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Searching big data faster

August 26, 2015 3:30 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse.

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To the Wonder: Speculating Extraterrestrial Life

August 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Discovered in the 1880s in the Mediterranean Sea, the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) measures about 4.5 mm across. Small as a pinky nail, its transparent body shows a glowing red stomach. Ninety tentacles wistfully float by its side in the water.

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Supercomputers enlisted to shed light on photosynthesis

August 26, 2015 2:30 pm | by Univ. of the Basque Country | News | Comments

Computing enables scientists and engineers to analyze highly complex physical processes using simulation techniques. In this case, researchers in the UPV/EHU are collaborating with researchers from various universities to analyze the photosynthesis process basing themselves on various theories because the way in which plants absorb light remains a mystery.

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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015 1:30 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | News | Comments

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

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Cells cling and spiral “like vines” in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

August 26, 2015 1:04 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nanofiber polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a 3-D environment. These "hotels for cells" mimic the "extracellular matrix" which cells secrete before they grow and divide to create plant tissue.

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Coming Out of Its Shell: A Rare Nautilus Sighting

August 26, 2015 12:40 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Last month, Peter Ward, a professor at the Univ. of Washington’s Dept. of Biology, and Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences, returned to Papau New Guinea’s Manus Island to see if a rare, shelled cephalopod still existed.

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Why platinum nanoparticles become less effective catalysts at small sizes

August 26, 2015 12:00 pm | by A*STAR | News | Comments

A*STAR scientists have used first-principles computer simulations to explain why small platinum nanoparticles are less effective catalysts than larger ones. Platinum nanoparticles are used in the catalysis of many reactions, including the important hydrogen evolution reaction used in fuel cells and for separating water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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Robotically steered flexible needles navigate in tissue

August 26, 2015 11:00 am | by Univ. of Twente | News | Comments

Robotically steered flexible needles can reach their intended target in tissue with sub-millimeter-level accuracy. This has been demonstrated by the doctoral research of Momen Abayazid, who is affiliated with the research institute MIRA of the Univ. of Twente. A major advantage of steering flexible needles is that one can avoid obstacles or sensitive tissues and can re-orient the path of the needle in real time as you insert the needle.

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Dying star suffers “irregular heartbeats”

August 26, 2015 10:00 am | by Univ. of Warwick | News | Comments

Some dying stars suffer from “irregular heartbeats,” research led by astronomers at the Univ. of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their lifecycles.

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Surgeons may get remote assistance with new “telementoring” system

August 26, 2015 9:00 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Purdue Univ. and the Indiana Univ. School of Medicine are developing an "augmented reality telementoring" system to provide effective support to surgeons on the battlefield from specialists located thousands of miles away. In telementoring, a surgeon performing an operation receives guidance remotely from an expert using telecommunications.

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Making the air fair

August 26, 2015 8:00 am | by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Nobody likes flight delays, but they are a common occurrence: In 2011, about 20% of U.S. flights were at least 15 min behind schedule. Those delays irritate passengers and, in 2010, added an estimated $6.5 billion to U.S. airlines’ operating costs.

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3-D-printed microscopic fish do more than swim

August 26, 2015 7:41 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

Nanoengineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego used an innovative 3-D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of "smart" microrobots.

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E. coli Growth Inhibited by Flu Medications

August 26, 2015 7:21 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Through a technique known as pyrosequencing, Stanford Univ. researchers in 2008 found the bacteria community in the colon is made of at least 5,600 species, or strains. It was a huge moment for gut microbiota, as previous estimates put the number upwards of 500.

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Brightfield LED Microscope Illuminator

August 26, 2015 5:30 am | by Prior Scientific | Product Releases | Comments

Prior Scientific has announced two additions to their wide range of illumination products for microscopy: the new LDB100F and LDB101F Brightfield LEDs. Using a Brightfield LED with a 550-nm flip-in filter in the light path reduces background fluorescence attributed to stray light. The Brightfield LED replaces the standard light source and provides all the advantages of LED illumination in a flexible package that can be fitted to most modern upright...

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure

August 25, 2015 5:30 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

A team from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Indiana Univ. combined two techniques to determine the structure of cyanostar, a new abiological molecule that captures unwanted negative ions in solutions.

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