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The Weekly Roundup 10.2 Edition

by Amy October 2, 2015

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How to Keep Your Mobile Device Safe

With the ever-increasing cost of iPhones, protecting these pricy devices is becoming more of a priority. There are a few key steps that you can take to help increase the life expectancy of your iPhone. To prevent your battery life from deteriorating, reduce the amount of time your phone is plugged into a charger every day. Also, try to close any apps that may be running in the background draining your battery. If you have ever experienced a “spiderwebbed” screen, you know that a screen protector is vital to protecting the iPhone’s fragile screen. Phone cases can also severely limit the damage your phone sustains if you drop it. Avoid placing your phone on hard surfaces when it is on vibrate, as the vibrating could cause the phone to fall off. Ultimately, it is important to be mindful of protecting your phone and refrain from putting it in situations where it could get damaged.

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Paralyzed Man Can “Feel” Again with Prosthetic Hand

A man who has been paralyzed for over a decade was able to not only control a prosthetic hand with his brain, but also experience sensations. The hand, designed by the Johns Hopkins Physics Laboratory, is manipulated by electrodes that are attached to a person’s sensory cortex. The sensory cortex is the part of the brain that can experience various external sensations such as pressure. Electrodes are also connected to the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement. A person using the prosthetic can operate the hand with the same brain transmissions used to operate any of their other limbs. While this prosthetic technology has not been perfected yet, the program manager of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said that he thought controlled prosthetics are “showing great promise.” With more research being devoted to developing prosthetics, the quality of life for amputees and victims of paralysis will hopefully continue to improve.

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Scientists Create an Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak

Any fans of the Harry Potter book or movie series are certainly familiar with the invisibility cloak. What most fans do not know, however, is that invisibility cloaks are not just reserved for  the fantastical universe created by author J.K. Rowling. Researchers at the University of California, Berkley, have developed an incredibly thin invisibility skin cloak, that is able to make small objects disappear. The cloak is comprised of “nanoantennas” that redirect light waves away from the object, essentially rendering it invisible. This is not the first invisibility cloak to be created, but it is far thinner than other cloaks and can be scaled to match the size of the object it is covering. The possibilities for applying this technology to things such as military equipment are endless. It will be interesting to see how various industries are able to adapt this technology as it becomes more accessible.

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Public Transit Safety Tips

For people that take public transit, especially women, it is important to be mindful of your surroundings to ensure that you remain safe while waiting for your bus or train and during your commute. Here are some tips to keep safe while traveling on public transit:

  • Have your ticket ready so that you do not have to take your wallet out of your pocket or purse
  • Make sure to wait in well lit areas, preferably near other people
  • When traveling on a bus or train alone at night, stay as close as possible to the driver
  • Remain awake while riding buses, trains and taxis
  • Take an aisle seat to ensure that you cannot be blocked in
  • Keep your belongings on you, instead of on the seat next to you
  • Pay attention to who gets off at your stop

Utilize these safety tips to be prepared for your public transit ride.

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