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Bringing back the magic in metamaterials

July 20, 2015 7:31 am | by Allison Mills, Michigan Technological Univ. | Comments

A single drop of blood is teeming with microorganisms—imagine if we could see them, and even nanometer-sized viruses, with the naked eye. That’s a real possibility with what scientists call a “perfect lens.” The lens hasn’t been created yet, but it is a theoretical perfected optical lens made out of metamaterials, which are engineered to change the way the materials interact with light.

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Siting wind farms more quickly, cheaply

July 20, 2015 7:24 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at the proposed site for eight to 12 months. Those measurements are correlated with historical data and used to assess the site’s power-generation capacity.

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"Beautiful eye candy": Frozen plains in Pluto's heart

July 17, 2015 6:05 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer, Associated Press | Comments

Vast frozen plains exist next door to Pluto's big, rugged mountains sculpted of ice, scientists said Friday, three days after humanity's first-ever flyby of the dwarf planet. The New Horizons spacecraft team revealed close-up photos of those plains, which they're already unofficially calling Sputnik Planum after the world's first man-made satellite.

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New species of feather-winged dinosaur unearthed in China

July 17, 2015 1:30 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The skeleton was discovered in the western part of Liaoning Province in China where the first feathered dinosaurs were found.

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Google self-driving car involved in first injury accident

July 17, 2015 1:00 pm | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press | Comments

Google revealed Thursday that one of its self-driving car prototypes was involved in an injury accident for the first time.

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Reaping the wind

July 17, 2015 11:12 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at the proposed site for eight to 12 months. Those measurements are correlated with historical data and used to assess the site’s power-generation capacity.

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Brain-based algorithms make for better networks

July 17, 2015 11:05 am | by Salk Institute for Biological Studies | Comments

Salk and Carnegie Mellon researchers uncover how the brain prunes back synapses in development.

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Tiny wires, great potential

July 17, 2015 10:57 am | by Peter Reuell, Harvard University | Comments

Harvard scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind method of creating a class of nanowires that one day could have applications in areas ranging from consumer electronics to solar panels.

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Mosquitoes use smell to see their hosts

July 17, 2015 7:50 am | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Comments

On summer evenings, we try our best to avoid mosquito bites by dousing our skin with bug repellents and lighting citronella candles. These efforts may keep the mosquitoes at bay for a while, but no solution is perfect because the pests have evolved to use a triple threat of visual, olfactory, and thermal cues to home in on their human targets, a new Caltech study suggests.

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Portable “paper machine” can diagnose disease on the cheap

July 17, 2015 7:35 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

In the U.S. and other industrialized nations, testing for infectious diseases and cancer often requires expensive equipment and highly trained specialists. In countries where resources are limited, performing the same diagnostics is far more challenging. To address this disparity, scientists are developing a portable, low-cost “paper machine” for point-of-care detection of infectious diseases, genetic conditions and cancer.

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Trapped light orbits within intriguing material

July 17, 2015 7:25 am | by Susan Brown, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Light becomes trapped as it orbits within tiny granules of a crystalline material that has increasingly intrigued physicists, a team led by Univ. of California, San Diego, physics professor Michael Fogler has found. Hexagonal boron nitride, stacked layers of boron and nitrogen atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, has recently been found to bend electromagnetic energy in unusual and potentially useful ways.

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Satisfying the hunger for a lightweight yet strong material

July 16, 2015 4:00 pm | by New York Univ. | Comments

A team of researchers reports success in pioneering tests of a layered material with a lightweight metal matrix syntactic foam core that holds significant potential for automobiles, trains, ships and other applications requiring lightweight structural components that retain their strength even when bent or compressed.

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A most singular nano-imaging technique

July 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Just as proteins are one of the basic building blocks of biology, nanoparticles can serve as the basic building blocks for next generation materials. In keeping with this parallel between biology and nanotechnology, a proven technique for determining the three dimensional structures of individual proteins has been adapted to determine the 3-D structures of individual nanoparticles in solution.

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70 years after 1st atomic bomb test, residents want U.S. help

July 16, 2015 11:23 am | by Russell Contreras, Associated Press | Comments

An unknown blast shook the desolate New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, unsettling the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa.

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Magna to buy German transmission company Getrag for $1.9B

July 16, 2015 11:14 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Car parts maker Magna International Inc. is buying Getrag, a German-based manufacturer of automotive transmissions, in a 1.75 billion euro ($1.9 billion) deal.

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