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Biotech

Video Backyard Brains Shows You How to Remote Control a Cockroach (Video) 62

This is our second video starring Backyard Brains (Motto: "Neuroscience for Everyone!"). The first one was pretty lab-oriented, with a twitching roach leg here and there. This one has more roaches, with most of them crawling on command. Will the DoD see this and decide to make cockroach soldiers? Or roboroach bomb detectors and defusers? Or cockroach drone pilots? Anything's possible these days. But meanwhile, relax and enjoy learning about roboroaches and watching how, with little circuit boards on their little backs, they scurry hither and yon under control of their human masters. WARNING: Excessively squeamish people should not watch this video, but should stick to the transcript.
Privacy

Have Your Fingerprints Read From 6 Meters Away 122

First time accepted submitter Burdell writes "A new startup has technology to read fingerprints from up to 6 meters away. IDair currently sells to the military, but they are beta testing it with a chain of 24-hour fitness centers that want to restrict sharing of access cards. IDair also wants to sell this to retail stores and credit card companies as a replacement for physical cards. Lee Tien from the EFF notes that the security of such fingerprint databases is a privacy concern." Since the last time this technology was mentioned more than a year ago, it seems that the claimed range for reading has tripled, and the fingerprint reader business has been spun off from the company at which development started.
The Military

DARPA Creates Remote Controlled Insects 101

EmagGeek writes "Attempts by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create cybernetic insects (hybrids of biological and electronic 'bugs') have yielded ultra-low power radios to control the bugs' flight and a method of powering those circuits by harvesting energy, according to research that will be reported this week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference. 'Electrodes and a control chip are inserted into a moth during its pupal stage. When the moth emerges the electrodes stimulate its muscles to control its flight. I expect a run on bug zappers any day."

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