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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. A Look Back at the Doomed Virtual Reality Boom of the 90s Kyle Fowle, Kill...

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January 31, 2015 at 9:30AM
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In an effort to help prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination, IBM Research is teaming up with Mars for a safety study that'll examine how supply chains affect what we eat. Specifically, the duo will take a closer look at microorganisms in a safe factory environment to help cut down on the bi...

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Believe it or not, scientists aren't yet finished discovering new ways to 3D print body parts. A team at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has developed a 3D printing technique that lets them produce cartilage for repairing damaged tracheas, better known to you and I as windpipes. They ...

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Rovers have a tough time getting across Mars' vast, unforgiving landscape. They can't see very far ahead, and the crew back home can only offer so much help by looking at orbital imagery. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory may have a clever solution to that problem, though: an aerial robot scout. It...

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Everyone loves the idea of strapping a smartwatch to their wrist and using it to get a bit healthier, but there's a fine line between casual wearables and serious medical devices. It's an important distinction, since while the former can be sold without any sort of oversight, the latter is rightly...

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No, you're not looking at a dessert gone horribly wrong -- that might just be the future of synthetic organ transplants. Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a genetic "glue" that forms gels useful for 3D printing organic tissues. The key is using custom-designed, complem...

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The deep frying process isn't just useful for livening up your food -- it might also be the ticket to better batteries in your mobile devices. South Korean researchers have created highly conductive, stable electrode materials by spraying graphene oxide droplets into a very hot blend of acid and o...

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Sunset Park in Brooklyn is home to New York City's first commercial-scale wind turbine, and it's already flexing its green muscle. In under a month, the 160-foot-tall power source produced enough juice to power two homes for more than 12 months. It's not being used to supplement regular energy use...

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There's now at least a few robots that swim like fish, but they have their limits: they still take time to turn around, and they're not exactly precision instruments. Researchers at ETH Zurich are well on their way to solving those problems with their Sepios robot, though. As you'll see in the vid...

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It's increasingly apparent that schools can do exceptional things when you give them 3D printers. Need proof? The University of Wisconsin's Mechanical Engineering department is using its advanced selective laser sintering printer to make a wide range of intricate projects, including 3D music score...

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Doctors dream of helping the paralzyed walk through implants that stimulate their spinal cords, but current technology makes that impossible; these stiff, unnatural gadgets usually end up damaging or inflaming nervous tissue over time. Swiss researchers may have just solved this problem once and f...

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Bacterial infections are hard to fight. It's not just that there are "superbugs" which resist antibiotics, like MRSA -- it's that the methods for finding effective antibiotics aren't very efficient. However, scientists have developed a technique that harnesses environmental bacteria to find antimi...

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There are many things in space that can bring life on Earth to an end, whether they're wayward asteroids or the eventual death of our Sun. However, the chances of a calamitous event may well go up if the calculations of Max Planck Institute scientist Coryn Bailer-Jones are on the mark. He estimate...

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As Tom Brady and other athletes can attest, you really, really want to avoid tearing your knee's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It can't heal up, and the tendon graft used to reconstruct it will likely leave you with permanent pain. Victims may have a much easier time of things if Northwestern ...

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Following yesterday's article discussing current research on psychology and MMOs, we have today our conversation with Dr. Rachel Kowert herself, the lead author on the paper that originally prompted these articles. Kowert, unlike many other researchers in her field, has established gamer cred; her ...

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