To cut down on distracted driving, a new roadside test called the Textalyzer could allow police to scan drivers phones after a crash to check for recent activity.

Abstracts: Textalyzers, Torture, and More


• A federal judge gave the green light to a lawsuit against the two psychologists who orchestrated the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture program. (The BMJ)

• The state of New York is considering the use of textalyzers — devices designed to check for recent activity on cell phones after a driver has been involved in a crash. (NPR)

texting while driving

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone-related crashes are underreported. Implementation of ‘textalyzer’ screening could help by allowing police to determine if a driver’s phone was recently used. (Visual by Intel Free Press/Flickr)

• Japan’s space agency announced the loss of a satellite designed to do pioneering X-ray astronomy. The onboard computer misfired a thruster, spinning it out of control. (Nature)

• There are two mountain chicken frogs left in the wild. Conservationists are moving the female into male’s territory to encourage the pair to save the species. (The Guardian)

• Just seven types of emergency surgeries make up 80 percent of the deaths and costs in the emergency room — and the costs are predicted to climb. (Washington Post)

• Republicans in Congress blame the National Science Foundation for going over budget on a major new research site. A new law created stricter oversight for the NSF’s largest contracts. (Science)

• The Islamic State is seeking to consolidate its “cyber army” to counter the U.S. campaign against its own electronic infrastructure. (Ars Technica)

• There’s only one archaeologist studying Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone — and he’s seeking to uncover the links between that city and wastelands in the U.S. and elsewhere. (National Geographic)

• The advocacy group Public Citizen is suing the FDA for redacting the resumes of its advisory committee members, which prevented the public from discovering whether the members have potential conflicts of interest due to industry ties. (STAT)

• And finally: it turns out that an organism without a brain can learn. A slime mold — a mobile collective of cells that looks like a fungus — learned to move through bitter chemicals to reach a reward. (LA Times)