engineers at UC Berkeley can help you out. They’ve come up with an efficient way to fold a variety of clothes into neat little rectangles. These techniques are intended to help a new generation of robots take on a monotonous … Read more The Science of Folding Clothes

Could Cosmic Rays Threaten Mars Missions?

Thousands of people have volunteered for a potential mission to Mars, but if any of them end up making the trip, they might lose a few brain cells along the way. New research out of UC Irvine finds that exposure to cosmic rays during the long journey, expected to take about six to eight months, … Read more Could Cosmic Rays Threaten Mars Missions?

How we feel someone else’s pain

A neuroscientist from UC San Deigo —V.S. Ramachandran— recently spoke with the Greater Good Science Center about the relationship between empathy and mirror neurons: “For example, pretend somebody pokes my left thumb with a needle. We know that the insular cortex fires cells and we experience a painful sensation. The agony of pain is probably … Read more How we feel someone else’s pain

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