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‘Shazam’ inspired algorithm to locate earthquake risk zones

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Washington: Scientists have formulated a new algorithm to identify minor earthquakes which previously remained unknown the large ground motion measurement databases.

Even though microquakes are not life-threatening and don’t affect buildings or property much, their observation could help scientists better identify where bigger earthquakes could strike.

The algorithm, which is inspired by a popular song matching app called ‘Shazam’, is called Fingerprint and Similarity Thresholding, or FAST. Smaller quakes, which are not detected using conventional methods, and don’t even register as earthquakes, can be detected through this technology.

Waveform similarity was used extensively in seismology in the past decade through a process called template matching. This technique matches the seismic wave pattern of an earthquake to past recorded wave signatures in the database, explained Greg Beroza from Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

However, to utilize this process, scientists need to know what signal they are looking for beforehand. The technique is also a time-consuming one.

Places such as Oklahoma and Arkansas could greatly benefit from this technology, as they have seen a rise in the number of minor quakes, which have been linked to hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. FAST could help properly identify risk areas.

The FAST technology needs to be tested over long time periods with a number of seismic stations to effectively predict when and where bigger quakes would strike.

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Non-invasive brainwave technology can potentially cut post-traumatic stress

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

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Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
  • The new technology aims to reduce the effect of post traumatic stress in an individual.
  • It can reduce many post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety.

Researchers have developed a non-invasive brainwave mirroring technology that can significantly reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress, especially in military personnel.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems.
PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems. Wikipediacommon

The symptoms include insomnia, poor concentration, sadness, re-experiencing traumatic events, irritability or hyper-alertness, as well as diminished autonomic cardiovascular regulation.

“Ongoing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, whether clinically diagnosed or not, are a pervasive problem in the military,” said lead investigator Charles H. Tegeler, professor, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina.

“Medications are often used to help control specific symptoms, but can produce side effects. Other treatments may not be well tolerated, and few show a benefit for the associated sleep disturbance. Additional non-invasive, non-drug therapies are needed,” Tegeler added.

In the study, published in the journal Military Medical Research, the team used a high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM) — a non-invasive method, in which computer software algorithms translate specific brain frequencies into audible tones in real time.

This provides a chance for the brain to listen to itself through an acoustic mirror, Tegeler said.

The results showed reductions in post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety after six months of using the brainwave technology.

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

The net effect is to support the brain to reset stress response patterns that have been rewired by repetitive traumatic events, physical or non-physical, the researchers said. IANS

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