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Showing posts from February 2, 2017

SpaceX says fix underway for rocket turbine wheel cracking

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - SpaceX's final version of the Falcon 9 rocket, which Elon Musk aims to launch before the end of the year, will fix a potential problem with cracks in its turbopumps, the company said on Thursday. Its statement followed a report that the U.S. Government Accountability Office will flag turbine wheel cracks in the rocket's turbopumps as a safety issue. NASA, the U.S. space agency, and the Air Force are among SpaceX's customers.


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Computer Diagnoses Cataracts As Well As Eye Doctors Can

A new artificial-intelligence system designed to imitate the way the brain handles vision can diagnose a rare eye condition just as well as eye doctors can, a new study shows. The new system, which focuses on identifying a rare eye condition called congenital cataracts, could also help diagnose other rare diseases someday, the researchers said. In the study, scientists in China used an artificial neural network named CC-Cruiser.


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Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control, scientists say

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Multidrug-resistant malaria superbugs have taken hold in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, threatening to undermine progress against the disease, scientists said. The superbugs - malaria parasites that can beat off the best current treatments, artemisinin and piperaquine - have spread throughout Cambodia, with even fitter multidrug resistant parasites spreading in southern Laos and northeastern Thailand. "We are losing a dangerous race to eliminate artemisinin resistant...malaria before widespread resistance to the partner antimalarials makes that impossible," said Nicholas White, a professor at Oxford University in Britain and Mahidol University in Thailand who co-led the research.

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Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control, scientists say

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Multidrug-resistant malaria superbugs have taken hold in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, threatening to undermine progress against the disease, scientists said. The superbugs - malaria parasites that can beat off the best current treatments, artemisinin and piperaquine - have spread throughout Cambodia, with even fitter multidrug resistant parasites spreading in southern Laos and northeastern Thailand. "We are losing a dangerous race to eliminate artemisinin resistant...malaria before widespread resistance to the partner antimalarials makes that impossible," said Nicholas White, a professor at Oxford University in Britain and Mahidol University in Thailand who co-led the research.


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Cosmic Neutrino Detector Reveals Clues About Ghostly Particle Masses

Buried under the Antarctic ice, the IceCube experiment was designed primarily to capture particles called neutrinos that are produced by powerful cosmic events, but it is also helping scientists learn about the fundamental nature of these ghostly particles. At a meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) in Washington, D.C., this week, scientists with the IceCube collaboration presented new results that contribute to an ongoing mystery about the nature of neutrinos. In particle physics, symmetries often indicate underlying physics that scientists haven't yet unearthed.


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Texas mulls changing science standards questioning evolution

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education will decide whether to scrap a requirement that public schools teach high school students to scrutinize "all sides" of scientific theory after hearing Tuesday from academics who say that was meant to water down lessons on evolution and leave students wondering whether God created the universe.

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Pests in South Africa maize "strongly suspected" to be armyworms: scientist

By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A larvae outbreak which has damaged maize in South Africa's Limpopo and North West provinces is "strongly suspected" to be the invasive armyworm that has attacked crops in neighbouring countries, a scientist said on Monday. The infestation of fall armyworms - an invasive Central American species that is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart - has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought which scorched much of the region last year. Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on their agricultural products because the armyworm is classified as a quarantine pest.


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Pests in South Africa maize "strongly suspected" to be armyworms: scientist

By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A larvae outbreak which has damaged maize in South Africa's Limpopo and North West provinces is "strongly suspected" to be the invasive armyworm that has attacked crops in neighboring countries, a scientist said on Monday. The infestation of fall armyworms - an invasive Central American species that is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart - has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought which scorched much of the region last year. Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on their agricultural products because the armyworm is classified as a quarantine pest.


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Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk bets 115 million pounds on post-Brexit UK science

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk , the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist.


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Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk bets $145 mln on post-Brexit UK science

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk, the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds ($145 million) in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist.


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Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk bets $145 million on post-Brexit UK science

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk, the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds ($145 million) in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist.

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Scientists Grow Mouse Pancreas Inside a Rat

In a recent experiment to help out mice that were missing their pancreases, scientists grew new pancreases from mouse stem cells in the bodies of rats, and then transplanted those pancreases into the mice. The work holds promise for alleviating the severe shortage of donated human organs, they said. "However, there is a much greater evolutionary distance between humans and pigs or sheep than there is between mice and rats, and this could create challenges," said the study's senior author, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, a stem cell biologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California.


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U.S. scientists create metallic hydrogen, a possible superconductor, ending quest

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. scientists have succeeded in squeezing hydrogen so intensely that it has turned into a metal, creating an entirely new material that might be used as a highly efficient electricity conductor at room temperatures. The discovery, published in the journal Science on Thursday, provides the first confirmation of a theory proposed in 1935 by physicists Hillard Bell Huntington and Eugene Wigner that hydrogen, normally a gas, could occur in a metallic state if exposed to extreme pressure. Several teams have been racing to develop metallic hydrogen, which is highly prized because of its potential as a superconductor, a material that is extremely efficient at conducting electricity.


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Defying Trump, Twitter feeds for U.S. government scientists go rogue

Rogue Twitter feeds voicing employee concerns at more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have been launched in defiance of what they say are President Donald Trump's attempts to muzzle federal climate change research and other science. Representing scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus, either directly or through friends and supporters, the accounts protest restrictions they view as censorship since Trump took office on Jan. 20. Seizing on Trump's favourite mode of discourse, the feeds reflect concern that the new president, a climate change sceptic, is out to squelch federally backed research showing that emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other human activities are contributing to global warming.

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U.S. scientists create metallic hydrogen, a possible superconductor, ending quest

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. scientists have succeeded in squeezing hydrogen so intensely that it has turned into a metal, creating an entirely new material that might be used as a highly efficient electricity conductor at room temperatures. The discovery, published in the journal Science on Thursday, provides the first confirmation of a theory proposed in 1935 by physicists Hillard Bell Huntington and Eugene Wigner that hydrogen, normally a gas, could occur in a metallic state if exposed to extreme pressure. Several teams have been racing to develop metallic hydrogen, which is highly prized because of its potential as a superconductor, a material that is extremely efficient at conducting electricity.


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Scientists take first steps to growing human organs in pigs

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have grown human cells inside pig embryos, a very early step toward the goal of growing livers and other human organs in animals to transplant into people.


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U.S. government scientists go 'rogue' in defiance of Trump

Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science. Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts - borrowing names and logos of their agencies - to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed. "Can't wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS," one anonymous National Park Service employee posted on the newly opened Twitter account @AltNatParkService.


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King of the zoo: liger cub Tsar is Russian hit

Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) - His name is fit for a king, and he's being treated like one: Tsar the liger cub, born from an extremely rare lion-tiger romance, is proving a hit for a travelling Russian zoo. Stretched out in the zoo director's van, the stripy Tsar -- whose name is a throwback to the Russian emperors of centuries past -- impatiently awaits his milk bottle. "We don't leave him in a cage -- it's too cold outside," said zoo chief Erik Airapetyan.


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Asteroid attack? Astronomers ponder fourth close pass of 2017

Yet another space rock is set to give Earth a close shave. We ask a professional sky watcher if we should be freaking out just yet.


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India Plans to Launch 104 Satellites With Just One Rocket

The ISRO will launch three full-sized Indian sats and 101 nanosats from international partners, the most satellites ever launched at once.


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Programmable cells may be the next step toward making us real-life cyborgs

Researchers from the University of Maryland have demonstrated how the “gene expression” of biological cells can be controlled electronically and even programmed to behave in different ways.


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87-Year-Old Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Makes His Modeling Debut

Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969--the second man to ever do so (after Neil Armstrong). Fast forward to present day. It's the year 2017 and the iconic 87-year-old former astronaut came out of retirement to walk ... in Nick Graham's fall/winter 2017 menswear show. To be more precise, he moonwalked--and did it to the deafening sound of cheers and applause and against a backdrop of real moving imagery of Mars inside N.Y.C.'s Skylight Clarkson studios. He modeled a futuristic, space-age-y en


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Travel ban throws research, academic exchange into turmoil

BOSTON (AP) — Universities across the nation say President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries is disrupting vital research projects and academic exchanges in such fields as medicine, public health and engineering, with untold numbers of scholars blocked from entering the U.S.


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Massive Stream of Lava Plunges into Sea in Stunning New Video

A stunning new video has captured a huge fire hose of lava streaming into the ocean at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The stream of lava is currently pouring into the ocean from a sea cliff near Kamokuna on the Big Island of Hawaii, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The ensuing steam explosions, which occurred Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, have tossed molten lava high up into the air, with some bits of molten rock catapulted to twice the height of the sea cliff.


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Homeward bound: bobcat returns after giving US zoo the slip

After an elusive feline from Washington's National Zoo triggered a three-day cat hunt -- and an online sensation -- Ollie the bobcat on Wednesday ventured home on her own terms. Ollie ultimately turned up near the zoo's bird house, where keepers successfully captured her and took her for a checkup with veterinarians. "We're just over the moon happy," said Craig Saffoe, curator of big cats at the zoo.


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World’s smallest porpoise on brink of extinction, scientists warn

Mexico's vaquita marina is edging closer to extinction as scientists warned that only 30 were left despite navy efforts to intercept illegal fishing nets killing the world's smallest porpoise. "The already desperate situation has worsened, despite existing conservation measures and current enforcement efforts," said the report by the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA). An analysis of acoustic data from the upper Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico found that, as of November, only about 30 vaquitas likely remained in their habitat, the report said.


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After this gruesome murder, you'll never look at chimps the same way again

Chimps aren't exactly the soft and cuddly animals that Curious George would have you believe.  Scientists have documented aggression in territorial chimps on numerous occasions, with separate bands of chimps attacking, killing and even cannibalizing one another to gain access to more resources.  But a new study details a far more rare case of chimp murder: One aggressive male chimp appears to have been attacked and killed by members of the group he once led. SEE ALSO: Chimps don't tolerate drone monkey business The chimp — named Foudouko by the scientists studying the Fongoli community of chimps in Senegal — seemed to have been killed in 2013 after he attempted to rejoin the community he once led after five years in exile, the study published in the International Journal of Primatology said.  While scientists didn't see the killing, they did witness the aftermath.  Members of the community attacked and cannibalized Foudouko's body after his death. "It was very dif…

£1m Queen Elizabeth Prize: Digital camera tech lauded

The inventors of digital camera technology win the highest international prize for engineering.


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Thai police seize record three tonnes of pangolin scales

Thai customs police on Thursday unveiled a massive three-tonne cache of seized pangolin scales intended for Asia's lucrative wildlife markets, where feverish demand for the "scaly anteater" has turned it into the most trafficked mammal on earth. The shy pangolin's brown scales are made of nothing more than keratin -- the same substance as fingernails -- but are highly prized in Vietnam and China where they are misleadingly touted as bearing medicinal properties. Soaring demand for the products has seen an estimated one million pangolins plucked from Asian and African forests over the past decade, shunting them onto the list of species at the highest risk of extinction.


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Doctors Remove 6-Foot-Long Tapeworm from Man's Gut

Doctors in India removed a lengthy pork tapeworm from a man's gut, according to a recent report of the man's case. The tapeworm, which goes by the scientific name Taenia solium, was nearly 2 meters (6.6 feet) long. In fact, it was the longest worm that Dr. Cyriac Philips, a liver specialist at PVS Memorial Hospital in India who treated the man, had ever seen, he said.


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You look more powerful in photos when facing to the right — here's why

People look more powerful, athletes more elegant, and cars faster when they appear...


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Dutch experiment with 'Tinder for orangutans'

An animal reserve in the Netherlands is having apes respond to images of their fellow creatures on a tablet, a programme dubbed "Tinder for orangutans" by the Dutch press. To better understand their emotions, orangutans and bonobos at the Apenheul Primate Park near the central town of Apeldoorn are shown pictures of other apes, and researchers evaluate their responses -- from neutral to aggressive, the park said. The research, conducted with Leiden University, could improve breeding programmes for the apes, the park said.


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Elon Musk and electric vehicles will win the energy battle against Trump's favorite fuels

President Donald Trump can forget reviving America's fossil fuel sector, because the future belongs to renewable energy titans like Tesla's Elon Musk. According to a new report, there may not be any growth in oil and coal use worldwide after the year 2020. This contrasts with Trump's vision of a revived coal, oil and gas sector in the U.S., which was central to his electoral victory in states such as Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.  SEE ALSO: How 21 kids could keep climate websites from going completely dark The report, co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, found that solar and wind power plus electric vehicles will each experience explosive growth in the coming decades, to the point where electric vehicles alone could slash global oil use per day by 2 million barrels by 2025. This may rise to 25 million barrels per day by 2050, the report states.  Like others before it, the analysis offers a warning …

Building a Human Being, Cell By Cell

Researchers push forward with some brave new stem-cell science.


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Super Bowl picks from the astronauts in space

Yahoo Sports' Tony Siragusa talks to the NASA astronauts in space and gets their predictions for who will win the big game.


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Life really does flash before your eyes when you die, according to new study

According to new studies, that idea is no longer the stuff of story books. The researchers, from Hadassah University in Jerusalem, are calling it Life Review Experience (LRE). “There is not a linear progression, there is lack of time limits… It was like being there for centuries.


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Drug resistant malaria makes gains in Mekong region of SE Asia

An especially drug-resistant type of malaria is becoming dominant in parts of the Mekong region, researchers said Thursday, warning of potentially dire consequences if it makes the leap to India and Africa. For the last decade scientists and health workers have become increasingly alarmed by the spread of a malaria strain resistant to a key drug used to treat patients: artemisinin. It was first detected in western Cambodia in 2007 and has since spread to parts of northeastern Thailand, southern Laos and eastern Myanmar.


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Cotton candy and jello could be secret ingredient for growing new organs

Researchers from Vanderbilt University are using cotton candy spinners and jello to grow artificial blood vessels 10 times thinner than a human hair. Just check the ingredients next time you're at the fair!


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Inside Libratus, the Poker AI That Out-Bluffed the Best Humans

For almost three weeks, Dong Kim sat at a casino and played poker against a machine. But Kim wasn't just any poker player. And this wasn't just any machine. The post Inside Libratus, the Poker AI That Out-Bluffed the Best Humans appeared first on WIRED.


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Silicon Valley slams Trump's immigration clampdown

Four4Four Tech: President Trump's controversial immigration move angers tech titans; Elon Musk wants to tunnel away from traffic congestion, hotel targeted by hackers, new robot could help hearts


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Paralyzed patients communicate thoughts via brain-computer interface

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have developed a brain-computer interface that reads the brain's blood oxygen levels and enables communication by deciphering the thoughts of patients who are totally paralyzed and unable to talk. In a trial of the system in four patients with complete locked-in syndrome - incapable of moving even their eyes to communicate - it helped them use their thought waves to respond yes or no to spoken questions. If all eye movements are lost, the condition is referred to as complete locked-in syndrome.


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Deutsche Bank to stop financing coal projects

German banking giant Deutsche Bank on Tuesday announced it would stop financing coal projects as part of its commitments under the Paris Agreement to tackle global warming. "Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries will not grant new financing for greenfield thermal coal mining and new coal-fired power plant construction," it said in a statement. The lender said the decision was in line with the pledges it made at last year's Paris climate conference, along with 400 other public and private companies, to help fight global warming.


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Scientists use soybean oil to create cost-effective graphene

Scientists in Australia have used soybean oil to make graphene, a strong carbon material which is just one atom wide and conducts electricity better than copper. The discovery, they say, lowers the cost of production of graphene drastically. According to scientists at the Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), making graphene with soybean oil will make it more commercially viable.


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Dino rib yields evidence of oldest soft tissue remains

The rib of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 195 million years ago has yielded what may be the oldest remains of soft tissue ever recovered, scientists said Tuesday. The find promises a chance to extract rare clues about the biology and evolution of long-extinct animals, a team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. Such information is mostly missing from preserved hard skeletons, which form the bulk of the fossil record.


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Solar-powered water purifier may be three times as efficient as current models

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have come up with a way of making solar-powered water purifiers cheaper and far more efficient -- and it involves dipping paper in carbon.


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NASA’s Juno Preps For Fourth Jupiter Flyby

During its closest approach at 7:57 a.m. EST Thursday, the spacecraft will pass roughly 2,670 miles above the gas giant’s cloud tops.


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Are We One Breath Away From the Perfect Healthcare Hack?

Several new reports say diagnosing disease from human breath is close.


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A New Smartwatch App Can Predict Moods and Teach Social Skills

Researchers have developed a smartwatch integrated with an artificial intelligence system that can serve as a kind of coach in social situations, particularly for people who suffer from social anxiety or Asperger syndrome. A paper published Wednesday by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) describes how the wearable AI detects the tone of a conversation through audio and physiological data in order to determine the mood of the speaker. This information can then be used to better understand social situations.


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