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Overcoming limitations of magnetic storage

November 24, 2014 7:49 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Nano-Meta Technologies Inc. have shown how to overcome key limitations of a material that could enable the magnetic storage industry to achieve data-recording densities far beyond today's computers. The new technology could make it possible to record data on an unprecedented small scale using tiny "nanoantennas" and to increase the amount of data that can be stored on a standard magnetic disk by 10 to 100 times.

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Building on-ramp to cloud computing

November 24, 2014 7:43 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Rice Univ. is preparing to offer its researchers who deal in “big data” the opportunity to compute in the cloud with fewer barriers. Rice is installing the Big Research Data Cloud (BiRD Cloud), which will allow for cloud bursting. That means data-intensive tasks can spill over into outside cloud-computing systems when necessary, essentially providing unlimited computing capacity.

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U.S. looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

November 23, 2014 8:59 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, public health officials are girding for the next health disaster. Ebola sprang from one of those blind spots, in an area that lacks the health systems needed to detect an outbreak before it becomes a crisis.

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Advancements in battery technology shaping the future of electronic vehicles

November 21, 2014 9:57 am | by Canadian Light Source | Comments

Scientists at the Canadian Light Source are on the forefront of battery technology using cheaper materials with higher energy and better recharging rates that make them ideal for electric vehicles (EVs). The switch from conventional internal combustion engines to EVs is well underway. However, limited mileage of current EVs due to the confined energy storage capability of available battery systems is why these vehicles aren't more common.

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How mutant gene causes deafness

November 21, 2014 9:47 am | by The Scripps Research Institute | Comments

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered how one gene is essential to hearing, uncovering a cause of deafness and suggesting new avenues for therapies. The new study, published in Neuron, shows how mutations in a gene called Tmie can cause deafness from birth. Underlining the critical nature of their findings, researchers were able to reintroduce the gene in mice and restore the process underpinning hearing.

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Salinity matters when it comes to sea level changes

November 21, 2014 9:33 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboraotry | Comments

Using ocean observations and a large suite of climate models, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have found that long-term salinity changes have a stronger influence on regional sea level changes than previously thought.

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What agricultural ecosystems on steroids are doing to the air

November 21, 2014 9:21 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

In a study that identifies a new, "direct fingerprint" of human activity on Earth, scientists have found that agricultural crops play a big role in seasonal swings of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new findings from Boston Univ., the Univ. of Michigan and other institutions reveal a nuance in the carbon cycle that could help scientists understand and predict how Earth's vegetation will react as the globe warms.

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2-D quantum materials for nanoelectronics

November 21, 2014 9:10 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have carried out a theoretical analysis showing that a family of 2-D materials exhibits exotic quantum properties that may enable a new type of nanoscale electronics. These materials are predicted to show a phenomenon called the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect, and belong to a class of materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides, with layers a few atoms thick.

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Technique allows ultrasound to penetrate bone, metal

November 21, 2014 8:53 am | by Matt Shipman, News Services, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these so-called “aberrating layers.” The researchers addressed this problem by designing customized metamaterial structures that take into account the acoustic properties of the aberrating layer and offsetting them.

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Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites

November 21, 2014 8:37 am | by Princeton Univ. | Comments

Enzymes carry out fundamental biological processes such as photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and respiration, with the help of clusters of metal atoms as "active" sites. But scientists lack basic information about their function because the states thought to be critical to their chemical abilities cannot be experimentally observed.

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Biomarker could provide early warning of kidney disease in cats

November 21, 2014 8:27 am | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

Researchers from Oregon State Univ. and other institutions have developed a new biomarker called “SDMA” that can provide earlier identification of chronic kidney disease in cats, which is one of the leading causes of their death. A new test based on this biomarker, when commercialized, should help pet owners and their veterinarians watch for this problem through periodic checkups, and treat it with diet or other therapies.

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Collaboration points to improved nanomaterials

November 21, 2014 8:01 am | by Jim Barlow, Director of Science and Research Communications, Univ. of Oregon | Comments

A potential path to identify imperfections and improve the quality of nanomaterials for use in next-generation solar cells has emerged from a collaboration of Univ. of Oregon and industry researchers. To increase light-harvesting efficiency of solar cells beyond silicon's limit of about 29%, manufacturers have used layers of chemically synthesized semiconductor nanocrystals.

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Deep-Earth carbon offers clues about origin of life

November 21, 2014 7:53 am | by Jill Rosen, Johns Hopkins Univ. | Comments

New findings by a Johns Hopkins Univ.-led team reveal long unknown details about carbon deep beneath the Earth’s surface and suggest ways this subterranean carbon might have influenced the history of life on the planet. The team also developed a new, related theory about how diamonds form in the Earth’s mantle.

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Researchers create first inhibitor for enzyme linked to certain cancers

November 21, 2014 7:49 am | by Univ. of California, Irvine | Comments

Recent studies showing acid ceramidase (AC) to be upregulated in melanoma, lung and prostate cancers have made the enzyme a desired target for novel synthetic inhibitor compounds. In Angewandte Chemie, scientists with the Univ. of California, Irvine School of Medicine and the Italian Institute of Technology describe the very first class of AC inhibitors that may aid in the efficacy of chemotherapies.

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Discovery sheds light on nuclear reactor fuel behavior during a severe event

November 21, 2014 7:43 am | by Anglea Hardin, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

A new discovery about the atomic structure of uranium dioxide will help scientists select the best computational model to simulate severe nuclear reactor accidents. Using the Advanced Photon Source, a team of researchers found that the atomic structure of uranium dioxide (UO2) changes significantly when it melts.

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