Flock of cock and hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) chickens in field at poultry farm. (Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

There are 19 billion chickens on the planet, and they exist at our pleasure. Yet we don’t really understand them. Perhaps the wisdom of the chicken isn’t something the world needs to hear, but on the other hand, as factory farming techniques proliferate around the world, and the risk of diseases intensifies, any information chickens can communicate is valuable.

Engineers and poultry scientists at The University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating with farmers to interpret the chicken language to monitor flock and farm conditions. They’ve developed software that can listen in chicken facilities and alert farmers to problems with temperature, air quality, illness, or other stressors.

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When he looks up at you with those big puppy dog eyes, do you ever feel like your dog is trying to tell you something? According to a new study out of the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth’s Dog Cognition Center, you may just be right.

In a study of 24 dogs of various breeds, researchers tied each dog to a leash three feet away from a person. The dogs’ faces were filmed throughout a range of exchanges, from the person facing toward the dog, to being distracted with her body turned away from the dog. Throughout the interactions, the dogs’ faces were measured using DogFACS, a coding system that gives a measurement of facial changes.

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[DIGEST: Science Alert, CNN, New Scientist, The New England Journal of Medicine]

Doctors have successfully provided the first patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a brain implant system that allows her to communicate via her thoughts. Prior to this surgery, Hanneke de Bruijne of the Netherlands, who is paralyzed and on a ventilator, had been what medical professionals refer to as “locked in.” That is, she was unable to communicate with the outside world due to the physical paralysis that gradually overtook her entire body.

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Photo: Pixabay

What would you do with $1 million? The University of Washington knows what they would do. The Seattle-based University recently acquired a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to fund research that aims to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. UW scientists have established new methods of direct brain-to-brain communication, allowing two individuals to exchange messages and information via the Internet. Apparently it is now possible to enhance our telekinetic abilities with the miracles of modern technology.

The experiment to achieve these results was remarkable. According to the UW, their research team “combined two kinds of noninvasive instruments and fine-tuned software to connect two human brains in real time. The process is fairly straightforward. One participant is hooked to an electroencephalography machine that reads brain activity and sends electrical pulses via the Web to the second participant, who is wearing a swim cap with a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil placed near the part of the brain that controls hand movements.”

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