Scientists may soon give your braking leg a break. In a recent study in the Journal of Neural Engineering, researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology monitored the brain signals of drivers and found that they could detect the study participants’ intent to stop before they actually stomped on the brakes. The findings could someday lead to automated braking technologies that help avoid devastating car crashes.
In the study, the researchers had 18 participants drive along virtual roads in a racing simulator that includes winding streets and oncoming traffic—the drivers had to maintain a certain distance behind the computer-controlled cars in front of them, which braked at random intervals. While the participants drove, the researchers tracked their brain signals using caps fitted with EEG sensors.
When you have your hand up a cow’s behind for the first time, you’re literally groping in the dark. Unable to see what you’re touching and armed with only textbook knowledge of cow anatomy, it’s easy to make a wrong move, which in your first rectal class can mean misdiagnosing a cow pregnancy or not even feeling your first uterus. That’s all changed with the advent of rectal simulators.
Dubbed Breed’n Betsy, this metal-framed simulator with a latex back-end and internal organs allows students to perfect their pregnancy-testing, artificial-insemination, and embryo-transferring techniques before they touch a living cow. After you put on your lubricated glove, you just plunge your hand into the cow and feel around to learn the positions of latex uteri, ovaries, and cervixes. There are also upgrades: A water-filled acrylic tube simulates real-cow temperatures, and you can switch out the latex organs for real ones from your local slaughterhouse (oh goodie!). So after you’ve grown comfortable performing rectal exams on this Frankensteinian mishmash of organs, you can confidently do the same to a living, breathing bovine.