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Firms push high-tech solutions to fortify airport perimeters

April 13, 2015 1:35 pm | by Martha Mendoza and Justin Pritchard, Associated Press | Comments

Technology firms increasingly pitch new sensors and software to U.S. airports as a way to bolster exterior security and keep intruders out, but such digital barriers come with a hefty price tag and don't always work.

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Fragment of continental crust found under south east Iceland

April 13, 2015 10:32 am | by Univ. of Liverpool | Comments

A team has shown that south east Iceland is underlain by continental crust. The team found that the accepted theory, that Iceland consists only of very thick oceanic crust, is incorrect. Maps of crustal thickness produced from satellite gravity data, together with geochemical, plate tectonic reconstruction and mantle plume track analysis, were used to show south east Iceland is underlain by continental crust.

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Graphics in reverse

April 13, 2015 9:40 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Most recent advances in artificial intelligence are the result of machine learning, in which computers are turned loose on huge data sets to look for patterns. To make machine-learning applications easier to build, computer scientists have begun developing so-called probabilistic programming languages, which let researchers mix and match machine-learning techniques that have worked well in other contexts.

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Team tightens bounds on quantum information “speed limit”

April 13, 2015 9:18 am | by NIST | Comments

If you're designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but physicists at NIST have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that "speed limit" is. The research implies that quantum processors will work more slowly than some research has suggested.

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Electrical control of quantum bits in silicon paves the way to large quantum computers

April 13, 2015 8:20 am | by Univ. of New South Wales | Comments

A Univ. of New South Wales-led research team has encoded quantum information in silicon using simple electrical pulses for the first time, bringing the construction of affordable large-scale quantum computers one step closer to reality. The team has successfully realized a new control method for future quantum computers.

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Long-sought magnetic mechanism observed in exotic hybrid materials

April 13, 2015 8:08 am | by Justin Eure, Brookhaven National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists have measured the subatomic intricacies of an exotic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing the quantum quirks of topological insulators, and could lead to unprecedented electronics.

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Scientists help build next-generation dark energy probe

April 13, 2015 7:54 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Univ. of Michigan scientists and students will build components of a giant camera that will map 30 million galaxies' worth of the universe in three dimensions. The camera is officially known as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, abbreviated DESI, and it's designed to help answer one of the most puzzling scientific questions of our time: Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating?

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Material could boost batteries’ power, help power plants

April 13, 2015 7:43 am | by Paul Alongi, Clemson Univ. | Comments

You’re going to have to think very small to understand something that has the potential to be very big. A team of researchers developed a material that acts as a superhighway for ions. The material could make batteries more powerful, change how gaseous fuel is turned into liquid fuel and help power plants burn coal and natural gas more efficiently.

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Accelerating universe? Not so fast

April 13, 2015 7:29 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Communications | Comments

Certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought, a Univ. of Arizona-led team of astronomers has discovered. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.

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Specialty, generic drug costs drive Medicaid costs up

April 11, 2015 2:04 pm | by Marie French, Associated Press | Comments

The high cost of a drug used to treat Medicaid patients with hepatitis C drew scrutiny from lawmakers earlier this year, but other drugs are also driving up the state's costs and likely will continue to do so for several years, government data reveals. From fiscal year 2010 through 2014, drug costs for Missouri's Medicaid program rose 33%, to $1.16 billion.

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Researchers say permafrost carbon release will be gradual

April 10, 2015 8:05 pm | by Dan Joling, Associated Press | Comments

Frozen Arctic and sub-Arctic soil that thaws from global warming will add substantial amounts of carbon to the atmosphere in the form of greenhouse gases, accelerating climate change the rest of the century, but it won't come in a sudden burst, researchers say in a new paper.

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MIT launches new institute for data, systems, and society

April 10, 2015 1:00 pm | by MIT News Office | Comments

MIT is creating a new institute that will bring together researchers working in the mathematical, behavioral, and empirical sciences to capitalize on their shared interest in tackling complex societal problems.

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Baltimore police often surveil cellphones amid U.S. secrecy

April 10, 2015 12:56 pm | by Jack Gillum and Juliet Linderman, Associated Press | Comments

The Baltimore Police Department has an agreement with the U.S. government to withhold certain information about secretive cellphone surveillance technology from the public and even the courts.

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Bullish on clean energy

April 10, 2015 12:50 pm | by Alvin Powell, Harvard Gazette | Comments

In a talk at the Kennedy School on Tuesday, physicist Amory Lovins outlined a path to a clean-energy future in the United States.

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Breath test for detecting head and neck cancer

April 10, 2015 12:45 pm | by Laure-Anne Pessina, EPFL | Comments

A portable device can detect the presence of certain types of cancer in people's breath. Tested on patients, the new device was developed in part by EPFL researchers as part of an international collaboration.

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