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The Lead

Trapping light with a twister

December 23, 2014 | Comments

Researchers at MIT who succeeded last year in creating a material that could trap light and stop it in its tracks have now developed a more fundamental understanding of the process.             

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R&D Daily

New Non-invasive method can detect Alzheimer's disease early

December 26, 2014 4:20 pm | by Megan Fellman, McCormick Northwestern Engineering | Comments

No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern University scientists and engineers has developed a noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the disease in a living animal. And it can do so at the earliest stages of the disease, well before typical Alzheimer’s symptoms appear.

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In the face of stress, flies unite

December 26, 2014 4:10 pm | by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne | Comments

Fruit flies respond more effectively to danger when in a group. A research team from EPFL and UNIL discovered this behavior as well as the neural circuits which relay this information, opening a new field of research. An article on the findings is being published today in Nature.

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Streaming release of 'Interview' test for industry

December 26, 2014 3:54 pm | by Mae Anderson, AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Sony's "The Interview" has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of movie release.                                       

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California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

December 23, 2014 11:15 am | by Justin Pritchard - Associated Press | Comments

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe.        

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E-readers foil good night’s sleep

December 23, 2014 11:12 am | Comments

Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

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Airplanes go hybrid-electric

December 23, 2014 11:08 am | Comments

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system.              

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A look at North Korea's limited internet capabilities

December 23, 2014 11:07 am | by Tong-Hyun Kim and Youkyung Lee - Associated Press | Comments

An hours-long Internet outage Tuesday in one of the world's least-wired countries was probably more inconvenient to foreigners than to North Korean residents, most of whom have never gone online. Even for wired Koreans south of the heavily armed border separating the rivals, the temporary outage made little difference - southerners are banned by law from accessing North Korean websites.

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Computer scientists extend web browsers to make the internet safer

December 23, 2014 11:01 am | Comments

Stanford computer scientists have extended two popular web browsers to make surfing safer while also empowering web developers to deliver creative new services.                                                  

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New technique reveals immune cell motion through variety of tissues

December 22, 2014 10:47 am | Comments

Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, are the immune system’s all-terrain vehicles. The cells are recruited to fight infections or injury in any tissue or organ in the body despite differences in the cellular and biochemical composition. Researchers collaborated to devise a new technique for understanding how neutrophils move in these confined spaces.

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Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications

December 22, 2014 10:44 am | Comments

Researchers from the University of Southampton have revealed a breakthrough in optical fiber communications. Academics have collaborated to develop an approach that enables direct modulation of laser currents to be used to generate highly advanced modulation format signals.

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The VuePod: Powerful enough for a gamer, made for an engineer

December 22, 2014 10:37 am | Comments

On the massive screen, images are controlled by a Wii remote that interacts with a Kinnect-like Bluetooth device (called SmartTrack), while 3D glasses worn by the user create dizzying added dimensions. This real-life, computer-powered mega TV is not for gaming. It’s for engineering.

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Possible avenue to better electrolyte for lithium ion batteries

December 22, 2014 10:04 am | Comments

The lithium-ion batteries that mobilize our electronic devices need to be improved if they are to power electric vehicles or store electrical energy for the grid. Berkeley Lab researchers looking for a better understanding of liquid electrolyte may have found a pathway forward.

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Lost memories might be able to be restored

December 22, 2014 10:01 am | Comments

New UCLA research indicates that lost memories can be restored. The findings offer some hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. For decades, most neuroscientists have believed that memories are stored at the synapsesm which are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. The new study provides evidence contradicting the idea that long-term memory is stored at synapses.

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221 new species described in 2014

December 22, 2014 9:58 am | Comments

In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added a whopping 221 new plant and animal species to our family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions.

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Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones

December 19, 2014 2:36 pm | by Joan Lowy and Jennifer Agiesta - Associated Press | Comments

Americans broadly back tight regulations on commercial drone operators, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, as concerns about privacy and safety override the potential benefits of the heralded drone revolution.       

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