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A mathematical 'crystal ball' to predict calamities. Neuroscientists have come up with a mathematical equation that may help predict calamities such as financial crashes in economic systems and epileptic seizures in the brain.

A mathematical 'crystal ball' to predict calamities

The University of Sussex-led study, published this week (24 October 2013) in Physical Review Letters, could have far-reaching implications. If the principle is generalised in other real-world complex systems, such as climate change or disease control, it could open up the possibility of catastrophes being averted before they happen. In a collaboration between the University's Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and the Centre for Research in Complex Systems at Charles Sturt University in Australia, researchers used mathematics and detailed computer simulations to show that a measure of 'information flow' reaches a peak just before a system moves from a healthy state to an unhealthy state.

Professor Anil Seth, Co-Director of the Sackler Centre, says: "The implications of the work are far-reaching. 3D printing mechanical hands. 2013/05/30 New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warrior Amputees. May 30, 2013 Advances enable advanced prosthetic control and direct sensory feedback Since 2000, more than 2,000 servicemembers have suffered amputated limbs .

2013/05/30 New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warrior Amputees

DARPA’s breakthrough research with advanced prosthetic limbs controlled by brain interfaces is well documented, but such research is currently limited to quadriplegics; practical applications of brain interfaces for amputees are still in the future. In contrast, nerve and muscle interfaces allow amputees to control advanced prosthetics in the near term. Recent demonstrations may give Wounded Warriors hope that they can soon take advantage of these breakthroughs. DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) program researched the long-term viability of brain interfaces and continues research to develop high-performance, reliable peripheral interfaces. A team of researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) demonstrated a type of peripheral interface called targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR). Teen Creates 3D Printed, Brain-Powered Prosthetic Arm. Family Friday is a new weekly feature about family-friendly projects, educational initiatives, and inspiring young makers.

Teen Creates 3D Printed, Brain-Powered Prosthetic Arm

Easton LaChappelle shows off an earlier version of his robotic arm. [via Popular Science] When he was 14, Easton LaChappelle built a robotic hand because he thought it would be cool. He made the hand out of Lego bricks, fishing wire, surgical tubing for fingers, and five independently-controlled servos. The robo-hand won Easton third place at the Colorado state science fair in 2011, but he was unsatisfied with the robot’s functionality so he set about improving the design. The second version of the hand grew into an arm and featured a combination of 3D printed parts, dental rubber bands for tendon-like spring action, nylon-coated jeweler’s wire for ligaments, a telemetric Nintendo Power Glove, and a brainwave-activated headset to control the arm’s movement.

A CAD rendering of Easton’s robotic arm. “That kind of opened my eyes,” said Easton, now 17. Stett Holbrook. New Bionic Hand. Touch Bionics, a “leading developer of advanced upper-limb prosthetics” has just made Time’s list of Top 50 inventions of 2008 (coming it at #14).

New Bionic Hand

What’s so amazing about this invention? For starters, each finger is powered by its own motor. This allows the wearer to individually move their fingers for more accurate manipulation of objects. It’s made of a high-strength plastic resulting in a prosthetic that is lightweight as well as appealing to the eyes. Maintenance of the hand is also very simple. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the hand has different types of grips that it utilizes for specialized manipulation.

Sometimes no matter how good a prosthetic gets, it always ends up looking like a mesh of plastic and metal. When will you see it? It makes you wonder though, if people can already hack into Pacemakers, could they potentially hack into prosthetic limbs? Be sure and check out the Touch Bionics website for tons of great images and more detailed information. Comment Thread () Ultrahot Torch Slices Through Steel. The Metal Vapor Torch might be the next best thing to a lightsaber: a belt tool that can generate a blade of flame that slices through a half-inch steel bar in less than a second.

Ultrahot Torch Slices Through Steel

Energetic Materials & Products, Inc. of Round Rock, Texas designed the MVT as a tactical breaching tool for police and others who need to cut through bolts, chains, and padlocks quickly. By using reactive material technology with solid fuel and an oxidizer, the MVT is cheaper, lighter, and more compact than a traditional oxy–acetylene torch. At the heart of the MVT is a reaction between copper oxide and precisely graded particles of magnesium and aluminum; consistent particle size is crucial to ensure that the torch burns at the desired temperature.