Feature Demo: Emerging Technology Articles Collection

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Like I mentioned in my introduction, I spend a good portion of my time sorting through science news and emerging technology articles. I’m working on generating a way for you to easily sort through my recent readings on the topics, as well as attaching a synopsis of my views so you can easily catch up with what different technologies mean, how they work, and where they might go.

 

In the mean time, however, I’ve put together a quick demo showing you everything that passes into my favorites read list, sorted out from all the articles I see every day. There’s no explicit tagging on this yet, but hopefully there will be in the future. Feel free to peruse and enjoy! Feedback is welcomed on number of articles per page I should display. I’m also going to try to hack in some CSS to format things so they’re a bit easier to read.

 

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Global economic losses from cyclones linger for decades, study finds

Around the world, economic losses due to hurricanes continue for decades after disastrous storms strike, and the losses are not alleviated by spending on reconstruction and may climb with storms that are intensified by climate change.
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The perfect atom sandwich requires an extra layer

(Phys.org) —Like the perfect sandwich, a perfectly engineered thin film for electronics requires not only the right ingredients, but also just the right thickness of each ingredient in the desired order, down to individual layers of atoms.
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Study links GI symptoms and autism in children

(Medical Xpress)—Five-year-old Veer Patel was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in October 2010. Typical of children "on the spectrum," he manages best with a rigid, unchanging daily routine.
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Twin hearing study helps discover gene that influences hearing ability

The largest ever genome wide association study on hearing ability has identified the salt-inducible kinase 3 (SIK3) gene as a key influencer in how well we can hear, particularly at high frequencies.
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Researcher creates bioinspired and biofunctional materials for widely diverse applications

In one project, Brad Olsen's lab seeks to engineer soaps that can be sprayed onto a toxic chemical release and not only wash off the chemical, but detoxify it.
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Racing game proves effective in teaching scientific reasoning

An online game that has students race through a course and learn about scientific argumentation during pit stops has proven effective at a crucial time in American education.
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Serotonin receptor structure revealed

The structure of a serotonin receptor has been completely deciphered for the first time using crystallography.
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Is cosmic radiation the dawn of new physics or statistical slip-up?

Recent observations suggest that there is something not quite right with our view of our universe – that something is skewing our view of the oldest radiation arriving at our telescopes.
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Common variation genes behind the risk of autism

A number of relatively common gene variations combined may increase the risk of autism. These are the findings of a new study from Swedish and American researchers published in Nature Genetics.
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Cheap and compact medical testing

Harvard researchers have created an inexpensive detector that can be used by health care workers in the world’s poorest areas to monitor diabetes, detect malaria, discover environmental pollutants, and perform tests that now are done by machines costing tens of thousands of dollars.
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Technology Tracking Methods Part 1: The Problem

This is less an informative lecture than some thoughts on a problem that I run into.

Technology foraging, technology tracking, whatever you want to call it–is hard.

To keep abreast of all the technologies that I feel are necessary, I have to read approximately 50 RSS feeds a day, and sort through the content by hand. I had previously attempted to put together a system that automatically sorted articles by subject and importance, but it didn’t work out so well (this is part of the driving purpose behind a project I’d like to unveil to the public sometime shortly). This means that I have to go through about ~300 articles a day and manually tag/sort them, as well as decide how important they are.

Furthermore, I’m only gleaming the tips of the iceberg–there’s thousands of industry specific scientific articles that I’m missing, not to mention the wealth of information hidden in areas like patents and scientific journals. There’s an incredibly amount of data, and I’m missing huge amounts of it. To adequately track technology, I need to be able to render down all that data into something human readable or searchable.

Is it so surprising, then, that most people (even ones that see the development of technology as critical to their profession) can’t keep up with technology? I have to specifically set aside time to do it and it can get wearying even for me. It doesn’t scale, either. There’s no real way to add more to my tracking abilities as they stand right now without a linear increase in time spent. This means that further tools are needed.

These tools are being worked on right now, and I hope to implement the first step soon, which I’ll discuss briefly in the next blog post. I hope to share parts of my process as I develop them so that others are either inspired to take up the tools I provide, or build their own. The problem is currently poorly served.